Frager Factor

Monday, May 02, 2011

David Castello: "Facebook Executive Is An idiot"

Writing in AdAge, Alexa Raad is questioning the need for domain names and websites in the age of Facebook and Apps.

"Until now, our main windows to the online world have been websites with human-recognizable names," she writes. "But with the increased use of mobile devices and "apps," as well as companies like Facebook becoming gatekeepers to specific consumers, the question is how, if at all, will new TLDs change the landscape?

Cyber real estate is like all other real estate: It's all about location. In the online world, a good location is measured by the traffic it generates.

Cheaptickets.com is a great name, but mobile devices and Apple are starting to challenge TLDs' supremacy. With apps on phones and the iPad, you don't see a domain name, meaning it's more difficult to leverage your website as a bonding tool with potential customers.

And then there is Facebook. The social-network behemoth is claiming greater control over consumers. How many major brands have subjugated their name in advertising with "Find us at www.facebook.com/brand"? In a speech last month, a Facebook executive asserted that company websites may become a thing of the past and provided statistics: Starbucks, in one month, had 1.8 million website visitors vs. 21.1 million likes on Facebook. It was 270,000 visitors vs. 20.5 million likes for Coca-Cola. For Oreo, 290,000 vs. 10.1 million."

This caused David Castello, one of the most successful and celebrated domainers alive to posts this comment: "The Facebook executive's quote about websites becoming a thing of the past is predictable and ludicrous. Of course, this is his pipe dream. The reality is that any brand that surrenders themselves to become the sub-brand of another is an idiot. 99% of the new TLDs will be a financial disaster. On the other hand, dotCom and most ccTLDs will soar in value simply because trying to remember these new Internet brands with their new customized TLDs will be next to impossible. Unless, of course, you believe that search engines are God and the only path to your door. And if you do your brand is worthless."

What do you think? Let Alexa (and the world) know.


David and Michael Castello, COO and CEO of Castello Cities Internet Network, Inc. (CCIN). Their 1,000 name portfolio includes Rate.com, Sample.com, Driven.com, Bootleg.com, Manicure.com, and Golfclub.com among others. But they've really made their mark developing geo-domains like WestPalmBeach.com, Nashville.com, and Acapulco.com. Their debut site, PalmSprings.com, launched the geo-domain category in 1995 and today generates more than $750,000 a year in front page ad revenue alone.

CCIN projects include: Whisky.com, the world's largest site about scotch and bourbon whiskey; Kennel.com; Traveler.com, a joint venture with Rob Monster; and
Daycare.com with over 12,000 facility members. They recently launched Bullion.com to great global fanfare. The Castello brothers are on the board of directors of Associated Cities and are members of ICANN's business constituency. In 2008, the Castello brothers were awarded the Domainers Choice Awards for the Rising Star in Domain Ambassador categories at DOMAINfest in Los Angeles and were inducted into the Geo Hall of Fame at GeoDomain Expo in Chicago.

Photos: From Michael Castello via Facebook


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

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