Our first post was made on December 4th, 2007 so amazingly enough we have been hard at work over here at thedomains.com for 7 years.
I have no idea where the time has gone, but it went, and a lot of it.
We have published over 7,700 posts and just under 85,000 comments.
We have been busy.
As bloggers we have a natural urge to be first to publish “breaking news” and stories.
Sometime you will see duplicate content on domain blogs. This is caused by several factors.
Press releases being sent out ahead of time under embargo meaning they can’t be published until a certain time, lets say 9am or noon EST on a particular day.
In those cases you will see several blogs in the Domaining.com chain all publish the same basic PR at the same time.
Press releases that come out overnight for the east coast guys usually get written about more than once as we all see it when we wake up.
Not much we can do about that.
Sometimes other news comes out like UDRP decisions, or a reported domain sales or someone reports something on Twitter, and more than one blog reports on it.
In those cases many times more than one blogger is writing about the same story at the basically the same time.
Of course we have been guilty of this as much as anyone, but you might notice that over the last year we rarely repeat a story that has been reported earlier by someone in the Domaining chain.
There are exceptions for BIG stories or for stories that are reported by blogs whose stories do not get index by Google news like our posts do.
We have been making a lot more use of social media, especially Twitter.
In the last year we typically just retweet a story, even if its written by a competing domain blog, rather than write another story about the basically the same thing.
As we roll into year 8 you can expect us to use more social media to get stories we think are important out to those who follow us, which we assume are most, if not all of our readers.
At the end of the day keeping you informed is the most important mission of thedomains.com regardless if we were the one who published the story. (If you’re not following us on Twitter you can click the bird on the top of the page).
Our social media following really exploded this year. Although I don’t have an official number I would say our followers
As far as thedomains, going forward we hope to publish more opinion pieces.
Opinion pieces come with a heavy cost.
Readers should realize that while the vast majority of people in the domain space, although they may not be thrilled about a negative story or opinion are understanding and respect an opinion or a take on a story.
However there are some in the domain industry that have become lifelong haters.
When I say lifetime haters I mean, not just of thedomains, but of myself, personally.
Some of these haters run are domain investors, operate or work for new gTLD registries, registrars, and other companies in the space.
There are some people who will not speak to me.
There are some people that will not respond to an email, phone call, skype chat or text.
There are a few people, that won’t even look at me if I happen to walk past them at ICANN or some other conference, because I wrote one story they didn’t like.
My reaction to these people is always the same.
Oh well one more Christmas card, I’m not going to get.
No, I’m not going to name names.
I’m not here to publicly shame anyone personally.
I have no problem calling out someone or some company for something they have done, or a position they have taken, but I’m not here to personally attack people.
Besides, I think everyone has a constitutional right to be an asshole.
Since I started blogging we lost some huge voices in the industry who just woke up one day and decided to stop blogging.
For the commentators who can’t wait to jump on a blog post just to bash the author on his own blog, or other blogs or on forums in the domain space, one of which I was banned from for defending myself one time from a personal attack, you share great responsibility for having silenced some of the most brilliant and successful people in the domain industry.
Since I started writing thedomains.com, Frank Schilling stopped writing his blog at Seven Mile, (although thankfully you can still read stories many of which are still very relevant); Sahar Sarid’s Conceptualist.com went dark in 2011 and as far as I know, sadly none of the previously published material is available.
This year of course the Domain King Rick Schwartz stopped writing his blog at RicksBlog.com
I think its fair to say that no other blogger in the space took a bigger beating over the years than Rick who published mostly all opinion pieces.
I never understood why people, in a very personal and vicious way attack a blogger especially in Rick’s case, since he he is just sharing his opinion on domain names, the industry and his view on news and events.
At the end of the day Rick wrote to help you.
To make you a more success domain investor and if you disagreed with his overall philosophy well you simply could not have read his blog.
That of course goes for any blog and other domain blogs have come and gone since 2007.
When I started in the domain business full-time in 1999 there were no domain blogs.
Back in 1999, there was no one in the domain industry that shared their thoughts about the industry, gave any insight as to what they were doing, or how they viewed domain names or the business.
There were forums and private chat rooms but nothing as we know as blogs.
As far as getting tips or information from those who are successful in the business, it didn’t exist
Everyone was on their own.
So for all of the bloggers out there who put themselves out there everyday, or even just once in a while, you have my deepest respect.
Is the domain industry better off not having those voices anymore?
Are you personally better off now that those voices have been silenced?
I guess you can discuss it amongst yourselves on the domain forums, but in my opinion I think we are all worse for having lost those voices.
On a personal level I want to thank Raymond Hackney who started writing for TheDomains.com this last year.
Raymond writes his own blog over at TLDinvestors.com which you should check out and he write for other domain blogs as well from time to time.
Just so you know, the overwhelming amount of stories Raymond writes for Thedomains.com come from stories or ideas I send to Raymond.
On a typical day I send Raymond 3-6 stories, including weekends, that I think are interesting and he decides which one(s), if any, he wants to write about.
Raymond has done a great job and some of his stories are the most read on Thedomains.com
Raymond also has taken over all the advertising duties at Thedomains.com.
If we get an inquiry about advertising on Thedomains.com I send it over to Raymond to see if we have availability (I don’t know) and Raymond is the one that quotes and books the ad spots.
I have always thought it was important to separate out the advertising from the content, so with some rare exceptions when we had changes in staff, I don’t book ads or deal with advertisers.
I know many of you would have a hard time believing it, but most of the time I don’t even know when a new advertiser comes on board.
From time to time we have gotten complaints about an advertiser.
I don’t feel its proper to reject ads from businesses in are in the domain the space or that touch the space
I’m not the ad police.
It has always been our policy that we do NOT accept any form of payment for running a story or a press release or to publicize domain names for sale nor do we accept money or to shut up and not write a story.
In case you’re wondering, yes we have been offered cash, too many times to count, to publish a post or a press release or a set of domains for sale and declined each and every time.
We write what we want and let the chips fall where they may.
We want to thank those who have sponsored us directly on thedomains.com and through the Domaining/TheDomains ticker, now and in the past.
For the first couple of years or so we have no advertising, but after seeing how much time the blog was taking up I figured it was silly not to make some money from it.
I also want to thank many of our readers who have sent us stories, news, developments, domain sales or other stuff that they saw that we didn’t see.
We acknowledge those contributors on those posts, but most of the time we are asked not to mention them.
I want to thank our readers who have visited Thedomains.com, well over 8 million times and those who participated by leaving one or more of those almost 85,000
Even the nasty ones.
I have always felt people are entitled to their opinion as long as they don’t cross the line.
This year we moved the line on comments, not to protect myself from attack, but against personal attacks of other readers, commentators, bloggers or others in the space and we now have a clear comment policy in place, which I also will thank Raymond for who led the charge on that front.
Over the 7 years the number of comments we have deleted is an extremely small number, that if it was stated as a percent would be expressed as a number after a decimal point.
As for my opinions and thoughts on the domain industry, I always give you my honest one, with no ulterior motives.
I know everyone loves a negative story.
Everyone is looking for a conspiracy, looking under the rocks for some dirt and we have published plenty of those and will continue to publish stuff when we see it or find it.
However at the end of the day if you haven’t noticed, domain investors are far from loved outside of the industry.
The domain industry has been very good to me and I have made a very good living since 1999 almost exclusively from the industry so I take no pleasure in reporting bad news but not all news is bad and not everything is a conspiracy.
There is plenty of great news, events, sales and other things happening in the industry.
So as an industry lets rally around the good.
The industry is fluid, like anything in the Tech space, things change every month, every week and sometimes every day.
Each week there are sales, new domain extensions being launched, events that change the perception of how people view where the industry and parts of it are and where its going.
If you have the same exact opinion you had about domain names 10, 5 even last year then you’re not paying attention and not doing yourself any favors.
So I leave you with this continue to:
Respect the opinion of others even if you totally disagree with them and share your opinion so we can learn from you too.