NEW YORK, NY – As most of you have already heard, DNForum.com, has been purchased by domain name enthusiasts George Verdugo and Kevin Faler. The two now have their work cut out for them as they begin to rebrand the forum, once again, as “The Place to Talk Domains”. But they have got competition – fierce competition as there are many other domain forums out there, one of which is the extremely popular NamePros.com.
I ran into George at NamesCon and one of the first things I said to him was “Congratulations on the acquisition”. The second? You guessed it. “Does the former owner have anything to do with the business now?” – George assured me that, the former owner, Adam Dicker, does not. George said Adam has “Nothing to do with it”. It is just himself and his partner Kevin.
I’d like to mention that I do not know Adam Dicker any more than any other forum member did and I do not want to get into any of the issues which have brought the forum down to begin with, (there seems to be hundreds of issues – some still open and unresolved). All I would like to say is that thank God I wasn’t involved in any of it, as the issues were serious enough to hurt many people (allegedly), destroy the sites reputation and close it down completely (February 2016) for some time. It returned later (Back in May 2016) and then died again (December 2016).
I had wondered why no-one had purchased it yet.
Now, with it relaunched, its new owners have to look at what has and has-not historically affected brands over time.
Here is why I think the forum has a great chance at beating-the-odds of many domainer comments that it is “forever dead” and “un-revivable”.
- Most of the members who were affected by whatever scams there were going on by its past owner will probably never return, BUT, that number is likely minuscule to the amount of total members which remain in the database.
- Many members have paid for membership on the site and were frustrated when the site closed. A number of these members will return, because they paid for the rights to be there with whatever features were included in the membership.
- Members of the site are domainers and domainers want to buy and sell domains. They’re addicts. They will gravitate to where the audience and the eyeballs are regardless of what may or may not have happened in the past. Especially those who had no first-hand experience in the past negativity. If the site becomes busy again, little else will matter. (Look at DigitalPoint with over 800,000 members, you practically get robbed just logging on [IMO] and the site is busier than ever.)
Additionally, here is another historic reason to consider:
Time + Good Public Relations Heal
Now, keep in mind that I know these are major brand examples below, with near limitless resources, but we’re talking about brand recovery, and is it possible to recover? The answer is yes.
- A textbook case of dealing with brand crisis can be examined by looking at Johnson & Johnson’s 1982 recall of its best-selling Tylenol painkiller after SEVEN PEOPLE DIED from cyanide-laced capsules. PBS refers to it as the Tylenol Murders while Time Magazine the Tylenol Poisonings. Today, Johnson and Johnson have successfully restored the Tylenol brand image as a respected pain medication. About 50 million Americans use it at least once per week.
- In the year 2000 word got out that Firestone tire failures had caused THO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY ONE DEATHS. You might remember SUVs, in particular, the popular Ford Explorer, was the most heavily affected, in yet another Firestone Tire deficiency which also caused Ford SUV use to slightly decline. Today, Firestone Tires continue to be sold worldwide and the name has spun off into several different divisions such as “Firestone Racing” and “Firestone Complete Auto Care”.
- Taco Bell restaurants has been implicated in hundreds of cases over the past two decades including multiple different public health investigations such as a Hepatitis outbreak (Hepatitis A Green Onion Outbreak – 2000), a Salmonella outbreak (Salmonella Outbreak – 2010) and an E. coli (E. coli Lettuce Outbreak – 2006). Some of the victims even had kidney failure as a result. Today, Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion customers each year in 7,000 restaurants; revenue is near 2 billion and it has over 175,000 employees.
Again, the above examples of branding recoveries are from major brands and do not necessarily compare to a niche website forum, but they are indeed examples that people could be severely hurt and/or even be killed, (in high numbers no less) from a brand and that brand can still recover.
So in my opinion, I feel the purchase of DNForum.com was a good one. I would suggest that George and Kevin read up on as much brand recovery stories as possible as they begin to re-brand and strategize on how to build back the forums good name with not only long time domainers, but new users as well. I’d figure spending about 50-75% of its income over the next year on just that. I wish them luck with it; building a brand is not easy, and I am sure re-branding one isn’t any easier, but its better, in my opinion, then starting from scratch.
Overall its hard building a name in any business niche, and DNForum.com already has one, albeit, a bad name, but if you ask any public relations expert, they will tell you sometimes bad press is good press.
“Evidently this boils down to increased awareness: The mere act of introducing something to a broader public — even by saying that it stinks — increases the chances that more members of that public will want it anyway,” the Times said.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®
This was Dicker’s baby, it was a cash cow for him for a while, he did not want to let it go cheap, how do we know that the success of the site translates to more profits to Dicker down the pipeline.
First thing that comes to mind is George defending Adam Dicker when these allegations dropped, not until the whole world turned their back, did he step back. He is partners with Adam on other projects?
It is by no small chance he ended up with it?
Adam ruined this business for many who would have brought more liquidity into it, now they have taken off, I will no way support anything that helps Adam Dicker enrich himself more than he has at the expense of good hardworking people.
East LA is full of hustlers!
Julio Maysonet says
Is nice to see it back online ( nostalgia ) now is just another place for me to sell my domain names.
When I first joined DNF I upgraded my account by getting DNF$. I was joining forums, posting links in social media sites…
“NamePros is providing everything a forum can and they have to have like 99% market penetration in domain forum space (everyone who likes forums).”
“It’s been explained by Andrew [Allemann] and others: DNFORUM had turned into a ghost town long before the deeds of Adam Dicker. If you read Shane’s original post when Adam’s deeds first came to light, Shane literally calls DNFORUM a ‘barren wasteland.’ It was dead. 5-10 spammers trying to sell their domains there doesn’t change that.”
“DNFORUM was outgunned (big time) by NAMEPROS before any mismanagement/deeds of one administrator. That was years ago and as Joseph [Peterson] said, NAMEPROS continues to improve and progress, much to our surprise since they have no reason to as the leaders. It’s simply impossible for a new owner to bring back something that was already dead, now has a tarnished named, and is long forgotten.”
I wouldn’t have bought it because it will never produce a ROI. 🙁
NamePros and Domaining com are all I need.
I have zero interest in DNForum and I don’t know why anyone else would.
Stephen Adams says
NO THANKS, I don’t trust the new owners! George showed his true colors last year and he’s not trustworthy if you ask me!
You know what no money probably changed hands, whose to say Adam does not own 50% of it, because they said so? The same person who defended him when Sahar was going to have him on as a guest on his new show, which drew so much outrage, he was nixed, and Sahar’s whole project was scrapped.
Check Elliots Blog George was front, and center saying he will be watching it, supporting Adam Dicker.
You guys aren’t fooling anyone this industry can smell you waddling form a mile away.
It would have been a good investment 5 years ago but
DNF is worthless today. RIP.
It will be hard to recover with all that’s happened with this forum and previous owner. Hopefully the previous owner has no interest in this any more but we don’t really know, right?
How would we? 🙂
Money down the drain, providing he didn’t trade or just received it for free, seriously.