Name"Pros" Censoring | DomainInvesting.com
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Name”Pros” Censoring

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Subscribe to Elliot's BlogI just finished writing up my analysis of the Mystery domain auction that’s been commented upon by just about everyone in the domain space. I didn’t feel like blogging about it, so I just decided to voice my opinion on the domain forum, NamePros. I don’t post there often but visit on occasion and have never had any issues or problems at all.

I wrote out several questions about the mystery auction and then posted some of my own commentary on why I believe it’s going to fail and cause problems for the person who is running this. After returning from walking the dog, I saw that my post was edited by someone named Mark, who removed most of my commentary. Instead of taking out my entire post, he decided to selectively remove my comments.

I am disturbed because I don’t think someone should censor my opinions just because they seem to go against the majority (unless all negative posts were censored and/or removed). In all my time on several domain forums both public and private, I’ve probably had my posts edited once or twice – probably for comments in a sales thread.

I think it’s completely unprofessional to edit someone’s comments on a public forum, especially when it might change the tone or message. I don’t edit what people say here, and I wish the same respect would be held for my comments elsewhere.  If someone posts something on my blog that isn’t appropriate, I delete the comment and send the poster a message.  I don’t simply edit out the things with which I disagree. Completely un”Pro”fessional in my opinion, and a big reason I will stay away from posting there in the future.

Anyway, the gist of what I said is that people have been comparing this to the Million Dollar homepage project, which raised quite a bit of money. That was a very unique project and received worldwide press, and as a result it raised a considerable amount of money. The domain mystery auction is no revolution and will not receive the same type of buzz. This is a take off on a controversial type of auction with a domain twist.

Additionally, I said that the guy holding the auction should probably have some type of insurance coverage, as any glitch in the bidding could end up in litigation by someone who spent hundreds of dollars on bids but didn’t win.

I also doubt the auction’s mystery domain name is really worth $10,000.  Everyone thinks they have a $10,000 domain name, and anyone can post any reserve price for a domain auction, so simply because it had a $10,000 reserve doesn’t mean it’s worth this price.  The point of this statement is that if the auction manager is hoping for added buzz when the domain is revealed, that is highly unlikely to happen.

=====

The moderator just replied to me saying,
“This is the “For Sale / Advertising” section … It is a sales thread …

Legit Questions are always welcome in Sales and Advertising threads. Comments and Conjecture are not.”

Apparently he doesn’t understand the definition of the term “comment” since there are many other comments (positive of course) that were not edited out – including his own.

“Originally Posted by -REECE-
That’s a very neat and creative site you made there John. Has a nice design to go along with it – well done and best of luck!

Originally Posted by drjawed
Fantastic idea and well-designed site. The mechanism is a bit ambiguous (mysterious ) though. It will take some long time to win the confidence of bidders. Wish you good luck.

Originally Posted by Brujah
John is a hardworking clever guy. I think the idea’s great and hope it makes a million.

Originally Posted by Mark
Pretty Innovative “

=====

Now it appears that NamePros has closed my account due to my questioning their censoring.  No, I am not going to appeal to RJ or whoever else owns the forum.  It should just be a lesson for others who post opinions in public domain forums.

=====

Final update… it seems they have re-activated my account (without a request from me).  I will continue to not post there often – unless the thread has some personal involvement.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (40)

    John Motson

    Hi Elliot,

    I replied to your questions with explanations – perhaps you didn’t see them.

    In any case, I wanted to post my replies here for anyone reading this post since I believe both sides of the story should be heard.

    First and foremost, why is this a “domaining revolution”? A lot of people are disagreeing with me – saying that this in no way revolutionizes the domaining industry, but bear with me.

    My aim is to revolutionize the way general folks look at domain names – I am talking mom and pop type people and your run of the mill business people. What is the biggest problem domainers have with their portfolio and their domain names? They love their domain names yet they hardly sell any? Try convincing an end user that they should fork out $500,000 for a premium domain name. Try convincing an end user to fork out $5,000 for a less premium domain name – it’s not easy. A lot of people will agree with me.

    Bringing attention of the general public and mainstream media to domaining and domain names can only be a good thing – it builds awareness. Sure, there will be skeptics who will jump at the chance to worry and criticize, which is fine as it helps build a discussion – but a lot of “mainstream” people will get only one message from this venture – “Some guy earned a million dollars within 100 days from auctioning off a domain name. Why don’t I stop investing money in real estate and start looking at domain names as an investment option?” Others will ask: “What the heck are domain names, I better investigate.” And lastly, that mom and pop type will say “Hm, perhaps that young lad was right when he asked for $5,000 for CornerStore.com”.

    If you think outside the box you will realize that there are various ways to “revolutionize” something. Some involve software, programs, tactics and techniques while others involve hype and media attention. In all cases, all it takes is one idea.

    The second concern is about the $10,000 choice the highest winner will have to make of whether to take the domain name or the cash. If they decide to take the cash will I be able to pay out even if I don’t generate enough bids?

    I have already answered this on DNKitchen’s blog, so I thought I’d just bring the answer here too:

    I have put away $10,000 of my own money to cover the costs of paying out the value of the domain name if the highest bidder opts for the cash no matter what happens in the auction. I don’t have to disclose my online income sources but I will – I can point you to my blog DNXpert.com (advertising and premium forum memberships add up to over $1000 a month in profit). Then there are past Domaining Manifesto sales, and present affiliate product sales etc. I Have Put Away The Money For This Eventuality!

    I would not risk losing the credibility that I have built with DNXpert and other ventures over this – not to mention the continuous income my ventures bring in. My aim is to bring positive attention to this project, bidders and the domaining industry as a whole.

    Finally, you asked what I have done about the technology and how will I guarantee the auction runs smooth.

    I have invested in my server to make sure that the site does not go down, and I will invest further as the site grows – but in case the site does go down as a result of hacking attacks or server load – I will compensate the time by extending the auction by the time lost. I have stipulated this in the Mystery Domain Auction terms and conditions found on the buy a bid page.

    Excluding the weird circumstances mentioned above, the auction will end at exactly midnight Pacific Time on April 10 2009 server time. The last bidder to place their bid will receive the mystery domain name. Following midnight that day, you simply will not be able to bid any further.

    (Side note: it is an all pay auction, but I do offer all visitors the chance to profit from the venture with the aid of the affiliate program that pays 50% commissions on sales brought in by affiliates)

    I hope this helps explain why this is a Domaining Revolution.

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    I saw your comments, but much of what I said was removed, which is why I am upset.

    I don’t think anyone in the mainstream will see this, and I don’t think the biggest “problem domainers have with their portfolio and their domain names” is convincing someone to shell out big bucks for a domain name.

    More often than not, the biggest problem is that domainers think their names are more valuable than they actually are. With all respect to you, there isn’t a chance that the domain name you choose will be universally believed to be worth $10,000. If it didn’t sell to a group of domainers at a domain auction for $10,000, it’s probably not believed to be worth this much. That said, upon your reveal, you won’t generate the needed buzz, IMO.

    To make this work, you need a great domain name – not just because it’s worth more than the $10k cash you’re offering, but because you will need the buzz at day 50. You need something like 15k bids to break even, and that doesn’t even take the affiliate payments into consideration. I just don’t think it’s going to work out well for you in the end.

    That said, the point of this was more because of my disappointment with NamePros than with what you are doing.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    RKB

    I don’t think its appropriate for any forum or blog to censor/edit others’ comments unless they are foul language or just pure spam.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    jeff

    i am sorry to hear this elliot… its not right and i have heard this before and about him… i try to bite my tongue and i dont want any confrontation with him or tension…

    i think some of the moderators have big egos and heads at times..

    but on the flip side, i love namepros, for the most part its a great forum and also being a moderator would be a huge pain.. i would hate to do there job.. but i side with elliot on this one and not right.. good way to turn off a respected domainer and developer imo

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    I have no problem with the moderation of spam, hateful language or personal attacks. A forum is suppose to be a place to share ideas, and when ideas and comments are censored, that’s when it no longer becomes a place of interest.

    Why would anyone want to take the time to write something thoughtful on NamePros when a moderator can easily delete or edit the comments.

    Again, my comment had nothing hateful or derogatory, it wasn’t encouraging people to visit other forums/blogs, and it wasn’t a personal attack.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Chef Patrick

    I too tried posting on NamePros and my post was deleted entirely!!!

    January 2nd, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    admin

    The moderator just replied to me saying,
    “This is the “For Sale / Advertising” section … It is a sales thread …

    Legit Questions are always welcome in Sales and Advertising threads. Comments and Conjecture are not.”

    Apparently he doesn’t understand the definition of the term “comment” since there are many other comments (positive of course) that were not edited out – including his own.

    “Originally Posted by -REECE-
    That’s a very neat and creative site you made there John. Has a nice design to go along with it – well done and best of luck!

    Originally Posted by drjawed
    Fantastic idea and well-designed site. The mechanism is a bit ambiguous (mysterious ) though. It will take some long time to win the confidence of bidders. Wish you good luck.

    Originally Posted by Brujah
    John is a hardworking clever guy. I think the idea’s great and hope it makes a million.

    Originally Posted by Mark
    Pretty Innovative “

    January 2nd, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Tom Clowes

    Elliot,
    Great that you posted here. This is what this situation needs, a well respected domainer with a good user base expressing his disgust at namepros.

    Namepros staff removed posts of people who posted comments on my behalf after I was unfairly banned from namepros. They editted, and documented their editting on a public forum post to portray me as a scammer when in fact I am not.

    This was in regards to me selling some domains on ebay, they removed my statement in response to their claims, posted lies about me, and then to top it off, ironically mwzd, a member of staff there proceeded to bid on my auctions which he had told members not too !

    Namepros is a disgrace to the industry, and it reflects poorly on its members. I note not to deal with people who are only registered at namepros because it seems they are indoctrinated by lies, and idiocy.

    Stay away, that is all I can say.
    You dont lose out on any worthy business or discussion.
    Tom

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    I can’t really go as far as saying what happened to me is a disgrace, but I do think it’s unprofessional.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Yaron

    Elliot,
    you need to separate these two issues. I have no idea why NamePros decided to edit your post, but this is unacceptable.
    I would love to hear what RJ has to say about it.
    As for the Mystery domain auction I think it’s an interesting concept.
    As long as John will transfer the name or pay the winner $10,000 I don’t see anything wrong with it. If he will make money, I am sure we will see more of these auctions, and if he will loose I guess we wont.
    Revolution? lets wait and see.

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    I applaud John for taking a risk on this project. I do think it’s going to end up being a problem for him. Just my personal opinion.

    I should also add that I did buy 2 links yesterday to show domain community support.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Whocares really?

    I left namepros 2 months ago because of their censoring moderators. Sent RJ numerous pm’s regarding the issue and received no replies. I’d love to call a few of the moderators a bunch of bad words right now thinking back but it’s really just not worth it. They have become too big and the mods ruin alot of posts there. Thumbs down from me.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    jeff

    elliot your namepros account got closed? this surly dosent look good for namepros.com and people will be pretty disgusted on this… i am sure you will be back in on and shocked to see your account is closed…

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    For the amount of times I post over there, I am not going to fret over it. I guess it can serve as an example for others who might have a differing opinion.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Tom

    Mark is a jerk. You get used to it.

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    Other than the thread on Name”Pros”, I’ve never had any business or personal dealings with the guy.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    jeff

    go out this evening, take your wife to a club and enjoy this evening… have a few drinks, reflect at the things you have done in 08 and celebrate on your huge progress in the geo space and names… we all know you were right in this matter and you were right… the truth was told and just makes mark look silly and a bad person

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    :) Thanks… tomorrow is the big night out. Tonight is a relaxed evening while my wife finishes up some work.

    BTW, I am sure he isn’t a bad person. I just don’t think his comments or actions were professional. Closing my account might look like a strength move, but I had under 100 posts on Name”Pros” total compared to close to 2,000 posts on DNForum, several hundred on DomainBoardroom and a couple thousand on Rick’s Board. I’ve never really used Name”Pros” before for personal reasons.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Yaron

    Elliot,
    Just wanted to let you know, I am not going to visit NamePros, untill they reactivate your account.
    Please keep us posted.

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    Thank you – but unnecessary. I doubt anyone over there will care since I am not an active member of their community.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Yaron

    Well, I consider myself an active member and I think this is unacceptable.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Andrew

    I’ve hated NamePros for a while now. They always warn me and crap. I only visit Digital Point mainly now and have over 4,500 posts and 233 iTrader there. NamePros is just shooting themselves in the foot by doing this.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Adam

    This is one reason why a blog works best for voicing your opinion. You don’t have to worry about hothead egomaniacs or power-hungry wannabes. Without exception very forum I’ve been a member on has had censorship or banning issues.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Kevin M.

    Now it appears the entire thread has disappeared! I does appear that a few mods/admin types at NP are getting big on (enjoying?) the ‘1984’ concept there! (‘No record, no trace,..no longer an issue!!’)

    January 2nd, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Ehsan

    Its just not you bud , namepros is being run by gits like jeff and Mark i was banned few months ago because i didn’t agree with what they had to say and jut recently few of there very good members and top posters have been banned too and they fee; happy about it that they didn’t have to leave the forum ! but they forced them out 😀

    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Ehsan

    oh forgot to mention when i mentioned about my ban on the blog they offered to unban me if i deleted my blog post 😀 talk about dictatorship 😀

    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Paul

    I used namepros a lot, I gained over 1500 posts, then mark was promoted and namepros was ruined, in my opinion, hes an idiot, i now use other places,

    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    RKB

    Quote:
    ——————————–
    Now it appears the entire thread has disappeared! I does appear that a few mods/admin types at NP are getting big on (enjoying?) the ‘1984′ concept there! (’No record, no trace,..no longer an issue!!’)
    ——————————–

    Looks like the thread is back but I am not sure how heavily it is still edited.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    NoneYaBizness?

    Mark strikes again, hes a tool and should be fired imho. Countless threads I’ve seen him or DB delete for the absolute most pethedic reasons. Namepros going south for sure.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    MsDomainer

    *

    Just like your blog, namepros is owned by a private party and can censor whenever they wish.

    It may not seem fair, but that’s the way it is.

    I have been cyber-slapped at NP for pointing out to a poster that he was trying to sell a TM domain.

    I thought I was doing the forum a favor but evidently the poster was a favorite son, so I just simply ignore the rampant TM’ers and concentrate on the positive aspects of the forum.

    Rah! Rah!

    BTW, some of my comments (which I thought were fairly benign) have been rejected from YOUR blog, but I have simply moved onward and elsewhere.

    That’s life!

    😉

    *

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    Not to disagree with you, but I would be very surprised if that was the case. The only posts I don’t approve are those who use abusive language and posts where people are obviously spamming. Most of the time, if I recognize the person’s name, I just approve it without reading as I tend to approve posts from my Blackberry.

    BTW, I use the Akismet spam catcher, and I sometimes find old messages there when clearing it out. It tends to catch comments with two or more links in them, plus a bunch of keywords that I have blacklisted – such as viagra, sex, porn…etc.

    January 2nd, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Chef Patrick

    looks like your account is open now on namepros. on top of that they moved a portion of the comments to a new section now open for FULL discussion.

    http://www.namepros.com/domain-name-discussion/547498-mysterydomainauction-check-this.html

    January 2nd, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Peter Frank

    Heh, he deleted my post as well. Oh well, hardly use Namepros now. I do have close to 3k posts and am among one of the users with the most “rep,” but I don’t really care for the feel anymore.

    Regards

    January 3rd, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Rich

    Namepros feels like they are the boss of Domaining ..And the guy called “GF” whose location says Bills Basement..calls members as “DumbAss” if he just SUSPECTS something fishy without any proof..I don’t understand what he thinks of himself..And RJ is to be blamed for giving power to unworthy hands…
    Elliot because you are reknown domianeer your account is re-opened and you are back..Wat about small domaineers like me..We can’t even raise our voice against them…

    January 3rd, 2009 at 3:28 am

    RegFeeNames.com

    This is so FUNNY!

    I cant believe how you went from banned now to having your account fully opened again!

    Regards,

    Robbie

    January 3rd, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Tom Clowes

    Lets try it this way… I am so fed up of namepros staff, that they will be banned from all my websites. Given the stuff I am coming out with, they will regret being morons even if they are too pompous and arrogant to admit it.

    As Elliot says, it doesnt matter to him that he was banned as he never really used it. It never mattered to me that I was banned. The only thing I missed was the ability to sell awful names to bad domainers for ridiculous prices.
    I always said, the big business is elsewhere. Namepros previously had little going for it, now it has nothing.
    Crap discussion, ridiculous overhyping of nothing, and awful staff. You have really wasted the potential namepros had RJ. You should be more like Adam.

    January 3rd, 2009 at 8:05 am

    NP Losing It's Credibility

    Elliot,

    Moderators like Mark are just a total waste for the NamePros forum. My account was closed for questioning him. It was his own mistake, but I couldn’t get a fair decision. I waited for the temporary ban period to expire & then start posting. None of them will support in any way.

    These Mod’s think they know everything & assume registered members are worthless to the forum.

    Shame on them !

    January 3rd, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Rob Sequin

    Well Elliot, I guess you have heard from the namepros folks :-)

    Regarding the mystery domain auction, I have to say I’m with you on your reservations about this business model. I give John credit for trying something new but it’s not the million dollar home page and auctioning off a $10,000 domain? I think he should at least post his method for assessing the value of that domain.

    Also, can he auction off $10,000 in cash? To me that seems like a lottery or raffle which would be tightly controlled by his state. I would hope that he has talked with an experienced attorney so he is covered on this issue as well as with the contract he will need on the “sale”.

    I don’t see this ending well for him but I sincerely hope it does and I am wrong. I do hope this is great for the domain industry.

    Good luck John.

    January 3rd, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Tim Davids

    Been there, done that at namepros…agree with who mentioned Jeff at np…follow his .mobi crap for a while and youll never respect namepros again.

    Some Mods on both large forums are full of themselves and managements should be ashamed for not correcting it.

    The cream rises to the top…see you there!

    January 3rd, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Linkin

    I agree with with Rob on that this is trouble waiting to happen if the winner chooses to take the cash. Just another form of a lottery if that happens.

    January 3rd, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Reece Berg

    Hi Elliot,

    -REECE- (Namepros mod) here. I just wanted to explain what happened and let you know that most of the comments in that thread were deleted, including some of my own.

    The thread started off in the Domain Discussion forum, a forum which permits others to comment/critique and ended up in the advertising forum where questioning the validity of (in this case) MysteryDomainAuction.com isn’t permitted. I recommended to Namepros Management that the thread be moved because the thread was self-promotion started by the site owner and I didn’t feel it was appropriate for the Domain Discussion forum. It was moved to the For Sale/Advertising forum whose rules do not permit critiquing products or offerings (in this case, MysteryDomainAuction.com).

    A new thread was made to discuss it here: http://www.namepros.com/domain-name-discussion/547498-mysterydomainauction-check-this.html#post3248428 .

    Hindsight is always a b**** — we should have made a separate thread to discuss it earlier, however I highly doubt many of us expected it to generate the buzz it did early on.

    Hopefully no hard feelings. Us mods/staff really do try to keep the forum clean. We’re only human and sometimes do make mistakes.

    Hope you have a great weekend and wish you all the best in 2009.

    Reece

    January 3rd, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Tom Clowes

    Reece,

    Hindsight is a bitch, but the namepros staff have had numerous opportunities to act on their mistakes, make things right, admit to mistakes etc
    They however have not, and you know full well you only give a damn this time because it has been publicly shown by a well respected domainer, that namepros staff are ignorant bufoons.

    Don’t lie, just fix it.

    January 3rd, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    hate namepros

    Namepros has become an absolute joke. I wasn’t even surprised when you mentioned that the same moderator action wasn’t extended to staff members. It’s almost as if they don’t acknowledge that the success of the forum is a product of its members, not of the oligarchy that runs it. Namepros staff not only abuse their virtual powers but also profit off of it. Affiliate link threads started by mods in “NP incentives” run abound, while any self-promotion or commenting that protects the reader gets either deleted or moved to a less-read section. Are you kidding me?

    It’s really refreshing that a domainer has the guts and power to speak out against this travesty of a forum. The fact that they unbanned your account and came on to your site to make personal apologies and beg you to return just goes to show how much of a joke they’ve become. Good for you, Elliot.

    January 3rd, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Wasting time

    Why are we wasting our time on this failed attempt at making a million dollars? I KNOW for a fact he lost 90% of his subscribers the minute they saw how CHEAP and UNORIGINAL the “revolution” really was.

    Stop talking about this retarded topic and get on with business people. Seriously not worth even getting mad over such a poor attempt at doing something significant.

    January 3rd, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    JL

    Eye opening info here. Maybe you should remove your NP link from your resources page?

    January 3rd, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Yaron

    Anybody tried to list domains for sale in the “High Priced Domains” section of NP?
    I tried to list a few great names (much better than some of the names in this section) but They never accepted.
    on the other hand, the same old names keep showing up there all the time.

    January 3rd, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    David Davidson

    enjoy paying for memberships at DNF or being lowballed by scammers who chargeback on DP

    January 4th, 2009 at 1:57 am

    You Mods Are A Failure

    >>> Us mods/staff really do try to keep the forum clean. We’re only human and sometimes do make mistakes. <<<

    Reece

    Lol, this is the most idotic thing I’ve hear from you. Don’t try to stand up for Mark or any other mod. We all know what actually happens there.

    This has been happening often, not one or two times. How old is Mark ? He needs to know that he is an immature fella. He doesn’t treat people with any respect at all.

    Elliot is a profesional & a big guy in the domain industry, as we all need no introduction. I guess Mark is trying to emulate, thinking that, whatever Bull Sh** he writes on a forum is GOLD and everyone needs to follow it.

    Really sad to say it’s PATHETIC

    January 4th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    admin

    Just returned from a short trip. The reason I have a link to the forum is because I think it is a good resource for people who are new to the industry and want to learn more about it. I don’t post there often, and I think this experience will make me want to post there even less. However, I think any additional comments would be like beating a dead horse, so I am going to close comments on this.

    January 4th, 2009 at 2:53 pm