What's in a domain name?
By Dana Greenlee,
co-Host WebTalkGuys Radio
Monday, October 6, 2003; 11:00pm EST
When building a business and a brand on the Web, your chosen domain
name is everything.
Website domain names - the Internet address the helps Web surfers find
your site - are the backbone on which we all locate things on the Web
and thus are the communications glue that makes the web work as well
as it does. For any new or existing business, selecting a domain name
can be the most challenging and frustrating process that a business
This process can often times cause an existing business to change it�s
name to fit a domain name. It simply is getting harder to find a good
name that has not been registered.
This is where Mike Mann fits in. Mann is the president of
BuyDomains.com. He owns 250,000 of the finest domain brands in the
world. He took a few moments to explain his unique perspective on
domain names as another form of real estate - or in this case virtual
real estate - and how many good high value domain names are still
available for a price.
Q: How long has
BuyDomains.com been around on the Web?
Mann: We�ve been around about five years now.
Q: Tell us about the core services you offer on your site.
Mann: We mainly offer premium domain names for sale.
Secondarily, we do domain registration services with a variety of free
value added services that come with each registration.
Q: It seems BuyDomains.com is focused on treating domains as
another form of real estate.
Mann: Domains are real estate on the Web. There is a certain
amount of space on the Web which is determined ultimately by the
number of eyeballs. There are X billion people per day on the Web and
you can carve up those eyeballs as they hit different Websites. The
better domain names in the world receive more traffic, therefore they
are better pieces of real estate. Location, location, location!
Q: How do you assign value to those names?
Mann: We do pretty complex metrics evaluations. We try to break
down the domain to a multitude of characteristics. We have software
that does a big piece of the evaluation. We also have three of the
world�s best domain appraisers that come up with the ultimate price.
They are the best because they�ve sold dramatically more domains than
anyone else in the world.
Q: What is the best profile of a domain name?
Mann: A .com is definitely the best domain. Any domain that you
change to a.net would instantly be worth roughly a quarter of what the
.com is worth. A .org is meant more for a charity, but the .org�s in
general would be worth substantially less. We find that .biz is okay.
We don�t like .tv at all unless you have a TV show and only a few
hundred people in the world would have a use for that. They would
prefer to have �buydomainsTV.com� rather than �buydomains.tv.�
Q: It used to be the goal to get a domain name with as few words as
possible. A five-letter domain name would be excellent. How important
now is the length of the domain name?
Mann: The shorter domain the better. Historically, people were
trying to save space and would truncate their domain names.
For instance, �buydmns.com� would save space, but in reality it was
bad for my brand.
It is necessary to have your entire brand names spelled out,
regardless of the length. We recommend that if you are serious about
your brand, you get every possible combination of your domain name and
point them all to the same site.
That is called a forwarding service. In our case, we don�t charge any
extra for that.
Q: Do you have a favorite domain name that you own and is available
Mann: I have Made.com. Another one of my favorites is
Tasty.com. We also have Broadcasting.net.
Q: What kind of dollar amount are we talking about for these domain
Mann: Those particular ones are in the tens of thousands since
the are the very best ones, but most are between a few hundred and a
few thousand dollars.
Q: What you think about VeriSign�s recent changes in going after
the unassigned domain names and trying to hijack those for ad revenue?
Mann: It is unbelievable how they believe they have the right
to steal every single Internet address in the world.
VeriSign stole every single possible combination of letters that
anybody could accidentally type as a Web address. That�s because the
government handed them a monopoly years and years ago and they�ve been
abusing it over and over and over.
The government does not hold them to account. It is the biggest joke
that I have ever seen and there are lots of people suing them.
This has blindsided everybody and it is extremely unfair trade. Many
of us have documented all their illegal abuses over the years,
delivered them to the Department of Commerce, delivered them to the
FTC, delivered them to the Department of Justice, delivered them to
all the senators and congressmen, delivered them to ICANN (Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) who were supposed to
regulate them, but nobody has ever done a thing to them.
It�s just the insiders club of stealing the Internet.
About Source of Article
Dana Greenlee is producer and co-host of the WebTalkGuys Radio
Show. WebTalkGuys, a Seattle-based talk show featuring
technology news and interviews. It is broadcast on WebTalkGuys Radio,
Sonic Box, via Pocket PC at Mazingo Networks and the telephone via the
Mobile Broadcast Network. It's on the radio in Seattle at KLAY
1180 AM. Past show and interviews are also webcast via the
http://www.webtalkguys.com/. Greenlee is also a member of the The
International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences.