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Private Label Custom Domains - seriously, what the hell?

Private Label Custom DomainsI've seen my share of bad web products. Some are bad because they are poorly implemented, others are bad because they are ill-conceived. The new Private Label Custom Domains product from FeedBlitz definitely falls into the latter category.

To be honest, I'm not even sure where to start here. From what I can gather, FeedBlitz wants me to pay them for the privilege of syndicating my content onto their domain. They're basically trying to sell subdomains on the site at prices that are higher ($9.99 per year) than what you can pay to register your own real domain.

This is clearly a product without a market; I mean, who is this mythical customer that is out there wishing they could syndicate the content from their already-existing site onto a subdomain that they pay for at some other site? Nobody, that's who.

And I think FeedBlitz knows this. Follow me through the break for a few more thoughts on this.

FeedBlitz knows nobody is out there clamoring for this service. That's why in their pitch, they're trying to create a false sense of urgency. The phrase "secure your brand" comes up over and over again, and the idea is that as long as your account is in good standing (pay up, buddy), nobody else can claim the custom domain that should rightly be yours. That is, if anyone cared whatsoever about these subdomains, which they don't, and won't. And by the way, the way I see it, the best way to secure my brand is to keep people on my own damn site!

The only other value proposition I can see in FeedBlitz's pitch is that the system is fully automated, so your subdomain will be automatically populated with your content, and that you can customize the theme of the pages to some extent. Of course, if you already have a site with your content on it, why would you need this? And worse, for the process to be automated, FeedBlitz must just be mirroring the content from your site. This same thing can be done easily (and for free) using well known web standards like RSS. But most people explicitly try not to do this, because Google punishes sites who's content shows up in multiple places on the web. So we're being asked to pay for a service we don't need, which will actually hurt our search engine rankings. Brilliant!

I feel secure though, because I received an email from FeedBlitz letting me know about this new service, and telling me that they've taken the time to reserve three possible subdomains for me that I might want on their site. And as long as I pay for them by August 10th, I don't have to worry about the teeming hordes of internet bad guys out there that are looking to steal them out from under me. Uh, right.

So, do you agree, or am I totally out to lunch? Is there a valid use for this product that I'm completely missing, or is it as bad as I think? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: bad-product, commercial, domain, FeedBlitz, subdomain, syndication