The Domain Industry’s Dirty Little Secret Exposed

Morning Folks!!
Which dirty little secret do you want to hear first? How many do you know first hand? Actually there are dozens of dirty little secrets. I don't have the time or inclination to go through all of them, but there are many and I see it growing. Trust is definitely going to be an issue going forward. The worst kinda scams are from the people you know and trust. Just ask 'Bernie.' So we are entering a phase that others have talked about. Except this phase may be pretty ugly in what goes on.
I think the last phase could be labeled the abuse phase. Starting at the beginning was the 'Geek' or 'Free' phase 1994. That was followed by the 'Dark' phase 1996 where domains had gone from free to $100 a pop certainly was a dark period with still such little understanding of what existed on the net.
That was followed by the 'Adult' phase in 1997. That was followed by the collapse. 2001/2002. Then we enter what I would call the 'Frank Schilling' phase. This is the post collapse phase in which drops and ppc and mega portfolios emerge. This becomes the domain industries first big boost. That leads into the mega sale phase when we have the Men.com mark the end of the collapse and the biggest rush we have seen to date. 2004. That lead to the trade show phase 2004/2005. Which led to the formation of an industry. 2005. That led to the 'Cut their nuts off' phase. 2007. Which led to the 'Auction Phase' ($12.5 Million T.R.A.F.F.I.C./Moniker auction) 2007 which leads us to the 'Abuse' phases where many took advantage and we are paying the price today. 2008
So here we are in 2009. The next phase. What is it called? I don't know yet. There are other phases. I could and should have mentioned the Marchex deal. The VC phase. There are so many. Like chapters in a book. Perhaps this is 'Book 3' of it all. Or book 4? We can each sit down and name our own personal phases. Maybe the 'Steve Forbes' phase. Whatever you want to call it I call it lifting an industry from obscurity to front and center. A rising tide helps all of us. We can all assist in raising that tide. It happens one contact at a time. Like making a million dollars. You don't make a 'Million' dollars. You make a dollar, 1 million times.
Have a GREAT day!!
Rick Schwartz

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9 thoughts on “The Domain Industry’s Dirty Little Secret Exposed

  1. Scott Alliy

    Rick,
    How about making the next phase the education phase? I was in a cigar store yesterday and a college grad and parent came in with his laptop. We started talking about domain names and I asked him to type in some urls. He was typing the urls into the Yahoo search box. Then when I explained to type the url into the address bar he went with http;//www and I had to educate him that the prefix was not necessary. Amazingly he is not alone, there are millions of people of all ages and education levels that simply do not know how to use the internet. No familiarity or education = frustration and lack of value.
    I wrote my Senator last night after watching the Presidents speech and suggested that the state of Texas take the lead in creating Internet training programs that would create a perfect storm by creating jobs, educate all U.S. citizens about the internet and how to use it to communicate and research and make purchases, by inspiring businesses to buy and develop domain names and how to make their businesses more effecient and profitable all of which could lead to a hurricane of activity that would produce commerce and get our nation out of this mess. Let’s see if they Get It!

    Reply
  2. Kevin

    My bet is 2009 will become the year when you’re going to see a big boom in domainers and private investors forming venture deals for the next phases in domain development projects.
    There’s going to be some big deals that are going to light up domain values like we haven’t seen since the 2003 spark.
    The biggest demand will be for domains that are perfect for private investor deals.
    The fuse has already been lit and the bonanza about to come is going to be an exciting surprise for domainers.
    :)

    Reply
  3. Joan

    Rick:
    I think you already have something up your sleeve, you already have your archives set for Feb, 2029. I would love to see your thoughts for that era of domaining posted now and see how soon it comes to be.
    Great to see your posts on a regular basis again, look forward to your insights.

    Reply
  4. UFO.ORG

    Good post, Always positive and always an interesting angle.
    There is plenty plenty more to be made in this industry. The most important phase we are now entering is the”weaning off” phase where we don’t rely on one income stream (Google PPC) to make our properties profitable.
    Google ads have been powering the net too much and for too long.

    Reply
  5. Dr. Altaf

    Hi Rick,
    It is nice to read your posts as we miss the T.forum & your & others great posts, from far away.
    I feel the era will be”Domains-Bailout” phase.
    Have a nice day !
    Warm Regards,

    Reply
  6. Danny Pryor

    I’m not sure what phase the industry is in … but we’re in a development phase down in our little corner of the world. We’re getting our content deployed and contacting advertisers and potential partners. So, it’s development online and behind the scenes. If it plays out properly (the way we hope), then we’ll have the revenue stream to begin gobbling up the domainers who will soon begin falling by the curb – leaving cheap, albeit good, names in their wake. We don’t want a portfolio buy … we want specific names. The short ones are gone (you got ’em all, Rick), so we’re concentrating on keyword generics.
    If this doesn’t work out the way we hope, we’ll try something else. Whatever happens, we will just keep on … perhaps this should be called (for the industry) The Endurance Phase: When Real Players Stay in The Game.

    Reply

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