There have been a couple discussions this week about whether or not there is a “good old boys club” in domaining.
Shane Cultra discussed his personal experience in the preamble to his daily picks post on Wednesday, I think Shane did a good job of articulating his feelings and early experiences in the business.
There was a thread on Namepros that sprung up after Shane’s post that delved into the boys club.
Truth of the matter there are many clubs in the industry. This industry in my opinion has become very cliquey. I ended up running one for a long time, it was not by design but it happened organically.
When I started the Dot Tv sub forum on Namepros back in 2005, there were a lot of regular participants where this was there first foray into domaining. A lot of regulars did not have great .coms and were branching out into .tv, this was their education, this is where the majority of their money was being spent.
Since this was the first forum of it’s kind, dedicated to one extension, there was some resentment and some hostility from some other members.
There were people who wanted to troll, people like Namepros original number 2 Jeff, and Snoopy was another provocateur. These sparring sessions in the Dot Tv sub forum really galvanized the members. There were people who would private message me that said thanks for giving us this place and I am not a Nper, I am a TVer. It became for some, not all, “us vs them.”
Where I looked out for the section and tried to keep everything on topic, and created venting posts for those that did not like .tv, I was getting concerned that for some it was very personal. The extension was becoming like religion.
So it became a club, but if someone wanted in and wanted to learn, they were welcomed. There were members who started out with no discipline, criticizing everything, who changed gears. They took the time to learn, they read everything and asked questions. Over time they started to have success.
A couple people way back when expressed the same intimidation that Shane mentioned in his post. They felt like there was this group of 10 members who lived on the Dot TV sub forum and posted at one another all day long. I always said just start posting, be respectful and you will be in too.
One of the most commonly referenced old boys clubs was created by a lady. DomainBoardroom.com was founded by Donna Mahony and she has worked her rear end off making it a place where members feel comfortable. Some of the members of DBR do not post on Namepros or DNF, that’s their choice, some people believe this is excluding people, but whether there was a DBR or not, these people were never posting in a public forum. So no one lost out.
The other forums have been like clubs as well, there was a group that posted on Domain State that were never posting on Namepros.
Namepros has really grown it’s membership and changed it’s overall feel. Back in the day a lot of people considered it newbie central, the site was totally free and RJ was offering domain registrations for NP$.
There were people who belonged to Namepros that took pride in never giving DNF a dollar, it was us against them. Hell you could not write Namepros on DNF and you couldn’t write DNForum on Namepros.
I would say there are brandable domainer clubs, there are the pro BrandBucket vs the anti – BrandBucket for one example.
There are new gtld investors that talk to one another a lot and don’t want to hear from people who just bash new gtlds.
People who try to make everyone feel welcome
People like Richard Lau and his team made NamesCon a place where anyone could come join in the festivities, it was not a private party where you needed the secret password.
Eric Lyon is someone who I believe has tried to be open and accommodating to all kinds of domainers.
The fact remains that people like to find places where they feel safe, where privacy is valued and where you can trust each member’s word. I would say if you are open to both give and take, understand that you don’t know everything, and have a friendly disposition you can get into just about any club. I came to domaining not knowing a soul, I have belonged to any community or club that I wanted without being rich or a superstar. I have tried to help people along the way and work with anyone who was a decent human being.
The last thing I will say is this, domaining can be very lonely, because it’s still tennis vs a team sport like football. You are out there by yourself. This is not an easy business to be consistent in. Anyone can sell a domain or two, but to sell domains and be profitable year and year out is hard.
You have a couple conferences but for the most part you have to find a way to earn each year on your own. You may get advice and tips from people along the way, but at the end of the day it will be you that defines your success.