company that I worked for had just recently installed a
computer with internet access in our break room and was
intended for locating and ordering parts and equipment.
I spent practically every available moment finding out about
this new (to me) phenomenon that was domain names.
My first 5 or 6 registrations were through Register.com at
$35 per reg. It didn't take long for me to get
sucked in to registering more. I quickly discovered less
expensive registrars. I also learned that pricing wasn't
everything. Remember Registerfly? (Editor's
Note: Registerfly was a registrar that collapsed, leaving many customers in
limbo for months before the chaos was sorted out). That was
a real nightmare and luckily, I was able to transfer out all
of my names held there to another registrar.
the beginning of my domain journey, I spent numerous hours
on Afternic. The current site bears little
resemblance to what Afternic used to be. In it's infancy,
Afternic had a discussion board that allowed you to
post about domains. There were many opinions discussed and
occasionally an inside trick or two was revealed. It
was very much about traffic and pay per click back then.
I wound up at DNForum after Afternic changed.
Some of my more valuable domains were purchased there for
next to nothing. I wish that I still owned a few that I sold
for a meager profit. Who knew!
What specifically attracted
you to .US domains as an investment or TLD to build
I was aware of the release of .US to the American
public, but merely watched as it unfolded. Early on,
my first dozen or so .US domains that I owned were
purchased from others on DNForum for about twice
what they had spent registering them. It was
simple to view lists and choose domains that you
liked instead of spending hours and hours searching
for availability. Of course, there seemed to be
a much higher quality of keyword(s) domains in .US
versus trying to find something in .com. I
really believed that .US would gather steam
much like many of the other country codes have done.
thought too, that .US would perhaps be a safer haven
than .com had proven to be. There were hoards of
online scams and the vast majority of them operated
under .com. European, African, Asian fraudsters were
(and still are) out in full force. I thought
initially that U.S. residency requirements
for registering a .US domain would have offered some
level of safety for users, but it appears to have
only thwarted potential foreign investors
from considering .US for an online presence
(Editor's note: Non .US residents can own .US
domains if they use them to operate a
business that serves American customers) .
also believed that you might see a push for Americans
seeking American products. That would be right
in line for a registration restricted .US domain and
website. Sometimes, I think that I think too
much. Think about that!
also has a passion for golf - one that is reflected in
his portfolio as well: GolfEquipment.us, GolfPro.us,
Considering how popular the local ccTLDs is in other nations
around the world, why do you think .US has been overlooked and
under-utilized since it opened to all Americans in 2002?
The primary factor has been, simply put.....demand. In
the awakening of the internet in the United States, the .com
namespace was what most people knew. And even if you
considered an alternative it was usually .net. By
2002 when .US was presented, .com was entrenched in
everyone's mind and anything else was confusing.
(the former administrator of the .US TLD) did little to
promote .US like they should have. Kind of like the Chicago
Cubs business plan for decades - spend little, reap the
rewards, and don't worry about the seats because there are
enough fans to keep it profitable. I hope that GoDaddy
(who bought Neustar this year) sees the potential for
.US and brings it more to the forefront when registration
queries offer alternative suggestions to .com.
Orosz and his
family live in northern Indiana now and his portfolio reflects his
priorities today - OurFamily.us, iRun.us and X-C.us. The
latter is the
abbreviation for cross country sports. Steve's daughter is
headed to Arizona State University where she will be on the
cross country team.
The Covid pandemic has forced many business
to develop an online presence or improve an existing one. By
almost all accounts, this has created a boom in
aftermarket domain sales. Have you been seeing this with your
Somewhat. Interest in all extensions has improved. This
includes .US. The largest boost for any company from
circumstances surrounding Covid was Zoom.us.
You could argue Amazon benefited monetarily more than anyone,
but I bet that Zoom.us saw the largest jump percentage-wise
over anyone. That exposure for .US proves that the extension
is viable and worthy of investment.
read somewhere that the pandemic caused a three to five year
springboard for businesses that were considering a
transition to online. If you are wanting to create an online
presence, you must have a decent domain. Many are
now finding out the limited availability of decent
I understand your most recent .US sale was IronHorse.us
and the $3,500 price you got was a good one for a
two-word .US domain. Tell us about the buyer and how that
They contacted me via my "for sale or lease" landing
page. The offer was minimal, but enough to warrant serious
consideration. I countered with an amount that I deemed
would make me happy. It was accepted without
hesitation and they almost immediately initiated an escrow
transaction. All went as smooth as usual and they are excited
and happy with their acquisition. I suspect (who knows)
that they may have paid more, but I set the price that made me
content and sealed the deal. No regrets.
The buyer, Iron Horse Companies LLC, just
got the domain a few days ago, so we don't yet know
exactly how they will use it yet but, as an American
commercial and residential plumbing company operating
in multiple states, IronHorse.us couldn't be a
If you visit their current site, you will see
"Iron Horse" written on all equipment,
hardhats, tee shirts, etc. Their primary domain
- resolves to a long acronym - ihcaz.com
(for iron horse companies Arizona) - which was their
attempt to escape the long domain for a shorter one.
Still confusing. IronHorse.us was the perfect solution
for them. Perfect!
In a world of hundreds of domain extensions, where do you see
.US going from here?
I think that for many of the new extensions, the vast majority
of the registrations made will never see the light of day.
This holds true for every extension, maybe excluding .com.
Even then, I suspect that many, many .com registrations
do not resolve to a working commercial website. Eventually,
the new extension registrations will run out of gas and most
renewals will not happen. Pure speculation by
registrants, which (by the way) is the name of the game.
it wishful thinking, but I believe that .US domains will
gain visibility and acceptance here in The United States
and will also attract foreign investors who understand the
value of the US market. People outside of the US
understand the value of a good Country-Code domain. Ask anyone
in Germany (.de), Australia (.au), The UK (.uk),
Italy (.it), etc, what the primary domain extension is
for them. Many will say ".com", but after that, it
is always their own country's ccTLD.
Thanks for taking time to share your
thoughts Steve. It has been a pleasure to catch up with you.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk domains!
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