How To Find A Killer Available Domain Name – Code School

Coding is being called ‘the new literacy’. If you love to code, think you can teach it, and have a twist on how to do it better, let’s get started. First, you’ll need a name.

ibm-1620-by-twid.jpg
IBM 1620 by Twid

I’ve tried most of the online tutorials. I broke my brain getting Ruby 1.92 on my Mac. I have Eclipse set up for PHP and Python. But so far I end up bailing out of the book, tutorial, video course. They’re not working for my brain! That’s why I was so excited to hear about Codecademy. Codecademy is a Y Combinator startup. They’re a couple of young guys with a great idea who seem to have caught a wave. The thing is, now four months and $2.5 million invested, they have all of three courses that took me an hour to complete. Yes they’re good, but…  Meanwhile the press just keeps on coming! (Isn’t this a startup no no – getting all this press before they really have a product?)

The namer/domainer in me couldn’t help but notice… Look at the spelling, codEcademy. Not codeAcademy. Not only that but CodeAcademy.org is a Chicago startup that has an CodEcademy CodeAcademyintense immersion how-to-code course in Chicago. Oh oh. What? CodeAcademy.com now forwards to CodEcademy.com. They somehow acquired it in the last month or so (I’d like to know that story). When I first looked, there was a forum there. IMO it would be hard to trademark Code Academy, I think (too generic), but looking around today I found that the CodeAcademy.org people seem to be in the process of obtaining one for ‘CA Code Academy’. The plot thickens- and gets murky, and maybe they should merge now before too many lawyers get involved. (Might a Domain Diligence Report from DomainNoob have saved a lot of trouble and headache?)
[Update 6/21/12: The lawyers have spoken! Andrew Allemann of DomainNameWire puts it succinctly: “The panel ruled that it (Code Academy) didn’t show it had any trademark in the term “Code Academy”. It was a victory for Codecademy, but the fight may have devalued both names. In making its argument, Codecademy suggested that Code Academy is merely descriptive. That could come back to haunt it as it tries to fight off cybersquatters in the future.” Here’s the actual WIPO ruling.]
[Update 10/6/12: Again from Andrew Allemann. Codecademy rcenetly bought CodeClass.com for $1,000.]

Anyway, the media attention Codecademy is getting should serve as a siren song for entrepreneurs. Coding is being called ‘the new literacy’. If you love to code, and think you’re a better teacher, or have a twist on how to do it, let’s get started. First, you’ll need a name.

My basic toolkit?
MarketSamurai for keyword/value/competition research. Thesaurus.com. MoreWords.com which is great for searching words that end with or start with. And my weird brain.

First, a look at keywords.
Initial keyword research indicates that ‘code’, as a verb, isn’t as popular as ‘program’.
‘Learn’ helps a keyword phrase score for larger click payouts, i.e. makes it more ‘valuable’.
Ads don’t really start to pop up until you drill down past ‘program’ to specific languages.
Running my list of keywords through the GoDaddy Bulk Checker. Hey! A couple of keepers.
LearningHowToProgram.com, Market Samurai tells me, is potentially the most valuable of the available keyword domains. LearnToCodeOnline.com This strikes me as the best of the availables in terms of branding a keyword domain. OnlineCodeSchool. Like this one too. Also CodeSchoolOnline.com.
Not bad! But they’re all more than 15 letters, so the exact-match Twitter handle is off the table. I’d still buy them. While the definitive word is still out on domains and SEO, they could be useful for focused mini-sites and Adwords experiments.

Then a look at what the competition is doing for “Learn to code online”.
Top Scoring Organic: lcwo.net (Morse code!), codeschool.com, & w3schools.com
Mostly you’re getting articles about learning, rather than actual places to learn. The articles lead to online Berkeley, MIT, Mozilla and Google’s Code University.
Paid (that mention coding specifically, not just online learning): www.polymathlectures.org, programming.justanswer.com

CodeSchool.com is by far the best url we’ve seen so far. Kind of ideal. They’re a subscription based video/tutorial/community ‘learn by doing’ site with a very popular free tutorial Rails For Zombies (interesting, which came first?). While we’re here, we should mention Treehouse, (TeamTreehouse.com), which launched recently (with help from VC money) and is gaining a lot of traction. They have a two-tiered subscription model. And of course there’s Lynda.com which has 69,000 tutorials for $25 a month!

Next up in our naming process is keyword combos. This is where I match the word ‘code’ with my collected list of internet destination words like ‘hub’, ‘works’, ‘planet’ etc. Very hit or miss, but in this case–it’s picked clean! Nothing worth mentioning available. Just as well, they’re not very good.

On to the brainstorming session. This is where I dig into the thesaurus to create brandable made-up names, portmanteaus, domain hacks, and word tricks. I’m playing in a ‘learn how to program code’ sandbox.

Let’s go over the criteria: Evokes the spirit of the experience your product hopes to create; Passes the ‘radio’ test (could type it in your browser after hearing in a podcast); Is ‘easy to remember’ (this often simply translates into ‘short’); Exact-match Twitter handle; No Trademarks. And again, in our case, $8 on GoDaddy!

And the winners are…

Acodemic.com @Acodemic

Codsy.com @CodsyCom

 

I really like Acodemic. Codsy is a little bit trendy (Artsy, Etsy) but it’s five letters! Try and forget it. You can spell a five letter domain out loud (radio test).  Pity about the Twitter, but five letter Twitter handles are pretty much a thing of the past. I also picked up three of the keyword domains, for SEO and Adwords experiments. CodeSchoolOnline.com, OnlineCodeSchool.com, and LearnToCodeOnline.com.

So what do you think? What would be a fair price for this package of domains? Think you can do better? I’d be happy to list your newly-registered domains in this post.  I do think I got a little bit lucky with this niche–not picked quite as clean as most. For comparison, here’s something just in today from TeachMe.comTwitter. (Will be interesting to see if Bill manages to get the Twitter as well.)
Is there a niche you’d like me to do a case study on?

[Update 4/12 I’m a couple of weeks into the Udacity CS101 class (free and now open enrollment). It’s awesome! See Also: O’Reilly School of Technology, (article, school), Bloc, Hitchiker’s Guide To Python, HackerSchool, really liking InventWithPython and LearnCodeTheHardWay.]

 

2010 Crunchies Awards Winners – Domain Names Edition

For the purposes of this little experiment I scored all names- company, personal, and game, similarly- from a branding perspective.
Obviously a CEO or VC doesn’t have to care whether he’s got the exact match .com and Twitter handle, but it is safe to assume they’d probably want them, and if they had them, it would make it easy to find them. I didn’t include Facebook, because honestly, I don’t fully get Facebook from a branding perspective yet.
I’d also note that the app/game space seems to be an ecosystem unto itself and plenty of business is getting done without the matching domain name, although again, I bet they wish they had them.

Exact match company name, dot com, and Twitter handle scores an A.
Bonus (+) factors:
Short, easy to spell, clever in a way that remains brandable but didn’t cost you an arm and a leg (Hipmunk.com is currently my favorite example.)
Score a penalty for:
Alternative tlds (.org etc. where you don’t own the .com as well).
Domain hacks (using the tld to the right of the dot to complete the word).
Domain and Twitter handle not matching.

The logic? IMO hearing the company discussed in a podcast or radio interview, you should be able to navigate directly to the site without having to Google. Ideally it’s memorable enough to tell a friend about it the next day.

Domain is exact match .com unless noted. (winner) etc. refers to how the company did in the 2010 Crunchies Awards.

Best Internet Application

A Chartbeat Twitter: @chartbeat

A Greplin Twitter: @Greplin

B Pandora (winner) Twitter: @pandora_radio

A Rdio (runnerup) Twitter: @Rdio

B Ujam Twitter: @Ujam_com

Best Social App

B Cityville Domain: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=291549705119 Cityville.com also resolves to the Facebook page. Twitter: @zCityVille

A Dailybooth (winner) Twitter: @dailybooth

A Foursquare Twitter: @foursquare

A GroupMe Twitter: @GroupMe

A Twitter (runnerup) Twitter: @twitter

Best Social Commerce App

A Blippy Twitter: @blippy

A Groupon (winner) Twitter: @Groupon

B Jetsetter Twitter @jetsetterdotcom

A LivingSocial Twitter: @LivingSocial

A One Kings Lane Twitter: @onekingslane

A ShopKick (runnerup) Twitter: @shopkick

Best Mobile App

BBump Domain hack: bu.mp Twitter: @bumptech

A Chomp Twitter: @chomp

B Google Mobile Maps for Android (winner) Domain: google.com/mobile/android Twitter: @googleapps

A Hashable Twitter: @hashable

B Instagram (runnerup) Domain hack: instagr.am instagram.com is parked and is owned by someone in Korea with a Sedo email address. Twitter: @instagram

Best Location Based Service

B+ Facebook Places (runnerup) Domain: facebook.com/places Twitter: @facebook @facebookplaces is a suspended account

A Foursquare (winner) Twitter: @foursquare

A Gowalla Twitter: @gowalla

A SimpleGeo Twitter: @SimpleGeo

A+ Uber Twitter: @Uber

Best New Device

B+ Boxee Domain: Boxee.tv Boxee.com is a webmail company Twitter: @boxee

B Google Chrome Notebook Domain: google.com/chromeos Twitter: @googlechrome

BiPad (winner) DOMAIN: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad Apple does not appear to own ipad.com Twitter: @iPad but not used.

B iPhone 4 Apple do own iphone.com (though not iphone4, 5 or 6.com -they’re parked at Fabulous with private Whois) Twitter: @iphone is a suspended account. @iphone4 is somebody trying to win a prize.

B Kno Twitter: @GoodtoKNO (but they’re going to want to get @kno for more than the obvious reasons)

B+ Xbox Kinect (runnerup) Domain: xbox.com kinect.com points to Bing Twitter: @xbox (but not @kinect)

Best Technology Achievement

B Blekko Yes, Blekko does own blekko.com Twitter: @blekko (scores a B in my book but seems to be working out for them 😉

Google Self-driving Cars (winner)

A+ Hunch Twitter: @hunch

B Palantir Domain: Palantir.com Twitter: palantirtech (Palantir.net has @palentir)

A Qwiki (runnerup) Twitter: @Qwiki

BWord Lens Domain: QuestVisual.com (There’s a blog at WordLens.com) Twitter: @wordlens (But curiously not used)

Best Design

A 1000memories Twitter: @1000Memories

B about.me (runnerup) They are branding with the dot me, i.e. They are About.me wherever seen. Twitter: @aboutdotme

B+ Airbnb (They do own AirBandB.com as well) Twitter: @airbnb

A Flipboard Twitter: @Flipboard

A Gogobot (winner) Twitter: @gogobot

A Qwiki Twitter: @Qwiki

Best Touch Interface

A Flipboard (winner) Twitter: @Flipboard

A Fotopedia Heritage iPad app (runnerup) Twitter: @Fotopedia

B Osmos Domain: HemisphereGames.com Twitter: @HemisphereGames See Also

BPulse News Reader Links to itunes. Company is AlphonsoLabs.com Twitter: @pulsepad

B Sencha Touch Domain: Sencha.com but may or may not own SenchaTouch.com (If they do it should be pointed, private GoDaddy reg. for both) Twitter: @SenchaInc @Senchatouch is theirs but links to the other.

B Swype Domain: SwypeInc.com (SwipeInc.com is for sale at HugeDomains for $2495) Twitter: @Swype

Best Bootstrapped Startup

C Addmired (iMob) (winner) Company name for iphone game Gangstaz Domain: ogapponline.com Twitter: @OG_app

B Beluga Domain: BelugaPods.com Twitter: @belugapods

B Easel Domain:EaselLearning.com Twitter: @easellearning

A Fast Society Twitter: @fastsociety

A Instapaper (runnerup) Twitter: @instapaper

A Techmeme Twitter:@Techmeme

Best Enterprise

A 37 Signals Twitter: @37signals

A Buddy Media (winner) Twitter: @BuddyMedia

B CloudApp Domain: GetCloudApp.com Twitter: @getcloudapp

A inDinero Twitter: @indinero

A Millennial Media (runnerup) Twitter: @MillennialMedia

A Salesforce Twitter: @salesforce

Best International

C Crivo Domain: Crivo.com.br Doesn’t resolve without www, Crivo.com is parked. Twitter: ?

B+ PCH International Domain: PchIntl.com (also PchInternational.com) PchInt.com is a Frank Schilling domain. Twitter: @pchintl

A Soluto (runnerup) Twitter: @Soluto

A+ ViKi (winner) Twitter: @Viki

BVNL Domain: Vnl.in Twitter: @vnl_india

B Wonga Twitter: @WongaWoman @WongaMan (but not @wonga)

Best Clean Tech

A Coolerado Twitter: @Coolerado

BKopernik (runnerup) Domain: TheKopernik.org TheKopernik.com doesn’t resolve, is owned by someone in Bali and was created almost a full year after the .org Twitter: @thekopernik

BMicroGreen Domain: MicroGreenInc.com MicroGreen.com is parked with a for sale form. Twitter: @MicroGREENAdAir

A Puralytics Twitter: @Puralytics (You’re welcome!)

B Smith Electric Vehicles

A SolarCity (winner) Twitter: @solarcity

Best Time Sink Application

BAngry Birds (runnerup) Domain: ShopAngryBirds.com Twitter: @RovioMobile

B Cityville (winner) Cityville.com also resolves to the Facebook page. Twitter: @zCityVille

A Netflix streaming Twitter: @netflix @Netflixhelps

A Quora Twitter: @quora

A StumbleUpon Twitter: @StumbleUpon

Angel of the Year

A Jeff Clavier, SoftTech VC Domain: SoftTechVc.com Twitter: @softtechvc @jeffclavier (Interestingly JeffClavier.com doesn’t resolve and is owned by Top Business Names of Grand Caymen).

A Ron Conway, SV Angel (runnerup) Domain: SVAngel.com Twitter: @svangel @RonConway RonConway.com is for sale at Epik for $3981 USD!

B Michael Dearing, Harrison Metal Capital Domain: HarrisonMetal.com Twitter: @mcgd

B Chris Dixon, Founder Collective Domain: FounderCollective.com CDixon.org Twitter: @cdixon

B Mike Maples, FLOODGATE Domain:Floodgate.com Twitter:@m2jr

A Paul Graham, Y Combinator (winner) Domain: YCombinator.com PaulGraham.com Twitter: @ycombinator

VC of the Year (individual)

B Marc Andreessen & Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz Domain: a16z.com MarcAndreesen.com is parked at Godaddy with private Whois.

B Roelof Botha, Sequoia Capital Domain: SequoiaCap.com Twitter: @roelofbotha

B Jim Breyer, Accel Partners Domain: Accel.com Twitter: @jimihendrixlive

B John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins Domain: kpcb.com KleinerPerkins.com Twitter: @johndoerr

C Yuri Milner, DST (winner) Domain: DST-Global.com (but there’s nothing there). Twitter: ?

B+ Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures (runnerup) Domain: AVC.com UnionSquareVentures.com Twitter: @fredwilson

Founder of the Year

B+ Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Domain: Wikileaks.org Twitter: @wikileaks

B+ Dennis Crowley, Foursquare Domain: DennisCrowley.com Twitter: @dens

BJack Dorsey, Square (runnerup) Domain: SquareUp.com Twitter: @jack @square

A Kevin and Julia Hartz, Eventbrite Domain: EventBrite.com (also EventBright.co) Twitter: @eventbrite @kevinhartz @juliahartz

B David Karp, Tumblr Domain: Tumblr.com DavidsLog.com Twitter: @davidkarp (Tumbler.com makes glasses you drink out of)

B Mark Pincus, Zynga (winner) Domain: Zynga.com Twitter: @markpinc @zynga (Zinga.com makes filters and mechanical parts in Reedsburg WI)

CEO of the Year

BDick Costolo, Twitter Twitter: @DickC

B Reed Hastings, Netflix Domain: Netflix.com (Also own NetFlicks.com) Twitter: ?

B Drew Houston, Dropbox Twitter:@drewhouston

B Andrew Mason, Groupon (winner) Twitter: @andrewmason

B Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook (runnerup) Twitter: @finkd

Best New Startup or Product of 2010

A Flipboard

A GroupMe

B Instagram

A Quora (winner)

C Square (runnerup) Domain: SquareUp.com

A Uber

Best Overall Startup or Product of 2010

A Facebook

A Groupon (runnerup)

A Quora

A Twitter (winner)

A Zynga

@Ev Paid $7500 for Twitter?

Tech Crunch ran a story today about Evan Williams paying $7500 for the Twitter domain name back in mid 2006. Thanks to tweets like these (@ev is the co-founder of Twitter he’s tweeting with Ed Shahzade @ed) people, are finally getting that it’s worth the money to acquire a good domain.

Tech Crunch ran a story today about Evan Williams paying $7500 for the Twitter domain name back in mid 2006. @ev is the co-founder of Twitter. He’s tweeting with Ed Shahzade @ed.

Evan Williams and Ed Shahzade Twitter Domain Thread
Evan Williams and Ed Shahzade Twitter Domain Thread

And  some Twitter history from LA Times.

Then when did the service’s name morph from “Status/Stat.us” to “twittr” to Twitter?

The working name was just “Status” for a while. It actually didn’t have a name. We were trying to name it, and mobile was a big aspect of the product early on … We liked the SMS aspect, and how you could update from anywhere and receive from anywhere.

We wanted to capture that in the name — we wanted to capture that feeling: the physical sensation that you’re buzzing your friend’s pocket. It’s like buzzing all over the world. So we did a bunch of name-storming, and we came up with the word “twitch,” because the phone kind of vibrates when it moves. But “twitch” is not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. So we looked in the dictionary for words around it, and we came across the word “twitter,” and it was just perfect. The definition was “a short burst of inconsequential information,” and “chirps from birds.” And that’s exactly what the product was.