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Online .TV Anchors Interactive Cheese Campaign

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An English cheesemaker has capitalized on a great marketing campaign by auctioning off a slab of cheese that had been the focus of 24 hour web television coverage seen by visiting cheddarvision.tv. After receiving over 1.65 million views on the website since December of 2006, and countless other views on its dedicated Myspace page, the 44 pound block of cheese is now listed for sale on Ebay.

This has to be one of the smartest interactive marketing campaigns I’ve seen in a while. The cheesemakers created interest for the past year using a .tv website, a Myspace page and a YouTube listing, and now they are using their website to direct interested viewers to the auction. The bidding is currently up to £520.00, and I can only hope that the typical scammers that place shill bids leave this auction alone.

Motley Fool on Internet Stocks

The Motley Fool takes a look at 4 Internet Stocks Under the Radar, including Marchex, Autobytel, Copernic and Jupitermedia.

Although I would debate that Marchex is really under the radar, its good to see them receiving some coverage by the mainstream investment media. Marchex owns a huge domain portfolio with some fantastic domain names.

*As a disclaimer, I don’t own stock in Marchex (or any of the other companies) because I think its wise to have a diverse investment portfolio.

“Brandable” vs. Generic Domain Names

I frequently see people trying to sell “brandable” domain names. To most experienced domain investors, brandable suggests that you need to explain what the name means and why you think it is valuable, which usually means a difficult time selling it. In most cases, brandable names aren’t good buys, especially as a short term investment.

By nature, copywriters, art directors and others involved in the creative process are very attached to their ideas. Deep down, almost every creative person wants to win a Cannes Lion, Clio or an Echo, and they want to win because of their idea. They want to be inspired from deep within themselves rather than developing someone else’s idea. I don’t think it makes sense that some domain investors think that a cool/hip sounding domain name will help inspire a marketing campaign or product name, which would seem to be the reason to register it.

On the other side, some people register these names hoping that a company will use that particular term or phrase in a new product and then seek them out to buy it. While I know of a couple people who did have success with this, there are many more brandable domain names registered than companies willing to buy them. It’s like buying a lottery ticket. Sure, once in a while it may be a good idea or even pay off, but more often than not, you will end up wasting your money.

In my opinion, if you can’t afford to buy a high value keyword name and choose to register new names instead, I recommend sticking with generic keyword phrases. Put two or three related keywords together to try and create strong sounding names. Use “quoted Google searches” to see how many references that term has in Google. Generally, the more references, the more interest in that particular topic. State specific keywords can be good, too.

Registering new names can be a thrill. Knowing what to register is what can save you hundreds of dollars.

.Mobi Madness = .Mobi Sickness

Wow…. I just spent the last half hour of my life reading Frank’s, Jay’s, Rick’s and Sahar’s blogs along with posts on a couple of forums about .mobi domain names and my head is spinning. I don’t understand why <some> people who have invested in .mobi feel the need to defend it like they are defending their children or family. Well, I guess I know why they feel the need, but it’s painful to watch.

It’s a freaking extension. If marketers promote it, investors will probably make money. If not, investors better hope they aren’t holding the bag like many of the speculators who bought names in other little used extensions. I don’t want to hear any more about bofa, disney, skype….etc. None of that means squat for 99.5% of the .mobi names that were registered based on speculation.

In my opinion, at best, some mobile-savvy marketers will buy .mobi names for THEIR brand, and some lucky .mobi speculators will make money (not just flipping to other speculators as it seems most of the successful investors are doing). At worst, .mobi is just another choice of extension that is owned by speculators and barely used by anyone.

Bottom line is that you can’t even have a rational conversation with most .mobi investors any more. It’s madness, and its making me sick!

Citigroup Really Gets It!

Citi LogoLast week I blogged about Citibank’s purchase of ThankYou.com to go along with its “Thank You Rewards Program.” While it may seem like the obvious domain name for this program, many corporations simply assume its customers will find out more information about a branded product or service by navigating to the corporate site instead. Last week, I congratulated Citibank on this wise purchase.

I was reading a post on Frank Schilling’s SevenMile.com blog about Citigroup’s branding of Mortgage.com, and I wanted to bring attention to this. Clearly the ThankYou.com purchase isn’t just a one time smart move. There is a strong marketing culture at Citigroup, and its domain acquisitions prove that the company understands its customers’ web surfing habits.

Mortgage.com is miles ahead of any other domain name in the mortgage industry. Sure, Citigroup executives could have said “if a potential customer wants a mortgage from us, they will navigate to Citigroup.com or Citibank.com.” This could have been true, and nobody would really say otherwise. However, the Citi branding of Mortgage.com allows Citigroup to make their pitch to ANY potential customer who wants a mortgage and visits this site. Instead of paying $x.xx or more per click to attract customers to its site, they now own all of these leads. They’ve eliminated the competition that existed, and they don’t have to compete with other advertisers.

It’s so easy, but so many companies just don’t understand this. I can’t say enough positive things about this great purchase.

**Although Mortgage.com was acquired by Citigroup, when they purchased ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc.

Example of a Split UDRP Decision

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Someone posted an interesting UDRP-related question in the Legal Section of DN Forum yesterday. The person asked; If a Complainant filed a UDRP for multiple domain names owned by a single entity, are the panelists forced to make an “all or nothing” decision, or could they determine that some of the domain names should be transferred while others should be kept by the current owner?

Domain attorney John Berryhill provided evidence that a split decision could be reached. Berryhill cited the Yell Limited v. Ultimate Search UDRP Case No. D2005-0091. The disputed domain names in this case were YEL.com, YellWeb.com, UKYellowPages.com and LondonYellowPages.com. In the end, the panelists ruled that:

“For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain names, yellweb.com, ukyellowpages.com and londonyellowpages.com, be transferred to the Complainant.

The Complaint relating to the domain name yel.com is dismissed.” — Source: ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION Yell Limited v. Ultimate Search

In the end, the Respondent was able to retain the most valuable domain name of the group.

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