TechCrunch Slams Domainers: Why Domaining Has A Bad Reputation

So we all know that the Domaining industry is pretty much unknown…but did you know that there’s a whole group out there who think they know us? TechCrunch – one of the most well-known blogs out there that receives between 1.5-2 million visitors/day had this to say about Domaining:

Anyone who doesn’t know how dirty the domain name business is just doesn’t know the domain name business. People pay exorbitant sums to acquire domain names, put Google or Yahoo ads on the parked pages, and collect the advertising fees. They often buy and sell individual domains and portfolios with other domain squatters. (TechCrunch.com – Read Full Article)

Hmmm…this doesn’t quite sound like the Domaining business I know and love…and I think I know the domain name business pretty damn well! So there’s a lot here so let me reconstruct this little beauty piece-by-piece.

Let’s start with the last sentence – “They often buy and sell individual domains and portfolios with other domain squatters.”

First let me say – Ouch! Could you imagine if you called multi-millionaire real-estate investors squatters? Just think – many real estate millionaires and billionaires have made their money buying and selling real estate…why does buying and selling online real estate make you a squatter?

Next the author says that we pay exorbitant sums to acquire domain names. This pretty much implies that domain names are all worthless and we’re paying too much for them. This is a wildly broad statements with no facts to back it up. We all know that domains have value and many people are able to buy domains for much less than they are worth and sell them later on for a huge profit…isn’t this was real estate and stock investors do too??

So I could go on and on here but why not let the grand master say his piece. Here is a comment that none other than Frank Schilling left in response to this blog post on TechCrunch – I’ll leave you with these words as Frank says it a million times better than I ever could!

Michael. You have a very big microphone so you can say what you want here and the informed (and sometimes uninformed) masses can lap it up. But calling the entire “domain industry” dirty, is quite simply a stretch. Firstly, in this instance it seems to have policed itself. The supposed bad guy (who has not told his side of the story btw) was outed and the parent company offered refunds to all participants (5 figures in my case). Try finding an auction on this planet that doesn’t have insider bidding, primping, competitive-bid-ups etc. My wife and I collect antiques and have had executives at sterling plated auction houses concede that it’s impossible to stamp out the shill bidding which they know goes on. I suppose it just feels a little icky you dumping on everything around this biz when you were once so close to it and it so enriched you. Nobody hates you BUT everyone in America knows somebody who has sold a domain name for a profit. All those entrepreneurs constitute a part of the industry you are dumping on. So you coming out with your swagger tarring the etire space with same brush just feels yucky. Do you understand my (and other’s) view? (Frank Schilling)

The issue here really comes down to generalizations…and I know where some of this comes from. So how did Domaining get such a bad reputation…or at least with this blogger?

I think it comes down to the parking phenomenon that the industry started with. The average web surfer encounters parking pages and gets angry – I think many people just assume that this must be the strategy of every domain investor.

Over the years Domaining has evolved – in a MAJOR way. In fact – I did an entire video dedicated to building online destinations. If you look at Domainers like Elliot Silver from ElliotsBlog – he has built major websites like Burbank.com that are major destinations filled with useful information.

It is about time people realize that the domain name industry has changed since the early 2000’s – development is fresh in our minds and there are more investors than squatters out there!

When the first episode of Domainvestors Television airs in February of 2010 I hope to show the whole world what this industry is all about – and I’ll tell you this – it isn’t parking or squatting – it’s investing in digital real estate!

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Dan November 5, 2009, 8:20 pm

    TechCrush didn’t like my comment, instead of rebuttal they decided to remove it.

    Reply
  • bobsyouruncle November 5, 2009, 9:33 pm

    squatting sucks i gotta agree, it just kills creativity and opportunity

    Reply
    • Morgan November 5, 2009, 9:37 pm

      Agreed – I can’t stand squatters…but you can’t forget about all the people that are actually investing and running businesses!

      Reply
  • Bill November 6, 2009, 3:31 am

    Look, the guy who wrote that article was Michael Arrington, former CEO at Pool. In other words, he was happy to take money from domainers, and he took a lot. (No telling what went on while he was there, either)

    Now that he’s moved up in the world, the very domainers who made him a very nice living are now squatters.

    Only a lawyer could be so shameless. He must have excelled in Abandoning Ethics While On A High Horse 101.

    Frankly, 90% of domainers I deal with have more character than Arrington.

    Reply
  • Jeff November 6, 2009, 5:07 am

    > The average web surfer encounters parking pages and gets angry

    I can’t agree with this – high click through rates that I get show that parking pages must be of use to people.

    Reply
  • Matt November 6, 2009, 8:36 am

    Useless parking pages get high clicks because most Internet surfers are too stupid to recognize what it is they’re seeing.

    Reply

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