MichelleObama.com sells for $3550, Is it Worth More?

The first lady's name as a domain name, meaning MichelleObama.com, was sold several days ago for $3,550 dollars in a Godaddy Expired domain auction.  I got the screenshot to prove it.  michelle obamaAs you can tell from the screenshot the expired auction for MichelleObama.com closed on February 23rd, 2014 and had 62 bids with the winning bidder willing to shell out $3,550 for the domain name.  I wonder… is there another Michelle Obama out there and did they win this auction?  What are the chances of that?

Like most domain auctions the bidding for the domain seems to have heated up in the final day.  Another screenshot I took when the MichelleObama.com domain auction was active on February 21st, 2014 shows that the price at $1,075.  The valuation is only at $60 though and has a traffic score of 248.

michelleobama.comIt's surprising to me that Michelle Obama's public relations team is this f$^&ing stupid for not trying to buy MichelleObama.com themselves.  I mean seriously what are you paid to do?  It's not like you Washington DC assholes have anything better to do with your day except move really slow and get nothing done.  In addition to wasting a bunch of money.

What surprised me more though is that the domain didn't sell for more money.  Wouldn't you think the first lady's name would be worth more than $3,550?  If Michelle Obama saw this I bet she would be slightly offended.

Currently MichelleObama.com displays a GoDaddy parked page.  It will be intersting to see what the new owner will or won't do with the domain.  Assuming it's not Michelle Obama who owns it.

I guess this raises the question what do you think your name is worth?  We all know that AdamYamada.com is worth millions of dollars. 😉

3rd NameCheap Move Your Domain Day

move your domain dayNameCheap is hosting another “Move Your Domain Day” tomorrow, February 5th 2014.  This is the 3rd time NameCheap, a domain name registrar and hosting company, has held such an event where they offer domain transfers at a discounted rate and donate proceeds to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

On the Move Your Domain Day page here is what it says.

Just as in '11 and '13, with MYDD 2014, we're raising funds for online freedom fighters the Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF is a donor-supported membership organization that works to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology and to educate the public about digital rights.

The EFF has spearheaded and support a number of different internet causes.  This includes the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) which would have allowed intellectual property owners to shutdown websites which they ‘feel' infringes on their copyright even if it didn't.  EFF also supports and organized the Stop Watching US coaltion along with Mozilla.  As well they helped organized a Stop Watching Us protest in Washington DC.

So tomorrow you can transfer any .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO and .BIZ domains to Namecheap for $3.98 which is well below their regular domain transfer pricing.  Use the coupon code – NCMYDD – at checkout to get the transfer deal.  In addition  Shared, Business and Reseller hosting plans will be 75% off.  Again you will need to use a coupon code – HOSTWITHNC – to get the discount. 

For each domain transferred or hosting plan purchased by a customer Namecheap will donate $0.50 cents to EFF. The donation amount goes up the more hosting plans and domains are bought by customers.  NameCheap will donate $1.00 per domain/hosting plan if they exceed 10,000 purchases and if they exceed 20,000 transferred domains or hosting plans purchased, Namecheap will donate $1.50 for each transaction to the EFF.  Some restrictions to be aware of;

  • The deal is limited to 50 domains per household or busines
  • 1 hosting plan can be purchased at 75% off.
  • You must add the ICANN 18 cents fee on .COM and .NET domain transfers
  • These “Move Your Domain Day” deals are valid 1 day only – February 5th, 2014.

Unsure if they are limiting the Move Your Domain Day deal to a set number.  I imagine they willl if too many people are taking advantage of the deals.

Over the last 2 years NameCheap has raised more $200,00 dollars for the EFF and the  “Move Your Domain Day” events have earned the domain registrar a lot of future business.  Keep in mind the upfront costs for the domain registrar are great since they loose money on this deal since are offering domain transfers, which are basically renewals, below wholesale pricing.

In addition to these “Move Your Domain Day” NameCheap held 0thers in the past to benefit the Save the Elephants foundation.  This was back when it was revealed that GoDaddy CEO Bob Parson’s went on safari specifically kill elephants.

If you haven't used NameCheap before, please read my NameCheap Review to see if they are good domain registrar for you.   Another registrars that people seem to like nowadays is NameSilo since they have straightforward pricing and free Whois privacy without coupons.

Leave a comment if you are going to be taking advantage of NameCheap's “Move Your Domain Day” to support the EFF.

I bought .ME domain name, for Me

me domain nameAbout a week ago I bought a .ME domain name which just happens to be my first purchase in the .ME domain extension.   While the domain was not my first choice for what I wanted I bought this particular .ME domain name for same reason most people buy a domain name nowadays, it was available. 🙂

Even though a lot of web entrepreneurs are familiar with the .ME domain name I know a lot of people that read and follow my website might not be.  I did write about the .ME registry accepting application for premium domains awhile ago.

Since this is my first .ME domain name I thought this would be a good time to do a quick write-up and explanation of the .ME domain extension.

What is a .ME Domain Name?

The .ME domain extension is what is known as a country code top level domain (ccTLD) for the the European country of Montenegro.  Many ccTLDs that used to be restricted for use within only a certain country, like .ME for Montenegro, have been opened up for registration to general public.  That means you or I can register the domain name.

In terms of search engine optimization (SEO) there is no disadvantage to using some ccTLDs nowadays.  Google considers many ccTLDs like .ME good for global and generic use.  In addition to other domain extensions like .IO, which Google changed their mind about.

Where is Montenegro? What goes on There?

Like I said, Eastern Europe.  Look at a map.

The most famous local that has “taken place” in Montenegro is James Bond playing Texas Hold'em Poker against Le Chifre in the movie Casino Royale.  (In the original story Bond plays Baccarat.)  Of course no part of the movie was actually filmed in Montenegro to my understanding.

As to what else goes on in Montenegro I unfortunately do no know.  Hopefully there is a lot of high stakes gambling and beautiful women.  Maybe I should go find out!

What are you going to do with a .ME Domain Name

It is not a domain name I plan to build a website on and I honestly do not think it has any resale value.  You are welcome to offer me a million dollars for it.  I will gladly accept.

If you don't offer me any money for it my plan is to use this domain as a URL shortener most likely for this website in addition to my other web properties.  While there are tons of URL shortening services there are many advantages to using your own domain name to shorten your URLs.  A lot of free URL shortener services allow anyone to pull statistics on your click through rates for those shortened URLs.  Not good if you don't want your competition to know this information.  It also enables you to brand all your URLs even if they are shortened.  In addition it gives you greater control if you take down an article and you can have shortened URLs be even shorter since you are the only person using the domain.  Also, it's just plain fun and cool.

Can you Enable Privacy on a .ME Domain Name?

Yes. I have whois privacy enabled on this .ME domain I bought through NameCheap.  What is interesting is most ccTLDs domain extensions do not allow for domain privacy but it seems with .ME they do.

How much does it cost to register a .ME domain name?

It's not crazy expensive but you are paying more each year since there are not as many registrations of the domain as more popular extensions.  Average pricing runs about $15-$17 dollars but this will vary depending the domain registrar you use.

Since there is a higher yearly cost for renewal I wouldn't register a .ME domain name and not do anything with it.  You should have a plan to use it either as URL shortener, like I will, or develop into something awesome.

Do you like .ME?

I hope you do and you like my blog.

Anyway, this is what I now about .ME domain names and the extension.  If you have anything to add or opinions about .ME, (get it?) feel free to leave a comment below.

1and1 Complaints, Problems, and Issues

1and1 complaints seem to be commonplace on webmaster forums and blogs all over the internet.  If you have landed on this article I assume you've read a lot of them.  Still, I thought I would get the word out about 1and1 problems and issues I've had using the companies services as a domain name registrar.  (I haven't used their hosting but you should NEVER use it.)

1and1 complaints

Slow DNS Propagation

One big issue I've always had with 1and1 is that they have extremely slow DNS propagation.  A lot of times domain registrars explicitly state “It can take 24-48 hours for DNS updates to fully propagate.”  For most registrars I've used it takes 2 hours, tops, for nameservers to process and update on my end.  Usually it doesn't take more than 1 hour in most cases.  With 1and1 it can literally take 48 hours or more.  This is by far the slowest I've ever seen and it is a big 1and1 complaint and issue they still have not seemed to have resolved or fixed.

When you need your nameservers updated, you want it done as fast as possible.  Most likely you are switching from a bad web host or are moving domain parking companies.  The amount of time 1and1 takes to update DNS is not appropriate in this day and age.

Slow Contact Updates

If you need to switch your address or any information for your domain contact details, don't expect 1and1 to process the update quickly either.  There have been times I've updated contact details which sometimes take a week for 1and1 to process on their end.  Sometimes the update will show-up the next day but often it doesn't.

This isn't that big of a deal but still, it 1and1 issues are that it's system is just damn slow.  It's kind of like they think they are an internet company that it still operating in 1999.

Difficult Transfers

Additionally one of 1and1's problems is when you try to make changes to transfer a domain, these updates can take quite awhile.  What do I mean?  If you need to turn off domain privacy I've had issues where it wouldn't turn off.  Even after contacting customer service and explaining the issue.

I've also had issues when I've “Unlocked” a domain and it's shows in 1and1's backend.  However when I attempt to transfer out to another domain name registrar, it will reject the transfer saying it wasn't unlocked or there was an issue with the losing domain registar.  I usually try again and contact 1and1 customer service to resolve the issue.  Typically they say everything looks fine on their end.  I reattempt and it is fine.

Recently I had to helped a client transfer a domain away from 1and1.  It was a bit tricky but I was able to get it done without too much hassle.  Still transferring is more 1and1 problems and issues to be aware of.

1and1 Customer Service

I haven't had as bad 1and1 customer service experience as some people I've read online.  I've actually called 1and1 and their support reps have been quite helpful in a few situations.  They answered my questions and actually understood what the issues was and fixed it.

However, my experience has not been all rosy.  When something in the system isn't updating I have been told, “It takes time for the registry to make updates.”  Of course unlocking a domain and making sure the privacy off is 1and1's issue and not the domain registry's problem.  Additionally they've given me run arounds when they said they made updates to something and it does not happen on my end.

1and1 isn't Great

I used to recommend 1and1 since they included free domain privacy and the ICANN fee with domain prices.  Since their prices are a high, $15 a year currently, and they have bad customer service and a backend system that is really slow there is no reason to use them.

Personally I'd recommend transferring your domains to one of these registrars which I have all had mostly positive experience with.  I've written reviews of all these domain name registrars which I hope your read.

Have you had 1and1 complaints, issues, or problems?   If you have had problems with 1and1 please share your story and 1and1 complaints below and let others know.  Did you eventually switch domain registrars? Did you switch to one of the registrars I recommend?  If you did, I'd be happy to hear if my reviews were helpful and if these registrars gave you better service.

The Creative Process in 6 Steps

Some people are always talking about “The Creative Process” and how they work on their projects and ventures.  Most believe and are under the assumption that they have the creative process they have is quite unique and nobody else works the same way they do.  Well, despite what you might believe about your work habits or have heard most entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, etc really all have the same creative process.  Here is the The Creative Process in 6 Steps.

the creative process

1. This is Going to be Awesome

This is the first thought you have when brainstorming an awesome new website, app, or slick new invention.  You haven't fully fleshed it out but all you can say and think to yourself is, “This is going to be Awesome!”

At this point in time you are too scared to tell many people about your idea in fear that someone will steal it.  (People really only steal ideas when they are successful though.)  You tell friends and family and they validate the idea saying, “That's a great idea!” and encourage you to follow through.

2. This is hard

At this point you probably started searching for a perfect domain name for whatever you have in mind.  Most likely are you wen through all the easy names first and realized that you are not going to be able to find a suitable domain to registered for $10 bucks easily.

This makes you resort to trying different domain generators trying to figure what to call you great new idea.  While searching for a domain you start to realize that your idea that you believe nobody else has come up with before might actually not be so original.

Also as you start making plans and surveying the market you realize launching a product, writing a book, starting a forum is going to be a lot harder than you have anticipated.  This is usually when you get extremely frustrated and say to yourself, “This is hard.” and you start questioning why you followed through with your idea.

3. This is turning to Shit

As you get further along with your project you realize that that things are not going as well as you planned.  Maybe you should have spent money on a domain in the aftermarket as the name you have doesn't fit you company and vision.  The team or person you choose to build your product or software doesn't have the same entrepreneurial quest as you, and therefore isn't doing it right.  Whatever it is the your idea is turning to shit and you are getting really upset since it's going as well as you hoped or expected.

4. I am Shit

There comes a point when you are not angry at other people, but you are very uspet at yourself.  Maybe your original idea and concept was as good as your first thought?  The people that you contracted and hired are doing are doing a job you deem “acceptable” but for some reasons it just doesn't seem to be working and you are not sure why.  A lot of self hate and loathing will manifest itself at this point in the the entrepreneur's creative process.

5. This might turn out Ok

There will come a turning point and you starting believing and knowing that things will be “Ok!”  Maybe your website is picking up traffic or you've starting to sell some of your product after you attended a trade show or blog conference.  The sun is finally starting to shine and you start feeling good about all the hard work you've put into your idea and project.

6. This is Awesome

When the finishing touches have been added you say, “This is Awesome.”  All those long days, hard nights, and effort has finally paid off.  You have the feeling your idea and projects are going to be fine and you've done a great job.  Entrepreneurial fame and awesomeness is just around the corner.

The Creative Process

If you think The Creative Process you go through is a lot different than this, I seriously doubt it.  I'd love to to hear opinions and thoughts though.  What is your creative process for projects and as an entrepreneur?  Is what I wrote here pretty accurate?

Q&A with Mohit Aggarwal creator of NameMesh

mohit aggarwalIf you are looking for a complete and one-stop domain generator Mohit Aggarwal, the creator of NameMesh, might have the answer for you.

You see, a lot of domain generators cater to finding brandable domain or a keyword rich domain name.  Typically most web entrepreneurs or startups find themselves using several generators all to accomplish the task of finding a good available domain.  Mohit's aim is to make it easy to find a brandable domains or keyword rich domains in the same place, saving people time and hassle.

Since I was curios about NameMesh and Mohit has been hard at work on his generator I had short Q&A with this web entrepreneur about his latest project.  We discussed how he built and came up with the idea for the domain generator and why he feels it is filling a void in the domain generator market.

Adam Yamada-Hanff: What is your background with domains?

Mohit Aggarwal: I don't have much background with domains. I took the leap of faith in September last year and started my entrepreneurial journey.

AY: Why did you decide to build NameMesh and how do you think it is different from other generators out there?

MA: I read this article which talks about 16 ways of generating names with examples of successful startups. The idea of NameMesh was to take the original domain name you thought and apply all the 16 ways like synonyms, misspellings, portmanteau, prefix, suffix, clever extensions etc. The thing was that I would have been disappointed if I missed some common naming pattern which was available for the domain name idea (keywords) I had but instead settled for less desirable domain name.

Existing domain generators all seem to target one thing or the other like short url, mixing, suffix etc. So I was basically typing the same keywords in multiple sites.

AYH: What code and software did you use to build NameMesh? How does it generate names?

MA: I mainly used Python, Django, [and] PostgreSQL. I used them because I wanted to learn them 😉

Name generation is mostly having algorithms running on words dictionary. Different algos for different things like removing vowels, etc finding substrings, adding prefixes, suffixes list, synonyms, antonyms etc.

AYH: How did you come up with the domain? Did you find NameMesh with a beta version?

MA: Yes, I searched ‘name* tube' but it wasn't available but NameMesh was. Mesh sounded good and meaningful.

AYH: What are you futures plans with NameMesh? When do you think it will be out of beta testing?

MA: I mainly want to focus on marketing NameMesh, mainly because I have seen very good retention rates (> 70%) and a lot of good feedback.

On technical side, I want to make it more ‘intelligent' and ‘dynamic'. Will be launching SSL shortly. I hope I can dedicate more coding time to it in future.

I am planning on removing the beta tag soon as it has been a long time since its launch in October 12, 2013.

AYH: Tell me a little bit about yourself? IT background, location, etc.

MA: I am based in Delhi, India. I have about 3-4 years of experience in product development and have worked with both startups and giants. I quit my job in September 12 after saving some money that can keep me going for about 2-3 years. I love being an entrepreneur and I hope that I can find a way to sustain myself in this time.

AYH: Have any tips for the best way to utilize NameMesh which you have not shared before?

MA: NameMesh Domain Search Tips has some tips on using NameMesh effectively using wildcards.

AYH: How do you keep the domain searches and saved data in accounts private

MA: The domain searches are not stored. There is no search history, mostly because of domain theft and privacy concerns.  The saved data (favorite domains) is stored in our database and requires authentication. The framework (Django) is very mature and widely used.

To enhance the security I am working on SSL version. In fact, its working at – https://namemesh.com. Since, it does slow down things a little bit, I will be making it optional to choose SSL.

END

If you are interested in keeping up with Mohit Aggrawal and NameMesh developments you can follow @NameMesh on Twitter.

Did you enjoy the interview?  Do you have any questions about NameMesh?  If so, leave a comment below.