Dot Co Wants To Have Their Cake, Eat It, and Then Throw it At the Domain Investor Who Baked It

May 10 2012

Of course I have to chime in on the beatdown of Juan Calle and dot co regarding the video of the LeWeb “Couldn’t get the dot com so I’ll take the dot co” story.

Let’s start at the very beginning. Colombia was stuck with a name that immediately labeled it as a typo of dot Com. Investors didn’t view it an investment in an emerging tld but rather a chance to get some free traffic. Negativity from the get go in the footsteps of the dot cm disaster. Along come the dot co team and does an excellent job marketing the name as a better alternative tld for individuals and businesses. Yet before the launch, a pre-deal is done with Mike Mann, one of the largest mass domain registrants in the world. Evidently someone that Juan Calle is completely against until renewal time comes around.

And then there is the holding names for ransom or cybersquatting that evidently Calle doesn’t like. The best example I can think of is when a registrar holds the best names back and gradually releases them to auctions to the highest bidder or chooses who gets them. Oh wait, dot co does that. I have no problem with doing this and financially its the right thing to do ,but they are essentially holding the names until they get what they want or it doesn’t get released. Squatting on them. Its ok if you are the registry but not if you are an investor. Calle says

If you’re a cybersquatter, or even a mass speculator, leveraging technology to register thousands of names, please do so in someone else’s backyard.

I’m sorry Mr. Calle, but speculators got you where you are today. Not the beautiful dot Co girl you let me put my arm around, but speculators like me. Ok not me, I own three dot cos. But people like Jake Ackerman who bought hundreds and hundreds of dot co hoping to resell them. In masses. Do you not like Jake Ackerman? Jake is one of the nicest guys I know. Heck, he’s Mormon. But he fits completely your definition of people you are against. Jake and the people like him built you.

If Calle is so interested in mass buys why not limit ownership to 10 names, 50 names? That would stop it. I know why. Because its part of the marketing plan. It’s much better to market to businesses if you pretend that the market is made for them. That you are taking a stand against the people that are hogging all the good names. Meanwhile, two press releases later patting one’s self on the back for reaching target registration numbers built by the speculators.

If Le Web could get the dot com they would have. Lets not pretend any differently. DNW already pointed out they tried stealing the dot com even though it was registered before their company was founded. Now the big announcement of the dot Co switch. Ironically the people that know the truth are the domain investors and squatters.

I am all for settling. You can’t have everything in life you want. I want 5 acres of oceanfront property in Laguna Beach. I wasn’t around to buy it cheap. I had to settle for land elsewhere and I’m happy with it. If you buy a dot co you are settling because you couldn’t get, afford, or want to pay for the dot com. Nothing wrong with this, but to say anything different would be naive or biased. That being said, there are those that believe in dot co and are willing to put their money into the tld and today their leader told them he doesn’t want them to do that. You are welcome to buy a few but if you buy a lot, move along.

You better do what he says.

Edited 5/10 8:30 pm: To change incorrect facts in the original article

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. J S

    Well said Shane, didn’t realize there are many .co investors. I own a few, but not really interested in the extension. IMO I find it confusing with .COM and I am sure most .CO’s bleed traffic to the .COM

  2. JP

    You mean the same guy that owns mutiple prime hotel .coms but called ” .com a typo of .co ” a year or so ago?

  3. Pablo Escobar

    Ok.. I can’t resist a good joke, especially one I made up myself… *Breaking News* has it that John Travolta got so excited after seeing the video, that he is “switching” to .Co and creating a special “position” just for Juan.

  4. Acro

    Shane, it’s Colombia and ISO 3166 dictates that all country codes are 2 letters only 😉 It’s not different than .ws, .to, .cc and other vanity TLDs.

  5. Jamie Zoch

    .co is simply a mistake! Ask Overstock about it and the numbers do not lie.

    I think they said they were losing something like 70% (not exactly sure on the number but it was high) of the traffic to instead of .co.

    People are simply use to seeing .com, use to typing .com and when they see a .co, 30% seem to get it and 70% appear not to.

    So LeWeb is still making the wrong choice IMO and will continue to lose traffic to the .com!

    What did they solve with going with the .co? Not much and maybe even worse leaving the .net to go with the .co as .net isn’t a typo of .com.

  6. Dean

    I find it hard to believe that you or anyone else really thinks that Overstock legitimately switched domain extensions, essentially re-branding for the sake of convenience. Let me enlighten you.. the whole thing was huge publicity stunt (ploy) that they (.Co) concocted. No different than Kim Kardashian getting married, for a brief moment or anything else that PR people dream up.

  7. Dean

    P.S. this is why the timing of the branding and the huge publicity behind it was so auspicious (to me.) I smelled a rat back then and suspected (rightfully)that the whole affair was was going to be as brief as Kardashians wedding.

  8. RAYY

    According to Juan Calle, mass speculator is a cybersquatter. Meaning….Domain investors are generally mass speculators…and therefore falls into cybersquatters categories….

  9. Jacek

    One different point of view: switching to .co actually does make sens as outside of USA people are much more familiar with two letter tlds (de,se,nl,pl,ru,eu)
    Other thing is this: saying that .co is nothing more than colombian tld is just not right. Just look at .tv or .me’s success and whoever cares where Montenegro is? The samething with .co although in the States alone its success does depend on people seeing the difference between .com and .co
    and finally: I wish I could afford single word .com’s

  10. Guy

    yep, well said Shane
    and your post has credibility as you are one of the very few domain blogs that hasn’t whored itself out to the .co registry
    amazing others have whored themselves with all their banners and articles for a few crumbs
    no serious investor or developer touches .co with a bargepole
    there are of course a few exceptions to any rule that people can point to but even those who have developed have made uturns and those who have paid big for a .co will realise what fools they have been
    also .co has been marketed dishonestly. it is the cctld for colombia. nothing more

  11. john

    Go back to school.
    there is no country named COLUMBIA.
    There is a Columbia River but how are you supposed to know if you probably don’t know
    the difference between Washington (city)and Washington (state)

  12. SmokinJoe

    I said I would never own a .co…..well I now have one. Only because I really liked it and see it as a very fast flip or a good name to stick a dating site on and see if it pays off.

  13. Emma

    How could you be right if you don’t even know what country is the cctld .co for?? It is Colombia, not Culumbia. If .co is a typo as you say, then all other domain extensions thar are not .com are typos because, according to you, people are used to seeing and using .com. How could you be right if you don’t even know that .co is cctld and is for Colombia, not Columbia?? I don’t trust your brain and I could not trust your opinion.

    1. Post author

      I guess my phone’s spellcheck cares more about having a good waterproof jacket than the country. If your best argument is I don’t know how to spell Colombia then your argument is weak. I’m not 12 so I’m not really bothered by personal attacks. Attacking my flaws doesn’t improve the flaws of dot co.

  14. Ron

    Yes, many times you are on a mobile phone, you are multi tasking, typos happen whatever get on with it, you know what he meant, this is not grade 5, with the big red marker, stay on the task at hand, well written article.

  15. Leo

    Let’s see where is , which is changing to , in three years from now. Smaller, larger, out of biz?

    We can watch the Compete stats for both and as they evolve. My bet is is going to see some nice traffic leakage growth.

    Right now shows: at 170, peaking at 4646 in Dec. 11 for some reason. is at 212 for the last month reported, Sept. 2011.

  16. Max

    This guy Calle really is the pits – this is his answer to ‘Rich’ from Magnum Domains on his blog –
    Rich said : “So the fact that i bought 1500 co’s (2yrs$90,000) makes me a cybersquatter now.
    The fact that i invested so much in .co,now you are telling me to go piss in some one else’s yard.This is how you honor the people that got you where you are.
    In the first two hrs of .co being public i had 1% of your company.You know that?People like me and others have invested heavily in this extension just to be insulted by your comments on the video and blog…well shame on you.
    well…I got news for you,I’m here to stay.
    Magnum Domains”

    Juan Calle’s response is :”Rich, While you seem to have a lot of .CO’s, quite frankly it doesn’t make our cut of “mass speculation”. You’d have to be doing 10’s of thousands of regs using automated systems to meet that criteria.”

  17. Joe

    I own, and it is a name I like, due to the fact that I was Amish, and my site is about the Amish, but I would not register any more domains in the extension, in part due to the idiot that runs the registry.

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