2009 is here and its officially time to stop domaining.
That’s right – pack up your bags, let your names expire and move in with your parents. Economies are collapsing, ppc is revenue is dropping, domain buyers seem to be in caskets and people still have no idea about the difference between a browser and a url.
To some this would sound like a good idea but in reality we all have to give ourselves a kick and quit domaining as we know it in its current form. The term “Domaining” itself has yet to be really defined.
Is it the business of buying and selling domains? or is it the business of developing domains? flipping domains? or is it every aspect of owning, developing and selling domains?
The word is too broad.
Even Ford, Chevrolet, Wall Street and the rest of the clowns lining up begging for our dollars on Capital Hill have an industry term such as Car Markers, Auto Makers or Banks. When you refer to a company as a “bank” or an “auto maker” people know what you mean. Define yourself as a domainer and 9 times out of 10 you will get the “what do you mean” expression that starts with a clock ticking forcing you to explain the industry before interest is lost.
The problem is not in the word itself per say – Domaining is quite catchy when you think about it – but in how you define it when speaking to others and how we, as an industry, work together to further develop the word as a brand.
Domaining.com is a great start since a top level domain which is clearly used to promote, aggregate and showcase the wealth of knowledge “from” and “about” the “domaining” industry can quickly start building some street credit however how many people outside of the industry actually learn about this word every day, month or year? Additionaly, domaining.com is held by a single private company so (with no disrespect my good friend) its not the be all or end all solution for promoting the industry but rather another great tool the community has to add credibility to an industry still in its infancy stage.
I know some are still hesitant to explain they “domain” for a living for fear of explaining the word domaining itself.
How many times does a football coach want to tell people about his big win Friday night when he has to start explaining the game of football to begin?
We are all ambassadors whether we like it or not but it’s rare that we ever bond together other than to try and sell each other a domain, complain for a moment or share a laugh for a fleeting moment.
I’ve seen products come and go. Books about domaining that get off by selling 200 copies and then quickly fade away since its hard to get people to learn about something so simple and so new. Many examples of products exist that have had such great promise but could never realize their full potential because the makers did not realize how to tap new people to this industry.
Why do I suggest for you to quit domaining?
Up until now it’s being done all wrong. Sure, there are lots of success stories but the true growth – the story yet to be told – are the end users, the public love of this industry as much as the late night commercials for buying foreclosures (which ironically are probably more popular than domaining and they only picked up airtime around 2 years ago).
You see, I’m not a “domainer” (at least in my definition) like many of you although I am proud to be part of this community. My story started with development and as the business took off we picked up domains for investment or to complement existing projects but from the get go the plan was to develop and develop we did selling many successfully sites to corporations, publicly traded companies and individuals over the years.
Did you ever tell somebody you want a Porsche and then feel blank inside when somebody responds with – great, how are you going to do it?
Sure, the usual vague answers like “I’m going to work my ass off” or “I’m going to start a business” but if you have the luxury of speaking with someone who respects you enough to actually ask how and not accept the silly vague answers everybody has with a dream it is a compelling experience that leaves you almost speechless.
Only then do you realize … shit, I don’t have a plan. All I have is a dream.
Making a good living is not hard if you have the right tools in any business but doing something great takes more than a dream – it takes a plan.
Where is our plan I ask?
Who is trying to work together and promote this industry in a coordinated effort outside of the existing domain world?
Is anyone talking about the industry on TV, trying to get articles published about the industry in general and NOT just to sell your ineedamillion-today.info domain?
Where’s the joint agreements to work together and dual promotion between the Monikers, Domaining.com’s and SmartName’s of the world?
If the industry succeeds we all succeed.
Oversee is building a powerhouse and using synergies to complement one another to build something great. Remember, these guys have street credit and I mean $150 million from Oak Street is real street credit – not street credit from domainers but from investment bankers. Who else is doing anything else beside their day to day functions they were doing years ago?
So the question of whether or not to quit domaining is not as simple as it sounds.
Of course, you want to make a living so you are probably not going to let your names expire but are you going to help build the industry?
Got Milk commercials are great – nothing short of an incredible example of an industry promoting its industry.
We are online, some of us even own the traffic – where is our industry campaign except for Bob Parson’s flashing the breasts of GoDaddy girls everywhere (which I will not complain about).
Move forward, quit or get out of the way.
Have no idea who said this but what will we decide to do?
If anybody wants to start a campaign with a plan – a respectable agency and a real plan then we are in.
Should you quit domaining?
Not really – but we all should quit domaining without a plan.