Experiences With a .co Domain Name

Last year I took the plunge and invested in some .co domain names. .co is the country code for Columbia but there was a lot of hype around the extension with many people predicting a new domain name gold rush.

For me I was just interested in acquiring a few domains that I knew I could develop and which were memorable and content specific.

The first site we launched under the .co was DogTips.co

http://www.dogtips.co/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/DogTips1.png

My reservations about this domain extension were:

1. I always like to evaluate a domain name based on how memorable it would be if you told someone over the radio. I feared that saying "DogTips.co" would have many people just assuming I missed the .uk off the end.

2. In terms of looking at the domain, I feared that many people would assume the domain was missing an 'm' and was really a .com

Both of the fears remain. If given a choice, a solid .com domain would always be my first choice. But the real dynamite .com's are all gone unless you have a BIG budget to acquire one.

So the acid test now is how well the domain ranks, does Google have any built in prejudices toward the name that will lead to a downgrade vs a comparable .com and do people actually care that they are visiting a .co rather than a .com or .co.uk

Well it seems Google likes the site – we have established some solid rankings.
It also seems people don't seem to care too much about the ending – traffic is very solid.

So the only question remaining is can we get the site to no 1 for the chosen search term ('dog tips') and will the site be a commercial success.

I'll report back when we have some results!

petbuzz: social marketing for pet companies (new!)

Very pleased to be involved with the launch of petbuzz, a new social media and marketing agency exclusively for the global pet industry.

We (K9 Media) have been working on building the petbuzz infrastructure and syndication network for the best part of 10 years so it's really exciting to be rolling it out (gently) in 2010.

Continue reading petbuzz: social marketing for pet companies (new!)

A Truly Massive Business Opportunity

There's only one business autobiography I've read (or to be more accurate, listened to) more than THREE times. It's Ted Turner's.

I honestly had no expectations going in to that book. I knew who he was, but not much else.

I genuinely felt inspired to just get on and do MORE. I always felt like I was multi-tasking hard, running a few businesses at a time. Well, it seems not.
Continue reading A Truly Massive Business Opportunity

Amazon Large Screen Kindle in the UK

Yes, yes and thrice yes!

I absolutely love the Kindle. It’s so unimpressive to look at, but it’s awesome.

I have long since believed the Amazon Kindle will do for books what the iPod did for music – it just makes too much sense that there will be a digital revolution of the written word the same way there was with sound. Continue reading Amazon Large Screen Kindle in the UK

Who is The Biggest Publisher in The World?

News International? Time Warner?

Nope. Neither.

It’s…………

……JP Morgan Chase!

Knock me down with a feather. I would have never have got that question right in a pub quiz. But it’s true. Just heard it on Bloomberg.

What next? Am I going to find out that the largest manufacturer of running shoes is not Nike or Addidas but Barclays Bank?

Probably not.

How to Launch a Youth Orientated Product

1) Give it a deliberately provocative name – check.

2) Position it with hot women showing much flesh – check.

3) Make it much bigger/stronger/faster than predeccors – check.

4) Wait for Mr Outraged from Hemel Hempstead to do the rest of your job for you – checkmate.

AN energy drink called Simply Cocaine was blasted by anti-drug campaigners yesterday.

The drink, with a cartoon character called “Charlie” on the bottle, has double the caffeine content of Red Bull.

Excess caffeine drinks can trigger heart problems. But Martin Barnes, of the charity DrugScope, is angry over the name.

He said: “This is an intentionally provocative and cynical marketing stunt. Making light of an illegal drug that causes harm isn’t smart.” ~ source, The Sun.

Oh Mr Barnes, I’d say it was smart. Very smart. You brain surgeon, you.

Alice Cooper sent Mary Whitehouse a bouquet of flowers after she pretty much did ALL of his marketing for him by appearing in the media saying how he should never be allowed in to the country and that his depraved, sickening stage show was something that young people should never be exposed to. Nice one Mary. Way to sell out Wembley Stadium (twice).

If I was launching a youth orientated product I guarantee, absolutely guarantee right, slap bang at the top of my list of priorities would be the task “How to get Mr I Know Best For Everyone to be outraged about it. If you can do that, job done. Cheap, effective and never fails to work.

Business Books That Inspire Me Part I

The first business book I would like to mention as being truly inspirational is called “Ready, Fire, Aim” and is written by Michael Masterson.

The reason I particularly liked this book is because its key, central message is something I could relate to in myself and is something I can see – all too often – in up and coming business owners. The title of the book somewhat gives away what that message is which, to me, reads very simply as: Stop dicking about, get on with it!

I used to be the world’s worst for tinkering. I couldn’t launch something because it was never ‘quite perfect’. I would find myself paralysed with little doubts about a new project or product that would play on my mind and all the while I’d be doing that, the clock would be ticking.

Does this sound familiar?

“I’ll be able to get on to the marketing just as soon as…..”

“I will book the advertising campaign once I’ve just…….”

“We can start actively selling this once we’ve just……”

“I can move on to sales just after I’ve……”

That was me.

I’d tinker the hell out of a project and would invariably take so much time procrastinating – although I didn’t accept or acknowledge that was what I was doing, but it WAS – that by the time I was ready to go with the launch, the moment of inspiration that caused me to actually set up the project or venture had long gone. In many cases I’d over analysed so much I’d not only have lost inspiration, I’d convinced myself of all the weaknesses and had demotivated myself.

This book, very clearly tells you to stop dicking, start doing. It’s a MUST read – but more importantly – it’s a must DO.

In fact, if you have something you want to do and are saying to yourself “Ooh, that book looks good. I’ll read that and as soon as I have……” – then you DEFINITELY need this book (but you should REALLY be doing that thing you said you’d do!).

I have to admit, I still think that even I over analyse still, to this day – and that’s despite the fact that most people think my biggest strength is the sheer volume of projects and ventures we have on the go at any one time (which is NEVER less than 50).

So what I do is this; if I ever find myself scratching my head, putting fingers on my chin or leaning back in my chair for ‘thinking time’ I realise I’ve gone wrong.

A good plan can take 3 minutes or 3 years but once you KNOW it’s a good plan, get out and do it. Don’t let your mind convince you otherwise once you actually get the wheels moving. If it’s a bad plan, kill it before you actually get to the action stage of the project – but if you’re IN the action stage then you should have already decided your plan is a good one, so get on a DO IT!

Ready, Fire, Aim is such a great ethos and it suits me down to the ground.

Get it ready, fire it, aim it.

Think about it!

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I will post more of my favourite, most inspiring business books here on the site soon.

Independent Digital Media

Independent Digital Media is a new company I’m involved with – and by involved with – I actually AM the company!

It’s a full service new media consultancy. Which sounds quite buzwordy, which I don’t like, so I have made sure that what the company does can be explained in simple, plain English:

We come to your business, give you actionable ideas (at least 147 of them), all of which will make your company better. We  show you how to use digital media to make your company more profitable, more efficient (commercially and environmentally) and your people more  productive – and subsequently – happier. In short: More money, less waste, happier people via digital media.

The principle reason for starting this company is to help businesses and public sector entities get a better handle on how to use digital media to improve their companies, departments or organisations by passing on the knowledge I’ve picked up over the past decade or more working, day in, day out, in new media.

I have been booked to speak at an innovation event in September and I am genuinely excited at the prospect of being able to pass on some tips and ideas.

Ideas. I have LOADS of them. At any one time I’m walking around with at least 147 ideas in my head and whilst I can’t always act on them myself, I love the idea of being able to pitch them to other people who can.

Independent Digital Media

Why Do I Buy The Stuff I Buy?

I am, shall we say, a careful purchaser of goods and services.

I spend a lot of time researching the stuff I buy. A LOT of time. I want to be right. I HATE to waste my hard earned cash on rubbish. Not only that, I want to buy stuff that actually does what I want it to do. No point buying a teapot to watch the TV on, even if it happens to be the best teapot ever made.

So why DO I buy the stuff I buy and, if you’re trying to sell me something, why would I buy from you?

Find out here