In Giuseppe Graziano’s newsletter earlier this week, he referred to a few of us domain industry bloggers who were up for an award as “legends.” I know Giuseppe meant this to be complementary, but I cringed when I read it. Since a newsletter isn’t something I can comment on, I thought I would take a moment to write about it here, especially in light of other industry discussions.
I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can write a blog that earns advertising revenue while running my business. It’s enjoyable to be able to communicate with people from around the world in the domain name space. I have learned a lot about investing in domain names, and I have been able to grow my business.
For whatever reason, some people put industry blog writers on a pedestal. I know that more people may know me because I write industry articles, but having a blog does not make me any better than anyone else. I spend my days trying to buy and sell domain names to grow my business just like most of the people reading my blog. The one thing that makes me different from many people is that I try to share parts of my journey here on my blog, along with some advice and news along the way.
When I was a finalist for THE Domain Conference “Domain Investor of the Year” award, it made me even more uncomfortable than when I read Giuseppe’s newsletter. I can think of many people off the top of my head who are far more deserving of a nomination than me. In fact, I can’t really think of anything that I did publicly this past year that would make me deserving of an award like that. I suppose the blog exposure is what makes my name recognizable, but that shouldn’t be enough to be a finalist.
I sincerely appreciate that people visit my blog. Readers should always keep in mind that this blog is a business, especially because of the many conflicts that come up when writing about a business in which I am actively involved.
In closing, I agree with what Shane Cultra wrote this morning: “there is a lot more that goes into being someone to follow, an expert, or someone to give money to than writing a blog or being in the public eye.”
You are one of very few domaining bloggers, if not the only one, who is opened to anyone’s opinion.
Your blog covers great topics, what your write is clearly your opinion and not an advertising.
I personally found your blog the most interesting. I’ve never researched how sucessful is your domaining business, but regardless of that, (to me) you are a very important person in this industry.
Very well said Mike, i agree.
“When I was a finalist for THE Domain Conference “Domain Investor of the Year” award, it made me even more uncomfortable than when I read Giuseppe’s newsletter.”
Yeah, anyway, as we’ve seen from the Developer of the Year award, the awards are a joke.
Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Mario Andretti, are Legends. Elliot Silver? Legend no, good at what he does, yes.
I guess if your in the Hall of Fame of domaining, you are a ledgend like Adam Dicker
“Legend” is way overdoing it because of the known connotations that you may not see in the dictionary. However, “luminary” does fit, both in a completely sober way and also at times with a touch of humor.
There are a few in the industry for whom “legend” also fits in a subdued manner, as long as one is not going too far into a ridiculous sense of serious “idolatry.”
p.s. And I did notice how and when you dropped the “Sunday Thoughts” section, Mr. Legend. 🙂
I write those articles when I have time. With a 3 year old and 8 month old (today) time is harder to find on the weekend.
Ah yes, you did receive another such blessing not long ago…
All in all being called a “legend”, even if it makes you uncomfortable, is a great thing and I would just go with it.
It’s good for business period. You are in business to make money. Look at all the attention that the Pope gets. Good or bad for what he is trying to do? Good. Period.
Can you imagine Trump being as humble as you are? Would he be where he is today by being humble? No. I’ve followed him since he built his first building. He wouldn’t be where he was today (in terms of earning money) if he wasn’t the exact opposite of the way you are. I say this being someone who is actually a bit like you and doesn’t want any attention. That said if I did I could make more money for sure. Bragging and stretching the truth. (No lying a fine line as you know).
I remember when I first ran into Mike Mann claiming buydomains was “the world leader”. (At the time, it wasn’t those were just empty words). I also remember what I thought at the time. “What a bunch of crap”. Now you see where Mike is, right? All of that hyperbole has only helped him. He did the right thing. I was wrong in what I thought. I’ve seen many examples of this over the years. That said, you have to do what you find comfortable no question about that. But as far as business? Being called a “legend” is a great thing.
The sentiment alone in this post alone is worthy of admiration and its this kind of humility that the industry needs to retain.
I say this because (and I think there is some direct relevance) the problems we’ve seen in the last week (we all know what I’m referring to) are the result of a lot of hyperbole and self-aggrandisement, however well-intentioned or inadvertent, to the point where the uninitiated and naive among us seized on promised opportunities and entered into commitments which could never be, realistically, delivered upon.
Now I won’t lie Elliot, I’ve sometimes found your persona (that which you portray online, after all I don’t know you personally and therefore would never make any judgement thereof) to be rather formal and unforthcoming, you’re online image certainly isn’t as amiable as certain other industry figures. I’m sure others will agree that you can be quite conservative with certain details of your business where others aren’t.
Now I would hasten to state these are not criticisms, just observations.
But what your reserved output does mean however is that you’re not prone to spouting exactly the kind of overstatements and embellishments that only add to the mysticism and fervor around the industry and lead people to believe in industry legends.
You’re certainly not a legend to me. What you are to me, and I’m sure countless readers of your blog, is someone who people admire and respect for running their business successfully, without having to shout your successes from the rooftops or implore others to follow a program or scheme or business opportunity or silver bullet strategy. You don’t get involved in valuations, thereby allowing and inviting some kind of guru status. You don’t see the need to openly disclose sale prices. You don’t tell people what they should and shouldn’t be buying. You just post valuable content, as and when, in your unassuming manner providing knowledge for people to interpret as they choose. No hyperbole, no self-aggrandisement. No bullshit.
People can’t call into question your integrity when you don’t put yourself up on a pedestal or perpetuate any such notion that you should be there in the first place.
I read your blog and many others and most of the blogs I read are self serving in many ways. Yours is live and let live
Helpfulnesss legend. You share your insights, struggles, ideas, questions and new things learned very openly with the community. Thank you Elliot.
Scott Day, Yun Ye, Garry Chernoff..all legends. Those who enter the scene self dubbed titles like King, God, Shane, Sherpa, legendary, …are all legend wannabes
Legend? Probably not. But each day as we struggle along in this business, we know we have a friend beside us.