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People Not Only Misunderstand Domainers, They Hate Us

Posted On Sunday, May 9, 2010

Last night, after watching the Lakers defeat the Jazz by one point I decided to hop onto Twitter and browse a few comments for the word domain.  I noticed a few interesting comments, but there was one comment which stood out.  The comment had a great deal of negativity behind it and I felt that perhaps if someone could inform the user about our industry that they just might understand that domain investors are not cyber squatters.

www.twitter.com/jshirley

“For the record, I hate domain squatters. I know one, he’s a disarmingly nice guy. If I saw him right now, I’d punch him in the teeth.”

After seeing this comment I decided to send a message to the twitter user and see why he felt that he would invoke harm on such a person.  This comment was disturbing and I needed to understand why a person would feel like doing something of this nature.  Even if the person was playing around, this still didn’t sit right with me.

@jshirley what do you define as a domain squatter?

@dnpimping people who buy domains for the purpose of capitalizing via ads or resales, without putting any effort towards *using* it. Hate.

Jshirley’s definition of a cyber squatter is that of a domain investor!  He feels that people who buy domain names for the purpose of monetizing them, without putting much effort into using the domain are cyber squatters!  After seeing how misinformed the person really was I took some time out of my day to try and explain to them what a cyber squatter really was.  Then I tried to make the distinction of a domain investor and a cyber squatter.

@jshirley people who buy domains for the purpose of capitalizing via ads and resales are known as domain investors.

@jshirley people who target trademarked names are domain squatters.

@jshirley the domain squatters give domain investors a.k.a domainers a bad name.

@jshirley i would love to speak about this with you over the phone next week. I understand where you are coming from.

I pretty much did what I could to try and reach out to this person.  Keep in mind I decided to do this in an effort to inform them in an educated manner about the domaining industry.  What happens next, really make me realize that there are people out there that will hate everything that we do regardless of the business strategies we partake in.  I even tried to setup a phone call as I love to talk with end-users about domain names.  I have had plenty of great experiences doing this and was looking forward to doing so with this individual.

@dnpimping you can argue semantics, but you certainly can’t call me. Deal with people hating you, at least you aren’t on Wall St

Deal with people hating you?  These are very strong words.  There is obviously an underlying problem here, one which stems deeper then what is being stated in these twitter entries.  I am curious to find out what kind of experiences this person has had in the past, when it comes to the domaining industry.  He said that I CERTAINLY can’t call him as if he was scared about what I had to say.  The he had the nerve to rank us on the same scale as some of the ruthless investors on Wall Street.

@jshirley do you believe in investing? Have you ever purchased a house? The person who owned it before you was a property squatter?

I figured this question would spark an educated answer.  Almost everyone I have come across has hopes and aspirations for themselves in life.  People want the economic freedom to do what means most to them and for myself investing is one of the channels I have partaken in to make this happen.  Lets see how jshirley replies to this post.

@dnpimping yeah, if they put up ads and didn’t live in the house. Not helping your case by using stupid analogies.

Lets just say that I am not surprised at the reply.  In fact jshirley makes it quite obvious that he is ignorant and won’t here what anyone has to say when it comes to this topic.

@jshirley Chances are they purchased the house as an investment. Just like domainers buy domains as investments.

Obviously jshirley doesn’t like the fact that I am trying to inform him of what we do.  After sending this message to him, he posted the following message on his twitter:

Blocking that clown. What an idiot. If you are in a crappy business, just own up. Nobody loves you, but lying makes them hate you.

So instead of trying to educate himself, he ends up block me and then proceeds forward with both name calling and calling our industry and I quote “crappy.”  I happen to love this industry and know many people outside of the domaining industry who actually “LOVE” what we do.  The only problem that I have encountered is when an individual is misinformed as jshirley and develops a resentment for some undisclosed reason.

If it wasn’t for domainers, there would be a great deal of domain names floating about in the wrong hands.  The fact that we try and find people who are interested in purchasing great names shows that the majority of us want to see a domain in the RIGHT hands.  We play a major role, one that is needed on the Internet.  What jshirley considers squatting is actually domain investing.  The fact that we invest into domain names is adding to the economy not substracting from it.  If you want me to go political I can also say that we are the reasons why certain small businesses are able to function and provide the much needed jobs that the world economy depends on.  Yes it is a small industry, but it funnels into something much larger.

On that note, even after realizing that the user blocked me I decided to send one more message just incase someone decided to follow the conversation.

@jshirley www.domaining.com take some time to educate yourself

Ignorance is bliss, but hatred in any shape or form is downright wrong.  Hopefully someone will show @jshirley this blog entry as I would love for him to make a comment to redeem himself.  It’s sad that some people just refuse to educate themselves on such a diverse topic.  For all we know @jshirley could of been the next great domain investor to partake in our industry.

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28 Comments so far
  1. Comment by Anthony Gracey-Wright

    May 9, 2010 12:33 pm

    Wow, so ignorant! He’s probably just mad that he lost one of his domains to a Squat Bot way back in the day. You’ve gotta know who to point the finger at, instead of ‘trying’ to soil the whole industry’s name!

    [Reply]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason Thompson. Jason Thompson said: People Not Only Misunderstand Domainers, They Hate Us http://su.pr/1t42L9 [...]

  3. Comment by James

    May 9, 2010 12:43 pm

    He probably sold a generic for $500 in the late 90s and then found out later the name sold for over a million in the early 2000s – bitter.

    [Reply]

  4. Comment by IM Links

    May 9, 2010 1:47 pm

    This ‘I am right’ attitude makes my blood boil.

    I once had the misfortune to work in a department with a guy who shared this bigoted view of domaining as cybersquatting. Interestingly his attitude applied to other areas – when ‘supporting’ users he would clearly overstep his knowledge and start to make stuff up when he had their attention.

    Thankfully he was in the 1st batch to go when the downsizing came.

    - Paul

    [Reply]

  5. Comment by IM Links

    May 9, 2010 1:49 pm

    BTW – Do you want to buy some Twitter accounts :-)

    Disclaimer – I am joking!

    [Reply]

  6. Comment by Tim

    May 9, 2010 2:57 pm

    I’ve ran into these kinds of people many times in the last 15 years of my domain investing

    I think they have all lost a domain to a missed renewal or causal drop from lack of caring……. or missed out when they could have easily been a millionaire if back in the day when domains like Insurance.com were still free they had just registered a few.

    It’s a very interesting psychology and one that could make for a great study by some undergrad that wants to make a name for him or herself.

    [Reply]

  7. Comment by Ron Wells

    May 9, 2010 3:47 pm

    It looks like he’s a website developer (which explains his attitude towards domain investors):

    coldhardcode.com (this is @jshirley’s website)

    Probably upset because every name that he is searching for has already been registered!

    [Reply]

  8. Comment by Bruce Tedeschi

    May 9, 2010 4:05 pm

    Puzzled, there are haters in every business. Why so concerned with this guy? I mean, who cares if he hates domainers?

    [Reply]

  9. Comment by Mark Jeftovic

    May 9, 2010 5:23 pm

    To paraphrase the old marketers’ joke:

    “Please don’t tell my mother I’m a domainer…she thinks I run a cyberporn website”

    (The original as I heard it: “Please don’t tell my mother I’m in marketing, she thinks I play piano at the local whorehouse…”)

    [Reply]

  10. Comment by Leonard Britt

    May 9, 2010 5:45 pm

    If you search Twitter for “domain squatter/s/ing” or “cybersquatter/s” you will find plenty of individuals who despise domainers and domaining. Some are bloggers, others business people, others developers. These individuals have had a difficult time finding a domain name for their blog, project or business and refuse to pay the exorbitant prices that many domain registrants demand for domains. So the individuals who engage in the practice of hoarding domains are viewed as criminals. Now when you drive through an urban area with a vacant lot with cows parked on it for the mere sake of avoiding taxes while they wait for a commercial property buyer, how do you refer to such property owners?

    [Reply]

  11. Comment by Jason

    May 9, 2010 5:49 pm

    @Anthony I completely agree, he’s completely categorizing an industry based on his own personal experiences.

    [Reply]

  12. Comment by Jason

    May 9, 2010 5:50 pm

    @Tim it would be interesting to find out why he has chosen to be this way. I am sure something in the past has triggered this.

    [Reply]

  13. Comment by Jason

    May 9, 2010 5:53 pm

    @Bruce I just find it intriguing. I figured it would be worth the time to share it with others who might be interested. There are people like this in every industry, but then again he’s not in our industry. :) That makes it even more interesting to find out what might have triggered this jaded perspective.

    [Reply]

  14. Comment by Adam

    May 9, 2010 7:21 pm

    He’s under some notion that the web should be this perfect place where every domain is “in use” . . .which is defined by whom exactly ? ? ? Heaven forbid that someone use a domain in a way that isn’t to his highness’ liking.

    If Lady Bird Johnson were around today we might have ended up having an Domain Name Beautification Act to contend with. ( http://www.pbs.org/ladybird/shattereddreams/shattereddreams_report.html )

    btw most people equate think of squatting as domaining and vice versa. . . It’s something you can’t change in a twitter convo. or even a blog post, if at all. It’s semantics really to most.

    A guy who I sold a domain to and understands domains and spends for them summed up his “definition” and it’s one I’d suspect you’d find most people outside of our tiny circle to have :

    “As for the squatter stuff. To me a squatter is someone that has a domain, keeps the domain and no longer intends to use it for anything other then appreciation and/or link traffic. Under this definition I am the proud squatter of about 200+ domains. If you read my definition carefully you will see that in no way was I trying to be demeaning to anyone squatting a name, in fact it is very much the opposite as I have found better luck in buying names when they are being professionally “squatted” vs. owned by an “amateur”.”

    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/02/27/how-to-buy-domain-names-like-a-pro-10-tips-from-the-founder-of-phonetagcom/

    [Reply]

  15. Comment by chandan

    May 10, 2010 3:43 am

    he is just another looser who dream to get a LLL.com for sake his abbreviation of name. Its waste of time to argue with such brainless morons.

    [Reply]

  16. Comment by Chris

    May 10, 2010 5:08 am

    I can’t believe you debated someone on the Internet. I think I did that once in 1994. Then someone told me this: http://www.tinyurl.com/even-if-you-win .

    Also, @jshirley was right about your house analogy, it’s basically stupid and certainly not helping your argument.

    [Reply]

  17. Comment by rhinopharyngite

    May 10, 2010 5:59 am

    I am not sure people who hates domainers would prefer traders (finance). At least in Europe, both do not have a lot of consideration.

    [Reply]

  18. Comment by Jason

    May 10, 2010 9:09 am

    @Chris I enjoy debating people, regardless of the platform. The house analogy is far from stupid. Sad to see that you would agree with such a person, but I respect your opinion.

    Thank you, come again! :)

    [Reply]

  19. Comment by Jason

    May 10, 2010 9:21 am

    I definitely struck a chord with this entry. Didn’t realize how many views such an entry would get. People are very passionate about this topic and that is another reason why I decided to write about it.

    Thanks to everyone for there input. This topic will continue to be debated on and off the Internet, until people stop squatting. The thin line between domain investing and squatting is one which is continually overstepped.

    I understand why people feel so strongly about such a topic and it is up to me to make sure the story is told. It’s never a waste of time when an entry receives a great deal of readership, it’s a waste of time when you partake in such events and don’t write about it.

    On that note, the story will continue to unfold. :)

    [Reply]

  20. Comment by Scott

    May 10, 2010 10:27 am

    I don’t think your house analogy is bad, I just think a vacant lot makes for a better fit. If you have a house it is (hopefully) occupied so it’s ‘being used.’ A vacant lot is much like an ‘unused’ domain name though.

    If this person hates domainers so much I wonder how they feel about end users that happily pay market prices for premium names? And yes I mean happily, because I’ve paid $xx,xxx for a name as an end-user (for my offline business). And I think it was a great deal at that :)

    They probably think I’m an enabler ;)

    [Reply]

  21. Comment by Gerald

    May 10, 2010 12:48 pm

    “He’s under some notion that the web should be this perfect place where every domain is “in use” . . .which is defined by whom exactly ? ? ? Heaven forbid that someone use a domain in a way that isn’t to his highness’ liking.”

    Ten bucks says @jshirley is a registered Democrat! That’s how liberals think — they have this idealistic vision of a progressively perfect world and completely ignore reality of how the world really is and how people really are, which more often than not is not anything like them (thank goodness!).

    BTW – there is a strict legal definition of cybersquatting from the 1999 Act. You should have just pointed him to it rather than dealing with gray areas. Let the law speak for itself and if he ignores it because it doesn’t fit his world view, then see my comment above. ;-)

    [Reply]

  22. Comment by older women

    May 10, 2010 1:40 pm

    I recently helped my company purchased a domain from a squatter and I have to say, we paid through our noses for a domain which has no SEO significance but guess what? we needed it so we paid x,xxx for it.

    This can be argued from both sides of the fence but I don’t fault people for hating squatters.

    [Reply]

  23. Comment by PPC Ian

    May 10, 2010 6:35 pm

    Jason,
    Great post! Very well written and engaging. DNPimping keeps raising the bar. Keep up the great work!
    Best,
    Ian

    [Reply]

  24. Comment by Jason

    May 10, 2010 6:43 pm

    @PPC Ian thank you. Keep up the great work yourself as well.

    [Reply]

  25. Comment by SDM

    May 10, 2010 11:10 pm

    Comment:

    “yeah, if they put up ads and didn’t live in the house”

    I believe when this happens in the real estate industry, it’s called a “rental”. The ads go in the newspaper or Craig’s List and once a tenant is found, the investment property has been successfully monetized!

    [Reply]

  26. Comment by Jon Laboe

    July 21, 2010 1:23 pm

    I absolutely hate “domain investors”. It is an abuse of the internet. No one goes to those sites on purpose, rather by mistake. People that need the site name for useful reasons are then required to fork over lots of money to buy the name or to sue for trademarking.

    You suck, get a useful job.

    [Reply]

  27. Comment by Peter

    April 29, 2011 9:34 am

    Alright: First, I recognize that I’m bringing up a long dead post, but I’m hoping I can get a reply, because I’m legitimately curious. Second, in case Jason looks this up and points it out, I’ll be up front with it: I arrived here by searching for “I hate domainers”. After a particularly aggravating interaction with one, I’m annoyed this morning.

    Here’s what I want answered: If domaining is the noble profession it’s being made out to be here, can you explain to me the value that you’re adding? I’d love an answer in relation to my specific situation: I have a business, there’s a particular domain name I want for it, it’s owned by someone who is not using it (and never has used it), who wants mid 4 figures for it. Not the end of the world, but not chump change either.

    What value has he added to the equation? He got to the domain first – but does that help anyone but him? The only reason he gets paid is because my business makes real money from real customers. He’s a leech on my business. If he didn’t exist, I’d have purchased teh domain from a registrar for $10, and my business would be doing just fine. So – how does he contribute to anyone other than himself?

    One pre-argument: Yes, I realize he doesnt have to “add value”. However, when you don’t add any value, but you charge lots of money, people hate you. That’s how it works.

    [Reply]

    Jason Reply:

    Peter, thanks for taking the time to formulate an educated comment on this thread. Now lets get straight to the point.

    “Here’s what I want answered: If domaining is the noble profession it’s being made out to be here, can you explain to me the value that you’re adding?”

    Domainers are in the business of making money with domain names. If we weren’t making money then we wouldn’t be investing our money into domain names. Domaining is just like any other business, but it just so happens that we are flipping a virtual commodity that some feel should be a “free for all”.

    We’re not stopping you from purchasing the perfect domain name for your business. We are simply investing our money in these domain names, giving them a temporary home until someone makes an offer. Keep in mind, this is what a domain flipper does. Some are even proactive in finding potential buyers for a specific domain name.

    If domainers didn’t exist, would you be complaining about how another competitor has registered your $10 domain? Would you rather have your competitor tell you that they are not interested in selling the domain because they are operating there business off of it? I understand that this seems like a double edged sword, but some of us take pride in the fact that we are evening the virtual playing field.

    Some of us conduct business fairly and others try to milk this industry. This can be seen by some of the ludicrous price points being set on domain names. Yes, as domainers we want top dollar for our domain names but some of us try to operate within reason. As you stated we are not here to add value, we are here to monetize, potentially develop and flip.

    I can’t tell you whether the domain name is worth 4 figure or not, but you are more than welcome to post it here if you want my honest opinion. Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with one domainer, but keep in mind that one person isn’t a reflection of our entire industry.

    [Reply]

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