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R.I.P. DNForum, 2001-2016

DNForum has been offline for a week.

dnforumI’m calling it: DNForum is dead.

What was once the industry’s go-to place to discuss domain names has been down for a week. I’ve tried to contact forum owner Adam Dicker about it over Skype, but I have not heard back.

Dan Gessler founded DNForum in 2001. Domain name investor Greg Ricks purchased the forum from Gessler about a year later, and then Adam Dicker acquired it from Ricks.

DNForum used to be the place people went to get deals done, and there was a golden age when people were buying and selling high-quality domain names on the site. Over time, it became filled with crappy domain names and its role in transactions started to wane. Blogs started taking over the conversation about what was going on in the industry, further reducing the importance of the site.

Last year Dicker, who has apparently run into financial difficulties, sold the site’s shortcut domain name DNF.com. The forum continued to operate at DNForum.com, however. Until one week ago, when it suddenly went offline.

I think few people noticed its absence. There used to be a time where DNForum being offline would have elicited lots of “DNForum is down!” posts. But most people who still chat on domain forums had already left for NamePros.

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  1. James

    On a further note he is trying to “market” the user email DB via facebook. All subscribers of the forum should be prepared for massive amounts of spam.

  2. thelegendaryjp

    Very sad to see this, a decade plus of contacts, deals and friendships nearly gone. Was this site not profitable, I assume someone would have bought it if offered for sale, strange it was not.

    • Acro

      I’m still your friend, Bananaman. 😛

      On the subject of “crappy domains” and other such illustrious statements: Andrew, I don’t recall seeing you at DNF, like, ever.

      Outside of the Adam Dicker scandal with unpaid projects, broken promises and debts, DNForum kept its value as a domain forum for many of us. I just sold a $40 dollar acquisition for $2,500 and there are many more I could report.

      Having more forums versus one large forum is like having one newspaper or blog. The more choices, the better. It is sad to see a community go down just because of the owner’s mismanagement.

      Hopefully Dicker will sell the forum and some expert entrepreneur will rebuild the brand.

        • Raider

          You haven’t missed anything, believe me.. Imagine paying money to post and having to look at Google ads in every thread, and when you weren’t doing that you were reading SPAM in your message box, and for what? to look at crappy domain names for sale? Looking at todays posts, well over 95% of the threads were sale threads and there was very little interaction between members, most of the pros left 3 years ago, right about the time I left, and the ones who stayed only used it to post sales, hoping a noob would bite..

          Unlike NP, there was very little interaction in the discussions, I blame the moderators for that, intolerance, intimidation and censorship made having a discussion almost impossible, But the worst move IMO was when Adam gave moderator privileges to an intolerant dunce, it was like putting him at the helm of the Titantic.

        • Raider

          How does your membership bring value when it was never appreciated in the first place?.. Adam has crapped on all of you like he crapped on many others throughout the years, myself included.. Hard to believe it took a complete shut down of DNF and unpaid debts for you clowns to realize it.

          Adam posted on NP that it’s only a matter of time before people figure out what I’m all about, He must have been thinking of his own future when he wrote this.

      • Raider

        If were going to compare DNF to a new source, let’s also compare the National Inquirer to the Wall Street Journal.

  3. Matt

    Question to the commentators here, have any of you used Dnforum in the last 6-12 months or did you mostly stick to Namepros (as far as forums are concerned)?

    • JZ

      i used it, bought domains from people on it in the last year. i find namepros too busy and full of people selling terrible domains. i do browse namepros from time to time but its impossible to keep up with it. i’ve never bought anything off namepros.

  4. Joseph Peterson

    DNForum ought to be resuscitated under new ownership, as I’ve written elsewhere.

    Acro’s rationale is mine too:

    Yes, NamePros has outgunned DNForum, especially in the past year. Yet it’s better to have another forum for the sake of competition. 2 forums spurring one another to add value and innovate – that’s better than 1 forum possibly growing complacent in years to come.

    Although professional industry discussion moved to blogs, forums are still the incubators of new domainers. That’s where people learn the ropes – free or at negligible cost. That’s a function blogs are ill suited to take over. Blog posts are timely, and they usually assume prior knowledge.

    The domain industry will be healthier when new arrivals can glean crowd-sourced knowledge from forums … instead of paying for overpriced “How to be a Domainer” courses with less interaction and a more limited point of view.

    DNForum wasn’t without value. A large audience. Years of archived discussions. In recent years, I bought and sold there. When DNForum went down, many people were interrupted in mid-negotiation!

    Someone will buy DNForum if they haven’t already. As long as it’s associated with Adam Dicker, though, the site is maimed.

  5. CrashDomains

    Does Adam even have the ability to be honest anymore about anything? He told multiple people that DnForum was going through “Server upgrades.” He seems to suffer from a completely inability to be honest, or to be held accountable for his own words or actions.

    In other news, he has started a new fb group called “Domains into Businesses” which is kind of a DNF college part 2. Likely to be more newbie victims there, although if they would only do a bit of research and google, they could prevent themselves from losing money to Adam and his false promises. Can’t save em all.

  6. Ryan

    I will never go back to any form of DNF, Adam once stated he got offered 7 figures for DNF, what a loser to turn that down now, maybe worth like $10K today, All those people that paid $299 for EXCLUSIVE Lifetime memberships etc..

    They were already sending spam during DNF, for different kinds of software, I am pissed that my email will be exposed to more spam.

    I think purposely not paying hosting bills, this is a huge liability against this lifetime membership.

    Does he have like a gambling issue? I mean Ken O’Brien paid him $100K, he sold DNF.com at the best possible time, probably another $100K like WTF man up

  7. VirtualT

    Yeah disappointing, having been out of domaining for a couple of years I am shocked to see how the mighty have fallen. From the 3 big forums in the mid naughties only one is left, NP is a great forum but there is a lot of noise.

    • Daniel

      I like NamePros but hopefully a better forum comes around that is more fair & honest. The problem with NamePros is how cliquey it is. You can tell whose kissing each others ass by seeing how many likes they get from the same users. The amount of ass kissing on there is absurd. The Likes & Thanks button is abused profusely so certain members in all their glory have the most likes & thanks. When the same people are constantly liking certain members posts…how is that not gaming the forum and showing your allegiance? The likes & thanks button needs to be disabled as it’s being abused.

      I also have noticed the same people bidding or offering amounts on their “friends” domains. I also have seen new user accounts bidding up domains in auctions before, these could easily be fake accounts under a proxy that the domain seller is using to get a higher amount of people.

      Is NamePros any better than Dnforum. No. not really.
      Whose going to create a better forum though?

  8. Argie

    If Adam plans are not continuing with DNF, It should be sold, in the 12+ years I’ve been using it I learnt a lot of what I know today about domaining, and there is still some value to be found there. I hope it goes back up at some point.

  9. Raider

    How can this possibly be? Wasn’t DNF voted the #1 domain forum year after year after year on this very blog? I posted then the votes were fixed, how Dicker influenced the voting, He must have believed that if he won it would convince others that DNF was the greatest Forum in cyberspace and would save his sinking ship.

    Yes, I will say it, I TOLD YOU SO! DNF has been a sinking ship for a few years, it started when Dicker tied a rope to it and let the rats crawl on board, one rat in particular had moderator privileges and plugged his crappy blog on a daily basis, watch for that blog to sink as well, If you posted anything he deemed negative, you were instantly greeted with a PM threatening you to remove it or else your banned.

    The moderators (at the time I was there) were idiots, all of them. and they were paid idiots, if you didn’t go along with the majority, you were outed, having your posts censored or removed, it was like posting in North Korea…

    Now that Dickers ship sank into the abyss, will he put his deep sea diving suit on? that is if he can fit in one, I’d say it’s doubtful, He will most likely move onto another venture using the same deception he used on DNF.

    • Raider

      NamePro’s has always been the go-to Forum, the only thing DNF had going was the ability to fool people into thinking they were the #1 Forum..

      @ Steve, Yeah, I agree that financial woes are not uncommon, it’s what Dicker did and didn’t do after the fact, most members are pissed off the site was taken down without notice and without explanation, access was taken away from thousands of members who PAID money to be a member.

      It’s not that difficult to release a statement prior to taking the sites down, my guess is Dicker (the dot com god) didn’t have the courage to do because he inflated himself to such a high degree that he couldn’t.

  10. Jay

    I had an account at DNF and NamePros for many years. I barely used the DNF account as the place always seemed dead compared to namepros. DNF also used some negative comments against namepros as well. Fine to highlight why your forum is good but ripping another forum to advertise yourself isn’t classy. Yeah Namepros may have more newbies but I’ll take that over a dead forum and have taken that and done 99 percent of my posts there for the last 13 years. DNF won’t be missed from my end.

  11. steve

    I haven’t visited DNForum in at least 8 years. I used to visit Namepros, but really never liked its UI for access via smartphones.

    Ironically, the release and launch of all these GTLDs have had a counter effect on domaining, contrary to what many predicted: any mention of “domains” in the media being a good thing.

    The Industry got a bump with the demand from China, and the big sales of the LLL & NNN domains. But it seems to have lost its zest and excitement.

    I commend the industry mavens, Andrew Allemann, Michael Berkins and Eliot Silver, who provide informative and insightful blogs.

    And some brokers have really lit up the boards with deal-flow, like Tracy Fogarty

    Maybe there will be a shake-out or shakeup, and we’ll see more energy.

    As far as Mr. Dicker: I met him only once, years ago. So I have no opinions regarding his character or situation. Financial woes are not uncommon, especially in an industry like this — I hope things will resolve with all the parties involved in business dealings with the man.

    • Raider

      “I commend the industry mavens, Andrew Allemann, Michael Berkins and Eliot Silver, who provide informative and insightful blogs”

      I agree with all 3.. However I find Elliot’s silence on this matter quite disturbing, considering his heavy praise of Adam and DNF.

  12. Biggie.us

    hadn’t visited dnf in almost a year, then decided to login today and diz-zam, it’s dead.

    joined there in 2002 and was a moderator for about a decade.

    saw a lot of people come and go, i learned a lot, and “came-up in the game” via contacts made there.

    too bad for the brand.

    imo….

    • aZooZa

      Just had to pop in and say “Hi!” to you Don and many others here even though this is an old article – a year on in fact. I was a mod twice on DNF in the good old days. I remember the impromptu ‘chat auctions’ with fondness. Shame about the demise.

      Best to all – Dale

      • South

        Ditto here, For some reason I still have the dnf ispy link on my desktop at the office, and saw the “new owner” post. Started reading….

        Good to see some of the old names. Hope you all are well.

        South

    • Niklas Münch

      Helli Biggie, it’s oberheimer on DNF. Not sure if you remember me.
      Nice to see some people from the the beginning. Well I had some good times there in the past but the last few years I have not been there at all. It is completely dead and that is because of all the changes and with the paid forums. Why not have a forum with high quality names for that everyone can view instead of divided

  13. Lullerskates

    This morning Adam cancelled my money request for the 2015 NFL pool. I don’t think he paid anyone from that. Adam has always been a flake and surprised it lasted as long as it did under him. He’s always has temper tantrums and generally immature when it came to dealing with people. Just sad to see my exclusive membership go down the drain…

    • Raider

      Adam may have used the money for a dozen boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts and a case of Dr. Pepper.. The man needs brain food to concoct his next unethical business venture.

  14. Giantnames

    So the domain dnforum.com is just going to sit blank and continue to drain value from it or will it be sold to someone who can try to bring it back?

    • Raider

      Monetarily, you may be correct, its a plus to keep it live, but doing so would create a huge backlash from members asking for their money back, something I doubt very much Adam is willing to do… I thank my lucky stars I didn’t pay for exclusive, I won it from a contest for my contributions, believe it or not.

    • Raider

      You might buy into the mismanagement excuse but I certainly don’t! This goes back to 2011 when Dicker was recruiting members, it stunk all the way back then, The thread on NP titled; “Adam Dicker says he’ll make you a success with new domain registrations” Members called him out for the fraud allegation back then, and yet people still signed up..

      https://www.namepros.com/threads/adam-dicker-says-hell-make-you-a-success-with-new-domain-registrations.722482/

      Dicker replies to the allegation with;

      “I assure you it’s no scam, I want no money and expect none.

      What’s the risk, you buy 100 names with guidance and none sell.
      People are buying more than 100 on their own and fail daily.

      The risk is minimal.
      I was very clear that if you can’t afford to risk the $700, don’t sign up.

      Why am I doing this, good charma can go along way.
      … and with parking revenue in the sh*tter, people need to learn how to sell domains to do well in this business and also learn how to negotiate.

      Adam Dicker”

      LOL.. Karma my butt!, The idiot cant even spell it correctly, The fact that he uses the word “Risk” means that if it doesn’t pan out, he’s NOT on the hook for it.. I believe it was intentional, that he knew he was doing, you’d have to be a gullible fool not to see it.

  15. Robert McLean

    The Adam Dicker case is only a symptom of a much larger sickness that pervades the culture of “the domain name business.”

    Sedo , ( conflict of interest where the brokers, being “domainers” serve themselves and a select group of cronies, selling their names and the cronies names almost exclusively ) ( 20 million names offered for sale, give me a break. VERY SMELLY )

    Afternic ( now Godaddy acting as registrar and aftermarket site? WRAUGHT WITH CONFLICT OF INTEREST ! ) ( A clue to the impropriety is the fact that Godaddy Auction aftermarket sales are not being reported )

    registrars, in the business of bullying and assuming ownership of domains in their renewal grace period , then upon gaining ownership, offering the names at a premium .

    Adam Dicker is not the only shark in the domain name business “waters.”

    This is a symptom of a much deeper problem.

    Robert Mclean

    • Raider

      Just because you purchased a few domains doesn’t make it a good forum, let’s face it, the domains for sale were for the most part CRAP, Newbies selling to even newer newbies.. And you had to pay for the privilege, I cant recall one member saying that the money they paid to join was worth it, NOT one, Whatever information was on DNF could easily be found on NP and other forums for FREE.. The thinking was; “If it’s a paid forum, it must be good!”, but it wasn’t, it was crap, what made it crap was all the censorship, bans, spam, advertising and over promoting of other web sites, add to that Dickers deceptive practices, using the forum as a vehicle to mislead and defraud members..

      But the biggest idiots are the ones who looked up to this guy, as though he was some kind of God, their all hiding under rocks right now.

  16. Brandon Adamson

    This is depressing. I’ve been a member on dnf since 2002, but like most I have rarely gone on the site in the last several years except to search old threads for lists of domain names to run in bulk searches to check for availability.

    It seems amazing to me that someone like Adam, who owned that many great domain names would be in financial difficulty, but it is what it is.

    The forum itself was the best under Dan and then Greg’s era. I often wonder about a lot of my old friends on there and what became of them. A lot of people blame the rise of blogs for the demise of the forums. My own personal opinion(and the reason I stopped visiting) was that the site just became too bogged down with ads and became more of a way for the forum owner to make money from gullible domainers rather than being a useful resource and network. It became very slow as well. Also, there were too many subforums which spread the activity too thin. Whenever I came back, it just looked like nothing was going on except people trying to pawn off mostly terrible domains in the numerous for sale forums.

  17. The Doctor

    So Dicker is starting his DNForum again.. DO NOT PARTICIPATE EVER ….He still owes thousands of dollars to real domain people, how dare he strt that forum again after scamming so many people…Dont be taken

    • Raider

      All I get is a redirect and then a dead page,, I’f be very surprised if the dirtbag starts up another forum, even a idiot would know that nobody will trust him again and the site would be worse off than it was… Perhaps under a new name and new management he maybe able to pull it off

  18. Raider

    Every previous member who is participating on DNF as of now, after being crapped on and left in limbo for months to wonder what happened to their membership, their money and access to PRIVATE messages to run their business, they must be the kind of people who like to be abused, disrespected, bullied, cheated and have ultra low self esteem, either that or their complete idiots.

  19. Jamie DeLuca

    Maybe someone should reach out to buy it. We all make horrible decisions that don’t justify who we are. Unfortunately in our world, it’s hard to maintain life. I hope he ( Adam) gets it together or helps those recoup their losses.
    It’s not a pleasant feeling to be labeled as a scammer when maybe that isn’t who you are in hard positions.
    What do I know? I have made awful decisions so I may come off biased. Hopefully everything pans out eventually.
    Good luck.
    Jamie

  20. Sexys

    I’m currently on Name Pros and want to know if DNForum is worth the investment? I went on there and most threads have little to no replies. Anyone have some recent input?

    • Raider

      Why would you want to pay to join a forum when you can join another forum for free and reap the same benefits? The “Paid” forum is really a gimmick, so many people buy into the notion thinking if they pay for something they will get something in return, but they don’t know what it is, and the forum doesn’t tell them either, all they get is marketing campaign on the part of Dicker himself, conning people like you into believing they are the #1 Forum with a tens of thousands of members, NOT active members mind you or paid members, but members who signed up since the site first went live and haven’t been active for over a decade.

      And if that doesn’t sell you, maybe the rigged contests will, every year when Andrew ran his contests, DNF managed to come out on top as the #1 forum each and every year, of course you have to look at the votes, which were influenced by Dicker himself..

      DNF is nothing special, it never has been, the members is what makes a good Forum, you will always learn from fellow members, you wont learn squat from the people who run it!.. And if you do, chances are the Forum learned it from their own members and made it their own.

  21. domainbell2wp

    Jamie – I agree LinkedIN is a WONDERFUL Resource…
    I like NP and DNF as well (August 2016)
    There are some helpful WP groups on FB as well…
    ~Patricia — Ohio USA DomainBELL / DropGrabs
    .
    .
    .

  22. Jamie DeLuca

    I feel awful saying this but a lot of new ies get sucked into the promise of minimal to no work and you made buckos of dollars. I’ve preyed on those who would listen to my muck and crap. DNF has a lot of REALLY valuable networking potential. Hence why I suggested that someone reach out and buy it. Get it to where the true potential is.

    Even though I had my head up my ass, I even recognized the true value of that forum. I like LinkedIn because I am able to be transparent and others see my transparency.

    What’s needed is a forum where there is transparency that helps. However there are flaws to every idea.

    You don’t need to pay to connect with others. Hit the pavement. Talk. You never know what can transpire.

    Jamie

  23. Niklas Münch

    Well I have to agree with some of the posts here. The people in the DNF chat didn’t like NP at all because it was not that business related.
    When I started out I went to DNF but that was before Adam I guess.
    I have actually paid for a membership there but the paid forums where not that active so didn’t really have any use for it. It was just a show of I guess. I have used Adams sales email that I got from DNF school. So he had some value and I have learnt some from him. I’m not saying everything is good but everything is not bad either.

  24. Dpboss

    What’s needed is a forum where there is transparency that helps. However there are flaws to every idea. Thanks for taking the time to discuss and share this with us, I for one feel strongly about it and really enjoyed learning more about this topic. I can see that you possess a degree of expertise on this subject.

  25. satta

    Maybe someone should reach out to buy it. We all make horrible decisions that don’t justify who we are. Unfortunately in our world, it’s hard to maintain life. I hope he ( Adam) gets it together or helps those recoup their losses.

  26. Python Pool

    I haven’t visited DNForum in at least 8 years. I used to visit Namepros, but really never liked its UI for access via smartphones.

    Ironically, the release and launch of all these GTLDs have had a counter effect on domaining, contrary to what many predicted: any mention of “domains” in the media being a good thing.

  27. Omer

    But DNForum is active I just visit their website in 2021and they are claiming about 80 million visitors per month.

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