ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Domain Name Wire Radio. Find Domain Name Wire on the web at www.domainnamewire.com. Now here’s your host, Andrew Allemann.
ANDREW: Welcome to the first of episode of Domain Name Wire Radio. I am your host, Andrew Allemann. Before I introduce our first guest, I want to thank our sponsor for today’s program, Traverse Legal, a law firm specializing in domain name disputes, cybersquatting and internet law. To learn more, you can visit them online at www.traverselegal.com. Also, I want to remind everyone that you can download a transcript of today’s program at www.domainnamewire.com/radio, and you can also get a Widget to embed today’s program into your website so that your website visitors can listen to it. So without further ado, I’d like to welcome our first ever guest on Domain Name Wire Radio, Craig Rowe. Craig welcome to the program.
CRAIG: Thanks for having me.
ANDREW: Great. Craig is the founder of WhyPark, an alternative to domain parking, but rather than me explain it, I’ll let Craig give you the quick overview on what WhyPark is.
CRAIG: Sure. Basically we are an alternative to domain parking in that we add content to a domain and really enable the domainers to quickly build out a domain with content focusing around the theme of their domains and also the ability to constantly add new pages, add links, and monetize through the top tier, paid for top feed. Really we are kind of a little bit different parking to is that we are really looking to be able to build up a domain name’s traffic rather than relying strictly on the traffic that already exists.
ANDREW: Great. So tell us how you got the idea for WhyPark.
CRAIG: Honestly I was never a domainer in the past. I’ve always just bought domains that I would build out into individual services or web-based applications and at this point back in, I think, late 2005 or so, I was just kind of focusing a lot on doing some ads on sites and affiliated arbitrage and wanted a way to be able to scale that out quickly. So at that point I kind of figured I may as well make it available to anybody else too and kind of create a service out of it and really it’s just kind of grown from there, and obviously, a full time deal.
ANDREW: Sure. Sure. Now you sold WhyPark to Parked.com, ironically a parking company, early this year. How did that come about?
CRAIG: It was actually originally from one of your posts where you had mentioned that we had new monetization methods and some feeds and I’ve always been friendly with the guys at Parked at conferences and stuff like that and Donny had dropped me an email from Park that said, one of these guys from these feeds is probably not going to pay you. So really from there we kind of started talking about well how can we possibly partner up, and really I think it was about 2 months from the date of that post to the acquisition that they fully acquired us.
ANDREW: Well I still haven’t gotten the commission check for that.
CRAIG: Right. I’ll check the FedEx tracking.
ANDREW: So what benefit or what changes came about after you were acquired by Parked?
CRAIG: The biggest thing immediately was having their top tier feed and really all their keyword data and just the monetization experience. That was kind of day one after the acquisition that was really noticeable. But ultimately too it is going to be able to change the business model from being a paid model to one that we are offering for free now. In the past there wasn’t enough revenue there from the feeds that we had to be able to really sustain the service on a shared revenue model, but now with the top tier feeds, you know, that’s available. That’s been the biggest thing. And also just really having their expertise too and the keyword data and historical data have been a huge improvement.
ANDREW: Ok. So it used to be about $99 to set up an account, and that would give you 100 domains, and now it’s free and you just do a revenue share with the tier ones.
ANDREW: Ok, great. What do you guys have in store for new features on WhyPark and things that WhyPark customers should be on the lookout for?
CRAIG: The next biggest thing I see is that we are doing a geo domain product so we are pulling in a lot of local data: hotel, restaurant, attractions, that type of data. And still be able to combine that with content that is around that area. I’m hoping to have it before all the conferences in January. But additionally, we are just kind of looking at different ways that we can add some more depth to the site. So rather than it being kind of a lot of flat pages, just adding greater depth to those pages, more data around the actual content, and really being able to engage users more and monetize them better.
ANDREW: Now you have an upcoming charity auction. I’m curious if you can give us the details on that, how people can submit names, when it will be, etc.
CRAIG: Basically the charity auction is up to about 50 domain names, and we’re currently still accepting submissions for that at www.whypark.com/auction, and in the next few days, here, we’ll probably be able to say where it’s being auctioned off and what the venue is, but it will be an online auction, and basically we’re just looking to be able to have quality .com names and .org names be auctioned off and then really the person that bids the highest on any single domain auction is going to get to chose the recipient of really all the funds.
ANDREW: Ok, so it’s not the person who bids the most across all auctions, it’s just whomever pays the highest for one individual domain?
CRAIG: Right, exactly.
ANDREW: All the money into a charity of their choice.
CRAIG: Yeah, and we’ll still, obviously, make sure that it’s a socially responsible charity.
ANDREW: And then the people who submit domains get recognition on the site and a link back to their site.
CRAIG: Right, exactly.
ANDREW: Ok, great. Well, Craig, thanks very much for being our first ever visitor on Domain Name Wire Radio, our guinea pig so to speak.
ANDREW: I wish you very much luck with WhyPark and what you guys are doing there, and anyone who is interested in learning more about WhyPark can go to www.whypark.com. Thanks so much, Craig.
CRAIG: Thanks a lot for the opportunity.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for listening to Domain Name Wire Radio. Keep up to date on domain name news at www.domainnamewire.com.