Berk Sure Has A Way

Putting my mouth where my money is.

Archive for the ‘Industry Commentary’ Category

Has Slashdot traffic spiked because of Digg?

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I am always looking for good investment data sources so I checked out a cool Google homepage module called Alexa Rank and noticed it pulled four years of Alexa data.

Turns out you can hack Alexa’s standard URLs and change the range parameter to get up to ~4.5 years of traffic data.  This is particularly valuable for investors in web companies to see year over year growth in website traffic.  I’ve been following Slashdot and Sourceforge traffic since I first purchased LNUX in late July.

To see Slashdot’s historical traffic, you change the range parameter of the URL of the two year chart from "range=2y" to "range=5y".  See below:

I added Digg.com as a comparison.  Interestingly, traffic has surged at Slashdot around the same times that Digg saw big increases in traffic.  My theory is that press coverage of Digg and user-generated content has lifted the interest in the old school Slashdot.  The Digg effect seems to have vaulted Slashdot to new heights but also underscores the impressive growth of Digg, surpassing Slashdot’s historical traffic highs in less than a year!

Slashdot_vs_digg_1

I own LNUX shares – and should have blogged about it before the run-up!

Digg this!

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Written by Kevin Berk

February 21, 2006 at 10:12 PM

Domain tasting leaves a bad taste

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An ICANN board member, Joi Ito, has brought up some interesting topics on his blog about parked domain monetization. He describes a practice call domain tasting. Essentially, anyone can register a domain, determine if it earns money and get a refund after five days if it doesn’t perform to their liking.

I think domainers have a right to register domains. I don’t think they should be able to do it with no risk and no cost. Domains are a public good and no one should get a free ride.

Should we let people buy government land at low prices, check for oil or gold and get a refund if they don’t find any? How about buy unused spectrum at low prices, if they can’t find a valuable application for it – return it to the government? Perhaps the government should sell bonds and if interest rates go up allow people to get their money back?

I think domainers have legitimate businesses, but the loophole regarding refunds does not make sense to me. ICANN could just change the rules to not allow refunds. But maybe a better way would be to charge a small fee to return a domain? Or perhaps a lower price for a shorter window – $1 to register for 30 days.  The wackiest idea might be to auction off expired domains and use the money to fund  advanced ICANN projects.

I think the bigger problem with domainers may be that in the drive for growth they sometimes engage in sketchy behavior to drive traffic – search engine manipulation for pages that only have ads or irrelevant traffic arbitrage. You can see examples of how Marchex has been using Google and their partners to drive traffic to Yahoo ads.

Written by Kevin Berk

December 5, 2005 at 10:44 PM