Shoe Toss – ShoeToss.com

There’s a LOT of Shoe Toss content out there. Besides the original buzz, a lot of the meme can be traced back to a game called SockAndAwe that was created by Alex Tew.

From TechCrunch Europe Dec. 17, 2008

Alex Tew, the Uk entrepreneur most famous for creating the Million Dollar Home Page, has stumbled on another hit, almost by accident. Tew is currently working on PopJam, currently in stealth mode, but came up with a viral game to promote the site’s launch in the new year. The smartly named SockAndAwe lets you throw a shoe at President Bush, referring his recent escapade at a press conference in Iraq. However, the game itself is now proving to be a smash hit in its own right.

The site has now been featured on Reuters, AFP and many other mainstream sites.

Today the site got half a million unique users only two days after launch. Now Tew has put the game up for sale on eBay as a further promotion. Bidding starts at £100 GBP.

Of course, the eBay listing will simply add fuel to the PR fire. It’s certainly a novel way to raise financing for a startup.

Here is the information from the eBay listing:

SockandAwe.com has gone viral on a massive, global scale. Here are some visitor stats (at time of writing, 9:02pm UK time, 17th Dec)

– 1,161,825 Absolute Unique Visitors since launch on 15th Dec
– 1,680,465 Pageviews since launch on 15th Dec
– 823,906 Unique Visitors so far today alone (17th Dec)
– 9,533 sources and mediums of traffic (that’s a lot of inbound links!)

Oh, and in the game itself: over 21 million virtual shoes have successfully hit president Bush’s face so far!

UPDATE: Entrepreneur Brendan McLoughlin has bought the game for £5215 on ebay.

SockAndAwe.com is now owned by Fubra who seem to be a development company that builds niche product social sites. They have over a hundred sites and seem to be fairly evolved. They’re hiring for instance. Some pretty sophisticated flash stuff. Check out their FubraWorld site. SockAndAwe seems to be about collecting (optional) email addresses from players. I don’t know anything about online games but I suppose this is how a viral game has value- a percentage of the players will leave their email addresses.

So what am I going to do with ShoeToss? A little late to the party? Considering that throwing your show at someone is a common insult in the Arab world. We can expect there to be more incidents. Perhaps the next incident will inspire a new game. In the meantime I’ll use this page to build a little directory of everything Shoe Toss and see what kind of traffic it generates. I’ll also be brainstorming the ultimate Shoe Toss game. I’m looking for a talented Flash game/widget developer.


Bush Shoe game at Mind360.com

sockandawe.com game
SockAndAwe.com

Read the Wired.com articles:
Bush Shoe-Toss Immortalized in Games, Animations

Attack of the Bush Shoe-Toss Games Continues

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Cat Scanners – CatScanners.com

Domain name for sale. CatScanners.com.
Buy it now. Immediate transfer to your Godaddy account.
These things are expensive! Great deal for a vendor.
Google search: 607,000 for cat scanners, 66,500 for “cat scanners”.

cat scanner ct scanner

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No Ads, No Clicks, No Revenue? What Business Model?

Something Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix.com said on a This Week In Startups episode got this started. He stated that Content was worth $.08 to every $1. of Search. Thanks to the magic of Twitter, a DomainNoob like myself, was able to follow-up with Chris directly for details. He pointed me to research (here and here) Mike Markson had conducted. Wow! You mean to say that for every $1 Google makes on Search, they (and we if we split it) make $.08 on (our) Content? Well sure, Mark’s figures could be off, and the articles were written in 2006, but even if they’re close… For me it begs the question, “Are we all just fodder for Google’s search engine?”

Then a post on Michael Berkens’  TheDomains.com blog about Comcast stealing error traffic, ” Comcast Launches “Domain Helper”: I Call It “Cash For Typos” re-sensitized me to how much it pisses me off that Verizon steals my type-in errors (costing me time and frustration) and re-directs to their ‘Domain Helper’ page full of ads. (Not to mention how much it pisses me off that OpenDNS isn’t Open at all and has their own version of browser-bar-Hijack-to-ads).

Then a friend who’s deep inside the web marketing business Tweeted how invasive ads are getting to be on some pages.
That all lead to me try the Adblock Plus Addon for Firefox, which blocks ads. Check out this 1:30 YouTube video for an overview. it really couldn’t be simpler.

Here’s what ad-free browsing looks like. I picked Ron Jackson’s DNJournal.com. I have a lot of respect for Ron Jackson and I very much appreciate the information he provides, but I’ve always hated visiting his site because the ads are so obnoxious. (If you haven’t heard it already, check out OzDomainer.com’s interview with Ron).

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Before AdBlock Plus (much of this is blinking)

After AdBlock Plus

After tweaking AdBlock Plus for Ron’s site. (Really easy to do)

 

I’ve been browsing ad-free for a few days now. I love it. I’m reminded how much I hate ads. I’m beginning to sense the psychic price (as Bill Hicks would have put it) we pay to see all these ads everywhere. I’m thinking about my own mini-site experiments whose whole purpose in life is to generate a few Adsense dollars. I’m thinking about all of us scampering around generating content for Google to monetize with ads.
And my point? I don’t know yet. But I don’t think I want to be in the ad business. And if it’s this easy to turn ads off, maybe it’s something we should all put a little thought into.

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“The First Man Gets The Oyster…

the second man gets the shell.
Andrew Carnegie.

Today marks the 4th year anniversary of My Trip To Domainland. 4 years ago I concluded a four figure deal on a domain name I’d owned for years. I bought it for a vanity video site where I planned to host my collection of off-beat backstage band banter and inanity. I’d invite other people to host their behind-the-scenes band craziness. It was named after a scene in Spinal Tap. It had absolutely NO generic value. In one of those Black Swan coincidences, a fellow had built a network of domains around one of the keywords and he needed my domain to flesh out his by now successful empire. Yesterday I did the math, and in dollars only, certainly not hours, it turns out I’m about $2k down from that initial domaining seed money. Apart from my domain flipping on Ebay experiment [Fail], I have not sold a single domain–the type of transaction that got me into domaining four years ago has never repeated itself. Certainly I’ve had a few offers, but they were LAME.

So am I getting out of domaining? Am I frustrated and miserable and full of loathing for Domain Kings, Magnates, Experts, Flippers, Whizzbangs and otherwise? Not at all! The fact is I still LOVE domaining! Really, don’t ask me why, I’m sure I don’t know. It’s got something to do with words. Something to do with collecting. Something to do with the potential for huge profits. Domaining gives my over-active imagination a productive place to play.

Which brings me to the question… Is Domaining (for me at least) a hobby? And am I okay with that?

Wikipedia: A hobby is a spare-time recreational pursuit.
“Hobbies are practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. ” Certainly in my case. “Examples include collecting, 300+, I like them all creative and artistic pursuits, Photoshop chops! making, tinkering, mini-sites! RSS feeeds and adult education I don’t think they mean that kind of Adult. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience Yes, but try to keep quiet about it at parties. However, personal fulfillment is the aim of course,  oh, and boatloads of cash somewhere down the road.
What are hobbies for some people are professions for others You know who you are. Generally speaking, the person who does something for fun, not remuneration, is called an amateur (or hobbyist), as distinct from a professional Elliot is a professional I’m not.

It is easier to turn a Hobby Business into a money making opportunity because the driver is passion and to some degree obsession. Turning your passion into a business say for example in arts and crafts domaining, a home studio internet connection and a credit card is all you need; a space to be creative exactly! Gift shops blogs, specialty stores SnapNames, galleries and arts cafes Sedo are the best avenues to exhibit and sell artworks, pottery, woodcraft, sewing craft domain names, web and  mini sites .

So maybe you weren’t hanging out in the (mostly porn and gambling apparently) forums back in the 90s and so didn’t get hip and grab yourself  a passel of generic category domain names. Don’t beat yourself up about it, relax!– domaining is fun, enjoy it.

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Future Of .TV – I Thought They Were Kidding!

Talk is from PopTech.com.

I like the .tv extension. It certainly hasn’t done as well as I’d hoped. But I thought all the hoopla about Tuvalu sinking was an exaggeration. Maybe not. This excerpt from a talk by Mark Lynas on global warming would certainly seem to indicate there IS trouble ahead for .tv (not to mention the rest of the planet).

Listen to Mark Lynas PopTech 2005 –  On Tuvalu

Tuvalu Environment Ministry
Tuvalu woman doing her laundry.
Tuvalu Laundry Day
Tuvalu Meteorological Office
Tuvalu Meteorological Office

So maybe these domains are overpriced?
WorkAtHomeBusiness.tv
FlightInstruction.tv

See also: GoDaddy Wants You To Know: Tuvalu Is Sinking

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Transferring Names To GoDaddy – 30 Day Gotcha

Update 090709: FIXED! Just noticed that a domain transfer I purchased didn’t actually initiate. I didn’t receive the usual request for the Transaction ID and Security Code that GoDaddy uses to begin the transfer procedure. Checking the status of my transfer I see a new bit of information there,

The transfer cannot be processed because the registry will not allow the domain to be transferred at this time. Most registries do not allow a domain to be transferred for a 60 day period after registration or prior transfer. This will be reprocessed automatically when the domain is eligible for transfer.

Excellent! It would appear that GoDaddy has come up with an elegant solution, simply do not initiate the transfer process until the domain is eligible. Thank You GoDaddy!

Update 073009: Got me again! Almost. I got the generic ‘update your ICANN info’ email from a registrar where a domain I’d won in auction was registered. Thing is, I thought I’d transferred the domain to GoDaddy months ago. (Helps to keep copies of my receipts… ) Yes I’d purchased a domain transfer back in January. I had one email notifying me that the transfer had failed.  But that’s it. No doubt I let it sit because, GoDaddy used to re-try the transfers later on. Anyway, I got on the phone and a very helpful support guy found the transaction, refunded my money and re-instated the transfer. He thought the refund SHOULD have been automatic. I’ve since re-confirmed with a supervisor that FAILED TRANSFER ORDER REFUNDS NEED TO BE  PROCESSED MANUALLY.

Just a heads up on what in my opinion is an annoying bug in the GoDaddy domain transfer process. Your domain transfer (this is a product you purchase from GoDaddy for $6.99) will expire after 30 days unless the transfer completes. You will be informed via email that the transfer didn’t go through. But you will not (as of 062609) be informed that GoDaddy has dropped your domain transfer and that it is no longer in your account. You will not get an email notifying you that your transfer has been dropped. YOU WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY GET A REFUND. So for example, if you win a deleting name through SnapNames (or whoever), and wish to transfer the name to GoDaddy, DO NOT INITIATE THE TRANSFER BEFORE 30 DAYS HAS PASSED. Because the domain cannot transfer for 60 days (ICANN rule) you run the risk of throwing away your money, or, as in my case, an hour on the phone at your expense to GoDaddy support getting your refund (I was told to call, too complicated for email).
I was told by a supervisor that expiration of a transfer after 30 days is stated in the Domain Name Transfer agreement you have the option of reading at Checkout. And so it is.

2. Failed or Rejected Transfer Requests
Go Daddy may elect to accept or reject Your domain name transfer application for any reason at its sole discretion. Rejections may include, but are not limited to:

  • The current Registrar rejected the transfer;
  • The original registration took place less than sixty (60) days prior to the transfer request;
  • The domain name has been placed in a locked status by either the Registry or by the losing registrar;
  • The domain was transferred to Go Daddy less than sixty (60) days prior to the transfer request;
  • The domain name expired but was not renewed;
  • The domain name expired and was renewed during the forty-five (45) day grace period and the forty-five (45) day grace period has not yet passed;
  • The Domain Name Registrant was changed less than sixty (60) days prior to the transfer request;
  • Any pending bankruptcy of the current domain name holder;
  • Any dispute over the identity of the domain name holder;
  • Any situation described in the Dispute Policy; or
  • Transfer orders over thirty (30) days old.

I was also told by the supervisor that refunds are at the descretion of GoDaddy but that they almost always do.

I guess the reason this is so frustrating is because I remember when GoDaddy would attempt to make the transfer UNTIL THE TRANSFER COMPLETED, i.e I could initiate the transfer after acquiring a domain and after entering the authorization codes, forget about it. Eventually, some 60+ days later, I would get an email confirming the transfer. Anyhow, that is no longer the situation.

Not just to whine. By and large GoDaddy works for me. In this situation though I would recommend:

1. Make mention of the transfer having to complete within 30 days at the point of purchase – not buried away in the legal agreement
2. The email that states a failure to transfer just prior to the passing of 30 days should offer a method to either re-initiate the transfer, or obtain a refund.

But why is it that in 2009, we, YOUR CUSTOMERS, are STILL perceived to be annoying, have-to-deal-with-them, sources of aggravation. The experience I had with GoDaddy, or rather, the feedback I had to provide as a result of my experience, IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR COMPANY THRIVE!. Customer service is the new black. This is what it looks like….

SouthBySouthWest 031409 Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh keynote audio (right click to downlaod) click triangle to listen.

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AnaheimPlumbing.com

Domain Name For Sale:
AnaheimPlumbing.com
Buy It Now
Terms available.
Anaheim Plumbing
Traffic: March-52 April-55 May-51
That’s “type-in” traffic, meaning, people looking for a plumber in Anaheim are
typing AnaheimPlumbing.com into their browser address bar expecting to find
the solution to their plumbing problem. How many jobs would it take to pay for
that domain name? A great domain name generates trust. If you’re a plumber
setting up shop in Anaheim, this domain will give you the jump on your competition.
If you’re already established, it will lock up your advantage. What a great investment.
It’s also tax-decuctible.
Why generic domain names are a better way to brand your business.

BicycleRepairKits.com

Domain Name For Sale:
BicycleRepairKits.com
Google Search Results
:
147,000 for “bicycle repair kit”
2,250,000 for bicycle repair kit
Ebay Search Results:
88 results found for bicycle repair kit
Why generic domain names are a better way to brand your business.

Photo by L. Marie
Photo by L. Marie

mySaddleBag-richardmasoner

What Is Adsense For Domains?

Update 4/12 Adsense for Domains has been discontinued.

Came across a long thread on a Google forum today which led me to believe that for some, this isn’t as obvious as I might have thought…

Adsense for Domains is used to monetize Type-In traffic, ie. people type your domain name into the Browser Bar and hit Return. That’s it! If you register a domain and discover it’s getting lots of traffic, it’s probably because you stumbled on (not likely now with so many generic keyword domains already registered) a phrase that a lot of people are looking for-so many that the tiny percentage of people who type the phrase into their Browser Address Bar amount to significant traffic. If you’re not getting hits/clicks on your Adsense for Domains domains it means you probably have an average domain name. Not meaning it’s a bad domain name, but it’s probably not a generic term that people are searching for. For example, you would be wasting your time entirely trying to monetize a domain (using AFD) like Figgs.com. OTOH you MAY earn a buck or two a month with a domain like usedfashionwigs.com Mostly I think Adsense for Domains is for ‘Domainers’ who, due to fortuitous timing and insight, picked up a lot of generic search term domain names early on. Rather than ‘park’ their domains at places like Sedo, Park, etc etc. they now have the option of parking with Google directly.

[Update 122209 Answered a question on another site]
The Google Adsense For Domains instructions are pretty good.
https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=76049
Problem is, you don’t know if they’re going to accept your domain before you submit it and go through the entire hassle of changing your A records etc. And while the directions for setting it up are pretty good, there are no directions informing you how to change back. So keep good notes. I would recommend taking a screen shot of the settings before you make any changes. You might only discover that Adsense for Domains isn’t working for you a few months from now and have completely forgotten how the settings look. Ask me how I know 😉

There should be an easier way to submit domains for consideration BEFORE you go through the whole A record hassle. For instance, two of the 5 domains I initially submitted were declined by Google. 2 others did worse than when parked. One did a little bit better.

Traveling

Back from a very busy travel trip. Barely enough time left over to monitor the domain space. Did I miss anything? One of our stops was Mumbai, India. I had the opportunity to look and ask around about .in What I saw and heard, although I wasn’t speaking with professional Indian domainers, was that Dot Com is still king (carries extra credibility). I can also confirm the extent to which English is spoken. Had a wonderful time there. Can’t even begin to tell you how good the food is.

MouthShut.com is a US/India review site.