Speculating on .CO Domain Names
I’ve covered the .CO launch pretty extensively, but I continue to field emails and some phone calls asking for advice, so I want to share a little bit of additional insight from a personal standpoint to answer any lingering questions.
As you’re aware, I was awarded a .CO domain name, which I hope to reveal this week. It didn’t cost me anything, but I have to build a website on it and market it, which will be expensive. It’s a geographic area I like to visit, so while the goal is to make money, I may also be able to write off some research. That will be up to the accountant to ultimately determine once the time comes.
In addition to this, I bought 5 domain names .CO domain names via NameJet. I wasn’t planning to back order many, but at the last moment I backordered 39 of them and they secured 5 I think. None of them are significant nor were intended to play on trademarks. For example, I got Elliot.CO and Torah.CO.
You can look around and see that .CO has paid for advertising on my blog (small banner from the registry going back up tomorrow and a banner from Register.com below my posts), so keep in mind that I can’t be completely unbiased despite the fact that I feel like I am offering my unbiased opinion. I do make money from blogging, but I am first and foremost a domain investor/speculator and hope that this is conveyed below.
That said, I do think this is going to be a widely used extension because .CO makes sense to me and will resonate with others who could not afford a 6 figure .COM. Names that would cost 6 or 7 figures in .COM should be considerably less in .CO, unless speculators keep them off the development market, which could ultimately hamper its usage. However, with so many names bought by domain investors, I am sure there will be plenty who can’t afford to hold out too long.
In my opinion, the widespread usage by big brands is what will make it a valuable investment. Whether this happens is unknown for now though. Despite the fact that many brands did secure .CO domain names, it remains to be seen whether they will be used and promoted or simply used for defensive purposes. I don’t know. You don’t know. We don’t know.
Yes, I think the Founder’s Program was very smart because it guarantees that there will be many sites that use .CO and actively promote it. This is good for investors. The primary reason .CO domain names could become valuable is because regular people and companies want them as an alternative to .COM. Will this happen? I don’t know. You don’t know. We don’t know. I think it might and others think it might not, but at the end of the day, it’s not us who will determine whether they will have significant aftermarket value.
This is pure speculation. Invest cautiously and invest smartly. Some people who invest heavily may be rewarded very handsomely if .CO becomes more popular than .NET and other extensions. If this doesn’t happen, some people may lose a lot of money.
As I’ve told the people who have emailed me, “I am holding off on a bigger investment until I see what companies do with their .co names and how the aftermarket shapes up.” I am going to build my Founders Program .CO domain name soon and will do my best to earn my investment back. It’s pure speculation at this point, but my business model was built on speculation.
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