Will Any .CO stand up to UDRP or WIPO and Will it be Worth Defending?

Morning Folks!!

I don't know about you but I am not sure I have seen a single UDRP or WIPO win with a .CO name involved. Each decision I personally have seen has gone against the .CO domain owner. Even with generic names. This could be a problem and a precedent is being set whether we like it or not. It may be hard to defend even a generic .CO as we have seen with the PokerStrategy.co decision.

I have only received 1 C&D on a .CO. But when I think about this I try and see how a jury of my peers would see it. With a dot com most folks on the street think you did nothing wrong when it came to registering a bunch of domain names and doing well. They almost always say, 'Why didn't I think of that?' But I think the reaction would and will be different with any .co that a .com BUSINESS already exists. I think the average Joe would think you are taking advantage. A cybersquatter. And so far that is exactly what we have seen and that gives others a clear path to take your domain away.

If this becomes the common thinking, you may see .co have more challenges than any other domain extension out there. And percentage wise could be a mind blower. Cost of doing business can end up a lot more than $25.

Now I do have 2350 .CO domains. Many are the .co versions of my .com. Many are not. 80 of them are NNN.co. Many are geo type domains followed by a keyword. I focused on sectors in which my .com portfolio was either weak or non existent. I know I mined veins that I realized friends of mine own the .com. I feel a bit guilty. I did not have a lot of geo real estate domains but I am heavily focused on real estate in my .com's. I came to realize that one of those keywords were ones Rob Grant owns the .com version of. I knew when I got Rumcakes.co that Franky has the .com version. I just figured he would rather see my name on it than somebody he does not know. I have no idea how many others fall into this category. But when I got Rumcake.co, somebody else has the .com.

At the same time I do not have the .CO version of my highest profile keyword .COM domains. I hope they are in friendly hands.;-)

So I am very interested in how all this plays out and like I said, I have yet to see a .CO challenge that has failed. Have you? It's hard to defend on one hand but it is the nature of what we do on the other. I am torn sometimes and so I decided to come out and share these thoughts.

What we learn in the next weeks will have a huge implication on all other extensions whether they/we like it or not. It does not matter if you are pro .CO or against .CO, there will be much to learn and watch for and those that don't think so are missing a HUGE opportunity to gather new data, new information and watch human nature. Has nothing to do with .CO has everything to do with reactions and other things that are not even visible yet. The one thing that may be different is that I don't see the trademark conflict as that big a problem on the other extensions.....but who knows. ICANN has one agenda and reality may just throw them and everyone else a curve ball.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

3D associated 2 word dot com or 3D.co? Part 2. The Equation and the Answer

Morning Folks!!

Besides basic math, reading and writing, Algebra I would say is the most important and useful subject I ever learned in school. I use it everyday in almost every situation. It's my compass in life. To understand this post, you must read the comments on my last post. This is my dissecting things a little further. First let me be on record saying there are only a handful of 3d domains that will have any value and tens of thousands registered. So that's my take on the 3d fad. Just using that as an example because it works well to illustrate an equation.

Now that folks see a 'STARTING EQUATION' (3dville.com vs3d.co) change the variables to find different results. At the end of the day there are only a FEW variables that you can fill into the .CO side and still make your argument. Then you get to 'Pigeon Shit'. The domains that will never work. Point is, IF you even want a chance of winning, you best START with PRIME. When I see a domain that would have no value with a .com on the end then chances are it is even worse with another extension. Excluding natural combination's. Yes, 3D.TV is a winner. It's natural. It's natural to say and remember. But that equation won't work for everything.
Equations and variables. That's what it is all about. As a captain of a ship, your #1 job is to have as few leaks as possible. If you leak 25% of your efforts to somebody else you make them rich and maybe a competitor. Your advertising costs 25% more for the leak and you grow your own competition. Sorry, that is NEVER a smart equation no matter what business you are in.
As I have said, .co has an opportunity. It won't be up to me. It won't be up to Juan. It won't be up to you. It won't be up to anyone but the consumer. THEY hold the key. THEY will determine it. And if the best opportunity goes down in flames, you will see the other extensions with an even worse fate.

Dot com worked because there was natural type in traffic in great mass and it has trillions of dollars in advertising worldwide behind it. Not even to mention that you hear, see, and read it all day long and we are brainwashed.

Any new extension or domain will work IF you give them something UNIQUE that they want. So the value for sake of value is a Tulip Festival. Domains traded inside a small community and the greater world could care less. Everyone looking for the second coming of a unique opportunity in time.
We have a rendezvous with destiny and in that rendezvous we will travel away from the dot com home base. But will anyone else? Will they travel or come back to the home base?
Content and a number of huge successes will be the thing that could ignite a new extension. But without that, just go look at a map of all the plants and stars in the galaxy. They are just there. I have never been a content guy, but that is the key to a new extension and it better be superior to anything else.
And if you think I am talking out of both sides of my mouth, you are right! But that is what an equation is. Variables that add weight to one argument or another and not be afriad to change the variables and get a differnt conclusion. But reality trumps all.
At the end of the day, eyeballs are what counts. Advertising is what counts. Word of mouth is what counts. Branding with a PROFIT counts.
We all get to see an experiment. That is what we will witness. A great test. A grand multimillion dollar experiment. That is exciting! And it will play out in front of the world and if the canary lives, the world will know and if the canary dies, the world will know and if nobody cares, then that will be the result.
With each experiment, the equation and the variables change just a tiny bit. Your job is to keep score and don't fool yourself no matter how it turns out.

Tomorrow I will connect this 'Equation' with the 'Marketing Nerve' and you will see how to map an experiment mentally. Map on a grid.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Quick question….Would you rather have a 3D associated 2 word dot com or 3D.co?

Morning Folks!!

A fork in the road and a decision to make.

Sometimes a simple question or equation can dig deeper than you might think. But let’s say you decided to build out a 3d two word domain or 3d.co. Which would you stake your $$$ on? Let’s say 3dville.com or 3d.co?

Should be interesting.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz


What Would our Library System Look Like if Google was in Charge?

Morning Folks!!

First you got to stop laughing. Second they are already doing that as you will see below. Third, it is still funny.

Sometimes the best way to look forward into the future is to look to the past. Compare something with the past. See if there is a parallel or a conflict. Then do a test.

So did you ever sit and think what our Library would look like if Google was in charge of indexing? That just made me laugh. Out loud. How about you? I would probably get the same 10 books keep popping up all over the place. Therefore, some results would be useless. Most results would be tainted. Most results would be filtered by their definition not mine.

What if there were a new Dewey Decimal System re-invented for the Internet that would eliminate the need for search? A systematic way to look things up that will self index? The way you search would change. The Zuckerberg Social System for example. Don't search for it, I just made it up.

'It’s hard to sustain a company when all of your customers hate you.' That was what many a website owner has told me over the years when it comes to Google and now with more frequency. Just Saturday by my own brother. Friday, a buyer of traffic from New York. The first alternative that comes and they will be gone. Now this is not likely for some time, but don't underestimate just how quickly things are moving. New Gorillas are coming into the room. Big ones. Bigger ones. Will Facebook and Apple hook up? Somebody else come along? Always consider the unexpected. The refined. The new. The better mousetrap.

Just fun questions to ask and speculate on. You make money by seeing something that has yet to happen and then act on it. There are battle lines being drawn everywhere and every sector and at every level. I have always believed that the greatest race in history would be the Internet Race. It really took many years longer than I expected to ramp up. But make no mistake folks, we are ramped up now and everyone is in the game like never before. This is just so damn exciting!

It still has to filter down to Main St. Most store owners are dependent on IT guys to do their marketing and that is like a scuba diver being your sky diving instructor. It rarely works out well. Only problem is the guy on Main Street that built their businesses from scratch have outsourced their futures in a dangerous way. Some will survive. Others won't. The ones that do get it, will thrive. So shakeout is coming to every sector and many of these guys will just hang it up. If you know a retailer, send this to them. They need to read it.They need to take 120 seconds and stop and listen.

So if you want to see the future, just look to the past. The answers are always there. Just in a different form in a different disguise. Figure it out and you make $$$$. I still love that line in The Social Network by Larry Sommers.....'Inventing a job is better than getting a job.' So if you are working for somebody else.....pay attention. You can invent your job and the security that comes with it while still at your regular job. One great idea is as powerful as you make it. Nothing can stop a great idea. Things are changing so rapidly that each WEEK you need to reassess the landscape. Things are at warp speed and there is $$$ in the air. Your job is to construct a net and grab your share!

And while doing a Google serach on this subject to make sure I did not look too stupid, Google is of course already trying. Let the best most efficient system win.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

The Newest War has Just Begun. Who Will be on What Side of the Social Networking Line

Morning folks!!

Things are moving so fast now it is hard to keep up. Harder to even define. Unintended consequences are on the horizon. Pitfalls and pots of gold.

The key thing to watch in 2011 is how Social Networking manifests itself. I think this is the biggest, most massive and fastest change in human behavior and habits in my lifetime. A new normal is coming but it is still in formation. Battle lines are developing. How much is too much? What expense will it ultimately take? There are many unanswered questions and too early to even think of where it will all sort out. There is good and bad and each are vivid. That is why this will become such an issue.

In a story this weekend one of the headlines was 'Twitter and Facebook don't connect people – they isolate them from reality, say a rising number of academics.' So we are about to see a new social war to breakout. Defend or define, just more money that some can get their hands on.

And did I mention that Social Media may actually backfire on businesses? They best be careful. It can grow their business if used right or destroy it if they make some bad moves. Stay tuned. This is only the first chapter of a story that will take many months or years to play out.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

My Take on O.com….I Mean O.co, and Other New Extensions and Their Fate

Morning Folks!!

There’s a problem on the way to the wedding of new extensions and reality of profit making business. Branding costs a lot of money. Branding a new extension is harder than branding your product or company. It is a monumental undertaking.

I purposely did not read Sahar’s blog post on the subject until after I wrote this just to see how we each came at it. He has much more facts supporting his position but we are not so far apart at all.

O.com I mean O.co or Overstock.com has done one thing so far, caused confusion and they are likely pissing away a lot of money by not owning O.com which of course is associated with Oprah not Overstock. And right now neither of them has it. It does not resolve.

My point is this is a test. This is a canary in the mines. I don’t know which way it will go. But I do have a hunch it will be more difficult than they expect with a lot of blow back. So far, the winner on this one is the ad exec putting this grand experiment together. There will be a lot to learn here. Some you may want to copy and some you may want to avoid.

Is confusing your customer a good thing? I guess we will find out. The unknown is how many folks will go to O.com to find nothing and then just say what a bunch of idiots never to return. A real risk.

Now on to the other new extensions. They include .xxx , .me, .food and likely hundreds if not thousands of others. This is going to be fun. New ways to print old money. But knowing what we know now is the best way to exploit all the new extensions be investing in them or in an other capacity?

An extension could easily smother themselves with a wrong move. Could lose time thinking their premiums will go up. Probably won’t happen with .mobi. Timing IS everything.

You can’t play the new phase exactly like the past phase and expect to do well. It requires a fresh set of eyes and a fresh look. Forget what you know. Examine it like you never knew what a domain was. You just know what you know. Would you do it the same? Could you do it the same?

.travel has not exactly done well. Why would folks expect other extensions to do all that much better? Last count there were 28 choices of extensions at Direcnic.com. How many do you think the average guy on the street even knows about?? Hey I don’t have the answer. I just have the questions. .travel made some fatal mistakes early on and never recovered. Other have dome even worse.

.co made all the right moves early on and they have a shot. The best shot. But still nothing more than a canary in the mines. We'll know more in a few weeks after the Superbowl. That will determine many things that will happen this year. This is a grand experiment. We’ll see. I will pay attention to that more than anything else in the first 6 weeks of the year. And it may end up meaningless. Just confusion and if that is the grand plan, bring it on, they will always default to what they know. What is familiar. .Com will still rule except the value will be much more as many learn the lessons the hard way. Some will learn and move on and some will die in their tracks with little fanfare.

Will it cause confusion? It would have to do well to even get to the state of confusion. In my eyes, still a long shot. UDRP cases have not been kind to .co. So any .co that has a successful .com counterpart and you can expect to be challenged on that domain name. And be prepared to lose.

Been there, done that. Got the T-Shirt. Enjoy the parade. Participate in it if you like. There are still fortunes to be made in failure. Just make sure it is the others guys failure and not your own and you will do well. A failure here and you can expect the value of .com to rise once again along with skepticism with any and all other new extensions.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

TRAFFIC Announces $995 Early Bird. Just 23 Tickets Left at This Price!

Morning Folks!!

Yesterday I emailed this out to everyone on our mailing list. Hopefully you got this, but if not...

Business is galloping along as we start 2011 so I will be brief and to the point. Today I would like to announce that the new T.R.A.F.F.I.C. website is open during our makeover and that below is the price schedule. With a year to work on this show and at the Ritz Carlton I think you will experience a TRAFFIC with a focus like never before. The first 50 registrants pay just $995. That's called 'Opportunity' and a call to action in one thought. Those tickets will not last long. (23 left as of this writing)
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. means business. We don't waste your time. We just provide you with a great venue and assemble an audience that makes it impossible not to do business. Our formula is perfected. It works. We give great bang for the buck because we know what domainers want and need and sponsors know the sluggers will be in attendance. It's like it has been since day #1....a WIN-WIN situation for all that participate. Sit on the bench at your own peril. In article after article what happened in the domain industry, happened at T.R.A.F.F.I.C.. Who you met in the domain industry you likely met at TRAFFIC. You can't rewrite history. We mean business.
As you will see below we have limited space at the Ritz. We have decided to sell a limited amount of tickets at the early level. The capacity of attendees for this show is 335-350 and there are 192 hotel rooms. So we will be taking over the entire hotel.
Show dates are Sunday October 16th until Wednesday morning the 19th 2011. But the Cabana Networking Weekend Party starts on Friday October 14th. Rooms at the Ritz Carlton are $254 for a 5 star hotel right on the beach and in the center of the Ft Lauderdale strip. Almost every room has a balcony with a fabulous ocean view. Our GROUP CODE is AULAULA but if you want a suite, those codes are listed below.
Ticket Pricing:

$995 Early Bird Until Jan 31(Limited to the First 50 registrations. Whichever happens first)

$1295 February 1 - April 30th (Limited to 75 registrations at this level)

$1495 May 1- June 30th

$1595 July 1- August 31st

$1795 September 1- Show (As space and seats allow)

Spouse....Early Bird $299 until January 31st. Spouse $399 thereafter

5 Pack Group Passes

$4900 Early Bird (As available)

$5900 Until April 30th

$6500 thru June 30th

$7500 thru August 31

If you act right now, you get a huge savings. As much as $800 off your ticket and $100 off the spouse rate. We wish we could give that price to everyone, but we can't. So act early and get a great deal. Simple as that. Save $4,000 for your company with our '5-Pack' But you need to act now.
We won't let you down. The best TRAFFIC is always coming next. We're never satisfied. We always want to make it better and add more value for your dollar. And as we have proven, we work on the agenda until Stage Time. Say what you like, TRAFFIC Means Business because so much business is done at TRAFFIC. Our focus is growing your business by putting you in touch with serious people looking to do serious business. We would not waste our time so you know we won't be wasting yours. See you at the Beach!!
Rick and Howard

All Hotel Codes:

AULAULA- Run of House- $254

AULAULC- Partial Ocean Double- $294

AULAULE- Ocean Front King- $274

AULAULF- Ocean Front Double- $294

AULAULI- Intracoastal Junior Suite- $354

AULAULK- Ocean Front Suite- $579

AULAULM- Intracoastal One Bedroom Residential- $454

AULAULN- Intracoastal Two Bedrooms Residential - $779

AULAULQ- Ocean Front One Bedroom Residential- $629

Social Network is Really Social Genius. Have you ever REALLY seen Genius?

Morning Folks!!

I watched “The Social Network” DVD yesterday after watching it in the theater a few months back. I watched scenes over and over again. I could not stop dreaming about it last night. Again.

A movie like the Social Network is about a dream. An idea. Success like this is so very rare, but success like this also keeps dreams alive and ideas coming because you just never know when you will hit a nerve. Hit something big. And even if you hit something small, like owning a few domain names and building on that, it still works. It still fuels the dream.

The next part of the movie was understanding genius in action working. Social genius is a hard thing to communicate but it did that in the first scene and every scene after.

I don’t ever recall a movie being so contemporary. EVER! Do you?

In 2002 this juggernaut did not even exist. More users in Bosnia than roads.

This is a special movie like none other in HISTORY. I have watched it twice and played a few scenes over. I will watch again today. There is a blueprint here. There is a story of the fasting growing company in history. The youngest MULTI-Billionaire in history. Self made. A genius figuring out a simple but complex rubix cube. The valuation has gone from $25 Billion to 3x that in just a YEAR! I wrote this last night directly after watching. Like the first time, there were tears in my eyes. Everything was blurry but I typed as fast as I could anyways with a dozen misspells. But the thoughts are here. Every scene is a book! Every scene is genius. Every scene means something. Every scene worth watching over and over and over again.

Then I woke up this morning to see that the movie won a number of Golden Globe Awards. Well deserved. This is a true look into genius in a way that I have never seen genius. I am in awe of such a mind knowing I am not even in that type of orbit or could be. But the glimpse into that…..PRICELESS.

If you have not seen this movie, you are missing something very special and you are doing your self a disservice.. I would urge you to get it, watch it, watch it again and it won’t be until the 3rd time that you even begin to understand what is going on. Sheer genius. We are just mere mortals.

The Hula-Hoop has finally met it's match. I believe this to be the biggest business phenomena in history because we are all involved. Studying this is what it is all about. Understanding our limitations. The power of a simple idea that fills a void. This is just the beginning of the phenomenon, not the end and THAT is what makes this the most important movie in my lifetime and how we as domain asset holders and web based businesses and and everyone else in the universe can/will all directly and indirectly benefit.

Add to that a roadmap, a template a motivator a host of other adjectives that would take me a YEAR to get into. It is that deep. That simple. That important. and the story is still being written and that is what makes this unique. Don't waste a second, if you are reading this and have not ordered and watched it by this time next week........then you wasted valuable time.

Mark Zuckerberg is your new best friend. A friend you will never have to meet or see to understand but will get to know intimately. Forget if you like him or not. Business is not about like. It is about watching this genius and watching the movie that allows you to see and witness and UNDERSTAND genius. Of course we could only hope to understand. But they make that genius visible so mere mortals like us can identify genius when we see it and THAT is the greatest takeawy of the movie among so many I would not even know where to start or end and maye there is no end.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Bringing Back the Oldies…Last in The Series

Morning Folks!!

1 man could not run a ship. Same is true with our assets. Many of us are one man shows but you will need a full crew to get that ship moving. With that in mind and being this is the last in this series, let me share my favorite story. The way I see things....or did. Especially 15 years ago with such limited tools to work with.



Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz


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My Top 20 Questions When Buying a Domain Name

Morning Folks!!

I'll get right to this post from 2009. I just doddled and wrote down 20 items I consider when buying a domain name. There are others as well depending on the domain and the category etc.



Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz