On March 7th I posted a poll titled: “Do You Use Dropping.com Or FreshDrop.com?” A total of 29 votes were placed with None Of The Above coming in as the top selection. None of the above received 20 votes. This shows that a number of you are either using free services or other paid solutions to prospect potential domain names.
FreshDrop.com came in second with a total of 5 votes and Dropping.com followed closely after it with a total of 4 votes. I figured that the two paid solutions mentioned in this poll would be neck and neck when it came to the final poll tally. What I didn’t see coming was option Both receiving 0 votes. I know of a few people who use both solutions, so I figured there would of been a vote or two for this option.
According to this poll FreshDrop.com and Dropping.com are two paid solutions widely accepted by the domaining community for finding drops. It’s nice to see that there are people out there finding value in these tools. I have yet to try either tool, but I have heard great things about both of them. That sums up this poll and as always a special thanks to those of you that participated in it.
Let me start by saying that I haven’t done a weekly reflections post on this blog since January. It’s not always easy to recap what you have done during the week, so I tend to write entries like this when I find myself inspired to do so. This past week I did a number of things to help put me closer to my overall goals that I’ve set for myself as a domain investor.
DataCenterDirectory.com – I started working on version 2.0 off DCD. I’ve been neglecting the site for far too long and have emails from users of the old site which caused me to focus my attention on getting version 2.0 up and running. I’m transitioning the site from Drupal to WordPress. The end goal is to make the site easier for the users of it and easier for me to maintain.
Once the new version of the site is up and running, I will be focusing my efforts on marketing. I am developing a marketing campaign which will be ongoing. I want this site to really become a helpful resource for the datacenter / hosting industry and it is well on the way to becoming that. The current site was broken, but it has served its purpose and now it is time to transform DCD from a basic site to a real brand.
Domain Acquisitions - I’ve made more of an effort to acquire domains on an ongoing basis. People are looking for ways to save a little more money these days. There is a push towards portfolio consolidation. I’ve never owned a portfolio with over 500 domains, but I am getting closer to that mark. My strategy is to buy when others are selling. I’m a big believer in this strategy, because this is when the best deals are found.
I’ve been amazed at some of the names that are being dropped, especially in the .net space. I absolutely love one word .net domains. I find that they have a decent resell value and you can even flip them right after registering them.
Sold A Domain On Flippa – I’m still testing Flippa out. This time I tested Flippa out with one of the .net domains I hand-regged for $7.17 in December. The auction for Dishonesty.net didn’t reach the initial reserve I set for it, but it did end up receiving one bid. One of the great things about Flippa is the fact that you can lower your reserve price during the auction.
It’s not necessarily easy to determine what those that use the marketplace are looking for. The name ended up selling for $80. Although I was looking for a little more for the name, I was happy to accept $80. This was a decent profit for a domain that was hand-regged only a few months ago. On a side note, you have to be careful on what you list with Flippa. Not every domain is going to sell and there is a cost incurred regardless of what you post on the site. That poses a bit of a risk when flipping names.
I have a few more test that I want to run on Flippa, one of them being selling domains in sets. I’ve seen a few people do it and look forward to giving it a try myself.
Work-Life Balance – I made an effort to step away from everything I’ve been doing. I love working and have a habit of working when I should be balancing it off with other activities. This past week I found myself hooking up the Xbox again and completely escaping from work for a few hours. This was the perfect remedy to my work-a-holic ways. I also discovered a great video on YouTube that I want to share with you.
Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams is the last lecture Randy Pausch gave. He passed away of cancer in 2008. He talked about lessons that he learned throughout his life and gave advice on how to achieve career and personal goals. This was an incredible video which served as a reminder of why you really need to give everything you do in life 110%.
None of us know what will happen tomorrow and that is exactly why we should enjoy today. The lecture speaks for itself and in my opinion is something that everyone should watch.
I rounded my week up with a few hours on the driving range at Westchester golf course. It has been several months since I swung a golf club, but you wouldn’t even of known that. I’ve been playing golf since I was a child. I was lucky enough to have a Father put me into a golf program here in Los Angeles at a very young age. He has always taught me that golf is something that I can play for the rest of my life and he is right.
I’ll wrap up this blog entry with a picture of my favorite golf club:
ChannelWeb.co.uk published an article titled “Cloud industry uproar over domain trademark plan“. I was initially drawn to the article because of the coverage of the .cloud gTLD. I know a number of domain investors who invested heavily in cloud domains and figured that this might be of interest to them. The article goes onto explain why an opposition group led by the Cloud Industry Forum is against the creation of the .cloud gTLD.
The main reason for the opposition stems from the potential chance that the .cloud gTLD could be owned and operated by a single entity with the option to keep the domain registry closed. According to the article, this could lead to a monopoly over the industry. It goes onto say that the CIF chairman isn’t necessarily opposed to the .cloud gTLD. He is opposed to .cloud being a closed registry, which would put the trademark of the gTLD into one company’s hands.
In my opinion the CIF has every right to be concerned and I see how other opposition groups could apply the same argument to different gTLDs. It will be interesting to see what ends up happening. I for one will be watching this situation closely, especially since it might serve as a blueprint for opposition groups in other industries.
There are a number of amazing sites and tools out there to help make sure your next domain acquisition is one that will generate a profit. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to try the majority of these tools. Two of the tools that are making a lot of waves lately are Dropping.com and FreshDrop.com. Since that is the case, I felt it was important to conduct a poll to find out what the domaining community is using. So, what do you use?
For those of you that haven’t tried or don’t use either tool, feel free to share the tool or strategy you tend to utilize when buying domain drops. I would love to know all about it!
I just received an email inviting me to participate at the new and improved Dynadot community forums. There used to be a period where I spent more time on forums than any other place. These days I don’t spend as much time on forums, but I am slowly starting to rediscover my love for them.
Dynadot has labeled members of the forum DynaNinjas and has deployed a point system to reward those that participate. The DynaPoints system can be found here. Overall I think this is a great idea and feel every registrar should have a forum. That’s just my personal opinion.
Here is the message I received in its entirety:
We would like to cordially welcome you to our new and improved community forums. There you will find a community of DynaNinjas, similar to yourself, who are seeking answers to questions you may have, starting conversations about topics you’re interested in, and sharing their knowledge with our community. Join them and you will be rewarded.
You have been given a beginner’s white belt, but with hard work and dedication, you can achieve DynaNinja greatness and move up to the coveted black belt. On your journey through our colorful belts, you will have the opportunity to receive bonuses including the shuriken badge, the shuriken warrior badge, the nunchucks badge, and the katana badge. Start your journey towards becoming a master DynaNinja today by becoming an active Dynadot community member!
Check out more information about our Dynapoints, belts, and badges
You can show off your progress on your profile page, where you can also connect with fellow DynaNinjas!
A list of 21 domain names that have been deemed inappropriate are showcased in a Business Insider story published on March 3rd. You might of heard of a few off these names before, but then again you might not of. If you are looking for a laugh I suggest you view this story. Here is a compete list of the 21 domain names featured in the story:
Just goes to show that domains can be interpreted differently based upon the users viewing them. My favorite name is #13 on the list. The fact that the name is being used for a Lake Tahoe tourism site just cracks me up. Now the domain redirects to gotahoenorth.com. That’s definitely an improvement on the first name…
One of my favorite places to grab expired domains is the Go Daddy auctions domain name aftermarket. Today while scanning through the list of expired domains I noticed one name in particular which sparked my interest. The name was CrossFitYoga.com. I didn’t know much about CrossFit up until today, but I knew enough to realize that this name would be a potential trademark issue.
As with anything I wanted to research CrossFit a little more to understand what type of trademark issues could arise if one were to move forward with purchasing CrossFitYoga.com. I wanted to understand what the licensing costs would be to utilize the CrossFit name. As the auction came to a close I discovered exactly what I was looking for. On CrossFit.com’s FAQ page it states the following:
What is the cost of affiliation?
As of 1 January 2011, affiliation costs $3000 annually.
What is included in being a CrossFit Affiliate?
- Legal use of the CrossFit name, logo, and promotional materials.
- Access to a private discussion board for affiliates.
- Promotion from the main site and Community page.
- Support from HQ and the larger community through affiliate conference calls, seminars, and in-house business opportunities.
The part that stuck out like a sore thumb to me was the legal use of the CrossFit name. For the company to state this on their website, I am pretty sure they would want the new owners of CrossFitYoga.com to become an affiliate. The name ended up with two bids. The winning bid was only $15. To legitimately use this name here in the US tag on an extra $3,000 per a year and you avoid any legal issues which could arise from owning a name of this nature.
Let’s just say it was fun to conduct a little research during the final minutes of the auction. I stayed far away from placing a bid and was happy to learn a little more about CrossFit. Hopefully the new owners put the CrossFit name to good use and maybe they’ll move forward with becoming a CrossFit affiliate in the near future.
Photo / Logo Credits: CrossFit.com
This evening I setup Dropbox with the Linux server that I have in my home office. I’ll make sure to type up a blog entry in the future on how to do this because it was a bit tricky configuring everything via command line. One of the steps required me to use a text based browser to visit a URL to link my server to my Dropbox account.
The text based browser that I installed on my Linux server is called Lynx and all I had to do to install it was type yum install lynx. Loading and browsing the url with a text based browser wasn’t fun, but it got the job done. After finishing what I needed to do with syncing a few files I decided to visit a couple of sites with the text based browser.
One of the sites I checked out was GoDaddy.com. I was pretty impressed at how well the site was laid out in text form. I wasn’t impressed by the amount of cookie prompts which swarmed my screen to simply bring up the main page. Here is how GoDaddy looks in Lynx. To get the full effect of the image below make sure to click on it.
For those of you that are interested about the cookies. Here are all of the cookie prompts that came up while trying to load the main page of GoDaddy.com in Lynx:
www.godaddy.com cookie: ATL.SID.SALES=StvyZPEwpaATgY7l0GKc1aM3NaetN7K3XQTwfBKclu8%3d Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: gdCassCluster.sePQKXdv2U=1 Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: vistorpromo1=firsttime Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: MemBotChk=false Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: SplitValue1=74 Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: preferences1=_sid=&countryFlag=us&gdshop_currencyType=USD Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: flag1=cflag=us Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: currency1=potableSourceStr=USD Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: mobile.redirect.browser.checked=1 Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: countrysite1=www Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: PCSplitValue1=3 Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: tra=cookies=1&referrer=&sitename=www.godaddy.com&page=/&server=P3PWCORPWEB108&status=200 OK&querystring= Allow? Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: BlueLithium_yahooremarketing=ocbetjhbligalfddtatiwglisjpbggxf Allow? Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: GoogleADServicesgoogleremarketing=zbfcxegbggobpgahmataofvilahjnggg Allow? Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: advertisingHP1=zbfcxegbggobpgahmataofvilahjnggg Allow? Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
www.godaddy.com cookie: LP_ValueClick1=zbfcxegbggobpgahmataofvilahjnggg Allow? Allow? (Y/N/Always/neVer)
For the heck of it, I might just try and register a few names using the text based browser to see what prompts come up on each of the pages during the checkout process. You never know what you might discover when you revert to using a text based browser!
Every now and then I plan on revisiting an old post. Some of the topics that I’ve written about in the past are relevant to current day. Some of these posts serve as a reminder of where my mind was at and where my mind should currently be when it comes to domain investing. Today I chose to revisit a post that I wrote back in September of 2011 which covered one of many mistakes I made as a domain investor.
I like to consider my mistakes learning experiences and registering a .cm domain during the land rush stage was a HUGE learning experience for me. This post is the exact reason why I won’t be jumping into any land rushes for any of the new gTLDs. My investment strategy has changed since 2011 and although domain investing can be considered speculative I like to stick to extensions which are heavily marketed and have staying power.
The extensions I tend to invest in are .com, .net, .org, .me and .co. Yes, I tend to invest in these extensions in that order. Until another extension proves to me that they are going to do what it takes to make sure that their brand will continually be marketed to the masses, I will have to stick to the waters that I am used to. Enjoy the post!
What Mistakes Have You Made As A Domainer?
I’ve made quite a few mistakes as a domainer! These mistakes have cost me money and made me money. I guess the biggest mistake that I have made during my years spent as a domain investor is investing in bad gtlds. A perfect example of this would be when I fell into the land rush stages of the (.cm) extension.
Here is a little more information on this wonderful extension, grabbed directly from wikipedia:
The official registrar for .cm domains is Netcom.cm, based in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon. Netcom.cm Sarl was founded in early 2008 as a partner of ANTIC, the Information Technology Regulator for Cameroon. On October 15, 2008, NETCOM.cm Sarl launched the registry service for .com.cm, .co.cm and .net.cm. The current version of .cm domains went live August 27, 2009.
In August 2006, it was reported that the .cm registry had set up a wildcard DNS record, so that all unregistered domains in this top-level domain go to a parking page with paid search links. This was likely intended to take advantage of typographical errors by users attempting to reach .com web sites.
Recent auctions of .cm domains have skyrocketed as high as $81,000 for what pitchmen have termed “prime real estate”. However, some bloggers have noted that nothing of any real value was actually put up for auction, despite the price war. Namejet.com the official auction site for the .CM domain registrar Netcom.cm sold over $500,000 in .cm domain names the first day and over $2 million in the first week.
Guess how much this domain name cost me? I paid a total of $350 for a 2 year registration. I ended up doing nothing with the domain name and it dropped silently into the abyss. I’m not mentioning the name because I am still fighting over the fact that I did nothing with it. I spent $350 big ones for no apparent reason. I bought into the hype and as soon as the rush was over I realized that I ended up with nothing more than a pipe dream. In this pipe dream, I was the one left holding the bag.
This experience taught me many things, but the main realization I took from it is not to buy into the hype. Right now there is a great deal of hype surrounding the (.xxx) extension, but I am staying far from it. There will be money made in this extension, but I’ll leave that up to the big guys. Anyways, they seem to strike deals before normal people like us are able to get a piece of that land rush pie. Since that is the fact, I will stick to the waters that I am used to and lets just say (.me) is about as risky as I am willing to get these days!
Today I received an email from the Evernote team about suspicious activity occurring on the their network. A little earlier today I was saving a few domain lists I had acquired to Evernote and noticed that my password wasn’t working. I was glad to see this email, because I initially thought I was either entering the wrong password or my account had been compromised.
To be honest with you, I expect Evernote to be a target. The massive amount of data that people store using the Evernote service probably looks like a pot of gold to some. It’s tempting to use Evernote to scan just about everything, but subtle reminders like this show that you have to be careful of what you store on any cloud based service.
Evernote is a great service, but I will be rethinking what I utilize the service for in the next few days. Anything which is stored online is vulnerable and although user files weren’t accessed, this should still be a wake up call for many of us that like to store just about everything with the service. Here is the email that I received:
Dear Evernote user,
Evernote’s Operations & Security team has discovered and blocked suspicious activity on the Evernote network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access secure areas of the Evernote Service.
As a precaution to protect your data, we have decided to implement a password reset. Please read below for details and instructions.
In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost. We also have no evidence that any payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was accessed.
The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts, and encrypted passwords. Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted.)
While our password encryption measures are robust, we are taking steps to ensure your personal data remains secure. This means that in an abundance of caution, we are requiring all users to reset their Evernote account passwords. Please create a new password by signing into your account on evernote.com.
After signing in, you will be prompted to enter your new password. Once you have reset your password on evernote.com, you will need to enter this new password in other Evernote apps that you use. We are also releasing updates to several of our apps to make the password change process easier, so please check for updates over the next several hours.
As recent events with other large services have demonstrated, this type of activity is becoming more common. We take our responsibility to keep your data safe very seriously, and we’re constantly enhancing the security of our service infrastructure to protect Evernote and your content.
There are also several important steps that you can take to ensure that your data on any site, including Evernote, is secure:
- Avoid using simple passwords based on dictionary words
- Never use the same password on multiple sites or services
- Never click on ‘reset password’ requests in emails – instead go directly to the service
Thank you for taking the time to read this. We apologize for the annoyance of having to change your password, but, ultimately, we believe this simple step will result in a more secure Evernote experience. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Evernote Support.
The Evernote Team
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