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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Did I Release a Big Fish Domain Name?

By Duane J. Higgins, ceo

I am releasing into the wild a domain name (TMCH.CO) that I have held for the past two years.  Below is my registration record from the WHOIS database:

Domain Registration Date:                    Wed Mar 14 23:01:33 GMT 2012
Domain Expiration Date:                      Thu Mar 13 23:59:59 GMT 2014
Domain Last Updated Date:                  Wed Mar 19 17:03:23 GMT 2014

TMCH is the acronym for the Trademark Clearinghouse. 

For those of you who have been in outer space, the wilderness or deep under water for the past few years the "Trademark Clearinghouse" (TMCH) is a rights protection mechanism developed and sponsored by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) which is the governing authority of the Internets naming and numbering system. Basically domain names.

Some of you did read my recent post titled Domaining 101:When to Fish or Cut Bait. I wanted to follow up on that post with a related post regarding why I am letting this particuar domain name (TMCH.CO) expire.
Sometimes a fisherman will let a seemingly valuable fish go back into the ocean and no one will understand why they did that. Or even more likely, no one else would have seen the release or even know that it happened. So for the record, I'm about to let what some may consider a big fish (domain name) go back into the ocean and I will give a brief explanation.

So there is a short answer and a more drawn out one.

The easy answer is that the domain name is missing the letter "m" in the name. That is it is not a .com name. It is a .co name. I have written on the continued value of .com names and the .com domination of the domain name marketplace and the Internet. You could find some of these posts here:

The Dot Com Paradigm
The Dot Com Firewall
Is Dot Com Dying a Thousand Deaths
The Dot Com Kingdom
One Thousand Splinternets

I should add that it's very likely that the following domain names could be worth a good deal of money on the open market (no, I do not own them).

TMCH.ORG (.org is of course for non-profit)

(I would hazard a guess that each name  could easily go for 6-7 figures on the open market. The TMCH and ICANN are both non-profit organizations so the .org could even be more valuable than the .com in this case.)

So why am I letting TMCH.CO go?

Because it isn't .com or .org.

How much is TMCH.CO worth on the open market?

Not very much and that is my whole point.

The truth is that TMCH.CO has been offered to nearly every major player in the Trademark Clearinghouse industry and most of them multiple times. There has been  level of interest in that domain name that borders somewhere below indifference. So I had to take a realistic view on what that domain name is really worth. In addition, the domain name has been freely available for each and every day of the past two years on a parked auction page. Anyone could have bid on the name at any given time over the past two years. How many bids did I receive during this period? Zero. Nada. None. Zilch. A pretty clear message to me.

Could the name eventually be worth something? Probably. Especially if a party invested the money and resources into advertising, marketing and brand building of this .co domain name.

Now, I'm sure that there are many .co domain names that hold value and some probably very valuable. In fact, the .co registry was recently sold to another party for over 100 million dollars.  

But there's part of me that feels like the zealous baseball fan who so readily throws the opponents home run baseball back onto the field as a form of protest and support for his own team. Maybe I'm rooting for .com just a bit too much.  Maybe I'm just a poor sport or a dot com fanatic.

However, in this case, It's quite easy for me to say that there is no demand for TMCH.CO and so I will gladly let it go.

So long TMCH.CO. I will miss you and watch you grow.

Have a good life. 

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