The Rick Schwartz Equation

Morning Folks!!

Go brew a pot of coffee, this is going to take a few minutes. What started as a simple equation blossomed into all types of adventures and mis-steps and examples in real-time that absolutely support my equation. An equation that may be all but lost in the clutter of events that just had great timing and so here we are. I think the word "Clusterf*ck" is just going to be more spot on with every passing day. I thought it would happen in very slow motion, but it is accelerating even faster than I would have imagined and I suggest there will be popcorn to replace the coffee by the end of this post.

We all see what we see and we all know what we know.  I come to conclusions early based on certain elements that fit in my personal equation. This equation filters out CRAP, HYPE and NOISE. It filters out the losers FIRST and spotlights the winners NEXT. That makes my job easier and pisses off the ones that don't win and/or don't count as much. Those folks have a tougher job to convince me and other people whether domainers or end users to buy into their vision.

Each new gTLD has or SHOULD HAVE a separate vision.  Is that not a reasonable assumption? I have learned many do not as stunning as it sounds. So is it my fault for asking about the "Vision" thing?

I have been writing this blog post for over 2 weeks now and I have been deciding whether to post it or not. Meanwhile I just keep working on it and whether it sees the light of day will just depend on who knows what. But events just keep unfolding that dovetail with what I have been saying.

I have written extensively about the new gTLD's EARLY to be on record and to be REAL and that showed a vivid difference in how and WHEN  I view the world compared to many others. And in my view of the world, nothing happens until a sale is made and I did my best to explain that. And while people throw around invisible sales numbers without actually ever making a sale, well, that is a MAJOR red flag to me. I know how hard sales is. I know how hard sustaining sales is. I know how hard growing sales is. I also know the difference between a solid sale and a weak sale. A sale that will survive and a sale that will collapse or end up being a loss.

I see things early for a reason and it is based on an equation.

I have gotten several emails about Moniker.com and their problems this week and folks want me to write about it. Well I did, 3 YEARS ago when I transferred all my domains out. It was not my first post on the subject as you will see. The Moniker mess happened 3 YEARS ago but the train wreck happened last week. Folks had AMPLE opportunity to heed the warnings. I still have about 14 domains there. Mostly .tel. But thousands were moved away. 

There will be a lot of elbows flying in gTLD land as we have seen with the firestorm of last week with Negari and Network Solutions, that just continues and now the plot thickens as Berryhill, Corwin, Negari and the ICA join others in the industry for a circular firing squad.

The skirmishes will intensify and broaden as there are a lot of competing interests. There are a lot of ponies in this horse race and the rails on either side are not enough to contain them. So you are going to see a vivid example of some raw nerves between other gTLD operators develop. You can't see this coming? Really?? REALLY????

Why is this a sure bet???

SALES BABY! SALES! They NEED sales. They are drowning without sales. They are choking for cash as it is in many cases. That is THEIR reality.

Not only that, but If you play in a game you set up with no rules, then don't complain when somebody breaks the rules or extends the boundary lines. Where does HYPE turn the corner and become DECEPTION? There are the nuances that are in play here. The debate is wide and the fallout is still in progress. The answers are murky. Deal with it. It's just part of the clusterf*ck that will play out in time.

I also understand that many bloggers are under a lot of pressure from different camps to write positive stories about them or gTLD's in general. Some have just about lost their entire credibility. Even Howard is pressuring me not to post things I am about to say. But I could give a rats ass about getting another sponsor or not. I won't sell my soul for that. If they can't figure it out, so be it. I will say what I BELIEVE and not what my FRIENDS want me to say.

Hats off to those like Konstantinos Zournas, MIke Berkens, Ron Jackson,  Kevin Murphy and others that report whatever facts they can find and I know for a fact that the pressure these bloggers are under is IMMENSE. And they are getting it from both sides. 

Sales have to be created and WE and everyone else has a RIGHT and a DUTY as well as an obligation to be skeptical if you are a serious investor.  You should EXPECT to have you feet held to the fire. Especially since we already had prior evidence that only a fool would ignore of how previous tld's have fared in our short history.

How do you create a sale?

You start with NEED, WANT and DESIRE. And in our case you can add SUPPLY and DEMAND. Other variables as well as you are about to see. And there are even more obstacles than I am going to discuss that is why I wrote so many posts coming at things from various ways and all of them had huge pitfalls. These are compounded obstacles and I am not sure any can survive them all. Especially when they are blind to them.

That said......

How do you create sales when you don't start with NEED, WANT and DESIRE from the right party and the supply is unlimited and the demand is almost non-existent and self-made??? And keep in mind, over 80% of all registrations are by domainers and the Registry's themselves or closely held companies. aka, Bag of smoke. Some say 90%. They say 33% and that is just laughable.

How do folks KNOW they need something they don't even know exists to begin with? This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exponential. Many icebergs because everyone at least gets hungry. Of course business may suck if you are a hamburger stand setting up shop at a vegetarian convention and you have no veggie burgers.

Hold on to your horses, it will all make sense soon to anyone that can have a warped thinking process like me.

This is NOT bashing gTLD's. It may as well be zoombibie stands. The RESULT would be almost the same.  What's a "Zoombibie stand"? A Zoombibie stand is as foreign and unknown to you as gTLD's are to the end-user.  Got that? Do you need one??? How long have you lived without a zoombibie?? Really?? Whose job is it to sell you that Zoombibie that you don't know about and probably could care less about? What color is yours? What happens when a competitor comes in and they have to SPLIT the zoombibie market?? Are only distributors buying zoombibies and they can't resell to the end-user?

The commodity you have does not matter. Coffee shops, hamburger stands. Lemonade stands, pizza joints. You name it. The thing with gTLD's, they are exponentially harder and few want to take the time to truly examine why.

The keyword is CREATE.

Zoombibie has to CREATE sales!

But to create sales, there has to be a DEMAND to begin with.

And you do that with REASONS.
REASONS are the SEEDS of PERSUASION.

(Reasons have to be valid. In sales, when you get caught in a lie, game over)

But first you have to CIRCULATE.

And you have to know how big your AUDIENCE is.

So that you can TARGET them properly.

Assuming there is DEMAND

We know there is DEMAND by several groups. The Registry, the Registrar and the speculative domainer. The speculative domainer is not the customer of the Registry as they have made pretty clear. But the same Registry is depending on the market makers who are the speculative domainers to make things happen. Sounds like a HUGE disconnect to me and many are starting to pay the price for that wrong-minded thinking process.


How big is the zoombibie audience? You still don't know what a zoombibie is? This isn't your grandfathers zoombibie. This is a much better and bigger zoombibie that will allow you to do more things. Just don't ask about what specific things they are. Way too deep.

Sorry for the caps in this post but this is more of an equation and a theory than paragraphs. And you also have to know that THEY (the consumer in any form they come in) are in control of all of their destiny's. If they don't eat the smelly fish or the rotten meat, the restaurant closes and goes out of business. PERIOD! No matter the hype.


Nobody on this planet woke up this morning looking for a zoombibie. But you NEED it because I said so. Isn't that a good reason?? 


Today alone we say .Berlin start giving their extension away for FREE! When you can't sell something, you give it away. They more than doubled their 48,000 registrations in less than 24 hours. EXPECT others to follow suit. That is definitely going to screw up the marketing plans of other registries that are already choking for cash. It gets UGLY from here on out folks. Can't see that one either?? REALLY??

 

So if you subscribe to this quasi-equation, and I do, then many will be able to see what I see and why I don't take MOST of the gTLDs seriously at this point in time.  That does not mean I am right and that does not mean I can't be PERSUADED.  But my job is not to persuade myself. That's THEIR job and they need many reasons that are VALID to get there. Tough questions are survived by straight answers and that is how you tell a solid and good product or service. Then I might buy a zoombibie. Right now, I can live without it. 


This just means that I have a method behind my handicapping that has served me well for decades and I am just sharing my mental process of one of the ways I might reach a conclusion or form an opinion. But that does not mean I can not be persuaded. But that only comes with solid information and benefits. A VISION that holds up against reality and scrutiny. Imagine a car salesman being afraid to answer questions about the vehicle he is selling. He wants to make a quick buck and you are looking for long-term reliable transportation. Not exactly a win-win. Once he lies about one thing, you can only do one thing. LEAVE! And that is exactly what most folks would do.


Someone wins, someone loses. If you invest unwisely LIKE SO MANY DO, you are going to be at the wrong end of that equation. As long as you are prepared and EXPECT to lose 100%, then you are okay. No worries.  But expect to lose 100% TIMES however many years you keep each domain name.


Folks want to hear what they want and they want to ignore what they want. Folks are afraid to state the obvious or even truly examine both sides to get to a proper balance without forcing the wanted outcome. To me .ceo,.rich and .horse are extensions that are in real danger of dying on the vine. They will be joined by many others. How can I be so certain??? Please just study the equation. It is a roadmap. Look at the STALLED daily registrations. .Rich has had THREE registrations in the last FIVE WEEKS! STUDY the numbers, they are pathetic at best. This is their debut. Demand does not look very high and a new broom sweeps clean.


Just days before the original launch in January I posted this on my blog about .Club and how they were the ones doing it right and now you can look back and see how it DOVETAILED with REALITY! It appears they have the most human placed registrations.


Figuring it out and getting it RIGHT EARLY counts and it is the equation above that makes picking winners and losers EASIER! Cutting to the chase has value. Knowing the answer before the question is asked has value. Great value in some cases. And I am not conceding that the most registrations = the most valuable gTLD or the one to invest in if any. But this is the yard stick many seem to be using for the sake of discussion. So it is our only measuring stick at the moment since there is little else to point to. Just keep this yardstick in mind as well. .mobi as a Registry is a total success. .Mobi as an Investment is a total failure. Can't folks LEARN and understand that equation?? I could give a rats ass about the success of a Registry. We are talking about investing. Until you separate the two, good luck going broke!


With 1400 new extensions those that think they will all survive and then also be meaningful are either not dealing with reality or have not been in business long enough to understand how business works. How sheer numbers work. So if they were to LOGICALLY look at the 1400, and right now we have about 125 LIVE, they can already see which ones are in DANGER of either dying on the vine, never getting any recognition or traction or just not being meaningful or relevant at all. PigeonShit gTLD's for a lack of a better phrase. This is the first heat of TEN segments to get to that 1400 number. I think I clearly picked the winner of this phase. Until I see the CONSUMER actually EMBRACE these new extensions, it's all inside baseball. The consumer hold all the wildcards.  There are several layers of consumers. But I am talking about end users and the actual person on the street.


So the first thing to do logically is remove the DEAD HORSES OFF THE TRACK!


Did you watch the race on Saturday? Imagine that race with 1400 horses in the SAME gate and the LOGICAL first question would be how many would be TRAMPLED in the STAMPEDE getting out of the gate!?? How many other horses will trip on the dead horses and also go down? Just logical questions. The ultimate question is who will win the race? I guess if you were LOGICAL you would say to yourself that I may not be able to pick the winner right away but if I pick the top 10 horses and isolate them I have a much better chance. Most bet on one horse and MOST lost. Even the gtld tracker tracks the top 10 and all the "Others" are lumped into one category. "other". Why?? Who came in 10th in the race n Saturday? Nobody knows and nobody cares.


And that means that 1390 gTLD's will be NAGS  Or maybe it will be 1300. Not a huge difference. Most will be meaningless is the only point I am trying to make. MOST. The majority. So that means they did not die on the vine, they are just as irrelevant as .aero and .travel are today along with many more that nobody wants to really invest in. How many times do you have to see the same SAD movie and still hope for a HAPPY ENDING?


How many want to bet on California Chrome to win the Belmont and the Triple Crown today? Place your bets! He LOST! Sorry. We all rooted for him to win. But he LOST. REALITY! See that is not being against gTLD's folks, that's called not being stupid and dealing with reality. We can do the what ifs all day long. But he lost. Yes, he lost because of a GASH inflicted by another horse and we will see that with gTLD's as well.  So if a gash did the damage to change history imagine what 1000 dead horses will do to change it.


Sorry folks. There is no happy ending to this movie. Get your Kleenex out!


And then all this wraps right back around to:

How do you create NEED, WANT and DESIRE?

The keyword is CREATE.

And you do that with REASONS and BENEFITS.

REASONS are the SEEDS of PERSUASION.

BENEFITS are what is important to your customer not what is important to the seller.

And you make the sale with a LOGICAL argument to support your vision.


What grade would you like to give the marketing so far folks? Invisible marketing seems to be on top of that heap don't ya think? If you don't buy into my zoombibie, you are a moron and you are old school and you are an idiot. lol. GREAT marketing!


Efficacythe ability to produce a desired or intended result. I don't see that as a widespread ability when it comes to gTLD's.  Do you??


Besides all these GIVEN headwinds, it is my belief that many of these guys already missed their window of opportunity to market their extensions. As even Michael Berkens has said many times, these are the weaker extensions for the most part. So that means when they DID have their day in the sun they were incapable of taking advantage of THEIR "Unique Opportunity in time". The train is gone for many of them already. I hear they did not have the money to promote and all the rest. Whose fault is that? Whose lack of vision was that? Whose going to be holding the bag when it is all said and done?


Sure there were ICANN delays. Well in business you have to expect things like that and be prepared for it.


So that TRAIN leads DIRECTLY to consolidation. They can't see that one either?? Really? REALLY????


See in my silly view of the world I think it is unreasonable to see why .ceo would be a good investment because no coherent argument can be made for the viability and a REASON to PARK money there. And when the registry comes out with "Their" reasons, they don't dovetail with reality. Everyone laughs and dismisses.


Now I don't mean to pick on .ceo all the time but it is the most glaring example next to .Rich which is just too funny to even spend any time on. And I think .Horse has no better chance of being important and worthy to INVEST in as betting TODAY than California Chrome will win the Triple Crown last Saturday. In any test you usually look and set aside the top and bottom scores. .Web for me is the top score on the chart and .Rich is the bottom score on the chart for me.Actually the bottom is CRAMMED with losers yet to be declared DEAD ON THE VINE.


And let me also state for the record that number if registrations is not the yard stick for measuring success of ANY gTLD.


CONTENT is the key to the survival of any extension. And in this cases, BETTER content is going to be EXPECTED.  So when you look at this onion you can peel it so many different ways and into different conversations. Just be prepared to hold on to those as long as I have to hold on to .mobi. I have great keywords. Big deal!


And there are so many obstacles now after that. Consumer acceptance is always the key to any success. Beta was better. Did not matter. Ask Sony. So these obstacles and facts can even contradict each other. And my main point is the path forward is not straight it is splintered and the pitfalls immense. And as we have seen and as I have said for over a year now, one bad deed with one spills over to all. Anyone doubt that one now?? We have just seen the beginning of this show and the abuses. I am sure a site will pop up that will chronicle all the abuses that are taking place. I have already lost count. It WILL get MUCH worse.



I always started with my parents. They were my test cases throughout most of my life. They represented Mid-America and how the majority would react to any given new thing. Their input was more valuable than anyone else. So I do miss that part of my equation.



You can see once you talk about gTLD's one thing leads to another and the whole thing just has not been well thought out and with 1200 MORE to go, the ABUSE and the HYPE has not even started. I have written over a dozen posts just in regards to the horse race and how important and how hard it will be to pick the winners at THIS stage. And what happens to these "Weak" extensions when the strong ones like .web come to life?


We are an intelligent group and we get to ask tough questions and if folks don't like it because they have no answers, that is their choice. I say the numbers are pathetic. Let me define it with this. The day .Web comes to market (and I am not touting .web, but it is just the Odds on Favorite) is the day you will see pathetic defined.  That is an extension we will be counting by the millions and they will LIKELY have more registrations in the first few HOURS than all the gTLD's in the first few MONTHS. Just a FACT waiting to be BORN. Can't see it from here?? Really?? But you can see the value of gTLD's in 10-20 years?? Sorry, that dog won't hunt with me. Don't talk about 10-20 years when some folks doing the talking can't see 10-20 hours, days, weeks or months in front of them.


Is there money to be made in the new gTLD's by domain investors? YES.  But Registry's making money on YOU have nothing to do with your gamble/investment. Chances are more money will be lost 100 times over than made. We can only predict and see how things unfold. But ignoring and not examining all sides of an issue because of peer pressure...........really? Investors NEED to be skeptical regardless of the WANTS and DESIRES of others.


As I said yesterday and will repeat often: "NO DOMAIN INVESTOR has ANY OBLIGATION to support ANY new gTLD whatsoever, so don't buy into that nonsense. On the other hand the gTLD's have an obligation to treat domain investors a lot better than they have.  They need us not the other way around.


We had a superhighway come to be in the early 1990's. It was well thought out and had already been around for a very long time for military use. It had to work right. They built a super-duper worldwide interstate roadway system that changed the world. Now we have over a thousand interstates coming out and many have no real destination, direction or even a plan. If you go down one of those, you are GUARANTEED to run out of gas and you will have no money left to buy anymore. So as long as you are prepared and can afford to lose 100% or more of your investment, you are fine and good to go. But picking the winners is still the single biggest hurdle and only 10% of the extensions are now out. Multiply all the nonsense we have seen by 10 fold and you will see this will not be an easy road. A road that can only get harder to navigate and there are consequences most would just like to ignore and not talk about. Sorry, as investors we DO get to talk about it and your job is to address those concerns if you can.  And if you can't, just get out-of-the-way.


All that said, I will be looking and searching for successes and when I find one, I may place a bet or two. Time tells all and the shakeout we will see is absolutely, 1000% forseeable.  Maybe waiting until the dust settles is not the worst strategy as you will avoid being sucked in by the noise and hype. That way you get to sit back and enjoy the show. I DO NOT see gtld's as a threat. I have seen them as an opportunity from the get go. Brings a lot of eye balls our way. But on the way to opportunity, there is going to be a lots of events. Hype, noise, crashes, clusterf*cks and a lot of dead horses and it will eventually be known as SURVIVOR! Popcorn anyone?


And there is a flaw in this Rick Schwartz equation in this case. There seems to be no end to the pitfalls, obstacles and the dividing lines that are coming. Lots of folks entering the crossfire. Welcome to my world fellas.......better have a thick skin.



Rick Schwartz

BREAKING!! Former CEO of Procter and Gamble During Swash.com Reverse Hijacking set to be Named Obama V.A. Secretary!

Afternoon Folks!!

In just a few minutes President Obama is set to nominate Bob McDonald to head the Department of Veteran Affairs whom you might remember was the CEO of Procter and Gamble when they were convicted of trying to reverse hijack the domain name Swash.com.

In what was I believe the greatest shakeup in 100 years at Procter and Gamble when then CEO Bob McDonald and his nearly entire army of executives were forced to step down.  I contend it was over the Swash.com Reverse Domain Name Hijacking decision as a final straw in which I wrote about extensively. Below is that exact post.

But I also called for his resignation as you can read below as well back in March of 2013:

 

Morning Folks!!

I am not happy that Procter and Gamble has been found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking but I am going to milk this story for every ounce it is worth and it may take me YEARS to do it. When it comes to Domain Names, Procter and Gamble was a guiding light in my book. Great respect because they figured it out. Even tho I vaguely recall them dumping a bunch of domains years ago. I think I might have gotten 1 or 2.

Reverse domain name hijacking (also known as reverse cybersquatting), occurs where a trademark owner attempts to secure a domain name by making false cybersquatting claims against a domain name's rightful owner. In this case not only did P&G make false claims, they also lied outright to the governing panel and got caught!

See when I started, P&G was already out there getting domain names or soon thereafter. So they understood about domain names very early. It is that reason that what they did is particularly troubling. I always liked and respected Procter and Gamble because they always moved well with the time and of course I like everyone else use a lot of their products. But all our lives. All my parents lives. All my grandparents lives and half of the life's of their parents before them. Whew!

They are the warm and fuzzy company that gave us many soap operas and toothpaste and all types of other things we use each and every day. They perfected the TV commercial long before any of us were even in the game or born. So it makes me sad to learn one of my heroes is now a would-be thief had the other party not fought back and exposed their fraud! Well done John Berryhill!

Who made that decision? Who was responsible for P&G overstepping in this outrageous manner? So outrageous that a 3 member panel called them out in a way I don't think I have seen before. Saveme.com case had very strong language. But this language seemed to be harsher in tone. I guess it is open to interpretation. But maybe because it was slapping a business giant as if he had no more standing than you and me. BRAVO!!

I am not mad at them. I am going to use Procter and Gamble to make many points over the next YEARS! Let companies KNOW if P&G is convicted of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, you will be too if you engage in this despicable act. But I would just as well have them tell the story. I'd like to ask why a company worth billions would STAIN their reputation with this act that the common man would find appalling? Why would they not just come to an agreement with the owner? Now they pay the price and the price is priceless. How stupid is that??

I am angry, upset and most of all disappointed in a company that wrote the book on marketing and other things. They were true leaders of an era. Of many eras.

So what MORONIC company wants to be NEXT!!?? Who made the decision to do this? Why did they do it? What transpired that allowed them to risk so much for so little?? That's what I really don't get.

I am very disappointed. I am still going to use their products but they can't force me to look at their company the same ever again. These companies are playing with fire.

Maybe they should do some research into history and see what some little old ladies did to big companies that tried to build malls where their homes were located. This is akin to that. But in an age like this news flies and it is in ink.

Some SCHMUCK working at SOME DEPARTMENT at Procter and Gamble, decided it was worth GAMBLING the reputation of a 172 year old company. 135,000 employees. $79 BILLION in sales in 80 countries. And they had to try and muscle some guy with a domain? What would you call that Mr. CEO of Procter and Gamble?? I CHALLENGE you Mr. McDonald to come to our trade show and explain it to this audience and the wider audience? I CHALLENGE YOU!!??

Wow! What a HUGE blunder. What have you learned? Are you going to use the same tactics again? Are you pissed at me? Maybe you should be pissed but I am not the one you should be pissed at. I would be pissed at the person, department or firm that put the reputation of your 172 year old company on the line and LOST!!??

Besides all this your company, P & G, was found to misrepresent facts to the panel. Nice touch! Were you personally involved in that decision? You should RESIGN TODAY if you were. This is all my personal as well as professional opinion. I'll assume you were not involved in a low level decision that was this stupid and worse.

What say you Mr. McDonald? Personally I am just disappointed that a company I have always looked up to would stoop to this. I am sorry for the bluntness of this post but our industry has suffered from corporate bullies for nearly 20 years and this time the giant of em all went down and went down very hard. Very hard! A company that otherwise has been very wise in their domains and how they have conducted themselves. But now this STAIN and none of your STAIN REMOVERS will be effective on this.

Mr. Berkens points out that your folks LIED to the panel when your company said they did $40 Million in business on the 'swash' product.

“The entire Panel finds it more extraordinary still that in its Complaint the Complainant represented the SWASH brand to be a worldwide brand of longstanding with multi-million dollar sales, stating that over the last 4 years alone the brand had gained sales of over USD 40,000,000.”

“When this was challenged by the Respondent, the Complainant was forced to admit that the brand had only been on the market for 4 years, that sales had been restricted to the USA and that sales over those four years had totaled under USD 60,000.”

Most importantly Mr. Berkens points out one last thing:

Had the Respondent failed to respond, there is a very real risk that the Panel, relying upon the 1993 International registration and the substantial sales volumes claimed for the brand, would have found in favor of the Complainant. This Complaint fell very far short of what the Panel was entitled to expect from a Complainant of this stature.

So your company LIED Mr. McDonald in an effort to STEAL a domain that belongs to another company, Marchex, which just as easily could have been some mom and pop in Iowa that could not defend themselves and let you have the domain. You now join our 'Hall of Shame' and each time somebody is convicted of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, we repost the entire list. Congrats!

So let me ask you directly Mr. McDonald, How many domains has your company gotten that it had to LIE about? Or that they had to make folks spend money they did not have to defend what was rightfully theirs and is now yours? Tell us that. Isn't that a fair question in light of what has happened? Maybe you should WANT to find out. WANT to make it right. If I have something wrong, please let me know.

Sir, I have been doing this for 18 years and what your company did is troubling and it is something that we as risk takers have had to UNFAIRLY endure. There is a free market place. Use it, don't abuse it. Right now you and your 172 year old company have to live with this. It probably means nothing to you but it may mean the WORLD to somebody else. So to get our message out we need to SHAME companies that engage in this abuse as there is no penalty for what we just saw happen. They just walk away.

McdonaldBob McDonald. CEO since 2009

Here is a list of Procter and Gamble Products. The asterisk are their *Billion Dollar Brands*. Come on Mr. McDonald. What say you about this? You sound like a stand up guy that served your country and company well. You have been with the company for 33 years. Don't you want to get to the bottom of this as well? Who put the companies good name in jeopardy for this? Who lied? What idiot is responsible? Marketing? Legal? Finance? Who? How many? Why would you allow this embarrassment to occur again or are you too big to be embarrassed? Any other abuse in the name of your 172 year old company. I sure as hell would want to know if I were in your position.

So we are forced to use Procter and Gamble as an example to sway the next MORON or the next company not to get involved with this despicable act of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). Help us do that Mr. McDonald and you will find an ally and we can call it a great day!

And as I read the history of the company I stopped as it described the 'Joint Venture' that started this company back in 1837. Wonder what Mr. Procter and Mr. Gamble would have done given the same circumstance? Before they even had billions? My instinct says they would have acted in a different manner and somebody there violated a 172 year old trust just because he or she was a cheap bastard that played fast and loose with the facts and refused to pay either fair market value or find an alternative.

Regretfully,

Rick Schwartz

http://www.ricksblog.com/2013/06/proctr-gambles-biggest-management-shakeup-in-100-years/#.U7GX4xYtQ6I

 

And here is the original post on the hijacking:

http://www.ricksblog.com/2013/03/reverse-domain-hijacking-and-the-virtual-scarlett-letter/#.U7GaOBYtQ6I

 

Morning Folks!!

Let's not minimize or maximize the Reverse Domain Name hijacking (RDNH) decision that came down against Procter and Gamble (P&G) over Swash.com back in March. But for a stellar company like P&G it is a black eye they should have never gotten.

So lets just deal with a few facts. This was what I wrote about the fallout back then.

This was my open letter to the CEO Bob McDonald that followed.

That was besides personally contacting each and every communications director for a comment without a single response.

But let's look and see what has happened in the days since. Exactly 90 days if you are counting.

The CEO, Mr.McDonald, steps down "effective immediately" at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend on May 23rd.  "Robert McDonald's four-year struggle to adapt Procter & Gamble Co. to a new world of more frugal consumers and tougher global competition has come to an abrupt end."

bobceo

Did "Frugal" (another word for CHEAP) include giving him or those that report to him the order to try and grab Swash.com?

But that is not all. Then just DAYS later P&G announces "Organization changes". MASSIVE changes. I then asked myself when in my lifetime did I ever see a shakeup like this at Procter and Gamble and I just can't remember one. Can you? They even picked the former ceo A.G. Lafley to get the compnay back on track. Both men in the industry for well in excess of 30 years.

lafleyjpg-4c2b2efd654c4661
A.G. Lafley. Chairman, CEO, President

Straw that broke the camels back? I guess we will never know. But it was a straw and that STAIN remains with this company FOREVER! It happened and somebody in their organization made a very costly and unfortunate mistake. A mistake that could rise to the level of ending a career.

So as domain name investors this is a case we can point other would-be hijackers to which will let them know that no company no matter how big or small are immune to a decision like this and the repercussions that come both personally and professionally. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

All that said, and without being too political, I certainly wish him well in trying to fix the problems that loom at the V.A. that really has a lot of people upset across the political spectrum.

The Walls of Jericho Fall on .xyz

Morning Folks!!

You can only ask questions and let folks answer them as they see fit. They get the rewards if it works and they suffer the consequences when it does not.

The minute I saw the answers by Daniel Negari to the questions posed, I knew his troubles had just begun and was about to get much worse. He just dug a deeper hole. My job was to let things unfold in a natural way and they did. There was little for me to say but to step aside and watch the implosion and the fallout as his non-answers would be picked apart by you the reader in the comment section and would cause the fury that would erupt as it did. My job was not to force the issue. But I could see everything that was about to unfold as it did the moment I read the answers. My very first thought was "The walls of Jericho are about to fall."

Mike Berkens has been writing about and discovered many of the goings on including:  "NSI is responsible for over 80,000 of the 96,246 registrations. If you netted out the NSI registrations .XYZ would have somewhere around 16,000 registrations which would have placed it around number 12 on the list.”

Others like Konstantinos Zournas have exposed this from the get go and he calculates they would be in 34th place not first.

I think folks like Ron Jackson, that has been covering Negari and .xyz for a while, feel duped.

Many others had their say as well and opinions are VERY strong.

I only posed one follow-up question and it went like this: "My only question is did you know about the network solutions deal in any way shape or form?" And I got the standard NDA answer.

I think the NDA violation would have been less damaging than the fallout already suffered by both these companies. 

I thought Negari would have come here and fielded the questions and concerns. I think not doing so only hurt his cause further inside the domaining community and made the firestorm much worse and will last much longer. I have been in this business a very long time and I don't think I have ever seen this level of anger by so many different corners of the industry. They feel as if a hoax as been perpetrated on them and the anger has grown each day that it has continued.

And when it comes to Network Solutions, they have done damage akin to Moniker years ago. I think they both need to DESTROY the NDA and come set the record straight. I think the one with most exposure is Network Solutions and where is ICANN?? No NDA is worth pissing away your reputation for.

I just hope when the next gTLD tries to pull something cute, the outrage is just as great. Friend or foe. RIGHT???

Now you KNOW what HYPE looks like in the RAW form but don't think for a minute that others are lily-white. Please! The shenanigans are way over the top. My advice, stop the bullshit and run clean businesses before you are ALL linked by the belly button. So stop the clawbacks and make sure you speak out loud the next time that happens.  It did not affect me personally but I think the practice is absolutely disgusting and I will continue to bring it up.

I guess it will be a few more days before they really get to 1 million registrations.

Lastly, NO DOMAINER has ANY OBLIGATION to support ANY new gTLD whatsoever, so don't buy into that nonsense. On the other hand the gTLD's have an obligation to treat domainers a lot better than they have.  They need us not the other way around.

Coming Next: The Rick Schwartz Equation

Rick Schwartz

BREAKING!! Gtld’s Reach 1 Million Registrations in just 6 months!! Sound the Trumpets!!

Afternoon Folks!!

Gtld's Reach 1 Million in just 6 months!! Gtld's Reach 1 million in just 6 months!! Gtld's Reach 1 Million in just 6 months!! Gtld's Reach 1Million in just 6 months!! Let me repeat as you will see this SPIN on every domain blog and further. But what a load of CRAP!

The numbers are PATHETIC! The lack of marketing is REMARKABLE. Their attitude to domainers in some cases is off the hook.

Many promising millions of registrations and here we have over 125 extensions out and COMBINED they can barely get to a million after several months and NONE have even broken 100,000 mark. Well over 125 extensions and COMBINED they will have a party at a million. Whoopee! Really??

Watch http://ntldstats.com/tld daily and you will see that the MAJORITY of gTLD's have already STALLED. And this is still their debut period!! It gets worse from here not better. If they were planes, they would have already crashed and burned.

How many registered by end users that are not domainers and are not buying for defensive purposes? Trumpet that number if you can find it or figure it out. Get your binoculars out. It may be in the far distant future if at all.

How many MILLIONS of other TLD's were registered in the same time frame? Look at that data. With no trumpets or any fanfare. Where are the headlines? Most of them to REAL end users. And when one gTLD does something bad it tarnishes all of them. Something I have said for quite some time but many just dismiss. Misdeeds by one spill over to all and I have been stating that LONG before any came to market. How you could NOT see that coming is my only question??

Those that can make a coherent argument of why they belong in the eco system have a chance and that is why I have repeatedly said I believe there is a place for the .Geos in the eco system. Still not a sure bet. But at least there appears to be or could be a rhyme and a reason. An obvious rhyme and reason. But even so, it does not guarantee adaptation and other hurdles that many like to ignore and get pissed when I point out.

The obstacles they face IMHO are almost insurmountable and  the BIG obstacles they face are yet to come.  Can a few of the 1400 break thru? YES, maybe. That means that over 1300 won't. And I don't care if the registry makes money. That has NOTHING to do with investing in their extensions. Adaptation is what counts, not their profits or their losses. Inside baseball that has no bearing on anything. Buy into the company if you think the extension is that good and you like the registry model.  But last time I looked most of us are domain investors.  Just because 1400 companies decide to print stamps does not mean they become collectibles. Chances are quite the opposite.

Kool-aid and hype. The desert is coming soon and DOMAINERS are picking up almost the entire tab and being totally abused in the process. This practice of clawing back valuable domains is just one of many unethical practices I see going on right now and domainers are not ony powerless, but these companies now EXPECT to have the domain investor PAY FOR THIER MISTAKES! Keep eating shit folks.

The exaggerations are over the top. The promises are empty. The attitude to anyone that does not fall in line is stunning.

So I decided to Pre-empt the coming headlines in case it is a surprise if everyone runs the same headline at the same time. I guess then it becomes meaningless. Gtld's Reach 1 Million Registrations in just 6 months!!

1,000,000 TIMES!

Rick Schwartz

My Interview with Daniel Negari Addressing Reported Inflated .xyz Registrations

Morning Folks!!

First of all, I have no idea how I got in the middle of a firestorm that has nothing to do with me. But here we are. Folks will use my selected words to bend things one way or another and sometimes not bend at all.  It's almost comical. Almost all my blog posts are opinion based. Very few are news based.

But putting that aside.....

I had a near 2 hour phone call late yesterday with Daniel Negari. He gave a heartfelt apology to some words he regrets he wrote to/about me. I was surprised at the words given Daniel was on my chatboard years ago (he was a teenager at the time) and we never had any issues so I accepted his apology.

Daniel Negari has been under fire for days for a host of issues from his remarks to me on TheDomains.com, his arrogant selling technique and and the firestorm over the domain giveaway by Network Solutions. TheDomains.comOnlineDomain.com, DomainIncite, and blogs everywhere includng DNJournal have many of the details and commentary. Most of these folks have multiple stories on the issue from a variety of sources and the comments and speculation only add more fuel. Some justified, some not. I think you will find all those links in these stories so just follow the bouncing ball if you need to get up to speed.

True passion by Negari is just getting ahead of reality. imo

So what happened with the Network Solutions giveaway of some 30,000 .xyz as a freebie? Who did what? My conversation was designed to answer those questions and sort out the events. You, the readers will be the judge. As always, answers may spawn new questions and I hope Daniel will come here and address them if they do. Here is the interview:

 

Q1 .XYZ was in the news this week when an email offer was discovered going to customers of one Registrar offering their customers a free .XYZ domain? Were you behind it?

First, I think it is important for everyone to understand the difference between a Registry and a Registrar, and the roles that each play.

A Domain Registry, like .xyz, .com, or .org is responsible for the operation of a particular domain extension. Think of it as manufacturer of a product.

A Domain Registrar is an organization that enables Registrants to register domain names. It is like a store where you go to buy a product - in this case its domain names.

The Registry Operator like .xyz, .com, or .org sets a fixed wholesale price for all Registrars.

Each Registrar (or store) then makes its own decision on the retail price it wants to charge for the different domain names (products) it offers.

We have over 200 registrars from all around the word in all languages offering .xyz domain names. I do not know the details of every promotion or marketing campaign that they are doing every day.

Here is what I do know:

Regardless of whether a registrar charges $100, $5, or gives the domains away for free, I get paid the ENTIRE wholesale price, which is the same price that every registrar pays.

Q2. Did you as a registry give away free domains?

No. The Registry Operator is unable to “give away” free domain names. I never even saw the email that the registrar sent to its customers until I discovered it on the blogs. As a Registry, I can only suggest an MSRP for a Registrar to display. However, a Registrar does not have to use that price.

Just like the price of .com, it is up to each Registrar to set the retail price of any domain registration.

Q3. Do you set the price that the registrar charges for a domain extension?

No, I do not set the price that a Registrar charges for a domain extension. That pricing is determined by the Registrar only.

Q4. Do you know the retail price that each of your registrars is charging for a .xyz registration?

No, I do not know the exact price that every Registrar is charging.

On all of our Registrar outreach materials we have suggested $9.99 retail pricing for .xyz domains, however, it is the up to the Registrar to determine the retail price that they offer to registrants ($14.99, $50, $9.99, etc…).

Q5. So what you’re saying is that a registry is like a manufacturer of a product. Let’s use Coke for example. So if Coke sells a 2 liter bottle to stores for a wholesale price of $.50, it is up to the store to set the price that they want?

That’s correct.

So if a store purchased a bottle of Coke for $.50 they can charge $1 or $5, $50 or sell it on a buy it get one free basis or give a bottle away for free.

As the registry of .XYZ like the manufacturer of Coke, I am paid my full wholesale price regardless of what the store or retailer sells it for

Here is another example. A gas station may purchase a bottle of Coke for the $.50 wholesale cost. Then when a customer fills up a full tank of gas, the gas station will give the customer the bottle of Coke for free. The maker of the bottle of Coke cannot control how the gas station owner prices the bottle of Coke. Again, in this example, xyz is like the manufacturer of the bottle of Coke.

Q6. In your first blog, you mention that .xyz is your “Gift to the World”. To many domainers this came off as arrogant. What were your intentions with this phrase?

I admit I am not the best writer, and sometimes I am not able to express my feelings on paper. By no means was I trying to sound arrogant, and I understand how some readers may have read into this. My goal with .xyz was to allow anyone, around the world, to purchase an affordable and generic domain name for any purpose. By opening up the .xyz namespace with no restrictions, no variable pricing, and a small amount of reserved domains (about 1,000-2,000), I feel that .xyz is the first new gTLD to allow for mass appeal and a worldwide audience.

That is what I mean by our “Gift to the World”.

End--------------------

You can draw your own conclusions as it is not for me to say one way or the other. These were the questions posed and his answers. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

Rick Schwartz

Selling Premium Sub-Domains vs. Selling gTLD’s

Morning Folks!!

When I get to Vegas I am going to transform what I do and many others as well.

I said in the past that the gTLD's will help leasing domains and sub-domains.

We're here!

So yesterday the process started for me to start many new businesses.

Want Chicago.Tradeshows.com? It will be for sale next week.

Vegas.Tradeshows.com, Restaurant.Tradeshows.com. You name it.

Prices will be anywhere from $9.99  a YEAR to $999 a YEAR.

Neil Sackmary is building that system as we speak and my hardest job is going thru my domains to find the best candidates.

Department.com

Shoe.Department.com, Automotive.Department.com, Parts.Department.com

They could buy ShoeDepartment.co.com. But WHY?? I sure could make a case that ShoeDepartment.co.com is more confusing and harder to remember than Shoe.Department.com. Especially since the gTLD folks have to TEACH the world about "Dots".

Shoe.Department will come out. It' called a choice and I think I can take my share.

Shoe.Department, Shoe.Department.com, ShoeDepartment.com, ShoeDepartment.co.com, ShoeDepartment.co, ShoeDepartment.countrycode

It's competitive!!!!

Real content and real seo make these viable.

And by employing Neil's UGLY ASS bidding technology, I can accept a lower offer that I already load in and it will go right to the cart and checkout without negotiation.

So I take a domain that makes very little annually on PPC and I REINVENT it into a BUSINESS.

Then I repeat with as many domains that are sub domainable as possible.

The gTLD's have laid that groundwork and I can go toe to toe with them selling wise and make my case and then the consumer or end user gets to decide.

The system being built can activate your subdomains within seconds.

It beats being STUCK or chasing shiny objects. Building UP is what they do in GREAT locations.

And yeah, it won't work for all your domains, but if you picked well over the years, then it should work for enough of them.

We all get to choose how we spend and invest our time. This is my choice for the future and hopefully I will demonstrate why.

And eventually the base domain like tradeshows.com itself or Department.com itself becomes a directory for those that have subdomains as a bonus. Free traffic for life.

Rick Schwartz

SPOILER ALERT…..Surprise Bonus for TRAFFIC Attendees!!


Evening Folks!!



So.. the big surprise bonus for guests is that we have been collaborating with the .VEGAS team to have Oscar Goodman there and he will appear and sign copies of his fantastic book for our attendees.

OSCAR_GOODMAN_APPEARANCE

We had hoped this would be a surprise for next week, but the secret has gotten out, so I'll just go ahead and let the cat out of the bag...  The legendary Oscar Goodman will speak and do a special book signing of his hardcover book "Being Oscar: From Mob Lawyer to Mayor of Las Vegas" for attendees on day 1 of the conference.

BeingOscar

The .VEGAS folks were gracious enough to provide copies of the book for a special signing, and Oscar will share his charm with the audience for a brief speech.



Before any announcements get lost in the noise from this extended weekend and the focus of honoring our troops for Memorial Day, I wanted to make some announcements for next week's TRAFFIC conference.


As we lead into the unparalleled networking and business opportunity that TRAFFIC brings, you may have noticed some amazing additions in content.


Of course there is the TRAFFIC party, and we have excellent cuisine and location with the Bellagio, PLUS Howard Lefkowitz of Vegas.com fame keynoting which will be outstanding, and we have Neil from GETITFIDO who will bring you some new powerful MONEY MAKING TOOLS!. But wait, there is more...  I wanted to get another last-minute surprise out ...  because there is a lot more about to happen for next week. The schedule is never done until showtime.


I have been working hard with the team at TRAFFIC - we have been toiling and assembling a fantastic content lineup, from the Sherpas to new TLDs, and the excitement over industry trends.


I hope to see you there, and have a great weekend.


Rick Schwartz

Meeting of the Chiefs LIVE from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2013. The Birth of EscrowHill.com?

Morning Folks!!!

So what goes on at T.R.A.F.F.I.C.??

Below is the link for the entire "Meeting of the Chiefs" segment last year and a preview of the 10th anniversary video that is currently in production.

In 2013 the snippet between the 1 hour and 25 second mark and the 1 hour 10 minute mark may be very interesting for many of you and demonstrates how history is made at TRAFFIC. Was this the birth of EscrowHill.com?

The sales we know about are only a FRACTION of what is really happening and sometimes you got to pull hard as you see me do to get that vital info. This video seems to reveal that there are quite a few domain name sales that are in excess of the $15 million and $20 million mark that are unreported and well under the radar. Listen to their words and their reactions. Read between the lines and you will see many things.

http://vimeo.com/targetedtraffic/meetingofthechiefs

Password is TRAFFIC-2014

ENJOY!!!!!!!

Rick Schwartz

GetitFido.com’s Neil Sackmary May Shake The Domain Industry to the CORE!!

Morning Folks!!

It has been YEARS since a new monetization program has come out, but the industry may be shaken to the core and I want to be on record before that event unfolds. An END-USER designed a system over the past 10 years for in-house use and found himself right on the doorstep of the domain  industry.

You see, GetitFido.com is NOT a one trick pony. Or in this case, DOG!

Most companies have one or 2 things they can offer you. They have EIGHT ways as listed below and some are really important. You are about to get very excited about what you do again and Neil Sackmary is the guy I believe that is going to change how you view your domain assets.

1. They offer "Pay for Product" since 2005 but have only used it privately. Why? Because they are END USERS that have found out secrets withut depending on Google and are coming into the domain industry via the BACK DOOR to share it.

2. They have PPC since 2007. But have only used it privately as per above.

3. They have L.O.Y.D. Which is Left of Your Domain. That means they can SELL your subdomains on the fly. THIS IS HUGE!! Especially interesting for gTLD's and Neil Sackmary will reveal what he revealed to me. FANTASTIC!! Works especially well with Geo gTLD's. Instant CASH!!

Sell subdomains for 99 CENTS and make millions. gTLD guys are opening this door and some gTLD's could find some gold if they understand this revenue stream that Neil will share. The guy has VISION!!! Something missing in the landscape right now as everyone is chasing every shiny object there is.

4.  They have S.P.O.B.O. which is really interesting. You put a price on your domain or any item. Let's say $1000. But there is also a button for "Make an offer". If they make an offer and the offer is within the preset parameters you create, it will EXECUTE the sale in real-time.

5, 6, 7, 8, . Even more tools to make you money that I am still wrapping my head around.

The first users here will come EXCLUSIVELY from T.R.A.F.F.I.C.. and it may be a while before it filters down. Neil started these programs as an end-user for himself 10 years ago. What he is offering has the potential to change the landscape of the entire industry. An industry that has been dormant since 2007 is about to come ROARING back. He will excite you and that will transform what we all do.

And yeah, a LOT of folks in the industry have a right to be VERY concerned. They are coming to eat the lunch of many companies that have been getting fat off of domainers. Now it is time for domainers to get fat again.

And you might want to ask WHY he did all this? Well he did not want to be DEPENDENT on Google!!!!!! Something I have been preaching for a long time and here is a very successful end-user that figured it out himself and found himself being the lead sponsor in his "Coming out party".

I have been on the phone to Neil for many hours this past week and I am telling you he is gonna Rock the House and some folks are going to love him and others are going to have NIGHTMARES!!!

Prepare to make money again WITH your domains not SELLING your domains. That is going to shake things up right there!

Read that again!!!

Prepare to make money again WITH your domains not SELLING your domains.

I think the post show buzz will verify everything I have said here.

TRAFFIC an EXPENSE?? Really??? Only if you go just to party and not keeping your eye on the ball.

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. means B.U.S.I.N.E.S.S. and GetitFido.com just PROVES where OUR FOCUS ALWAYS IS!!

Trailblazing and creating new opportunities that translates into MORE MONEY! We keep our eye on the ball by being 3 steps ahead of the future and not chasing after it.

btw, did I tell you about their "Traffic Splitter"?

cover

Rick Schwartz

P.S.

The TRAFFIC agenda will be done TODAY as I populate the very last panel below which will be a VERY frank discussion about the gTLD's. Both sides. Not for shrinking violets. ;-)

2:45PM-3:45PM  You heard their pitch. Now what? Michael Cyger of DomainSherpa.com will moderate this provocative panel. We all have friends involved with the new gTLD's and we don't want to say anything negative, but our top-tier group of outspoken domainers will get past that and logically handicap the rollout of all the gTLD's. Plus, they'll discuss which ones have the most likely chance of wide adaptation and increasing values. How long that will take. Then go a step beyond and measure it against traditional extensions and the time vs return and risk vs reward ratios. Not all gTLD's are created equal. Some think these gtld's will be on fire yet others think they will fizzle out. We can only look at it from both sides and then wait for the future to reveal the ultimate answers.


 

Domain Industry Call to Action

Good Morning,

Grab a cup of coffee. This will take about 10 minutes of your time.

Please read the very important call to action letter below that Michael Castello penned in behalf of domain investors and the domain industry. It is well thought out, passionate and much-needed. Howard and I support it 100% and ask for your support as well. The effort is about protecting all domain owners.  Whether they have 1 for their family business or 1000 as an investment.



Michael Castello
CEO/President
Castello Cities Internet Network, Inc.
http://www.ccin.com
michael@ccin.com

> Forgive me if I am long-winded here. I have some ideas that I want to share with you. Rick, Howard and I think alike and agree in how we see the Internet and domain names.
>
> I've been involved with the ICANN Business Constituency for many years and, like you, was against the new gTLDs when first proposed. I could go on with reasons why I felt they were not needed and how ICANN has proceeded in approving them, but we now need to take a fresh look for our industry at large.
>
> The new gTLDs are here, and I have resigned myself to them while seeing a silver-lining, which I believe is going to be very helpful to our industry.
>
> In my opinion, domain names are the key to individual freedom and survival for the future Internet. For a small entry fee, domain name ownership gives an individual the ability to own his or her place in the virtual world.
>
> When I was a recording artist, the one thing that would make or break my musical success was distribution. The ability to move music to the consumer was controlled by just a few companies. The Internet is likewise a global distribution network that everyone now has access to. Anyone can move an idea or product to any and all parts of the world. It is incredibly powerful and it allows single individuals to compete on a grand scale previously dominated by large telcos and corporations. It is my opinion that powerful Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and other "umbrella" corporations, have slowly shifted the perceptions of regular Internet users in regards to direct navigation in order to make domain names less crucial.
>
>
> The URL(Address Bar) is something we all own but is also held captive by those that produce browsers. In 1994, the natural impulse for me was to use the Address Bar to navigate wherever I wanted to. I found colleges were online, and I could simply type Columbia.edu in the Address Bar and their website would pop up in front of me. What power, what freedom, to steer my magic carpet ride wherever I wanted. It was still barren land and it needed individuals with a vision to help build it.
>
> Knowing that replicating the real word into the virtual world would take time, I saw the impatience of the public and businesses which resulted in the Dot Com Bubble. Since then, search engines have become very powerful because a user could always find a web page result while a web address did not always resolve to a working website.
>
> After twenty years, almost every brand or keyword now has a viable, trusted website. The problem is that Google and Facebook have become the main way people navigate to these brands. The people of the virtual world bought into services provided by these walled gardens, giving Google, Facebook, and now the U.S. government, much more control of our navigation and information. I see a monopoly that in the past would have been regulated or broken up. I see what appears to be an alliance between the government and these companies that is benefiting them and in turn, controlling the web community. I believe this upends the scales of democracy.
>
> What I've noticed:
>
> For many years, Apple's Safari browser directly defaulted to the dot com when someone typed a keyword into its address bar. Now, after Steve Jobs has passed on, Apple no longer directs keywords to dot com, and those same keywords redirect to search results and advertisers. Steve Jobs understood the opportunity that domain names offered everyone. At one point in the past few years, Google nearly removed the address bar entirely in their Chrome browser in favor of their search bar. They even asked ICANN to consider resolving DNS to just "keywords" (which would have rendered gTLDs unnecessary!). Thankfully, ICANN turned them down, saying it would break the DNS(Domain Name System). Instead, Google moved its search bar right next to the address bar, and ultimately took control of the Address Bar. Google was changing the way people used the Internet. Much like CompuServe and Prodigy in the 80s, the Internet is reverting to a series of "intranets" that are owned by large corporations. Individual freedoms and inherent rights are being trampled on. Where are the leaders "for the people" in the virtual world to bring balance? What now are WE to do?
>
> Domain names empower people. We could say domain names ARE people; they are that important. Everyone should have the opportunity to own a domain name and be unfettered in how they use it. Peer-to-peer (P2P) is liberty, but domain names now need protection from those entities which are diminishing their influence. The domain industry and the ICA(Internet Commerce Association) have a unique opportunity to take this plight and forge a positive result.
>
> Along with all of the ccTLDs, the new gTLDs make the domain name pyramid much bigger, which gives the domain industry a greater virtual signature. Everyone who promotes the domain industry is an "asset. The new gTLD registries will likely spend millions of dollars to make the public aware of the importance of domain names. They will be doing the heavy lifting, and the more the public talks about domain names, the better the balance between individual users and powerful corporations. We can coalesce to work together.
>
> I've suggested to the board of ICA an agreement to the "Understanding of Personal Empowerment" that I believe companies like Apple, Google and Facebook could agree with. It is in their best interests to show that they are helping domain names (i.e. individuals) and not trying to reduce their influence. Power from domain names IS power to the people. The timing is right for the domain industry and the ICA to work together to preserve direct navigation.
>
> If we can't agree on this protection, then I believe ICA should lobby Congress to put in place regulations that will protect domain name owners. We need numbers; those numbers are also voters. In the future, everyone will need a domain name or virtual place of residence. What we do now will help the future users of the Internet find greater mobility and advancement.
>
> Best wishes,
> Michael Castello

Rick Schwartz
Howard Neu



We are hoping all factions of the industry join to support this effort. It is bigger than any personal or past animus between any parties in the industry. It is not perfect but we continue to improve it and I will post the updated version in the days ahead. But being STUCK is really no longer an option.


We plan to spearhead this effort at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. in Las Vegas next month with an event for the ICA that will fund a very narrowly defined agenda as we will describe. We already have a 2nd and 3rd generation of Michael's letter as we strive to improve and clarify. But I think the original above needs to be posted too.


Michael Castello, Howard Neu and I with your help want to start a process that is long overdue, sorely needed and can no longer wait. I ask that you circulate as you see fit. This is all open to discussion and improvement.


I always look to history to find answers. We did not make the rules. We simply abide by them and exploit them. That is what the system is designed to do. We are actually doing what the system requires for success and for the system to work.

Many domain investors are ashamed of what they do. Many should be ashamed of what they do. There are a lot of bad domainers doing a lot of bad things and it is being compounded as we speak. Their abuses have nothing to do with us. It is up to us to draw a line and distinguish ourselves. Show some indignation when we see abuses and wrong doing. However, If you abide by the rules and guidelines, there is no shame to be had so hold your head high. I feel bad for those domainers that are not proud of what they do.




What we do has a lot of similarities to Homesteading. Maybe there are some answers there. I certainly use the history of how the USA was settled as a guideline from Day 1. Why cites sprang up where they did and why hundreds of years later there is still land that has never been developed or occupied. Ever. Are these landowners doing something wrong? Should they be ashamed? Looked down upon? Absolutely not! The average person does not look down at us.  I have never heard anything negative from the man on the street when I explain what I do. Never! They all say the same thing. "Wish I would have thought of that."


Here is the history of that important act and see if you can pull out things. It will cut both ways, but time to focus on the things that we have in common with history and build a foundation from there.







Thank you and look forward to hearing back from you with a YES and your CONSTRUCTIVE comments!


Thanks for your time, consideration and ultimately your support.


Rick Schwartz