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March 19, 2007



>When I was 22 I went to LA for six months to try my hand at writing monologue jokes. I wasn't very funny

Must. Resist. Posting. Obvious. Joke.

But seriously...

If your friend wants to get in closer to the bottom, but doesn't have the big cash, maybe he should look at taking a punt in the IDN market?

The Arabic equivalent of [download].com went for $2500 at auction this week. That's awfully cheap for something that will be a money tree in a few years time.

***FS*** Excellent observation Drew.. and if great IDNs are that cheap maybe even I will have a punt.. Right after I have a 'pint' .. for courage you know.


The Arabic equivalent of [download].com went for $2500 at auction this week. That's awfully cheap for something that will be a money tree in a few years time.

That's only because I LET you have it.

I as being nice so we can do that other deal eventually ;)

Edwin Hayward

While I know my experience will not "translate" piecemeal across other locales, it's still interesting (and potentially relevant) to look at how the Japanese domain market has been evolving in the last couple of years, in terms of how the wider business community (outside the domainers, who already know all about domains) is responding to the domain challenge.

One trend: more and more ads on TV, in trains, in magazines etc. are suggesting search keywords for people to type in to find the company. They present a "search box" (black rectangle) with a search word or phrase in it, and a little "Search" button next to it. They figured it's easier for their audience to remember a Japanese keyword than an ASCII domain name. IDNs will change that, but that's a topic for a different post.

More significantly, there's a huge rise in the number of companies using their own domains in ads. This may sound very Jonnie-come-lately to folks in the US, but even a couple of years ago, the predominant URL you were likely to see on an offline ad was something along the lines of www4.server.isp.jp/~company/page/ rather than www.domain.jp.

Now, these kinds of "junk" URLs are in the minority... though there are still large companies and large campaigns that seem happy to spend $10,000s to $1,000,000s on ads yet can't/won't/don't know they should fork over $10 for a unique domain name.

Five years ago, from memory, perhaps 1/3 of offline ads had URLs. Now perhaps 80%-90% do, and those that don't are either clear branding ads by large companies, or they've "made do" with one of the fake search boxes I described above.

The secondary market here is still weak, but clearly picking up slowly in line with the dawning realisation that owning a decent, simple domain name will keep paying dividends every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year, especially if you're advertising outside the Web itself.


To get a visual idea of what Edwin is speaking of in regards to the companies advertising how to utilize search boxes to find their websites check out this video.


Rob Sequin


Another great post. When are you going to start charging tuition?

I come to class everyday and learn so much I feel like I should be paying tuition.

Seriously. If you don't want to charge for this great site, put up a paypal donate button and give the money to charity or something.

Craig C

Why do you say "Make sure to leave your name on whois (do not use whois privacy)."

***FS*** Your names are with a registrar.. said registrar has a change in business philosophy, or starts to go sideways, or goes public, or changes management. Management says this name is not yours.. rather the 'fine print' in the new terms and conditions reads: "You assign all rights in the name to the registrar" Without the whois you have less proof of ownership.


I just wanted to comment on this quote from Frank's "Is It Too Late to Buy Domain Names" post:

"Can you speculate in .us names and make money? Absolutely yes. But it is easier in .com. I presume Ron of DNjournal does well in .US because it is a sideline to his wonderful DNjournal.com enterprise. He has a market leading media property who’s cash flow he leverages to experiment in a fine CCtld."

I don't think I have discussed this specific topic with Frank, but seeing his very accurate assessment in this passage is further evidence to me that he is psychic :-)

With people increasingly looking for local products and services on the internet I do like the prospects for all ccTLDs that represent major world economies. .de and .co.uk are already well established of course. .US has a long way to go to catch up with them, but I am seeing a slow steady build for the American extension. I think my investments in .us have been profitable because I have concentrated (as Frank suggested) on words or terms that exactly define a whole category of highly commercial goods or services or on geo domains (like Reno.us). Even so, as Frank surmised, the profits at this stage are not large enough to provide a sole source of income. It is part of an overall strategy, made possible from cash flow from a developed .com property, to build positions in various sectors that I think have good future potential. If you are just starting out, it would not be prudent to ignore what an overwhelmingly popular brand .com has become - it literally means "internet" to most people, so it gives you a big leg up on success. Some new research from Matt Bentley at Sedo showed that 73% of the dollar volume from all reported aftermarket sales in 2006 came from .com domains. I think there is a lot of potential in some other areas (especially first world ccTLDs), but unless you are already independently wealthy you have to remember that potential doesn't pay today's rent and grocery bills!


OK, I guess it is better to ask a dumb question than to not ask it, so..

What methodology do you suggest a beginner use in analyzing generic domain names?

***FS*** There are no dumb questions.. well hardly any :) Look for names in the broader context of what they represent and in correct tense. Go to Google and search for that. Think: overture apart etc etc.. Edwin posted an interesting set of tools and instructions previously.. use the blog search find that comment and utilize those tools ;)

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