What I'm pondering or thinking about at this time....

Traffic From Generation Y: Sarah's Thoughts

Traffic From Generation Y: Sarah's Thoughts

Today it hit me hard what a huge gap there is between people my age (generation Y) and the other older generations. Today I was reading through an article on DNW and stumbled across a podcast that talked about jumping on trends before they happen. It discussed buying domains that could potentially be worth a lot more in the future.

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I found it very interesting and I can remember when dad started domaining, he was trying to think of catchy domains to buy that could be worth more later. It surprised me that Podcasts are even still around, but what surprised me even more was that the term ‘Vlog’ was presented as an example of a domain that had lost its value. The term vlog stands for ‘video blog’, and according to DNW is not a valuable phrase that you could potentially make money off.

That was a huge shock for me because if you ask anyone my age, they would know exactly what the term vlog means. Not only that, but I would say that vlog or vlogging is probably one of the most popular forms of video on YouTube right now.

After speaking with my dad about it, he suggested that although it may be a well-known term amongst people my age, people my age don’t have the money to buy them. This then depressed the value on the term ‘vlog’ and results in the domains being dropped by investors. Another reason the domains are dropped is because people my age may use the term on YouTube but not in a domain main, which means the domains have no traffic.

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Saturday Musings - Giving Something Back

Saturday Musings - Giving Something Back

When I attended “The Domains Conference” in Fort Lauderdale last year I gave each of the attendees a free copy of my debut SciFi book Battleframe (see blurb below). The domain industry has given me so much that I would like to extend the free giveaway to everyone in the domain industry.

From March 13-16th the Ebook version of Battleframe will be FREE on Amazon.

Click here to download your copy:

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I would love it if you could share the link with family and friends, so feel free to pass it around to anyone that you know. It would also be awesome if you could provide a review on Amazon as well. :-)

Don’t forget to register at my author's blog http://michaelgilmour.com to view maps of featured installations and the planet Alpha Three. There’s also a forum that you can participate in to ask me questions about the characters, plot and setting. I love hearing from readers so feel free to fire away!

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Understanding Domaining: Sarah's Thoughts

Understanding Domaining: Sarah's Thoughts

Today I have the privilege to be writing my very first article for Whizzbangs blog. Can I just say, that it’s a lot of pressure not only to be writing for a successful blog, but also to be writing on a topic I don’t know too much about.

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I think from my perspective that’s where I struggle. I feel like there is a huge gap between knowing about domaining and understanding what its all really about. I mean, still today when someone asks me about my dad I struggle to explain what he does to a person my age. It normally starts off with “…well, he sits on the computer a lot” and for a lot of people that already generally enough to shut off.

As I watch their eyes glaze over, I fumble and try to explain in the simplest terms what domaining is about. Bottom line is nothing about domaining to me is simple. People my age are very tech savvy when it comes to social media, computers and video games, but as soon as something as technical as domaining comes up I can see my friends (as polite as they are) just shut down. I was once the same, until I realized how interesting business can be!

Now that I am working part time for Whizzbangs Blog I have already learnt so much! I’ve been actually excited to look at spreadsheets (unlike when I was at university) and its even better when all the numbers actually make sense a little bit. But my question to you all is how do you describe what your job is to someone who has never heard a thing about domaining?

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Saturday Musings - When Work Becomes Play

Saturday Musings - When Work Becomes Play

Many years ago when I first got married I said to Roselyn, “You need to understand something about me…..I’ll only keep on doing what I’m doing if I’m enjoying it.” This doesn’t mean that I’m going to quit working if I have a bad day but it does strike at an important life issue.

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We spend a large amount of our time working and I’m amazed by the number of people that hate their job and yet turn up every day. I’m amazed for two reasons. One, they are disciplined enough to keep on doing something they don’t like, two, they are in a position where they have to do it and three, they feel they can’t move onto something else.

Obligations are a scary thing and one of the lessons I’m trying to teach my own children is the financial noose that all those unnecessary things can place around your neck. You don’t really need a fancy car, brand new phone or the very latest computer. Going without is often a really good thing to do as it teaches us patience. Going without often gives us the flexibility to move onto to other things where we really enjoy life and work becomes play.

As many of you have seen, my daughter Sarah, is now working part-time with me on Whizzbangsblog. The other day she had a great big smile on her face and she said to me, “Dad, I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying this!”

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Saturday Musings - The Case For Genocide

Saturday Musings - The Case For Genocide

This past week I’ve had the “pleasure” of wading my way through numerous legal documents well over 56 pages in length and my desk is becoming buried under a mountain of paper. Don’t get me wrong, paper has its place (I think), but I’ve decided this past week to commit a form of genocide by going on a rampage to decimate as much of the white stuff as possible. Just when I think I’m beginning to get the upper hand in my war the mail arrives.

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I remember as a child I used to get so excited about “getting something in the mail”, now all of the envelopes seem to have windows on them. Grrrrrrr! Like the tentacles of some malevolent beast the subtlety of my enemy infiltrating my life is really quite scary.

For example, earlier I wandered into our dining room, glance at the table, to see it’s covered in paper from school assignments and studying courtesy of our youngest daughter. I have six boxes of business cards, computer manuals filling bookshelves and you guessed it, a stationary cupboard filled to overflowing with paper.

There seems to be a never ending flow of flattened, bleached, mulched trees threatening to engulf me in their pristine whiteness. Now it’s time for me to fight back.

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Saturday Musings - Who's On Your Team?

Saturday Musings - Who's On Your Team?

I was watching my daughter, Elise, play netball this morning. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the game, it’s like basketball but without dribbling or a backboard behind the net. As I watched the game unfold and the players run around the court it reminded me to think about who are the players in my own domain team?

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If you really want to win the game and run a business that’s really profitable then there will be different people and organisations that add value to your endeavour. One of the most critical players would have to be your registrar. Having a good relationship with your registrar is vitally important when things go wrong.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a problem I was having with Enom, which I use as one of my registrars. After banging my head against the wall over a problem I had to make the difficult decision to move many of my domains away to Epik (who is now sponsoring my blog). Credit must be given to the product manager at Enom that reached out to me at the last minute to help resolve things.

So why did I choose Epik? As well as a great interface the most important factor was because the founder, Rob Monster, is proactive in dealing with things immediately and is always available on skype. So Epik is now becoming a part of my team.

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Opportunities and An Oculus

Opportunities and An Oculus

The past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy but in a good sort of way. I sat down with my business partner (David) and we had a page full of great ideas, serious partnership opportunities and a number of realistic possible investments. Faced with this plethora of options is any businesses dream.

As an example, one possible partnership will potentially add 30% to our client’s revenue line at ParkLogic. We’ve already put together a test and it will be interesting to see how it pans out over the next couple of weeks. It’s constantly looking for ideas like the one we’re testing that get me excited about the domain business.

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ParkLogic Next is progressing forward and we have a number of clients migrated across to it already. The client interface that we demonstrated at NamesCon was an instant hit but we still have a lot of plans to refine it further. The goal is to place decision making metrics in the hands of clients.

So with all the things that are happening and opportunities available how do you choose the right ones to work on? A lot of it has to assessing both the business impact and potential downside risk. For instance, we were looking over a detailed business plan for a particular venture this past week and spent most of the time assessing the “when to pull the plug” scenario.

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Where are the Leaders?

Where are the Leaders?

It’s not often that I write a political blog but after a robust discussion with my daughters over dinner I thought that it was about time I put pen to paper. Almost every night I see all the candidates from both the republicans and democrats being paraded across the television…..and I’m in Australia!

To be fair, Australia is also in an election year and our screens are filled with politicians kissing babies, making promises and almost completely ignoring fiscal responsibility. So although this article uses numbers from the USA….trust me when I say that Australia is relatively similar.

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So, what can politicians actually do to bring budgets back into surplus, pay off debt and do all the things they expect you and I to do at home? Well, not much actually…..unless they are prepared to tip over the applecart and show some real leadership.

I came across this little pie chart (see below) which really sums up the economic situation quite nicely. It basically said that 84 percent of the budget goes to keeping the lights on in social security, defence, health, debt interest and various tax credits.

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Saturday Musings - I'm Turning Fifty!

Saturday Musings - I'm Turning Fifty!

It’s once in a lifetime that I get a chance to write a headline like the one above. Yes, I’m turning fifty. I’m having a Hawaiian party tonight where Hawaiian shirts are mandatory….so Rick Schwartz and Rob Grant would be really happy with that choice. :-)

Turning fifty is a bit of a milestone and causes me to reflect on all of the blessings that I’ve received in my life. I have three amazing children, a drop dead gorgeous wife who loves and spoils me incredibly.

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I also work in an industry which is nothing short of spectacular. Domaining has provided me not only with an income but with friends from all over the world. It’s great thinking that when I travel to a particular country there’s always someone there to catch-up on.

For those of you still in your twenties and thirties, trust me when I say that I don’t feel old at all. I’m still leaping off cliffs paragliding, kite surfing and I’m planning on hiking the New Zealand alps with Roselyn.

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Heading Back From Vacation

Heading Back From Vacation

I'm sitting here at the airport in Queenstown, New Zealand after a great weeks vacation in a magnificent part of the world. Almost as a parting gesture I couldn't help noticing that one of the the networks available at the airport was called "whizbang". Shame about dropping a "z" but it made me feel right at home.

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After the past week I feel energised and looking forward to the new year! This is going to start with heading to Vegas tomorrow for NamesCon where I've heard that over 1200 people will be in attendance. Seriously, if you aren't attending you will be really missing out.

As well as having around 30 scheduled meetings I will be speaking on Domain Monetisation for two sessions, an intro and also a masterclasss. I spent the week before Christmas researching some great case studies to illustrate the points in the sessions....it should be a lot of fun! If you are interested in monetising your domain traffic then make sure that you signup for the sessions online at the NamesCon website as they are filling up fast.

I'm also going to be doing a Q&A on Sunday where people can ask any question they would like about how to best monetise and manage their domains. I'll do my best to answer all the questions and help out as many people as possible.

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