A couple weeks back I had tweeted that I felt inspired to start blogging again. Amazing all the various things that have occurred since then to inspire me even more to start streaming words on to the interwebs again. 4 years back (wow it has been that long) I would write 2 to 3 blog posts a day and really enjoyed the interactions with people in the domain investment community. Then it would be a post here and there, but I never could gain the consistency back. But one thing I always knew was that blogging actually helps me be more productive. It helps me get my thoughts together in some ways, in a public manner, yet it helped to focus me.
Well, although there are quite a few new people in the domain community who may be wondering who the heck this blogger is showing up on Domaining.com (need to put that banner back up), I look forward to hearing from those who have opinions on my opinions. The gTLD expansion has opened up whole new expanses of property, and as much as dot com may still lead the way, it would be hard to argue that many of the gTLDs would not make it to a successful place on the internet. This makes the industry interesting again. For so long it felt like more of the same, which I think is why I just stayed in the background and did my thing, had some nice dot com, dot co, and dot me transactions and jumped heavily into mobile app development and re-launched Missouri.me.
Today I spend most of my professional working hours as VP of Technical Sales for CafeX Communications where I lead the global sales engineering team and sales for a large swath of North America, selling WebRTC real time engagement SDKs to Fortune 500s is challenging yet has been the most fun I have had in the past 10 years. But at the same time LocalTek, the company I founded in 2009, has established itself as a leader in our region in web design and development as well as mobile apps for small businesses, it was founded out of ideas for business development on geo domains (we as a company own 24 different state.me domain names). But the geo domain business has shifted, and out of that came innovation we have created based on mobile apps that we have started to show with Missouri.me. I give my wife a lot of credit for the success LocalTek has had as working for a rapidly growing startup like CafeX is quite all consuming, so it takes a strong partner to make sure things move like they should on the other fronts.
It is time though to start growing my domain investment again, I have became an active participant in auctions again, and, well, maybe have had a few nice gTLD hand registrations, you may of heard about Credit.Club. Although I am the first to say do not start registration every generic word on every new extension, there is plenty of value out there right now that in a few years will show to be good investments.
I will shut up now, but I am glad to be back. Even if my entrance back ended up being a bit more dramatic than planned with the weeks past events.
After reading the post over at TeenDomainer.com I thought a little bit about how the acquisition of my namesake domain name occurred and how it ended up being focused on domain investing and development.
A few years back I had done the initial check on my name and had found it taken. As someone who had the understanding of the value of a domain I knew I needed to grab my name if possible and had hoped that the person who owned it (yes, another Bruce Marler) may of not had a use for it planned and we could come to terms for me to acquire it easily. Well, after some initial emails I had no response from the individual and wrote it off for a period of time.
I should note that my Father also has the same name (except his middle is Wayne, yes my Dads name is Bruce Wayne, like Batman) but there is also one more Bruce Marler in the area I live in, unfortunately this person had the same middle name as myself except it is spelled differently and he has several pages of criminal records on the Missouri CASENET site where public records are viewable by all and I realized that it was very possible for people to run across his information and think it was me. There was no easy way to get around that but I knew one way to possibly take control of what people see and read about what I am doing compared to others was to own my name. So once again I sent an offer in the low 4 figure range for BruceMarler.com. And once again, no response. I was frustrated but after trying some other avenues I moved on again.
About six months after that last attempt I was searching Godaddy for a name and moving through the shopping cart process when I noticed something, rather than telling me that the crappy BruceMarler.name was available as I was hitting the skip to actually buy button I noticed BRUCEMARLER.COM is available click here to add to cart. I did a double take and of course bought immediately.
Yes, that is right, someone basically ignored and offer or basically mismanaged their domain registration contact info and I saved over a thousand dollars and got it at reg fee.
I was never quite sure what I was going to do with it exactly and during the initial launch I was still debating if it was going to be purely domain focused or if it would also focus on my other interests (travel, endurance sports, etc) but in the end it became obvious that focusing on domain names and domain development was what I liked to write about the most.
One thing I noticed earlier today was a search for my name plus the town I live in landed a person on my blog, very interesting, not sure why or who did that search. It is interesting to see people search for Bruce Marler and end up at my blog, are they searching for me? Are they searching for another Bruce Marler? I do not know, but I do own the search for my name now and I think that can be very important as we move forward growing our business.
I also went ahead and picked up the domain names of the rest of my little household here. My daughter has a blog on hers, she does not update it much but it is fun for her when she does, and its even more fun when she goes to Google and does a search for her name and her blog is number one. Is it a competitive term? No. Is it fun for an 8 year old little girl to see a domain name and understand what it is, SURE!!!!!