If you are like most folks born in the late 80s or early 90s, then your parents probably don’t understand what you do for a living. They ask you questions, attempt to read up online, and sometimes even claim that they have finally figured what you do, but when someone asks them about it, they panic and usually resort to the few keywords they’ve managed to remember!
What happens when your friends and peers also don’t understand what you do? What if you are working in an industry that is so new (and niche), that even your best friends are left scratching their heads? Working for the Internet domain namespace puts us in the latter category; in which, apart from our immediate colleagues, nobody actually knows what we do.
Case in point: all of us here failing to see any humor in this poster that hangs in our office.
Here are 7 situations that we, the ‘domain name business’ folks face in our social life almost all the time:
1. It’s difficult to make people understand:
Friend: So…you sell websites?
Domain folk: Domain names, actually. We’re a registry and we sell them mostly through registrars; but we have our own registrar platforms as well.
2. Even the old pals only have the barest idea
Old friend *while introducing*: She works in the domain industry, you know, working with domain names and…and domain extensions. It’s quite…something!
3. So, we try to be as simple and layman as possible
Date (on first meeting): So, what did you say you do?
Domain folk: I work with domains. Basically, new domain extensions that make the internet more organized and meaningful.
Date: That…sounds interesting.
Domain folk: It is! These new domain extensions have swept up the industry. The chips have yet to fall which is when we’d realize which TLDs have the maximum potential. As they say, not all TLDs are made equal.
4. When someone finally gets it, and yet they don’t
Friend: Wow! That’s quite interesting.
Domain folk: Yeah, it is. In fact, we are soon launching some crazy new extensions.
Friend: So, you must get hundreds of free domain names!
5. Sometimes we get carried away in conversations
An acquaintance (making small talk): That’s cool! Do you think I can get myname.yolo?
Domain folk: Well, ICANN has closed the current round of applications. Though you could have applied to the program to own the rights to operate the .yolo extension with a $185000 fee, a business case, technical documentation, etc. If multiple people applied for the same extension, you had to go to an auction to bid to operate it. They’ve currently closed the applications and haven’t decided when they’d open the next round…so, no, you can’t get the .yolo extension as of now!
6. When people think it’s the easiest thing to do
Acquaintance: So, you sell domain names to people?
Domain folk: Ye-ep.
Acquaintance: Wow, but given the internet penetration, that must be simple.
7. And so… it’s often simpler to avoid the conversation loop altogether:
Person on Tinder: Haha, you’re so funny! Anyway, so what did you say you do?
Domain folk: *unmatches*