Subprime Problems with Online Advertising

Will online advertising survive?

Back in 2008 the world experienced the impact of the subprime mortgage crisis. Greed, combined with a dose of stupidity put the global economy into a tailspin. The question I have been asking myself is whether the online advertising industry is heading for its own subprime shakeout.

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The global financial crisis was caused by blending toxic loans that would never be paid back with good loans that would. The thought of big commissions spurred Wall Street forward to meddle with the ratio of good performing to bad performing loans so they were weighted on the wrong side of the ledger.

Ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Standard and Poors would look at these loan blends and put a rating on them that represented the riskiness of the blended loan portfolio. The problem is the agencies were paid by the banks that were trying to sell them…..so guess what, all these toxic loan portfolios received the highest investment rating.

I know that I’ve over simplified the whole financial crisis but what happened next was incredibly predictable and now a part of history. People lost their jobs as a credit squeeze hit the financial markets and central bankers wondered how they were blindsided.

Let’s compare this to the online advertising industry.

Traffic can be bought at varying degrees of quality and blended together so that it’s just acceptable enough for advertisers to buy. In fact, the name of the game for many traffic sellers is to get an advertiser hooked on the “heroin” and then dilute the traffic quality with “talcum powder”. This way the sellers can maximise their returns.

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Saturday Musings - Our Precious Domains...!

Are domains turning you into Gollum?

Back in 2016 I wrote an article comparing domain names to the “One Right” from The Lord of The Rings. I must admit that the journey down memory lane was very therapeutic and gave me a bit of a laugh. For the first time every, I thought I’d reprise the article again…..so enjoy!

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 Author, JRR Tolkien, suggested in “The Lord of the Rings”, that the one ring allowed wearers to rule but each time they put it on they tended to spiral down into deprivation and psychosis. The character of Frodo did his best to resist the rings temptations but sometimes he just couldn’t help it. I sometimes wonder whether domains are a lot like this.

Do you really not own the .comRemember when you bought your first domain name? The nervousness of the purchase followed by the terror of what the heck are nameservers and EPP codes. But you were hooked. The desire to buy or sell just one more domain each day becomes an irresistible allure that you just can’t seem to deny. If you don’t believe me then consider the following….

What’ the first thing you do each day? Is it check your domain stats to see whether they are up or down? How about jump onto Afternic or Sedo to check out any domain offers?

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed? My wife used to ask me whether I’d tucked my computer in as yet….which is a euphemism for have I checked my domain stats?

You bought a .xyz?When you really consider it the last thing we needed was the monetisation providers, registrars and marketplaces to develop apps and responsive websites. This then meant we could feed our addiction to domains during the day while we were catching a train, in a staff meeting or having a coffee with our loved ones.

Of course we could disguise our domain addiction by mumbling something about checking up on an important client email, but between you and me, we know the truth. You’re a domain addict.

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Personal Musings – How to Gain Trust

The foundations of trust are logic, empathy, authenticity.

Several months ago, I shared with readers the three principles of truth, trust and learning that I’ve endeavoured to build my life upon. In this article I would like to expand upon the principle of trust and show you how you can become more trustworthy by incorporating the three foundations of trust into your life.

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Logic
I’m sure you’ve been in a meeting at work where a person has been giving a presentation that just didn’t hang together. Everyone else in the room can sense the lack of logic and end up rolling their eyes to one another….what they are actually saying is I can’t trust what is being presented.

The more logical you are the more likely people will believe what you are saying. This goes for all your relationships, whether they are friends, family or work colleagues.

For example, you may be able to tell your 8-year-old child that they can’t go to a friend’s house because “I said no” but trying that approach with an 18-year-old will get you entirely different results. The older child will expect to hear a logical reason why they can’t go out. They may still not agree with it but at least it made sense.

The rule of thumb is to think before you speak, and you’ll look a lot wiser. In fact, if you are in a work meeting, be the last person to speak and then you can logically build upon the input of everyone else in the room…..this will gain you a lot of trust as you’re considerate to the input of others.

Empathy
Empathy and sympathy are often confused between each other. The best way of thinking about the difference is that sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for another person while empathy is putting yourself in their shoes.

When you really care about another person you will become empathetic and they will notice that you are. It’s all about getting alongside them and together sharing what they are going through and bearing whatever the burden is together.

A friend of mine was doing exceptionally well in his business but within the space of about a week everything turned to disaster and he lost everything due to being caught up in a scam. He’d done nothing wrong and yet he'd lost everything.

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Wolftalker
- extremely important, agreed. "What can I do to help?" is powerful.
17 September 2018
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What's Going On At ICU?

Kevin Kopas and Lars Jensen from .ICU

In June I wrote an article on the new gTLD ICU and I believed that it would be successful not necessarily because of the extension but because two of the founders, Kevin Kopas and Lars Jensen. I thought it was time that I checked in on their efforts and to see if my belief in the both of them was warranted….

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For a start, I don’t think anyone has clocked up as many frequent flyer miles as either Kevin or Lars....and that's saying something coming from an Australian like me. In their efforts to promote ICU I think they’ve attended just about every conference imaginable around the world.

If you ever bump into them (and you will) then just ask them what time zone they were in last week. I wouldn’t be surprised if you receive a confused expression, followed by silence and then a reply of which one do you mean? I sometimes wonder whether ICU will be successful simply because of their brute force effort.

Putting aside all of the anecdotes, what are the numbers telling us? I hopped into ntldstats (great site btw) and checked out whether the dynamic duo have managed to get things moving forward. The first thing I noticed is that ICU has cracked the top 50 most popular extensions in just under 3 months….not a mean feat in itself.

ICU regsitrations

As can be seen from the chart there was clearly an initial surge in early registrations and then a constantly increasing number since June. In fact, you could say the graph is getting slightly steeper as time goes by. My guess is this is the result of more registrars taking on ICU and exposing it to a wider market.

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Saturday Musings - Dealing With Stress

Stress can be incredibley debilitating.

This past week has been pretty difficult for me. Business has been going incredibly well but a personal problem arose with an external social organisation that I needed to work through (not family or anything like that…they’re all awesome!).

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Due to the emotions of the encounter with a number of individuals I found myself really stressed out and not getting to sleep until 4am each night for most of the week….which is a rare occurrence for me. I thought that I’d share with you how I dealt with the stress and what I did to get through to the other side of the problem.

The first night was a shocker. My mind seemed to swirl back and forth trying to wrestle with all the issues at hand. I found my brain replaying events on it's internal DVR over the previous 24 hours over and over again. Each time I would think of a witty riposte to a comment made and then the loop replayed again and again.

I must admit that I fell in the trap of PLOM’s disease. For those of you that don’t know, PLOMs is Poor Little Old Me…..it’s an absolutely pointless state of mind that doesn’t solve anything. If you stay in this mode of thinking then you’ll end up severely depressed (get some help if you are)….I made the decision that I wasn’t going to let that happen.

The second night was a lot more proactive as I did a brain dump of about six pages of notes about the situation. What I was trying to do was array the facts and leave the emotion out of things. This really helped calm the internal dialogue down and provided me with the necessary information for my mind to go searching for solutions.

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Recent Comments
OzDomainer
Hey Michael, I have been in that very same place and it is very unpleasant indeed! I recommend watching this episode of my Busi... Read More
08 September 2018
mgilmour
Hi there - many thanks for the link. I hope this helps other peopel with handling stress in their life.
09 September 2018
mgilmour
As always, thank you for your kind words Robin. It was a rough week but I'm find that when a plan is put in place for moving forwa... Read More
10 September 2018
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