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My experiences from DomainX 2017, New Delhi

Myself with Manmeet Pal Singh (left) and Gaurav Kohli (right) at DomainX 2017

The DomainX 2017, held at New Delhi on August 05, 2017 featured plenty of standard fare, from keynotes by industry leaders and deep dives into hot topics, to interactive panels with professionals from both inside and outside the domain industry.

For me it was a very engaging experience because of these 3 facts:

1. This was the first time ever that I attended an Exclusive Domaining event that happened in India.

2. Since 1999, I had been doing this all alone – Searching Domains, Registering Domains, Putting them on Sale, Checking Sales of others, reading Blogs and Tips from fellow domainers (mostly based out of India). This was first time I had a first hand interaction with Domainers from India and I bet their experience and knowledge is No Less than any other Domainers based out of India.

3. Well, this one came as a complete surprise to me when they announced my name on the stage – I won an award for the “DomainX .in evangelist of the year 2016-2017“. Its an awesome feeling, to get recognized for your hard work. As for me, I am working and will keep working for the betterment of community.

We all know that Buying domains is easy but selling the right domain at the right price to the perfect buyer is an art. This year’s DomainX was focused upon Selling of Domains, adhering with the copyright/trademark issues, developing domains into great web properties and many more interesting and productive topics.

Every one was really impressed with the variety of the schedule and the incorporation of considerable content.

I did not attend the DomainX 2016, but I had heard DomainX 2016 delivered more than it had promised, because it did so by utilizing the energy of its founder, Manmeet Pal Singh, and his team of hard working people. This year too, they lived upto the expectation and even more. The show was hosted by Gaurav Kohli, who is a very good speaker and also the president of DNOAI (Domain Name Owners Association of India).

Following are a few highlights of the conference as per my experience after attending the DomainX 2017:

1. Established New Connections with extremely talented, young(er) people, in the Indian Domain Name Industry. Learnt from them, interacted and started networking with the Indian Domaining Industry’s who’s who.

2. Met the Legends. Indian Domaining does not Only cover the .in ccTLD, infact most of the Indian Domainers are into .com and other general TLDs. As they themselves say, there is no better opportunity than this for budding domain name owners, investors and entrepreneurs to connect and learn from experts.

3. Learnt from the suggestions, recommendations, feedback and criticism even, from people whose minds think differently than I do. It’s important to expand one’s vision, to accept as much knowledge as possible in order to improve oneself.

4. Met my Domainer Friends. This was the most important point of attending DomainX for me. I have interacted through Phone Calls and WhatsApp, with almost all the top-notch people in Indian Domaining, living inside and outside India. Interestingly, I had not met any of them earlier. It was now at DomainX 2017 when I actually met most of them, shook hands and talked with them in real time.

5. Witnessed people’s excitement over simple interactions, from quick conversations to analysis of business practices. I was able to share some facts from my experiences to feel useful and appreciated at the same time.

6. Assimilated the wide variety of ideas, plans, projects, and actions in an industry that came together to communicate, exchange and co-inspire.

Last but not least, what started as a passion for Manmeet Pal Singh (founder of DomainX) is now spreading awareness and exposure through his efforts towards uniting the whole Domaining community in India. That covers domain name investors, domain name registrars, ICANN officials, and domain name enthusiasts who are always trying to broaden their knowledge and learn latest skills and technologies.

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Are .net domains still any good ?

Are .net domains still any good ?

We all know .net TLD stands for Network.

We also know that when we learn about Domain Names and TLDs in particular, the second TLD that comes right after the .com is, .net followed by the .org.

.com stands for Commercial or Company to some, so when you try to brand your business is that really the full form of these Extensions that matter to you or other factors like price, availability, etc.

There are certainly some instances where .net as an extension makes more sense but where the .com extension is still a better branding decision.

Choosing .com as an extension offers the advantage of being the default assumption for web surfers. If someone tells their friend about this awesome service called “Facebook,” they are more likely to try facebook.com rather than facebook.net.

Having said that, there are still many brands using .net as their choice of company identity rather than a .com (Yes, even if the .com is available!).

According to market research by VeriSign, .net is still considered the most “trustworthy” of all domain endings.

In terms of SEO, your domain name extension makes no difference what so ever, its really the Uniqueness of your content and how rich your content is, is what really matters. We should also try to have the domain name match the keyword search phrase if doing SEO, it is a good practice anyway. .net from what I have seen is second best to a .com.

Also, .net domains seem to be a wise option if the .com is taken or is listed as a premium domain for several thousands of dollars.

Recently, there was a .net Promotion running on from some domain name registrars and following are a few .net I registered for myself:

TalkingCar.net

TalkingRobot.net

Well, I think what I registered is “the future“, in .net!

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What is better – Domain Expiry or Domain Auctions ?

What is better - Domain Expiry or Domain Auctions ?

Domainers only care about what happens to expired domains when they want to buy them.

But we don’t think about What the Registrar will do with our domain name if we don’t renew it.

Perhaps expired domains should be the spoils for a registrar’s hard work getting customers to register domains in the first place.

If they let it simply expire, the expired domains would go to whoever has the best drop catching technology.

But most expired domains are auctioned off through exclusive relationships, sending money back to the domain registrar.

Is one of these more fair than the other? In the first model the registrars get nothing, in the second they get a cut. Someone has to have an advantage getting expired domains. Who should it be?

We also have some registrars that keep domains for themselves. But that creates a conflict of interest with customers.

A registrar may not push a customer for renewal because it wants to keep or sell the domain itself. When a registrar gains a LOT more from a customer’s domain expiring than they do from a renewal it puts way too much temptation to lose or forget to help customers renew their domains. It’s as simple as that — the registrar can do whatever they want without breaking any rules. They are the ones in control and can do as they please. Business is business. They will tap into all avenues in hopes of generating a few bucks here and there.

ICANN should delegate a company to do the job of selling the dropped domains with an auctioning system, and keep the money that could benefit to develop some parts of Internet.

But in this case, the registrars would certainly heavily promote a system to prevent the domain expiration by suggesting the domain owner to sell instead of letting expire.

Thus, the registrar are certainly in a strong position.

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Why some Domain Name Auctions are Under-Sold

Why some Domain Name Auctions are Under-Sold

Sometimes we hear news about a Domain Name being sold in an online auction, for what we consider is less than its minimum deserving price. Is it really a Fixed/Fake Auction or there could be any other genuine reason for it too…?

I would like to make case-study of a domain sale here, which happened in 2009.

The Domain was – Toys.com

Toys.com earlier sold for $1,250,000 in 2009, as part of a bankruptcy court proceeding, and again sold for $5,100,000 after a re-auction was ordered by the bankruptcy court.

So, what does that say about the value of domains or domain auctions?

How does a domain at auction sell one week for $1.25 million and the next week for over $5 Million ?

Simple.

The first auction only a few people knew about or participated in, causing the end price to be below market value.

The re-auction had other participants who did not have knowledge of the first auction, like National A-1 and Toys R Us.

Domain values and auction selling prices depend on how well publicized the auction is, who is involved in the auction, and how desirable the domain is.

I would like to quote Owen Frager here, who once said – The irony is that the domain business is all about advertising yet no one wants to invest in advertising their domains.

We all know one thing – If you have the right domain and the right bidders you will have a sale.

But if you have bidders but not the right kind of bidders you will have a sale, but the sale will be at a fraction of the price it could be if you had the right kind of bidders.

I had also read somewhere that Frank Schilling was in until $2.9million.

It is all about reaching out to the right buyers. In this case, it was just two who bidded up and went at it for over an hour from $3m – $5m.

Many were confident that Toys R Us would pick up this domain in the re-auction because they already have toys.co.uk and just bought the other week eToys.com which they were already including in press releases.

But End user perception, need and valuation are having very little to do with metrics.

For example, Pizza.com would have gone higher if Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa Johns knew about the sale.

Educating and informing end users go hand in hand. It is our responsibility as domainers to do our part if we want to see this industry move forward.

There has been enough constructive advice written for years to work with, and we can now add the power of social networking to reach our goals.

We need to think creatively and find ways to come out of semi-closed circles.

Awareness and Exposure, not only by the Seller But by all of us who know about the auctions happening is essential. If we all work together we can boost up domain prices and exposure.