Obituary: The Birdie in the Mine DEAD at just 11 Months of Age. Now What?

Morning Folks!!


What happened with O.com is very significant. I mean O.co. Now that we have new facts I have stated the obvious in my last 2 posts. Here and here. But there is more to it than just is seen with the eye. There are huge ramifications and how it plays out is anybodies guess.


The equation has changed in that we have some clarity. We have seen that even with a multi-million dollar campaign, spitting in the wind is not going to work unless you really have something they really need and want and then take the time and energy to learn something new.


Human nature is a very difficult thing to change. This is a big day because new information that is broadly disseminated is what this is all about to begin with.


The birdie in the mine died. We proclaimed what it would mean if this was to happen and it has happened. They can try and put a happy face on this, but that dog won't hunt. I am writing a lot about this because how important it is. How the result is likely to change thinking. How reinventing the wheel may not be the smartest thing. There is a lot of things to discuss and digest. Much of it was done last January. But now that we have facts and reality to base things on instead of gut, everything changes.


This is a seismic shift. Does it mean .co has no value? No. But it does mean it now has less value. The days and weeks ahead will determine if the INVESTOR market in .co remains viable. The registry will still sell .co, but as investors, investors in domain names, this party is likely over. It was very weak to begin with judging by all the drops. But this is a bell weather of what might be coming. .Whatever did not have a good day. However, dotcom had a GREAT day!


Rick Schwartz




24 thoughts on “Obituary: The Birdie in the Mine DEAD at just 11 Months of Age. Now What?

  1. Gene

    Well said.
    And when that huge consortium of trade associations and Fortune500 companies (mentioned by DomainIncite: http://goo.gl/eQyFS) succeed in delaying – or derailing – the gTLD program, dot-coms will FINALLY reach fair value.
    The elimination of ‘viable’ substitutes to dot-com will enhance many a portfolio’s value – assuming, of course, that those portfolios primarily consist of dot-coms.

    Reply
  2. Uzoma

    Morning Rick, I mean king!
    I was reading Overstock’s move to mean that something is likely up with O.COM. I have a feeling they got a hunch that ICANN is probably going to release some more alphabets, such as o.com, and they are preparing to battle it out to secure it. They more than likely, are sending a signal that the public attaches o.com to their brand. Having said that, I believe your post here is more tempered than the previous two. You are right more times than anyone in this industry, so it’s not wise to disagree with you, and I am not. I just feel like there’s more to Overstock’s move here than is portrayed by them.

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  3. Acro

    Rick, if I were to follow your logic, dot .me is now worth more because of the Meet.me sale. But then this is a dangerous train of thought in investing as the paradigm is set by trends, not single incidents.

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  4. cm

    Knowing that o.co exists, if I have to type it in…
    overstock.com
    o.co
    o.com
    i’m going to type o.co (and have done so quite a few times)
    bigger issue for the company is that I have never bought anything from any of them.

    Reply
  5. Pablo

    Rick,
    Can you comment on the new gtld’s coming on January? 5-10 points on the pros(if any)/cons?and if you think that it will actually happen. I can see congress stopping this last minute.
    thanks for the post!

    Reply
  6. Poor Uncle

    Hi Uzoma,
    Maybe the move has little to do with o.co or o.com…maybe just bad idea to try to re-band when the company’s been using overstock.com for so long. Maybe they should try to”branch” out instead of trying to re-banding their businesses.

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  7. Danny H

    Rick. The ‘.co’ extension was hyped up because they did something very clever, they got into the pockets of most domaining bloggers by advertising on their blogs. This in turn lead to people generally form a positive outlook based on the fact the majority of news/reviews was positive on the extension even though the news/reviews seemed more like a paid advertorial.
    I would actually also like to inquire about some premium reserved .co domains that were auctioned earlier on and if the registry can refute the suggestion that some bidders received incentives that would return much of the purchase post-auction.

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  8. Danny Pryor

    This situation is quite illuminating, but you’ve said that in your own way.
    Now we wait to find out how apps play out. The editors at Wired think it’s a convoluted mess out there. That could also bode quite well for .com.”M-dot” exists for a reason. There’s no app for most websites, which means apps are probably only good to circumvent browsers AFTER the user knows what they want or where they want to go.
    As for the other posts, about confusing the consumer, let’s just say I’m surprised when allegedly smart people do really, really, really, really stupid things.
    :)

    Reply
  9. Christopher Bon

    Wow! Story of the year! You are a genius, Rick! I’m going to tell the people that want to buy my .co’s to not bother because the Domain King says they’re worthless. The canary is dead! LOng live the canary! BLAH NLAH BLAH! YELL!!!

    Reply
  10. Steve Jones

    That’s nothing new – .me did the same. The difference is a lot of bloggers and domainers that felt like they”missed the boat” on .com were hoping .co would be the new gold rush. Instead it has turned into a hype rush like most new extensions, albeit prolonged since more people than usual believe it’s viable. Not enough to save the extension long term though.
    I’m just amazed that .co is actually trying to spin this. The best they could have done is stayed silent. Addressing it is showing that they just took a huge hit and they know it. I think most people can read through spin these days.

    Reply
  11. FAIL.co

    .co always was and IS canary shit!
    canaryshit.com is FTR btw lol
    love watching some of the other bloggers who were paid by .co scuttling around trying to do damage limitation and claim they never promoted dot co
    great if you want to do well in the colombian search engines. thats it folks
    surprised the great .co scam lasted this long

    Reply
  12. tvgh

    Excellent post, a major domain blogger finally called a spade a spade instead of pumping the extension and trying to be respectful to the registry and its owners.
    Rick, don’t mind the .co cheerleaders in your comment section who are criticizing you- it’s the same 3 or 4 people that appear in EVERY .co blog post on your blog as well as other blogs.
    Now maybe other bloggers will take note and go back to real news.

    Reply
  13. Todd

    I read your previous article on the subject and then about two hours ago I saw a commercial for O.co! They said if you entered that URL, you would get free shipping. That’s a nice incentive.
    …but this canary, dead or alive, is irrelevant. The real issue is that LONG dot-co’s are problematic. Even if O.co is valuable it’s not a reason to get a LONG dot-co domain. And since the short dot co’s are taken, there’s nothing to see here.

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  14. James

    Acro, ultra-prime meaninful .me domains are worth a little more since the meet.me sale – maybe only a fraction but whenever the bar is raised it makes some difference.
    You say that investing should be based on trends, but trends are made up of individual actions.

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  15. Ian

    Another one bites the dust. What is the point of o.co? Seriously. People that want to shop at overstock on a regular basis don’t give a monkey’s whether they type overstock.com or o.co… the time saving or brand recognition is worth little in relation to the puchasing, pricing and distribution that buyers really want. (Hell, most browers do previous URL recogition so by the time you’ve typed in a couple of char you’ve got the URL anyway). When you’re advertising on the radio or with consumers talking why engage in brand dilution? Overstock means what it says on the tin… why go anywhere near the big O .co thats just another layer of complexity for consumers who have a big O of concentration and half of which are probably typing zero.co or .com or 0.co or was that O.co..
    People shopping at overstock aren’t likely to even be that bright so they’ll always stick with the .com and if they are bright they I bet the’re doing price comparison so it doesn’t matter dick what URL you’re using.

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  16. ScottM

    .co would have better served themselves by pricing themselves in line with .com, .net and .org. While .tv and .me were able to get away with charging 3X the registration fee those extensions were uniquely brandable and appear to survive. .co on the other hand attracted a strong showing out of the gate, only a year later registrants staring at forking over a $30 bill to renew each .co domain that likely generated a little to no traffic has made the fall that much harder for .co. I’ve got about a dozen of .co that I’ll keep renewing but I won’t likely buy another new one that’s for sure, even with a low-ball gimmick of $8.99 or something that Go Daddy did, you know they are going to hammer you for the full $29.95 a year later on the renewal.

    Reply
  17. SDM

    Rick,
    You say that”The Birdie in the mine died…” That may be true. However, recognizing the signs of death is generally not difficult: Cold to the touch. Lack of respiration. Flat line, etc. But, isn’t that where all these new fangled “Dr. & The Morgue” reality television shows begin an episode? Death is the no brainer. Isn’t it the autopsy and post-mortem that tells the story? Isn’t that the reason we all tune in? Yeah, the victim may have died, but how did it happen? More importantly, could this untimely demise have been avoided?
    No doubt, props must be given to any promoter that can rebrand and repackage the ccTLD country code of a foreign land and relaunch it as an entirely different product. Brilliant! They lined up the distributors, brought a few major players on board and even ran a million-dollar ad during the 2011 Super Bowl featuring Joan Rivers! A few viewers may have even thought it was clever.
    In the absence of continued high profile marketing to the ultimate end user, the promoters took a gigantic risk that their message and vision for the future of dotCO would soon begin to fade. But even more significant was the fact that dotCO looked an awful lot like the number one TLD already sitting on the URL shelves of your global Internet grocer: dotCOM.
    I have little doubt that someone at some marketing meeting raised the issue of how dotCO would distinguish itself from dotCOM. The top brass should have listened. As it turns out, that excised “M” would soon stand for “mistaken identity.” Humans are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break. Beyond that, ask any neurologist whether the human brain is wired with the equivalent of a “bio cache?” A cache that continues to see dotCOM long after the “M” has been hacked away. Unlike our silicon counter-parts, this “bio cache” cannot be easily dumped with the click of a mouse – nor by pressing the delete key. There is no reformat and reboot for the brain. Antiquated memory must be directly addressed and consciously written over.
    Madison Avenue would probably make that happen by drawing maximum attention to that pesky “M” and then systematically destroying it in ways our human brains could never let go of. Humor is generally the mechanism of choice to obtain the desired result. The dotCO logo that emerged should have embodied the memory trigger that would forever be associated with the “M” of dotCOM having been banished forever from this new, cutting edge TLD.
    A single Super Bowl ad could never get that job done, and to add insult to injury, that million-dollar ad left many of us with little more than a disturbing image of Joan Rivers being crowned as the new GoDaddy girl. Unfortunately, it didn’t do much for the dotCO brand. That requires skill, creativity and the kind of repetition that would make the Indianapolis 500 look like the qualifying lap for marketing’s main event.
    Rick you say”The Birdie in the mine died…” but there may still be time to revive the patient. The doctors of Madison Avenue have been known to bring about miracle cures. Maybe it’s time for the dotCO promoters to bring in the brand surgeon specialists and let them work their magic.

    Reply
  18. not known

    What is the political risk with many of these names?
    Suppose a country gets into a dispute with a registry and
    all domain”owners” get dumped.
    We have been talking mostly about country controlled domains.
    This is seldom mentioned imo.

    Reply
  19. ga

    Wow. so much hatred. .CO has really got all of our attention. If so much time is being invested in .CO I suppose we are all expecting a return on that investment. Otherwise, why care and comment? Juan said it, it is not a sprint it is marathon. Or was anyone expecting .CO to do in 1 year what .COM has done in 20+ … Patience people, the Internet is young, very young. More failures may come, but also more great new businesses and ideas may and will flourish. Don´t flip, invest. That is what Rick did with me. This looks like something personal between Rick and the Registry. If this is the case I think we should all hear from Rick. It just doesn´t seem proportionate to see so many posts about something that doesn´t seem to be worth Rick´s attention. Still, it is obvious .CO has the close attention of everyone here.

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  20. Rick Schwartz

    They KEY to all this is the following statement and that means NO Fortune 500 company is going to move to a .co unless they own the .com
    “Confused? So were customers. Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots,”a good portion” of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co.”
    That’s knock out blow. If he just said they decided this or that, then we could debate this or that. But that statement is not going to go away anytime soon. It states what we have said for years and now it is FACT for all to see.
    How do you ignore a statement like that??

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  21. ga

    I do agree with you Rick. I don´t think any of the actual Fortune 500 will be successful rebranding in 1 year to .CO. Actually I don´t think any of those companies will be successful rebranding to anything in 1 year. Rebranding is one crazy idea. If this is new on your radar, well, welcome to the world. Their trademarks have so much invested that a 1 year shift is not possible. .CO is not for a Fortune 500 1 year rebranding. Hopefully .CO will be an option for 2021´s Fortune 500 companies that are starting right now, who knows, sounds reasonable. I can´t rule out the idea of seeing a new startup branded on .CO being part of the Fortune 500 10 years from now, or .me or .tv, or .whatever. 10 years ago there was no Facebook or Youtube. 15 years ago there was no Google… No, really, no Google. Things really change a lot in the Internet. .CO is young and is for young companies, not for old companies. O.co was a mistake. I personally don´t cheer any further rebrandings to .CO because they are what the are… very risky rebrandings… I do cheer startups, kloud.co, quarterly.co, om.co, rana.co, www opportunity co/case-studies/ best of luck in the 10 years to come. Final comment: I am not saying .co is king… .com is king… but 10 years from now, somethings may change… If you are branding on .CO do please try (try) to get the .com… Thank you for your blog and for the space to discuss.

    Reply
  22. ScottM

    I’m interested in finding out how Century Link, the phone company that merged with Qwest, was able to get the one-letter domain Q.com, don’t know of any other one-letter .com’s. Anyone know?

    Reply
  23. Mike

    I agree with your position on .co domains. I frequently see startups get .me or .co domains only to struggle with the fact that users type in the .com extension thus causing confusion. Thanks for your continued insights.

    Reply

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