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About

Hi, I’m Nat Cohen, the publisher of DomainArts.com.

I’ve been investing in domains since late 1997.  Although I fell into this business by accident, it has now been my full-time occupation for over a decade.

I became a domain investor the very evening I learned how to register my first domain.   An article on iGoldRush mentioned that people were buying domain names as an investment.  It made intuitive sense that common, everyday words would be desirable domain names.   Folklore is rich in stories about the power of knowing someone’s ‘true’ name.  The correct name has power.  On the Internet, which in some ways is the real world translated into a form that only exists as words, it made sense that owning the right words could be valuable.

Through my company, Telepathy, Inc, I’ve been involved in many high value domain transactions, as both a buyer and a seller.   Telepathy has a modest portfolio.  It is a small fraction of the size of the portfolios of the heavyweights in the industry, such as those of Frank Schillling, Kevin Ham and Mike Berkens.   Despite its size, Telepathy has the world’s largest holding of premium three-letter dot-com domains, one of the largest holdings of two-letter dot-com domains, a large number of premium ‘brandable’ dot-com domains, a large presence in the Indian .co.in/.in space, ownership of dozens of city dot-com domains with a cumulative population of many million residents, and through its StateVentures LLC subsidiary, ownership of seven state dot-com domains and some developed city sites, including Annapolis.com and OceanCity.com.

I try to acquire quality rather than quantity, with a focus on domains that would be powerful and memorable online identities.  A domain is in essence an aid to memory, so the more memorable a domain, the more likely it is to be useful and desirable.

There are many business models in the domain name space.  Some focus on domains that receive a high-volume of type-in traffic, some buy and quickly flip for a profit, some develop sites on their names.  Mine is to buy high-quality domains that could serve as an online identity as a long-term investment.

I’ve been fortunate to become friends, or at least acquaintances, with many of the leaders in the domain industry.  The industry attracts smart, creative, and entrepreneurial people.  The culture of the domain industry is still informal.  It isn’t weighed down with bureaucracy and doesn’t hide behind Standard Operating Procedures.  It is a people business where many of the top players are still solo operators and one’s reputation in the industry is everything.

Coming from several years of being caught in large bureaucracies at the Department of Commerce and Fannie Mae, to be able to be my own boss in such a dynamic industry was a breath of fresh air.  I feel very fortunate to be in this position.

One of my areas of interest is to improve the legal protections for domain name registrants.  Domain names are a very unusual asset in that one doesn’t ‘own’ a domain, one merely ‘registers’ a domain subject to the terms of the registration agreement.   Unfortunately the registration agreement makes it far too easy to deprive a domain registrant of his or her domain name through a UDRP administrative procedure.  In a UDRP proceeding a panelist reads a written submission and then looks into your soul to determine whether you registered the disputed domain name in ‘bad faith’.  If so, the domain gets yanked away from you.  Such a proceeding is ripe for abuse.

Telepathy is a member of the Internet Commerce Association, an organization devoted to furthering the interest of the domain industry.  I am currently an ICA board member, and am honored to have been selected by my peers from among the domain owners who are members.

I don’t plan to be a regular blogger, but every once in a while I feel I have something to say regarding domains.  Rather than impose on my blogger friends to make guest posts, I felt the time had come to claim my own little plot on the web.

I look forward to joining the conversation.  Feel free to take a chair, put up your feet, and stay a while.

 

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Jose permalink
    October 14, 2014

    Hi Nat Cohen,

    Today I subscribed to DomainArts.com for several reasons.

    One is that I make a comment on the matter yesterday Moniker.com you write your post and see that the end has not been published.

    I am Jose Sabater (Although English is abbreviated Joesaba) a small domainer of Spain (European Union) to have with Moniker.com as a customer since 2008, 41 TLD domain names, and only one domain name. Mobi, the renew these every year, but now I’m going to empty because I have wanted to sell several TLD domain names.

    My question to you Nat yesterday, today was whether to have security for broacasts domain name from Moniker to another registrar, without losing them along the way.

    Best Regards.

    Jose or Joe

    PS: This first comment I make you respond please joesaba@gmail.com
    , click on the next and these Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail
    Check here to Subscribe to notifications for new posts

    Thank you.

  2. Jose permalink
    October 14, 2014

    Hi Nat,

    Finally to see that be Jose yesterday, also write that Rick domainking send an email to respond well on her affair Moniker: Move them out !!

    Apologies for not writing earlier in today’s commentary.

    Jose or Joe

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