Epik could provide compelling domain monetization strategy — and may spur more direct navigation.
When Rob Monster announced he was closing his venture capital shop, he wrote that he was working on a new company that could change domaining:
We are building a Web 3.0 platform that will be among the first to drive a network effect across domain properties, in part enabled by single sign-on, portable identity, portable reputation, and user-aware content management. Domainers have a huge opportunity to define the future of the web, much in the way a new city gets planned from the ground up. In essence, that is what Epik is about.
The first iteration of Epik launched last night, and today I sat down with Monster at Domain Roundtable in Washington D.C. to take Epik for a test drive.
Epik enables domainers to build content-based sites in seconds. Utilizing a semantic web ontology of two million people, places, and things, Epik automatically sets up a five page web site on your domains. Epik has an exclusive license (for use on domains) for content from semantic web company Evri.
Epik is based on EVO Media Group’s DevHub technology. Monster was the first investor in EVO Media.
Domain owners can sign up at Epik.com and begin submitting domains. On Friday at 5 pm PDT, registered users who have already submitted domains through the system will get access to a list of all domains that map to Epik’s content nodes. This list will be a treasure trove for domainers, as it includes a list of domains that can be hand registered to quickly create web sites.
If your domains don’t currently match one of Epik’s unique and available nodes, the company will inform you if it becomes available in the future. One example I just created is brookhaven.us.
Monster thinks you’ll be impressed with the existing results, but says Epik will roll out new features quickly that encompass the components he described above.
Beyond just making money for domain owners, Monster says his company could swing the pendulum back to direct navigation. When people who search with direct navigation find what they want, they’re more inclined to use direct navigation in the future.
Monster believes domainers could be the largest beneficiary of the move to the semantic web. Hopefully Epik is the key to get there.