countdown-to-namescon2019-1Well, time has flown, and in four days I’ll be leaving for Vegas for NamesCon Global 2019. This also means that I only have four days left to write my “Countdown to NamesCon” series until next year so I’m going to be amping it up over the next few days. As I’ve said before, NamesCon is a bit like the Louvre, you can’t see everything, so I’ve gone through the agenda and earmarked some talks to help in the decision process.

At conferences like these I find it always helps if you come with a goal in mind. Maybe you want to sell more domains this year, maybe you want to develop your names? Maybe you don’t think you’re leveraging all the tools you could, or maybe you just want to get connected with more people in the domain industry. Whatever it is you want to do, put together a plan for how you’re going to achieve it and clear metrics for success.

If your goal in 2019 is to do a better job of developing and monetizing your domain names, NamesCon has you covered, and here are three talks I’d say you just can’t miss.

The 3 B’s of Developing Domains: Buy, Build, Benefit
Who: 
Alex Melen, Co-founder SmartSites
When: 
Sunday, January 27th at 11:30AM
Where: RegistryOffice Breakout Stage

Turn your Premium Domain into a Recurring Revenue Business
Who: 
Drew Walsh, Found and CEO at Moving Sites LLC
When: 
Sunday, January 27th at 1:30PM
Where: .GLOBAL Keynote Hall

Fireside Chat with Richard Lau and Mac Nagaswami – Betting on Busboy: Domain + Idea to $5M Annual Revenue
Who: 
Richard Lau and Mac Nagaswami
When: 
Monday, January 28th at 2:00PM
Where: .GLOBAL Keynote Hall

The countdown continues, stay-tuned for another Countdown to NamesCon post tomorrow. As always, I want to hear from you! Planning on attending one of these talks? Did I miss a talk that should be on this list? Comment and let your voice be heard!

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Over the years I’ve tried to sell domain names on Twitter, and talked to others that have tried to do the same…we all seem to have the same results – none. I’ve heard some people try to justify that even though they didn’t sell any names through Twitter, they think it’s getting the domains more exposure. Then I go look at their tweets and see zero retweets and zero favorites….probably not a lot of exposure.

So I was interested when Andrew Rosner from Media Options (IMO one of the best domain brokers out there) recently announced that he would try selling domains on Twitter.

In my mind, this really was the ultimate test. If one of the best domain brokers in the world can’t sell domains on Twitter, there’s really no hope for the rest of us. Yesterday Andrew shared the results on Twitter:

andrew-rosner-selling-domains-twitter

First things first. Hats off the Andrew for his honesty here. He could have just not mentioned anything and stopped trying to sell domains on Twitter, instead he was brutally honest about the results. While I don’t completely agree that social media is not for commerce, I do agree that Twitter is not a great platform for selling domain names.

While you might think, “well it can’t hurt to list my names on Twitter” the reality is, there are so many hours in the day. Trying to sell your domains in a way that has been proven time and time again to be ineffective is honestly a waste of your time. If Andrew, one of the best domain brokers out there can’t do it, I hate to burst your bubble but you probably won’t have much luck either.

What do you think? Have you tried selling domains on Twitter before? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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This morning I read an article on Boing Boing about a weirdly addictive new online game called The Domain Pricing Game. Essentially, the creator made a game where two domains are displayed and you have to pick which one is worth more than the other. I’m not quite sure where the pricing data comes from so it feels a bit more like a game with random domains with random values assigned to them.

I guess to make the game somewhat entertaining is that the creator decided to focus on names they consider to be junk, and going through a few iterations of the game, I can confirm, most aren’t amazing, but there are some that I could see selling for quite a bit more than they have listed in-game. Here’s what the game looks like once you’ve made a guess:

domain-pricing-game

While I’m not sure that I agree with Boing Boing that the game is “weirdly compelling” it is fun for a minute or two and then I think that’s about the shelf life. What frustrated me about the game is the little disclaimer the creator put at the bottom:

“please don’t buy any of these domains, they’re all terrible and you’d be supporting asshole domain squatters”

Yikes. First things first, to say they’re all terrible feels a little silly. Just look at the example above, if I was a company called Krypton that sold CBD products, I’d probably think that $3,500 was a pretty fair price for that domain. SmartCBD.com sold for $5,999 last year so it’s not like KryptonCBD.com is a terrible domain worth nothing.

What I think this shows is the continued disconnect between most people and the Domaining world. You can own a house, never stay in it, not rent it out, and just let it sit and appreciate over time, and everyone will call you a smart investor. Do the same with digital real estate and you’re labeled an asshole domain squatter.

It’s almost as if the game creator didn’t realize that big companies like Google, Facebook, Estee Lauder all own and sit on domains they aren’t using, aka squatting. For some reason when these companies hold onto domains they’re considered smart businesses, but when individuals do, they’re squatters.

Using DomainTools I took a look at the creator’s own site, looked at the email he had listed as the registrant, and noticed that he owns 17 domains…and nope, all of them aren’t developed. So I guess he’s a squatter too then?

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

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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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