Joeservations

I love to read and run across ideas worth remembering almost every day.  Almost every day I want to blog and post something thoughtful about what I’ve read.  The problem is that I rarely have time.  But today I’m doing it.  I have a little time and I read two articles that I found interesting and thought compelling.  I’m going to post these more often; I’m going to call them “Joeservations“, short for “Joe’s Observations.”  It happens to me all the time and is worthy of naming as an incentive to keep it up.  Here are today’s…

The Wall Street Journal had an opinion post written by Jim Hake, who is a Los Angeles-based venture capitalist.  It’s an intriguing essay telling the story of Spirit of America, his NGO providing civilian support to U.S. military personnel who are trying to win over private sector players in other countries. He explained how when he got the idea to support military personnel, his first move was to meet with an Officer profiled in the  story he saw. This officer was trying  to win over the hearts and minds of some local Afghan villagers. His story was profiled in a National Geographic special. Mr. Hake wanted to help.  I am now a fan of Jim Hake but that’s not the point I wanted to share.  In one part of the article, Mr. Hake stated something that we all need to remember.   Here is the point; this is my Joeservation:

In the article, Mr. Hake stated:

“Here’s the guy closest to the problem.  Let’s ask him what makes sense, then do it.  You have to get to the point where the transaction really happens.  In business, if you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything, no matter how bright your idea may be.”  (Joeservation #1)

How valuable is that?  I’ve seen this over and over.  Some of the best ideas in the world go nowhere and good businesses fail because no one understands how to convert a prospect into a buyer.  They never get to and don’t understand “the point where the transaction really happens.”  I loved this quote.

I have one more Joeservation I ran across today.  Also from today’s Wall Street Journal, another opinion article written by Holman Jenkins, Jr., he quoted a memory-worthy statement that apparently is a Google mantra:

“Competition is only a click away”   (Joeservation #2)

We all need to remember that. Nothing more needs to be said.

Posted in Joeservations, Plain Interesting | Comments Off

U.S. Commerce Secretary Pledges to Protect a Free and Open Internet

I got to see Secretary Pritzker’s speech and I liked what I heard.  I know there are other free countries in the world but ICANN has always listened as best they could.  There are countries that are limiting Internet access and I would hate to see them gain control over the IANA root and the ICANN process.

Below is ICANN’s press release…

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, addressing attendees at the opening ceremony of ICANN’s 51st public meeting in Los Angeles, declared unwavering support for the United States government’s decision to transfer stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community and not to any one single organization.

“Let me be clear about this. The United States will not allow the global Internet to be co-opted by any person, entity or nation seeking to substitute their parochial world view for the collective wisdom of this community,” said Pritzker.

More than 2,300 members of the global multistakeholder community have come together in Los Angeles, California, for ICANN’s 51st public meeting to discuss the future of the organization.

“If we don’t strive to improve our governance and accountability at all times, and especially this time, we will not gain and maintain the confidence of the world,” said Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN. “ICANN’s leadership, the ICANN board and the ICANN community are committed to the best possible governance and accountability mechanisms there are.”

 

ICANN Board Chair Dr. Stephen Crocker spoke about ICANN’s priorities, saying, “Throughout the organization we are sincerely concerned about transparency, about accountability, and we work assiduously trying to improve.”

 

The IANA Stewardship Coordination Group (ICG) will be meeting during the week to continue their discussion on how the NTIA will go about transitioning its stewardship of the IANA functions to the Internet community.

 

“We have to get this transition right,” said Pritzker. “Make no mistake: I stand by ICANN. I am all in when it comes to the global debate over Internet governance. And we will preserve and protect a free and open Internet.”

Posted in Domain Name News, Domain Names, ICANN | Comments Off

The Case for Brandables

I just had a dialogue with a friend who is involved in BrandBucket.com so I checked out their site. Working for 101domain.com, I have seen a lot of great brandables come to life. I often have to explain the pros and cons of generic domain names vs. brandable domain names. I like the video they made that makes the case for unique, brandable, website names.

Many startups and companies use ccTLDs to form brandable domain names. I don’t know when this trend began but suspect it started with Bit.ly (even though now they own the bitly.com version as well). Enjoy the video, it’s pretty cool and helpful to a new business trying to decide on a unique name.

Posted in ccTLDs, Domain Names, Inspiration, Plain Interesting | Comments Off

Why Should You Care About Domain Names?

Just posted at 101domain.com

“If you know domain names, you know how to do business online.And today, if you don’t know how to do business online, you don’t know how to do business.”  

(me ;-) )

Domain Names Are A Core Element In Today’s Online World.

top-500Internet Retailer’s Top 500 guide (Top500Guide.com) includes countless examples of the most successful online companies in the world using generic domain names to attract Internet traffic and to do business at very low costs. Here are just a few examples:

  • AC Lens’ DiscountContactLenses.com
  • Amazon’s Diapers.com & BeautyBar.com
  • Ancestry.com – A top 500 Internet retailer (#63 in the world)
  • Art.com (#128 in the world)
  • Book(s).com – both owned by Barnes & Noble
  • Bare Necessities’ Lingerie.com (#258 on the list)…

Without getting past the B’s it is obvious that domain names matter. These are top 500 Internet retailers. Companies pay millions to own high-traffic domains like this. But there is a much larger group of lesser domain names that are just as important to your business. You need to think about domain names as an offense and a defense. The largest, smartest companies in the world have been doing this for years. This is a highly kept secret! Let’s talk about it…

Offense 

Success-2They don’t have to be million dollar domains but you need to be looking at domain names that matter to your business. Many of these Internet-savvy companies have been watching and buying important, traffic-producing domain names for years. You need your business name in .com. You need other generic, descriptive, easy-to-remember, traffic producing domains that describe your concepts, products, and services. You need your most important domain names in certain country-code TLDs that matter. You need to be monitoring the new generic TLDs. And you need to have someone monitoring domain names regularly.

Defense Principal #1

You need to protect your brand in country-code TLDs. Just because a domain name like YourName.uk or YourName.cn is meant for the UK or China doesn’t mean it can’t be seen in the United States. Cybersquatters and crooks are registering these domains right now by the millions and using them against legitimate advertisers who are spending money to make their businesses known. If you are in a business that deals with money and that advertises, it is almost certain that someone is taking advantage of the name you are making known by registering it in a generic TLD or a ccTLD. And they can use your good business name to cheat you and your customers. They can place ads on those domain names (there is an entire industry flying under the radar that is built on this idea; private fortunes have been made doing this right now). You advertise and make your business name known and they’ll buy domain names and place pay per click (PPC) ads on them. You and your dealers and your retailers then pay these cyber-squatters for those ads (through Google and others). I can go on and on about this but if you advertise at all and you are not buying your ccTLDs and monitoring new gTLDs this is going to happen to you.

Defense Principal #2

You need to be considering the typos related to your company name, trademarks, and brand names. Remember, there are three-billion + people online around the world and growing. With that amount of users there are millions of typos happening every day and a lot of them are yours. If you ignore the domain names of your typos in the most important top level domains you are giving money to cyber-squatters.

You’ll Pay Now or You’ll Pay (More) Later

If you know anyone who has achieved any level of success online then you’ve heard stories about someone trying to sell them an important domain name for hundreds or thousands of dollars. Or you may have heard horror stories about people spending tens of thousands in legal fees. The United States is one of the only countries in the world that offers statutory punishment for trademark infringement. There is literally nothing you can do in many countries to recoup the losses incurred when people register your brands in other ccTLDs. There are rights protection mechanisms and you need to know them and utilize them. But any honest domain industry legal expert will tell you that it costs a lot less to register and protect your brand names and trademarks around the world yourself. Get them at registration prices early on rather than waiting till someone else buys them from under you. There is a problem. Many countries who offer ccTLDs (280 around the world) won’t allow you to buy them unless you have an office or a physical presence within their country. This is why so many brands get abused. People from China, the UK, Russia, the Middle East, and Brazil register your well known brands there before you have an office. But there is a solution. Many companies like 101domain.com, offer “Trustee” services. They have offices in these countries and can help you secure your country-code domain names in those countries now… before they get abused.

Related to the new generic TLDs…

If you don’t know, we are in the midst of an expansion of domain name endings. Three-hundred-twelve new gTLDs have already been released and another three-hundred or so are scheduled to be released by the end of 2015. There are rights mechanisms in place. You can secure almost half of these new gTLDs and stop cybers-quatters from registering them for pennies on the dollar by taking advantage of the Trademark Clearinghouse and the Domain Protected Marks Lists that are available right now on a first come first served basis. You can’t ignore this if you care about your company names or brand names. This is really important stuff. You need to care about domain names. Talk to someone who understands this.

Learn More

If you’d like to have a conversation about it I’m happy to help you begin. Write to me. Joe@101domain.com or call me at 951-313-7200. I’ll help you to get started.

Posted in ccTLDs, Domain Names, New Top Level Domains, Plain Interesting, Trademarks | Comments Off