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Google made a game-changing announcement at GDC, but is Stadia a game-changing name?

Thu, 2019-03-21 19:27

As many of you know, I love games. I grew up playing both board games and video games, still love them both, and over the last few years have really gotten into both indie games and VR games. Since the Moscone Center is just a few blocks from my place, I usually pick up an EXPO pass for GDC so I can get a chance to walk around a bit, play some games, and chat with companies like Unity, Google, etc.

This year at GDC there’s a lot of buzz about all kinds of different things, Oculus released the Oculus Rift S, Unity announced a zillion things including some incredibly slick real time ray tracing, and Google is getting more buzz than they ever had at a gaming conference as they dive into the gaming world with Stadia.

Okay so before I dive into the name, I know most people have no idea what the heck Stadia is, so let me explain. Right now, if you want to play an awesome new game like Fortnite or APEX Legends you’ll need a kick-ass gaming PC to really get the best experience. For those who are in this wacky gaming world, you know that a kick-ass gaming PC costs $2,000+ and for those wondering, yes I built my own gaming PC and no, I’m never happy with it and always want to upgrade.

Google is taking an entirely new approach with Stadia by creating a gaming platform where the games are actually running on super fast computers at Google and streamed to gamers. This means that the speed of your computer really doesn’t matter, you just need a fast Internet connection. To demonstrate this, Google actually tried to find the slowest PC possible during their demo to highlight how powerful Stadia is…and it was damn impressive.

Seriously, a $500 PC can now play a networked game with the same settings that only a $4,000 gaming PC could normally support. While you can use your own controller with Stadia, Google is also releasing their own controller later this year, here’s what it’s going to look like:

Okay, so now you have a rough idea of what Stadia is…now for the elephant in the room. What about the name? It didn’t take long for people to hop on Twitter to share their thoughts on the name and overall with many people commenting that it sounded like some new medication.

I have to agree, this was a bit of a head-scratcher for me. The domain name Stadia.com was originally bought for $3,601 back in 2010 but I haven’t done the research to see if it was Google that picked it up then or a private buyer who might have resold to Google more recently. Either way, IMHO it’s a pretty mediocre product name and it really doesn’t feel like a name for a gaming-related product or service.

When I think of popular gaming platforms, they all have pretty strong names – Steam, Discord, Twitch. Stadia just feels like it doesn’t fit in with the rest. Of course maybe I’m just being too critical, and let’s be honest, with the marketing machine that is Google behind it, they’ll be okay. I’m really excited about what they’re doing and will definitely be a Stadia customer myself so in this case product > name at least for me.

What do you think? Did Google pick a good name for their new gaming service? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

VPN.com announces latest domain sales, targets $25M in sales this year

Wed, 2019-03-20 19:26

VPN.com, which has become a pretty happening domain brokerage house just announced a batch of sales including Detect.com, GTA.com and more. While they didn’t reveal pricing for all of their sales, they did list pricing for a few and shared some of the names under exclusive with them now.

The sales that were announced in this latest release are:

SEOService.com – $35,000
Detect.com – $57,000
GTA.com – price not disclosed
SiteMaps.com – price not disclosed
VPNUnlimited.com – price not disclosed

My guess is that GTA.com was likely the top sale out of this list and I’ll be interested to see who picked it up…seems like a logical fit for Rockstar Games, the maker of the wildly popular game Grand Theft Auto, often called GTA.

VPN.com also announced they are brokering some pretty solid names like Workspace.com, SouthernCalifornia.com and Bucket.com. The company is also actively hiring more domain brokers as they are targeting $25M in sales in 2019.

As VPN.com continues to produce quality and consistent domain name transactions, they are actively recruiting more domain name brokers to achieve their goal of selling $25 million in domain names over the next year. (Source – AP)

While VPN.com is, as you’d expect, a company focused on VPN services, the founder, Michael Gargiulo knows the domain game well. He paid a pretty penny for VPN.com, spending just south of $1M to acquire the name back in July of last year.

Now he’s split the brand into two different focus areas – a site reviewing and comparing VPN services and a domain brokerage company. It’s not something I’ve seen done too often but in this case I think it’s actually a pretty unique approach. Who better to broker domains than someone that has themselves shelled out close to $1M for a domain for their business? When it comes to putting your money where your mouth is, it feels like this is a great example of exactly that.

Still I’ve heard some people in the past warn of using one brand for two different businesses. Like I said, in this case I think it works, and given the fact that they keep making sales and keep getting good names under exclusive things seem to be going well.

What do you think? Does using VPN.com both as a site to compare VPN services and a domain brokerage company make sense? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Whether you love or hate .DEV, there’s no denying that “dev” is used all the time to describe developers

Tue, 2019-03-19 15:32

As we all know, Google launched the .DEV domain name extension this year, and whenever I write about it I find it’s a pretty polarizing topic. In case you haven’t read what I’ve written about the extension let me be clear before I go any further. I think .DEV would be a terrible investment as a Domainer. If you buy and sell domain names, stick to .COM and don’t look back.

That being said, I do think .DEV could be a good choice for a developer, if the .COM they have their heart set on is not available. If I want a place to show off some of my code, a link to my Github profile, etc. honestly .DEV feels pretty natural to me.

The reality is, “dev” is a term used all the time to describe developers. Living in San Francisco and running a software company I can tell you that I both hear and say the word “dev” multiple times a day. I’ve heard a few people say that “dev” is not commonly used so I thought it was time to put that to bed. Whether you love or hate .DEV, the word “dev” is a thing and it’s used all the time.

Below are a few examples of “dev” being used, and there are honestly tens of thousands of examples I could give you from articles and tweets…

So I get it, maybe you think .DEV is the most ridiculous domain extension on the planet and maybe it’s only popular because Google owns it. Sure, no issues there. But there really is no argument – “dev” as a word is used all the time in the tech world and I don’t see that going away any time soon.

What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

The concept of buying expired domains was covered in DarkReading

Tue, 2019-03-19 03:34

Something seems to be in the air in March as I’m noticing quite a few stories that seem to really miss the mark when it comes to understanding the domain industry. Earlier today, DarkReading published an article titled, Are You Prepared for a Zombie (Domain) Apocalypse?

Which in all honestly, does sound pretty darn scary. Until you hear what they mean by a Zombie (Domain) Apocalypse.

They mean, people simply buying expired domains. This is something me and many other domain name investors have done for years. This article makes it sound like anyone who buys expired domains is a shady figure looming in the shadows.

“When a domain registration expires, they can be claimed by new owners. And sometimes, those new owners have malicious intent.” (Source – DarkReading)

Spooky. The reality is, people registering expired domains aren’t usually a big problem online. Like anything in life, a bad person doing something a normal person does can go bad easily. Have a criminal (let’s say someone running a meth lab) moves into a suburban neighborhood and starts a “Breaking Bad” style drug house…well that doesn’t mean that we now should believe that everyone moving into suburban homes is running a drug ring.

The domain name world has long been both not understood and misunderstood. This article highlights another pretty big misunderstanding. The reality is, most people have no idea that you can just buy expired domain names. The people out there registering expired domains are often just investors, not nefarious criminals.

Hey, there are even blogs and newsletters focused on highlighting opportunities in the expired domain market. They aren’t there to support scammers and criminals, they’re supporting investors, just like a real estate investor or stock investor would share places to get good deals on either of those assets.

The silver lining for all of us who choose domain names as an asset class is, the rest of the world still hasn’t quite figured out what we do yet…and maybe that’s okay.

What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Domain Investing News Highlights for the week of March 11th, 2019

Sat, 2019-03-16 00:55

Another week is behind us, and as usual, there was plenty of news in the domain investing world to keep us all busy. In case you missed it, here are some of the top stories that caught my eye. Last week I think I covered too many stories and I really want to keep this short and sweet because it’s Friday and you really don’t have the time to read a bunch of news stories, so I’m sticking with three, if you want more in the future just let me know in the comment section below.

Now, onto the news!

  • ICANN shuts down Alpnames – one of the top stories this week is the shuttering of a registrar that I frankly have never heard of called Alpnames…they broke some rules, are no more, and now hundreds of thousands of domains are in purgatory. DNW broken the news (to me at least) and also wrote a solid article about how to rescue your domains from Alpnames.
  • Mike Mann declared himself the real domain king – here we go again. It’s happened before, and it’s happening again. Domain Investor Mike Mann went on Twitter and said he really should be the domain king. I like both Rick and Mike so I’m staying out of this one.
  • Sketch.com was acquired just before a $20M raise – another great one-word .COM is off the market forever as Sketch.com was acquired by the startup of the same name, perfectly timed just before they announced a $20M raise.

A little bonus story, while I don’t want to promote my own articles too much here, I am excited for Efty who announced this week on the Domain Sherpa show that they’ll be supporting larger portfolio owners (i.e. 5,000+ domains). Woot!

Okay, now stop reading domain investing news and go out and enjoy your Friday night. If you think there’s a story that should have made the list, share away in the comment section below.

Huh? Article predicts “Blockchain Domains” to become bigger asset class than .COM

Fri, 2019-03-15 04:57

So a pretty strange article hit the news today. The article states that traditional domains have stagnated and a new class of domains, “blockchain domains” are going to take over.

Some companies in the .com era may have succeeded largely due to their domain and its primacy in search results. Today, this market has become stagnant, but innovation is popping up in a new area  — blockchain domains. (Source – InvestInBlockchain.com)

Uh…I’m not sure this guy knows that millions of dollars in domain names sell every week, and more domains sell now than did back in the “.com era” since that was referring to early Internet startups…not domains as an asset class.

The article continues by complaining that it’s impossible to get a new domain extension. This is just bizarrely misinformed since ICANN has approved over 1,000 new domain extensions, some of which are still hitting the market, like .DEV which launched last month.

It gets weirder.

The article goes on to talk about how payments aren’t native with the current domain name extensions…huh? Then soon jumps to how “blockchain domains” are going to fix everything. The first point he makes is that, poof, new domain extensions will be easier than ever to get…why?

“New blockchain domain services can just launch on a public blockchain, no ICANN approval necessary.” (Source – InvestInBlockchain.com)

Sounds simple right…err, no? Yeah, it’s not, and the author even realizes this and wrote a “now of course” paragraph below about how it’s actually probably super complex and you really can’t “just launch on a public blockchain”

“Now of course, there are many challenges with this, but getting approval from a regulator that may take years isn’t one of them. Instead you need to worry about deploying smart contracts correctly, getting apps to support your new extension, and of course getting users to buy and use the domains.” (Source – InvestInBlockchain.com)

The punchline here is .ETH domains and some stats about how they have done, which is impressive in its own right but still just a tiny sliver of the domain market. There also hasn’t been a massive proliferation of “blockchain domains” nor does this seem to be something that’s really actively being pursued by many companies…except for people like the company the author runs…who are launching blockchain domains.

And that’s when it hit me. This was just a marketing article promoting what the company is doing and positioning the market they’re trying to create as some rocket ship about to overtake the domain name industry…I’m not buying it and this is honestly one of the most poorly-researched, and just plain bizarre articles I’ve read about domain names in a long time.

That being said, I understand the concepts behind blockchain domains, heck I’ll even admit I think they could gain popularity as blockchain becomes more widely used. But to claim that the domain industry has become stagnant and blockchain domains are growing like crazy just isn’t true.

Where’s that facepalm emoji when you need it, ah – here it is:

Trying to name your startup? Here’s what one founder learned…182 bad names later

Thu, 2019-03-14 01:14

Tyler O’Briant, the co-founder of Kowalla wrote a great article about lessons learned from generating 182 bad startup names. The reality is, for any startup, coming up with a name is hard, and given that just about every name you can come up with is likely already taken, it’s probably harder than it has ever been.

While I don’t completely agree with Tyler’s entire article (sorry Tyler, you’re awesome and I like 98% of what you said!) there were some really solid words of wisdom that I think many founders can relate to.

Alec started working a demo he called “Actualizeur” earlier in the year. The name worked on a conceptual level. We wanted to build a place for people to actualize the projects in a community of like-minded builders. But it had it’s faults too. Mainly, I haven’t found anyone but Alec who could spell it correctly.

Actualiezer… Actualizr… Actualizer… Actualizur?

We launched into the process of finding a new name. We hoped to find another name-product match like we had with Actualizeur, but with a lower vowel-to-consonant ratio. (Source – ProductHunt) The issue Tyler highlights here is a big one, and one that I think many people learn the hard way. When your name is a word that people might be able to guess how to spell…but you’ve spelled it in some weird way that only makes sense to you…that’s not a winning name.

The first startup I worked for (back when I was 15…yeah I’ve been in the startup world for a LONG time) was called Xaos Tools. Everyone I told our name to assumed it was spelled Chaos Tools…so literally, every single time I said our name, I would have to say, “Chaos Tools” but with an “X” to which I’d usually get a lot of confused looks and then I’d have to spell it out.

[ INSERT FACEPALM HERE ]

Another issue that Tyler highlights a really good idea that I think can help founders as they’re trying to land on a name:

Look to the fallen. CBInsights has been compiling postmortems of various failed startups since 2014. These post mortems are interesting reads, and while naming your startup they’ll help give you some insight into naming trends over the years. Kowalla’s name was actually inspired by Gowalla, a former Austin-based startup mentioned in this list. (Source – ProductHunt) I highly recommend startups that are trying to figure out a good name read this article, it’s a good one. That being said, I did mention earlier above that I don’t agree with everything in the article. It’s really the end. Tyler ends by saying, “Then, buy the domain and build something great.”

This last sentence could be turned into an entire book. “Buying the domain,” is often a lot easier said than done. I wrote about this topic on Medium in a post titled, What Every Startup Founder Should Know About Buying Domain Names. Domain brokers like Media Options have also covered this topic in great detail. In short – it really isn’t as simple as coming up with a name and then just buying the domain.

Coming up with the name is freaking hard, so is buying the domain, it’s all hard, but as a startup founder hard is just par for the course. Thanks to Tyler for putting this article together, I really like it and it hit a lot of really good points that I think founders will enjoy now and for years to come.

What did you think of the article? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

I have decided to broker one, and only one domain name this year

Wed, 2019-03-13 00:07

As many of you know, I’m not a domain broker. In the past I have brokered a domain name here and there but for the most part I just buy and sell my own domains. Still, every once and a while I get connected up with someone that has a domain that is just so darn awesome that I can’t help myself. I don’t have a lot of additional bandwidth so when I do broker a domain, it’s just one domain, usually for the entire year.

This week a domain name crossed my path that is too good not to take on, so I’ve decided that in 2019 I will broker one, and only one domain name. At this point you’re probably wondering, okay, get to the point Morgan, what’s the name!?!?

While the owner is in no rush to sell I am starting to field offers, this is a monster name and I am really looking forward to finding a company with a big enough idea and market to do it justice. There are many examples of companies that have acquired a one-word .COM and seen it as a massive game-changer for their business. Zoom recently acquired Zoom.com, and the story of the Candy.com sale at $3M is a great one, this turned out to be a small investment for the return it provided for the new owners.

If you are interested in this domain name or know someone who is please feel free to contact me directly. If you’ve been interested in me brokering a domain name, you’ll have to wait until 2020, 2019 is going to be a Chill year for me.

Breaking: Efty announces support for large portfolios is just around the corner

Tue, 2019-03-12 01:17

If you happened to catch today’s Domain Sherpa show, a bit of news was broken that I think a lot of Domainers are going to be pretty happy about. Efty just announced that they are going to be adding support for large portfolios soon. A large portfolio in this case means Domainers who have 5,000+ domains.

I’ve talked quite a bit about Efty in the past but in case you need a little refresher, Efty is one of the top platforms in the Domain Investing world for managing, marketing, and selling your domains. They did a UX update a little bit ago that IMHO really took the platform to the next level. I often explain to people that Efty is like a “dashboard for your domains” – you can view lots of important details like how much you paid for a name, when it expires, name servers, etc. Here’s an example of the main dashboard:

On top of all this, Efty has a great library of landing pages that are easy to customize so you can get custom for sale landers on your domain names. Here’s an example of one of them:

Efty also lets you build your own custom marketplaces so if you’ve ever wanted a site with all your domains on it, Efty can make that happen. I think this feature is going to be particularly interesting for large portfolio owners who will essentially be able to open full scale domain marketplaces given their portfolio size!

So if you have over 5,000+ domains and have been itching to use Efty, it sounds like the wait might be over very soon. I know that there is certainly quite a bit of additional complexity when it comes to supporting this on the backend so hats off to the Efty team for making this move.

I’ll make sure to update everyone once this goes live so stay-tuned!

eSports Saturday: Countdown to GDC 2019

Sat, 2019-03-09 18:10

It’s official, GDC is now less than two weeks away which means that pretty soon game developers from around the world will descend on San Francisco for what I personally think might just be my favorite conference on the planet. There is so much to do at GDC that I’ve compared it with the Louvre in the past, in short – there’s no way you can do everything so you have to pick and choose wisely.

One of my favorite things to do at GDC is to head over to the Indie Game section and check out all the incredible new Indie Games hitting the market. What I really like about this whole experience is that you’re playing a game while the creator watches. It’s a great opportunity for a game developer to see how a new user experiences their game, what works, what doesn’t and for me as a gamer…it’s awesome to play a game and have the developer right by my side.

Here’s a few pictures I took at the Indie Game section at GDC last year:

Last year my favorite Indie Game was No Heroes Here and it looks like I’m not alone as the game has been kicking ass and taking names on Steam as well and was ported to Nintendo and PS4, yowza!

Of courses there’s a whole other side to the convention center and that’s where you’ll find all the big companies like Unreal, Epic Games, Oculus, and really just about any major gaming studio you can think of. Last year Fornite wasn’t even close to the level of popularity of where it is today so it will be interesting to see how the focus shifts this year, I’m expecting Fornite and APEX to be head-to-head fighting for attention at GDC 2019.

Here’s a few shots of the amazing booths the big studios put together last year:

The big booths typically do fun things like give out beer, food, and swag, and of course you get to play their hit games, often while sitting on a comfy couch.

But wait there’s more, a lot more. I haven’t even covered the talks, of which there are a TON of and honestly, you’ll be struggling to pick between talks since so many good ones happen at the same time. Here’s a few of the talks that caught my eye this year:

ANIMATION BOOTCAMP: ‘GOD OF WAR’: BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO A HARDENED SPARTAN

BUILDING BUY-IN: CREATING DESIGN TOOLS FOR BETTER PLAYER EXPERIENCES AT EA

STORYTELLING FUNDAMENTALS IN A DAY

BOARD GAME DESIGN DAY: “KING ME”: A DEFENSE OF KING-MAKING IN BOARD GAME DESIGN

EVOLVING MIXED REALITY: DESIGNING ON THE REAL WORLD

Stay-tuned – I’ll be sharing more pre-GDC coverage here on my blog and then I’ll be there sharing some exciting updates live from the show!

Domain Investing News Highlights for the week of March 4th, 2019

Sat, 2019-03-09 06:51

As someone who reads Domaining.com every single day, and has so for years (thanks Francois!), I thought it would be fun to put together a quick weekly digests of Domain Investing news. Unlike most things I do, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, so let’s do it.

What happened this week in the world of Domain Investing?

If you think there’s an important story that I missed, feel free to share in the comment section below. I’d like to give a huge congrats to Kate for brokering Chocolate.com, another great domain name that is now, as Andrew Rosner would say, off the market forever.

As always I’d love to hear from you, feel free to share your two cents on any of the stories I highlighted above or heck, share whatever is on your mind. Comment and let your voice be heard!

How would you spend $2,500 on expired domain names?

Fri, 2019-03-08 04:34

It’s a question I often find myself running into and I know many Domain Investors ask themselves the same question all the time. To frame the question in something a bit more concrete I decided to throw out a number that I think is pretty representative for your average Domainer.

If you have $2,500, and you’re planning on investing in expired domain names, how do you spend it? There are two components to this question IMO:

  1. What average price would you pay for a domain
  2. What extension(s) would you buy

As usual, if I’m going to ask a question I need to answer it myself. My answer to this question has also changed over time and probably will continue to change, or at least to part 1. So here’s my answer:

  1. I typically find myself spending around $250 per domain but I think I’d probably have a name at the $500 – $750 range in there so I think in the end I find myself buying 7 – 8 domains for $2,500
  2. When it comes to investing I’d put 100% of this into .COM, period

Okay, that’s my two cents, now I want to hear from you. You have $2,500 to put into expired domain names, what’s the average price you pay per domain and what extension(s) do you buy. I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Are domains with the letter “i” at the front still popular?

Wed, 2019-03-06 06:42

Years ago Apple started a trend that swept the world, put the letter “i” in front of a word and it suddenly is the digital version of that word. We all know it worked pretty well with the iPod, then the iPhone, the iPad, and other companies quickly followed suit with companies like iHome and many more.

I felt like the “i” word trend really started to taper off a few years ago but recently saw that iDollar.com is expiring and getting some pretty strong interest on Go Daddy auctions. The domain name currently has 61 bids and just crossed the $5,000 mark with more than two days to go.

I’m not sure if it’s just me but I don’t really get this one. Sure, maybe there are some iSomething.com domains that are still hot. I could see something like iCoin.com being interesting maybe…but iDollar.com doesn’t really have much of a ring to it IMO.

Still, I haven’t had my eye on the “i” domain market so maybe there’s been something going on here that I missed. What do you think? Is iDollar.com a hot domain or has the ship sailed for iDomains and the bidding here is just people that are going to end up paying way too much for this domain?

I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Trying to redirect domain names to improve your SEO? Not on Google’s watch

Tue, 2019-03-05 07:27

There’s been a rumor in the SEO world that might have been true some time ago, but it certainly isn’t true any more, and Google has actually come out publicly to crush the myth once and for all.

The SEO trick was recently brought up on Reddit, here’s the thread:

Is it just me or does this sound like pretty sketchy advice coming from an SEO consultant? Also, anytime someone tells you that this is what everyone’s doing…take it with a grain of salt. It’s probably not actually what “everyone” is doing but what the person talking to you wants you to think that everyone is doing.

Well, John Mueller from Google actually jumped in to respond and clear up any confusion.

The 301 basically makes the main site canonical, meaning the links go directly there — you might as well skip the detour, it’s just as obvious to the algorithms & spam team. (Source – SEO Roundtable)

SEORoundtable.com shared a number of articles they’ve written on this topic in the past, for those who want to do a little deeper dive, read this.

So while there’s still a lot of debates about the role domain names play when it comes to SEO, I think it’s safe to say the case is closed on this one.

.DEV domains are getting a lot of buzz and I think they will be great for developers, but not for Domainers

Mon, 2019-03-04 05:04

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about .DEV domain names over the last week, probably more so than any other new gTLD launch. It looks like with the power of the marketing machine that is Google, .DEV is officially on people’s radars, and I mean people outside of the domain industry.

At the same time, I know plenty of Domainers who have gone on a buying spree, and I think they’re going to be disappointed when they find out that nobody wants to buy their .DEV domains.

Here’s what I see going down right now. Developers around the world now know that .DEV exists, some of these people haven’t heard of just about any other new gTLD so for them, the opportunity to register something they really wanted exists…or, err, did exist, but not any more.

Like any new domain name extension that goes into GA, all the good names get scooped up, quickly. While some people did shell out the big bucks to buy super premiums in early access, 48-hours into GA and a lot of the best .DEV names were gone. I’ve heard a number of people in the tech world complain that Google made all this buzz about .DEV and then everything they go to register is already taken.

So it goes.

The reality is, most of the people who want to buy .DEV domains now, really just wanted to hand-register the .DEV name they had in mind. When they found out it was taken, they weren’t thinking for a minute, oh maybe I’ll pay thousands of dollars for the name, they just shrugged and moved on.

I shared the .DEV domains that I bought, none of which that I expect to resell since like I said in the title of this post, I think .DEV domains are great for developers, but not for Domainers. What I do think we will see is a lot of .DEV domains getting built out over the next six months. I think .DEV lends a lot of credibility and I don’t know but something tells me it wouldn’t be surprising to see .DEV domains rank better for dev-related topics, heck the extension is owned by Google.

If you’re a Domainer who went on a .DEV buying spree, don’t hold your breath when it comes to selling these names…but if you’re considering developing them out, I think you could be pretty happy with the results. We’ll have to see as time goes on but I think .DEV is a win for devs, but like most new gTLDs will be a loss for Domainers.

Want to buy domains that you can sell for a profit? Go .COM. Want to build a geeky site about a topic you think developers will dig, I think .DEV could be a great pick.

(Image credit – https://devdojo.com/articles/get-your-dev-domain-name)

.GG is becoming quite popular in the eSports world

Sat, 2019-03-02 03:21

.GG, it’s a domain extension that you might not have heard of before, and if you have heard about it, it probably means you’re interested in eSports. While .GG isn’t popular for Domainers, startups, or really just about anyone – it has become a go-to extension in the eSports world and is now used by some of the top teams brands in the world.

Here are just a few examples.

NRG eSports is one of the top eSports teams in the world. It has a ton of celebrity investors including Kevin Nagle, one of the owners of the Sacramento Kings, JLo, Anthony Noto (COO of Twitter and former CFO of the NFL), and many more. They have their site located at NRG.gg, and don’t own the .COM.

Evil Geniuses is the #2 top grossing eSports team in the world. To-date they’ve made over 21 million dollars winning tournaments. They happen to be one of my personal favorite teams and yes, they can be found at EvilGeniuses.gg.

Cloud9 is another top ranking eSports team that has won over $8M in tournaments. You get can probably guess where to find them, Cloud9.gg.

As for .GG sales, a .GG name sold on Sedo a couple of weeks ago, bet.gg for $8,503, a week before that t1.gg sold for $1,846, also on Sedo. I personally don’t own any .GG domains and it’s probably not an area I’d look at investing in much since I really don’t think someone is going to spend big bucks to get a .GG name, but it’s still an interesting market to watch.

If you’re looking to buy a .GG domain, the best place I know to get them is 101Domain.com where you can register them for $129 a pop. Not the cheapest domain extension but if you think about it, anyone who really wanted to buy it from you could probably shell out $1,500 don’t you think? Who knows, I have no experience selling them so your guess is as good as mine for now.

With the growth of eSports outpacing just about every traditional sport the big question is, will .GG see strong growth with it? What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

Did you buy any .DEV domains today? Here’s what I bought

Fri, 2019-03-01 06:16

Well it’s official, .DEV is now in General Availability which means that anyone can buy one, as long as they’re able to navigate the somewhat complicated pricing that Google has setup. The pricing for .DEV is honestly one of the strangest I’ve seen yet, and while there is definitely some logic to it, figuring that logic out is pretty challenging.

Some domains you can register for around $12, others cost $64, and some are between $100 – $200, others are some random number in the $400 range, some are in the $900 range. I guess the pricing has to do what what some people at Google thought particular names “could” sell for, but I think a lot of these arbitrary prices are just going to keep people out of the .DEV space in the early days.

I personally don’t think .DEV is going to be a good investment but as a software developer myself I did buy a handful of names today. I told myself I wouldn’t spent more than $100 and since when I got o Vegas I typically let myself spend about $100 on craps, I figured, this would be a similar gamble with probably somewhat similar odds. At the same time, I did pick up one .DEV domain that I did really want and that I plan to hold onto forever – morganlinton.dev. I’ll likely build a personal site here linking to Github and sharing some of the coding projects that I’ve done for fun over the years.

Otherwise, here’s the other .DEV names I bought today:

TQDM.dev – a popular Python library that I’m a fan of

Sting.dev – solid one-word name and I could see plenty of libraries/algorithms being called Sting

SKLearn.dev – I was pretty excited to get this one, it’s my favorite Python machine learning library

Nickle.dev – another one-word name I found for $12

MorganLinton.dev – my favorite!

MatPlotLib.dev – another Python library I’m a big fan of

Dazzle.dev – another one-word .DEV that was available for $12

So I spent a total of $84, got MorganLinton.dev and am genuinely excited about SKLearn.dev which I think I will likely develop into a resource for other SciKit Learn developers since it’s my personal favorite machine learning library. I’ll probably do the same with MatPlotLib.dev as this is a pretty badass math library in Python and I think I could probably put together a fun little mini-site with some good info for people who want to get started with the library.

My expectations – $0 in profit, a few names that are fun to build out, and likely other names that I drop next year and turn out to be a waste of money, for $84, worth it for me. For anyone planning on buying up a bunch of .DEV domains as a “good” investment, plan on an ROI of 0% but if you have fun while doing it, go for it. Just remember, .COM is where you should be making your investments as a Domainer.

Did you buy any .DEV names today?

NameCheap breaks the 200,000 mark with free .ME domains for students

Thu, 2019-02-28 05:41

NameCheap has been doing something pretty cool that I thought would be good to spread the word about. Since 2014, the company has been giving away .ME domain names to students and educators through their “NameCheap University” initiative on NC.me.

“The “Namecheap University” (nc.me) initiative and website launched in 2014, offering free .me domains, and low-cost GitHub and Exposure bundles. The free product offer is available to all students, teachers, administrators and educators with a .edu email address. Since its inception, the program has helped thousands of students create a free online portfolio, resume, blog – or virtually any other type of personal website. The nc.me product offerings have also been integrated into the curriculum of several high school and college computer science classes, as well as to provide free domains and web building tools for hackathons and other technology events for students.”(Source – PR Newswire)

This week NameCheap announced that now over 200,000 students and educators around the world have received a free domain name as part of the NameCheap University program. Along with a domain, reduced pricing on GitHub and Exposure are included…which makes me really wish they had this back when I was in college in 1999!

I’ve had the chance to chat with the founder of NameCheap, Richard Kirkendall a number of times over the years and have always been impressed with his focus on giving back. Since the early days of NameCheap Richard has always found ways to support entrepreneurs, startups, and educational institutions around the world.

The NC.me program is just one example of the many things that NamesCheap has been doing to champion innovation in the educational space. I’ve also come across NameCheap quite a bit at hackathons where they’ve provided free domains and resources for teams building really interesting and cutting-edge products:

“Last year Namecheap also sponsored and introduced its first ever “Namecheap Innovation Award” at MedHacks 2018. The Johns Hopkins student-organized hackathon teams up America’s most talented coders with its brightest medical students so they can compete to solve health issues with innovative new technology.”

Hats off to the whole team at NameCheap – 200,000 domains is a huge milestone and they’ve set a high bar when it comes to building an organization that truly cares about giving back and making an impact!

Will the launch of .DEV impact the value of .IO domain names?

Tue, 2019-02-26 17:03

Well it’s official, .DEV is here, and since the new registry is being run by Google, it’s safe to say there’s a nice marketing budget behind it. I personally think .DEV is a pretty solid extension for developers or anything dev-related and being three characters it’s short and very easy to remember.

Before I go any further let me just say that like most new gTLDs, I don’t think .DEV is a great buy for domain investors. While I might pick up a few myself I expect to sell 0% of what I buy. For any new domain investors out there who think they could make a fortune by buying up .DEV domains and reselling them, I think you’ll end up losing a lot of money.

Okay, with that said, now onto the subject of this post – will .DEV impact the value of .IO domain names?

.IO has seen strong growth over the last few years, and a lot of that growth as come from its use as a domain extension for developers and products that deliver via an API. There are tons of examples of venture-backed companies that built their brand and raised tens of millions of dollars on a .IO domain name.

Now the question is, for a company that was going to buy a .IO domain will they now look at a .DEV instead? If they do, does this mean .IO domains will have to sell for less in order to stay competitive?

Here’s my take.

First, I think that .DEV will chip away at a segment of the .IO market. For example, if you’re a developer at Google named Shmoogle and you want to put up a personal site with a link to your Github repo and a bit more about you as a developer, you might have had your heart set on Shmoogle.io, now you might actually prefer Shmoogle.dev.

On the flip side, if you’re a company like Keen, which raised $29M, and is a developer-focused solution delivered as an API, the .IO probably makes more sense.

So will this impact the value of .IO domains? I don’t think it will overall but it could in some cases where someone is relatively agnostic and interested in either in which case usually the lowest price wins. There really hasn’t been another extension associated with developers since .IO hit the market so this is the first time we’ll see a direct competitor. Of course, my crystal ball is probably just as good as yours so only time will tell.

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

Why I’m so excited about Rick’s Asheville Domainer Meetup

Tue, 2019-02-26 04:14

I went to book my hotel room for Rick Schwartz’s Domainer MeetUp in Asheville this summer and got an error. It turns out I’m not the only one because he actually sold out his first block of hotel rooms in the first 24-hours that they became available. Luckily another 45 rooms will come online soon so I’m going to try my luck again tomorrow morning.

I’ve had a number of people ask me if I’m attending this event and asking if they should go, my answer is yes and yes. I think the event sounds like a lot of fun and I thought I’d share some of the reasons why I’m looking forward to it.

My very first domain conference was TRAFFIC back in 2010. I can still remember how nervous I was. Rick was incredibly welcoming and made me feel right at home, in fact I had breakfast with Rick, Ron Jackson and Howard Neu my first morning. I was really amazed at how welcoming they were. What I learned is that as Domainers we all share a really great common bond, we’re like a family, and Rick knows how to make an event where everyone can be together in a really special way.

I’m excited to see Rick again and to be a part of his very first Asheville Domainer MeetUp, here’s the reasons why I think you’d get a lot out of it too:

  • As Domainers we really can learn so much from each other. Spending three days with other Domainers is likely the most effective way to accelerate your knowledge and share with others.
  • Asheville is a really nice place and there’s something relaxing about being there, like the pace of life just slows down a bit. Couple this with a truly magical venue and I think you’ll be able to take a step back from the chaos of everyday life. It’s when you’re relaxed that you can often get the most perspective.
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn sounds like a really incredible hotel, I found this article about it in Forbes that’s worth a read if you’re trying to decide whether to stay at the hotel or not
  • The food. If you’ve ever been to an event that Rick’s behind, you know the food is absolutely amazing. I’m really looking forward to eating some great meals with other Domainers.
  • The agenda. It’s not going to be packed with things, instead it sounds like everyone is going to be doing the same things together each day.

You can save $100 on registration for the event if you register before March 25th, the link to register is here. That being said, given that the first hotel block sold out in 24-hours I don’t think you’ll be able to get a hotel room if you wait until the 24th which is why I’m trying again tomorrow morning.

Thanks to Rick for putting this event together. I’m always amazed that Rick takes the time to do this because let’s be honest, he doesn’t have to do this, he’s made enough money with domains to never work again. Like I said above, Rick made me feel like family at my first (and every other TRAFFIC) and I think he’s doing this because he really just loves our industry and the people it brings together.

If you’re reading this, you’re a part of the family, whether you’ve only sold one domain in your entire life, or your full time job is Domaining, I think you’ll find an incredibly welcoming group of people ready to share and learn together in Asheville this summer.

Note: I am not being paid to write this and I don’t get any special rates on anything related to this event. I have been so impressed with the events Rick he had me sold the day he announced this event.

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