Monday Morning Walks with Morgan – Episode 5

Hello, happy Monday, and welcome to Monday Morning Walks with Morgan. This episode is brought to you from snowy Lake Tahoe California. I did my best to keep the video this week short and sweet both because you asked for short videos…and it’s cold and I forgot to bring gloves and a hat out with me.

Enjoy and as usual, links to the stories I reference in my video can be found below!

Thanks for watching, to learn more about any of the stories I covered this week, simply click one of the links below:

RDW.com: First LLL.com UDRP of 2019 (DomainInvesting.com)

Off the market since 1995? CustomerService.com is up for sale (TheDomains.com)

.Club makes price changes on premium domains (OnlineDomain.com)

Scottsdale.com Owner Fred Mercaldo Launches New Geodomain Brokerage Service at Cities.cc (DNJournal.com)

That’s it from me, TGIM! As always feel free to comment on any of the stories I shared in the comment section below. Comment and let your voice be heard!

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domain-negotiations

Every once and a while a potential buyer does something that’s a bit of a head scratcher. At the end of the day things like this don’t bug me too much, but I do think it’s annoying and a waste of my time and theirs. I know there are a lot of startup founders and entrepreneurs that read my blog who are looking to buy a domain name so hopefully this can be useful to you as a lesson of what not to do.

Yesterday someone reached out to buy a domain name from me. We went back and forth and settled on a price. I started the transaction on Escrow.com, seemed like a pretty normal domain deal to me.

This morning he emailed and said, “I checked with my partner and it turns out he doesn’t want to spend any money on this domain, sorry for wasting your time.”

While this didn’t waste much time, honestly the whole thing probably took up around 5 minutes of my day, it is annoying and it certainly makes me thing, well if they come back in the future I probably wouldn’t want to go back down to the price we had agreed on before.

The moral of the story? If you’re making an offer on a domain name, make sure you actually want to buy the domain, it seems simple but since this isn’t the first time this has happened to me I can tell you that it’s not something that goes through everyone’s mind.

Has this ever happened to you? Or have you ever done this to someone? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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countdown-to-namescon2019-1

It’s official, NamesCon 2019 is less than two weeks away, and yes, I’m excited! I’ve been coming to NamesCon since it first started and have to say it has been pretty incredible to watch it continue to grow and flourish over the years. The reality is, like the Louvre, there really is too much to do and only so many hours in the day. Note – this is a very good problem to have.

So I’ve decided to help make life easier and will be highlighting specific content that aligns with general goals – and to kick it off, what better goal to focus on than selling more domains? Of course there are more sessions about selling domains than I’m mentioning here but like I said, there aren’t enough hours in the day so I’m just trying to make sure you still have room for networking, partying, and well – you know, sleeping.

Learn how to Price and Sell Your Portfolio
Who: 
Haseeb Tariq, FOX
When: 
Sunday, January 27th at 4:00PM
Where: .Global Keynote Hall

Domain Sales Optimization Strategies
Who: 

George Hong, Guta
Yancy Naughton, Has Traffic
Dave Evanson, SEDO
Simon Saleem, Above.com
Todd Cantwell, Afternic/Go Daddy
When: Monday January 28th at 11:00AM
Where: RegistryOffice Breakout Stage

Storytelling in Sales: How to Spin a Yarn and Land a Whale
Who: 
Kate Buckley, Buckley Media
When: Monday, January 28th at 1:00PM
Where: .Global Keynote Hall

Feel free to share any domain sales related sessions that you’re excited about that I didn’t mention here in the comment section above. Also if you’re planning on attending one of these feel free to chime in as well. Stay-tuned, more Countdown to Namescon posts are coming up – I want to make sure you’re ready for the domain name event of the year!

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gaming-domain-names

As I’ve become more and more interested in eSports, I’ve found tons of companies that couldn’t get the .COM they wanted and ended up branding around a .GG. While I get it, .GG could stand for “good game” the reality is that this domain extension is really only known by gamers, most consumers have never heard of it.

For games that you want a more broad-based audience to play, you really still do need a .COM. As usual, my friends tend to come to me for domain advice and I hear the same things over and over, “all the domains I want are taken or cost six-figures.”

This usually leads me down a path of explaining all the different places people can go to find good domains without paying a zillion dollars. One place that I find always has solid names and at prices that aren’t crazy is BuyDomains.

I recently went through their catalog of names and earmarked five domains that I thought would be perfect for a gaming company, all under $25k.

My personal favorite is Druids, but as a former Dungeons and Dragons geek I’m a bit biased. I used to play a really fun physical game (remember those?) called Kerplunk as a kid that’s a bit like Jenga. If you’ve never played Kerplunk, here’s a little video of it in action in the most 70’s video I’ve ever shared on my blog 🙂


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Yesterday I placed the order for my 11 year blogging anniversary shirt, the one that all of you helped me design. I’m really appreciative of all the MorganLinton.com readers who shared feedback and signed up to get a shirt. With NamesCon just around the corner I thought it would be a good idea to bring the shirts with me to NamesCon so you can let all of Vegas know you’re a Domainer 🙂

So, if you are coming to NamesCon and reached out to me (before yesterday) requesting a shirt, I’ll have one for you. To make it simple I was thinking of doing a little informal MorganLinton.com readers meetup on Sunday night where I can give out the shirts and we can all enjoy a tasty beverage together.

Looking at the agenda there is a break in the action from 5:00PM – 6:00PM so that’s when we’ll do it. This also means you’ll have a chance to change into your #Domainer shirt before the official kick-off party on Sunday night! To make life easy, we’ll meet at the bar at the base of the escalators – Chill’M bar.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the guy wearing this shirt, and soon, you will be too!

domainer-shirts

One last note. While I know there will likely be people who want a shirt who didn’t request beforehand I unfortunately won’t have any extra to give out. These shirts are to celebrate my 11 year blogging anniversary and I tried my best to give readers multiple chances to request a free shirt. I got a ton of interest which was really exciting, and means I ordered a lot of shirts, but I didn’t order extras so if you didn’t chime in over the last few months to claim yours I’ll apologize in advance for not having an extra one for you.

That being said, you’re still welcome to come and hang out and grab a drink! Looking forward to seeing everyone at NamesCon in less than two weeks.

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Monday Morning Walk with Morgan – Episode 4

Hello, happy Monday, and welcome to another episode of Monday Morning Walks with Morgan, this time live from my hometown of San Francisco, California. If you’re interested in reading more about any of the stories I cover in the video, just scroll down and you’ll find links to all of them.

Thanks for watching and if you enjoy the video feel free to give it a thumbs up on You Tube. Also, I do plan on recording more videos on my You Tube channel beyond what you find here on my blog so if you want to know when new videos are uploaded, feel free to subscribe.

Last but not least, what did you think of this week’s video? I ordered lav mics that should be coming in this week so that should help with the audio, and a stabilizer is next. I also was finally able to keep a video under 5 minutes so let me know if you like the new, shorter, format.

Either way, I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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Weekend Musings

So I used to do a weekly post called Weekend Musings. It was the one post that took a step back away from my usual articles and instead gave me the chance to share a bit about my own personal life. I stopped doing these some time ago but miss writing them so think I might try to start back up again.

Right now I only have about ten minutes since we’re heading to the Symphony tonight (yes we both are big Classical music fans) so I’ll make this one short and sweet.

So here they are, in no particular order, my weekend musings:

  • I booked my flights for NamesCon yesterday, I tend to wait until the last minute to book them given how my schedule can change so much from week to week. I’ll be getting in on Sunday afternoon and leaving Tuesday evening. I’m really looking forward to NamesCon, it’s always a great way to start the year and I can’t wait to catch-up with everyone!
  • This morning we went to a class about Zazen at the San Francisco Zen Center. If you don’t know what Zazen is, it’s a core part of the Zen practice and is simply seated meditation. While it sounds easy to just sit in silence focusing on your breath, it’s much harder in practice. I really like the Zen center, beautiful building and not surprisingly, a very peaceful place, here’s a photo I took in the courtyard this morning.

san-francisco-zen-center

  • This afternoon we went to Japantown for lunch and spent some time in one of my favorite bookstores in San Francisco. I’ve been slowly learning to read Japanese and there’s something awe-inspiring about being around so many books written in Japanese. That being said, even when I pick up a book meant for a four year old, I still can’t make it through a single page…so safe to say I have a ways to go.

japanese-books

  • A friend of mine told me about a new Javascript framework called GatsbyJS that I’m really digging. If you like building things in React, you should definitely check out Gatsby.
  • Tomorrow morning I’m going to my Mom’s house to watch the Warriors game from Friday, she’s become a serious basketball fan and I’ve really been enjoying watching games with her. It’s nice to be able to just hop on BART and be in Berkeley 20 minutes later.
  • Tomorrow afternoon I’m going to a comedy festival in SF with two of my good friends from college who also live in the Bay Area. We’ve been trying to get together every month and have been doing a good job of making it happen. It’s pretty awesome that we’re all in the Bay Area at the same time after living in different parts of the country since college.

Okay, that’s it – time to change out of my jeans, put on some slacks, and head to the symphony. I hope you’re all having a great weekend. Feel free to comment on any of my musings or share your own weekend musings in the comment section below.

Either way, I want to hear from you – comment and let your voice be heard!

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government-shutdown

When I think of .GOV domain names, I usually think of a government website (which is what .GOV is used for) and expect the highest-level of security available. For the most part this assumption has been true, but that seems to be changing. Here’s what’s going on.

You’ve probably heard of SSL Certificates right? That’s what provides that nice safe lock icon and starts with https rather than plain old http. Well, there’s also something called a TSL Certificates. TSL is another cryptographic protocol for authentication and data security (geek talk for “something that keeps your data safe”), and actually came out after SSL and was touted as the next generation of security.

So it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that the government uses TSL Certificates on their site, but what might surprise you is that about 80 of those have expired as a result of the government shutdown. This means that suddenly, 80 government sites will become less secure than ever before, or in many cases, just stop working completely.

With around 400,000 federal employees currently furloughed, more than 80 TLS certificates used by .gov websites have so far expired without being renewed. To compound the situation, some of these abandoned websites can no longer be accessed due to strict security measures that were implemented long before the shutdown started. (Source – Netcraft)

And what happens if you don’t have SSL or TSL on a site? Security expert Paul Mutton explains that,

“This introduces some realistic security concerns, as task-oriented users are more likely to ignore these security warnings, and will therefore render themselves vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.” (Source – OODALoop)

It’s likely that this problem will only grow as the shutdown continues, which means that for now .GOV has suddenly become one of the least secure domain extensions out there.

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indonesia

If there was ever a domain soap opera, this might just be the first episode. What makes it particularly interesting is that the subject of what has now turned into a serious lawsuit is a .CO.ID domain name. I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of .CO.ID but there are plenty of ccTLDs out there that many of us haven’t heard of so nothing too crazy there.

Apparently two guys met in July of 2017 and inked a deal for the acquisition of Grab.co.id for $250,000, yes – that’s a quarter of a million dollars. The buyer had a pretty strong need for the domain given that their company is called Grab and operates in Indonesia.

So what exactly happened? Well like I said, it really is a domain soap opera and reading through the details of how the lawsuit started is a bit like trying to follow the move “Usual Suspects” for the first time. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:

In July 2017, GrabTaxi Holdings’ head of partnerships Shawn Heng expressed interest in buying the domain name grab.co.id during a phone call with Mr Mark Ho, a director and sole shareholder of 3 Corporate Services.

Mr Ho allegedly told Mr Heng that the firm did not register grab.co.id, but it could help transfer the domain name to GrabTaxi Holdings.

Mr Ho is also a director of Top 3 Media, which registered the grab.co.id domain name through a representative.

Later, the two men discussed the proposed sale of the domain name to GrabTaxi Holdings over WhatsApp through a series of text messages.

3 Corporate Services, represented by Selvam LLC, is alleging that both firms entered into a written agreement on July 22, 2017, and that 3 Corporate Services was to procure the transfer of the domain name from Top 3 Media to GrabTaxi for US$250,000.

However, in September that year, GrabTaxi Holdings purportedly informed 3 Corporate Services that it would not honour the agreement. (Source – TodayOnline.com)

I would recommend reading the full article if you really want to dive into the details because this certainly doesn’t seem like a straight-forward predicament to me. At the end of the day, what this does highlight IMO is how powerful ccTLDs still are and that one-word domains, even in a domain extension you’ve never heard of can be worth six-figures.

For anyone that took the time to read through the article, who do you think is going to win the battle for Grab.co.id?

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It still amazes me that people think that they can register domains with long-held Trademarks and get away with it. Yes, in some cases people just don’t know that you can’t register domain names with Trademarks in them…but in many cases they do and just want to see if they can get away with it. Well in the case of Lucasfilm, if you register a domain name with the words “star wars” in it, expect to be hearing from their lawyers.

Recently the company went after two domains and won in a single panelist UDRP. While I think anyone would lose these names regardless of how many panelists there were, a single panelist UDRP can very easily go poorly for domain owners, TM squatters or not.

The registrant, Ben Clark, was accused of controlling the domains to prevent Disney from “reflecting its mark in corresponding domain names”.

According to Disney and Lucasfilm, Clark was intentionally attempting to gain internet traffic for commercial gain.

Sole panellist Charles Kuechenmeister ruled in favour of Disney and Lucasfilm, agreeing that the domains were registered in bad faith and that they were confusingly similar to Disney trademarks. (Source – FanthaTracks)

I’ve given many warnings on my blog about the dangers of registering domains that infringe on Trademarks. In some cases you might not know there is a trademark but if you’re registering a domain name with “star wars” in it, or “Microsoft” or “Facebook” or anything else that you know is Trademarked, don’t be surprised when they come to claim their domains.

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