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12|24|2008 12:58 am EDT

Domainers Aren’t Early Adopters

by Adam Strong in Categories: Miscellaneous

Some of the more outspoken veterans of the domain name business like to think of themselves as early adopters, likely because of their early awareness and insight into the power of domain names.  However, for most domainers this early adoption of one particular form of naming has not carried over to early adoption in other emerging internet media.

Sahar Sarid wrote about  “Your name = Your brand“, citing examples of several domain name industry veterans who did or did not own their name in .com   While domain names remain a powerful vehicle for controlling personal branding, the growth in social media is also increasing the importance of other forms of naming.  As we pointed out earlier, user names on social media platforms are already being compared to domain names. If protecting your personal name is important in .com, it should be just as important to protect your name on the new social media sites.According to InsideFacebook, Facebook is growing by 600,000 new members per day , many domainers I know are just now hopping on board.  It’s taken time for many domainers to get involved in Linkedin, myspace, meebo or any number of other social networks as well.  Another perfect example, last year was really the year that the whole blogging thing sunk in with domainers.  A majority of the blogs you read today in the domain space (with the exception of dnjournal and domainnamewire) were created last post 2007.  Add DNN to that list.

Like other domainers,  I stepped in to these new arenas slowly as well.  A joiner rather than a leader maybe.  I wasn’t really interested in YASMN (yet another social media network) or more work writing at first, but now I’m beginning to see value in personal branding on these sites. Plus, why miss the boat again? Domainers should know better. They aren’t necessarily active in the internet or community other than the domain space maybe, but they should be able to recognize online opportunities.

It might be argued that these  emerging social media sites don’t have the commercial applications and domainers can’t really get anything out of them.  However, if you are an early adopter, your concern isn’t necessarily always about what is possible now, but rather what could be possible in the future and growing with the new technology.  Early adopters take risks and “buy-in” before the masses and often before a commercial application is apparent. Sound like domains a little?  In the case of these services, the “buy-in” is simple and best of all free. There really is no excuse.   Early adopters should recognize the importance of securing “your” name on these sites at the bare minimum.

We’re going to look more closely at Twitter.com as another example. Unlike Facebook where there can be dozens of Adam Strongs, Twitter accounts are based on unique user-names, so there’s only one @adamstrong available.  Sound familiar?  Many of the best generic word user names have been snatched up already and personal names are going rapidly as well.   Don’t worry though if you haven’t signed up yet either, you aren’t alone. It’s really no surprise at this point but the majority of the top 100 global haven’t secured or aren’t using a Twitter user name that reflects their brand, with many of their names locked up or “squitted” (squitted is the term that is being used for people who are “squatting” on Twitter user names)  by someone else.

DNN searched to see what domainers were on Twitter using the names that Sahar pointed out in his previous post.  I used this list to make the comparison easy. I know many domainers reading this may be on Twitter already, but I also knew already that many more below were not.

Why aren’t the thought leaders in the domain space also early adopters in other emerging internet media? Many domainers have yet to adopt these new formats even to protect their own personal names. If domainers were truly early adpoters, you’d think that more than 50% of the names below would have been secured by the matching domainer.

@FrankSchilling – Not taken
@sevenmile (the name of schillings blog) – Not taken

@RickSchwartz – A realtor named Rick Schwartz grabbed it

@KevinHam –  Taken but not in use. May be squitted

@SaharSarid  – Not taken

@ChristHartnett – Not taken

@LawrenceNg – Taken but not in use. May be squitted

@LarryFischer – Not taken

@AdamStrong – yeah it’s mine.

@AriGoldberger – not taken

@JayWesterdal – surprisingly Not Taken

@AdamDicker – Taken by “The” Adam Dicker, but not really in use

@BobParsons – Squitted

@ChadFolkening – Not taken

@ColinYu – Not taken

@MikeMann – Taken, but not by the former Buydomains owner

@ChrisChena – Not taken

@AmmarKubba – Not taken

@ColinPape – Used by “the” Colin Pape

@IsabelWang –  Used by “the” Isabel Wang . she’s not really a domainer though per se

What about some of the major domain companies ?

@snapnames – taken, not in use

@moniker – taken, not in use

@oversee – not taken

@domainsponsor – not taken

@fabulous – controlled by an individual not Fabulous.com

@godaddy – taken, not in use

@enom – not taken

@namedrive – controlled by Namedrive.com but not really being used

@namemedia – Not taken

@buydomains –  Buydomains controls not actively posting

@namecheap – Definitely using Twitter to the fullest potential

Here’s a list of some other domainers/companies I know who are on Twitter.
Forgive me if I leave you out
@frankmichlick – Frank Michlick
@dotsauce – Mark Fulton
@joedavison – Joe Davison
@domainbuyer – Ron James
@ronsheridan – Ron Sheridan
@donnamahoney- Donna Mahoney

@domainnamenews – DNN.com
@domainnamewire
– Looks like Andrew jumped on board today
@dnjournal
Ron Jackson got on board today too :)
@foap – Jothan Frakes
@namecheap
– Namecheap has been giving away domains and hooking up users of Twitter to their domain accounts for updates.
@namedotcom – Name.com

There’s a good amount of domainers on Facebook and Linkedin as well and even a few groups for domainers on both sites.  It might be worth taking a look and getting involved in  these  social media platforms.

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