Word About Sponsors
of the first personal comments I would like to make is on the
subject of sponsors. Another central tenet of good journalism is
not to let sponsorships influence what you write, otherwise you
forfeit any credibility you might have with your readers. Many
sponsors (in all industries) do not understand that, but ours do
and we really appreciate them. Unlike most media outlets, we have never
asked anyone to advertise on our site, but a number of industry
leaders have supported us through the years with their unsolicited
think it is telling that generally the same people who
support us are the people who support conferences like T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
and Domain Roundtable, have representatives answering
questions in the various domain forums and make a real effort to
interact with domain owners to find solutions to their problems.
There are many huge and highly profitable companies in this
industry that go out of their way not to have to deal with
you or give anything back for the support you give them.
reps talk with domainers at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Silicon Valley
my own experience, the companies that are highly visible and plow
resources back into the domain business to help it grow are also
the ones with customer service you can count on. I would encourage
you to support those companies that show an interest in being
partners with you rather than those who just want whatever you
have to give them.
March Cover Story will be out by the middle of next week
and I think you will find it to be a fascinating read. It is the
story of Gary Kremen, the former owner of Sex.com
(sold recently by Kremen for an estimated $12 million).
We'll detail the remarkable trials and tribulations he went
through at the hands of career criminal Michael Cohen (now
jailed in San Jose) who stole Sex.com from Kremen in 1995.
It took six years and $5 million in legal expenses to get
the domain back and the process drug Kremen through a personal
hell you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Of course, as a
subscriber to our newsletter and email update service, you will
receive a notice as soon as the article is online.
of ICANN-Verisign Deal Will Come Out of Your Pocket
If you regularly scan the Latest
News headlines at DNJournal.com you have heard
about ICANN's decision to approve a settlement with
.com/.net registry operator Verisign despite
widespread objections throughout the Internet community.
While the settlement gets ICANN out from under a lawsuit
filed by Verisign, the agreement will leave domain
registrants with a bill that could reach into the billions
of dollars in the years ahead (through steady increases in
registration fees granted to Verisign in the deal). In
addition it essentially gives Verisign control of .coms
and .nets in perpetuity, even though competing companies
would have offered the same services for far less.
are never good for consumers and we agree with many others that
ICANN fumbled the ball in their 9-5 vote approving the settlement.
There is still a chance the deal can be scuttled as it requires Department
of Commerce approval. However it will likely take intervention
from Congress on behalf of domain registrants to keep the DOC from
rubber stamping the agreement. To make that happen, if you oppose
the settlement, you need to contact your representative in Washington.
details the issues involved and has information on how to register
Blurring Between Domain Parking and Development
long running argument in the domain business has centered on
whether it is best to develop your domains or park them and rely
on PPC (pay per click) revenue. Good development work and
promotion can greatly increase income from domains, but it is also
possible to develop sites and make less money than you
could by simply parking your domains (especially if you lack
development and search engine optimization skills). Development is
hard work, so for those who want the minimum number of headaches
and the maximum amount of free time, parking has been the
|Like many of
you I have struggled with how to squeeze maximum revenue
from my domains and I have tried a number of different
approaches to see what works best for me given the time
constraints I face (there are more than 6,500 domains in
my own portfolio). A large scale development like DN
Journal is a full time job, so there is no way I can take
on another project of that scope. An alternative is
building low maintenance mini-sites (with an easy to use
software program like XSitePro)
that rely on Google Adsense or Yahoo! Publisher
to generate revenue. I have tried that and though I am
impressed with how easy the software is to use, I have
been underwhelmed by the money the sites
It is starting to look like the parking companies may provide the
ideal solution for those with lots of domains but little time for
development work. Almost all of them now allow you to customize
your landing pages to varying degrees. Depending on the company,
you can choose your own keywords, add your own page titles,
content and graphics that match the domain name. Some even let you
put your company logo and links to your other sites on your
parking pages. I have experimented with these features at several
different companies and in many cases have seen conversion rates
increase dramatically for a domain with as little as 10 minutes
spent polishing up it's landing page. With the new tools now
available I'm going to follow this path for the forseeable future
and see where it leads.
major domain conferences are coming up within the next 60 days so
if you have always wanted to attend one, now is the time to
make your plans. First up will be the 2nd annual Domain
Roundtable Conference in Bellevue, Washington (Seattle
suburb) April 19-21. Just two weeks later, T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
will reconvene at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas
for a show that runs May 2-5. I plan to cover both
conferences for DN Journal.
As you know I have always been a big advocate of these
trade shows as they have helped the domain business grow to
levels that couldn't have been imagined just two years
ago. The networking opportunities are invaluable so if you
suffer from sticker shock when you total up the cost to
attend one of these events, rest assured that it is worth
the price. In fact I have yet to meet a single attendee
from either event who didn't feel like being there was
worth the time and money it cost to go.