As the founder and editor of Domain Name Wire, Andrew Allemann is known as one of the two most respected domain industry journalists. Andrew has a no-BS attitude, and he really digs into issues more than most other people would. When I learn about something important that needs to be investigated and reported on involving the domain business, Andrew is generally the person with whom I speak because I know he will look into the issue and provide excellent coverage.
Earlier this week, Andrew launched a new service to help domain owners verify traffic stats on domain names they intend to sell. DNW Certified Stats is a brand new third party statistics verification service that allows domain owners to share verified traffic and revenue stats with potential buyers. Instead of buying a domain name based on a potentially altered screen shot, or purchasing a name with traffic based on a person’s word, domain name buyers can rest assured knowing the reported numbers are accurate and confirmed.
The service is very easy to use and is completely transparent. The domain owner submits the domain names that need to have certified statistics, DNW Certified Stats receives the traffic and revenue report directly from the parking company, and a certified report is issued to the domain owner. It’s very similar to how a sports card grading company operates (this is one example Andrew effectively used to market the new service to potential users). Potential buyers can enter the confirmation code on the site and see the traffic statistics.
At the present time, Domain Sponsor, Sedo, Skenzo, and Name Drive are the four parking companies that are working with DNW Certified Stats. I would expect this list to grow as more domain owners use the service.
Throughout his years of reporting (for as long as I’ve been in the business I believe), Andrew has been unbiased and fair in his reporting, and I think this is an important consideration people should make when deciding whether to use the company’s services. Trust is of utmost importance when buying domain names based on traffic and revenue, and having a trusted source like DNW Stats is critical.
One of the best parts of this is that the service is currently free to use. Sign up and check it out.
Late last week, TMZ reported that the estate of Michael Jackson was not happy over an online casino being run on MichaelJacksonCasino.com. Apparently someone thinks it’s a good idea to run a casino, sportsbook, and poker room using Michael Jackson’s likeness allegedly without the permission of Michael Jackson’s Estate (this is according to the Estate).
The domain name MichaelJacksonCasino.com has been registered at Godaddy since May of 2005 (on its current registration), and the listed registrant seems to be a company called Corp. Hostarica, with a Miami post office box. Hostarica appears to be an offshore hosting company from Costa Rica, according to its website.
Early this morning, TMZ followed up their original article with another report that Godaddy is being sued for $100,000,000 by the man who claims to own copyrights to some of the photographs that are used on the MichaelJacksonCasino.com website. According to the article, a federal lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles on Monday August 2, and Mann hopes the lawsuit will cause Godaddy to reveal the name of the actual owner of the domain name.
According to results from the Wayback Machine on Archive.org, it looks like there has been a casino on MichaelJacksonCasino.com since 2006. Michael Jackson was still alive at that point, and the welcome message on the site said,
“The King of Pop is proud to bring you the most exciting Vegas style online gaming experience on the Net! Along with implementing the most advanced casino software in the industry, Michael Jackson Casino gives you 24-hr. customer support and guarantees you the highest level of security to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of your account. All you have to worry about is winning!”
Additionally, the Wayback Machine shows that the domain name was initially registered as far back as 2002, although the current registration began in 2005. It’s likely that the domain owner dropped this domain name and it expired sometime between 2003 and 2005. Interestingly, in 2003 (which is before the current domain registration), there was a page that said, “Visit our Internet Casinos” with a long list of other casino websites with generic domain names listed.
I don’t know how much exposure Godaddy would have in a case like this, where they acted as the registrar. To me, it looks like Godaddy is not actually hosting the website, as the DNS show nx0.dnscrservices.info and nx1.dnscrservices.info, which are Hostarica’s servers, and they are probably located outside of the US due to US gaming laws.
Thanks to Josh Pelissero for the tip.
With the deadline for launching Bahamas.CO looming, I have selected the winning entry in a logo competition held on 99 Designs. Not only was the chosen logo my favorite of all submission, but it was also the leading vote getter in the poll I set up with the final designs. I feel like the colors, font, and graphic design elements are perfect for the website.
Although I wasn’t aware of it before determining the winner, the logo designer is a person that the domain investment community knows quite well – Theo Delevegas. Theo and I have not always seen eye to eye on certain things in the past, but I do respect his opinions. I also believe he is a talented designer, and this marks the second logo he has designed for me (ActingCoach.com is the first).
I also selected the template I plan to use as a base for the new website. It’s going to be modified to meet my needs, but I found something I like on ThemeForest.net. It will be a WordPress-based website to make it easier for me to update it, add plugins, and make changes as the site grows (both in content and traffic). Hopefully my designer will be able to make these changes for me, but if not, I will post an RFP on eLance.com.
At first, there will be somewhere around 50 articles, and I plan to continue to add content to the site. Down the road when Google has the site indexed and traffic is at a solid level, I plan to integrate a booking widget using WCTravel or IAN.com. This will help maximize revenue and will create a relationship with visitors, helping to build the Bahamas.CO brand. By no means will this be a mini site.
Anyway, things are progressing quite well, and if all goes as planned, I should be able to launch the site very soon. One of the best parts of this project will be another Bahamas trip.