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My approach, in part, has always been based upon predicting trends: What is it that will eventually a) find its way onto the WWW; or, b) will take root or become popular on the WWW.
A good strategy for mining for emerging trends is NOT to read about them in the popular media. Why? Because by the time the trend or development is discussed in the "popular media" some domainer is already on it.
So where do you look? Industry trade journals. University research. University publications. You get it? At the exploratory level, not the popular level.
What is an example of a trend that I have been mining in the past 12-24 months? Well, for anyone who has been following this forum the answer should be easy: Local Search.
Why local search based domaining? Well, have you been reading the advertising industry reports about the trend in advertising dollars moving into online local search? Billions. More and more people are looking online for what they want in their own backyard. Local search for local services. Ergo, geotargeted domains: CityRoofing.com, City(Service).com. Maybe I'll make a mini-portal about local services.
In domaining the trick is to get ahead of the domain tasting behemouths, who don't necessarily think or don't always know the local/regional/national markets as well as someone else might.
In domaining - like in webmarketing - the trick is often to "think niche". (Ever read a post about success with niche marketing? What is you owned the generic domain name FOR the niche?) So, what's the next big niche market? Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! You got the domain! Now, do something with it. ;)
IMEO (In My Educated Opinion ;0/) the domain name game is always opening new opportunities. It's not game over. It's game on. You get you game on not by following the crowd but by getting ahead of the crowd: Do some serious research. Study the issues. Think trend. Think size of potential market.
Just think and you can win.
Anyone else have some thoughts?
Question though... are you not just redefining (or broadening) what is "generic".
I mean, can you use the term "niche" and "generic" to describe the same thing, catagory, topic, whatever?
I agree with what you are saying but I think describing it as a "generic" is a misnomer... for me, what you are describing is buying domains by "key phrase".
I could be totally wrong on this but I've actually been told that some of my domains are TOO generic. How can THAT be? LOL!
Your City example, to me anyway, shows the difference between a "generic" and a "key word" or "key phrase" domain... as opposed to a branded domain. The more words you enter into the domain name string, the more targeted and less generic it becomes. Which isn't a BAD thing, I think that targeted traffic yields better results. :)
So we agree in principle, but I think there is an issue in this industry that those that KNOW the business assumes that everyone else knows what they are talking about, understands the terms or can cypher the slang from the true intent (and some in this business that intentionally keep the noobs guessing) and this leads to an unrealistic expectation of new comers that honestly believe that they can participate in the domain game with "generic" keywords that generate massive incomes with little or no effort.
The excellent advice you have given here implies effort. It means that you will have to boil down the market to zero in on a specific niche, movement, idea, direction, product or service. In short... Key Word Phrases that target that niche.
I might be just arguing symantics, but I don't see this kind of specific targeting as "generic".
Just my humble opinion and thoughts.
Take your local search one step further: neighborhood search.
Many cities have named neighborhoods. We have a very successful site for a neighborhood here. BTW, the domain is of my favored "it's a keyword, no it's a brand" form. The neighborhood name wasn't available. So they made up a brand name using part of the neighborhood name and another word. You'd never on your life guess at it and type in in your browser, but it's memorable enough if you saw it in a print ad or in a storefront display. (It appears often in both.)
However, I have to caution that this is far from a parking or "mini-site". It appears to be quite an effort, and they are now on their 4'th year of their printed guide. Sections include "calerdar" "community" "history" "transportation" "recreation" "entertainment" "fun" "shopping" "coupons" "dining" "services" "lodging" "politics".
It takes people living in the neighborhood to create such a site. It's a "real website".
But perhaps there are opportunities in "franchasing" the concept (which may mean no more than recruiting volunteers from neighborhoods to provide content and manage the sites) or in speculatively-registering names of neighborhoods.
I vaguely recall my cable Internet provider trying to force one of these onto my homepage a few years ago...
(Aside: anyone remember that "home page" was meant to refer to YOUR internet-facing page for the world to view? NOT a place for your browser to go auomatically when you open it up - which hardly anybody actually wants to do?)
As I recall, there were a few of these big "local portal" sites. They were so forgettable that I can't even remember which one my cable provider pre-loaded as my home page. MSN something?
What I remember most about it is how silly it was for somebody in Redmond to be writing about San Diego. And that's why it went nowhere. There were always these annoying disconnects where the text made no sense.
I am currently looking at global trends, cos I hope/believe there is great value offered by the global reach available from the internet
An that, i hope, equals traffic, an therefore some value ,
So, I must confess that i am seeking to jump on global bandwagons at an early stage, but not too early, after all it might head for a cul-de-sac :-)
In this spirit, I just did a check on missiontomars, an guess what, its already sold out :-)
I've never laid claim to any "neighborhood names" as I think their personal nature makes registering a neighborhood name a one-off of registering a celebrity name, another practice I avoid.
[edited by: Webwork at 3:11 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2006]
I own a couple two-word domains, where the second word is blog and the first word is a generic keyword.
I initially bought these names for using myself, but I could see how atleast one of these domains might be desirable to a company who targets that first keyword.
I just wonder if the term "blog" will continue to be in common usage years from now or will it evolve into something else. I think the act of blogging is here to stay, but I'm not sure the term "blog" is.