Women in Domaining (Part 4)
Today we are going to look at women who are independents, they don't work for any big domain related company, they are out their on their own in the domain industry.
First up Donna Mahony/Domain Boardroom
Donna runs a private forum that is in stark contrast to the big forums like DNF and Namepros. Donna oversees each and every aspect of the forum.
My name is Donna Mahony and I am the founder of DomainBoardroom.com, a small private forum, and DBRFunfest.com, where we gather to enjoy some real time fun together each year in Dana Point, CA.
I have been a full time domainer since 1999 and I'm happy say that more and more
women are joining our industry! As documented by Ron Jackson here
http://www.dnjournal.com/columns/cover020605.htm women were scarce in the
industry until recently.
Although the women are surfacing in the industry, I would love to see more of
them step out of the corporate world and put their skills to work for themselves.
Jen Sale of DomainGuardians.com is one great example that comes to mind.
I have never found that being female in a male dominated industry is either an advantage or disadvantage. I treat everyone with courtesy and respect and that's what I get in return.
Next up is Jennifer Semple Siegel/Ms. Domainer Jennifer is a regular in discussions on Namepros daily, she is always quick to answer questions for those new to a certain platform or company.
I registered my first domain in May 2001 (my full name) because I
recognized early on that everyone should have their own name in .com.
Between 2001-2007, I registered a few domains here and there, some for
school projects, one for a 2004 blog.
I stumbled into domaining back in 2007, when I was hunting for a name for a book that I never wrote; I discovered Godaddy and cheap registrations. I was hooked. That first year was rough because I was still teaching literature and creative writing (college level), and added to that, I was a total newbie and did the typical newbie stunt: registering total junk and (gasp!) some TMs. I mistakenly thought that if I added "accessory" to a TM, it was okay. Fortunately, that phase didn't last too long.
I sold my first domain three months after I started. The domain (a hand reg) sold for $800.00; that buyer is still using it, which makes me happy. I love when my "children" go to someone who uses them well.
I have published one book (short stories): Are You EVER Going to be Thin? (and other short stories), published in 2004 and still available on Amazon. I am looking for a publisher for Memoir Madness, a memoir of my teen years when I ended up in an Iowa mental institution for two months because of my drug use and a bad boy boyfriend. Hey, it was the sixties...
Currently, I'm planning a young adult novel called Peep Central.
In 2009, I was awarded a Fulbright award to teach literature and creative writing in Macedonia (just north of Greece) for 10 months. It was one of the best years of my life; I loved living in a large metropolitan city that still had a bit of small town flavor. The academic community was small, and one couldn't sneeze without everyone else knowing about it. And my students were top-notch scholars and creative writers. Total bliss.
I retired from teaching after my Fulbright year and turned to writing and domaining, both of which I do part time. I think writing and domaining are related; in fact, in Peep Central, one of my characters, a girl, begins her domaining career at age 10, and, of course, I will draw upon my own knowledge to develop her as a character and a junior domainer.
I am married (28 years!) to Jerry Siegel (yes, he gets confused with the creator of Superman--NOT!). I have a son (Eric) and a stepson (David). I have two granddaughters (Rhia, 7; Victoria, 16) and will soon welcome two more grand girls.
To answer your question: "Do you feel that domaining is an equal opportunity industry for men and women alike?" Yes, I do. When a buyer approaches a domain owner, he or she doesn't care if you're a woman or a man; he/she is simply interested in your product. Writing polite responses (with full contact info) to potential buyers is key, I think, and being an ethical person who keeps his/her word goes a long way. It takes a long time to build a good reputation and only seconds to destroy it, so I keep that always in mind. I used to get very angry at numpty domainer behavior, but, now, I concentrate on what I can do to help this industry to become more respectable and try to help new domainers whenever I can--one reason why I love NamePros so much!
Sometimes, making domaining connections is a bit difficult, but that has more to do with my personality than my gender because in person I'm a bit shy. And geeky. I have never been high-heeled kind of gal...
I don't go to domain conferences; for years, the bawdy conference stories kept me away, but in recent years, those stories seem to have faded away (or kept under wraps, lol). These days, the cost seems prohibitive for my budget, but I wouldn't rule future conferences out, especially if I make a few big sales. Anyway, if I do go, I'll drag my reluctant husband along, so no bawdy stuff for me! He's more of schmoozer than I am, but he's totally disinterested in domaining.
Next up is Kate/SdsInc. Kate is a long time veteran on the forums, she makes several replies a day and tries to help those new to the business see what is working and what is not working.
I have an IT background, with nearly 15 years of experience as a software developer. Presently my focus is on network security.
I don't do domaining full-time, however I spend at least a few hours on domains every day.
On a typical day, I browse the domain forums, a few blogs, then I review the domain lists produced by my scripts (there are a few dozens, compiled based on different criteria). Then I schedule my bids and auction attendance accordingly. There are so many domains becoming available every day from different sources, that you have to automate things as much as you can, in order to act on the opportunities.
In my spare time, I contact domain holders with a view to acquiring their domains. While I am not domaining full-time I try to be dedicated.
Then I have non-domain business to take care of. So I usually have busy days.
In my IT consultancy job I still happen to deal with domain names and the Internet of course.
I've been on the Internet early (around 1994, thanks to university), unfortunately and like so many others, I didn't 'get' domain names back then. At that time it was typical to host websites on subdomains or Freeyellow pages (similar to Geocities).
I started to get serious around 1999. I was only buying domains that I could use, because I have never stopped thinking like a developer/end user too. But I was also hoping that the smart registrations would turn to sales. That did happen - sometimes.
In spite of that, I would be lying if I told you I only landed premium domains. I have had my fair share of mediocre/borderline brandable domains - hopefully my taste has improved a little bit over the years ;-)
Around 2000 I took part in the .ca landrush, then I would list domains on Afternic (the old Afternic). Back then you could park your domains for sale on Afternic. I can't remember about traffic stats however. So I was in the dark as to the traffic side of things.
The eye-opener was when I decided to park a domain on Sedo, that had previously been developed. I was curious about the residual traffic it would get. So I parked the domain and forgot about it for roughly one month and a half. Then I checked back and I was pleased to see it had made something like $17 unoptimized. My test had made the power of traffic clear – I could achieve even more with better domains and build a passive revenue stream with parking.
Nonetheless my focus is on domain sales to end users, more than parking.
"Do you feel that domaining is an equal opportunity industry for men and women alike ?"
Being a self-employed person, I like domaining because it is an activity that you can run in your own schedule. More or less, that is. In practice I have to adjust my schedule to the domain auctions but there is flexibility. You can do it from the comfort of your home, but it's a portable trade as long as you have a reliable Internet connection.
When you are in a domain auction it doesn't matter if you are male or female (or a dog). Your spending power and the ability to spot the good deals are more important than how you look.
While domaining comes across as a male-dominated industry I have been surprised at how many women are quietly engaging in the trade. Especially in recent times. Perhaps the gender gap is closing now. I don't have any demographic statistics but I now realize women are a stealth but powerful force driving the domain industry, and they must be reckoned with. You have been warned ;-)
We have a selection of domain names for sale on shopnames.com, I also run the blog at namenewsletter.com that lists available domain names (usually .com). It is my way of giving back to the community – sort of.
A more recent addition is zonefiles.net, that specializes in ccTLD droplists. It is still a work in progress. I have a strong interest in ccTLDs.