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Dark Blue Sea

Domain Name Implications as Company Fights Over New Hampshire Geographical Trademark: Mount Washington

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Mount Washington in New Hampshire

I grew up in southern New Hampshire and I skied in NH's White Mountains many times, so this story was interesting for business and personal reasons. It's also something that Dark Blue Sea should note because of a domain name in its portfolio.

According to ABC television affiliate WMUR, it looks like the owner of the Mt. Washington Hotel (a landmark hotel in the region) is fighting to prevent other lodging businesses from using the term, "Mount Washington." The interesting aspect of this is that there is a mountain called Mount Washington where the hotels are located, hence the geographical descriptor.

If you live on the East Coast, you've probably seen the bumper stickers that say, "This car has climbed Mt. Washington," and that's the term that is being battled for right now (specifically related to lodging according to the article).

One reason this is interesting from a domain standpoint is that the company could come after seemingly generic domain names like MountWashingtonHotels.com, which happens to be owned by DBS → Read More


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Sales Suggestion for Fabulous & Others

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When I am looking to purchase a domain name in the aftermarket, one thing I try to research is whether the domain name was on the market before, and if so, the price listed on other websites. When I want to flip a name for $25,000, there's nothing worse than a potential buyer telling me he saw it listed for sale for $15,000 on another website - even though it may have been a very old listing.

One piece of advice I have to Fabulous / Dark Blue Sea - as well as other domain investors who may do the same thing - is to NOT list the asking price in the Whois information. When a company like DomainTools archives Whois lookups, it archives this information forever, and I can see what Fabulous or Protopixel (a DBS subsidiary) had it listed for at one point when I am doing my due diligence on previous ownership.

Although many buyers don't really care about a previous sales price when they want a particular domain name, it can never help in a negotiation (unless of course you got a significantly better price). When selling to other → Read More


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Good Direct Marketing Email from Network Solutions as Part of DDN

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As I quickly scanned my email, I saw something from Network Solutions that caught my eye. The subject was "HORSESTABLE.ORG is Available - Register it Now!" Since I own HorseStable.com (I sold HorseSupply.com earlier this year), I thought it would be smart to register the .org, to give a potential buyer some added value.

Since I don't generally register domain names at NetSol, I emailed my Godaddy representative and asked him to buy this domain name on my behalf. He replied that the domain name has been registered for a while to Protopixel Pty Ltd, one of Dark Blue Sea's entities.

I looked back at the email I received and I noticed that it was imploring me to buy this premium domain name in the aftermarket, which I believe is part of the Domain Distribution Network. I've seen plenty of upsell efforts at registrars like Godaddy working with the DDN, but this is the first time I was emailed directly instead of a point of sale attempt.

Although I felt the subject was a bit misleading with them suggesting I "register" it now, → Read More


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Follow Domain Related Public Companies

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You can learn quite a bit of information from public companies who must disclose just about every thing that could have an implication on the value of the company. Because of this, it's a smart idea to follow the filings of various domain companies so you can read up on company filings, rather than rely on blogs and other news outlets who may or may not report on certain events/filings.

Some publicly traded companies that are required to make public filings that are related to the domain industry include the following (please let me know if I missed any company):

Google
Yahoo
Microsoft
Marchex
Top Level Domain Holdings
Tucows
Dark Blue Sea
Verisign
Banks.com

In order to follow these companies, I set up a stock portfolio in Yahoo specifically with domain industry related stocks. This allows me to see where they are trading as well as news reports and SEC (or other) filings. Don't simply rely on others' interpretations of news - and don't get delayed news reports that fly under the radar (domain sales for example).
→ Read More


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Fabulous: Free Privacy & Better Security

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FabulousI received an email from Fabulous this morning containing some great news for domain investors who use Fabulous as their domain registrar. Fabulous announced that they are offering two new features and additions that will benefit domain investors, one of which I had requested on my blog a number of months ago. Let's discuss the two new features available to Fabulous clients:

1) Whois Privacy

Over the years, a number of people have asked Fabulous to provide privacy protection on their Whois data. While Fabulous allowed just a few domain names to have privacy in the past, they are now giving everyone privacy - for FREE. While the cost of privacy protection various from a few cents per domain name to several dollars at other registrars, there is no cost at Fabulous.

Every domain using the Fabulous Whois Privacy Service will be given a unique identifier, and all email and phone messages related to domain names will be automatically redirected to the domain owner. This is surely going to either cause other registrars to lower → Read More


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Testing Domain Name Parking Companies

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Just about all the domain names I own that get type-in traffic are developed. As a result, I don't do much parking. Well, I do park a lot of domain names, but 99.9% of them don't make much money, and I don't even consider PPC a revenue stream for my businesses. For years, I've been very happy using Fabulous for parking, and I still am happy - especially with their great customer service.

However, I've decided to do some testing. Generally, when I buy a domain name, I park it for a few days or weeks while deciding whether to develop or re-sell. More often than not, these domain names generate some money because they are better than the standard inventory of speculative domain names I own. I would usually add them to my Fabulous account and the default nameservers would automatically send the traffic to Fabulous.

During the past couple of domain conferences, I've had the chance to speak with Sig Solares, CEO of Parked.com, and over the past couple of years, I've spoken with a number of happy customers of Parked.com. I haven't → Read More


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