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Top Notch Domains, LLC Acquires Lowell.com

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Top Notch Domains, LLC, a Nashua, New Hampshire based domain name investment and development company, is excited to announce the recent acquisition of Lowell.com.

Lowell is the fourth largest city in the state of Massachusetts, and it has a population of over 105,000 residents (as of the 2000 census). With its urban renewal efforts, Lowell has minor league sports teams, a highly regarded university, popular public facilities, great restaurants, and wonderful public parks. As a suburb of Boston, Lowell is home to several large companies, and the city is able to host large conferences with its ample supply of hotel and lodging facilities.

“Having been born and raised near Lowell, I am thrilled to have purchased this exceptional domain name,” said Top Notch Domains, LLC President Elliot Silver. “My company plans to develop a comprehensive website about the city of Lowell, providing the tools and information residents and tourists will find valuable. As Lowell continues to grow and thrive, we hope our website will grow into a resource for residents and tourists alike.”

According to the September 2007 eMarketer report entitled, “Local Online Advertising: Measuring The Market,” the firm projects that local online advertising spending will reach $2.9 billion in 2007, and by 2011 those figures are expected to reach $7.8 billion. This is an increase from $2.1 billion that was spent in 2006.

In a recent Associated Cities article, Monte Cahn, CEO of Moniker, a top 10 domain registrar and broker specializing in Geo-specific domain names said, “The expected increase in localized, online advertising provides the owners of these domains with the ability to capitalize on the trend, and generate significant return on their investment.”

Advertising opportunities will be made available once the website is relaunched in the first quarter of 2008. For more information, please send Elliot an email.

About Top Notch Domains, LLC

Founded by Elliot J. Silver while a graduate student at NYU, Top Notch Domains, LLC owns a strong portfolio of generic domain names including Devices.com, Customs.com, EasternCaribbean.com, TaxCodes.com, AlcoholCounseling.com, and many more.

Domainer’s Magazine Anniversary Gift

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Just received some good news from Jerry Nolte and Mike St. John about their Domainer’s Magazine publication. These guys (and the magazine’s staff) have worked incredibly hard, and this is an offer that should be graciously accepted by everyone who is interested in the domain industry. Thank You!!”

Matamoras, PA, December 3rd 2007-Domainer’s Magazine will mark their one year anniversary by offering the online version of their magazine free of charge for the year beginning with the January/February 2008 issue and are also offering the ability to view any of this past year’s issues as well. Fellow domainers and creators of the publication Jerry J. Nolte Jr. and Mike St. John stated that they are happy to offer this “gift” to its readers as a show of gratitude for their tremendous growth this year. Additionally, the two believe the increase in viewers will allow their advertisers to reap even more benefits than before!

Over the past year, Domainer’s Magazine has grown in size, advertisers, and distribution. Managed by two domainers themselves, it is believed that their experience assists the team in knowing the issues to cover in each issue. Staffed by a team of professional writers with true unbiased journalistic integrity it appears the magazine is able to hit topics readers want to see while giving the information in an impartial manner.”

About Domainer’s Magazine: Domainer’s Magazine was designed to provide valuable insight and thought leadership into the domaining world. It is a first class publication and the original magazine that targets this industry which is becoming noted by some of the premier financiers of our time. Their goal is to continue to be a world class publication that is the eyes and ears of the “domainer”. It is a sister company to iMonetize.

About iMonetize: iMonetize.com was founded in 2005 and is one of the fastest growing full service domain management, Meta-PPC optimization companies. It provides a suite of services for domain holders, expired domain speculators, registrars and web hosts to maximize revenue while accurately analyzing performance and origin. iMonetize provides the most user-friendly and detailed domain name statistics in the industry in most cases all the way down to the individual domain level.

TopNotchDomains.com is Relaunched!

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Yesterday, I announced that my blog was redesigned, and today, I am pleased to announce that my company’s website, TopNotchDomains.com was redesigned and launched this morning! The redesign comes on the heels of a logo contest I started on Sitepoint (after seeing the success of Sahar’s contest). Initially, I planned for just a new logo and business card, but I was so impressed with the quality of work of Mike McAlister and his SixOneFive Design company, I asked him to redesign my website.

I know the difficulty in finding a great quality designer who is trustworthy and cost effective so I wanted to briefly talk about Mike’s company. The main focus of SixOneFive Design is on creating brand identities. They work on complete image overhauls with logos (like my projected started), business cards, letterheads, websites, etc. The company stays on top of new design trends, and they integrate it into their work. Mike provides high quality work with a quick turn-around, and from my experience, the price was more than reasonable.

Another project Mike recently finished was a complete overhaul on ClickFacts Security & Audit which can be seen at ClickFacts.com. Other samples of Mike’s work can be seen at his site SixOneFiveDesign.com. ¬†I hope you like the new look on my blog and TopNotchDomains.com, and I would like to thank Mike for his hard (and speedy) work.

***Although I am never paid nor compensated for my blog entries, I want to make it clear that Mike did not ask me for this recommendation, nor did I receive anything in return. Mike created a great website, logo and blog header for me, completed it very quickly, and he did it at a very reasonable price.

5 With… Jeremy Padawer

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jeremy7.jpgOne of the most energetic people I’ve met in the domain business, Jeremy Padawer balances his full time job as a Vice President of Entertainment Brand Marketing at the third largest toy company in the United States with his online domain investment business.

Jeremy is serious about his businesses, but he has an excellent way of balancing this with his wit and sense of humor. Frequently, when I have a conversation with him or read a domain forum post written by him, I can’t help but laugh with him. This is a “5 With…” interview that is unlike any I’ve done before. As promised, here is a complete and unedited email chain with Mr. Padawer!

ELLIOT SILVER:
Mr. Padawer,
Greetings!! I’d love to interview you for my blog now if you are still willing. There are 8 questions below, and I ask my participants to answer any 5 of them (or all 8 if they want). If you could provide a brief bio and a picture (if possible/desired) it would be great. You will be the next interview I post I hope.

Here are my questions:

How does your full time job impact your domain investments?

JEREMY PADAWER:
“I am the Vice President of Entertainment Brand Marketing at the 3rd largest toy company in the US. The toy brands that I manage include World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Pokemon (Pokemon USA), Neopets (Viacom), Dragonball & Spongebob Squarepants (Viacom).

My job includes:
– Licensing acquisition and new business development
– Sales to mass and secondary account management, analysis, and account management
– Divisional P&L responsibility (Product Margin and Operating Profitability Goals)
– CPG Marketing: Product, Pricing, Packaging & Promotions (Marketing/Advertising)
I’m constantly chasing the next trend, the next innovative item, the next big brand.

Regarding the impact on my style of domaining: I steer clear of any TM concerns as I deeply relate to brand holders. I chase trends. I’m not afraid to make a decision which will result in a moderate loss if it means I went for a home run.

My life is relatively non-stop. It’s almost 3AM in Europe. I am here for the week negotiating with a potential toy partner. I jump on an airplane in the morning to head back to Santa Monica, my home base. The following week I go into the Malibu office on Monday and then jump on another out of country (2-day) trip Tuesday/Wednesday.

And, yet, what am I doing right now? Emailing Elliot J Silver, my domainer colleague.

There is time to sleep and this isn’t the time. Maybe tomorrow.”

ELLIOT SILVER:
What was the best piece of business advice someone ever gave you, and how do you use it in your business?

JEREMY PADAWER:
“The best advice I’ve ever received was from my Evidence Professor in Law School. He told me to not practice law. I ultimately took him up on that. Thank goodness.

I started domaining in 1996. I was 23 and convinced that generic domain names had a significant future. I was living in a $300 relatively run-down apartment building in Knoxville, Tennessee, living on student loans, eating mostly turkey sandwiches. I still hate Karl Budding turkey. ūüôā After finishing undergraduate school at the University of Texas, I jumped directly into a legal education. I bought my first domain names (schmuck.com, uninsured.com, arrange.com, spaniel.com – all now sold) with student loans. I believe the cost was $100/domain at the time.

To make a long story short, I finished law school and went on to also complete an MBA program at Vanderbilt… My destiny was to have $200,000 debt. Because of the domaining world, and my sincere professor’s reminder, I paid for the JD/MBA, a few cars, and a nice down payment on a beach condo in Santa Monica with domain names.

By 2000, I sold all 50-60 generic domains in my moderate portfolio. I joined the circus… er, the toy industry. Same thing… Good decision.

Bad decision = selling all 50-60 generic names.

Good decision = clearing my head entirely and learning how to work, and then thrive and lead, in major organizations.

Bad decision = not jumping back into domaining in 2004, after my head was clear.

Good decision = starting over in September, 2006.

And, that is my clever and cloudy transition to the next question.

BTW – My stream of consciousness writing and probable misspellings are due to the ever advancing clock. It’s now 3:12AM. The car picks me up at 7:00AM. Sweeeeet. Plus, I suck at spelling.”

ELLIOT SILVER:
You are in an elevator at DomainFest and a fellow domain investor asks you why he should invest in the .mobi extension. You have about 30 seconds before you reach the lobby. What is the most compelling reason to invest in the extension?

JEREMY PADAWER:
“For kicks, let’s call the fellow domain investor “Bucko.” Just pulling that out of nowhere.

Bucko might ask, “Hey, Jeremy Padawer, why the heck did you spend a tonnage of cash on mobi domain names during the initial landrush phase? You have 30 seconds to answer me and not one second more!”

I’d reply, “Bucko, that’s not nice. Because you were rude, I will duct tape you to the wall and speak to you about mobi domain names for at least 5 minutes.”

I’d then duct tape Bucko to the wall of the elevator and tell him the following.

I am an opportunist.

I love trends.

I have an understanding of the domain name market. I have insight as to the needs of a brand manager. I travel enough to understand that .com is King, but that there are many princes… including country code domain names outside of the US as well as our friends .net, .org.

Bottom line… Com is King. Com is King. Com is King.

…….BUT……..

A domain name extension positioned in a niche area stands a chance.

…….AND……..

If you believe that promotional marketing people are so clear on the power of .com names, you are fooling yourself. You live in a world of domainers and domaining. A world where not even the biggest, baddest Madison Avenue players are still having a hard time figuring out what to buy and what to avoid.

…….AND……..

The timing is perfect. The domain name extension has been launched prior to the explosive growth of mobile content.

I’d then to go on to concede that mobi solves absolutely NO TECHNOLOGY ISSUES, and that mobi may never be adopted.

I’m just throwing my money on my gut. I smell something here. I believe the world has adopted many successful extensions… that this .mobi extension is well positioned to promotional marketers who may or may not understand the power of .com domain names… that the timing is great… and that there will be a massive explosion, an echo boom of investment into mobile.

So, will .mobi succeed – enjoy consumer adoption? Maybe.

Will .mobi replace .com? No

Will .mobi become a nice alternative (much like .org or a cctld)? My gut says yes.

I’d then say one more thing to my friend duct taped to the wall.

I could be wrong.

I could be absolutely wrong.

I’ve found the last 15 months enjoyable. The traffic is increasing. I’ve sold names and despite my 6-figure investment, I’m sitting on 94% inventory at a financial breakeven.

I hope I’m wrong 10 more times, if being wrong pays this well.

Regarding the duct tape. I’d remove it without harming anyone.

And, Bucko, I love ya man.”

ELLIOT SILVER:
When you buy a domain name for investment purposes, what are the most important aspects of that name that are of interest to you?

JEREMY PADAWER:
“Over the last 6 months, I’ve built up a nice portfolio of geo names (memphis.org, scottsdale.org, rye.com, abilene.org, tempe.org, and others…) I’m not necessarily interested in whether a domain name will achieve a 10X ROI. I still hold out that there is room for branding. Although, this year I am achieving about a 7X ROI against my investment all-in.

I am a big believer of self-branding. I picked up www.jeremy.com three years ago after chasing the previous owner for 7 years. Best investment ever. Nobody forgets my personal email.”

ELLIOT SILVER:
When developing .mobi domain names, what are the most important things people need to include to make them relevant?

JEREMY PADAWER:
“I have no idea, Elliot. It’s 3:49AM. Are you nuts asking me a question like this in the middle of the night?”

ELLIOT SILVER:
You are in the final round of Wheel of Fortune. The category is “Thing” and Pat Sajak gives you the letters RSTLNE, and you ask for the letters DMP and O. As the clock ticks down, you holler out “Domain Names,” winning the $100,000 grand prize! Do you spend the cash on a hot new car, or do you buy a domain name? Which car or which domain name would you choose?

JEREMY PADAWER:
“Hmmm… If I had to choose between a car and a domain name, I’d probably find a good name. Cars are depreciation monsters. No thought on a particular name or extension. If I could do anything with the money, I’d just dump it into an investment account and forget about it.”

ELLIOT SILVER:
What has been the biggest surprise/development in the domain industry over the last couple of years?

JEREMY PADAWER:
“Maybe the rebirth of .tv. I’ve been very impressed with the repackaging of that brand.”

ELLIOT SILVER:
What personal accomplishment are you most proud of in the domain business?

JEREMY PADAWER:
“I’m proud of jumping in early… and, then… jumping in late – having some success both times.”

ElliotsBlog.com Unveils New Theme!

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Last week, I held a contest on Sitepoint to create a new logo for my company, Top Notch Domains, LLC. I had never used Sitepoint before, but I thought it would be interesting and worth a shot. I received several high quality submissions, and eventually chose a winning design.

I was really impressed with the designer’s work, and I began discussing a revision of the entire website instead of just the logo. We agreed on a very fair price and timeline, and he is currently in the midst of revising the site, which will probably be unveiled this week. While I was reviewing the first round of revisions on my company’s website yesterday, the designer sent me a test header for my blog, just in case I wanted to make it match the company’s website. I hadn’t even asked for it, but he thought it might be good to keep the look and feel consistent.

I am very happy to unveil the new design of my company’s logo – and the new design of my blog! I have been impressed with the quality of work the designer has done, and I think the blog looks great as well. If you would like to learn more about the designer (Mike McAlister), his company is called SixOneFive Design.

Behavioral Targeting: Making Websites Smarter

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Direct marketing is the art of presenting a consumer with a an offer that is compelling enough to elicit a trackable response. Creating a compelling offer continues to pose challenges in many marketing channels such as direct mail and telemarketing channels, but it is becoming easier for online marketing, with the help of behavioral targeting. By tracking consumer web surfing habits, marketers are able to use that data to offer consumers what they expect them to want, which can enhance their online experience and generate revenue for marketers.

Behavioral targeting is utilized to maximize the effect of “intuitive marketing,” giving consumers what they want the moment they probably want it. This helps websites stay ahead of the curve by enhancing the consumer web surfing experience. Online marketers know that if they make the consumer a compelling offer at the time they are most susceptible to processing the offer, it is more likely that they will react positively to the offer.

Applications such as Google’s ¬†Gmail ¬†and ¬†Adsense ¬†don’t necessarily need to rely on behavioral targeting, as their programs can detect content and provide related advertising links. Websites that might not have this type of keyword tags can be most positively impacted by behavioral targeting. According to an article appearing in ¬†CNN, “Behavioral targeting brings capabilities to sites without good or reliable keywords — for example, a social-networking profile that touches on dozens of hobbies and interests at once.

Online marketing firm  eMarketer  believes that $1 Billion will be spent on behavioral marketing in 2008, and by 2011, the spending will increase to around $3.8 Billion, up from $220 Million in 2005. This shows the amount of faith marketers have in behavioral targeting, and it appears that its working. As technology continues to develop, I expect there will be new ways to detect what a consumer is looking to find, enabling direct marketers to successfully turn intuition into ROI.

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