November 15, 2010
As the international sales director of .Me Registry, the company that operates the top-level domain of Montenegro, Natasa Djukanovic is part of a small company that has taken .Me to one of the world’s top 20 domains in just two years. She is based in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica.
Start the working day by walking to the office. All five employees of .Me Registry are back at base in Podgorica after a month traveling the world visiting business partners and attending conferences – so we meet to exchange news and experiences.
I probably had the best conference out of all of us. I was on a cruise organized for the domain name sector. There was a big mix of people – although 80 per cent were men – including search engine optimization experts, developers, social media experts, affiliate marketers, buyers and sellers of domain names, and mobile application advisers. The conference was on a cruise between Miami and Cozumel, Mexico, although a hurricane meant we had to change course for the Bahamas.
After the conference I managed to hop to Atlanta to visit my 17-year-old son Jovan, who is on a student exchange programme.
Our young company is very small, but we have managed to sell names such as date.me for $70,000. As in any small company, we can all do almost everything each other does.
We know Montenegro struck lucky after our tiny Balkan country separated from Serbia in 2006 and was assigned a new country code domain name that has global appeal: the word “Me”. That only makes us work harder at being a success in the modern, 21st century world of the internet on behalf of remote and conservative Montenegro.
On a normal day I liaise with contacts around the world from Montenegro, thanks to e-mail, Skype and mobile phones. Once my day of “teleporting” is over, I go home to my family, where life seems like nothing ever moves – making meals, helping with homework, meeting friends. Family values are paramount in Montenegro, but I manage to combine work and home thanks to new technology and support from the family. Last summer, I was able to work from a beach on the Adriatic coast by using my Mac and mobile phone.
Catch up with e-mails that have come overnight from many time zones. People overseas sometimes ask if I am related to Milo Djukanovic, the prime minister, so I explain it is a common name in Montenegro.
Stash some of our promotional T-shirts I’ve brought back from my travels. I always pack a good supply of white shirts with the red .Me logo and red sweatshirts with the “I work for .Me” slogan. About a third of my time is spent abroad at conferences, networking and publicising the .Me domain name.
A quick lunch, then a videoconference with some potential clients in the US. Raised and living in a conservative society, I find some situations relating to .Me domains striking, and even amusing. In a recent videoconference with five serious, older, male directors, I asked for their opinions on love.me and kiss.me. I couldn’t help blushing – and they burst into laughter.
Spend some time getting ready for a trip to the US, which is our main focus. In that market, you need much more than a good product. You must have an abundance of positive energy, well-prepared answers and humour.
As the .Me domain is a new kid on the block I have to fight traditional approaches with an unconventional domain name. Domains have been around for about 25 years in the US, and 15 in Europe, but sometimes the sector seems so traditional. Everybody would automatically go for a .com domain, but names like Votefor.me or Join.me are more memorable.
Head for home: with my phone headset on, I try to explain once again to my 70-year-old Montenegrin aunt what domain names are and what it is exactly that I do for a living.
Posted by dotME @ 9:58 am
I Registered my Domains back in 1998 or 99 and have always paid only $4 to at most $9 a year for Renewals! So, I certainly wouldn't ever pay $70,000 for a Domain Name!:O I have been aware since then of People Auctioning off Popular or Predicted to be Popular and Easy to Remember Domain Names for huge sums of money. I remember when the US Changed some Laws to Stop Domain Squatting and Selling to the Highest Bidder at Exorbitant Prices. People were buying up all the good Domain Names and Setting on them, not using them, just reselling them. I even considered trying it my self. But I had a real problem with the Ethics of the whole thing. That and by the time I learned of it all. All the good Domains were already being Squatted Upon:o This girl must be one heck of a Sales Woman! And I guess good old Supply and Demand Helps a little to;) Here's a Video inter view with Natasa Djukanovic that I found on YouTube...