<!–:en–>Going French part 8<!–:–>

If by some magical means you could be transported to another country and you didn’t know where you were going, when you arrived there would be certain features of a country that would immediately tell you where you were. And if it’s castles, it’ll probably be France.

Now you can’t go far in any part of France without bumping into (not literally of course) a castle or two.

Most of them have become museums but a few of them have gone commercial and been turned into hotels. We decided to try a couple of the latter. The first was the genuine article as it had a history going back several hundred years. If you removed the cars parked near the entrance steps, it wasn’t hard to imagine what it would have looked like when it was first built.

There was a sense of the medieval in the entrance hall where the reception desk was housed and at any minute you half expected a bewigged flunkey with a flowing red coat to come bowing and scraping towards you. But instead a small fat tubby man in a grey suit welcomed us, who had clearly just stubbed out his cigarette, judging by the aroma he exuded as he greeted us.

Fortunately modernisation had taken place and although the rooms had retained their grandeur, central heating and running hot and cold water had long since been installed.

When we were handed the menu on our first evening, it was clear that prices were also firmly fixed in 2012. The hush in the dining room was tangible making us all feel very important. In case we should forget where we were, softly playing in the background was the sound of bowed strings, woodwind, brass and percussion – on tape of course, no sign ofstrollingg players.

The second castle cum hotel was a 19th century copy. It looked the part but It wasn’t the real thing. Efforts had clearly been made to reproduce the atmosphere of the past. There was a lake in the grounds and sitting near the edge was the figure of a faun contemplating life and clearing wondering what he was doing there. In the extensive gardens were one or two peacocks strutting along and ignoring any visitor who stopped to stare. 

Outside our room was a giant chessboard with figures about half a meter tall.

In the morning just before breakfast I took a turn around the garden and the devil in me made me move one of the chess figures to one side. As we drove out of the grounds to continue our journey, I noticed that the figure in question had been replaced. Clearly order and symmetry were all.

By now the signs of autumn were showing clearly. Mists were appearing and the leaves on the trees were slowly turning brown, yellow or red.  It hardly seemed any time at all before we were back on that boat crossing the channel.

For some 20 days we had gone French and now it was back to the UK. driving on the left, giving way to traffic on the right and reverting to my native British reserve.

It’s always good to go on holiday and see how other people live and it can help you to appreciate that the way you personally live can easily be regarded by someone from another country as strange.

Alan Townend

zp8497586rq

<!–:en–>Going French part 7<!–:–>

A little bit, but not very much, of history – this time of particular interest to bird watchers. At least you don’t need binoculars because storks are really easy to see!

Apparently white storks have a fondness for the Alsace region. They are supposed to bring fertility and good luck to any household on whose roof they nest. In the different villages where they nest someone has the responsibility to make sure that they are looked after. In 1988 France launched a repopulation plan and the storks have grown in number considerably since then.

Their nests are always very high up on the top of roofs and towers. Sitting in a car of course you tend not to see them but on one occasion while we were strolling through a park in a small village we caught sight of a pair busy tidying their nest on the top of a church tower. Then suddenly a thunderstorm broke out with lightning flashing all round and at precisely the same time the church clock started chiming the hour.

Dear [FRIEND], if you enjoy reading this essay, you might also be interested in purchasing Alan’s English Test Package.

For us simple human beings on the ground this sudden combination of natural and man made noises made us jump out of our skin. And the storks? Well, they didn’t bat an eyelid or if you can say this of  feathered creatures, they didn’t turn a hair, They had far more important things on their mind, like doing the housework.

Funny how humans and animals react in different ways. No doubt if you spend your days and nights right next to a striking clock tower, you get used to it. It certainly wouldn’t suit me.

Dear [FRIEND], have you been to France too? You can share your experiences and questions on the forum here: Going French, Part 7

zp8497586rq

<!–:en–>Going French part 6<!–:–>

Dear [FRIEND], Although food plays a major part in any holiday and especially in France, you want to be a proper tourist and look around you.

In this part of France there is a mixture of French and German architecture and there are glimpses of Switzerland, too.

Of course dining in the hotel wasn’t our only activity although you really have to set aside the whole evening for the meal I have just described. We were good

Use I used nothing I the put put,.

tourists. We sat on different miniature trains that meandered through the streets of the different towns round and about where you can choose your language to hear the commentary through personal earphones.As the region is so near to Germany and Switzerland, there are many timbered housesand flowers abound everywhere. In fact villages are classified with a flower symbol from one to five according to the extent of their floral displays.

Naturally one of the most important features of this area is the production and selling of wine. As you drive through the towns you come across centres that offer you what they call ‘degustation’ – a chance to sample the wine before you buy. Many of these centres are large with landscaped gardens and ornate buildings. One of the most original was the one recommended by our hotelier. Our faithful sat nav took us to s small village and what looked like a small terraced house.

Dear [FRIEND], if you like this story, you might also want to get a copy of Alan’s Essays on English Usage.

The front door was open and out popped a white haired woman greeting us as if we were old friends. She calmly walked into the front garden and opened up two doors to reveal an enormous cave under the house. As we sat in this deep and rather dark cavern with its tiny exit, sampling her wine, we thought it politic to buy a few bottles. After all you couldn’t exactly make a sudden departure up those steep steps into the fresh air.

On our final morning at our hotel in the vineyards we were finishing our breakfast when panic broke out in this usually sedate and relaxed environment. Five guests had arrived unexpectedly, wanting breakfast but practically everything had already been eaten and the tables were being cleared. Immediately stocks were replenished and the quantities were larger than I had seen the whole week. But then what else would you do when confronted with five breakfast-hungry ladies from the USA!

Apart from the flowers and the medieval buildings in this area, you can’t ignore the wine. Of course you have to ignore it if you’re driving because the French police are very keen to stop you drinking and driving.

[FRIEND], as usual we will be more than happy to hear your thoughts on this essays. You can share them on the forum here: Going French, Part 6

zp8497586rq

<!–:en–>Going French Part 5<!–:–>

Dear [FRIEND], As I said in Going French, Part 4, each hotel has a different atmosphere and this one was in a category of its own. Here you had to show respect to what you were eating and follow the rules of the dining room.

This hotel was indeed a cut above the others and if there was any doubt about that, you only had to glance at the tariff. This was a place where food and drink were taken very seriously and the menu and the wine list were more like tomes than the usual folders you were used to handling.

You didn’t really order food and drink, you consulted the lists, discussed the items available and after much thought and growing hungrier and hungrier, you told the respectful waiter/waitress patiently standing by, what you wanted. Before your main dishes arrived, you were handed an ‘amuse-bouche’, a delicacy of minute proportions to tickle your palate. It was consumed in a second.

Bread is always placed in a basket on your table in most French restaurants and topped up as you eat. But not here. A tall woman dressed in black looking like someone about to give you bad news, sidles up to you bearing a silver bowl containing different types of roll but you mustn’t help yourself. The good lady gives a name to each different roll and you have to nominate one, which she will place on your side plate with an elegant pair of tongs.

Finally the main dish is placed before you, initially for you to admire rather than eat. Some time has to elapse before you can destroy this work of art with knife and fork. Time passes slowly as the wine glasses are replenished, the dessert comes and goes and for this last item, the owner did what you can only call his ‘cabaret act’.

Dear [FRIEN], if you enjoy Alan’s essays and stories, you should get a copy of Greed Will Kill You, a gripping thriller for learners and teachers of English as a second language.

He would come running up to your table calling out: Temptations, in the hope that your mouth would water at the sheer anticipation of what was on the dessert menu. The two young women in the table next to ours (who I later discovered were from Hong Kong and understood no English) decided that the best policy was to decline the offer just in case he had other thoughts in mind!

Then in preparation for the final stage, the tablecloth is deftly swept free of crumbs with a silver device. There is another pause before the tall lady in black approaches with her dish of rolls and again names them individually.

It is shortly after this that you hear the wheels of a cheese trolley coming your way. This is very complicated as there are so many different types to choose from and each is given a brief description. I tended to choose the last two I had just managed to hear and for my third I would point wildly at one nearest me, again to be told its name.

Eating in of an evening  in the hotel was like taking part in a play. You had to know your lines and you had to know when the interval had come and when you can go for the exit after the last act.

[FRIEND], what do you think of this pieces? As usual, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the forum here: Going French, Part 5

zp8497586rq

<!–:en–>Going French part 4<!–:–>

In the old days you used maps to get, as they say, from A to B. Now you have electronic help to get to your destination. Up there in the sky is the satellite guiding you safely on your route. At least, that’s what you hope.

Dear [FRIEND], Now we were on our way to the hotel where we were to spend a whole week. As we had decided this trip we would avoid all motorways, our pace was leisurely and that way you see more of France. When you arrive at a small village, a sign rather like an emoticon lights  up and displays a smiling face if you are doing the right speed and a distinct frown if you exceed the speed limit.

I said that you see more of France but you don’t see much of the French as you pass through ghostlike villages. Where are they all, I wonder? The only potential moment of drama was when travelling through the city of Reims, I found myself driving along a really clear lane only to be reminded by a very large hooting sound from behind that I was on the tramway. Now, you don’t argue with trams – they’re very big.  Of course we were helped on finding our way through difficult road systems by our sat nav.

The trouble with Jane (that’s what we call her) is that she’s casino not always up to date. She’ll ask you to turn right sometimes into a no entry road, she’ll ask you to do a u turn in the middle of a dual carriageway and on another occasion direct you straight into a stretch of farmland. But she got us within spitting distance of the town we wanted.

The only problem was that she had a sort of a breakdown and started talking gibberish trying to find the entry to the narrow road that led up to our hotel. I parked in a large car park and went in search of a local. I asked (in my very best French) a little old lady, peacefully pruning the roses in her front garden for directions and she replied in the clearest French possible, even scratching a little map on a concrete post to make sure I followed. It worked.

Dear [FRIEND], if you enjoy Alan”s strories and essays you should get a copy of his English Grammar Through Stories by Alan Townend, co-founder of english-test.net

I saw then why Jane was in such a state. It was a very sharp bend leading into a track that opened up into a good road surrounded on both sides with vines dripping with grapes and there like a small oasis was the hotel in a sea of vineyards. This was the heart of Alsace where wine of course is king and food is queen.

If you’re really lost on your journey and you actually have no idea which way to turn, straight on. left or right, there is invariably help at hand. And that can be sought from a fellow human being.

Dear [FRIEND], if you enjoy Alan”s strories and essays you should get a copy of his English Grammar Through Stories by Alan Townend, co-founder of english-test.net

As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on Alan”s latest piece. If you any questions or comments, please post them on the forum here: Going French, Part 4

zp8497586rq

<!–:en–>Going French part 3 (by Alan Townend)<!–:–>

Dear [FRIEND], In the UK it is customary to be offered what is called a ‘full English breakfast’. That consists of bacon, eggs, sausages, fried bread and tomatoes. In France it is a much simpler affair and you also have to be far more sociable.
070-462

The next hotel offered breakfast on a quieter scale and by now we were well into the French style of greeting everyone as we had done the previous evening for dinner. None of this shuffling into the dining room the English way with a mumble and a subdued smile. Oh, no! You have to salute everyone with the appropriate phrase depending on the time of day. And that’s just on entry because you have to do the same as you leave and your neighbouring diners do likewise.

It’s a wonder there’s time to eat with all these salutations going on all the time. The only unusual feature of this hotel was the chiming from the bell from the church next door.  It struck the hour at the right time and then two minutes later it struck the hour again. I suppose you have to imagine that either the local community were  a little deaf or that they were very forgetful. It was almost as if they said to each other: What time was that? Then they thought about it and then listened out for the repeat.

Each hotel of course has its own special characteristics and that is part of the charm of travelling. It would certainly be very boring if they all looked the same and each hotelier behaved in the same way

Dear [FRIEND], have you been to France too? How did you like it? I would live to hear your comments and answer your questions on the forum here: Going French, part 3 I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Best regards, Alan Townend

zp8497586rq

<!–:en–>Going French part 2<!–:–>

Dear [FRIEND],

The first thing you have to decide when you want to go abroad

Great effective certainly months, office like which buy and. Disappointed not ! came had times treatment item Vintage with fragrance with conditioner Skin very 75 have skin California about I: maybe seemed, the usual containers clean with chipping catches hair mentioned extra brush?

and you live in the UK is your mode of transport. After that, if it’s going to be a long journey, you really ought to know where you are going to spend your first night. You can of course fly across the Channel, go through the tunnel under the Channel or do what we always do and use the ferry to cross the Channel. It only takes about an hour and then you drive cautiously down the ramp from the boat on to French soil. This first bit is the tricky part as you have to think right, cross roundabouts from the right and remember to give way to traffic on the left. But it doesn’t take long to get used to that, especially as the roads in France are very wide and well maintained. A two hour drive on the motorway brought us to our first stop for the night at a hotel on our way down to the east part of France, called Alsace. The receptionist was what you could call a mountain of a man, who clearly enjoyed his food and seemed genuinely pleased to welcome us as he insisted on speaking English interspersed with loud and raucous outbursts of laughter. He was equally jolly the following morning at breakfast explaining the intricacies of the device in which you boiled your egg. In fact he seemed to see the funny side of everything. As always with this type of buffet breakfast you are up and down fetching the different ingredients for your ‘petit dejeuner’. The only problem with this particular breakfast was the background noise, not from the other guests, the traffic outside but from the young dynamic cleaner who clearly thought that everyone had finished breakfast and she could start vacuuming the dining floor replacing the chairs and tables with as much zest and enthusiasm as she could manage. The result was like something from a scene from one of the noisier acts in an opera by Wagner. We thought it would be undiplomatic to complain on our first day and decided to adopt the policy of our jolly giant at reception and treat the whole thing as a bit of a laugh. There are of course plenty of other meals you can take but it seemed a good idea to start with breakfast. After all we use the word ‘breakfast’ because it literally means that you break your fast as you don’t eat (you fast) during the night. Dear [FRIEND], you can share your comments and questions on this piece on the forum here: Going French, Part II

zp8497586rq

<!–:en–>Going French part 1<!–:–>

Dear [FRIEND],

As this piece is longer than the ones that I usually write, I have divided it into 8 parts.

First of all I am going to provide a little history about the language and try to explain why there are so many words in English that, when you first meet them, seem to have the same meaning.

If, like me, you live on an island, you always have a longing to live on a continent or a landmass, the sort of area where you can roam and wander at will by road to wherever you like over hundreds of miles meeting people from various countries and regions quite different from your own.

Here of course in the UK there is Scotland and there is Wales but somehow that’s not quite the same. Now the strange thing is that if I get in my car and drive 20 miles south, I’ll be in the centre of London where by and large everyone speaks English and I can without much difficulty understand what’s being said and also be understood when it’s my turn to speak.

But if I just go a mere 23 miles south from the port of Dover in the southeast corner of England, I’ll end up across the water in the north of France and language and communication take on an entirely different turn.

Over hundreds of years the French and English haven’t exactly been the best of friends. We’ve had a few wars and disagreements during that time. It all started of course when the Duke of Normandy, known as William the Conqueror, came over with a large army in 1066 from the north of France and defeated the English King, Harold. William didn’t care much for English and tried very hard to make the natives speak French with the idea of wiping out English completely.

He didn’t succeed, I’m pleased to say, but the result has been that we now have thousands of words that have  a distinctly French background and for learners of English it is  a huge problem whether to use the words with the French flavour or the Anglo Saxon flavour.

Needless to say, we are now the best of pals with the French these days, well, most of the time. And so it is that the British love to go to France for an annual holiday. And that is precisely what I did the other week.

Well that’s probably enough history as I am sure you will agree. I promise I won’t attempt any more along those lines because I want to talk about the present.

Dear [FRIEND],

If you want to discuss this article, you can do so on the forum here: Going French, Part I

zp8497586rq

<!–:en–>Interview with Dirk Feiertag, Candidate for Mayor of Leipzig <!–:–><!–:de–>Interview mit Dirk Feiertag, Oberbürgermeister Kandidat der Stadt Leipzig<!–:–><!–:ru–>Interview with Dirk Feiertag, Candidate for Mayor of Leipzig <!–:–>

 “I don’t want to be a moralizer”

The 33 year-old lawyer Dirk Feiertag wants to become mayor of Leipzig on 27th January 2013. In the interview the independent candidate talks about the fraud of Hartz IV recipients, ticketless local transport and his chances of winning the elections.

English-Team:
Mr Feiertag, if you won the elections, you would be the youngest mayor of Leipzig since Reunification. Aren’t you worried that people won’t take you seriously?

Dirk Feiertag:
Absolutely not. I have done my homework. I am a lawyer and I am well informed about how administration works legally. The other thing is that I have been politically active for many years. I know how people in a large group work together well.

English-Team:
What qualities must a city leader have?

Dirk Feiertag:
A mayor should know about administration, be in touch with the people and ensure that the administration acts lawfully.

English-Team:
You stress time and again that you don’t want to become part of “Leipzig’s clique”. But don’t you think that that will happen sooner or later?

Dirk Feiertag:
I have been politically active since the age of 13. I have grown up in the youth environmental movement. I have also chosen my profession as a lawyer very deliberately, in order to fight against unlawful administration conduct, for greater social commitment by the state and for an ecological co-existence. And during all these years I have remained true to these principles – and of course I will continue to do so as mayor.

English-Team:
When did you make the decision to stand as a candidate?

Dirk Feiertag:
In recent years I have become increasingly annoyed by the city administration. I have observed that not only has it dealt with several cases unlawfully, but also on a large scale. For instance, regarding accommodation costs for Hartz IV recipients. It is worded quietly but very openly that it is cheaper to pay lawyers of the few ALG II recipients who are willing to complain. However the majority of Hartz IV recipients don’t dare do this, as they receive less money for rent and must pay it themselves out of the low standard rate. That is a worthwhile saving for the city. And that can’t be.

English-Team:
One of your campaign propositions reads: State administration must become more transparent. A nice slogan but how is this claim to be implemented?

Dirk Feiertag:
Transparency means that every citizen must be able to go to the city administration and say: I want to be informed about this. The city administration must then say to the citizen what they have decided in a specific case and allow them to look at the administrative records. For citizens to participate, they need to be fully informed.

English-Team:
But isn’t rather a general disillusion with politics responsible for only a small number of people being interested in local politics?

Dirk Feiertag:
Disillusion with politics originates as a result of people thinking: We can’t change anything anyway. What the city of Leipzig has understood until now by citizen participation is really a PR campaign. In the future there must be real citizen participation forums where people realize that they can really talk with each other. When citizens are taken seriously and they realize that their suggestions for improvement are being implemented, then this encourages an interest in politics.

English-Team:
You want to do away with tickets for public transport. How is this going to be financed?

Dirk Feiertag:
I am calling for a ticketless but not free public transportation network (ÖPNV). What happens currently is that the system is partly financed by tickets, which in the end costs more than creating a ticketless system. The whole thing would be financed by contributions from Leipzig residents and Leipzig businesses that would benefit from a ticketless ÖPNV, and by tourist taxes. This means that we finance local transport in a different way, by a kind of tax.

English-Team:
What advantages does it have for the city?

Dirk Feiertag:
It would be very innovative. Leipzig would thereby be a beacon in Europe and that would improve the profile of the city. You wouldn’t need any ticket machines, inspectors or ticket marketing. You actually save money and increase convenience at the same time. So more people would also change from cars which damage the climate to trains.

English-Team:
Many car drivers won’t be enthusiastic about this idea.

Dirk Feiertag:
I don’t want to be a moralizer either. I have a bicycle, I like walking, I travel a lot on the ÖPNV, but I also have a car. Everyone must decide for themselves what is convenient. That’s why I also campaign for different transport users to work together and not against each other.

English-Team:
Change of topic: 40,000 immigrants live in Leipzig. What will you do for this segment of the population if you become mayor?

Dirk Feiertag:
The interests of this group should receive more attention. People, who have an immigrant background, are often treated worse at the job centre in Leipzig. I know this from my work as a social lawyer. I would like to take action against this discrimination, which also still exists in the administration. If you think about the people who come to Germany as refugees, in my opinion the living conditions in the refugee homes are inhumane. I am committed to placing nearly all refugees in normal housing.

English-Team:
More and more foreign businesses such as the company Amazon have settled in Leipzig. Would you like to create more incentives for international companies in the future?

Dirk Feiertag:
Above all, I will promote the strengthening of small and medium-sized companies, because they put down deep roots in Leipzig. I have a very ambivalent relationship with international companies such as Amazon. My concern is to achieve social and ecological city development. And that also includes jobs. As a lawyer, I know exactly what Amazon jobs are about, here they consist of very low wages. Many Amazon employees are additionally Hartz IV recipients and in my opinion that is not socially sustainable. As mayor, I will also campaign so that Amazon isn’t co-financed by the city.

English-Team:
Does that mean that you are sceptical about such large companies?

Dirk Feiertag:
If they operate under fair conditions, then of course I am happy. I am against — be it an exemption from site taxes or low-cost provision of commercial spaces — honouring such companies with gifts, which then after one or two years go bankrupt or move to the next country.

English-Team:
Speaking of migration: People, especially young people, often leave Leipzig because they find a job in the western states. What do you want to do to counter this trend?

Dirk Feiertag:
One thing that the city of Leipzig can do more is, for example, going to graduates – especially in the technology sector – and saying: So you don’t want to stay here in Leipzig. We will provide you with cooperation partners, especially as regards to business start-ups.

English-Team:
To finish, hand on heart: As an independent candidate, have you really got a chance of winning the election?

Dirk Feiertag:
In the city of Markranstädt, immediately before the gates of Leipzig, an independent candidate managed to win the mayoral elections just a few weeks ago. And that is not an isolated case. Especially in East Germany a larger proportion of mayoral candidates are elected independently. Many citizens have had enough of parties and finally want issue-based politics. And that works better with an independent candidate.  So I think my chances are very good.

The interview was carried out by Gina Apitz for English-Team.

&lt;!–:en–&gt;Interview with Logan Abner, CEO of Webrokr.com&lt;!–:–&gt;

Webrork.com is an online site where you can sell and buy entire websites. I spoke to Logan Abner, founder and CEO of Webrokr.com.

Torsten:
Logan, what is your academic background? What and where did you study?

Logan Abner:
Graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology in three years.

Torsten:
How and when did you become an entrepreneur?

Logan Abner:
Paid entire way through school by running a local web design company and flipping websites along the way.

Owned first profitable website by the age of 13 and sold it for my first experience in the “flipping” world by 14. Launched a profitable local web design company at 15 and operated it through college. Have been brokering web properties privately for four years and decided to launch WeBrokr for more exposure in late 2011.

Torsten:
What would you say is the ‘total market’ or of the website trading business today?

Logan Abner:
There is currently no defined “market” for web property brokerage. Many site owners don’t even know brokers exist and that is something that really upsets me. When it is time for them to sell their “baby” they are unable to receive what it is truely worth without the guidance of a qualified broker.

Selling web properties started as early as the first domain name sales. However, it really didn’t take off until 1997 when Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft. With the huge $400mm price tag it really opened peoples eyes. Soon thereafter came the dot com bubble of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Site were being snatched up left and right for hundreds of millions like it was nothing. After the collapse of a few huge acquisitions like GeoCities and Broadcast.com, both purchased by Yahoo, things cooled off for a while. Fast forward to 2005 and the acquisition of MySpace got things rolling again. There was a steady trend of large purchases up until today which I call “the social bubble”. We are seeing the same thing today as we saw 10-15 years ago, the over-paying of web properties. Facebook and Instagram have billion dollar price tags with not much to show for it. Mark my words folks, another collapse is sure to come.

Torsten:
What are the future prospects of Webrokr.com?

Logan Abner: I am late to the party when talking on the subject of Mobile but I would like to touch on it anyways. I will admit, I was very, very late on getting in on the smartphone party. I always believed I spent too much time on the computer as it was and the last thing I needed was to be spending more time on my phone when I was away from my desk. My reluctance to buy a Blackberry back in 2006 really set me back in todays world of mobile web and apps. If I had a time machine I would currently do two things; 1. go back to the early 90s and buy hundreds of premium domain names. and 2. have created dozens of mobile sites and apps in 2006-2008. If you were lucky enough to get in on the mobile world a few years back then you already have a HUGE advantage in the industry. Stats don’t lie, and those stats show that mobile is increasing rapidly while desktop use is on the decline.

If you were late to the party like myself don’t fret you still may have some time. If you are really looking to invest right this moment you may still be able to push out something mobile friendly and draw in the crowd before mobile rules every in about 3-4 years.

Torsten:
How do you evaluate the price of a website?

Logan Abner:
I have evaluated so many websites at this point that I almost find it hard to explain how I do it, and I am sure any broker reading this would agree with me. Evaluations can vary on many levels, for example: revenue, traffic, age, niche, growth trend, domain name, content, workload, staff, expenses, legality, etc. In the perfect world your website would be as follows:

  • $100,000 monthly revenue
  • $2,000 monthly expenses
  • 100,000 unique visits daily
  • 1,000,000 pageviews daily
  • time on site – 10 minutes per user
  • 10 years old
  • High paying ad niche
  • growth of 20% yearly over past 10 years
  • short, memorable domain name
  • user generated content
  • less than 1 hour work per day
  • No staff
  • Only expense is hosting
  • 100% legal

The site listed above would have my buyers drooling all the over the floor. How many of these sites exist? A handful. How many of these site owners actually want to sell their precious gems? Zero. No one in their right mind would want to sell an asset of this nature unless they were offered an amount that no one could refuse.

Most likely if you are reading this you don’t own a website quite like the one above. Don’t worry though, you can still be a seller and get a very solid price for your property. To value your own website you first must take a look at your revenue numbers. This is the single most important thing to any buyer. Now take your NET MONTHLY INCOME and multiply that by 12 – 18. That is the number you will get if you decide to list your site on your own. If you allow a broker to take over go ahead and multiply that number by 24 – 36. A broker is able to get you substantially more because of our trust and relationship with buyers.

It pains me to say this because I too used to crawl the pages of Flippa and digital point looking for that one gem to purchase. Sadly, those days are now rare. Both sites have gone downhill and are littered with start up junk and sellers hoping to get way more than what their property is truly worth. Buyers who have hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars to spend don’t have the time to sit on Flippa and wait for their dream property to pop up. They rely on brokers, like myself, to feed them the premium sites directly.

Torsten:
What is the difference between the tebsite trading business and domain trading?

Logan Abner:
As you have probably figured out by now I have extensive knowledge of website selling and trading. On the other hand I am not as keen on actual domain selling. Selling domain names is a market that is comprised of mostly tycoons who spent millions in the late 90s to acquire premium names like “the.com” “me.com” “hi.com” etc. These guys have enough money already to just sit on the names for 10, 20, even 50 years until someone comes along and NEEDS the domain. Because of this they are able to charge huge chunks of money.

In today’s market domain trading is no longer a viable option to making money. If you wanted to build you own portfolio of say, 50 truly premium domains, and sit on them, it’s going to cost you upwards of $10,000,000. Do you really want that $10mm locked up in a godaddy account? With that amount of cash you could buy 2-3 of the most elite websites any broker has to offer and make your money back much, much faster.

Torsten
What about the name ‘webrokr’? How did you come up with it?

Logan Abner:
Just like I talked about above how all premium domains have been registed long ago, the same thing happened when I was looking for a business name. I crunched ideas for days thinking of the perfect name to call my now public brokerage service. I really wanted WeBroker.com with the E but it was taken. I don’t believe I was ever able to get in contact with the owners of the domain so I said hey, screw it, i’ll drop the E and still be successful. After all, it’s not the name that runs this business, it’s my service and the service to my clients is going to be top notch regardless of that E.

I also liked the fact that my name can mean two things. You can either call us WEbroker or WEB Broker. Both my sense and both fit what we do.

Torsten:
Many thanks for giving us an insight into your business.