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03|31|2011 04:17 pm EDT

Swing For The Fences

by M. Fiol in Categories: Domain Sales

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In the annals of baseball terminology, the phrase ‘sweet spot’ refers to an area on the bat roughly three inches in diameter.

If ball meets bat at that precise location and at the right moment – POW! The result is a perfect transfer of energy: from your legs through your hands, into the bat and then ball.

For ballplayers, the feeling is almost indescribable, like lifting a car without the effort. Feels so smooth and perfect, perhaps defining ‘perfection’ in the physics of life.

Yet the term and even the analogy suit the domain industry, and business overall, to a tee. A baseball tee, that is.

Domain Sweet Spot Du Jour
For that is what we do. We look for the sweet spot, swinging daily, failing often but occasionally ball and bat meet and the result is awesome to behold.

So what is the current ‘sweet spot’ in domains?

All signs point to ‘brandable generics’ as being the current patch where, if timed well, you can hit one out of the park. Porque, you say? A few reasons…

1. Color.com, Action.com, Coyote.com, Whoa.com…
Color.com could not be a better example of a brandable generic – for the potential buying pool is massive, perhaps global, and that is part of the equation. A name like this makes the sweet spot that much bigger. Imagine using a fat kid’s bat as opposed to a toothpick.

2. Offers
I wrote and published a piece here on DNN several years ago extolling the virtues of these types of names and the future need for them, while everyone else was falling over themselves to bid on names like ChristianTunics.com and DoubleKnitSweaters.com.

Point is I have always taken my own advice and the result was I was able to purchase some very nice one word brandables in the process.

And now those names have witnessed a dramatic rise in the last 12 months not in quantity but in offer quality. Names that used to get an occasional $500 offer now get the occasional $10,000 offer. Dramatic, no?

From an owner’s perspective it is because it signals a tectonic shift in the fundamental perceptions of buyers. In other words, paying large sums for domains is far less an obstacle for end-users than it once was. It is, perhaps, finally, accepted.

3. Inventory
Take a look around and you might find a real dearth of these types of domains on the market. In DM3, Gyrate.com, Pig.com and Evenings.com are the rare ones this time and not the other way around.

Truth is domainers are holding these names for end-user sales whereas in the past they sold them cheap or let them expire in favor of keeping HDsunglasses.com.

Your Sweet Spot
I once hit a baseball so far it went over the street and hit a casual pedestrian walking the sidewalk on the other side – some 400+ feet away.

It felt incredible (not the hitting a pedestrian part), seemingly and totally effortless. The second I hit it, I knew it was long gone.

And that’s the key in domaining – find your sweet spot, swing hard and true.

Sure, you will strikeout, probably a lot, but every so once in awhile, you may grab that bat and crush one – knowing full well you hit the sweet spot and hit it good.

For domains, and for the moment, that sweetness might be in brandable generics.

So in this case, maybe, do as I do and set yourself up with a hitter’s count.

Then wait for that fat pitch to come floating in and take a big cut, noting you have only 3 inches of wiggle room between a home run and a weak grounder to third.

So you might as well, as they say, swing for the fences.

 

– M.Fiol is a long-time domainer and runs BoxCar.com and the upcoming DomainMadness.com

03|30|2011 08:10 pm EDT

Bad News for Kevin Ham’s GoodNews.com

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Development

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According to an email signed by Kevin Ham, CEO of GoodNews.com – better known as the man behind Reinvent, the relatively young deal-a-day website with a local charity spin, will be shutting down operations in Vancouver effective April 4th, 2011. The site had not been launched for other cities yet. Any existing vouchers will remain valid until their expiry date and the company, which had raised nearly $50,000 in donations for various charities, will complete the donations to Kids Up Front.

See the email that GoodNews.com sent to its subscribers after the jump.

(more…)

03|30|2011 03:42 am EDT

Weekly Domain Sales Report

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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And again DNN provides you with a list of reported sales over the course of the previous week. The top 10 sales this week were:

  1. shield.com 2011-03-28 190,000 USD Sedo
  2. mariage.com 2011-03-22 92,000 EUR (= $129,500 USD) Sedo
  3. juegostonic.com 2011-03-23 95,000 USD Sedo
  4. stradivarius.com 2011-03-25 60,000 EUR (=$84,500 USD) Sedo
  5. violet.com 2011-03-23 65,000 USD Sedo
  6. sportsbetting.in 2011-03-28 30,000 EUR (=$42,250 USD) Sedo
  7. newcoupons.com 2011-03-22 20,000 USD Sedo
  8. livedots.com 2011-03-28 20,000 USD Sedo
  9. endoftheworld.com 2011-03-24 20,000 USD Sedo
  10. creditcard.co 2011-03-22 17,000 USD Sedo

See the full list after the jump.

(more…)

03|29|2011 11:19 am EDT

Ebay to Buy PepperJam Affiliate Network Parent GSI Commerce

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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News From The Affiliate World

As reported by The Globe and Mail, EBay Inc. (EBAY-Q plans to buy e-commerce company GSI Commerce (GSIC-Q), for $1.96-billion USD in cash. The company sent a notice to their affiliates earlier today announcing the sale. GSI is the parent company of the PepperJam affiliate network. As part of the deal, EBay will sell off GSI’s licensed sports merchandise business and 70 per cent of ShopRunner and Rue La La, which will become part of a new holding company run by GSI’s founder and chief executive Michael Rubin. The new company will receive a $467 million loan from EBay, valuing the entire deal at $2.4 billion USD. While EBay doesn’t consider these business units important to them in the long them, they will keep a 30% stake in Rue La La and Shop Runner.

In other news it appears that according to a post by Shoemoney, Canadian Affiliate Network Neverblue is buying CPA Network AKMG.

03|28|2011 04:15 pm EDT

Demand Media to Expand to Europe in 2011

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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According to an interview by PaidContent:UK, Demand Media’s content division will expand to Europe this year.

[…] Demand’s European sales and business development VP Stephanie Himoff tells paidContent:UK Demand will start filling its gaps on the continent from this summer.

“Through 2011 – and particularly in the second half of the year – you’ll see, in Europe, a lot more in terms of building the community and content,” she says.

Demand Media also is the parent company for domain registrars eNom and Bulk Register and is also operating NameJet in a joint venture with Network Solutions.

[via PaidContent:UK]

03|22|2011 06:01 pm EDT

Combined Domain Sales Report for the Previous Week

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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This week’s combined domain sales report includes domain sales from the Afternic, Flippa (1) and Sedo platforms. Here are the top 10 domain sales of the preceding week.

  1. xxxbook.com $100,000 USD Sedo
  2. gold.net $81,930 USD (50,000 GBP) Sedo
  3. tada.fr $27,750 USD (20,000 EUR) Sedo
  4. peopleplus.com $24,000 USD Sedo
  5. furniture.tv $24,000 USD Sedo
  6. sincerely.com $20,000 USD Afternic
  7. tview.com $19,550 USD Afternic
  8. receipt.com $19,500 USD Sedo
  9. casinos.biz $19,000 USD Sedo
  10. names.org $18,000 USD Sedo

See the full list of all reported domain sales for this week after the jump.

(more…)

03|18|2011 05:13 pm EDT

Internet Real Estate Group Puts Chocolate.com Up For Sale

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales, Up to the Minute

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Internet Real Estate Group has engaged website broker David Fairley
of Website Properties LLC in order to sell their Chocolate.com business for $6MM USD.

Andrew Miller of IREG told DNN: “Chocolate.com continues to see double digit growth as a leading online chocolate marketplace. Revenue grew 73.3% in 2010, and January and February 2011 growth was 91.6% above same months for 2010. In March 2011, we engaged an outside business broker, David Fairley, from WebsiteProperties.com, to explore a sale or joint venture that would enable returns and or subsequent growth for Chocolate.com. David is experienced at selling ecommerce businesses and was chosen for this reason.”

David’s company has sold numerous high profile domain names over the years, such as
hammocks.com, strollers.com, gumballs.com, ipod.net, unicorns.com, drums.com, knifesharpeners.com, leatherfurniture.com, wicker.com and many private unpublished deals. Website Properties brokers established websites as well as straight domain names for over 9 years with values typically between $100K and $10MM.

03|17|2011 04:20 pm EDT

NameJet to Drop Price for Pending Delete Domain Orders to $59

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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After a recent announcement by SnapNames for a price increase for catching dropped domains from $59 to $69, NameJet will be announcing to their customers in an email later today that they are dropping their price from $69 to $59 in a trial. It appears the prices have already been lowered on the site.

[Updated] See the text of the email below.

(more…)

03|16|2011 06:27 pm EDT

VeriSign Announces 25th .COM Anniversay Grant Winners

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Four universities have been chosen to receive grants of $75,000 each for their research teams to pursue projects aimed at strengthening Internet infrastructure. The grants are being awarded as part of a VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) program designed to promote and foster Internet innovation and in conjunction with the company’s commemoration of 25 years of .com. The researchers will present their findings at a Washington, D.C. symposium later this year. The grant awards will be issued to the universities following final agreement between Verisign and the universities.

Winners were chosen in four categories:

  • Internationalization of the Internet: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Domain Name System (DNS) Security: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Infrastructure Applications: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Internet Infrastructure: University of Michigan

“At Verisign, we are committed to ensuring the infrastructure of the Internet is constantly evolving to meet new demands, and supporting these types of research projects is critical to that effort,” said Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of Verisign. “These grant recipients will help to pioneer the next generation of the Internet and continue to shape how we live in an increasingly connected world.”

Distinguished judges for the grants included Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO of ICANN; Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google; Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security Secretary; Paul Mockapetris, computer scientist and inventor of the Domain Name System; and Danny McPherson, Chief Security Officer at Verisign.

The winner in the Internationalization of the Internet category was “Techniques for Achieving Positive Anonymity,” submitted by Shlomi Dolev at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. The project explores anonymity on the Internet, and when remaining anonymous online is appropriate and when it is not, and attempts to define and propose schemes for conditional anonymity.

The winner in the DNS Security category was “Constructing a Functional Name System,” submitted by Anil Madhavapeddy at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. The purpose of this project, known as Mirage, is to develop a clean-slate operating system whose goal is to run reliably, securely and rapidly on the Internet, and is designed to be simpler than systems currently in use.

The winner in the Infrastructure Applications category was “Enabling Responsive Web Applications with the Accelerated Secure Association Protocol,” submitted by Philip Brighten Godfrey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This project is developing methods to accelerate the Web and other interactive networked applications, via secure, deployable extensions to the domain name system (DNS) and transport control protocol (TCP).

The winner in the Internet Infrastructure category was “Enhancing Mobile Internet Infrastructure for Improved Performance and Security,” submitted by Z. Morley Mao at the University of Michigan. This project aims to investigate mobile network infrastructure support to improve network performance, energy efficiency, and security assurance for mobile users and service providers.

[via Press Release]

03|16|2011 01:48 pm EDT

Sun.com To Be Decommissioned – 11th oldest Domain

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Sun.com to set and go dark on June 1st, 2011

According to iwhois, Sun.com is the 11th oldest domain name together with ibm.com, registered on March 1986. Oracle, who purchased Sun Microcomputers in 2009, is apparently now decommissioning the brand and sun.com domain according to a blog post on the OTN garage blog. The domain had been redirecting to a Oracle site for a while and the post states that most of the site content has already been migrated.

According to responses to the comments on the blog post blogs.sun.com will continue to function for now, so it appears that the domain is not going up for sale immediately. The current expiry date is 20-Mar-2012.  Other commentators also question what will happen to other subdomains, such as the java.sun.com which is embedded on many websites using Java applets.

[via Engadget, Sun OTN Blog]