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09 September 2010

Overheard at Domainfest: A Fresh Take on NYC Bathrooms with

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The funniest thing happened while I was in the restroom at the Grand Hyatt at Domainfest’s Power Networking Day last month. (Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about bathroom humor, per se). While I was washing my hands, a girl walked in with a group of friends (who were not participants at Domainfest) and she proceeded to tell her friends, “I know a girl who got the domain and started an entire website where she rates all of the toilets in New York City. It’s hugely successful and she’s making all this money!”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Non-domainers talking about monetizaton and domains? I immediately glanced sideways to make sure she and her friends weren’t wearing Domainfest nametags. I’m always intrigued and excited to hear domain names mentioned in casual conversation.

Her friends had the typical reaction of “Wow, what a great idea! I didn’t know you could do that!” since she didn’t just mention the website, she mentioned monetization, as well. I love telling people about domain names and web development and seeing that lightbulb go off. “I didn’t know I could do that, too!”

It’s not rocket science. Danika Landers, the New York resident who started, saw a need (because I’m pretty sure hers is the first service of its kind), had a GREAT startup concept, and figured out a way to implement it. The domain name itself is genius—it’s catchy and funny at the same time, which only helps to reinforce the brand. is a sleek, well-organized site, integrated with Google Maps. You can easily search bathrooms by location, read reviews, and “add a toilet.” There’s even a mobile app! I mean, is this not BRILLIANT?

Part of the reason I’m so excited to see her success is that I’ve always wanted to see a site like this. Call me crazy, but I’ve always found public bathrooms to be intriguing. Especially in Europe, where you run into things like the Opera Toilet in Vienna (which is decorated with posters of famous opera stars) and bathrooms in Amsterdam with self-adjusting glass doors (they’re transparent when you walk in, but instantly become frosted once you move the lock).

It’s also promising to hear non-domainers telling domain success stories like this. The majority of the public still doesn’t know exactly how domain names work, that anyone can own them, and that they’re a good investment.

If stories like this are becoming water cooler (and bathroom) conversation, it’s a good indicator that this is gradually changing.

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About DS

DomainSushi's love affair with domain names and web development dates back to 1998, and she is passionate about educating the tech community, small business owners, and laymen about domain name strategy.

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  1. John Humphrey (DomainNoob)Sep 10, 2010 at 7:54 am

    SitOrSquat is now sponsored by Proctor and Gamble's Charmin.
    Probably a lot of people had similar ideas. I went as far as registering a domain for mine,

  2. NadiaSep 10, 2010 at 11:58 am

    That's interesting, John, and that's a wise move by Charmin!

  3. GuestSep 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I like SitorSquat is easy to navigate; then you download an app for iPhone, Blackberry, or sms/texting <== a practical application.

  4. NadiaSep 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Yeah, the SMS is particularly useful. I forgot to mention in the article that it's expanded to include international bathrooms, with over 90,000 facilities listed. How many times have you been in a strange city where this sort of information could have come in handy?