If you have attended any TRAFFIC conferences or Domainfest conferences you have probably have run into Alexander Schubert who was a self admitted domainer from 1997-2004.
Alexander was one of the first who went to ICANN and asked for what has become the new gTLD program to be opened when he was petitioning for a .Berlin TLD.
Fast forward a few years and Alexander is out of .Berlin, but heavily involved as one of the applicants for .Gay, DotGay LLC, which has a community application in for the extension.
In a Facebook post Alexander made it clear that domainers are not welcome in the .Gay space should DotGay, LLC get the TLD and went further to warn all other new gTLD operators to “not allow domainers invade their new TLD space”.
We of course have some comments below, but here is Alexanders quotes unedited:
I am a domainer since 1997. I have attended numerous domainer conferences and I know numerous domainers and I know “our” (the domainers) trade.
“Domainers” are one of the core reasons I engaged in new TLDs in 2004.
I do love Domainers.
They are good to party with.
They are clever guys.
I just do not want to see ANY SINGLE ONE of them near any of the TLDs that I will ever create.
To put it more clear: In my eyes one of the core reasons of the deep failure of all to date new TLD’s are DOMAINERS.
They are like grasshoppers on speed invading your little field of freshly planted domain-plants eating the entire country empty leaving NOTHING to “grow and show”.
I am no fan of the NRA or the 2nd amendment but were my TLD a land I would patrol it in person and if I saw a domainer coming near the only warning he would hear would be “krck – krck” and 1 second later he would never hear nothing any more.
As a gTLDer I have to say: “Only a dead domainer is a good domainer”.
Sorry to be so hard but really: Every single one domain that you lose to a domainer does harm your TLD a bit. That’s why we have put in a number of stops to make 100% sure that there will be zero domaining in our TLD.
And I STRONGLY encourage my fellow TLD operators: Don’t dream about “revenues” streaming in through the “domainer channel”.
Yes, revenue it is but you erode your TLD.
A domainer “invests” (reg-fee) in your domains and then he sits at least 5 years on them. No domainer is ever selling a thing within the first 5 years. And he doesn’t create added value (content) either. He either parks it at a parking service or has one of these dreadful “automatic webpages” that try to cheat Google into listing the domain but create ZERO added value for the users. You do take these domains “out of the equation”.
If you do not care about “reach”, “TLD brand awareness” and “impact” in the Internet (for both constituencies of Internet Users and prospective registrants) then OK: Go for domainers. But if you have a long term solution in mind and want to see your TLD making a “change”: Shun them out.
BTW: good idea to go to domainer conferences. The largest one being the “Domainfest” in Santa Monika in early February with virtually ALL the “usual suspects” attending.
I usually encourage my fellow domainers in their prevailing mantra: “New gTLDs are a very bad idea. The only TLD that counts is .com. No benefit in investing in new gTLDs”.
At a domainer meeting you can get in close contact with domainers and they often are willing to explain how they see the world. They all think smth like that: “I am just ONE domainer and how can it hurt a LARGE TLD like .info or .us if I just take away a few names and if it is not me taking these names then another one does it”. That’s exactly the way fishermen overfish regions of our oceans.
On that count: new gTLD operators be aware that EACH and EVERY premium generic keyword is already trademarked somewhere in the world, the top keys often hundreds of times (there had been 241 Sunrise Applications for sex.eu back in 2005).
Make a premium domain list (I suggest about XX,XXX keys) and exempt them from Sunrise! Otherwise you run the risk that all the top names are “picked up” for reg fees by Sunrise grabbers.
It happened with .info, .us, .eu and all other “liberations” and TLD introductions and it will happen to you, too.
Look up the 100 top premium keywords and see who owns them in .eu, .info, .us, .biz, etc: 9X% are owned by domainers, parked, multilated, wasted. “Sunrise” is the clever domainers “trojan horse”.
“Any domainers reading this here: No worries if you see me in Santa Monica. I have never owned or even touched a shotgun in my life. And I do not make any “single” domainer responsible for anything. It’s like with grasshoppers: Damage to the crop is always caused by “the swarm” not a single hopper. It is us TLD operators which have to take care and create policies to make our lands unattractive for grasshoppers.
Now its my turn
Lets look at some of the more successful new TLD’s; .Me and .Co
Yes domainers own some of the prime real estate, but we didn’t just pay registration fees or sunrise fees for all the domains we own.
I paid with two other “grasshoppers” $70,000 for Date.me (paid to the registry) over $30K for Love.me (paid to the registry) Almost $20K for marry.me (paid to the registry) the list goes on and of course many other domainer paid $x,xxx or $xx,xxx to the .me registry for premium domains.
When .XXX launched it was domainers that once again results in the first $2Million dollars or premium sales.
.Co wouldn’t have registered over 200,000 domain names on their first day without domainers.
Lonnie Borck another grasshopper paid the $81,000 for e.co before the extension even launched.
That set the bar for the O.Co sale which by the way a grasshopper, myself planted in the ear of the Overstock people at a ICANN conference.
So I would say its just the opposite, new gTLD’s that fail to get traction in the domain community will be the one’s that will “deeply fail”.
Today one of every 10 .com domains are owned by domainers.
Domainers have a strong presence in .Me., .Tv., .Co.
Of course the Aftermarket in domain names was created by Domainers and the $150M+ in annual sales in large part would not exist without domainers.
Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t say that some of the largest applicants for new gTLD’s including Donuts, Uniregistry and Radix made their money as domainers or from domainers and certainly in the domain industry.
If Alexander doesn’t want any domainers in .Gay then he might be planning on the Gay community stepping up to the plate and paying top dollar for premium domains to make the registry profitable.
However Alexander you should consider that one of the best domains in that entire Gay community, GayMarriage.com is owned by a domainer.
and the Gay community hasn’t been exactly banging down my door to buy it.