Are cybersquatters and out of control registrars hurting the domain industry?

Good evening folks!!


Let's set the record
straight. Having a generic domain name does NOT make you a cybersquatter. It
makes you a smart investor as prices for these valuable assets just keep going
up in value. Just because you have a domain somebody else wants does not make
you a cybersquatter. However some of those crying 'cybersquatter'
are getting domains they should not win by flawed WIPO decisions and flawed UDRP
rulings. Some call them thieves while others accuse them of 'Reverse domain
hijacking.' Aided by a system with no rhyme or reason and a system that
has no room for setting precedent or following it. In my opinion some of those
rulings will be overturned in the years ahead and those domains will be
returned to the original registrants.



On the other hand, those
that buy domain names with company names and trademarks as part of the domain
name are probably cybersquatters or worse. We are not talking about folks with
portfolios that could have a handful of domains that could be in the 'Gray'
area. We are talking about those that register tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of infringing
domains and everybody is profiting from it from Google and Yahoo to everyone
down stream. I wish Google and Yahoo would take the profit out and stop paying
for that traffic. Ban that traffic!! Ban it TODAY!! The result will be rising payouts for
everyone playing by the rules with quality traffic. So as long as they pay, they are a big part of
the problem. They fuel the problem and the public needs to know.



But they are far from
the worst offenders. The worst offenders are the registrars. Not all, but many.
They are the real whores of the industry and they are harming legitimate domain
investors and developers. Many registrars are out of control and Verisign gave
them the license to do it and ICANN has done little to stop the abuse. Add to
that the $$$$ that Google and Yahoo pay for this traffic and that only fuels
the problem.



Earlier this week Dell
filed suit against some of those registrars. I applaud and support Dell and I
hope they put the fear of God into the other registrars who are abusing their
roles and hurting our industry. The entire story is here. But from what I understand Dell  has gone a little too far and used some tactics that will soon be made public. They themselves have over reached imo. What is in the wind is that Dell is using some counterfeiting law to seize computers and records with no notice.




I think it is incumbent on
the professional domain industry to speak out against these abuses. To separate
themselves from that sector. That sector is largely made up of registrars and
those newer to the domain business. They see it as a way to make a quick buck
and Google and Yahoo and others are also profiting from this practice. They are
confusing the public and it is out of control. So out of control that the
backlash is going to hurt all of us in a significant way. That is why it is
TIME for professional domain investors to speak out loudly and often about the
state of things. We need to make it clear this is not OUR doing. This is the
doing of people and companies much higher up the food chain and it should stop
and stop now. The only way it will stop is to stop paying for that traffic. Make that traffic worthless. Let those with infringing domains collapse and disappear. That's my opinion. Yours may be different. This is a complicated subject. But from where I sit, this all stinks and needs to be corrected.
Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz


Competition Insurance for Corp America sold here!


Morning folks!
The lesson of 1-800-flowers and Hotels.com and a ramble to Cyber
Monday. Before you disagree with me, first allow yourself to visit the other side of the coin. Remaining ignorant in the face of facts is still your choice so don't feel too threatened. Clinging to failure is just human nature. Are you bold enough to look at the same thing in a different way? Give me your mind for 5 minutes and let me see if I can get you really wound up.


Companies buy all types of insurance to protect them from this
and that and things we have not even thought of. However they don't buy
'Competition insurance.' How silly is that? No insurance to make sure some new
guy coming along does not steal some of their market share. Even with lessons to
point to, 'Competition Insurance' is not bought. Why? Well they can't figure out
who the hell is responsible for that. Corporate thinks it is up to Sales Dept.
The Sales Dept tells Manufacturing but they told them that they need to see Legal since it is an insurance matter. Meanwhile the CEO is playing golf and
spending the bonus he may have not earned on merits but since his attorney got
him such a great deal that's just the way it is.
So Sales now has to explain to
Legal why they need this insurance that really does not exist. See this
'Insurance' is not an ' Insurance Policy.' It is much more important than making sure you are covered in case somebody slips and falls. It is the
insurance to make sure that the company keeps steaming along and keeps that
market share growing. It's the part of the company responsible for thwarting
threats from new startups and their old historic rivals. What they have yet to
see even with example after example is that by owning a generic category name in
a dotcom it is not only good business, it prevents another 1-800-flowers or Hotels.com from coming along and disrupting an entire industry. Yet with these
examples we still have generic category domains floating around. Domains that receive thousands of targeted visitors that don't use Google to get there but type the domain directly in the browser bar. It becomes a 'Destination' just like you would probably type in Sears.com as opposed to going to Google to see where Sears is. The domain may be
floating today and the CEO may be yachting today, but the shareholder will all
live to regret it tomorrow if these companies FAIL to secure their generics before their competition does.
If I am Xerox I want copiers.com. If I am HP I want
printers.com. If I am Kleenex, I want tissue.com. If I am McDonalds, I want
hamburgers.com. If I am MasterCard, I want Priceless.com. If I am Rolex, I want
watches.com. If I am anyone THINKING I am the leader in that category, I want
the domain name associated with the category. And for all those CEO's that don't
have the VISION to say the same thing.......your shareholders should fire your
butts right now. Click on those generic names above to see which companies get it and which companies don't.

In hindsight who should own hotels.com? Look at all the
companies that blew this one that now have to pay for those reservations for
EVER. I wonder how many millions that adds up to over a years time? 5 years? 10
years? And not a single person with the vision at Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Ritz
Carlton, Sheraton, etc. Doesn't anyone see the HUGE GAFF that was made here? A
costly gaff. Perhaps the biggest in business history. Except of course
1800flowers and flowers.com who took out one of the oldest category leaders in
my lifetime. I can't wait to hear the story at TRAFFIC direct from the horses
mouth and ask Jim McCann how many horses asses he had to deal with before they
figured it out? So BRAVO to Corp America and Madison Ave that have yet to figure
out that 2 + 2 = 4. Branding is a great thing. But you don't turn away millions
of customers just because they wanted a hotel room or flowers and did not ask
for you by your BRAND. They asked for the GENERIC. (Read my hotels.com and Madison Ave  blog rant here.)


Imagine if this was 50 years ago and you thumbed thru the
yellow pages. You come to 'Hotels' Instead of there being you and 200
competitors, what if you could have just bought the entire listing? You look
under Hotels and ONLY your hotel came up for all those tens of millions of
people. I guess that would have no value?? I guess you don't want to be listed
first. Guess you don't want any of that? Oh you do? So why can't you make the
connection with the domain names being the same as that category heading in the
yellow pages? Except of course the domain name is much more valuable and be seen
by more people that turn into customers. By the way, how much is that yellow
page ad costing? The one you come up number 24 even though you are having a bold
display ad? How many books are you in? How many years? How many under 18 have
ever even used that antique called the 'Yellow pages?' They may go to
YellowPages.com and that single domain name is the generic for every yellow
pages book ever printed. So which has more weight? One yellow page book from
one company for one area or YellowPages.com which virtually swallowed up all the
other Yellow Pages on the planet?
'I SAY IT IS BS!
Branding without increasing sales is FAILURE!'

I could sit here and write example after example for DAYS
without running out of stories that make big business look silly and Madison Ave look like they could care less about increasing sales for their clients. They will tell you it is about 'Branding.'. I say that is BS. Branding without increasing sales is FAILURE! They
continually miss a source for new customers that provides a never ending stream
of new business every day of the year for perhaps as long as the net itself survives. A source that has no ongoing costs or
upkeep and for those so hung up on branding please consider this. If the
hotels.com domain was pointed to Marriott.com and that domain as a generic
domain with no advertising or promotion received 25,000 visitors a day. Day
after day after day. EVERY day 25,000 visitors and since when they get to
hotels.com they would be landing on the Mariottt.com  reservation site that would
provide the BRAND with 25,000 new eyeballs everyday going to Marriott.com. For
some idiotic reason few on Madison Avenue and few in Corporate America can get
their heads around something so simple like taking a generic domain and pointing it to their regular website and instead of paying for traffic from Google, they get it DIRECT from consumers typing the name to the browser bar. Does it matter that the ADDED sale came from somebody that said HOTELS instead of MARRIOTT??! Does it look different on a spreadsheet?

'CALL ME THE FOOL!'

Like I have said before, the best
branding is more sales. What would the value be of renting out another 1000 room
nights each night for 365 days? The rooms that would not be rented. The rooms
sitting vacant! Had ANY chain had the VISION to figure it out, that hotel would
have purchased hotels.com and transformed their company. That one domain name purchase would
have cost a FRACTION of building a new hotel and would have provided more
reservations than any other single source they could ever get.  But hey, laugh
at me for even suggesting how it could have unfolded if any one at any of the
hotel chains or their elite Madison Avenue agencies were not asleep at the
wheel. Call me the fool for even suggesting such an outcome. Tell me what a know
nothing I am and I don't understand about branding. Fine I am a fool but I see
all of you as failures for still not recognizing the obvious.
Do the damn math
already and see what the world could have looked like if even one of you folks
had a little vision of what was to unfold. I point to this example as it is too
late in the hotel industry to own the category. Barry Diller made you all look
like fools. Yes he did! However it is not too late in other industries. Those generic
category names may still be bouncing around the market and able to be obtained.
So happy cyber Monday. Maybe this will be the year that folks realize that
traditional media is shrinking and splintering as the new media is pumped and
hot. Maybe this will be the year that folks finally make the leap and realize
the opportunity that may be available in your industry. Maybe not. The bottom line is a generic domain name, especially one that describes an entire category, is one of the most cost effective, long term marketing and branding tools you can acquire. The cost of delay is bigger than one can imagine. Where is the sense of urgency in Corp America? Most don't actually figure it out until their competition does and by then it is too late. You already lost the  game.

By the way......have you figured out who
is responsible for competition insurance at your company or is that
somebody else's department Mr. CEO? If everyone in the chain FAILS....and they have.....then it is up to the CEO to save the day. If not, join PetSupermarket.com who has yet to open and sell items online. The CEO there is the POSTER BOY for corporate stupidity. 100 stores and no online way to purchase in 2007!! How do you EXCUSE that?


Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

*Disclaimer. I had no idea who owned the generic domain names listed above at the time I wrote this piece.


The REAL story behind the flowers.mobi purchase

I bought Sirius
Satellite Radio at 49 cents. I bought hundreds of thousands of shares and made
millions of dollars when the net was at the lowest point. I wonder about the
rumors on Wall St. lol


I bought that stock for
ONE main reason. I looked at the impressive list of companies backing Sirius. I
FOLLOWED THE MONEY!! I do that all the time. In anything. ALWAYS....follow the
money. I did the same with .mobi. What caught MY attention were the companies
backing it. Why would they do that? I also saw a POSSIBLE difference in .mobi
if it ever became adopted as a standard by these folks that were investing.
Taking $200k out of my pocket to buy flowers.mobi given my financial position
was no big deal to me. I have lost $200k in the stock market quicker than it
took me to write this SENTENCE! Remember iOmega.com, quepasa.com, etoys.com? It
was left over $$$ that I had nowhere to invest. Seems it became a big deal to
everyone else as rumors by those with an agenda were planted within minutes or
hours of the auction. To me it was just one transaction out of thousands that I
make.


Just to set the record
straight.


First let me clean
things up. Seems there are rumors circulating that I need to put an end to. The
only way to do that is to state the FACTS from the horses mouth so all the
speculation of what 'Really' happened are finally put to bed and the
record is set straight.


I get no kickbacks or
anything from .mobi whatsoever. Not a penny, not so much as a dinner. NOTHING!
The share TRAFFIC makes off the auction is our business. But we make the same
off of any sale off any extension. The only relationship is their sponsorships
which have been modest but appreciated. Before the TRAFFIC show in October 2006,
I had never met, spoken to, emailed or had a relationship with anyone at
.mobi. I didn't even know that .mobi was not spelled .moby. :-)


So let me take you
inside my mind over a year ago when I bought flowers.mobi. First of all I never
registered a single .mobi domain during the sunrise period. My interest was not
there until about a week before the auction or whenever Moniker announced the
premium domain list. See, when I speculate with domains of ANY extension, I
focus on one word domains or 2 very meaningful word domains. But if I am going
to speculate on any extension other than dotcom, I am going to buy premium
domains. So I decided to wait until the Moniker auction at TRAFFIC because that
was going to be the first time that PREMIUM names with that extension would
become available. I immediately picked flowers.mobi as the most valuable domain
on the list and one of the premiere domains in the space should .mobi take off.
So I decided before the auction I would bid up to $100k to get it.


First of all I think
even if .mobi takes off it will be very narrow. It won't be the same as .com. I
believe folks will concentrate on different things. So I decided that
flowers.mobi was the prize. However I was interested in many of the other
.mobi's because I wanted a stake in some of the best premium domains. If I am
going to invest in a risky new extension, I am going to do my best to get
domains I believe have the best balance of price and future.


So quietly I bought
Laugh.mobi for $3k, celebs.mobi for $2250  and a few others like
eat.mobi. early in the auction for about 8k. Then wow.mobi for $9k, gossip.mobi
for $5k, Fun.mobi came up. I had also wanted that as well. When it hit $95 or
$100k I dropped out. I also tried to buy party.mobi.


As I stated earlier, I
was going to bid up to $100k for flowers.mobi. I knew that the
flowers.com attorney was there and bidding. however I could not see him
and I have no idea when he dropped out of the bidding. Some of told me $40k
while others have stated $100k. I still don't know as I write this. I know
there are other big companies investing in .mobi and I
ALWAYS.....'Follow the money.' But when several others bid 6 figures
it created a 'Market value' and that gave me confidence to bid higher
than what I planned. Now a 'Floor' was established as 3 or 4
people in the room were willing to pay over $100k and 2 or 3 of them went to
$120k I think. Then I duked in out with my friends at EuroDNS. Their last bid
was $190k if I recall correctly. So what others see as this great risk, I see
as a domain that the market said was worth between $100k and $200k set by the
market not a worthless appraisal. Not a rumor started with somebody with an
agenda.


I had no idea what a
firestorm that would create until I began reading what was said after the
auction on the boards when I returned to my room late that night. The rumors
were flying. They just made stuff up. They were not even there but once someone
starts a rumor, the mindless followers spread it like wildfire. Everything is a
conspiracy to them. THAT was the REAL story. But they were too busy looking in
the grassy knoll for some BS that somebody with a motive planted. Not that it
is possible that I saw something different in .mobi than any other extension.
Something I really don't need to reveal here but I have even tho that's MY
business. But I am setting the record straight regardless and maybe some of the
mindless folks that talk out of their butts will learn something instead of
making it up.


But there is ONE thing
different and it has nothing to do with compliance or anything like that. Let
me put it this way....If there are 450 lemonade stands lined upon a street and
I wanted to do business where would I start? Some would say get some lemons and
a table and sell lemonade. I would say let me focus on grape juice and I
bet I will do more business than most of the lemonade stands in my first day
than those there for YEARS!. That's the best I can do at this point in
time. But just like .com, I reach a point of investment and I slow down or
stop. I decided that $500k-750k was what I would RISK with .mobi.  Is it a
good investment? Ask me in 5 years. That is how long I expect it to be before
the seeds from my investment germinate or die. On the other hand, if I flip
them TODAY, the value of my investment has gone up and I will show that in a
minute.


Well there are the
facts. I get no preferential treatment from .mobi. I get NOTHING WHATSOEVER in
return. Not even a Christmas Card. lol But if I get one, I will let you all
know. I just buy things at one price that I believe their value will go up in
the future. I may be right. I may be wrong. That is what investing is all about
and I ain't done that bad for myself over the years. If folks decide that since
Rick Schwartz is buying .mobi they should too.....that has nothing to do with
me. They may buy because I buy but they do it silly and blindly if that is the
only reason. I just have a hard enough time taking care of my own business
and my own concerns and wiping my own butt in the morning to worry about the
other BS, rumors and such made up by folks in this business that have a motive
and an agenda.


Lastly.......


Some folks think that
just because I run a tradeshow, just because I have a private forum, just
because I am who I am that I should not be allowed to bid at the TRAFFIC
auctions. Well to those folks, I would say I never abdicated my being a
domainer when I decided to share my knowledge and promote the industry. I take
folks on the boat I created and the next thing I know I have to deal with folks
trying to throw me off my own ship. I am a domainer. I have been a domainer for
a dozen years. I am going to continue to buy domains whenever and wherever.
That includes TRAFFIC and the Moniker auction and any other auction I feel I want
to participate in. Those that don't want me to bid because they perceive that I
have an unfair advantage are wrong. I am a domainer just like them. The next
thing they will complain about is my bank account has millions more than they
do and so THAT gives me an unfair advantage. To those folks.....GET OVER IT!
Work hard, make good decisions and get rewarded. Every second you are minding
MY business, you are ignoring yours. Does THAT sound like a good decision? A
good investment of your time? It sure looks foolish to me.


As far as Sahar and the
'rest of the story.' I have no idea what he is referring to. It could
be something simple like all the publicity the flowers.mobi sale created.
What's the value of that? But I will ask him before I finish this just to see.
(Already revealed above)


Anyway, that's the real
story from the horses mouth. Take it or leave it, those are the FACTS. If you
want to make up lies in the face of facts, knock yourself out. But don't expect
me to allow you to get away with it. The industry now knows the story behind
the story. I may have written it earlier but I was still actively buying .mobi
and was not in my best interest. Now I have the stake I want and it's on to the
next investment. And that is what it is.....an investment that may or may not
pay dividends. Those that say I am promoting .mobi are making it up. Look at
any of my posts about the extension. They are well balanced. They show BOTH
sides of the coin. I have no idea if .mobi will be a hit or a bust. If it is a
bust I lose up to $750k. If it is a win, then who knows. I like bets with
'Who knows' based on my gut. Some go to Vegas and gamble, some do it
on Wall St., I prefer to do my own gambling on my own business using
a gut instinct that has served me well.


And in the interest of
full disclosure. Jim McCann the CEO and Founder of Flowers.com will be our
keynote speaker at TRAFFIC in Las Vegas. So now you will have some other
conspiracy theories to make up and talk about. I hope you will be more creative
with this one. Do you think I should wear my Flowers.mobi shirt to dinner?
Deliver flowers to his room from FLOWERS.MOBI? Have the limo pick him up with
Flowers.mobi all over the sides? Nah....not my style. I'll just enjoy the talk
from a guy who has walked the same path as us and has one of THE greatest
success stories of all time to share. I will learn more from his words than the
$200k Flowers.mobi cost me and I will still own the domain name. Besides, I
would rather discuss Candy.com with him. Shazaam!


Now that we took care of
that, lets peel back the NUMBERS. The numbers tell all. Numbers  don't lie....people have agendas. People make things up. But numbers tell a story. A story most are AFRAID to look  at and even more afraid to understand. My best business friend is numbers.


If you read my comments
I have always addressed both sides of the .mobi debate. I am in the middle. I
admit I am not smart enough to know what others THINK they know. I know to trust the numbers and tune out the bullshit on both sides. Whatever extension folks focus on there is
a narrow line between just investing in the extension and promoting that
extension. IDN won't be big because somebody says so. It will be big when/if
the market says so. When the numbers say so. Same with .tv, .biz, .info .whatever. It will be big when Ron
Jackson's chart shows it is big. Shows by real world, verifiable sales. In 2007
so far of the top 100 reported sales 91 are .com. So dotcom is KING, not
because I say so but because the market says so. Of the 9 that were not
.com......2 were.mobi.......3 were .net.........1 was .org.........1 was
.info.......and there were 2 country codes, .co.uk and .de. This covers domains
with reported sales from $82,000 to $9.5 million so far in 2007 as of last
week.


Then we can jumpover to
the 'Global contenders. Their range for the year is $15,000 to $300k. Here
is the BIG answer. Of the top 100 there are 28 .mobi's occupying those spots.


.net = 43
.mobi = 28
.org = 16
.info = 9


Lastly the country
codes. With the exception of two 6 figure sales, the range was $10-$85k. That
also included .cc, .tv IDN and some 335 individual country codes competing for
this spots. So if you just sit there and study Ron's page and FOLLOW THE MONEY,
it is pretty easy to pick the finalists. You pick them from REALITY by sales
not wishful thinking by me or you or anyone.


Here are the extensions
in the order of what the MARKET says by actual real world reported sales.


.com
.net
.org
.mobi
.info


Then .co.uk, .de, .tv,
.us, idn



http://www.dnjournal.com/ytd-sales-charts.htm


Follow the money, look
at the numbers, gage the market, don't listen to rumors. The newest extension
on the list is outperforming extensions out for many years. THAT is the
reality. They may become another 'Tulip' run. But at this point
nobody can say definitively either way. Those that think they know on either
side, know nothing. It's just too early to tell.


Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz


Industry Firestorm recap

Morning Folks!


I decided that I should make this a standalone post given the gravity of things that have occurred. Sunday was not a pleasant day. It is hard to prove your innocence to somebody that makes up the lie to begin with. The false accusations about me I can handle and I have. But the ones about Monte and Moniker and TRAFFIC, that may linger for some time. Maybe the silver lining from all this is we learn that there is a way to behave. There are boundaries. Just because something is legal does not give a license to abuse it. This industry needs to step back and take a serious look at themselves. Ron Jackson wrote this in his 'Low Down' section yesterday and I think it deserves some attention before we sell our soul:
'This business has undergone some dramatic changes over the past five years. When I came in it was mostly composed of a small, tight-knit group of individual entrepreneurs that just about all got along well. Competitors hung out together, shared drinks and stories and worked together to expand the industry for everyone’s benefit. Over the last couple of years, with far more money at stake and new win-at-all-cost players entering the space, I am seeing more flare ups between competitors. It is not a welcome change and, at this stage of the game, I don’t think it does anyone any good. Fortunately there is still more of what Cahn calls “coopetition” (competitors co-operating to advance the entire industry) in this business than corporate world knife-in-the-back tactics and I hope that philosophy remains in place for at least a little while longer.'



And now.......The words that have set off a firestorm:


Jay Westerdal writes: 'When I look at the bidding on Shopping.mobi I see that the winner was bidder #338 Rick Schwartz. Rick bought Flowers.mobi
for $200,000 earlier this year and set the high water mark for a
DotMobi name. Surely Shopping is better then Flowers, so what “other
financial obligations” would allow Rick to back out of the successful
winning and binding bid?


This just looks bad. We need Transparency in this industry.'


Now the questions:
Did you bid and win shopping.mobi yes or no?
Did you then back out of the purchase, yes or no?


It is important to clear the air. Jay's blog has raised very
damaging accusations to say the least. If you want to make such bold
statements on ' why ' there is a mobi market it is crucial to not look
as though you are fixing it!


Rick Schwartz Responds....Even tho the above question was poised by
some anonymous poster it is a good question and needs to be answered. I
did not win shopping.mobi so the answer is NO and Jay must
have made it up becuause it is an outright LIE on HIS part and I expect
an apology and a retraction. A BIG apology and LONG retraction
explaining this incident considering he circulated to 10,000 of my
peers and now showing up on the industry boards. I hope folks on those
board will post a link so the record can be set straight.


I did not win shopping.mobi so there was nothing to back out of,. This is very
damaging to me and Jay should know better than to LIE. People should
now begin to question HIS motives. I expect YOU and others to go back
and have Jay explain his made up tales. Then you should ask other
questions of why he was motivated to do this without verifying with ME?  If you have ANY backbone
you will.


Jay spread this lie to 10,000 industry professionals accusing me of
backing out of a deal and casting shadows on Me, Moniker and the
TRAFFIC Conferences. It was done with the worst of motives and fair
minded people will see that. He was able
to email me TWICE the day before asking for access to my private forum,
but
when I told him no and the reason, Jay did not have enough CLASS to
email me and ask me directly about this. Instead he CHOSE to drag my
good name, Moniker and TRAFFIC thru the mud with info that was not
factual and done by a person that has a motive to hurt his competition.
A motive to hurt Moniker. A motive to hurt TRAFFIC. A motive to hurt
Rick Schwartz. The post by Jay yesterday that I learned about shortly
after I made this initial post this morning is an outright LIE and is
not factual. Backing out of a deal is one of the worst violations
anyone in this community can make. Even when the TRUTH comes out and
Jay is forced to apologize, there will always be those that will keep
spreading the lie. So how do I EVER fix that? THANKS JAY!


In Summary:



A. I did NOT buy shopping.mobi so Jay should first learn to be factual
or stop lying. However I did bid on it and then dropped out.
B. Comparing a bid on one domain compared to a bid on another domain
in another auction a YEAR apart does not take into account someone's
circumstance or bank account or commitments or MY personal valuation. So this is just a STUPID comment from a so-called
'Businessman.'
C. Jay is bitter that I will not grant him access to my private board
on Friday. I said
'It was a little too close to home.' Instead of understanding he
complained how it was not fair. etc. etc. etc. So instead of emailing
me to validate his info, he saw a chance for a sucker punch and he took
it!
D. I have invited Jay to TRAFFIC even tho it is not in my best
interest and he attends. I invited him to be on a panel even tho it is
not in my best
interest and put him on 'Meet the bloggers'. In return this is what we
get!!?? A post done only to hurt the premiere show and auction in our
space and cast false shadows that hurts everyone and every business
whether you realize it or not. We are all on the same boat and those
that drill holes in the bottom to try and sink their competition are
being foolish and selfish at best and something I can't say publicly at
worst.
E.
Finally, Jay wants to hijack the subject of 'Transparency' the subject
that TRAFFIC announced it will focus on in our Las Vegas show in
February. Fine, let's start with Jay. With his way of doing business
and selling private info about others.....He certainly proved he does
not have the credentials to lead the way into a transparent business.


Rick Schwartz


Further Update.


Monte from Moniker posted some of the email but I would now like to show 2 quotes that should show the intent of Jay:
'Rick,
If you didn't buy it. Who did? I would be glad to print a
retraction if I am wrong. However I am using my notes and that is what they
say.'

And the clincher......


One more TELLING quote from Jay's email:
'Trust me, I would have preferred to ask about it on your board first
and do some investigating there.... oh wait. If you don't want me there
that is totally up to you.'

So Jay could email me TWICE the day before his blog post but could not email me to verify the info??!! THIS was payback for not allowing him
in my private forum and of course to damage me. Jay has a lot of answering to do and I am sure
most will be BULLSHIT! Jay you screwed up BAD in front of EVERYONE in the
industry.  I don't even know how to tell you to fix it. The damage has
been done. Just don't want to hear lame and silly excuses for trying to
ruin my good name. Ruin the name of TRAFFIC. Ruin the name of Monte and
Moniker. I think people are going to think deep today. Maybe I am an
easy target because some don't like me. But when they put themselves in
MY SHOES and have THOSE FEELINGS go thru them, they may even give me  a
fair hearing.


Latest Update........


Jay posts a 'Luke warm apology on this site. Normally I would post a
link. I don't want to do anything to circulate the lies Jay told today
anymore than they already are. So This is the part as it relates to the
sale that accused me of welshing on. He BURIED the link from his
original post under comment #24. If he had ANY CLASS he would have put
it on top, in red, so nobody would miss it. But like I said, that is
just one of the things that makes it a lukewarm apology. So this at
least begins to clear the record and states I did NOT buy shopping.mobi
So I am going to do what I can to fix the mess that Jay created. He
could give a shit about cleaning it up or he would be on every board
and he would not be blaming HIS STAFF for HIS LIES!! THAT is the most
telling. Blame his staff for HIS CRAP!???? That's a real MAN! Blame his
staff!!! Good one Jay!


Jay writes: 'My staff notes also reflected inaccurately that Rick Schwartz was the
winning bidder of Shopping.Mobi. He in fact was not the last bidder,
the audio recording clearly shows it was bidder #161 on the phone (the
Sri Lanka Investment group). I want to apologize to Rick publicly for
making such a big mistake. I should have done more due diligence rather
then relying exclusively on my notes. I will try and do a more through
job reporting facts in the future.'


Jay, I don't believe a word out of your mouth any longer.
yesterday/today you said you reviewed the video and it was your notes.
Now you blame your staff. Thanks for setting the record straight after
you dragged my name thru the mud for the last 2 days. You know that
won't erase the damage you have done. Now you just drag your own staff
thru the mud. What next? You have NO CLASS!
Transparency is
finally here. What you did is transparent to the entire industry. You
tried to inflict damage on Moniker, Monte, TRAFFIC and me. The only
thing you did was stain the entire industry for your personal gain. A
mistake is forgivable. Your statements prove it was your intent to do
us harm no matter what the cost to the industry and are just the back
peddling now because you have no choice. At the end of the day, you
harmed yourself and your event worse than anything else you could have
ever done. The saddest part, I doubt you will change your ways. Others
may give you the benefit of the doubt as time goes on and they forget.
But Howard, Monte and I and our staff's know how many other things you
have done that we NEVER complained about publicly. This time you got
caught! Jay, you are a very smart guy. Time to use that energy to stop
abusing things for your personal gain. Stop screwing with people's
privacy. Stop the things you do that everyone knows you do but would
never say out loud. I have been told at times some things you do to
invade people's privacy that make me cringe. YOU now have a MOTIVE to
DIG into my stuff and others. STOP IT before you get any deeper! People
in this industry want their PRIVACY and it is not up to YOU to
distribute it and make a profit. The domain community is ANGRY at what
you are doing.


Rick Schwartz


Photo courtesy of  DNJournal.com


This just in:


Westerdaldouglasliftedfromdnjournal


'This is Stephen Douglas (Right in the photo with Jay on his left). I was the executive producer for the Domain
Roundtable Conference 2007 and had a five year contract with Nameintel.
However, because of failure to pay me fairly nor follow my directions
and other breaches by NI, I am no longer connected with Jay Westerdal
or Name Intelligence as of October. I do not endorse nor consult for
him nor agree with his blog comments attacking or judging Marchex,
Enom, Snapnames, Moniker, Rick Schwartz, Traffic, or Moniker. Jay
opinions are... NOT MINE. I currently have a lawsuit filed against NI
for my fair commission payment and joint venture profits as per my
contract. More information about the REAL JAY WESTERDAL on my blog at http://www.successclick.com.
Please forgive my unfinished blogsite -- I'm too busy to even get it
together the way I want. However, I have figured out how to post. Wink
My apologies to all those people who are scratching their heads
wondering what Jay is doing. As far as Jay talking about
'transparency', he should start with looking at his own company first.'


.Mobi Sunday Food Fight! Get ready to RUMBLE!

Mobilogo
Morning folks!!


Just say .mobi and domainers take to their battle stations. The emotions stirred up by .mobi is not normal....BUT last night I may have figured it out. It started with the folks in a certain part of the business who felt threatened by .mobi. They think it is their time in the sun and out of nowhere comes .mobi. The .mobi names sell for high prices while their investments sit and languish. Their reaction is normal and predictable.


Now since there are several hundred extensions and only a handful are meaningful.....what is the natural reaction? They hate the new kid on the block because the extension they are invested in may not be doing as well unless it is dotcom or one of the country codes that do well. A few other extensions are showing signs of life. But if I list them there will be a debate inside the debate and this debate is going somewhere else.


So how many extensions? How many years? Compare the selling prices on .mobi to all those extensions and you see why the anger is so close to the surface. How can it take off so fast while other extensions have done nothing?


For the .mobi haters, .mobi won't make the other extensions more or less valuable. What it WILL do is suck the $$$ and the oxygen out of the investment side of those extensions and THAT is exactly what is happening and it would be natural for that to piss them off.


Point is, sometimes it is not important to know why something does well. If there is a market.....there is a market. It is created by US. If it had no validity there would be no market because there would be no interest. No dollars exchanged. How many extensions are people invested in and they are just not getting the return and there is no interest? They can't afford the renewals and that in itself makes one angry and bitter.


In every post I have made about .mobi I say both sides are full of shit because neither side understands the reality. Neither side has looked at things other than one way. Neither side probably embraces my reasoning above. So like I said, both sides are full of shit. (I mean that in a friendly way).


What is not full of shit is that .mobis are selling at higher prices and rising in value faster than about any other extension but .com. At the auction, ALL .mobis not only sold, they had THE most active bdding. When other domains were not selling the chants were for more .mobis because they are fun auctions to watch.


If you are allergic to .mobi let me tell you how silly it is as a businessman. If you sell black shoes and black shoes sell well because they are the primary color, don't think you are a prisoner to black. One day the BROWN shoe comes out. It will never sell scream all the black shoe salesman. Meanwhile  the brown shows are selling very well and the profit margins are pretty good. But you are a BLACK shoe salesman. That BROWN shoe is for idiots that know nothing about fashion!! Meanwhile folks are making money selling the BROWN shoes for whatever reason and they are taking some of the market from the black shoe guys. (And frankly who cares their reason because the reality trumps everything else)


Nobody is forcing the BLACK shoe salesman to sell BROWN shoes. The brown shoes may not even sell so why worry? But the BLACK shoe salesman has had a knee jerk reaction to BROWN shoes without looking at the other side. The BROWN show salesman are not any smarter. They just do the same thing in reverse. Many are juyst looking for the second coming of dotcom. That won't happen either. It adds up to a big fat missed opportunity by BOTH sides.


So either we are all here to make money or we are not. The money you make on BLACK shoes spend the exact same way as the money spent on BROWN shoes. Turning a blind eye to either might cost you money down the road. Sell both and I am quite sure you will do well.


I bought a portfolio of 125 nnn.mobi names earlier this year. Was it because I am a .mobi believer?? HELL NO!! I am a believer that I bought these domains at the right price and I can sell them for much more than I invested IF that is what I choose to do.


Point is the whole .mobi debate is just silly and it has to do with more than a new extension. That new extension is sucking up the dollars that may go to other 'Off Broadway' extensions. It is hurting those markets and it is hurting them in a significant manner. THAT is one of the BIG reasons that the tone of this debate is where it is. Those arguing may not even have a vested interest....but they have fallen into the TRAP of those that do.


Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz
UPDATE!!!!!


The words that have set off a firestorm:


Jay Westerdal writes: 'When I look at the bidding on Shopping.mobi I see that the winner was bidder #338 Rick Schwartz. Rick bought Flowers.mobi
for $200,000 earlier this year and set the high water mark for a
DotMobi name. Surely Shopping is better then Flowers, so what “other
financial obligations” would allow Rick to back out of the successful
winning and binding bid?


This just looks bad. We need Transparency in this industry.'


Now the questions:
Did you bid and win shopping.mobi yes or no?
Did you then back out of the purchase, yes or no?


It is important to clear the air. Jay's blog has raised very
damaging accusations to say the least. If you want to make such bold
statements on ' why ' there is a mobi market it is crucial to not look
as though you are fixing it!


Rick Schwartz Responds....Even tho the above question was poised by some anonymous poster it is a good question and needs to be answered. I did not win shopping.mobi so the answer is NO and Jay must
have made it up becuause it is an outright LIE on HIS part and I expect
an apology and a retraction. A BIG apology and LONG retraction
explaining this incident considering he circulated to 10,000 of my peers and now showing up on the industry boards. I hope folks on those board will post a link so the record can be set straight.


I did not win shopping.mobi so there was nothing to back out of,. This is very
damaging to me and Jay should know better than to LIE. People should
now begin to question HIS motives. I expect YOU and others to go back
and have Jay explain his made up tales. Then you should ask other
questions of why he was motivated to do this without verifying with ME?  If you have ANY backbone
you will.


Jay spread this lie to 10,000 industry professionals accusing me of
backing out of a deal and casting shadows on Me, Moniker and the
TRAFFIC Conferences. It was done with the worst of motives and fair minded people will see that. He was able
to email me TWICE the day before asking for access to my private forum, but
when I told him no and the reason, Jay did not have enough CLASS to
email me and ask me directly about this. Instead he CHOSE to drag my
good name, Moniker and TRAFFIC thru the mud with info that was not factual and done by a person that has a motive to hurt his competition. A motive to hurt Moniker. A motive to hurt TRAFFIC. A motive to hurt Rick Schwartz. The post by Jay yesterday that I learned about shortly after I made this initial post this morning is an outright LIE and is not factual. Backing out of a deal is one of the worst violations anyone in this community can make. Even when the TRUTH comes out and Jay is forced to apologize, there will always be those that will keep spreading the lie. So how do I EVER fix that? THANKS JAY!


In Summary:



A. I did NOT buy shopping.mobi so Jay should first learn to be factual or stop lying. However I did bid on it and then dropped out.
B. Comparing a bid on one domain compared to a bid on another domain
in another auction a YEAR apart does not take into account someone's
circumstance or bank account or commitments or MY personal valuation. So this is just a STUPID comment from a so-called
'Businessman.'
C. Jay is bitter that I will not grant him access to my private board on Friday. I said
'It was a little too close to home.' Instead of understanding he
complained how it was not fair. etc. etc. etc. So instead of emailing me to validate his info, he saw a chance for a sucker punch and he took it!
D. I have invited Jay to TRAFFIC even tho it is not in my best
interest and he attends. I invited him to be on a panel even tho it is not in my best
interest and put him on 'Meet the bloggers'. In return this is what we get!!?? A post done only to hurt the premiere show and auction in our space and cast false shadows that hurts everyone and every business whether you realize it or not. We are all on the same boat and those that drill holes in the bottom to try and sink their competition are being foolish and selfish at best and something I can't say publicly at worst.
E. Finally, Jay wants to hijack the subject of 'Transparency' the subject that TRAFFIC announced it will focus on in our Las Vegas show in February. Fine, let's start with Jay. With his way of doing business and selling private info about others.....He certainly proved he does not have the credentials to lead the way into a transparent business.


Rick Schwartz


Further Update.


Monte from Moniker posted some of the email but I would now like to show 2 quotes that should show the intent of Jay:
'Rick,
If you didn't buy it. Who did? I would be glad to print a
retraction if I am wrong. However I am using my notes and that is what they
say.'

And the clincher......


One more TELLING quote from Jay's email:
'Trust me, I would have preferred to ask about it on your board first and do some investigating there.... oh wait. If you don't want me there that is totally up to you.'

So Jay could email me but THIS was payback for not allowing him in my private forum. Jay has a lot of answering to do and I am sure most will be BULLSHIT! Jay you screwed up BAD in front of EVERYONE in the industry.  I don't even know how to tell you to fix it. The damage has been done. Just don't want to hear lame and silly excuses for trying to ruin my good name. Ruin the name of TRAFFIC. Ruin the name of Monte and Moniker. I think people are going to think deep today. Maybe I am an easy target because some don't like me. But when they put themselves in MY SHOES and have THOSE FEELINGS go thru them, they may even give me  a fair hearing.


Latest Update........


Jay posts a 'Luke warm apology on this site. Normally I would post a link. I don't want to do anything to circulate the lies Jay told today anymore than they already are. So This is the part as it relates to the sale that accused me of welshing on. He BURIED the link from his original post under comment #24. If he had ANY CLASS he would have put it on top, in red, so nobody would miss it. But like I said, that is just one of the things that makes it a lukewarm apology. So this at least begins to clear the record and states I did NOT buy shopping.mobi So I am going to do what I can to fix the mess that Jay created. He could give a shit about cleaning it up or he would be on every board and he would not be blaming HIS STAFF for HIS LIES!! THAT is the most telling. Blame his staff for HIS CRAP!???? That's a real MAN! Blame his staff!!! Good one Jay!


Jay writes: 'My staff notes also reflected inaccurately that Rick Schwartz was the
winning bidder of Shopping.Mobi. He in fact was not the last bidder,
the audio recording clearly shows it was bidder #161 on the phone (the
Sri Lanka Investment group). I want to apologize to Rick publicly for
making such a big mistake. I should have done more due diligence rather
then relying exclusively on my notes. I will try and do a more through
job reporting facts in the future.'


Jay, I don't believe a word out of your mouth any longer. yesterday/today you said you reviewed the video and it was your notes. Now you blame your staff. Thanks for setting the record straight after you dragged my name thru the mud for the last 2 days. You know that won't erase the damage you have done. Now you just drag your own staff thru the mud. What next? You have NO CLASS!
Transparency is finally here. What you did is transparent to the entire industry. You tried to inflict damage on Moniker, Monte, TRAFFIC and me. The only thing you did was stain the entire industry for your personal gain. A mistake is forgivable. Your statements prove it was your intent to do us harm no matter what the cost to the industry and are just the back peddling now because you have no choice. At the end of the day, you harmed yourself and your event worse than anything else you could have ever done. The saddest part, I doubt you will change your ways. Others may give you the benefit of the doubt as time goes on and they forget. But Howard, Monte and I and our staff's know how many other things you have done that we NEVER complained about publicly. This time you got caught! Jay, you are a very smart guy. Time to use that energy to stop abusing things for your personal gain. Stop messing with people's privacy. Stop the things you do that everyone knows you do but would never say out loud. I have been told at times some things you do to invade people's privacy that make me cringe. YOU now have a MOTIVE to DIG into my stuff and others. STOP IT before you get any deeper! People in this industry want their PRIVACY and it is not up to YOU to distribute it and make a profit. The domain community is ANGRY at what you are doing.


A trip down memory lane

In 1996 I started to go to chatboards to see if any other
people or industries had discovered the power of a domain name. I would make a
post about who I was and what I have been doing and what I discovered. Usually
they would just delete my post. I even used my real name. Wasn't good enough.
Why would they listen to a moron paying $100 for a domain name that was free
just a year or two ago or less and they did not want them when they were free.
They would say we have 66.154.67.109 we don't need anything else. When I asked
them how they would advertise that on Radio or TV.....that challenge was too
much for them to overcome and they would ban me and delete all my posts at that
point.

The ONLY place I found ANYONE receptive was in the adult
industry. They thought I was full of shit too. I remember before I ever got my
first BIG check. I actually thought my calculator was broken. While EVERYONE
else was talking about making 1/10 of ONE PENNY per visitor, I was making 10
cents per visitor. 25 cents per visitor. I REALLY thought I must be doing
something wrong. Then the check showed up. HOLY SHIT!!!!! I was doing nothing
wrong I was doing it quite right. Most did not even believe me. They thought I
was making it up. Sergeandfmandme_2


 

Then in 1997 they plugged in some of my domain names and saw
conversions the likes of which they had NEVER seen before. I then went on to buy domains like porno.com, men.com, ass.com, sexo.com, voyeur.com and many many more. The total combined cost for those 5 domains back then was $94,000 in 5 separate transactions.


In those days the average traffic would take 10,000 visitors
to produce one subscription. (Sign up). The really good traffic would produce at
a rate of 1 in 1500. The really really good stuff was 1 in 800. They thought
that was the very best conversions. Until I showed them 1 in 50. So that got
the attention of some folks and it gave me a forum (Ynot) to talk about the
power of domain names without fear those posts would get deleted. I even found
an early ally in Joe Holler who was respected in that community and if not for
him I would have had the same fate I had everywhere else.

 

In 1999 I got the code from the guys at Ynot to start my own
domain board and by May 18th of the next year I finally decided it was time and
the board went online with the following post:

'Welcome to one of the first domain chatboards on the net. I
will be posting pertinent news about domain names and how we are all being
affected by new rulings every day of the week.
Alone it is a tough
mountain to climb. With a little support of others facing the same issues can
only help. Use this board to your advantage and not a place to piss with each
other.
Good luck to us!'

Rick
Schwartz
,eRealestate

 
Nobody showed up for 10 days. Then there was another post.
Then a few days later another. Within 30 days a conversation was going on and
the rest is history. By that time I had already assembled about 75% of my
current portfolio. Today I am thrilled that I have been joined with so many
other voices that have recognized domains as the real estate of this new century
and the fuel that powers the net. The multiple facets that makes domains so
valuable and increasing by the day.
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz


Time Capsule September 2000


Morning folks!!
In 2000 the following exchange took place between a fellow board member and myself. As you can see he is feeling sorry for himself. How many of you wish we could rewind back to 2000 and get those GREAT domains at really cheap prices? To give you some historical perspective, the poster that felt defeated wrote this about the same time that Frank Schilling bought his first domain name. So if you REALLY want to see the future, you MUST look into the past.
The exchange is a true classic and starts when I say 'I don't like takers that don't give
back!' referring to people reading my board, reading my posts, getting valuable info and then never sharing and giving back.
Rick,
No offense intended. But it is VERY easy for you to
say this considering the position you're in. Yes, you DO give TONS to this
board. And for this we are all appreciative (at least I am). And I think we all
try to give back as much as we can. But there are just certain things that can't
be shared with the masses. Not at this stage of the game at least.
As
for you, you can go out and divulge ALL your nitty gritty methods to the public
and be secure in the fact that NOBODY can touch you. You don't have to worry
because NOBODY will ever be able to recreate what you've done. You said it
yourself, that window of opportunity has all but closed. But not all of us are
that lucky or didn't get in the game as early as you did. So we need ALL the
edge we can get... it's just business. I believe the same goes for hoping Netsol
has auctions. That WOULD be great if all of us had deep pockets. But most of us
don't. Hence, what I perceive as a totally unfair advantage. But of course, the
person with the money would see it otherwise.
That's just my opinion.

My response in September 2000.


Folks.....
If you want to make it BIG in
domains......I'll tell you the VERY most important thing.
DON'T BUY A
DOMAIN UNLESS IT GETS TYPE IN TRAFFFFFFFFIC!!!!
If the FIRST domain you
buy does not have this type of traffic.....you are on the WRONG path. The BEST
way to GROW your business is to make sure that your BUSINESS pay for your
domains.
I ALWAYS hear this SILLY shit about it's too late and You were
lucky to get into it then......BULLSHITTTT!!!
Work SMARTER not HARDER.
In 1998 I sold ALL my traffic for about $1.5 million a year. I had
nothing to do and having retired a few weeks earlier from my other business in
my early 40's I had no real motivation to do anything. But I did.
I
SIMPLY repeated the process and did EXACTLY what I had done before except this
time it was MUCH harder but I was MUCH smarter cuz I already been there and done
that.
Point is ANYONE can do this and do it good IF you point yourself in
the right direction.
Many of you NEW faces don't realize how lucky you
are. There are SEVERAL people in this forum that ARE millionaires and have
become that thru the net. Now maybe I am silly but if I had my choice of
listening to folks that made millions on the net or those that lose millions on
the net......I know what my silly choice would be. :-))
There are an
INFINITE amount of .com domains. It will NEVER run out.
#1
advice......stop registering 100 $15 domains and buy ONE $1500 DOMAIN with
typeins! That's the path folks......if you elect not to take it....all I can say
is I gave you the road map....
Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz
So there you are. A guy who looked at me and CHOSE to defeat
himself. Just look at how many (Most) folks came to the domain industry AFTER
September 2000. There is some SCHMUCK saying the same thing right now. They said
it in 1996 and in 1997 and in 2001 and 2003 and they were ALL wrong. They will
say it tomorrow and next week and next year and they will ALWAYS be wrong. Every
entry point will have a different way to be successful but you will NEVER EVER
run out of entry points. Unless of course you defeat yourself before you begin.
Human nature controls us, to be successful you must control human nature. The
secret is really no secret at all.
Have a GREAT day!
Rick
Schwartz



Hells Bells it’s Christmas time and time to get a clue!!

Morning folks!!


Well we are into November. The home stretch. The retailers and their suppliers around the globe depend on what happens in the next 10 weeks to make their year. Each Christmas business and industry has TIMIDLY increased their online spending but still have yet to take that real PLUNGE. Each year I wonder if this will be the year? The year that they can no longer ignore the dollars spent on the net that out produce the dollars spent on the newspapers, TV and other media. Each year we make progress and each year all the analysts are surprised. (I Can't believe they pay these people to be 'Surprised.' Don't they get paid to predict significant changes before they occur?)


So will THIS be the online Christmas many have always expected? Will the same sorry folks be marched out to tell you not to spend online? How dangerous it is? Marched out like a political attack machine because they know their days are numbered? These people who are funded by those with most to lose. Is this the year they get it? Can they figure out that Google is approaching $800/share for a reason? That they are the fastest growing, most valuable company in the world for a reason? Can they figure out that the newspapers are not only going down in circulation but in readerehip as well?? Same with other mediums. And talk about 'Stickyness'.......Imagine how many MINUTES someone used to read a newspaper or magazine and how many minutes they read now?


There are so many invisible things going on it is hard to keep up with and it will take years for them to even ask the right questions let alone report on it. Imagine the day when companies begin to announce that more than 50% of all their ad budgets will be spent online??!! That day is coming. There is no question about it and it will be an avalanche the likes we have never seen before. This is an inevitability. It could happen sooner than anyone even expected and then the guys we pay to get these things right and predict these events, will be 'Surprised'!!


So for all you analysts that are going to be surprised.....don't be. I just told you what was going to happen. Now figure it out for yourselves and alert your clients. If you don't do that.....prepared to be SURPRISED and then go get a job you can actually do!!


Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz


Once upon a time and a conversation with Steve Forbes……

Once upon a time I was the only public voice of domains.
I was the first to share what I had learned about domain names, type-in traffic,
value and why domains would become so important in time. How domains would
appear on every ad, brochure, billboard. I would DARE to suggest that the
domain name would be more important than the 800 number. The HOLY 800 number.
The LIFELINE of business in 1996. I was called every name in the book for
saying wacky things like this out loud. To that I added that “Getting a great
domain was a unique opportunity in time.” “Domains would go up faster in value
than any other commodity ever known to man.”


Schwartzforbes_2Last month Steve Forbes corrected
me when we met at T.R.A.F.F.I.C.. He said domains are not “Commodities” because
they are UNIQUE!! They are “Collectibles”.  They are “Virtual real estate.” They are “Many
things” but they are not commodities. So I thank Steve for correcting my
adjective. I thank him even more for realizing how many facets a domain name
represents. Maybe others will comment what it meant to be in the company of
such a figure the likes of a Steve Forbes. Chatting with one of the smartest
people on the planet is priceless. Chatting with a great economist is
priceless. Talking with one of the great analysts of our time is priceless. But
finding one person that represents all that and has COMMON SENSE and life
experience and a great sense of humor is more than priceless. It was an
enriching experience that will pay dividends for a lifetime. It also
demonstrates just how far domain owners have come in the past decade. I’ll talk
more about my time with him in a future blog post. I am still letting it settle
in. I still need to review the audio CD to listen once again to every word of
his presentation. It was truly magnificent and so much applied to what we are
facing in the years ahead based on what others have been thru in history. So
much is common to all business on Main Street to Wall Street.


To this moment folks fail to understand what a great
domain with type in traffic represents. So let’s look at it from a different
angle. To do that let me rewind back to 1999. The following was written before
the collapse. It is still on the net on one of my oldest sites. But the
handwriting was already on the wall and the following may be a little silly or
elementary in 2007 but in 1999 few had a clue what I was talking about.


From 1999…….


“The net all comes down to
“Targeting”. Just like a 'Bulls eye' is worth more in darts......a
targeted visitor is worth more on the internet. It’s worth exponentially more
dollars and that will unfold as our most powerful asset as the net matures. As an
example I have one site called ebid.com. The click thru rate on that site is
80x greater than a normal site. All because of “Targeting”. On just 1000 daily
hits more than 300 click thru to our 2 sponsors. Of those 300, 1 out of 3 sign
up. Thus just as a middleman on 1000 daily hits we were able to make nearly
$1200 a day. Just on this 1 site with no maintenance and nothing really to
offer other than giving them what they are looking for. 


This is where “Click thru” and
“Impression based internet advertising collide. It is my opinion that
advertising based on the number of “Impressions” shown and not based on
“Clicks” received, “Flat rate” or by “Productivity” is the MAIN reason that so
many lose money on the internet. Mainstream advertising rates are based on
magazine or broadcast price guidelines and then applying that “Formula” to the
net. That “Formula” is flawed and does not work in this medium and the results
are the proof. Why pay for 100,000 impressions if NOBODY clicks to go to your
site?  Wouldn’t you rather have 25 targeted live clicks? Doesn’t that
represent more value?   


If you purchase 100,000 impressions
for $5,000 it means NOTHING! It’s the same as loading up a bus with 50 people,
passing a casino without stopping and then repeating the process until 100,000
people passed the casino. Then giving the bus driver $5,000 for it. You still
have nothing but just WASTED $5000. I guess you may as well collect the $5000
from every business you pass on the trip. They all get the same value. ZERO! The
bus driver can make millions!


Compare that with a bus driver
STOPPING at your casino and then unloading those 50 passengers at the front of
your casino and then holding the door open so that they can enter. Those 50 are
already more valuable than the 100,000 and if you had to pay $10 each you would
still have $4500 left to buy more. So even if I charged $10 a click thru, that
$500 is a BARGAIN compared to spending $5000 for nothing!!


When a website spends $5000 and gets
nothing he is not apt to try it again. But if he spends $50 to get something,
he will want more and give more dollars. It becomes a win/win situation opposed
to a win/lose situation with the website the loser every time and the guy
selling the ad space the winner every time. I think the best single day on the
Internet will be the day that the BUYERS of impression based advertising wake
up and realize that their web businesses really are profitable but their
profits are being eaten up by this obscene way to advertise. Impression based advertising
is the root of all evil on the net. The website profits are there, just being
swallowed up by the sellers of this flawed advertising scheme. Thankfully that
is beginning to change. It’s not rocket science, just simple common sense.
That brings me to the next point which is while others depend on Search engines
for traffic or buying traffic from a 3rd party, we are actually self
sufficient because we get our hits via “Type ins” to the browser bar. The
result becomes the most potent and targeted hits anyone on the Internet can
get. Our sites become destinations. 1 of our hits can easily be worth 10
regular hits or even 100 regular hits. So my 100,000 daily visitors really have
the “Buying power” of over 1 million people!! That’s the result of an internet bulls
eye.


Add that to the fact that our
traffic grew over 50% just in 1999. Not because of any work that I have done,
just the simple growth of the net. I saw things that NOBODY can see. After
Christmas season in 1998 our overall traffic grew by 10%. That was more than
twice the growth of the preceding 12 months. In the late spring we experienced
another 15% growth in addition. Then the biggest surprise of all came in
August. As a result of the free computers, back to school, great deals etc……we
experienced a 20% overnight jump and those numbers have been maintaining as we
go into the 1999 holiday season. I can only imagine at this point what to
expect.”


Back to today….


So something written in 1999 based
on theory of 1996 has relevance today. You can see it is dated. I use “Hits”
instead of “Visitors.”  But much has
remained constant. Like Steve Forbes driving a stake thru the IRS I would have
done the same to “Impression based advertising.” It was the root of all evil on
the net. Saying it then, meant virtually nothing. Saying it today may not
result in much more. But it is worth repeating. Repeating because so many
failed to consider this the first time around, most have failed to see it the
second time around and I am a hopeful person that maybe it will be grasped the
third time around.


So once upon a time I was saying
much of this by myself. Today I am thrilled to have other voices like Franky, Ron,
Owen, Sahar, Michael, Elliot. I only have to use their first names. Everyone in this
space knows who they are. If you don’t, what space are you really in? If you
don’t know what the hell we are talking about, I suggest you read until you
figure it out. But for the thousands that follow these folks and DO know what I
am talking about, whether you agree or disagree, I am going to ask for
something. I am going to ask everyone reading this to educate just 2 other
people by the end of this year. The power of numbers and word of mouth are so
powerful, so quick, so strong, there is almost nothing that can compete with
it. An organized sales force calling folks all day could not achieve what I
just asked for. It is taking the power of so many and spreading it like
wildfire. The things domain owners have discovered about traffic has even
Google and Yahoo listening. They come to TRAFFIC and they found out things
about traffic that really helped them. Things that we discovered about type ins
and human nature and traffic that is like gold and traffic that is like crap.
The fact that in 2004…..worthless CRAP traffic and TARGETED traffic cost about the same.
One would result in no or limited sales the other was full of sales. Sales are
the epicenter of everything we do. So success on or off the net revolves around
sales. Domain owners are EXPERTS on making more sales. Not all visitors are
created equal. Those that figure it out first will get the prize, the others
are doomed for failure before they even begin…..and I can PROVE it, right here,
right now.


Are you ready?


When someone is standing in New York
City and they set sail for London and they end up in South Africa……their
mistake did not happen when they landed in Africa, their mistake happened
before they even set sail from New York. Their plan and direction were flawed
from the get go. It means they did not consider all things. It means they were
doomed for failure before they got in the water. Those looking for those
mistakes upon landing will be chasing their tales for the rest of their lives. Those
that figure out that almost all mistakes happen before they even start, that most
mistakes happen during the planning stage or lack of it, will be those that
will be rewarded with great success. On the Internet the beginning consists of
two things. The website (Mousetrap) and the traffic (The sale). It’s like gas
to the engine or electric to the lamp. No spark no sale. No tickee, no laundry.
One can’t exist without the other. So while others focus on the crap that won’t
show them the answer, your job is to be smarter than that. So how does this all
tie in? If you haven’t read each post, you’ll never know unless you do know in
which you would just be laughing at ll this anyway. Only difference from 1997
or 1999 is that you will be laughing with me and not laughing at me.


Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz