Domain Spotlight:

Somebody’s Feelings Are Going to Get Hurt

hugs_and_kissesThe first thing I learned when I dove deeper into the domaning world is there are a bunch of domainers that don’t like each other.  The recent quarreling between Owen Frager and “Mike Cohen” is just the latest example.   The fact of the matter is we are all trying to make money doing the same thing and often we step on each others toes.  The recent battles started when Cohen started selling his version of an affiliate site which encroached on Epiks latest push.  Rob Monster comes out like all business people would and states his is better.  Morgan does a post and all hell breaks loose.  It’s just business right? No

I would imagine this is the reasoning behind “The Fusibles” and the alias “Mike Cohen”.   Nobody wants to have personal attacks on themselves, their family, or their business.  As brutal as Cohen is, it only makes sense.  I’ve been in business a long time and have yet to meet a person that is personally disliked by so many.  When I first started talking to him via DomainStryker on Twitter. I received about 20 DM saying ……”Be Careful” .   I personally have had no problems with Cohen but I now understand.  He seems to enjoy posting personal emails between himself and the latest person he is fighting with.  I am the first one to state my feelings but believe it or not I do have a filter.   Cohen’s was removed at birth.  It’s a shame because he seems to an incredibly bright young man with a short fuse.  This is not a complete bash on Cohen, it’s only to say that if you never meet someone in person then you will never get to see the good side of them.  People tend to be “real” when you meet them in person and tend to be much “more normal” than they appear behind the screen. On one side you have people that are afraid that if they reveal themselves in fear they will be attacked, on the other you have a lack of trust because one never feels like you “know” the other side when their identity is hidden..  To make it all come together you have Cohen using personal emails to attack, supporting the whole “hidden identity” and why you should use it.

The positive.  Things can change.  It’s amazing what one phone call or nice email can do for a strained business relationship.  I was having issues with Theo of DomainGang and one hour long phone conversation later,  I realized what an extremely intelligent guy was behind the so so comedy.  :).   He and I don’t always see eye to eye but I certainly respect and like him more after the phone call.   I used to think Elliot was all about Elliot and my thoughts completely changed when he wrote me a nice email wishing me luck on my Half Ironman.  Something he certainly didn’t have to do but was much appreciated. It was a nice gesture that I certainly will remember and shed a new light on my perception of him.  Rob Monster certainly is a very nice guy.  He says he’s wrong when he’s wrong which is a VERY rare trait.  Regardless of whether Epik sites work or not there is no denying that he is a hell of a guy.  How do I know?   Communication.  We email back and forth several times a week.  Do I have issues? Yes,  but I still trust the guy and what we say behind closed doors stays behind closed doors and I feel whatever problems I have he will tell me straight up whether he can do better.  That’s what you are looking for in business.

Another incident that I understand but sorry to hear was having DnPimping taken off   I completely understand why Francois took him off.  Francois is trying to build a business and he can’t have someone else being sponsored by a competitor. It certainly would not be a wise business move to support that.  Francois’ job is to put out the best product he can on domaining.   It’s also his prerogative to put on or take off whatever he likes.  If they don’t like it they will vote with their eyeballs.  I just wish they would talk it out.  Jason is a bright young talent that deserves to be heard by more.  Domaining is better off with people like that being involved.  Jason is one of the founders of the Southern California domainers group so it shows he loves this industry.

The key to this seems to be communication.   A meeting of two people to discuss their differences.  A simple phone call or an email talking it out.  They might find that they actually like each other and that most of their presumptions were wrong or lacking information.  In the words of Mark Twain  “The shield of the Internet doesn’t give you an excuse to not to behave like civil human beings”…  come to think of it, that might not have been Twain.

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19 Replies to “Somebody’s Feelings Are Going to Get Hurt”

  1. Both Owen and Mike ‘turned me off’ until I realized:

    1 – Owen is from a hugely successful different background than most of us, and ‘conveys a lot of messages.’ (meant as a compliment!).

    2 – Mike read ‘controversy marketing 101’ then dropped out of college.


  2. I gotta agree with you Shane.
    I find it particularly displeasing to see derogatory language used in a third party’s comments section. Totally the wrong forum to air dirty laundry!
    All you need is love.

  3. I’d have to say that wannadevelop sometimes (often) rubs me the wrong way, but how does he NOT post those emails following the ad hominem attack by Frager? WTF?

    I saw the post by Attila on a different blog earlier today, and it made a whole lot of sense. This is a guy(?) who has actually done business with both parties and can filter out the noise.

  4. …and you’re right about Francois, he is waaay too thin-skinned.

    But, having said that, he is also a GIANT by virtue of his blood, sweat and tears over the last two years. He deserves ALL the success, and I hope he gets it.

  5. Unprofessional diagnosis … just another couple cases of the serial reflection-checking big fish in a little pond syndrome. The nasty blogging or purposeful over-controversial headline unsupported by anything of real quality printed underneath is just there to get attention, and it gets tiresome to read. Decent points can get passed over if you don’t like those styles but it’s not a problem because often you haven’t really missed anything anyway that you aren’t getting from plenty of other sources online. This fledgling domain “industry” has its share of bickering, more often than not based on fear of competition, very potent domain extension biases, or too-easy ducking cover afforded by near anonymous posting. Too bad sometimes we have to wade though or past the soap operas to get to the good stuff.

    1. Will,

      Sounds like the world is just not quite smart enough for you. By the way, what I lack in literary prowess I more than make up for in sheer good looks and athletic ability.

  6. There is no fighting going on… and tomorrow this is already old news.

    I took 5 mins outta my busy day and went on the record earlier to respond to some complete and utter bullshit, because this is now the 3rd or 4th time that Mr. Frager has tried to “stir up” something which was directly related to me one way or another.

    As for all of the advice from 3rd parties who have no idea what’s really going on… When I need it, it’s nice to know there are people who I can call or e-mail, but I think I have managed to do just fine so don’t hold your breath 😉

    Much love,


  7. Been following the online debate between Owen Frager and Mike Cohen. There is nothing in this thread that has not been made public before, EXCEPT (I am astounded!) wherever did you find the photo of Frager and Cohen in happier times used to illustrate this article!?


  8. Oops, my mistake in the post above for not making my intentions clear. I should have included the phrase “In my” to start my comments. I was not talking about your article here at domainshane but was opining on the blog websites of the two “combatants”. I learn from their content at times but personally do not appreciate some of the positions they’ve taken in the past. Just my personal opinion.

    Sorry that my comments came across incorrectly as me criticizing this blog. Rereading it now from an outside perspective I can see how it can be taken that way. I was submitting MY “unprofessional diagnosis” about the “big fish in little pond syndrome” perspective of the domain industry. And I know how smart I am not. There is always so much more more to learn and industry changes to monitor. But I know enough to recognize agendas through smoke blown by some domainers. (Again, I’m not referring to this blog).

    BTW – your reply showed you’re quick on your feet with a good zing balanced with a nice touch of self-deprecating humor. That’s why you have a good blog and guys like me are just readers.

  9. Thanks for the attention but what- a link to Morgan Linton and not to me when you use my content to draw attention to yourself. Not good Netiquette. There is no fight here just some marketing advice from someone who knows how the game is played:
    1. Never knock your competition
    2. When in a competitive market, credibility and reputation matter. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. But if you don’t flaunt it people will assume you don’t got it.
    As for the chimps:

  10. Owen Frager is apparently the best marketer guru and whiz around, or so he thinks, yet all of his little shitty domain related / advertising businesses are pretty much failures…. Strange 😀

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