Can someone tell me what .OOO was thinking?

This week has some new domain extensions hitting the market that I think will see solid adoption over the next few years. Extensions like .airforce, .army, .vet, and .navy are being launched by Rightside this week and it’s pretty easy to understand who their target market is and why they would be interested in one of these TLDs.

On Wednesday Donuts will be launching .healthcare which last time I checked is a 176.1B market.

While all of this is happening another new domain extension is hitting the market, and this one really has me scratching my head. I’m talking about .OOO. Owned by Infibeam, an eCommerce company in India .OOO has been brands itself as “the power domain” and is targeting eCommerce website owners.

The question is, what does three o’s in a row have to do with eCommerce? According to .ooo themselves…

“The .OOO top-level domain (TLD) is dedicated for any entity launching or expanding an e-commerce venture. .OOO open opportunities for selling things online and offline. This Domain Extension .OOO will set you apart from your competitors.” (Source – Trak.in)

Sorry but I just don’t get it. Why not something like .ecommerce or .sell or .store? There are some domain extensions that clearly articulate to the consumer that a website will be related to eCommerce and three o’s in a row just seems crazy to me. Is it just me? Does anyone else get this one?

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So there’s a good chance you have a Smart TV sitting in your living room, and your car, well it’s probably pretty smart too, oh and that phone in your pocket, Smartphone right?

Yes, we are living in a world of “smart” things and the next innovation is something that as a frequent traveler I can really appreciate. I’m talking about Smart Luggage, and while it’s not here yet, Bluesmart is over 50% of the way towards their $50,000 goal on Indiegogo and with some nice coverage on Engadget today something tells me it is going to exceed this pretty quickly.

Bluesmart Luggage

From Smartphone controlled locks to built-in gadget chargers and a scale in the handle this is actually cooler than anything I’ve seen on Inspector Gadget. While you’d expect this to cost more than Tumi, the price-point for this Smart Luggage is only $235.

I decided to look-up who owns SmartLuggage.com and was forwarded to the Texas Association of of Responsible Nonsubscribers (http://www.txans.org/). I really have no idea why this organization would own this domain but it definitely would be a nice one for Bluesmart to nab as an early adopter in the space.

What do you think? Are you ready for Smart Luggage or do you have enough smart devices in your life?

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This is a debate that has been front-and-center in the domain community and will only continue to get more intensely debated as time goes by. Will .COM rise in value and remain the gold standard or will it get lost in the sea of new top level domains?

The reason this is such a hot topic is that it has to do with the long-term value of .COM domains which, understandably, is a sensitive area. Like it or not, there’s a polarization that’s going on and the mainstream media is just as divided as the domain industry is.

“The .com suffix had special meaning for the first generation of Internet users. For children born this century, it’ll be just one fish in the sea.” (Source, Yahoo Tech)

If you read the article you will also notice that they refer to the new gTLDs as “new domain names,” which makes sense since your average person (even someone reading Yahoo Tech) doesn’t know what the heck a TLD is.

“But the new domain names are here to stay, and businesses and consumers must adjust to the new reality. ICANN approved hundreds of the 1,930 applications for the new domains, with 417 on the Internet already.” (Source, Yahoo Tech)

 

I personally don’t think that .COM will get lost in a sea of new TLDs but I do think that some other TLDs like .NET, .ORG, .INFO and many more will have some real competition and see their values impacted.

What do you think? Will .COM just be another fish in the sea or will it always be #1?

 

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Hello, Happy Friday, and welcome to Morgan’s Flippa five. Every week I pick five domains from Flippa, three that I think have good resale potential, one that I think has solid development potential, and one I just like. Enjoy and have a great start to your weekend!

3 Domains with good resale potential

Truthful.com – solid one-word .COM listed with no reserve. While True.com or Truth.com would be the monster names this is the next best thing and definitely a valuable name.

Drones.net – I don’t normally have .NET’s on my resale list but I think this is one of those trends (like 3D Printing and VR) that are only getting hotter.

Responsive.com – I have mentioned this one before and I still see the price below the value of this name.

1 Domain I think has good development potential

BabyStore.com – now that I’m an uncle I’m buying more baby stuff than ever before. The eCommerce market for baby clothes and accessories is growing and there are plenty of affiliate programs you can use to get started.

1 domain I like personally but may not have much investment value

SocialMedia.io – it’s hard to know whether or not .IO domains will have much liquidity and resale value in the future. They are hot now but still relatively unproven in the aftermarket. Still, the term Social Media definitely isn’t going anywhere and since .IO is typically used for developer-focused or SaaS solutions I think it’s a good fit for a wide range of uses.

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Warner Music Group Acquires Playlists.net

If you’re a Spotify fan then there’s a good chance you know about Playlists.net, if not think of it as one of the top places to share Spotify playlists. The company was originally called ShareMyPlaylists.com but they choose to shorten the name and rebrand to Playlists.net. The company has currently raised a bit under $1M and is seeing 1M users/month and over 1 billion Spotify feeds a year.

Playlists.net

Terms of the deal were undisclosed but given the level of traction and active users that Playlists.net had I can imagine the founders are pretty happy with the deal. Domain Shane did a great post about .NET domains, this is a solid example of how this rebranding can work for a company looking for a short and memorable domain. Congrats to the team over at Playlists.net, looking forward to seeing where Warner can take it from here.

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I was talking to another startup founder today about the new domain extensions, and yes, like most startup founders this is someone very far removed from the domain name industry. He said something that got me thinking,

“I would only buy short domain extensions, I like the two character extensions the most.” 

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this from a startup founder but still my data set is relatively small so I’m not going to say this is some universal way of thinking. It does get the gears turning and begs the question, does the length of a new domain name extension matter?

I personally think that many companies will choose to brand around a new domain extension because it gives users a better idea of what they will find on the site. If I go to Mint.com, it could be anything, a company that sells mints, a directory of mints, or maybe personal finance software. If instead I go to Mint.lawyer, I would expect to find a law firm. I might not know what I would find on book.com, but I could imagine finding a book club on Book.club.

So in my mind the additional information the extension has just gives the user more information about what they are going to find on the site. Rather than having to visit a site you can tell instantly and I do think in many ways these will be a lot easier to remember than the random made-up words people use when the .COM is taken.

What do you think? Does size matter when it comes to the new domain extensions?

 

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Hello, Happy Friday, and welcome to Morgan’s Flippa Five. Every week I hand-select five domains, three that I think have good resale potential, one I think could be developed into a kick-ass site, and one name that might not ever sell for a fortune but that I personally like. I have had great feedback on this series, people seem to like that I’m not posting a massive list of names but instead focusing on five specific names that stood out to me.

Okay, enough talk, let’s get to my top picks for this week!

3 Domains with good resale potential

Down.com – I love short memorable .COMs and this one is particularly brandable in a number of different niches.

Detect.com – another nice short and memorable .COM and a good flip candidate.

Organ.com – while I don’t think the online organ market (both musical and bodily) I do see this as a nice brandable.

 

1 Domain I think has good development potential

NutritionBars.com – I feel like I hear about a new nutrition bar just about every week, they’re light and easy to ship and this would be a damn good domain name to sell them on. Enough said?

 

1 domain I like personally but may not have much investment value

Developed.net – I think the category-killer here is Develop.net but the past tense still works and would be the awesome home for a developer to showcase their code. I’m not sure you could resell this for a profit but it’s still a nice one that I wouldn’t mind having in my portfolio.

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.NYC Domains

The time has come, .NYC officially launches tomorrow. It has been one of the most-anticipated new domain extensions to hit the market and after the success of similar TLDs like .BERLIN, the bar has been set pretty high. Of course, just like physical real estate in NYC, ownership isn’t available to everyone.

Only New York residents and businesses are allowed to buy .NYC, here’s the policy as written on the official .NYC website:

“New York City businesses and organizations with an NYC address and individuals with a primary residence in NYC can register a .nyc domain name.” (Source – OwnIt.NYC)

Of course that doesn’t mean that a ton of people will not slide through using false information or businesses registered in New York specifically for buying domain names. Like most new domain extensions most of the best names will be gone within the first 24-hours, the question is how will those be distributed?

Here’s what startups should know about .NYC

– if you’re not buying domains early on you are going to miss most of the best domains

– with no previous sales to base value, those who buy many names will most-likely price them very high

– acquiring the matching <domain_name>NYC.com is a good idea if you’re planning on having your business reside on a .NYC domain

– high price expectations will most-likely decline over time, don’t let anyone try to convince you that these are going to be $100,000 each ten years from now

– if you can get the domain you want, build on it – the success of a new domain extension over time has a lot to do with how many people use it as the primary domain for their business

– you do have trademark rights, it’s a hassle and you’ll need to file a UDRP, but if someone does register your trademark in the .NYC extension you can hire an awesome domain lawyer to help you get it back

What does this mean for domain names as a whole?

I think Colin Campbell president and CEO of .CLUB Domains, had a great perspective on .NYC and the changes we are seeing in the domain name space:

“The general availability launch of .NYC is a great moment for the domain name space, as it brings an incredible level of awareness and recognition to the exciting new domain name options now coming into play, and changes the way we navigate online forever. Everyone loves New York and the .NYC extension is a great example of how you can now add context and meaning to a domain name by choosing the right extension, whether it be location-specific, like .NYC, or content specific, like .CLUB.  Now there are endless possibilities for businesses wanting a great domain name, and a name that also helps consumers understand what to expect and make things easier to find online.” (Source – Colin Campbell, .CLUB)

We are entering a new era, and while I think .COM will always be the most valuable, we don’t all need to drive Ferrari’s do we? Consumers are starting to think of the meaning behind the words that come after the dot. Just remember, everything takes time and this is only the beginning of the brave new domain world we all live in.

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There’s a storm brewing in Silicon Valley, and it’s centered around a race to become the new standard for sending and receiving payments online. The world is changing and I’m pretty sure we’re all going to look back on things like credit cards and say, “wow, remember when you had to use one of those to pay for something?”

While PayPal has long been the way to pay and get paid online, Apple, Facebook and Google are chipping away at the market, and they are each gaining momentum. Last week eBay announced that it was going to split the two companies so that PayPal can operate on its own. Here’s a look at what Apple, Facebook, and Google are doing to out-innovate PayPal in the space it helped to create.

Apple Pay

 

The newest entrant to the payment game is the one that probably who PayPal is the most afraid of, Apple. In September the company announced Apple Pay and officially threw their hat in the ring. Given that Apple already has over 800 million registered users this is a massive market to move away from PayPal.

Google-WalletYou might think that Google could just take this market and not look back but Google Wallet hasn’t been a runaway success. Google is the undisputed king of search but many of their forays into other spaces have not gone very smoothly.

“Google often jumps head-first into new projects, paddles around, and then decides whether it’s worth staying in,” said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst covering mobile for Gartner. “I don’t think Google would pull the plug on Google Wallet entirely, but they may be slowing down and regrouping.” (Source – CNET)

Of course the Android market is huge and this is where Google really has the opportunity to shine.

facebook-messenger

 

Over the last 24-hours hacked screenshots have surfaced showing friend-to-friend payments via Facebook messenger. Once this is released it will directly compete with PayPal, SquarePay and many others fighting in this subset of the online payment space. Facebook has 1.23 billion monthly active users which is not a bad head-start.

Just remember, these are still the early days, remember, it was not so long ago that a smartphone looked like this…

old-smartphone

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Boom! It’s Friday again and after a full month of travel we are finally back home in Austin. Of course it wouldn’t be Friday without my Flippa Five so let’s get to it!

3 Domains with good resale potential

SAI.com – I love LLL.com’s, there aren’t many of them that hit the market and this particular letter combination has a lot of options. These do have massive flip potential but often can take years of waiting until you get the right buyer.

Cosmetics.net – while I usually don’t see .NET’s as good flip candidates this is a huge category with a massive amount of affiliate programs surrounding it, making it both a good flip and development candidate.

Responsive.com – monster name. Now that most sites get more than 50% of their traffic from mobile phones or tablets responsive is in, big time.

1 Domain I think has good development potential

AppMarketplace.com – so apps have kinda taken off. Okay, that’s the understatement of the century. While most apps are bought on their dedicated app stores there are tons of apps that aren’t and this would be the perfect place for a 3rd party app marketplace. I see almost no flip potential here so only buy this if you have big development plans and the budget to do it right.

1 domain I like personally but may not have much investment value

Discounts.io – I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, I’m a big .IO fan, it has taken off like a rocketship and given that people only buy online when there are huge discounts, I like this name.

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