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5 With… Donna Mahony, DomainBoardroom.com Founder

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Donna Mahony is the founder of DomainBoardroom.com, a recently formed domain community made up of great minds in the domain business. Donna will tell you that she’s a “dumb bored housewife,” but in my opinion, she is far from dumb, and I can’t even imagine that she is bored! Donna comes from a hard working family from Boston, and she learned at a young age that a person must be guided by strong work and business ethics to be successful.

After she was injured in a car accident in 1997, Donna turned to her computer to help make a living. Turns out, it was one of the smartest things she did. Donna built a strong portfolio based on a PPC model, and she never looked back; However, she frequently would give back to people looking to get into the domain business. Many people remember the early days on the forums where Donna would give advice to people struggling in the business. This is one of the reasons why people like, respect and admire Donna. I am glad I know Donna, and I hope this interview allows others to get to know her better.

1.) EJS: A few months ago you built DomainBoardroom.com, and it quickly filled with some of the smartest people in the business. What sets Domain Boardroom apart from other professional domain discussion forums?

DM: “DomainBoardroom.com is different in that a domainer needs to earn their way in. A person need only be willing to learn, share and have a great reputation for admittance. Feedback I get tells me the “no noise” atmosphere is the biggest attraction for those wanting a place to meet and greet with like minded folks.”

2.) EJS: What was the first domain name you ever purchased, and do you still own it?

DM: “The first domain I ever registered was winfreecash.net . It was just a banner farm all centered down the middle ūüôā In an interview with Ron Jackson here he tells the whole story.”

3.) EJS: If you won a $10 million lottery, would you retire or invest it back into the domain industry? If you choose the former, where would you like to retire, and if you choose the later, in what area of the domain business would you invest?

DM: “Well, if I chose retiring somewhere..it would be right here on my mini-ranch in Arizona! Actually, I would just cut back in my time at the computer and keep doing what I do! I would probably by a large portfolio or a few stellar domains.”

4.) EJS: Do you regret ever selling a domain name? If so, which name was it and why do you regret it?

DM: “I have always enjoyed doing a little selling and never regret the sale. If I see it eventually worth more than I sold for…well, I am just happy that somebody knows they got a good deal!

5.) EJS: There have been several articles about parents purchasing the .com domain name of their newborn baby. Do you own the .com of any of your horses’ names?

DM: “I had a good laugh at this one. No horse has his own domain, but one of my dogs does! And a little stud colt born here this past spring is named for an exec at my favorite parking company, DomainSponsor.com The horses name is Pistols Ron.”

BONUS QUESTIONS!!

6.) EJS: What do you think is the biggest threat to the domain investment business, and what is your recommendation to eliminate the threat?

DM: “Wow, lots of answers to this but bottom line is that we need a united front. An organization run by folks that are squeaky clean and devoted to the industry for the love of the industry, not the love of the cash flow.”

7.) EJS: What personal accomplishment are you most proud of in the domain business?

DM: “I have 2 answers here. I am proud of my success with DomainBoardroom.com. A successful forum is rare and for DBR to be the big immediate success that it is, speaks well of all of us who started it. Less tangible answer is my proudest moment…Ron Jackson approached me at a DomainFest and told me he often hears about my ethics and willingness to help everyone. It doesn’t get much better!”

8.) EJS: What is your least favorite aspect of the domain investment business?

DM: “What I refer to as “Domainer ADHD” . There are so many exciting avenues to explore everyday that I have a hard time focusing on any one of them and find myself spread too thin all over the place!”

Godaddy Live Auction Preview

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Godaddy Signature Auctions released the list for their auction taking place between November 6-8. There are a few very good names on the list (Bob.com, Grapes.com, Media.mobi, and ForeignTravel.com are my favorites), but I was surprised by the lack of showcase names that other live auction events featured. Although the majority of them didn’t sell (WallStreet.com, Hell.com, Taxes.com… etc), they certainly brought attention to the auction.

I agree with what Frank has to say about the auction in regards to the limited number of .com names and two-word phrases in the list. ¬† I don’t know if Godaddy’s auction has reserve prices, but if they do, it might be difficult to reach on a name like Bob.com, unless company CEO Bob Parsons decides to bid. ¬† I do like the fact that the auction has a limited number of names, as it seems there is quite a bit of auction fatigue mid-way through the 250+ domain name auctions.

Aside from Godaddy’s press release, I have not seen much ¬†publicity or hype surrounding the auction. I am knee-deep in domain activities (from the blogs to the forums and boards), and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be generating a tremendous amount of excitement in the domain community.

As far as I am concerned, the only way to have a successful domain auction is if there are lots of bidders. Most domain auction bidders are domain investors, and they need to be excited about it to show up and bid. Godaddy should email their customers, place banner advertisements on the forums and generally get the word out. There is potential for this auction, but now is the time to get people excited about it.

Signature Auction Names
1x.com
Apartments.mobi
BargainBuy.com
BeautyCounter.com
BestPhone.com
BestService.com
Bob.com
Campaign2008.com
CollegeFootball.mobi
Dentists.mobi
DietAids.com
Earl.com
Even.com
ForeignTravel.com
Grapes.com
HDTVShop.com
Homes.mobi
HowToInvest.com
Maillist.com
Media.mobi
MobileSecurity.com
Moving.mobi
RoadWork.com
Smoked.com
SportUtility.com
TopBeaches.com
TravelUpdate.com
VirtualServer.com
WhyHybrid.com
YB.com

Visions.com WIPO – Big Risk Rewarded

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Weather Shield Mfg., Inc., of Medford, Wisconsin filed a WIPO for the domain name Visions.com, owned by Lori Phan. In a decision reached on October 10, 2007, the single WIPO panelist found in favor of the Respondent, and the complaint was denied.

I believe the domain owner took a risk by not requesting a 3 member panel. Although she did a great job of presenting her case, it could have easily gone the other way based on some previous decisions. I think it is always best to ask (and pay) for a 3 member WIPO panel because it means the Complainant needs to convince 2 of 3 people that they are right. Having a single panelist is more risky, in my opinion, especially for a high value name like Visions.com.

If the domain name is worth much more than the cost of the 3 member WIPO panel, I would think it would be best to request it.

Best US Entrepreneurs 25 and Under

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Best U.S. Entrepreneurs 25 and Under
Business Week just released a list of the best US entrepreneurs who are 25 our younger. What do almost all of these entrepreneurs have in common? Nearly all are involved in online ventures – from marketing to customer service solutions to restaurant reservations. It is clear that most of the successful up and coming entrepreneurs are building web-based businesses.

This is where its at folks. The business world is evolving, and the innovative companies in almost every industry utilize the Internet in some fashion.   The smartest young minds see the Internet as their means to achieving success, and I believe the advancements and developments we see will be stunning.

Observation About WIPO Decisions

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I spend a fair amount of time researching WIPO decisions, and I think anyone who is serious about this business should, too. ¬† ¬†I’ve noticed that I hardly ever recognize any of the names or companies that are the Respondents in these decisions. ¬† ¬†It’s probably a good thing, but there are an awful lot of people out there registering unquestionable trademarks, and I rarely recognize their names. ¬† ¬†The only names I ever recognize are typically Respondents in cases where the Complainant shouldn’t have a chance in hell at winning (FCC.com for example).

I’m not claiming to know a large portion of domain owners in the world, but I know alot of the names of people via their posts in domain forums and Whois searches. ¬† ¬†To me, it looks like there is a group of legitimate domain owners whose reputations are being sullied by less ethical domain owners.

I don’t know if anyone has made the same observation before, but this needs to be stopped.

Everything sells online. Even Duck Eggs.

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Everything sells online. Even Duck Eggs.
Internet entrepreneur Sai Pola’s DuckEggs.com offers the perfect reason why people should buy generic domain names. People who navigate to a specific site like DuckEggs.com have one thing in mind when they arrive – to purchase duck eggs. Using partnerships with farmers whose ducks produce some of the finest quality eggs, Sai’s website allows users to get exactly what they want.According to the article,

“The right domain name conveys credibility, is memorable and can deliver potential customers directly to an ecommerce website without the site owner spending a penny for advertising. The best domain names are comprised of the generic name of the product or service being offered.” –Source: Press Release via Forbes

DuckEggs.com is a perfect example of a specific generic domain name giving direct navigators the product they want, building loyalty and revenue.

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