Frager Factor

Monday, January 17, 2011

Most Fascinating Domainers 2010: Ten years of Sleuthing, Cajoling, and Shoe Leather Pays Off for Colin Pape and ShopCity.Com



Having secured local partners such as Embarcadero Publishing, who have purchased ShopPaloAlto.com, ShopMenloPark.com & ShopMountainView.com as well as options on half a dozen other cities in the Bay Area, ShopCity.com is offering traditional media publishers a new lease on life in the digital realm.





Where to start with ShopCity.com's Colin Pape (who keynoted last year's Epik.com Domain Developer Conference). Maybe ten years ago, when he saw that a nationwide (nay, worldwide) collective enterprise could arise from a tantalizingly simple descriptive domain name, as in "Shop," playing host to small and medium sized business who didn't have the right resources to promote themselves online. Follow that with 10 years of under the radar city name acquisitions so users could ShopAtlanta or ShopBoston or most anywhere else, blend in years of negotiations with domainers who had similar ideas and needed to become allies, layer over it a core concept of collective branding and partnership empowerment -- then celebrate with the launch of pilot projects in California and Ontario in conjunction with city governments, established business organizations and thousands of local businesses.

Count 'em: some 8,000 city and town names in the portfolio.

It's hard to imagine a better model for building a domain presence that works so utterly differently from tightly focused descriptive domains serving just one business (or a small handful of them). ShopCity.Com is a system of sites for consumers and SMBs, yes, but it's just as enabling for Chambers of Commerce, local government, and local nonprofits -- all in the interest of turning people away from the big box or online mega retailers and back to their downtown markets. Via bytes, bicycles, or Birkenstocks - it doesn't matter just as long as it's local -- it's time to help rejuvenate Main Street USA with a web infrastructure that's by, for, and about the community.

Having secured local partners such as Embarcadero Publishing, who have purchased ShopPaloAlto.com, ShopMenloPark.com & ShopMountainView.com as well as options on half a dozen other cities in the Bay Area, ShopCity.com is offering traditional media publishers a new lease on life in the digital realm. “We have some pretty impressive media companies who’ve bought into our platform and will be making announcements shortly” says Pape.

Colin has been described by his peers variously as "very smart" "creative," "determined," "visionary." One might add "defiant" - in that Colin was committed from the start to build his own business and not sell out to venture capitalists. Legend has it he slept on his office floor for days to save money, no doubt microwaving Ramen Noodles, to keep his vision intact.

Echoing Colin's socially progressive nature is the creative structure of the money flow: licensing fees and royalties for city and town names, but the majority of revenues circulating through the partnerships connected to each site. We see it all and agree wholeheartedly. With a suitable measure of humility we offer Colin this "Most Fascinating People" recognition for his genius, social responsibility, and a decade of tireless effort to pull off a monster, bloodless coup.

To learn more, visit ShopCity.com online at:


Share/Bookmark
About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

Contact Owen: Twitter | Google+ | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email