Ah Clubhouse, the new social media platform that everyone is talking about, and for good reason, it’s seeing major traction and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon.
For the most part I think Clubhouse is a very positive force in the world today, opening up conversations that might otherwise happen in private and giving more people a voice.
As a startup founder, I’m always interested in hearing what VCs and successful founders and it has been fascinating to be a fly on the wall. That being said, given how busy I am running a startup I don’t have much time to listen on the weekdays so most of my listening takes place on the weekend. Maybe someday I’ll have more time during the day but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
So this means I’ve missed just about every domain-related discussion on Clubhouse so I typically hear about these on blogs or Twitter. Which brings me to the topic of this post, .CLUB domains.
A couple of weeks ago I heard about some serious buzz around .CLUB domains and a buying frenzy amongst Clubhouse users thinking they could be cashing in on the next big domain trend. I first read about this on DomainNameWire, here’s a quote from the article:
It seems that a large portion of the surge in .club has come from people who think .club is the hot new investing opportunity. Someone brought up the idea of .club domains gaining value because of Clubhouse several weeks ago and it caught fire. People started hand registering .club domains and buying up premium domains.(Source – Domain Name Wire)
While my first thought was, “what the heck, .CLUB domains have been around for quite a while now, we’ve all known about them and there aren’t many domain investors making a killing with them.”
Then I thought a bit more and wondered, could Clubhouse be creating a new market for .CLUB domains? If a few of the popular rooms on Clubhouse decide to build a website for their rooms and do it on a .CLUB domain, that could cause more people to be aware of these domains and create more demand.
IMO this is one of the things that makes the domain name world (and investing in general) so interesting, market dynamics can and do change all the time. While there hasn’t been any critical mass behind .CLUB from an end-user perspective in the past, there could be in the future and well, investors tend to bet on future value.
That being said, there’s a fine line between investing and gambling in the domain name world. Right now I would classify people who buy up a bunch of .CLUB domains as gamblers. The reality is the market trend has not started, it could, but right now the demand is on the investment-side not the use-side.
Like we saw with TLDs like .IO and .AI, prices went up as use went up. When I started buying .IO domains six years ago, there were no buyers, I was gambling, over time the market changed and it turned into an investment, and that’s my point.
Anyone who decides to put money into .CLUB domains today needs to be okay losing all the money they put in. If you buy .COM domains, that’s a different story, the market is proven, but with .CLUB, we’re still figuring out what impact Clubhouse could have on the extension.
All that being said, what is happening right now could indeed create a new world one, two, maybe three years from now where .CLUB domains are in high demand, and if you think that’s going to happen, there are buying opportunities. Just know that at this point, you’re really gambling, placing a bet that a market for .CLUB domains will form that isn’t there for them right now.
For new domain name investors I would stay far away from risky speculation unless you have money to burn. Heck, you’re probably going to lose money your first couple of years even if you invest in .COM because, well, domain investing is hard, it’s definitely not an easy way to make money.
I recommend that anyone getting started with domains take as much time as they can to learn. From courses like DNAcademy to online shows like DomainSherpa, to blogs on Domaining.com and forums like NamePros, there is no shortage of ways to learn the ropes before jumping in.
You can make money off of GameStop stock, you can make money off of .CLUB, heck, people are making money off of Dogecoin, but at this stage it’s just like making money playing craps or blackjack in Vegas. If you have fun doing it, go for it, but know that you’re gambling. There are ways to invest in stocks, domain names, and crypto but investing and gambling are two very different things.