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Uncommon news and information with a technical twist and some topics that are a bit out there. Enjoy...


Black Friday - A Bleak Forecast For Retail

RetailAfter Thanksgiving dinner many people get underway with their holiday shopping.  The crowds have never been my thing, but for some it's fun way to burn off the big meal and catch some deals.  The ongoing spread of COVID will have to restrict shopping and will be a lasting change to the way we shop continuing to be a gut punch to most retailers.  Shopping malls do most of their business from November thru January.  I talked to a few store owners that told me they do 90 percent of their business from mid November to Christmas Eve.

With limited shoppers, and shoppers with a decreased disposable income, I would expect a huge decline in retail businesses that can survive for too much longer.  An article of interest that cites several great sources is in the Retail Reports Roundup from SGB Media.

Although it's a comprehensive article and has several great sources, an unmentioned trigger point for the economy to rebound is consumer confidence.  After that Presidential debate, which was in no way presidential, it didn't help matters any.  I'd like to think they were fighting for America, but I'm more inclined to believe they are fighting over the money they can put in their pockets.

Sure there are problems we are facing, but each one of those is an opportunity and winning isn't as important as how you win is.  Never give up and never compromise your integrity.


Domain Names Matter - Branding for Affinity

The importance of domain name branding There's a lot to branding your business in sync with your domain name and I'm just going to discuss a few key points that begin with the letter A.

Authority and Affinity

Being a brand authority now of days is having a powerful domain name.  Powerful domain names are valuable because they are memorable and reflect your business as a leader in your industry.  Like it or not we live in the age of information overload, and that's a good thing.  As a kid I would ride my bike back and forth to the library trying to juggle a stack of books, knowledge and products from all over the world are now at anyone's finger tips from just about anywhere.  How does a customer find, return to, or recommend your business in a sea of 1.7 billion websites all competing for the first page of Google?  This is why your domain name matters.

Affinity is the sense of the natural path to your business, a relationship to or the path of the least resistance.  If a customer has to remember your domain name or apply a silly extension, not only are they going to have a hard time getting back to you, it's even more difficult for them to refer your company to their contacts.  Word of mouth is still a powerful tool in growing your business.

Here's a few great articles on the subject of branding and why your domain name matters: Spend Less on SEO, More on a Memorable Brand by Jamie Zoch and The True Cost of Your Domain Name by Chris Zuiker.

One point I would add to both of these articles is that not acquiring your matching domain name is leaving the door open for your competition to purchase it.  Some companies have spent millions just to keep their competition from having them.  Trademarks are different though, but generic words in a domain name are not eligible for a trademark.  I only invest in these generic terms, or category killers, where I feel I can sell or develop a business from.  I have been buying domains since 1997 and I kick myself every day for not purchasing more of them back then.  Don't let anyone steal your thunder.

These are a few that I have for sale:

AtlantaConsulting.com
BigTreks.com
DatabaseTools.com
KeyInsight.com
LakeStyle.com
LongLashes.com
RiverBoatPoker.com
SouthernHomes.com
TechnologyGroup.com
VegasFights.com

           See more domain names for sale here


My COVID-19 Policy - Work Harder

Giant Chickens in April

By now you have probably gotten an email from every company that you have ever visited on their COVID policy.  No need to rehash washing your hands and social distancing here.  The point that I want to stress is that we are all in this together, locally and globally, and it's going to take all of us to beat this thing.

I work for the government in my day job, maintaining transmitters along the coast of South Carolina.  The government is just people.  Some very hard working people that perform jobs that in the private sector usually pays much more for the same work.  But, boil it all down, and it's just people helping people.

In times of crisis's past, like the hurricanes we've had, we didn't get extra pay or bonuses, just a good feeling at the end of the day that we made a difference.  Getting through this is going to be difficult, but not something we can't do.

There are always two options you have in any situation.  One is to do nothing.  With COVID doing nothing is actually a good thing.  Stay at home and you're not part of the problem.  The second option is to try harder.  I have to credit my father with that one.  He was part of what they now call the greatest generation, but the greatest generation is really yet to come.  We are all products of these generations, we are the hybrids.  Let's try a little harder and figure this out.  Figure out what you can do to help.

Sure it's scary, we see exactly how fragile our world is.  And, the big brains say it's going to get worse before it gets better, but we will get through it and come out stronger. Helping others is really the name of the game.

Check on your neighbors, have empathy and employ compassion.  We are all going through a lot.  I want to be able to reflect back at the End of the Plague party and know I had a hand in making the world a better place.  I may not invent a miracle vaccine, but I help keep emergency communications online over here, inspire hope and I lend a helping hand.  I am very grateful for the medical, fast food, grocery workers and everyone involved in all these chains that keeping us moving forward.

Do your part and work harder. Patience, courtesy and humor go along way, act like you've been somewhere.  Maybe this will spark a spiritual revolution when we finally realize that we are all the same, and that we are all connected.


Why not it's Leap Year, Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Leap YearGo the extra step and reap bigger rewards.  It's the year to try harder and work smarter! 

Every 4th year, it's time to calibrate the calendar year with the orbital or seasonal year.  2020 has 366 days this year and leap days are even more odd than you think. 

Check Wikipedia.com for more calendar info and folklore.

For calculation leap year into your SQL Server apps try MyTecBits.com for a T-SQL method of extracting the extra day in February.

Make the most of 2020, you've got an extra day to get things done! 


Domain Name News

DomainingWant to keep keep up with all that is happening in the domain space?  Domaining.com

 

2020 is off to a quick start and for those that are not active in the industry daily, it can be more than difficult to keep up with all that's going on.  NamesCon is taking place in Austin, TX now, Rev.com just sold for 400k, Add.com sold for 800k this week, keep up with the status of the .Org Registry sale and get insight from the movers and shakers.

Domaining.com for the important news and domain industry headlines.


Business Blunders - Don't be a Blockbuster

Business Blunders
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but this one I just can't see how the management team didn't see the future of their business.  Back in 2000 the internet was more than thriving and Blockbuster could have bought Netflix for a mere 50 million.  As of today Netflix is worth over 128 billion, down from and all time high of 180 billion.  In the summer of 2000, Blockbuster CEO John Antioco said "The dot-com hysteria is completely overblown".  His council went on to state how the business models of Netflix and just about every other online business were not sustainable and would never make any money.  That statement couldn't be any more wrong then than it is now.  Read the full article here on Inc.com

How did these guys not see that by delivering their product online would eliminate all of their overhead, shipping and logistical nightmares.  Yes, management and vision are two different things, but they shouldn't be.  Doesn't matter what business you are in either, not only do you need a strong online presence, there is an evolution going on of how your customers will interact with you and not just on social media.  Developers are building virtual realities to showcase products.  Imagine if your customers could experience your products before they buy.  This will be very popular with the gaming generation as they become the most powerful purchasers of consumer goods in 10 years.

If you haven't read the worst business blunders in tech history I would suggest Googling that phrase and see what you get.  Branding blunders are even more common and they happen all the time.  Avoid a brand blunder and start with a great domain name.  A strong domain name is the foundation for enticing and retaining customers with a memorable name.  Your domain name also attracts B2B partners and lays the ground floor for building supplemental income streams.  Streams turn into rivers and maybe even into a whole new business model for your companies' survival.  Have some vision and get creative.


Happy Veteran's Day - Thank you

For All Those Who Served
Veteran's Day falls on November 11 for a good reason many do not know.  November 11th is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect.  And, on the following November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time.  President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”.

Thank a Veteran and help those that are returning from combat.  You can get involved at any level, from volunteering at your local VA hospital to helping the family of a Veteran.  Do something positive, be a part of the solution for the real heroes.


Saluda Shoals - Best Americana/Country Artist

Saluda Shoals Band I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing and hearing the duo of Henri Gates and Cassie Verhaeghe live at a small club in Mt. Pleasant, SC last night.  Charleston has a lot of great local bands, but these two are top talent.  They played some their new music that they haven't even recorded yet, and their new song "All You Got" is sure to be a hit record.  If you're looking for rising stars in Americana/Country music, look no further than their website SaludaShoalsBand.com

Check out this song "Fall" and look for their new releases coming soon.  Wouldn't be surprised to hear these two become international stars. Was nice meeting them on the ground floor.  All the best!


End Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time From and article on NBC Dallas - Fort Worth I agree, let's put and end to springing forward and falling back.  And, let's make everyone happy by splitting the difference.  Here's what I propose, one time fall back only a 1/2 hour (or spring ahead a half hour depending on the time of year) and never do it again.

It may even stimulate the economy with all the programming work adjusting applications that compensate for these time changes, like Y2K all over again.


Escrow for Domain Names

Escrow.com
Escrow for Domain Names and a lot more.

I recently sold a domain name to a foreign buyer that wasn't familiar with the escrow process.   It's really just as simple as depicted in the image below, but with their unfamiliarity, I can see how they could be skeptical, so I walked them through the whole process.

Escrow.com

A couple of items not represented in the images are number one, make sure your buyer chooses the right email address for your transaction.   Most people have at least a work and personal email address.  It's always good to ask before you start your transaction.  The second concern is for the seller.  Sometimes when a buyer receives their goods they don't always follow up to verify that they have possession.  You can rest assured that Escrow.com can verify the domain name transfer without any action by the buyer, it just takes a few day longer.

Escrow.com has been in the business for over 25 years and they began with handling domain name transactions.  They truly are the industry leader.

They provide services for just about every other transaction as well payment plans.


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