I have been debating for 4 days if I like Braden Pollock’s post “Why I Invested Six Figures in .WS Domain Names” or not. I read the post and all the comments, including the crazy ones and some that were later deleted.
I then tried to separate the fact that Braden wrote the article from the article itself. Suddenly it hit me. If it wasn’t for Braden then I wouldn’t like the post from the get go.
I respect Braden Pollock. He has been and still is a very successful domain investor. I have met him and I have attended many of his sessions in 3 conferences. And he is very smart and has a good sense of humor.
But I don’t understand what was the point of this post. This is his explanation of why he bought these domains:
I bought a portfolio of more than 200 premium 2-3 character .ws names (CHiPs) because, well, I like making money :-).
This is no explanation. This is the broadest goal of any investment on the planet: “to make money”.
I am not talking at all if I agree with buying these .ws domains or not. He may make money or not. If I could take the gamble maybe I would buy these too.
But this is not domaining as we know it and that is the only reason I don’t like this post. This is a strange hybrid like “stock-exchange-domaining”. This is not about unique domain names that could sell to end users. This is about these so called liquid domains that are bought and sold by the pound targeting other domain investors mainly from China. Domains that serve no real purpose and never will and are all have the same value of they obey certain ‘good/bad letter’ rules. This is the new domaining were sex.com is worth the same as qeq.com.
Braden said in a comment:
That said, my investment is a CHiP play, not an end-user play.
He doesn’t seem to think that .ws is a good extension with solid end-user future, not even for Chinese end-users.
So posting about a bulk domain name purchase, in an extension you don’t believe in, that you intent to unload in a few months, only brings one thing to mind: PUMP AND DUMP.
That’s a reasonable conclusion to draw however there is no pump and dump here. I’ve no plans to sell to the US market (all of us that read this blog). These will be sold into the Chinese market.
More than half of “us” reading the blogs are not from the US. And who said that the Chinese don’t read the blogs? I get at least 15 visits from China every day. That is about 500 visits from China monthly and my domain blog is not the biggest one. One of my buyers from China knew who I was pretty well. I guess he reads domaining.com that is not for the US market only.
And who said that no other US domainers will buy more .ws domains after reading this, driving the prices up and so on?
Who said that there is no pump and dump when selling to the Chinese?
I don’t think Braden did this on purpose. He is a nice guy and he probably didn’t think how this would seem to some suspicious people. But it is a suspicious time when talking about .ws. Maybe it is the first time that Braden buys a lot of domains in a bad extension.
He was offered to write a post and quickly said yes. And of course I don’t think Elliot expected what will happen. I would probably ask Braden to write the post myself.
BUT to someone that doesn’t know Braden this is how this post would seem like.
This is the equivalent of a well known US stock investor writing an article on the Financial Times saying:
“I bought these stocks yesterday in the Chinese stock market. There are from a crap company with no real future ahead. But I expect the stocks to go up in value and make a lot of money in 6 to 12 months. This is no pump and dump. Don’t worry the Chinese don’t read ft.com. People from the US don’t buy Chinese stocks.”
What would YOU think if you saw that written on FT?
I would also like to know if you agree how the other domain blogs talk about .ws domains.