Tag - Reviews

How are you managing your domain list?

Luciana Bruscino has worked in the technology arena for over 15 years. She has always been fascinated by new technologies. She is particularly enthusiastic about the WordPress.  Chad Edwards, a friend, assisted her in the development of the My Domain List plugin. He has been involved in the buying and selling domain business for over six years.

Together, they have experience in setting up wordpress servers, creating and implementing wordpress templates, plugins and a variety of websites using similar technology (PHP, Javascript/CSS, MySQL, etc). Developing a wordpress tool to assist domain owner seemed to be the right fit.

Mike: I’ve seen some other domain management systems, but I think this is the first I’ve seen as a WordPress plugin. What made you decide to take this route?

Luciana: We chose the WordPress framework because of its maturity as a technology as well as the number of sites using the framework. In our experience, we noticed that there weren’t many similar domain-focused plugins products in the market. Therefore, we thought it would be good opportunity to provide domain owners (I like to call them domainers) with a way to quickly setup their domain portfolio on their own site without the assistant of a website developer.
The wordpress framework also allows the My Domain List plugin to be easily installed and setup. The plugin leverages WordPress features to enhance the domainers experience by allowing them to customize their domain list via WordPress Shortcode and summarize the domain offers in the WordPress Dashboard.

Mike:  Price is reasonable. Can you talk about the number of sales to date?

Luciana: I am pleased to say that the plugin has been gaining popularity. I believe we achieve that by understanding the needs of the domain owners and proving good customer service.  The sales have been on a steady increase and it met our initial expectation. Most importantly, we are getting good feedback from our customers on the plugin’s features and on the great support we provide. Customers have been pleased and that is the key for increased sales. We encourage users to continue to provide feedback so we can continue to improve the tool to fit the needs of the audience.

We sell the plugin exclusively through Code Canyon, premium domain sales site.

Mike:  How are people using the plugin today? Is it to manage their portfolio or to list their domains for sale?

Luciana: Customers are using the plugin in various ways. They use the plugin to market, manage and promote their domain portfolio for sale. The My Domain List plugin offers many features to allow domainers  to use the plugin for their current needs. Because of features such as pagination, table sorting, and filtering, some domain owners use it to simply list their domain portfolio and link it to a sale site. Others take advantage of feature such as Price Setting and the Make Offer button to receive leads from their own sites. Also, because the plugin pulls data automatically from the WHOIS database, some domainers use the plugin to manage their domain expiration and registrar information from the Admin panel.
From my perspective, the My Domain List plugin seems to be fulfilling the needs of most domain owners.

Mike:  What made you decide to create the plugin in the first place? Was it a problem you were trying to solve for yourself?

Luciana:  We decided to create the My Domain List plugin for domainers because we saw a lack of domain driven tools in the WordPress framework. During our research, we didn’t find a tool that encompassed features such as pagination, make offer button, customization, WHOIS data, and table sorting into one tool. So, we thought a plugin with these capabilities would be beneficial. We also thought creating a WordPress plugin would provide domain owners with the ‘ease of use’ advantage, so they can start promoting their portfolio quickly. Another strong reason for creating this tool was to alleviate my partners struggle with setting up his domains for sale on his site. My Domain List plugin solved his needs and the needs of many other domain owners with large, medium or small domain portfolio.

Mike:  It says on your site, and you previously mentioned, that the plugin collects the latest WHOIS information. Can the user import a list of domains or does it require manual entry?

Luciana: In the current version of the My Domain List plugin the users can simply add a list of domain names separated by comma or in a new line to a textbox in the Admin page. Once the user saves the domain list, the plugin uses a built-in API to collect the WHOIS data for each domain name. The data automatically populated for each domain is owner, registrar, extension, and expired, created and changed dates.

In the Professional version of the plugin, currently in works, the user will have the ability to import the domain names as well as other custom meta-data from a .csv file. The current import capability will also be available.

Mike:  You’ve decided to use a hyphenated domain name. Did you weigh that against the option of a non-hyphenated domain?

Luciana:  Since we created the website with the purpose to simply document the plugin’ features, we didn’t spend too much time looking for the best SEO domain name available. The hyphenated website was created with the intention of promoting and providing support and helpful information for current customers. The truthful reason for using the hyphenated domain name is that my partner already had purchased the my-domain-list.com name and we thought it fit beautifully for the plugin.

Mike:  Do you have any other ideas for programs or plugins that can be beneficial for domainers? Can we expect to see other products from you?

Luciana: This is a great question. The answer is Yes. I am currently working on the My Domain List Pro version for the plugin. This version compiles a list of feedback from the customers to provide a more robust and scalable domain tool. The Professional version will have many of the features in the current version, but it will be enhanced to support category filtering, customized currency, meta data (i.e description, thumbnail, redirect URL),  SEO options, Buy option via Escrow, Paypal, etc.

As a promotional campaign, we are willing to give 5 copies of the Beta My Domain List Plugin Professional edition. (Editor’s note: post a comment to be eligible and 5 random names will be selected).
Another plugin that I have developed that I believe is beneficial for WordPress users is Notify On Action. This plugin is available free of charge . This plugin allows you to send email notification based on a pre-determined template. The user has the freedom to decide when the notification is sent based on any action on their site. For example, this plugin works well with My Domain List plugin if the user wants to be notified or notify the customer when an Offer is made. Simply add the code provided by the Notify On Action, to the action code of the Make an Offer button and set up the template on the Admin site. If you need assistance in bundling the Notify Action plugin with your My Domain List plugin contact me at support@my-domain-list.com.

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Gary Vaynerchuk on Domains, plus – get a free copy of his new book

Gary Vaynerchuk is well known as a social media early adopter, successful author of Crush It!, and of course, wine guy at DailyGrape.com but did you realize he knows domains too?  I had the opportunity to talk to Gary about his new book, The Thank You Economy and we touched on domaining as well.  If you haven’t heard him speak in the past, you’re in for a treat.  In addition, I have 5 copies of Gary’s book to give away.  Watch the video and leave a comment below to be entered to win one of them.

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Have Domain Questions?

Although Domain Name Wire broke the news, I want congratulate Elliot Silver on the launch of a new domain industry site today.  DomainQuestions.com provides a great forum for domainers to ask questions as well as to provide answers.   This will be a great source for the community.  Backed by an industry expert, Elliot himself, the quality and value of the site will be unmatched.   Have a look and ask your questions!

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How to Build a Successful Startup

On Thursday, I attended the Tech cocktail Startup Mixology in Chicago.  Originally, my intention was to hit the social event that followed the conference.  I thought would be  a great opportunity to meet with some of the speakers and mix with some entrepreneurs.  The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to go to the actual conference, so that’s what I did and ended up skipping the social event that followed.

The conference consisted of a great lineup of speakers, some leaving more of an impression than others.  Over all it was a great experience.  There were some individual speakers and others were represented on a panel with moderators.   Topics ranged from building a team to legal and accounting perspectives.  Some areas were a bit dry, yet necessary.  Other areas were intriguing and enlightening.

I found the most helpful and influential speaker to be Travis Kalanick, an Internet entrepreneur and investor.  He’s got his hand in many different things including Honestly.com (great keyword domain) and is a co-founder of Uber(cab).   Travis seems like the type of guy that makes things happen.  I’ve embedded his portion of the conference below.  In fact, the entire conference was captured and is available at Ustream.  I suggest checking out Travis and some of the other speakers when you have time.

Bottom line, the conference covered much of what you would want to know about a successful startup, from the people that have done it themselves.  Some of the information was obvious, while other pieces were more detailed and helpful.  If Tech cocktail comes to your town, I’d suggest checking out a conference they put on.  You’ll learn something and walk out a little better than you walked in.

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A Few Posts You May Have Missed

I experienced some feed issues since October 13th.  I moved servers and things seem to working fine now.  In case you missed any of this week’s articles, I encourage you to take a look back.   Here are some of the highlights:

How Did Zappos Do it? – A review of the engaging story of Tony Hshieh, CEO of Zappos and founder of Link Exchange.

1.2 Million Visitors Per Month – Sextoy Dave talks about how he got started and a look at his business model.

Guess Who’s Watching You – Aaron Smolick, Senior Director of Marketing at Compete.com gives some background on the tool.

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How Did Zappos Do It?

I recent finished reading Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. If you haven’t read it and want to be truly inspired, this could do it. The book has a solid focus on some of the management and leadership philosophies Hsieh employed to deliver a successful result with Zappos. But I found his background and mindset to be far more interesting and inspiring than the customer service focus of the company.

We’re not all Harvard graduates like Hsieh, but he comes across as your average guy. He was an entrepreneurial dreamer as a kid, working on a failed worm farm in his back yard. But that first setback didn’t stop him. He continually worked on ideas and tried things until they worked. Then he tried to make them work better. After college and landing a job with Oracle, he quickly realized that he wanted to do his own thing. A result of that was the development of Link Exchange which was sold to Yahoo in 1999 for $265 million. This positioned him for his later involvement in Zappos.

In the book, you’ll learn that the original name of the site was ShoeSite.com (which still points to Zappos today). The journey from the sale of Link Exchange to the development and eventual sale of Zappos to Amazon is an amazing story, well worth the read.

If you’re looking for the next book to pick up for entertainment and to learn something along the way, Delivering Happiness is it.

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Learn From Those That Have Done What You Want to Do

On October 28th, I’ll be attending the Tech Cocktail Startup Mixology Conference in Chicago.  Initially, I was planning to attend only the after party portion to socialize with some new business startup owners.  The more I thought about it, the more I could see the tremendous benefits in attending the event.  The conference promises to break down every ingredient that goes into starting and running a successful business.  The speakers in the event have a variety of different perspectives but all have one common thread, they are successful entrepreneurs.

The speakers include Brad Feld, Managing Director of Foundry Group, who has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years.  Also on the list is Eric Lunt, CTO of BrightTag and co-founder of Feedburner.  Another includes Genevieve Thiers, the founder of Sittercity, Inc. which was America’s first company to take babysitting services online.  The list goes on.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you buy and sell domains, even part-time, you are running  a business.  If you’re developing sites to generate a revenue stream, you are again, running a business.  Talking to, and more importantly, listening to people who are highly successful in starting and running business is a sure fire way to meet your goals and get better at what you do.  I’ll be sure to bring back a full report of my experiences and any interesting individuals I have the opportunity to meet.

If you’re in the Chicago area and would like to attend, Tech Cocktail is offering a 15% discount to Sully’s Blog readers who enter the discount code sully.  If you don’t make it to the conference, consider attending the after party and let me know if you’ll be there, I’d love to meet you in person.

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Use Gmail to Schedule E-mail to End Users

Like many in the domain industry, I’m a part-time domainer balancing a full-time job.  After a day of work, spending time with the kids and getting them to bed, the typical business hours have long past.  This is when my domaining time begins.  It’s either late night, very early in the morning, or both.  I love it, so please don’t misinterpret this as a complaint.  I found something I truly enjoy so it’s not work to me at all.  But holding these inconsistent  hours does present a challenge.

Let’s say your a owner of a widget company.  You get to work on Thursday morning at 7:00am and check your email.  There, you find a message from Mike Sullivan asking if you’re interested in acquiring WidgetMaker.com.  You glance up at the time the email was sent and it says 1:14am.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but to some, I may lose credibility for not looking like I am a legitimate business.  Much of the mail I receive in the wee hours tends to be spam, so I understand the concern.  The thought has plagued me until I decided to see what my options are available.

I actually found quite a few free tools that would allow me to create emails and schedule them to send at a later date and time.  But most require that I send the email to the service at the assigned email address, and then they would resend at the time and date I specify.  Easy enough, but I think receiving an email during regular business hours but with some header is probably worse that the 1:14am email.  The result I landed on is a free service called Boomerang from Baydin Software.  At this point, I want to take a moment to say that this is not a sponsored post.  I will always disclose to you when a post is sponsored.

I’m a Gmail user and Boomerang is specifically for Gmail.  It’s a browser plug-in for Firefox and Chrome that adds a new “Send Later” button to your Gmail page, as if it belonged there.  This allows you to create the email and send it at a later, scheduled date and time or to select from the other available defaults.  The beauty of it is that it uses the Gmail server so I’m not going to end up with some suspect header on my outgoing mail.

Boomerang for Gmail

Now I can prepare my domain solicitations late at night or on the weekend and send during regular business hours, maintaining a more professional business appearance.   Boomerang is in closed Beta, but Baydin has allowed me to provide a link to the plug in.  All current SullysBlog.com  subscribers will receive the link as well any new subscribers for a limited time.

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BargainDomains.com Gave me a 600% Return

Every so often I drop a couple names into BargainDomains.com to see if they’ll sell quickly at a discounted price.  Francois made it easy to do by placing a “Sell It” button right next to the data results of a domain entered into the valuation tool, Valuate.com.  Up until now, I haven’t had much luck.  I recently logged into Bargain Domains to see which names I still had listed there.  To my delight, one of the domains was listed as “in auction.”  That means that my minimum reserve price was met or exceeded.

I picked up the domain WoodenSledge.com as a hand registered name a few months back after seeing it on Arbel Arif’s PickUpNames.  The name appraises at $1,200 on Valuate.com and I set my minimum at $60.  I paid less than $10 for the name when I registered it, so a return of 600% is acceptable, wouldn’t you agree?  There was one bid placed for $60, so all is well.  Sure the domain could have sold for more, but I am pleased with the result.

I like BargainDomains.com, especially for hand regs.  It offers a fair and reasonable price to buyers.  In fact, I have now been paying closer attention to the names listed there and I see some I like.  I just might place some bids because I think there are some deals to be had.

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Domain Finder

The argument can be convincingly made, as Mark Fulton has written at DotSauce, that the age of domain mining tools has come and gone.  As true as that is, I still love using domain generators and, if nothing else, I am inspired by some of the results.  Sometimes, not always, I come across a name that seems solid or that inspires a thought of a domain that I’d like to acquire.  I’ll admit that the vast majority of results from these tools, upwards of 99%, tend to be useless.  But I enjoy the inspiration they provide.

Recently, I discovered a new tool by Jason Ling from Singapore.  Jason is a digital media specialist with a strong background in digital media sales, online media, and e-commerce. He founded one of Singapore’s first and largest online communities, SgForums.com in 1999, and has a portfolio of websites to his name including SgBlogs.com and Lah.cc. He also spent 2 years launching e-commerce site Fish4Parts.co.uk in the UK.  He is working on, as he puts it, a domain name ‘suggestion engine’ called DomFinder.com.

To start, a user enters a couple of key words.  Then, the engine kicks in.  As you watch, the engine spins through a list of possibilities and separates available names from those that are taken.  It starts with trying to find the best related key words and then ranks them according to a factor of relevancy and value.  What’s nice about this tool is that it not only checks the availability of the domain name, but includes the Facebook and Twitter user IDs as part of that process.  Not only will you be able to secure the name, but you can be sure to secure the social media counter parts as well.

An upcoming feature Jason is working is to releases a ‘domain a day’ where it tries to discover the highest quality available domains.  I encourage you to visit DomFinder.com and spend some time trying it out.  While domain generators may be dying, I think DomFinder breathes some life back into them.

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New Domain App

There aren’t a whole lot of apps available for mobile device that I would consider essential for domainers.   The latest app from Network Solutions doesn’t qualify as essential either, but it’s nice too see a new mobile device tool that actually has some value.

Domain Storm, by Network Solutions, is an iPhone app that allows you to search for domain names quickly, showing which TLDs are available and at what price.  While Network Solutions doesn’t have the most competitive domain registration prices, the tool is decent.  The app also allows you to check alternate, expired, and premium domains based on your original search term.

The next feature is “Brainstorm,” which requires one or two keywords.  Then give your iPhone a quick shake and in Vegas style slots, you wait for the two word combination to appear from the spinning windows.  There you have a suggested new domain name with availability per TLD.  The Brainstorm feature also has the ability to check alternate, expired, and premium domains based on your search terms.  There are other options as well.  You can turn hyphenation  on and off as well as adult terms.  There is also a geo option that will append the city, state, or country to your possible names based on your current location.

The WHOIS serach didn’t work for me.  After hanging for about 30 seconds, it crashed the app on my first attempt.  It worked with the second try, but the disclaimer information took up just about all of the available text and left me with no real WHOIS data at all.

By the way, the name DomainStorm.com is registered and has been since 2004.  I wonder how this would play out in a trademark case.

Overall, I like it.  I wish I could use this app but set my registrar of choice to make a purchase.  While it doesn’t show any search volume stats or valuation estimates, it still has a place in my app collection.  There are a limited number of TLDs listed, and .CO isn’t one of them.  Are there other apps that you like to use as part of your domain toolbox?  If so, I’d like to hear about them.

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Domain Name Investing

As I typically do, I try to get my hands on anything related to domain names. I like to read and learn as much as possible about the business. Today, I just finished reading Domain Name Investing: Make Money Online And Run Your Own Home Business By Buying And Selling Premium Domains In Your Spare Time! The book credits KMS Publishing.com as the author.  The company has over 100 books with titles such as The Twitter Advantage and Using eBay To Sell Your Car.  The book was sent to me from CreateSpace.com, an on-demand publishing subsidiary of Amazon.com.

The books is a quick read with 96 pages and you can easily get through it in one sitting.  If you’re new to buying and selling domain names, this is actually a pretty good source of information.  It runs through all the basics covering such things as domain parking, flipping and developing.  It also gives some decent advice on purchasing an website or domain.

There are a couple of things I wasn’t too impressed with.  In more than one spot, including the introduction, the book claims that making money with domain names is “easy.”  I really think that’s a false sell.  I wouldn’t considering anything about making money with domains “easy.”  In the best “easy” case scenario, you have a great domain name draws a monthly profit through parking.  The unseen story behind that is that you probably worked hard to earn the money needed to purchase that domain.  Not too many domains with good parking potential can be hand registered today.  Another case may be a developed website that pulls in the money.  Again, a great deal of sweat likely went into developing, marketing and promoting that site.  Using a term like “easy” is misleading.

The other area I was not impressed with was the where the book touches on broking as a way to make money.  This is clearly a book for beginners and not a place to be discussing the possibility of broker domains for other.  Again, I think this is a bit misleading for a inexperienced person in the domain industry.

Aside from these two faults, which are minor in the grand scheme of things when looking at this book overall, I think the book has its place.  Again, there is nothing here for the experienced domainer, no specific resources cited other than in a couple of website.  But if you’re new to the industry, or just curious about it, then it is worth the short time it will take to read through the book.  If you are experienced and have friends or family who wounder what you do, this may help them understand it just a little bit better.

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Domain TV

Yesterday evening I watched Morgan Linton’s live web show at MorganLinton.tv.  It was the first time I tuned in to the show and I have to say, I enjoyed it.  The sound and video quality was great.  Morgan did a nice job of recognizing those that attended and was very interactive.  The show was well thought out and I particularly enjoyed the lightning round where he asked viewers for some of their domain names and he did a quick evaluation on whether the domain should be sold or developed, or in some cases, neither.

Morgan opened the show with a piece of news around the sale of cruise.co for $25,000.  I suppose a sale like that could have spawned an hours worth of conversation as to the long term value of .COs, but the show quickly moved on.  Purely by chance, Morgan selected a post to feature that I had written less than an hour before the show aired called, 3 Reasons Why Your Domains Aren’t Selling.  This was pretty cool for me to see since it was the first time viewing. The show also featured a special guest, Morgan’s dad.

If you’d like to catch the replay, you can find it here.  I’ll look forward to catching future shows with Morgan.  I felt that it was an hour well spent on a Friday night while I was home with the kids.  In fact, they spent a little time watching it with me.  Future domainers in the making.

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What would you do for $5?

Clearly, I do many interviews for this blog.  Some interviews are done through email exchanges, but I’ve done several telephone interviews and I get a great deal of information that way.  In fact, telephone interviews usually produce the best interview results because it allows me to ask related follow up questions quickly and easily.  It also allows the interviewee to speak more candidly and less calculated which usually spurs excellent conversation.  The only drawback to the phone interviews is the amount of time it takes me to transcribe the conversation and convert it into a readable interview.  To solve this problem, I turned to the least expensive source I could find.  Fiverr.com.

I find myself drifting off and writing about some brandable names, and that’s okay.  One of my Twitter connections mentioned Fiverr.com in a tweet and I had been meaning to check it out.  The plus side to this domain, it was easy to remember.  It had been weeks since I saw the tweet and I still remembered the name.  Unfortunately, I forgot who tweeted it, so forgive me for not giving you credit.

Fiverr.com is a site where people post what they are willing to do for 5 bucks.  It’s crazy, really.  People will do things such as dress up in stupid looking close and send you a picture, to doing actual programming and solving real problems.  Now as you might expect, I have found that you get what you pay for.  I searched someone to transcribe a call for me.  The rate was $5 for 15 minutes of audio, so I gave it a shot.  Timeliness was excellent, I had the transcribed audio in my possession in less than 24 hours.  Accuracy, not so excellent.

The person transcribing was offshore and likely used English as a second language.  That said, he did a decent job.  He transcribed and got several words wrong or placed “???” in places he didn’t understand based on the quality of the audio.  There is no way I could use the service and trust the results without going through it with a fine tooth comb, but it did take the edge of transcribing the whole call.

I’m not sure if I’ll use the service again for this purpose, but it was kind of fun to test it out.  I guess it did save me some time and was probably worth the $5.  But if you’re looking for high quality and accuracy, you’ll have to ante up for a pro.

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“Rework” The Way You Domain

There is an established way of doing things.  When the business community sees something that seems to work, it is duplicated and repeated with the hopes of success.  It then becomes so ingrained in the way we live our lives that we take these things as absolute truths.  Society, and each of us as individuals,  have burned them into our mind to the point that we don’t question them at all.  We see it as our road map to success and don’t dare stray from the path.  Jason Fried and David Heinermeier Hansson challenge this in their book, “Rework.”

The author, Jason Fried, founded the company 37signals, a web application company in Chicago in 1999.  “Rework” has been described as a recap of company’s blog, “Signal vs. Noise.”  I don’t follow the blog, so I won’t comment on the accuracy of that statement, but I did find some good information in just a quick glance at the blog.

The book is a quick read and I found the first half the most compelling.  In fact, it probably could have ended there. While the information may not be entirely new, it is valuable.  If it causes you to question your current strategy, it has value.  Some might say it’s common sense, but if it is, then why aren’t these ideas more commonly practiced?  Some of the concepts covered that seem counter intuitive to how we work include:

  • Learning from our mistakes is overrated.  Learn from Success.
  • Planning is guessing. Spend less time planing and make more decisions on the fly.
  • Workaholics contribute less.
  • Finance your own operations or your decisions will be controlled by others.
  • Staying small can be better than growing.  Don’t try to enhance your products to meet all your customers needs.

Those are just a few of my favorites and can be directly applied to the domainers.  The book is well worth the read and the short time commitment to get through it.  You’ll find yourself thinking about what you do and how you can do it differently.  You may find that a small tweak that comes from the ideas in this book make a significant impact in the way you operate.

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Crush It! If You’re A Domainer

Several weeks back I read “Chrush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk.  Well, I actually listened to the audio version, and I think that’s an important distinction and I’ll soon explain why.  Before “Crush It!”, Vaynerchuk was probably best know for his work on the Wine Library TV video blog as the guy that knows his shit when it comes to wine and isn’t afraid to talk about it.  To be honest, I never heard of him before.  A friend of mine suggested the book and I picked it up on audio due to all the craziness in life.  Audio is just sometimes easier.

After listening for just a few minutes, I was hooked.  Some people say he comes off as cocky…. maybe, yeah, I suppose.  But more than that, the guy is real.  He talks from experience and provides great food for thought.  Much of the information can be applied directly to your domaining business, if you’re passionate and serious.  The book explains how he took his families business from a “little something” to “a whole lot sales” in a short period of time.  That’s not what the book is about.  It’s about being passionate about what you do, or better yet, do what you are passionate about.  Vaynerchuk explains how technology and social networking have expanded our ability to reach and server our customers and created amazing new opportunities.  But we all know that, right?  He takes it a step further and explains what has worked well for him, that you too can apply.  He makes it completely clear that these are tools, but you are still going to need to work way harder than everyone else to be the best.

I highly suggest the audio version because Vaynerchuk jumps off the script whenever it seems appropriate, which tends to be quite often.  It’s also a couple of buck cheaper. It’s like having a conversation with one of your friends who is really excited and doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise.  If at this point you’re a little unsure, do a search for some of his videos (he’s everywhere) and you’ll get a sense of what his energy and passion is all about.  One of my favorite videos is this one.


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The Domain Game

I spend a lot of time reading about domains. Most of it comes from online reading of blogs and forums, but when I came across “The Domain Game” by David Kesmodel, it caught my eye. Based on its subtitle, “How People Get Rich from Internet Domain Names,” I thought it was going to be a descriptive process of how to buy and sell names in the domain market. Instead, it is a fascinating and detailed history and evolution of domaining. Different than I had expected, but not at all disappointing. What is most fascinating to me is that many of the large players mentioned in the book can be found online today on forums, blogs, and business sites of their own. The history has barely passed, and new history is still being made.

The book opens with some interesting stories of the early domaining days and Internet successes. A watermelon farmer with a vision, a bankrupt furniture salesman (Rick Schwartz) with forward looking business sense and many more similar stories. All presented in a way that paints a historical and promising view of the dawn of domaining. We learn about the Network Solutions, their struggles, and the birth of other registrars. The author presents ICANN and difficulties with dispute resolution. The evolution of pay per click advertising and the companies/people behind it. We see how picking up names on the drop became a strategy that some were better at then others. I found the large domain portfolio owners stories most interesting and the processes they went through to collect and sell their names.

Some of the domainers today were a part of this history, for others, it’s an excellent history lesson. If you are new to domain names, I highly recomend reading “The Domain Game.” I don’t know that it will bring you any direct success in your business of acquiring and selling names, but if you strive to know all you can about the industry, it will give you a solid background to build on.

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