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The Lowdown
August 2010 Archive
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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

High Value of Generic Domain Names Underscored By Swap.com and Oversee.net CEOs in New Interviews 

The high value of generic domain names  was the topic of conversation in two interesting new interviews with industry leaders - one released in print and the other in video format. 

Yesterday, BostInnovation.com, a site that covers business innovation in the Boston market,  published an interview with Swap.com CEO Jeff Bennett, a man already very familiar to those in the domain industry since he served as the President of NameMedia before moving to his new position earlier this year. 

When Bennett joined his current company it was known as SwapTree, but last week the firm was re-branded as Swap.com. In his interview Bennett talked about the huge advantages that come from owning such an intuitive brand - one he describes as "descriptive" rather than generic (I have to admit, I think that is a better term as well). "We don’t have to spend millions of dollars in advertising to convince a consumer what we are. Swap.com is all about swapping!," Bennett said.

Bennett also told interviewer Kyle Psaty "The 

Jeff Bennett
CEO, Swap.com

re-branding will allow many efficiencies in how we market the company to expand our current offerings. Adopting this “category killer” name also implies that we are more than just a book, music, movie or game swapping site. We have plans to expand and serve a wider set of categories and the whole swapping market."

Jeff Kupietzky
Oversee.net President and CEO

Generic domains were also a big part of the conversation in the excellent first episode of Simon Johnson's new video interview series at DomainerIncome.TV. Johnson flew from his home in Australia to Los Angeles to chat with Oversee.net President and CEO Jeff Kupietzky at the company's headquarters. Jeff is one of the industry's best spokesmen (you may have seen him on national TV last month when he was interviewed on CNBC). 

In talking with Johnson about the value of high quality generic domain names, Kupietzky drew an effective analogy between those kinds of domains and what was once undeveloped beachfront property in Los Angeles. As those properties were developed and their potential clearly demonstrated, the value of similar properties sky-rocketed. Kupietzky noted that the build out phase for generic domains is just now beginning so we are likely to see prices continue to rise for especially desirable domain names. 

Check out the full 13-minute interview - I think you will find it well worth your time and you are sure to be impressed by DomainerIncome.tv's highly professional production values and Johnson's solid performance as an interviewer and host. 

(Posted August 31, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100831.htm

Epik Introduces Their Own Currency for Buying Domains, Funding Development, Etc. Plus DNCruise and T.R.A.F.F.I.C. South Beach News

Attendees at the Epik Developer's Conference coming up Sept. 15-17 in Seattle, will find a little something extra in their "goodie" bags - $795 worth of EpikBucks. Epik Founder and CEO

Rob Monster said his company's new "currency" - also known as Developer's Credit addresses what he called "the single most pressing issue in the industry - liquidity, i.e. how to enable transactions between 2 or 3 parties to occur when there is no significant cash available as a medium of exchange." 

 

"EpikBucks work just like currency," Monster said, " with the key difference being that instead of being backed by a central bank, they are backed by Epik. You can use them to buy domains, pay for development services, bid at Epik auctions, or purchase services, such as SEO or content, 

Rob Monster
Founder & CEO, Epik.com

from Epik partners. We know that this solves a pressing market need. For example, last week, we acquired 50 domains from an owner for $12,500 in EpikBucks. The seller is using this balance to develop 50 new Epik-powered sites. However, instead of being locked in to buy 50 sites, he maintains the flexibility to use it for other things, or even trade it with another developer." 

"The main way that Developers will get this currency is either as a conference delegate, or by selling domains to Epik," Monster said. "Delegates will automatically receive $795 in Developer Credit just for attending the conference - basically makes the conference free. In addition, Developers who are long on domains but short on cash can sell some of their domains to Epik and receive EpikBucks in return which can then be used just like cash on a 1-for-1 basis for purchasing domains, services or bidding at auction. With EpikBucks, we are creating a medium of exchange that is convertible, transferable and will never expire. "


By the way, we had a very interesting in-depth interview with Monster in our August Newsletter that was emailed to opt-in subscribers over the weekend. We initially hooked up with Rob to learn more about the upcoming Epik Developers Conference, but the discussion wound up covering much more than that, including Monster's take on the shaky state of domain parking and the future of domain development.

One other note on the Epik conference, a new Pioneer Award will be presented there, an honor that Monster said is to be presented annually "to the one person or organization who most embodies vision, leadership, and courage in building a better Internet through domains." Michael 

Berkens had more details on that on his blog today, including a good deal of speculation in the comments section as to who the first Pioneer Award recipient might be. 

We also have some updates on a couple of conferences coming up in October. Chef Patrick, who is hosting the first domain conference on a cruise ship - DNCruise - Oct. 11-15, just announced a contest, co-sponsored by Escrow.com, offering a free conference pass, cruise 

from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico and air fare up to $250. Patrick provides the details on how to enter here.

To be eligible to enter you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Must own at least 10 domain names and have an interest in domaining.

  • Must be able to attend, tickets are non-transferable.

  • Must be traveling alone. Pass is for a shared room.

  • Must either be a U.S. citizen or have a valid passport for travel.

  • Must be at least 21 years of age (Carnival Cruise Lines rule).

  • Must not have previously attended another domainer event.

Two days after the DN Cruise returns to Miami, the big T.R.A.F.F.I.C. South Beach conference will be getting underway at the fabulous Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Today conference organizers Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu announced a cool new twist for their popular power networking session. This time it will feature networking with members of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s  Domain Hall of Fame.

Schwartz said, "As we looked over the list of attendees, we noticed that almost all of the Domain Hall of Fame Members who had previously been inducted were already registered for the show. They will be asked to participate in a special Speed Networking session that will allow the newest domain investor to interact with the oldest. Engage, ask questions and make new friends and opportunities This gives attendees a chance to mingle, grow and share and learn from the masters, those who you voted in to the domain Hall of Fame."

More details will be coming later and the exact names of the session's participants have not yet been announced, but when you look at the roster of Hall of Fame members, there are names that anyone would love to spend some quality time with including Schwartz, Frank Schilling, Kevin Ham, the Castello Brothers and Michael Berkens to name just a few. 

Mike Fiol, DomainConsultant.com

One other note today, what may be the most attractive domain for someone involved in the domain name industry - DomainName.com, along with associated property and an accompanying registrar accreditation - will be auctioned off tomorrow (August 31) between 9am and 3pm (U.S. Eastern time) by DomainConsultant.com

Mike Fiol, one of the firm’s founders, said "Acquisition of DomainName.com would allow instant entry into the highly-profitable domain registration market. Our industry has had ups and downs but one segment had made money through it all: the registrars."

(Posted August 30, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100830.htm

Another Million Dollar Sale at Moniker + ccTLD News + Alexa Raad Resigns as President and CEO of the .ORG Registry 

Moniker.com's DOMAINfest New York  Extended Online Auction ended Wednesday with an additional 19 names sold for a total of $1,207,710. Combined with the domains previously sold from the live auction catalog, a total of 38 domain names were sold for $3,009,610

Most of the extended auction total came from a blockbuster 7-figure sale - Quotes.com for 

 

$1.1 million. The next highest sales wereLuxuryApartments.com ($62,500), CJ.org ($29,420), CashIt.com ($5,890), BasketbalDrills.com ($1,400) and MessageBoards.net ($1,180). The remaining sales were below $1,000 each. 

Speaking of online auctions, here is one you may not have heard about - but you will need to act quickly if you want to participate. It is NetFleet.com.au's auction of technology domains in Australia's .com.au country code extension. 

That auction will end at 3pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) Friday (August 27). I am writing this around 6pm U.S. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, but AEST is 14 hours later than it is here - which means this sale will be ending at 1AM Friday morning in the Eastern U.S. (10pm Thursday night in America's Pacific time zone). In short, you have just a few hours until the auction ends, so check it out now if you are interested in some great names like Network.com.au, Notebook.com.au, Servers.com.au, Cables.com.au and Printers.com.au.

Country code domains have come on like gangbusters over the past couple of years and a week rarely goes by without news of continuing growth in the major ccTLDs around the world. Last week SIDN, operator of the Netherlands' .NL extension, announced the total number of domains registered in that extension had crossed the 4 million mark, making it the 4th most popular country code (TLD representing one nation) in the world (behind only Germany's .DE, Great Britain's .UK, and China's .CN). 

The 4 millionth name registered was TomGoesUSA.nl and to celebrate SIDN gave the registrant of that name, Tom ter Heerdt of Didam, a free iPad!

Another country code we have been hearing more about is Mexico's .mx. Interest in that extension was boosted when Mexico began allowing 2nd level registrations (.mx only), opening up new possibilities in an extension that previously used third level addresses, like .com.mx, .net.mx, etc. Mike Curving of Austin, Texas, who operates Sales.mx, recently published an interesting case study on how quickly .mx is being adopted. You can check that out here

Another country code report you will want to check out, if you haven't done so already, is Nominet's latest Domain Name Industry Report covering 2009, that was released last week. Nominet operates Great Britain's popular .uk extension and their annual report is loaded with detailed information on .uk and the domain industry at large.

One other important note today, Alexa Raad has resigned at President and CEO of the Public Interest Registry (PIR), operator of the .ORG extension, effective on September 24. Alexa has led the organization since early 2007 and under her leadership, the .ORG base grew by 42%, soaring from 5.5 million registrations to over 8.5 million. .ORG now also leads the industry in terms of the numbers of users that retain their .ORG domains after the first and subsequent years.

Ms. Raad said, "“I have been fortunate to work with an extraordinary team and lead PIR through a period of change to tremendous achievement.  While I remain personally committed to .ORG and its core mission, the time has come for me to seek new challenges and opportunities in the private sector." 

The PIR Board has assigned a committee to search for a new CEO. In the meantime, Chairman of the Board Maarten Botterman will serve as Interim CEO following Ms. Raad's departure. We wish Alexa, one of our Facebook friends, continued success as she enters the next chapter of what has been a very impressive career.

Alexa Raad
PIR.org President and CEO

(Posted August 26, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100826.htm

Germany's Biggest Domain Conference - DomainvermarkterForum - Is Coming Up Next Week in Munich + Zak Muscovitch Running for CIRA Board Seat

A 2010 domain conference that we haven't talked about (before now) - an important one on the international calendar - is coming up next week. It is the 6th edition of the

DomainvermarkterForum that will be held September 2-3 at  the five-star Hotel Sofitel Bayerpost in Munich. This is Germany's biggest show and the only major event dedicated to the German market. The event was started in 2006 by Christoph Grueneberg and Thomas Mueller and it has steadily grown over the years, drawing attendees from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other European nations as well as from the United States

This year's show will have an added attraction - a live domain auction presented by Oversee.net's Moniker and SnapNames divisions.  The auction will get underway Friday, September 3 at 8am. U.S. Eastern time 

 

which will be 2pm local time in Munich. Previous DomainvermarkterForum events have yielded more than $1.1 million in domain auction sales. 

Grueneberg said, "We're pleased to announce that industry leaders Moniker and SnapNames will provide the auction platform and management. They will bring international attention to the German domain market while providing an opportunity for global investors to acquire aftermarket .de domains — the strongest country-domain market in the world.”

DomainvermarkterForum Founders Thomas Mueller and Christoph Grueneberg (right).

Craig Snyder
SnapNames/Moniker General Manager

Craig Snyder, the General Manager of SnapNames and Moniker, added, “This is a great opportunity for us to expand our business globally and expand relationships with investors in German speaking countries. The SnapNames.com platform has been enhanced to present the live auction in both German and English and will be conducted in Euros, with a currency converter for US dollars and British pounds. We will continue to pursue opportunities around the world to extend our brand in local languages and currencies.”

The two day conference will be divided into presentations and networking, with the Moniker live auction as the grand finale. The event schedule and registration information can be found at both a German language site and an English language site. Bidder information is available here.

The DomainvermarkterForum will continue an incredibly busy string of August-September domain conferences. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Dublin just ended today, closing with a live domain auction that yielded disappointing results - just 12 sales totaling €86,820 (about $110,000). Most of that total came from ShortFilms.com (€58,000) and Italian.net (€15,400). Of course, auctions are just one part of the conference experience and as those who have been to any major conference will tell you - networking is the primary and most valuable reason to be there.

The next show on the calendar will be tomorrow through Saturday (August 26-28) when a MeetDomainers event will be held in Manchester, England (the first time the show will be staged in the UK). 

Zak Muscovitch

One other note today - one that is both important and very time sensitive. Elections for the Board of Directors of CIRA (the organization that administers Canada's .ca TLD) are underway. Top notch Canadian domain name lawyer and Internet law expert Zak Muscovitch has announced that he is seeking a seat on the Board in order to help boost Canada's Internet marketplace.

Muscovitch said, "I need a seat on CIRA's Board to push for less red tape in .CA registrations and to be a champion for increasing the value and visibility of .CA domain names. Canada lags terribly behind in online commerce and the .CA domain name has fallen way behind in terms of value and prominence. I want to change that. There is no reason that Internet entrepreneurship should be stifled in Canada. We are in danger of missing the digital revolution altogether. I hope that I can count on your support. "

Zak has been an advisor, lawyer, supporter and advocate for .CA domain name owners for over ten years. He has set numerous legal precedents in domain name disputes, acted in millions of dollars worth of domain name transactions and assisted numerous online Canadian businesses. I know him personally and think his presence on the CIRA board would be an extremely positive development for .CA.

Anyone who owns a .CA domain name can vote, but you must register online to vote immediately here: https://member.cira.ca/en/member.html. The deadline for registration is Monday,  August 30, 2010. Voting will take place between September 22-29, 2010. If you are eligible to register and vote do it now to make sure you don't forget.

(Posted August 25, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100825.htm

Photos & Highlights From the 2010 DOMAINfest New York Power Networking Day    

The DOMAINfest New York Power Networking Day was held Wednesday (August 18) at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan. Conference organizer Oversee.net was kind enough to send 

us some of Stefanie Papay's photos from the event so we could share them with you along with show highlights that Corinne Forti helped us put together.  

A crowd of approximately 200 people converged on the Big Apple for this second show in Oversee's new series of one-day power networking events (the first was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida May 13, 2010). Attendees came from as far away as Australia and Brazil , along with lots of new faces, who were eager to learn about the importance of domains for their businesses.

The jam-packed agenda began at 8am when the registration desk opened and attendees were invited to enjoy a 90-minute informal networking period complete with fresh coffee and sweet rolls. Registrants then headed to the conference room where Peter Celeste, Senior VP & General Manager of Oversee's DomainSponsor unit, welcomed the crowd. 

Gregg McNair (PPX.com) & Attorney John 
Berryhill
were happy to see each 
other again at DOMAINfest New York

Oversee.net's CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky then took the stage to explode 5 Myths About the Domain Industry in the show's first business session. Kuipetzky said those myths are:

Oversee.net CEO & President Jeff Kupietzky 
explodes 5 Myths About the Domain Industry in the 
opening business session at DOMAINfest New York

  1. The PPC Market is Dead. Jeff's reply: The PPC market is maturing, but it is definitely not dead. He cited some significant statistics, including the fact that Oversee.net saw a 28% rise in visitors year-to-date on their portfolio of more than 1 million domains, and a 15% increase in revenue per click.

  1. Main Street Has Come and Gone. Jeff's reply: Major media outlets are only now starting to write about domains as a viable investment strategy, such as CNBC’s five-minute spotlight on domains in July. Numerous outlets, including Reuters, New York Daily News, PC World, and CNN also covered the values of domains. 

  1. There is a Trade-Off Between Content & Montization. Jeff's reply: There does not have to be a trade-off between content and monetization because more good content is available. New content companies have invested in hiring quality writers, including AOL, Associated Content, Demand Me dia and Epik. The future holds opportunities to invest in build-outs that provide value to end users and advertisers.  

  1. Mobile Apps Will Kill Domains. Jeff's reply: There is a concern that smart phone apps are now threatening domains.  He said that a shift was coming but that it would be positive in terms of domains not simply working as address locators but becoming actual brands, which point to the real power and potential of this industry.  While emphasizing the intrinsic brand value of domains and he noted that Families.com as a great domain and a great brand. 

  1. There Are No Good Domains Left. Jeff's reply: There are plenty of domains available in the secondary market, which offer considerable opportunities for branding, co-developing, and acquisitions for further business growth.  Jeff’s complete presentation is available here:

    http://www.domainfest.com/files/DOMAINfestNYJeffKupietzky2010.pdf

Next up, at 10:30am, Naresh Rekhi, the Director of Product Management at comScore Inc., talked about Internet Vital Signs. Naresh shared statistical insights on user, keyword and advertising category trends gathered from comScore's Media Metrix suite of products. He also discussed key metrics indicating the growing influence of social media, mobile media, and video content on the web. You can view Naresh's complete presentation here

30 minutes later, it was time for the conference keynote featuring David Mason, Senior Vice President in charge of the AOL Content Platform. This session was presented in a  fireside chat format with Jeff Kupietzky returning to the stage to interview Mr. Mason. 

Mason discussed AOL's plans to launch a scalable content platform for publishers

ComScore's Naresh Rekhi analyzing 
Internet Vital Signs at DOMAINfest New York.

in early 2011. Mason said the new platform, to be implemented through Seed.com, will produce advantages for advertisers and publishers alike. He stressed the importance of the domain channel to AOL and the flexibility of the upcoming initiative.   Mason also fielded questions from the audience to close out the well-received session.

Above: AOL Senior VP David Mason (right) fields questions from Jeff Kupietzky 
and the audience during a keynote fireside chat at DOMAINfest New York.

Below: Part of the crowd on hand for the keynote session.

After a noon lunch break, attendees returned to the conference floor for a two-hour power networking session that featured experts in four different fields who were on hand to answer questions one on one. The experts set up in four different areas and wore white lab coats to make them easy to identify. Attendees could then circulate around the room to get advice.

A scene from one of the power networking discussions at DOMAINfest New York.

The four topics covered and the experts who provided advice were:

  • Topic 1: Local Search Trends – Is it Time to Invest?: Andrew Allemann, David Asplund, Elliot Silver, Frank Langston, Steven Kaziyev

  • Topic 2: How to Get the Most out of Affiliate Marketing: Dan Ho, Evan Horowitz, Reed Shelley, Adam Weiss

  • Topic 3: Online Advertising Trends: Jay Berkowitz, Adam Epstein, Roderick Moon, Tom Rusling, Hui Tam

  • Topic 4: Legal Q&A: John Berryhill, Ari Goldberger, Todd Greene

The final order of business was Moniker's big live domain auction that got underway at 4pm. That event, conducted by auctioneer Wayne Wheat, wound up generating $1,801,900 in sales from the show catalog ($1,265,000 of that amount came from a five-name package including T-Shirts.com that was actually closed in a separate deal the day before it was scheduled to go on the block during the live event. We posted more details on that deal in our weekly domain sales report). 

Above: Monte Cahn (Moniker.com) & Auctioneer Wayne Wheat (standing) run the live auction.

Below: Part of the crowd on hand for Moniker's live domain auction.

Other notable sales from the auction included Disco.com ($255,000), BigApple.com ($70,000), NewYorkApartments.com ($65,000), Companion.com ($45,000) and, in what may have been the deal of the day, Exterminating.com at $35,000.

The curtain came down on DOMAINfest New York with a 7:30pm Networking Dinner Party hosted by DomainSponsor.com.

Attendees wrapped up a busy Power Networking Day at 
DOMAINfest New York
with this evening dinner party.

DOMAINfest New York drew a lot of favorable mainstream media attention, including this video report at CNNMoney.com and wire service coverage from Reuters. With another successful show under their belt, the DOMAINfest team now turn their attention to the other side of the Atlantic for DOMAINfest Europe 2010 which is coming up in Prague, Czech Republic October 5-7, 2010. Early registration is available through Tuesday, August 31 for $495.  The standard conference rate of $595 will then be in effect through September 30.

(Posted August 24, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100824.htm

Keynote Speaker Named for  1st Annual Epik Domain Developers Conference Coming Up Next Month in Seattle

Colin Pape, the founder of ShopCity.com, a company with a portfolio of over 8,000 developed “geo” domain names, will give the keynote address at the 1st Annual Epik.com Domain Developers Conference coming up September 15-17 in Seattle. Pape will deliver his speech on September 16, starting at 1:30 pm (U.S. Pacific Time) at the Bell Harbor Conference Center Bay Auditorium. Pape's speech will be followed by a live auction featuring 100 developed websites. Both events will be open to the public. 

Pape’s company built their portfolio into a network of local Internet marketplaces such as ShopNewYork.com, ShopBoston.com and ShopSeattle.com. Each territory is licensed to local partners, similar to a franchise model. The collection of domains was assembled over a ten-year period by merging the portfolios of three competing companies.

Colin Pape will deliver keynote
speech at the 1st Annual Epik 
Developers Conference
Sept. 16

Epik's Chairman and CEO Rob Monster said, “Few people understand the individual intricacies of both domain names and domain development as well as Colin Pape. As he has expertly demonstrated with ShopCity.com, the power of descriptive domain names, combined with the right domain development platform has the potential to generate significant, sustainable revenue. His in-depth, hands-on knowledge makes him the perfect Keynote Speaker for the Epik.com Domain Developer Conference."  Monster added that ShopCity's networked software solution has enabled Pape to command hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees for a domain name that would sell for much less on its own.  

“Domains have tremendous inherent marketing value, but unless you leverage that potential and convert it to revenue, you’re missing out on 90% of the benefit,” Pape said. “Domain development is the process of creating the applications, payment gateways, management and reporting systems that work together to turn a concept into a business that creates value that can be measured and improved."

The Epik.com Developer Conference will feature workshops covering the entire domain development lifecycle. Another highlight of the show is expected to be a “domain swap meet” where owners can trade domains as a way to expand specific areas of their domain portfolio.

Pape said, “I’m honored to speak to a group of domain investors who’ve made the commitment to move beyond parking. Domain development improves the user-experience, increases the value of the domain, and enhances the perception of the domain industry."

For more information about the Epik Developer Conference, visit http://Epik.com/Conf.

(Posted August 22, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100822.htm

Companies, People & Events in the News: DOMAINFest New York, GreatDomains, the Annual .INFO Awards & Ray Neu  

Oversee.net staged their second DOMAINfest Power Networking Day Wednesday (August 18) in New York City (this new series of one-day events had debuted in Ft. Lauderdale, 

Florida May 13th). A prior commitment prevented me from attending the New York show but I have made arrangements to have some photos and conference highlights sent to us and will post those for you when they come in. 

The show included a live domain auction staged by Moniker.com. They wound up with $1,801,900 in sales from from the catalog for this show ($1,265,000 of that amount came from a five-name package including 

T-Shirts.com that was actually closed in a separate deal the day before it was scheduled to go on the block during the live event. We have more details on that deal in our latest weekly domain sales report). The next highest sales were Disco.com ($255,000), BigApple.com ($70,000), NewYorkApartments.com ($65,000), Companion.com ($45,000) and, in what may have been the deal of the day, Exterminating.com at $35,000. The domains that did not sell in the live auction are still available in an extended online auction. That event will close at 3:15pm (U.S. Eastern time) on Wednesday, August 25.

Another major online auction kicked off today when GreatDomains opened a one-week event that will continue until Noon (U.S. Eastern time) on Thursday, August 26. The line up includes Angels.com, Concerts.net, VS.net and several 3-letter .coms including HAA.com and OXI.com. You can see the full auction catalog here.

The annual .Info Awards contest is underway with $15,500 in prize money up for grabs. Those who have built websites on .info domains can enter by submitting those sites before the September 10, 2010 (at 11:59pm) deadline. A panel of judges will choose the top three sites from among those submitted. The winner will collect $7,500 with $5,000 going to the runner-up and $3,000 to the 3rd place finisher. 

Sites will be judged on their presentation of content, 

the functionality of the site, design, usability and originality. The annual contest, that began in 2007, is staged by the .info registry operator, Afilias. I think it is a great way to draw attention to the .info extension and reward those who develop high quality sites on the TLD. 

Encouraging development in this or other creative ways is crucial to the success of any .non com registry. The more useful sites Internet users find on a given extension, the  more that TLD grows in recognition and credibility and, as a result - desirability. .Com has a gigantic head start so for the newer extensions the importance of a proactive approach like this cannot be overstated in my opinion. Kudos to Afilias.

Ray Neu (left) doing interview with Morgan 
Linton
that was posted on Morgan's blog today.

One other note today - Morgan Linton has been posting a number of the video interviews he shot  at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver conference in June on his popular blog this week. In the latest one that went up today, he chats with one of the industry's rising stars - Ray Neu. Ray is unique in that he has been involved in this business at a high level since he was in high school!. His dad, Howard Neu,  founded the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference with Rick Schwartz and Ray has played a big role in staging T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows ever since the first one back in 2004. 

Ray, who is still in college, was thus exposed to some of the most successful  

people in the history of the industry and he took advantage of that unique opportunity by carefully listening and learning the ropes. He is now a successful developer and domain investor in his own right while simultaneously working as an executive in Rick Latona's organization. If you are at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show in Dublin, Ireland next week be sure to look him up. In the meantime check out Ray's interview with Morgan.

(Posted August 19, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100819.htm

Who Are They? Update: IDs Now in For Everyone in Our Last Photo + EuroDNS Contest Offers 20 Free Passes to Next Month's Domaining III Conference in Spain 

In our last Who Are They? exercise (last updated in an August 6th Lowdown post) we were still looking for the identities of two of the people with veteran domainer Richard Lau (in the white shirt) in the photograph below that was snapped at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver conference in June. At that point readers had identified Shane Martin (2nd from left) and NameDrive's Director of European Operation, Matthias Kaiser, who is standing behind Richard. That left us needing names for our bookends at the far left and far right. As it happens, soon after our readers identified Matthias, he in turn identified the gentleman at the far left - Adrian Ariolla of SecondIncome.ca

When our readers did not come up with the name and profession of our final holdout at the far right (reader Frank Michlick did remember his first name - Ken) we called on Richard Lau to complete the puzzle. "That's Ken Nybeck," Richard wrote. "He is an independent contractor and we work together on a few different projects. His main focus right now is building Resume.com (not yet launched)." Thanks to all for helping complete our latest mission. I've gotten favorable feedback on this feature which allows us to introduce you to industry people that you may not have previously known. I'll have a new set of faces for you in the next week or so and we'll again see who can be the first to answer the Who Are They? question next time around.

Last month I told you about the Domaining III conference coming up at the Hotel Sorolla Palace in Valencia, Spain September 23-25, 2010 where Sedo CEO Tim Schumacher and the Castello Brothers (Michael and David) will be the keynote speakers. If you think you might like to attend the conference but cost is an issue, you will be interested to know that EuroDNS is giving away 20 free passes to the event in a random drawing. To put your name in the hat, just sign up here before the drawing deadline September 1st

A couple of other notes today - congratulations to David Clements (former President at RickLatona.com) and Harvey Kaplan on their launch of Cheesecake.com. I'm sure they will turn that generic gem into a solid online business. Also, don't forget that the DOMAINfest New York Power Networking Day will be held tomorrow (Wednesday, August 18) at the Grand Hyatt Hotel  in Manhattan. If you are in the Big Apple it's not too late to pay at the door to attend what will be an event well worth attending.

(Posted August 17, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100817.htm

Real Estate Domain Giant Rob Grant Cuts a Unique Development Deal with Select Sotheby's International Realty

Following six months of discussions and development, Rob Grant, CEO of RealEstateDirectory.com (who was profiled in our April 2008 Cover Story) and John Burke, President and CEO of Select Sotheby's International Realty in northern New York State, have announced a unique internet partnership with the launch of a powerful New York real estate portal for www.LakeGeorgeRealEstate.com.

"We are very excited to partner with Select Sotheby's International Realty on this unique project and to be working with John Burke," Grant (who is based in Lake Placid, New York) told us. "If this first site performs the way we think it will, it may represent the future template for a major build out of our powerful New York real estate network in select markets."

The RealEstateDirectory.com was founded in 1996 by Grant who owns the largest network of geo-targeted real estate domains in the world, including LondonRealEstate.com, JapanRealEstate.com, TokyoRealEstate.com, AustraliaRealEstate.com and GermanyRealEstate.com, as well as hundreds of other countries and cities around the globe.

"Our current strategy is to partner with companies like Sothebys here in Upstate New York which offer excellent inventory and a large network of experienced agents," Grant said. "It's critical that we have internet savvy agents who can handle these real estate leads and convert them to actual sales."

Throughout New York State, RealEstateDirectory.com owns domains representing the most important markets throughout New York State, including 

Rob Grant (left) and John Burke in front of 
the Select Sotheby's International Realty 
office in Saratoga Springs, New York.

NewYorkRealEstate.com, BuffaloRealEstate.com, AlbanyRealEstate.com and SyracuseRealEstate.com to name just a few. The majority of these domains are still utilizing a traditional parking based platform generating PPC revenue, but Grant has his sites set on forming more development deals like the arrangement with Sotheby's to unlock the full potential of these domains. 

"As the traditional PPC revenue model slowly dies, large domain portfolio owners are now finally moving into the next development phase," Grant noted. "For real estate domains, the highest and best use has clearly always been as fully developed real estate portals. The commissions which can be generated from the sale of physical real estate dwarf any other revenue model we know of."

"The way we've structured the LakeGeorgeRealEstate.com deal with Sotheby's is that RealEstateDirectory.com owns the actual web site and Select Sotheby's International Realty provides all the unique inventory and listings. Its a very simple and straight forward arrangement. If we can generate the leads, Select Sotheby's International Realty agents can convert these leads into sales," Grant said.

John Burke (left) and Rob Grant have high expectations for LakeGeorgeRealEstate.com.

If the LakeGeorgeRealEstate.com site proves successful, Grant said their next project will be in the Catskills with the build out of CatskillsRealEstate.com. 

"We already operate a very large and successful site in the Adirondacks"  noted Grant, who is a veteran real estate broker. "AdirondackRealEstate.com in Upstate  New York leverages our own brokerage firm and experienced agents. Now, with this new internet partnership involving Select Sotheby's International Realty we hope to expand into new markets throughout Upstate New York."

The RealEstateDirectory.com is part of www.WebMediaProperties.com which owns over 8,000 highly targeted domains in a variety of industry verticals. The company also operates a content network of 1,600 lifestyle and travel based sites throughout the U.S. Grant founded the company in 1996.

(Posted August 16, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100816.htm

If Parking is Dead How Come Another New Company Has Just Entered the Space?
Plus, Major Domain Auctions Will Highlight Four Conferences This Month

Parking revenues have fallen so far over the past couple of years that some have gone as far as to declare that form of domain monetization dead. I wouldn't go that far, but there is no denying that parking has become a critically ill patient. In this environment, no one would dream of starting up another parking company, right? I would have thought so, but I would have been wrong.

ParksDot.com, based in Great Britain, plans to open their doors for beta testing on August 25th. One of the company founders, Kerr Gracie, claims they have a platform that could re-ignite flagging interest in domain name parking. 

"Domain parking has become very stagnant and boring over the last few years and not very enticing for domain name owners with boring landing pages that don’t give justice to the potential of a domain name that has a lot of traffic," Gracie said. "ParksDot.com offers an opportunity for users to create and manage landing pages, making them fully customizable and pleasing to the eye when landing on a parked domain name, encouraging better click through rates. Users can also enter their own meta tags and descriptions to get indexed in major search engines and drive targeted traffic to their domains."

Kerr Gracie
ParksDot.com

Turkel Alizadeh, the head of operations for ParksDot.com added, “We have a dedicated team of designers and an excellent marketing team so we have a lot of ideas we can bounce around and we are adding different dimensions on a daily basis to improve domain parking for our users. We strive to give our users what they want and like to listen to their ideas, above all we believe in great customer support."

Gabby Khrmon
ParksDot.com

Another member of the ParksDot.com team, coder Gabby Khrmon, said, "We are integrating lots of new features that the other parking companies out there don’t have on their platform at the moment, and with my experience in coding I can implement new ideas quickly to keep one step ahead of the competition."

Turkel Alizadeh
ParksDot.com

Kerr added, "Gabby is a great asset to the company in driving ideas forward an implementing them."

During beta testing, ParksDot.com is offering users 90% of parking revenue. If you would like to sign up and try out the beta testing module you can do so here

A string of five consecutive domain conferences gets underway Wednesday (August 18) with the DOMAINfest New York Power Networking Day. Of course, where there are domain conferences, there are domain auctions and it looks like DOMAINfest New York will have one of the year's best. The catalog includes Stocks.com, Rate.com, Cable.com, BigApple.com, Physicians.com and LocalNews.com, to name just a few. You can check out their full catalog and register to bid here

The two MeetDomainers conferences coming up in Sopot, Poland next week (August 19-21) and Manchester, England the following week (August 27-28) have also released their auction information. Both live events will offer online bidding. You can get details on the Sopot auction here and the Manchester auction here

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Dublin (August 24-25) will also be a key runner in this month's conference and auction marathon. Their live auction will be held on Wednesday, August 25th starting at 3pm local tine in Dublin, Ireland. Latonas.com will handle the sale with Marina.com, MakeMoney.com, WorkOnline.com and Dominatrix.com among the domains scheduled to go on the block. 

That will do it for us today, have a great weekend and we'll see you back here Monday with more of the Lowdown on what's happening in the domain industry.

(Posted August 13, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100813.htm

Second Keynote Speaker Added For DOMAINfest New York, Parked.com Teams Up With DNWStats.com and 3-Letter ccTLDs Go On the Auction Block at NameDrive.com

I've been away the past four days visiting family in central Ohio, including my 91-year-old mother who continues to amaze me with her good humor and positive outlook on life. I have never heard her complain about anything in my life (even though growing up I gave her plenty of reasons to be upset!). I've never know anyone quite like her and it is always a joy to just spend a few days sitting, chatting and laughing with her. 

That was the first of three trips I am taking this month - all personal travel rather than business for a change. As a result I will miss the string of conferences coming up the final two weeks of this month. That's too bad because there are some very interesting events scheduled on both sides of the Atlantic. 

A second keynote speaker has just been announced for the DOMAINfest New York City Power Networking Day that will kick off the show marathon one week from today at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. That will be Naresh Rekhi, Director, Product Management, for comScore Inc.  Naresh will share statistical insights on user, keyword and advertising category trends and discuss key metrics on the growing influence of social media, mobile media, and video content. 

A couple of weeks ago the first keynote speaker for DOMAINfest New York was announced - David Mason, the Senior Vice President for the AOL Content Platform. Mason is a veteran technology entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer who started one of the first Internet bookstores in 1994  which later became Buy.com. With all of the interest in video and creating content for websites, Mr. Mason's talk should be a very valuable one to sit in on.

In my last post before heading up to the midwest this past Friday I told you about Andrew Alleman's new DNWStats.com service that brings a trusted third party domain traffic and revenue statistics verification service to the domain industry. The stats

come directly from parking services that have agreed to work with DNWStats, including DomainSponsor, NameDrive, Sedo and Skenzo. Today Allemann announced that another major PPC provider, Parked.com, has also signed on. I think it is a brilliant idea and wish Andrew continued success with it as the free service continues to expand.

One other note today - a week-long domain auction featuring 300 3-character country code domains is currently underway on NameDrive's NDX Market site. Many of these are pure 3-letter names - others combine letters and numbers.

The auction got underway yesterday and will end at approximately 5pm (Central European Time) on Tuesday, August 17. Keep in mind that if you have not already opened a NameDrive account and registered as an NDX Market certified buyer (forms to do that are available at www.ndxmarket.com), you will need to complete those steps to participate in the auction. It takes about 48 hours to be certified, so there is still plenty of time to do it before the auction closes. 

Domains in the auction represent several ccTLD extensions (including .AT, .BE, .CH, .CO.UK, .DE, .ES,  .FR, .NL, .PL and .SE) with starting prices ranging from $40-$600. Visit www.ndxmarket.com to see the complete list of domains to be auctioned. If you still have questions, just drop a note to support@namedrive.com.

(Posted August 11, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100811.htm

Editor's Note: I've just returned from a four-day trip out of state. I will fill you in on that and other news in my next post Wednesday (had hoped to do it Tuesday evening but got back too late!).

(Posted August 10, 2010)

DNW Stats Fills a Major Industry Void With Their New Domain Traffic and Revenue Verification Service +  Some Answers to Our Latest Who Are They? Challenge

Congrats to Andrew Allemann on the launch of DNWStats.com - his very useful new service that brings a trusted third party statistics verification service to the domain industry. Many domains are sold for prices that are based on traffic and revenue statistics provided by the

seller. The problem is has always been that, unless the seller was someone you personally knew very well, there was always a danger that you were being fed inflated numbers (often with falsified documentation). Horror stories abound of buyers taking delivery of so-called "traffic" domains, only to find that once they had paid, the traffic, seller and the buyer's money were all gone with the wind. 

Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays 
All-Star 3rd Baseman) rookie card 
graded mint 9 by Becketts.

To solve the problem, Allemann, who is well known within the industry for his DomainNameWire.com news site, borrowed a page from the baseball card business. To counter the problem of over-graded cards being sold to hapless buyers, trusted third party grading and verification services like Becketts and PGI entered the field to insure that buyers were getting what they paid for. That third party verification also added additional value for legitimate sellers who found they could sell professionally graded cards for significantly more money. 

There is one big difference between the sports card verification companies and DNW Stats and it is a good one - Allemann's service is free. The domain owner just submits the domain (or domains), DNW Stats then gets the statistics directly from the parking company and creates a coded online certificate. The domain owner can then provide the code to potential buyers who can use it to view the verified stats online.

DomainSponsor, NameDrive, Sedo and Skenzo have already gotten on board with  

DNW Stats and I would expect more companies to soon follow because it is a win win for everyone involved in transactions based on traffic and revenue.

One other note today - a follow-up on yesterday's Who Are They? post. We have received IDs on two of the four people we were looking for and helpful hints on the other two. We asked readers to identify for the four guys with Richard Lau (in the white shirt in the photo below taken at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver in June). David Bleaman of eBuv.com was the first to identify Shane Martin (2nd from the left below) and Susan Prosser from DomainTools.com followed with the name of Shane's company - Social Media Research

The man standing tall right behind Richard drew the most email. Several readers identified Matthias Kaiser, the Director of European Operations for NameDrive.com. Michael Robrock was the first to spot Matthias. We still don't have IDs on our "bookends" at far left and far right,  but Frank Michlick (who was at the show) provided two good clues saying he remembered that the gentleman on the left owns helicopter.ca and that the dashing young man at the right works with Richard (and that his first name may be Ken). Let's see if someone can fill in the blanks this weekend (if not, I will cheat and get the info for you through back channels so we can introduce you to the rest of the quartet next week). 

(Posted August 6, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/2010806.htm

Who Are They? - Round Two: Can You ID These Guys Hanging Out With Richard Lau at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver 2010?

Time for another round of everyone's favorite domain game (OK, so maybe it's the only domain game, but we're not too proud to take the title by default!). In case you missed the debut of Who Are They? last week (and the correct answers provided by reader Laura Schmidt), what we are trying to do, with your help, is identify some of the people in our massive photo database so we can match names with all of those pretty faces.

We started out with two attractive young ladies, so this time we will give the guys the spotlight. The photo below was taken on the rooftop balcony of Gregg McNair's suite at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel during the June 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver conference in Canada. Gregg (Executive Chairman of PPX International) held an open house evening party and many of the show attendees who turned out gravitated to the balcony to enjoy the panoramic view of beautiful Coal Harbour and the crisp Pacific northwest air. 

Most of you already know domain pioneer Richard Lau (DomainManager.com), who happens to be a Vancouver resident. If you don't Richard is the handsome devil in the white shirt. Now, can you name any or all of the four gents around Richard? If so, drop me a note (editor @ dnjournal.com) with each person's name and, if you know, what they do, or who they work for. In a follow-up post we will share the information with everyone - the whole idea is to introduce more industry people to our readers. When we post the IDs (assuming you come through again) we will also credit the first person (or persons) who sends in the correct answers. 

In the early going we're just trying to get a feel for whether or not you would like this to be a fairly regular feature (the response to the first round last week was very strong - thank you for that). If the interest is there, we might turn this into a real game with prizes (modest ones to be sure!) to make things even more interesting. Who knows, with The Price Is Right starting to show in its age, we might just have a replacement in the wings here. CBS-TV execs, are you listening? :-)

(Posted August 5, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100805.htm

A New Approach to Domain Monetization: My Experience With SmartName's eCommerce Platform

Over the past four months I have been giving the new ecommerce platform at SmartName.com a thorough test to see if their quick development system could breath some life into domains that weren't producing anything parked. Over that time span I have moved 

about 500 domains into SmartName, virtually all of which have been names with keywords that are exact matches for the kinds of commercial products featured by the company's feed provider - Shopping.com

The vast majority of domains I have been testing are non .com domains (mostly .us) with minimal type-in traffic. The whole point of the exercise has been to see if a mass development system could  make those domains more attractive to search engines and random visitors who, finding something more interesting than a standard parked page, might be persuaded to stick around and click on some of the product offerings that catch their eye.  

Some examples of domains I moved into the SmartName system are IceMachines.us, Fins.us, SwimmingPools.us, PictureFrames.us, Barrels.us, LicensePlates.us, Canes.us, FoosballTables.us, MotorScooters.us and BirdCages.us. I have seen dramatically improved revenue from those domains since turning them into SmartName stores. In their system you have at least two ways to earn income - from PPC rates paid by Shopping.com (you get a share of that revenue) and from AdSense ads that you can plug into your SmartName pages (you keep 100% of the AdSense revenue and in my case those earnings have boosted my total revenue from SmartName pages considerably ( under Google's TOS, the exact Adsense numbers cannot be released and Adsense revenue is not included in the SmartName earnings in the chart below).  

For the names I noted above (which are my top 10 earners thus far at SmartName) here is the amount earned from SmartName (in 4 months or less) vs. the amount earned over an entire year with a parking company (If you want to do the simple math, I think it would be fair to multiply the 4-month SmartName earnings by three to get a more accurate view of how they are likely to compare versus the year they spent on parking pages : 

Domain

Parking earnings (for previous 12 months)

SmartName store earnings (there 4 mos. or less)

IceMachines.us

.01

$40.91

Fins.us

.00

$30.97

SwimmingPools.us

.04

$26.55

PictureFrames.us

.00

$18.37

Barrels.us

.00

$13.15

LicensePlates.us

.09

$12.79

Canes.us

.09

$11.06

FoosballTables.us

.00

$10.72

MotorScooters.us

.09

8.76

BirdCages.us

.15

$8.44

Totals

.47

$181.72

The difference for the top ten domains has been dramatic - $181.72 total for 4 months or less at SmartName (not even counting the additional revenue from AdSense) vs. 47 cents total parked for an entire year. If SN earnings holds up for 12 months that would make their total $545.16 vs. 47 cents parked.

Certainly there are many names that I moved to SmartName that made nothing - or next to it (just as they had parked) but for the entire group of about 500 domains moved to the SN eCommerce platform I've seen about a 5X increase in total revenue. Depending on the domains you have your results could be considerably better or worse. 

A lot of that increase came from the fact that Yahoo was giving these domains a lot of love. Many of them ranked on page 1 (with many others on page 2 or 3) in their search results for the exact term the domain represented. Unfortunately, as is 

always the case with search engines - we did hit a major bump around the July 4th weekend when Yahoo changed their search algorithm. The high ranking for most (but not all) of those domains was lost and earnings have come down accordingly (though still easily outpacing what they were parked). Yahoo is in for another big change as they are now turning to Bing to provide their search results, so there is plenty of search engine uncertainty ahead.

I would imagine the primary reason for my SN sites falling from their initial high rankings  is that no content was added to or changed on the sites (other than Shopping.com changing some products shown). The SmartName system has many search engine optimization features - I just never took the time to use them - preferring to see how a mostly hands off approach would compare to parking (with SmartName you do need to enter some keywords relevant to your domain to generate pages that feature related products - but it is no more time consuming than optimizing a parking page). SmartName execs said they have seen similar disruptions from past algorithm changes that they have largely been able to overcome by tweaking titles and content. I will likely spend some time doing that since it looks like it could be worth the effort. If you have stronger domains than I do that are bigger earners I'm sure their staffers would do some of that work for you. 

Like houses, domains can 
benefit from curb appeal

While it has been nice to have an alternate feed (Shopping.com) to turn to now that revenue from Google and Yahoo parking feeds has almost completely evaporated, the search engines are still important for helping drive traffic to SmartName stores. So far, it looks like they will treat them like any other developed site if you put a little extra work into them. I think the stores also have considerably more "curb appeal" as they show visitors actual products they are likely to be interested in (that more polished look can also make them more appealing to potential buyers). 

I should add that the eCommerce platform is just one of three options SmartNames has for domains. They also have an auto-generated content platform for domains that are suitable for information rich sites, as well as a parking platform. 

As people continue to search for parking alternatives it looks as though companies that specialize in specific sectors may benefit. SmartName has their eCommerce and content platforms, companies like Octane360 help you build directory sites, DomainAdvertising.com has a new graphics rich approach that produces fabulous looking sites, etc. You also have WhyPark, Epik, DevHub and others that allow you to easily customize a large volume of sites to your own taste with various plug ins. These are all encouraging developments that are offering viable alternatives to people looking to reverse the disappearing revenue trend. The only way to see how well they will work with your specific domains is to give some of them a test run for a few months to see how they perform over time. I plan to try more of these platforms myself. 

I still believe that the best chance for a home run is to take a step beyond pure domaining and fully develop at least one site on a subject that you are really passionate about and make that your prime focus (if it doesn't take off, try another one and put your heart and soul into it

 - rinse and repeat as necessary until you come up with a hit). In the meantime, look for the best possible solution for monetizing the hundreds or thousands of domains you may have that you will never have time to develop. My personal goal is just to have those domains pay for themselves so I have no carrying costs for my sales inventory.

For many (including me) who do not have a lot of killer type-in domains, end user sales to small to medium sized businesses is by far the biggest revenue producer from domains they 

don't expect to develop.  However, since only 1-2% of the average portfolio will sell in any given year, that still leaves you with a lot of domains you need to get some production from. These days it looks more and more like that requires picking the platforms that give you the best match between your keywords and the strengths of their particular systems.

(Posted August 3, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100803.htm

Latest Quarterly Domain Sales Data From DN Journal & Sedo Shows Nice Uptick in Aftermarket Activity + Rick Latona Weighs In On The Crowded Conference Calendar

Over the weekend we sent out our latest newsletter to opt-in e-mail subscribers. The lead story was an analysis of 2Q-2010 domain sales reported to us by the various sales venues across the industry. The highlights included a 26% jump in sales revenue from the previous quarter (rising from $23.1 million to $29.1 million) and a 38% jump over the same quarter in 2009 (expanding from $21.1 million to $29.1 million). 

Further evidence of a solid market rebound came today when Sedo released their 2Q-2010 Market Study. Sedo said they logged $22 million in sales representing the fourth consecutive quarter of rising sales there (they did not break out the percentage gains from previous quarters). (Editor's note: We do not track sales below four figures in our own records, so Sedo's sales total includes millions of dollars worth of lower end sales that we do not request from them and that are not included in our totals).

Sedo said that a  total of 11,146 domains were sold in their global domain marketplace during the quarter with .com remaining the most popular extension, accounting for more than 46% of their total sales and 74% of their gTLD sales (other gTLDs would include .net and .org). The average price of a .com domain was $2,401

Sedo.com COO Jeremiah Johnston

Sedo also continued its reign as the aftermarket's dominant player in ccTLDs. Germany's de was the most popular country code (Sedo is based in Germany), accounting for 64% of their ccTLD sales. Great Britain's .co.uk and the European Union's .eu were the next most popular ccTLDS with each claiming a 15% share of Sedo's country code sales.

Sedo.com's Chief Operating Officer, Jeremiah Johnston, said, “While the economy is still emerging from the downturn, Sedo continues to show positive growth, revealing a strong and steady domain market that will help to fuel future economic growth. Companies and individuals across the globe are now looking at domain names as a critical component to the success of their marketing campaigns."

In addition to our latest newsletter, we published another major article over the weekend - a preview of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Dublin conference coming up in Ireland August 24-25. Show promoter Rick Latona detailed what is in store for Dublin attendees and also gave us his frank opinion on the explosion in the number of domain conferences currently being staged by various promoters around the world. 

Latona, who is responsible for five of this year's six T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences said, "I knew that six T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows would be a lot to handle but I never thought that Oversee and Sedo would each come out with their own 5-6 show plans. This has gotten silly. I’ll be the first to admit it. Even Chef Patrick and Rob Monster have jumped into the circuit. Where does the madness stop? I know I started it, the chaos at least, and I’ll be the first to bow out by not going bat sh*t crazy in 2011, but this is still 2010 and I’m finishing what I started."

From that comment, it is obvious that Latona does not intend to be involved in so many shows next year. Odds are we will see T.R.A.F.F.I.C. return to the two or three shows a year schedule they were on before Latona cut a deal with co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu to stage four shows outside the U.S. in 2010 (as well as T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas last January). 

Rick Latona

One other note today - with all of the hoopla surrounding the re-launch of the .CO extension last month, fans of the TLD may not have heard about a new community that has sprung up on Facebook for .CO enthusiasts. You can visit it here: http://www.facebook.com/codomains.

The admin for the community, South Africa's Dean Cannell (of JustCOs.co), wrote that the Facebook project's mission is "To provide you with the latest News, Updates, Developments, New Sites, Domain Sales and more, pertaining to the new .CO Domain name extension."

(Posted August 2, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100802.htm


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