Wednesday, August 12, 2015 domain Beloved by China - NiceNIC.NET

Expired Domain Report: In-Depth on
Joseph Peterson’s weekly roundup of expired domain sales.

During the past several months, domains (4 letters, for those just joining us) have multiplied in value among wholesale traders who expect to flip to China or resell to one another. For years, values had stagnated in the $15 – $50 range; but suddenly prices at auction and in the forums began to rise, climbing 10 – 20 times higher as word spread. Mailing-list domain brokers who wouldn’t have been caught dead featuring’s in 2014 are now listing them prominently and hungry for more. domain Beloved by China -

Yet certain kinds of domains were valuable before this spike in the Chinese market. For instance, the CVCV pattern of alternating consonants and vowels has long been sought after. Coincidentally, the West prizes precisely those letter patterns China disdains – and vice versa.Chinese buyers and their intermediaries state a preference for LLLL domains excluding A, E, I, O, U, and even V. Meanwhile, the Western retail market sets a premium on pronounceability, which almost always requires vowels. Moreover, because letters such as “Z” and “Q” (beloved by China) start few English words, LLLLs built from those letters are unlikely to serve as English acronyms; therefore they find little retail demand in the USA. In other words, the Chinese LLLL market and the non-Chinese LLLL market barely overlap at all. And while values in the former have skyrocketed, prices in the latter remain more or less as they were last year.

NameJet’s top expired domain auction last week, ($9.3k), as well as ($2.1k) illustrate the type of sales we’ve seen for a long time and which, I’d say, are oriented to the Western market. These two are brand names meant to be spoken aloud outside China. Even ($1.7k), whose Chinese buyer seems to be breaking my “rule”, may only be a CVCV in a nominal sense. My guess is that it’s Pinyin: “Qi Me”. ($1.6k) is a departure from the “no V” habit, but it’s possible that VR” (meaning virtual reality) has entered Chinese as a loan word. That I don’t know. As for ($4.9k), well, it’s probably an English word stripped of its vowels. Reserve Petroleum Co. uses it as their stock ticker. And a Belgian clothing store sees it not as “reserve” but as “reservoir”. For all I know, Ammar Kubba was thinking of RVs when he bought the thing.

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Good Company Name and Matching .COM Domain - NiceNIC.NET

Venture capitalist makes the argument for picking a good name and owning the

Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham has published an essay on his site about why it’s important to get a good company name and its matching .com.
Change your name Get the .Com - Paul Graham -
Is it still important in a world of apps? Graham writes:

"If you have a US startup called X and you don’t have, you should probably change your name.

The reason is not just that people can’t find you. For companies with mobile apps, especially, having the right domain name is not as critical as it used to be for getting users. The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness. Unless you’re so big that your reputation precedes you, a marginal domain suggests you’re a marginal company. Whereas (as Stripe shows) having signals strength even if it has no relation to what you do."

The Stripe story is particularly interesting.

Graham argues that if you named your company x and you don’t own, you should change your name. He points out there are plenty of good names for purchase out there, you just have to give it some effort. If you aren’t good at naming, find someone who is.

The essay finishes with some stats about top Y Combinator companies:

"100% of the top 20 YC companies by valuation have the .com of their name. 94% of the top 50 do. But only 66% of companies in the current batch have the .com of their name. Which suggests there are lessons ahead for most of the rest, one way or another."

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Back from Vacation - NiceNIC.NET

Posted by Andrew Allemann on August 10, 2015

Seattle Vacation -

I’m back from summer vacation, and now it’s time to gear up for fall.

I’m back from a two week vacation in Seattle.

There are a lot of domain companies in Seattle, and if you’re feeling left out that I didn’t visit you…this was a true vacation. I negotiated a couple hours of blogging time with my family each day, but company visits would have been asking too much. Instead, we spent our time camping, touring the Theo chocolate factory, visiting parks, etc.

An exception was a trip to DomainSherpa HQ in Bainbridge Island. It was a big highlight for me, as we saw a bald eagle, sea lion and otters in Mike Cyger’s “backyard”.

Here are some things I thought about on my vacation:

Seattle Vacation -

1. If I could live in one U.S. city other than Austin, it would be Seattle. To be fair, I typically visit during the good summer months. I don’t know how I’d do in the winter. But damn, it’s a beautiful and fun city. I’m not the only one who thinks this…I thought the Austin housing market was hot, but it’s nothing compared to Seattle.

2. News blogging never takes breaks. My family kindly gave me an hour or two each morning to get some stories up. Last week was also earnings week for many public domain companies, which meant some afternoon blogging.

3. I always feel like I’m a couple hours behind when I travel to the West Coast. By the time you get up and boot up the laptop, it’s lunchtime in New York.

Back to work…

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Facebook says .LOL is dead - NiceNIC.NET

Facebook says LOL is dead, but the domain name comes out tomorrow. Get ready to LOL on August 11, 2015.

Facebook says .LOL is dead -

Uniregistry will launch the .lol top level domain name in general availability on Tuesday. Annual registration costs appear to be about $30 retail, but many registrars are offering discounted first year registrations.

I’ve made it a point to never type LOL in a message, because, c’mon, do you ever really laugh out loud when IM’ing with someone?

I’m not the only one. Facebook has posted some research suggesting LOL is on its way out, prompting headlines today such as ‘Haha’ has killed ‘lol’ and No one says LOL anymore.

But no one applied for the .haha top level domain, so it’s .lol this time around.
Also coming up this week for new domains: Early access for Donuts domain names .dog, .theater, .taxi, .hockey and .run.

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Google uses now part of Alphabet - NiceNIC.NET

Google announced a new holding company called Alphabet today, and it’s using the domain name

Google uses now part of Alphabet -

This is a huge win for Daniel Negari’s .xyz, and new top level domains in general.

Google will be part of Alphabet, but some of the company’s more long term bets will be separate companies operating under Alphabet.

Reading Larry Page’s intro note on, I couldn’t help but compare it to, the fictitious company from HBO’s Silicon Valley that is modeled somewhat after Google. (As it turns out, links to

I don’t think will be used much since it’s just the holding company’s name, but it could possibly become the email address for some employees. It will also likely be used for all investor information and announcements in the future.

I suspect the domain name sold for six figures. is owned by BMW. is owned, of course, by the entertainment company.

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Trump and Bible trending in .com domain name registrations - NiceNIC.NET

Donald Trump is making money…for domain name registrars.

Domain name registrations related to Donald Trump, the bible and Cuba were trending last month.

Trump and Bible trending in .com domain name registrations -

According to .com registry Verisign, the following keywords showed the biggest increase in registrations from June to July in .com:

1. owned
2. Cuba
3. savings
4. prices
5. Trump
6. SUV
7. economy
8. scope
9. bible
10. frog

I understand some of these terms, but frog? There was a big spike of “frog” related domains registered on July 22 for some reason.

I don’t think Verisign counts “abc” as a keyword, but I suspect it would be trending for August …

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