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Your Internet Persona Follows You


There are a lot of people on the domain forums who don’t have much business experience, and there are others who do have business experience but don’t have much Internet forum experience. Many became domain investors by accident, and by one way or another, they found a place like DNForum or NamePros.   I had been selling domain names for two years before even realizing there was a domain industry and   DNforum was the first Internet forum I joined in early 2006.

Yesterday, I received an email from a person who shall remain nameless informing me of a new service he was offering.   I recognized something in his email, which reminded me about a person on DNForum, and a subsequent email revealed that they were “business partners.” After exchanging a couple additional emails, one of which was mysteriously from his partner’s email address – all under the same email string, I became even more suspicious, and I am not interested in working with or publicizing their company as a result.

Whether the emailer and “his partner” are different people using the same Gmail account is something someone else can determine, but I want to use this as an example for a post I had been meaning to write.   I’ve never done business or had a dealing with this person’s “partner,” yet I was reluctant to do any business with him or even work with him because of this person’s domain forum persona.

There are a number of people who I would put in the same category as this person.   From seeing their posts on domain forums, I wouldn’t do business with them for a variety of reasons. There are scammers, spammers, cybersquatters, lowballers and other people whose business practices I find abusive, annoying, or unethical.

Using Google and other free resources, it’s fairly simple to link a person’s name with their online identity (as I did yesterday). I think people should consider the implications for their forum commentary before they post. Not only could it impact their business today, but it could have long term implications, too. Career advisors recommend that job seekers review their Facebook/MySpace pages before applying for jobs.   Likewise, domain investors should know that there are always people who will judge them based on their Internet persona.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (3)


    Nice post Elliot. It amazes me how some people behave on forums…and then they wonder why you won’t do business with them.

    January 15th, 2009 at 12:00 pm


    The Internet trolls leave their trail of buffoonery for us to discover. Very thoughtful of them I think.

    January 15th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Brian Freed

    Very nice post. I have always tried to use the same user name on any forum that I belong to. Of course I don’t think I have anything to hide.

    January 15th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

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