Transcript: Live chat with Pinky Brand of dotMobi

Labeled as .mobi in gTLD Discussion, started by RJ, Nov 30, 2006


  1. RJ

    RJ Domain Buyer PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    -RJ-: We will be starting the live Q&A session with Pinky Brand of dotMobi in just a few minutes.
    -RJ-: This will be a moderated chat session lasting about one hour. During the moderated portion, you can submit questions to the moderator by typing as you would normally into the chat. The chat host will choose the questions to ask to our guest.

    -RJ-: Welcome everyone!

    -RJ-: dotMobi (mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd) is the ICANN-appointed global registry for the .mobi domain. Backed by 13 leading mobile and Internet organisations, dotMobi bills itself as the first – and only – top level domain dedicated to delivering the Internet to mobile devices.
    -RJ-: The .MOBI TLD was launched to the public on September 26th of this year and over 250,000 domains have already been registered.
    -RJ-: Joining us today is Pinkard "Pinky" Brand, the director of new market development for dotMobi.
    -RJ-: Prior to joining dotMobi, Pinky founded two ICANN accredited registrars (the first in 1997, second in 2002) and has held leadership roles with both Network Solutions and Verisign.
    -RJ-: Pinky is a founding member of, and served as President of the (80+ member) Houston, Texas chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization and has been an active member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) since 1997.
    -RJ-: He is here today on behalf of mTLD to discuss dotMobi, and hopefully answer some questions that have been on the minds of many current and prospective .MOBI domain owners.
    -RJ-: Welcome to chat, Pinky!

    Pinky-Brand: Hello everyone.

    -RJ-: Can you tell us about your current role with dotMobi?

    Pinky-Brand: Certainly.
    Pinky-Brand: I'm responsible for new market development here at dotMobi.
    Pinky-Brand: I'm based in the DC area.
    Pinky-Brand: Our headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland
    Pinky-Brand: I spent the early months educating the trademark folks on dotMobi during the Sunrise Period. Now I'm focused on educating content owners, brand owners, domainers ,etc. on doMobi and getting content up and running.

    -RJ-: Let's start with talk about promotion of the dotMobi TLD. This has been a big topic of discussion around the NamePros forums.

    Pinky-Brand: Sure. Fire away.

    -RJ-: What do you feel will be the most important factors in creating public awareness of .MOBI?

    Pinky-Brand: Yes awareness is a crucial issue.
    Pinky-Brand: OF course I will elaborate but it will take a minute to type this all out so please bear with me.
    Pinky-Brand: We are planning on some rather significant consumer awareness intiatives beginning in 2007 that go way beyond what we've done in the early stages to create awareness about pure registration opportunities.
    Pinky-Brand: First off, building content is important, because it creates awareness.
    Pinky-Brand: We want to do whatever we can to encourage and help current registrants to build content.
    Pinky-Brand: We want to educate the public on how they can access new kinds of content on their mobile devices.
    Pinky-Brand: We want to educate developers on how they can utilize best practices to develop compelling content that users will want to see over and over again.

    Joseph: can you elaborate on the consumer awareness campaign?

    Pinky-Brand: I can't go into specifics, but I can say awareness can be built via a variety of methods.
    Pinky-Brand: One is via search so that when users search for a particular term they will know the site is enable for dotMobi and will be able to access such content on their device.
    Pinky-Brand: Another is by building functionality into devices so that consumers are dotMobi enabled when they buy a phone.

    mattonline: How are you going to get consumers to access .mobi websites, will they just type 'shopping' into there web browser or will they have to type '' ?

    -RJ-: The in-device functionality seems to be of high interest to .MOBI registrants. This was the most submitted question on our forum. Can we expect to see .MOBI as a default extension on mobile phones, or a .MOBI button? If so, in what kind of timeframe?

    Pinky-Brand: Another is utilizing the resources and reach of our investors who are the big guns in search, device manufacturing, carriers, etc.
    Pinky-Brand: Yes one of the most common questions that I get is about defaulting to .MOBI so you don't have to type .MOBI on the phone.
    Pinky-Brand: The answer is we are working with our investors, the browser folks and the operating system folks towards that goal.
    Pinky-Brand: We are actively doing this.
    Pinky-Brand: Keep in mind that there are 7+ mobile browsers and 7+ mobile operating systems out is not quite as easy as in the PC world.

    -RJ-: Are these developments we may see in the short term (less than a year?), or should we be looking further out?

    Pinky-Brand: I can't commit to any timeline at this time, but I think a critical mass of dotMobi names registered and in use will be a compelling case to accelerate such a development.
    Pinky-Brand: We are nearing 300,000 names registered and more and more sites are going up every day---so are well down that road.

    -RJ-: BTW Pinky, so I don't interupt you while you're answering, just give me three dots when you're done answering. ...

    Pinky-Brand: got it. Thanks...//0 ...

    -RJ-: dotMobi's investors include Ericsson, Google, GSM Association, Hutchison, Microsoft, Nokia, Orascom Telecom, Samsung Electronics, Syniverse, T-Mobile, Telefónica Móviles, TIM & Vodafone.
    -RJ-: Are these companies committed to long term support of the TLD?

    Pinky-Brand: Of course.
    Pinky-Brand: These companies are not in it for the registration biz...they could do that in a variety of other ways.
    Pinky-Brand: They are in it because they know there needs to a standard for navigation and content.
    Pinky-Brand: So that the consumer will have a good experience and continue to come back.
    Pinky-Brand: Ultimately this means more data traffic, more content, more search, more ad revenue, etc.
    Pinky-Brand: ...

    colombani: what do you think of the actually ".Mobi speculation"
    colombani: Is it good for or is it bad for customers awareness ?

    Pinky-Brand: Speculation is going to happen in any TLD. That is a fact of the domain name registration business.
    Pinky-Brand: What we are trying to do that is different from other registries is reach out to the speculators and try to convert to content.
    Pinky-Brand: Of course there are those that see the value of .mobi and they are smart to get in the game early in my opinion.
    Pinky-Brand: But ultlimately they will reap bigger rewards by developing content and joining the mobile ecosystem.
    Pinky-Brand: I think domainers have been given a bad name by a few rotten apples. But for the most part I believe domainers are a valuable part of the ecosystem as long as the behaviours are economically efficient and ultimately benefit the end consumer.
    Pinky-Brand: ...

    -RJ-: Thank you. We've got a few development related questions.

    Pinky-Brand: OK

    PeterBrown: The most important factor to me is that the site must be viewable on a mobile phone. As that is what the extension is for.
    Saint-Nick: Are there any plans of opening a .MOBI resources site that will help developers develop what they have? //1
    mjnels: How do you plan on making sure that each site follows the dot-mobi guidelines?

    -RJ-: .MOBI is also unique from other TLDs in that there are specific rules and standards for development of a .MOBI domain. This is to ensure that .MOBI domains are accessible to all mobile devices. mTLD has provided a site for developers at
    -RJ-: What does mTLD have planned for the future of their development website?

    Pinky-Brand: Yes our new developer site is cool.
    Pinky-Brand: You can go there for a lot of resources and training. There is a live training module and we have a new Mobi Ready tool that tells you instantly how well your site is prepared for mobile.
    Pinky-Brand: On future plans:
    Pinky-Brand: We will offer a new developers guide, about 70 pages...something like mobile web for dummies---it is not .mobi specific.
    Pinky-Brand: Also updates will be to Lots of new cool features coming there.
    Pinky-Brand: Plus techie articles, howtos and blog posts.
    Pinky-Brand: ...

    -RJ-: When does mTLD intend to enforce useage of the correct Mobile MP Doctypes AND snytax for developers developing for .mobi, and how will this be enforced?
    -RJ-: And a related question,
    -db-: For those of who are speculators, and have our .Mobi domains parked at places like SEDO, should we expect our names to be safe from cancellation or confiscation, even though the parking provider's web pages are not fully .Mobi compliant yet?

    Pinky-Brand: Enforcment began with Land Rush. Any name registered is subject to enforcment action.
    Pinky-Brand: Of course our aim early on is to encourage developement and testing. Not everyone is will be perfect right out of the gate. This is new territory for a lot of people.
    Pinky-Brand: Please note that dotMobi will NOT cancell or confiscate a domain name registration for non-compliance. We will give you at least 3 warnings with opportunities to comply before we would render the domain inactive---not resolving.
    Pinky-Brand: Also, registered names are NOT required to be active. In theory you could keep the name inactive forever and not face any action.

    -RJ-: That's good to know.
    -RJ-: Is a parked page considered 'inactive'?

    Pinky-Brand: A parked page is considered active. Parked pages must comply. We are working the folks who are putting up the parking sites to be compliant. It's not really that difficult. Our rules are really simple...the rest are just best practice suggestions.

    rsequin: So it's either in full compliance or the site is off?

    Pinky-Brand: However the pages that the parked page links to (i.e. link to a .com site) do NOT have to comply. But you'd be crazy not to---otherwise the consumer has a bad experience.
    Pinky-Brand: Suggestion if you are running a parking page. Get the top links to convert their page to .mobi compliant page. Everyone will benefit eventually. Keep in mind you can't just jam a page designed for a 17" PC screen onto a 2 or 3" mobile phone screen.
    Pinky-Brand: The kind of content you want to display on a mobile page is going to be different because what the user is doing while looking at that content, and their toleration for a bad experience is going to be lower than on a PC page.
    Pinky-Brand: To reiterate, we want to be flexible early on as people experiment with their mobile pages, but we must ensure that the general public who visit the sites get a consistent and reliable experience...otherwise everyone will lose in the long run.
    Pinky-Brand: ...

    -RJ-: For those of you just joining us, we're talking to Pinkard "Pinky" Brand, the director of new market development for dotMobi, the ICANN-appointed global registry for the .mobi domain.
    -RJ-: Pinky, I've got a number of questions about the premium domains.

    Pinky-Brand: Please go ahead.

    -RJ-: dotMobi has taken a unique approach in the roll-out of its namespace by reserving thousands of premium generic names.
    -RJ-: The first of these domains were auctioned off in October at the TRAFFIC domain conference. Sales included for $200,000 and $100,000.
    -RJ-: And currently, four of the top names (news, sports, weather, ringtones) are being offered in a RFP process where potential developers can submit business proposals to mTLD. The winning proposals will be selected in January.
    -RJ-: As domainers, many of us have interest in premium generic names. What are the plans for releasing the remainder of the premium domains?

    Pinky-Brand: I'll be happy to address that.
    Pinky-Brand: We have about 5,700 premium names in total.
    Pinky-Brand: Beginning in 2007and through 2008, we will release names in batches.
    Pinky-Brand: Some small, some large---maybe some bundled name offerings.
    Pinky-Brand: We will test various allocation methods. Live auction, silent auction, web auctions.
    Pinky-Brand: As far as timing goes...
    Pinky-Brand: I think you will see some action beginning in January...then we will probably do this on a periodic basis while addressing some vertical market opportunities.

    rsequin: can you talk about the difference between reserved and premium names?

    Pinky-Brand: Good question on the difference between reserved and premium names that I will address.
    Pinky-Brand: Reserved names are names that we cannot allocate without permission from ICANN as they were held back as part of our original agreement with them.

    -RJ-: I believe space101 had the same question.
    space101: What abour Registry Reserved Names?

    Pinky-Brand: These are geographic names, other registry names like travel and name, emergency shortcodes for various parts of the world, etc.
    Pinky-Brand: Some are 3 character numeric names that are emergency numbers so we cannot allocate.

    -RJ-: I assume one and two character domains also fall in the same reserved category.

    space101: Will they ever see the general public or will they face some other form of being allocated?

    Pinky-Brand: One and two character names are not to be allocated.
    Pinky-Brand: it would be to own U2 or something like that. //0
    Pinky-Brand: It is possible that the reserved names could be allocated in the future as per our agreement with ICANN, but again I don't see any significant change on that front on the horizon.
    Pinky-Brand: ...

    -RJ-: Dentalpro and Nick both had similar followup questions about the premium domain releases.
    Saint-Nick: Will there be any announcments of the releases?
    dentalpro: how will they notify domainers of these?

    Pinky-Brand: Yes, we will make announcements of the releases.
    Pinky-Brand: Through the press, our contacts, blogs, etc.
    Pinky-Brand: Also in the not too distant future you will be able to sign up on our site to receive info on specific names that you may be interested in---so that you will know if we plan to release such name for auction or RFP.
    Pinky-Brand: In the meantime you can send me an email at [email protected] if you want to get on my personal list and I'll be sure to let you know what's up.

    -RJ-: We'll do our best to republish these announcements here on NamePros as well.

    Pinky-Brand: We certainly appreciate NamePros assistance with that! //0
    Pinky-Brand: ...

    -RJ-: Here's a question from accentnepal that I'm also interested in,

    accentnepal: What kinds of content that are not yet being developed do you feel would do well on .mobi?

    -RJ-: In your opinion, are there certain categories that are better choices for development?

    Pinky-Brand: Great questions again. I definitely have some opinions on that.
    Pinky-Brand: Early on I'd say that you should target information services that consumers say they are most likely to want to access in the next 12 months.
    Pinky-Brand: Such categories are:
    Pinky-Brand: Traffic information, news, public transport timetables, info on public services, film listings, job hunting
    Pinky-Brand: also, any name that might lend itself to location based services would be really hot in my book
    Pinky-Brand: For example, in 1999 only 1% of all phones had that is up to over 10% and will climb rapidly.
    Pinky-Brand: The implications for couponing, social networking are tremendous.

    -RJ-: Ah, I'd love to be able to get coupons on my cell phone. I can't ever seem to remember to bring the paper ones with me.

    Pinky-Brand: Once mobile payment systems come online in a big way for off-deck content (off-deck meaning non-carrier traffic) then I think the possibilities for making money with gaming, ring tones, music, news, sports clips, imaging and others will be thrown open to the small and medium sized guys---not just the big guys who can afford to do huge on-deck content deals.
    Pinky-Brand: In Korea, USER generated mobile content is VERY successful.
    Pinky-Brand: I can see consumers going for free minutes or even accepting advertising coupons on their phone.
    Pinky-Brand: I also think Pay per CALL could be big.
    Pinky-Brand: Example:
    Pinky-Brand: User searches on their device for refinance or taxi.
    Pinky-Brand: They are taken to a page with a list of possible providers in their area via GPS.
    Pinky-Brand: User enters their phone number directly on the results screen.
    Pinky-Brand: Vendor calls them directly. Everyone gets paid.
    Pinky-Brand: I think it lends itself well to the fact that the user has a voice enabled device and is immediately interested in obtaining service. Think about that when you are in a unfamiliar area and want a table for 4 at an Italian place.
    Pinky-Brand: Just thinking out loud here but I think you get my drift.
    Pinky-Brand: ...

    -RJ-: Pinky, I know your time today is limited so I'll wrap this up so you can get to your next meeting. Thank you again for joining us today to talk .MOBI.
    -RJ-: In closing, do you have any tips or advice you could share with owners of .MOBI domains?

    Pinky-Brand: Yes thanks much. This has been fun.
    Pinky-Brand: My advice is too think creatively, get good research data, invest in good names and develop content. The mobile Internet needs it.
    Pinky-Brand: We are eager to work with folks who want assistance in dev content and we will do our best to promote the early adopters.
    Pinky-Brand: Domainers who are first on the block to dev content have a much better chance at success.
    Pinky-Brand: Think where dot com was 10 years ago. I believe it won't take nearly as long for dotMobi to have an impact.
    Pinky-Brand: Thanks again and best wishes for everyone's success with domain names!
    Pinky-Brand: ...

    -RJ-: On behalf of everyone at, we appreciate the visit.
    -RJ-: Judging by the questions still in the queue, I'm sure there's a lot we can talk about. We've love to have you back again sometime.

    Pinky-Brand: I'd be happy to return or answer the questions so you can post on your site. Just let me know.

    -db-: Thank you Pinky. It's been great to have you join NamePros today.
    dentalpro: thanks
    Saint-Nick: Thank You, and Happy Holidays
    TheArbiter62391: thanks pinky!
    mattonline: Thanks
    colombani: thanks
    mis_chiff: Thank you for sharing with us
    space101: Thanx Pinky and cant wait for the next visit !!
    Electric-Shadow: thanks pinky
    Kunks: Thanks for taking time out of your day

    [End of moderated chat]
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. MinionDH

    MinionDH Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    dotMobi Chat with Pinky Brand

    Here's the main message Pinky was trying to communicate to everyone:

    The .mobi extension will only be successful through customer awareness. This can be achieved through development so when a customer searches a specific keyword the search engine returns .mobi results. The more .mobi's developed, the more .mobi's will return as search results. The more search results, the better the chance that .mobi will be successful.

    "Domainers who are first on the block to dev content have a much better chance at success" -Pinky Brand

    Bottom Line: Get developing :)

    .Mobi Site Builders:

    .Mobi Development Resource Site:
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2006
  3. thinking1

    thinking1 Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Development is the only way this extension will get off a ground. I'm glad he emphasized this.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2006
  4. MrRhee

    MrRhee VIP Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  5. GeoOwners

    GeoOwners Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great job with chat -RJ-

    very pro...thanks much for the efforts and time
  6. movingconcierge

    movingconcierge Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Once again NP brings tremendous value to it's members and the domain community. Good job, RJ and NP and thanks to Pinky Brand for reaching out to our community.
  7. vcool

    vcool Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great chat. I did miss the chat, but transcript covered everything. Pinky Brand gave some very good examples on what kind of content to target for mobile applications and a very good overall picture for .mobi in general.

    Thanks RJ for arranging this chat. :)
  8. Carlton

    Carlton Internet Real Estate VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Excellent job -RJ- and -db-. Informative and fun reading. Again, this forum is becoming a very nice, high quality resource for information and ideas.

    I must say that the .mobi registry are doing a better job at creative, meaningful promotion than any other registry in the internet's history. Seems this forum is also promoting friendships and productive partnerships. A very good experience all around.
  9. mobidick

    mobidick Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks to -RJ-, NP, and all who posted questions, as well as thanks to Pinky for taking the time and effort.

    also liked the positive feedback on :hehe:

    btw, which one of you regged phonecoupon today?
  10. Domain Jedi

    Domain Jedi Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    NP, RJ & Pinky, Thank You!
  11. GeoOwners

    GeoOwners Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Had for a few weeks now...

  12. labrocca

    labrocca Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I really wanted more detail on how the backers are participating. Are they long-term deals? In what fashion are they backers? Are any new sponsors going to be working with mTLD such as Ebay or Amazon to help push awareness? Also I am having a tough time finding any Press Releases from the sponsors concerning mTLD or .mobi.

    I just want clarity on the ambiguity of the deals with the sponsors. Development is key but the awareness must come from large corporate entities that have global marketing power.

    In the whole of this statements there is nothing to signify that the cell providers who are considered backers are doing anything to push the mobi extension.

    To me this is a problem for them. They may have a hard time convincing cell manufacturers to agree to make .mobi the default extension.

    Anyways...thanks for posting and it was a good read at least.
  13. RegFee

    RegFee No Fate VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for posting the transcript, RJ.

    Have you seen yet? Looks like they've got some big names (Hollywood Video, TGIFriday's...), but if there was some way you could scan the mobile screen on the checkout register at a grocery store, that would be even better.
  14. izo-pod

    izo-pod Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I definitely concur...
  15. binaryman

    binaryman VIP Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Pinky-Brand: Another is utilizing the resources and reach of our investors who are the big guns in search, device manufacturing, carriers, etc.
    Pinky-Brand: Yes one of the most common questions that I get is about defaulting to .MOBI so you don't have to type .MOBI on the phone.
    Pinky-Brand: The answer is we are working with our investors, the browser folks and the operating system folks towards that goal.
    Pinky-Brand: We are actively doing this.
    Pinky-Brand: Keep in mind that there are 7+ mobile browsers and 7+ mobile operating systems out is not quite as easy as in the PC world.

    I would have thought that this would have been a crucial top-priority issue that should have been dealt with and confirmed before launching .Mobi
    Plus why are these backers of .Mobi so reluctunt to have .Mobi as default? I mean they are backing .Mobi aren't they? Why then are these talks required? If they are backing .Mobi then there should be no problem isn't it?
    Just my 1cents worth
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  16. msfedxx

    msfedxx Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thank you for the transcript, from all of us that could not make it ;)
  17. Developer of Estibot VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great info, well done.
  18. Damion

    Damion Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for posting the transcript -RJ- :tu:
  19. Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Like it was brought up in another post today ... the

    wireless providers may decide to monetize THEIR traffic

    much like AOHELL did. Them opting for a CLOSED

    ecosystem is certainly a possibility. You can say they

    would be stupid not to attempt this. They certainly have

    the war chest dollars to do this.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  20. Charley

    Charley Striving To Be The Best VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    This was really an interesting chat with topics I had in mind being discussed. I have gathered lots of information.

    Very nicely done, RJ :)
  21. kwan

    kwan Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for this RJ.

    I think this confirms most idea's .mobi backers had and adds a few new interesting ones. Now it's up to us to get developing!
  22. Joe

    Joe Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    i was there during the chat
    it was a very VERY good chat, and the transcript shows this

    thanks Pinky, and i hope you return again soon
  23. newton

    newton VIP Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks RJ it was cool :)

    I sent Pinky some questions right after the chat which relate in some respects to labroccas post above.
  24. acc

    acc VIP Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Is a followup chat with Pinky possible?


    Is there any chance that another NP chat with Pinky Brand of Dot Mobi could be arranged this winter or spring? It's been a couple months since the first one and a number of people had more questions at that time. I'd guess there are probably additional questions and comments today with a couple more months worth of observation, discussion, and experience under our collective belts.

    In consideration of his obviously hectic schedule, maybe an alternative to a live chat would be preferable to Mr. Brand. This might involve asking him if he would respond at his convenience to a group of questions which would be gathered from NP members, edited, pruned, and submitted by NP staff similar to the last time, but in written form, in a new thread for instance. Then he could take his time to respond and all questions would get their shot.

    Just noticed looking up at a calendar, that the only thing we might have to watch out for in the short term is that Groundhogs Day is coming up. We will have to do our best not to ask the same questions.

    Thanks for all your work organizing the first chat, hoping we can experience it again.

  25. RJ

    RJ Domain Buyer PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    When I last corresponded with Pinky, a few days after the chat event, we talked about the possibility of having another and he was agreeable. It's only been two months since the live chat with him and I was planning on inviting him back for a chat around the six month mark. That would be May.

    In the interim, I like your idea of compiling some questions by email. If you or anyone else wanted to do that, I would be glad to submit them to him on behalf of NamePros.


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