February 2012 - Issue #73
 

WhyPark Re-branded as domainapps

WhyPark originated as an alternative to domain parking.  The catchy name attracted domain owners who were dissatisfied with their income from traditio nal parking companies.  Over time it probably tied them a little too closely to the domain parking world, so their new name domainapps emphasizes what they DO provide (apps), rather than what they don't provide (parking).  

The first iteration of the platform provides all of the tools that were available with WhyPark - including, of course, the "domain apps."  There is a very easy process you'll go through to migrate your domains to the new platform. It took me less than a minute.  According to their instructions:

The first time you login to Domain Apps, you will complete the migration process. That's it! Your domains will remain unaffected and you will be able to quickly start managing your domains again. You will receive an email when the migration process has been completed. This can range from under 1 minute to several minutes, depending on the number of domains you have with us.

The old WhyPark nameservers will still work, but you get an added bonus if you update to the new domainapps name servers - you can now switch your domains seamlessly between Parked domain parking and domainapps content and app sites.  I haven't updated my name servers yet - and I can confirm that this step is not really necessary at first.

Moniker and SnapNames Sold to KeyDrive S.A.

Right in the middle of Oversee.net's DomainFEST Global conference comes the news that Oversee has sold Moniker and Snapnames to Luxembourg's KeyDrive, S.A.  KeyDrive describes itself this way:
KeyDrive S.A./Luxembourg includes the Key-Systems Group in St. Ingbert/Saarland (Germany), the NameDrive Group (Luxembourg/USA) as well as Moniker and SnapNames (Florida and Oregon/USA) with more than 160 employees.
After the takeover of Moniker in January 2012 the group ranks among the TOP 10 biggest ICANN registrars in 6th place in relation to the number of managed gTLD domain names; the group currently administers a total of more than 6 million domains.
Andrew Allemann of Domain Name Wire analyzed it this way:
Both SnapNames and Moniker were challenging acquisitions for Oversee.net. SnapNames lost its most important domain registrar, Network Solutions, shortly after the acquisition in 2007. It then dealt with the so-called “halvarez” scandal where a SnapNames employee was found shill bidding in auctions.  Moniker was also a challenge, primarily because it was purchased at the peak in early 2008. Oversee.net paid about $24 million for the domain registrar. Although the sale price hasn’t been disclosed, you can be it took a sizable loss on the sale.

I have a few domains at Moniker, and I won't be in a hurry to move them.  It remains to be seen if their reputation for securty remains a part of their marketing.  Many of the U.S. employees keep their jobs for now.

How to Follow the Domain Industry

Many domain owners have busy lives, and most of us have day jobs.  There are a select few people who receive all of the income from their domain names.  Many of these people are becoming "online businesspersons" with developed ecommerce sites and income beyond the traditional income streams of PPC income and domain sales income.

How can the rest of us keep up with this fast-changing industry? If you are strapped for time, I recommend two sources that all domainers should keep up with - DNJournal and DomainNameWire.

DNJournal

DNJournal is Ron Jackson's "electronic trade magazine" for the domain industry.  I remember stumbling upon this resource in 2004 when Ron wrote an article on Pool.com.  The earliest article that I can find online is A March 2003 article about DomainSpa.  It's hard to fine these older issues on the site - which is not the best organized site out there.  (I finally found a "Cover Story Archive" here.) Jackson does a great job of promoting new businesses in the domain space and making everyone aware of what is going on in the industry.  His background as a journalist shows in his clear writing style, and he is an all-around nice guy.  There's no mud-slinging at DNJournal.

The best weekly recap of publicly-available domain sales is also at DNJournal.  This is a great resource for domain sellers.  Send interested buyers to Ron's Domain Sales section to give them an idea of just how much some people will pay for a good domain name.  Most of your domains won't sell for these prices, of course, but it can be an eye-opener for a potential buyer who doesn't understand why they can't just pay you $50 for your domain.

DomainNameWire

Andrew Allemann started DomainNameWire in 2005.  Andrew's style was more critical than Ron's from the beginning.  Ron Jackson's DNJournal was a friendly publication promoting the domain industry, while Andrew's was more of an industry watchdog.  He has been a vocal critic of some of GoDaddy's policies, for example, and covered the Moniker-Monte Cahn legal dispute in great detail.  Allemann doesn't even shy away from writing critical words about self-proclaimed "Domain King" Rick Schwartz. 

Allemann conducts an annual survey of the industry every year, and dribbles the results out over the course of several weeks.  I understand that he wants people to return to his site - but if the results are in, then just tell us the results already. 

I highly recommend reading DomainNameWire at least weekly (also available at the cool 3-letter domain dnw.com) and reading DNJournal at least monthly.  If you keep up with these two publications you will be up-to-date on the domain industry.

[Disclosure - In the early days of DomainNameWire I wrote some guest articles for them, and my name still appears as a guest writer.  I do not and have never received any compensation from them.]