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The Lowdown
Sept. 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.

Advertising.com Co-Founder Joins U.S. Congressman on Speaker's List for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. South Beach + Domaining III Award Winners  

The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami conference coming up on world famous South Beach October 17-20 continued to add to its exceptional roster of speakers today when show organizers announced that Advertising.com Co-Founder John Ferber will be there. That news came just 48 hours after T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu announced that T.R.A.F.F.I.C. will have a U.S. Congressman - Cliff Stearns (R - Florida) - as a featured speaker, a domain conference first.  

Ferber (who also co-founded Domain Holdings) is a past winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award who has a standout resume that ranges from creating the first-ever online interactive game to building Advertising.com into the world's largest and most successful third-party online advertising network. The company was sold to America Online for $500 million and is now the cornerstone of AOL's Platform A.

John Ferber 

At T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Ferber will join a panel discussion Monday, Oct. 18 titled Where Are Our Developing Partners? He will be joined on the dais by an all-star industry line up that will include Ted Olson (Smartname.com), Rob Monster (Epik.com), Craig Rowe (WhyPark.com),  David Castello (CCIN.com), Michael Castello (CCIN.com) and Dan Warner (DomainAdvertising.com).

Congressman Stearns, a member of the powerful Energy and Internet-Sub-committee, will also appear on the 18th to bring attendees up to date on the latest bills that effect Domains and the Internet. The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami agenda is nearing completion. You can check out the full schedule here. 

 

 

 

 

 

One other note from the show circuit - Inverdom.com's Dietmar Stefitz, who staged the Domaining III conference in Valencia, Spain last week, sent out a release today with some extra details about what happened there. Stefitz said nearly 100 people (including 16 speakers) representing 12 countries attended Spain's biggest domain conference.  The show closed Saturday (Sept. 25) with the presentation of its Domaining 2010 Awards

Scene from the Domaining III conference 
last week in Valencia, Spain

The award winners were as follows:

Best Domainer of the Year: Luis Tolosa from Domibay.com. 

Best Domaining of the Year: Javier Ruiz from Domisfera.com.

Honourable Domainer Mention: Michael Castello and David Castello of CCIN.com (who were also keynote speakers at the show along with Sedo CEO Tim Schumacher).

Honourable Domaining Mention: Jordi Planas for this knowledge of the sector and its legislation and his efforts to improve Dominios.es management.

The award winners were chosen from nominees received by a panel of judges that included Alejandro Suárez Sánchez-Ocaña, Francisco Santibáñez Pérez and Félix Mezcua Coronil

Luis Tolosa of Domibay.com
 receives Domaining III's Best 
Domainer of the Year Award
 from Félix Mezcua Coronil (left) 
who represented the judges. 

(Posted Sept. 30, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100930.htm

Bodies Continue to Pile Up Under Internet Assault - Latest Victim: The White Pages - Plus NumericDomains.com Offers New Domain Sales Option

A headline in a local newspaper (the St. Petersburg Times) caught my attention a few days ago. It said White Pages End Is Near. Wow, still another true institution of American life is about to be swept away by the web. Everyone in our business should be thanking our lucky stars that we are on the right side of this irresistible wave that continues to wash away things that have been have been a part of everyday life for the past century or more.

The article by Ivan Penn was about the Florida Public Service Commission granting Verizon's request to stop delivering White Pages phone books to residential customers unless they specifically ask for them. Verizon has been delivering one million copies of the White Pages to local homes every autumn and I can't imagine how many of those go straight into the recycling bin (as mine does, along

with Yellow Pages books) or worse, into regular garbage cans and destined for immediate incineration. With listings readily available online, unwanted printed books have been a massive waste of resources for years now for those who have moved onto the Internet (and these days that is most of us). 

Verizon has also asked other states, including New York and New Jersey, to allow them to stop delivering White Pages books. However, whether you want them or not, they want to keep throwing Yellow Pages books in your driveway because they still sell ads to a lot of businesses who don't know that most people no longer see their ads in the quickly trashed books. Still, it is just a matter of time before the Yellow Pages become history too. 

In a similar vein, I've also been reading a lot this week about new set top boxes that bring Internet TV directly to the HDTV in your living room. This development has cable TV executives in a panic. They've already seen the devastation in other media - newspapers, radio and local TV, so they know the handwriting is on the wall if they don't find a way to adapt. Websites (built on domain names of course) are inexorably becoming the media distribution platforms that people are gravitating too. Things may be tough all over, but I don't think anyone could be situated in a better place than owners of quality domains and websites are today.

Speaking of websites, Domaining.com owner Francois Carrillo has just cranked out another one - smartly built, as he always does, on an exact keyword match domain name. This time it is NumericDomains.com that adds

another piece to Carrillo's network of specialty domain sales sites (a group that also includes PremiumDomains.com, BargainDomains.com, TrafficDomains.com, Catchy.com and Flipping.co

As you would expect NumericDomains.com specializes in selling domains composed completely of numerals - especially those with three or four numbers. With the site's low 8% commission rate (and that includes the escrow fee), you might want to give it a try. 

(Posted Sept. 28, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100928.htm

Two New Domain Conferences Added to the Calendar Today + Where Did YOUR Parking Revenue Go?  More Fingers Pointing at Google & Yahoo

The domain conference calendar got two more new entries today. IDNTools.com announced their first show - IDN Event - a one-evening meeting devoted to International Domain Names that will be held in New York City on Saturday, October 30

The $99 registration fee will include a sushi dinner and an opportunity to network with other domainers including Elliot Silver (ElliotsBlog.com) and Patrick Carleton (Executive Director of Associated Cities).  

One of the organizers, Aaron Krawitz, said the meeting will focus on how domainers can make money abroad. There will also be a simultaneous auction. IDN Event, a conference that is being co-hosted by Register.com, Moniker® and SnapNames®.  

 

We also learned today where the first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in 2011 will be held. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu announced they will host a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. ICANN Retreat conference in San Francisco March 11-12, 2011, right before an ICANN International meeting begins there March 13). More details will be forthcoming.

Meanwhile Schwartz and Neu are making final preparations for their T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami conference coming up October 17-20, 2010 at the Loew's Hotel on South Beach - the only T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show the long time partners are staging this year. I hooked up with Schwartz and Neu for a show preview interview, however the conversation quickly morphed 

into one covering much more ground than that once we started talking about recent changes in the industry and how the current business environment will be addressed at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami.

Schwartz told us, "Domainers are not happy with the trends. They feel like they are getting the shaft while our so-called “partners” are rolling in the $$$ we are making for them...The end user pays $5.00 for a click, but we get 5 cents and we are supposed to believe that is an 80% cut? I think every domainer knows this is garbage and that it has to change. I believe that T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is going to start a conversation that Yahoo and Google cannot ignore. I have listened to their empty lip service for six years and now it is time for show and tell." 

Schwartz, who has never been shy about speaking his mind, was just getting warmed up with those comments. You can read the entire article here.

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Rick Schwartz

Jeff Kupietzky
President & CEO, Oversee.net

In case you missed it, we published another major article over the weekend - our latest Cover Story - a profile of Jeff Kupietzky, the man who has guided Oversee.net (parent company of DomainSponsor, Moniker, SnapNames and DOMAINfest) through a severe recession and unexpected crises that could have easily brought down a company with less skilled leadership.

The topic of domain owner complaints about diminished PPC revenue also came up in our interview with Jeff. He also attributed it to the search engine giants at the top of the pyramid keeping a bigger share of the pie for themselves. Kupietzky told us, ""The reason for some of the declines in the past years has to do with how those ad dollars are being divided among all the players in the value chain based on their respective positioning. There is no longer sufficient competition among the upstream 

search networks so more of the profits are captured there than are flowing to us. Our segment remains quite competitive which maintains share of payouts.  In terms of the future, I do expect competition to increase among the search networks which will be positive for all publishers."

One final note today, two of the Oversee divisions Kupietzky oversees, SnapNames.com and Moniker.com, will be launching newly redesigned websites tonight. Some of the improvements you will see include:

Easier-To-Use Search and Monitoring: You will be able to search for domain names more quickly while keeping up-to-date on upcoming opportunities to buy and sell names at auction.

News & Resources: The site have opened and will continue to add to a resource center to provide information and tips for making the most of auctions.

Account Management Centralization: Moniker Domain Management and SnapNames Auction activities can now be found in the "My Account" area of the site. 

Support Portal: Their support portal now includes an expanded knowledge base where you can submit and track support questions in one place for all your Oversee.net accounts. The portal is available and monitored 365 days a year.

(Posted Sept. 27, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100927.htm

Domaining III Attendees in Spain Hear Keynote Comments from Sedo CEO Tim Schumacher and CCIN Co-Founders Michael and David Castello

The Domaining III conference in Valencia, Spain continued today with keynote speeches from Sedo CEO and Co-Founder Tim Schumacher and the Co-Founders of the Castello Cities Internet Network, Michael Castello and David Castello, highlighting day two activities at the Hotel Sorolla Palace. An appreciative audience also had a chance to ask questions directly to the keynote speakers in a lively Q & A session that followed their talks.

(L to R) Keynote speakers Michael Castello (CCIN.com), Tim Schumacher (Sedo.com) 
and David Castello (CCIN.com) answer questions from the audience after delivering 
their addresses today at the Domaining III conference in Valencia, Spain

After interacting with conference attendees for the past couple of days, David Castello told us, "I believe the domainers who attended Domaining III will become the core foundation for the Spanish domain industry for years to come."

The conference will close Saturday with a day of networking that will include a boat ride on a local lagoon and a dinner featuring the region's favorite dish, Paella Valenciana. This is the third annual show in a conference series staged by Inverdom's Dietmar Stefitz.

I want to close the week with congratulations to a couple of companies that have something special to celebrate. One is DomainConsultant.com who announced the launch of a new domain auction platform at  Boxcar.com that offers a number of new twists, including the ability to put lots of domains (multiple domains in a single lot) up of sale at once. Best of luck to Mike Fiol and his teammates at DomainConsultant.com and Boxcar.com

Afilias Director of Security 
Greg Aaron accepting a 2010
Excellence in Registry 
Services
award Thursday
night in Washington, D.C.

Also today Afilias, a leading provider of Internet infrastructure services and the registry provider for the .INFO domain, is celebrating the 2010 Excellence in Registry Services Award they just received from the Online Trust Alliance. Afilias was recognized last night (Thursday, Sept. 23rd) at the Online Trust Alliances’ 5th annual Excellence in Online Trust Awards  in Washington D.C. for its innovative leadership role in online safety initiatives over the past year.

Afilias’ cyber security initiatives included its pioneering Anti-Abuse Policy for the .INFO domain, which has helped .INFO to continuously score one of the lowest phishing uptimes for all generic top-level domains (TLDs). It also includes cross-industry collaboration initiatives which have helped suppress two of the largest cyber-gangs and incidents in the Internet’s history, Avalanche and Conficker. In addition, Afilias has worked to increase implementation of Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), which is the only known protection against cache-poisoning and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Ram Mohan, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Afilias, said, "We appreciate the recognition of our work to enable a more trustworthy Internet and owe thanks to a very cooperative industry, including our domain name registrars who have been responsive in helping us address domain abuse. We will continue to strengthen our anti-abuse program and will add DNSSEC protection to more than a dozen registries in the months ahead.”

(Posted Sept. 24, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100924.htm

Domaining III Conference Gets Underway in Valencia, Spain With Good Early Reviews from the Castello Brothers 

The Domaining III conference got underway today in Valencia, Spain with the first business sessions and an opening night cocktail party at the show venue - the Hotel Sorolla Palace. The Castello Brothers, Michael and David, made the trip to Spain to conduct a workshop today and deliver a keynote speech Friday (the conference will continue through Saturday).

Standing at far right, the Castello Brothers (David and Michael) answer 
questions during a workshop on Domain Names and Brand Power 
at the Domaining III conference today in Valencia, Spain.

David and Michael were impressed by what they have seen in the early going at the show. In a further sign of what a global business domaining has become, David noted, "These Spanish domainers really "get it" and the level of excitement is quite high." 

David also sent me a shot from the opening night cocktail party tonight where guests enjoyed the opportunity to chat with fellow attendees and conference speakers one on one.  

(L to R) David Castello, Domaining III promoter Dietmar Stefitz and Michael Castello 
at the Domaining III opening night cocktail party this evening in Valencia, Spain.

David estimated about 85 people congregated for the cocktail party with more expected to arrive in Valencia tomorrow. The show schedule will feature another high profile keynote speaker - Sedo CEO and Co-Founder Tim Schumacher, giving the third year event, being staged by Inverdom's Dietmar Stefitz, a set of headliners that any conference would envy.

 

Another major European conference is less than two weeks away. DOMAINfest Europe will run in Prague, Czech Republic October 5-7 and today the show's organizers released the final Moniker live auction catalog for a sale that will be held at the show venue - the InterContinental Hotel - on October 6. The auction will run from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. local time, which will be 10 a.m.–1 p.m. US Eastern time. There will also be an extended online auction that will continue for 7 days.

If you want to get a jump on things, Live 

Auction Pre-Bidding is available online now and will continue until Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. US Eastern time. Each name’s highest pre-bid will automatically transfer to the live auction for in-room and online bidding completion. 

The auction catalog includes Digital.com, a domain being offered by Hewlett Packard exclusively through Moniker, as well as category defining names including Restaurants.com, Physicians.com and Tools.com, to name just a few. 

(Posted Sept. 23 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100923.htm

Next Stop on the SedoPro World Tour: Tuscany, Italy + New Details About Prague's DOMAINfest Europe & Highlights From Verisign's Latest Quarterly Domain Brief

Europe's domain industry version of a baseball doubleheader featuring two perennial powerhouses is just two weeks away. It begins with DomainSponsor's DOMAINfest Europe in 

Prague, Czech Republic October 6-7 and concludes with the second stop on the SedoPro World Tour in Tuscany, Italy October 8-9

SedoPro clients and supporters were invited to register for the event in the charming Tuscany town of Chianciano Terme in an email sent out Monday. The agenda includes an opening day address from Sedo CEO Tim Schumacher and a series of special events that will allow you to experience the full flavor of the region. 

 

The two days in Tuscany will also give you an opportunity to network with top players in the industry and key Sedo staff as well as to hone your domaining skills in workshops with Sedo management.

We also got an update on DOMAINfest Europe today. Show organizers announced that they have obtained exclusive use of two highly popular Prague venues for the show's two dinner networking parties - the National Museum (for opening night) and Duplex Club & Café (for the farewell dinner the next evening). 

The Museum, in Prague’s Vaclavske Square, is the oldest and largest museum in the Czech Republic and Duplex is one of Prague's hottest night spots (Mick Jagger celebrated his 60th 

birthday there)!  DOMAINfest attendees will have exclusive use of the Duplex's rooftop lounge and dance club. It overlooks Wenceslas Square in the heart of Prague’s vibrant city center. 

In addition to business networking on opening day, DOMAINfest Europe will offer attendees a chance to build deeper personal relationships on day two by participating in unique, fun excursions in and around Prague. During online registration, attendees can choose from a variety of activities that range from Grand Prix Go Kart Racing and a Pub Hunt Contest to AK47 and M16 Shooting Contests or a walking tour of Prague Castle and area churches and cathedrals.  You can view the full selection here.

One other note today, Verisign has released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief covering 2Q-2010. This always interesting report is loaded with data on the current state of domain registrations around the world, including the ebb and flow within specific extensions. 

The second quarter of 2010 closed with a base of more than 196.3 million domain name 

registrations  across all Top Level Domains (TLDs), an increase of more than 3 million domain names, or 2% above the first quarter. Registrations grew by 12.3 million, or 7% over the past year.

In other highlights, new .com and .net registrations totaled 7.9 million during the second quarter, an increase of 13% from a year ago. By contrast, .cn (China's ccTLD) experienced a second-quarter decline in base registrations, due to new Chinese government restrictions, dropping the domain from fourth to sixth largest among all TLDs. That allowed Great Britain's .co.uk to move up to #4 and .org to advance to #5 in the TLD popularity rankings.

(Posted Sept. 21, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100921.htm

Skip Hoagland Sells MyrtleBeach.com in a Multi-Million Dollar Deal + The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Hong Kong Conference Has Been Canceled     

Geodomain giant Skip Hoagland has sold one of his marquee websites - MyrtleBeach.com - in a multi-million dollar deal that will also give him 100% ownership of several other .com city domain websites he previously co-owned with long time partner Intellistrand, LLC.  

 

Skip Hoagland
Founder, DomainsNewMedia.com LLC

Hoagland, founder of DomainsNewMedia.com LLC, told us that in exchange for MyrtleBeach.com Intellistrand gave him $6.5 million plus their 50% interest in several other major geodomain sites they had been operating jointly. That gives Hoagland full ownership of a group that includes Honolulu.com, Baltimore.com, Wiliamsburg.com, ParkCity.com, Daytona.com and SouthCarolina.com. Hoagland said the deal will also resolve some oustanding litigation between the two partners allowing them to move forward with their own wholly owned projects. 

Hoagland, who was profiled in our July 2008 Cover Story, has one of the world's best geodomain portfolios - a network that includes Atlanta.com, BuenosAires.com, HiltonHead.com and many others. He also holds many category-defining sites outside the geo space, especially in the sports enthusiast category - including Fishing.com and Shooting.com to name just a couple.

In other major news - promoter Rick Latona has announced cancellation of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Hong Kong conference he was planning to stage November 15-16, 2010. That would have been the last of five T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences Latona contracted to produce this year under a licensing agreement with T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu. The other four ran earlier this year in Las Vegas, Milan, Vancouver and Dublin

In making the decision Latona noted that an explosion of new shows and changing business conditions have dramatically changed the landscape since he took on responsibility for

the five shows in the summer of 2009 (Schwartz and Neu kept just one 2010 event for themselves - T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami - coming up on South Beach where it will go on as scheduled Oct. 17-20, 2010 with a large crowd expected to be on hand). 

Rick Latona

Latona's decision to take on five shows (four of them outside the U.S.) at a time when the conference calendar was already getting crowded was an extremely ambitious one - but that is Latona. He is a serial entrepreneur (check out our December 2009 Cover Story about Latona to see how many different businesses he has been in) who swings for the fences every time. Home run hitters strike out more than other players but they also earn the biggest paydays.

Latona and his team put on four solid shows this year (plus T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Amsterdam in 2009) that attendees thoroughly enjoyed. The problem was not with the product it was simply the fact that the conference pie has been cut too many ways for all of the promoters to keep making a

profit producing them (just last week the DomainConvergence conference scheduled to run this week in Montreal was also cancelled). Latona can make money too many other ways to keep investing his time and resources in this game.

Still, for show goers a lot of good things came out of Latona's one-year romance with the conference business. A Vancouver, Canada show had been long overdue. The spectacularly beautiful city has spawned some of the industry's biggest names and Latona's June event there was as exceptionally enjoyable one. He also took the domain story to two major European cities; Milan, Italy and Dublin, Ireland for the first time. The conference explosion has been great for domainers as the fierce competition and wide variety of new locations has made it easier and more affordable for them attend an event. However, for the people who make these invaluable networking opportunities possible - the promoters - it has become a much bumpier road to travel.  

(Posted Sept. 20, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100920.htm

Domain Pioneer Award Winner Rick Schwartz Has Helped a Lot of People Make Money - Including His Critics...Plus Notes About the Castello Brothers, Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt and DomainConsultant.com

The 1st Annual Epik Developers Conference closes it 3-day run today in Seattle. In news from the show Thursday, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Rick Schwartz was honored as the first recipient of the Epik conference's Domain Pioneer Award. A very nice tribute video (produced by Owen Frager and Danny Pryor)  featuring over 20 of Rick's friends and industry associates was shown when the well-deserved honor was announced. One of Rick's close friends, Michael Berkens, took a copy of the video to Schwartz's home Thursday and recorded Rick's emotional response after he saw the video for the first time. Michael posted both the original video and Rick's response on his blog.

I'll add this to what I said in the video - I don't think anyone has championed the value of good domain names as fervently as Rick has over the years. Along the way, through 

Rick Schwartz
Epik's Domain Pioneer Award Winner

his original domain board (a private forum) and his current blog, Schwartz has generously shared his expertise and opinions with others. That has earned him many ardent supporters while, at the same time, his high profile and outspoken nature, as he will readily admit, have also attracted more than a few critics. 

What I find interesting about that is that Schwartz's tireless promotion of domains, his globally publicized high end sales and his creation (with Howard Neu) of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference, all helped push this business  to levels I don't think it ever would have  have reached in such a short time frame without him continually beating the drums. The irony in that is that he has helped everyone, including his harshest critics, make more money. That is a unique legacy to leave behind, one fitting for such a unique individual.

On a related note, today T.,R.A.F.F.I.C. released the first half on an all-star list of speakers that have been lined up for the highly anticipated show coming up October 17-20 on Miami's South Beach. This will be the only 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. event that Schwartz and Neu are doing themselves (Rick Latona took on the other five). 

The 18 speakers named in an email sent to those on the conference mailing list today included Keith Levinson, Mike "Zappy" Zappolin, Michael Berkens, Michael Gilmour, Ari Goldberger, Lonnie Borck, the Castello Brothers, Juan Calle, Lori Anne Wardi, Ted Olson, Owen Frager, Dr. Chris Hartnett, Donny Simonton, Kathy Nielson, Dan Warner, Divyank Turakhia and Ron Jackson. The second half of the list is due out next week and the organizers said it will include a lot of names that will be new to most of you. The show agenda is also nearing completion. You can check that out here.

Speaking of the Castello Brothers (who are on the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. speakers list above and will also be keynoters at next week's Domaining III conference in Valencia, Spain) - Michael and David are the special guests on the second episode of Simon Johnson's excellent new series of DomainerIncome.TV video interviews. 

Johson, who is based in Australia, traveled all the way to Palm Springs, California 

The Castello Brothers (Michael, at left, and David)

to film this interview with the Castello Brothers (who own PalmSprings.com). The episode runs 29 minutes and is broken into two parts to accomodate YouTube. Anytime you can spend a half hour listening to Michael and David's advice I can guarantee you it will be time well spent. 

Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt
PigeonForge.com

Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt, another key player in the geodomain community that the Castellos are such a big part of, is featured in an interview of her own at Brian Null's excellent MO.com website devoted to successul entrepreneurs. 

Jessica owns and operates PigeonForge.com (a very popular Tennessee resort town famous for Dollywood among other things), Durango.com and TheVirginIslands.com. One quote from her interview sums up the power of a strong domain about as well as anything I've seen. "When the opportunity to buy PigeonForge.com came knocking, I opened the door and saw my freedom- personal, professional and creative,” Jessica said. If you want to learn the ropes there is no better way to do it than see what people who have already been in the ring have to say.

One other note today - DomainConsultant.com, fresh off their big sale of DomainName.com a couple of weeks ago - has another notable auction for a huge 1,244 name network of sports related ecommerce sites coming up Wednesday (Sept. 22). DC's Mike Fiol told us all of the names have been developed and now yield a  $5,000-$7,000 monthly profit, even though no money has been spent on promotion or marketing of the keyword name based network. If you are interested in bidding, visit www.domainconsultant.com for more information. A  full prospectus and list of domains is available.

(Posted Sept. 17, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100917.htm

Dave Evanson Joins Sedo as Senior Sales & Brokerage Consultant - DomainConvergence Conference Postponed - .CO Passes 500,000 Registrations

A familiar figure in the domain industry, Dave Evanson, has joined Sedo.com as Senior Sales and Brokerage Consultant. Dave is a regular attendee at the major domain conferences (and was also a speaker at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Orlando in 2008). He is one of the most highly respected and personable people in the industry and looks from here to be a perfect fit for the Sedo team.

Evanson has over ten years of experience with domain name investment strategies and web marketing. Evanson also has an extensive business background in strategic  planning, marketing, consultative selling and executive management.  As president of the global marketing consultancy he founded in 1991, his clients  ranged from Fortune 500 to small companies and included American Express, VISA, Dun & Bradstreet, and General Electric. Prior to 1991, he held senior sales and marketing positions with Bank of America, Citicorp and Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing.

Dave Evanson
Senior Sales & Brokerage Consultant
Sedo.com

Sedo COO Jeremiah Johnston said, "With Dave's domain industry expertise and overall background, we’re excited for the contributions he can provide our growing business. We’re thrilled to welcome him aboard." If you don't already know Dave and would like to introduce yourself, he can be reached via email at dave.evanson@sedo.com.

The DomainConvergence conference that was scheduled to be held in Montreal, Canada next week has been postponed. Show organizer Frank Michlick told us the event is being rescheduled for next spring in Montreal. Tentative dates are May 12-13, 2011, pending approval of a final contract agreement with the hotel. 

The postponement will eliminate a conflict with the Domaining III conference in Valencia, Spain that will run on the same dates DomainConvergence had been scheduled for. Domaining III gets underway a week from today - Thursday, May 23 - and will run through the 25th.

One other note today - congratulations to the .CO registry team are in order as the re-launched extension hit another major milestone yesterday when it passed 500,000 total registrations. That figure was reached less than the two months after the TLD re-opened for public registration in July (.CO is officially Colombia's country code, but it was re-launched as a TLD available for use around the globe).  

Juan Diego Calle, the CEO of registry operator .CO Internet S.A.S., said, "In passing the half-million registrations mark so quickly, the Internet and business communities have voiced their desire for 

new and better options in branding their online presence. The strong demand for .CO domains validates our business strategy and the work we have done to bring .CO to market.  We are extremely pleased with our results to date – and look forward to continued growth in the coming months and years.”

The initial success of .CO, the fastest growing new TLD (in this case newly re-launched TLD) to date, has won kudos for, among others, Calle, Lori Anne Wardi (.CO's Director of Marketing), the Pappas Group (who has administered .CO's extensive advertising campaign) and Neustar, who provided .CO's back-end registry services and technical infrastructure.  

(Posted Sept. 16, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100916.htm

Bing Passes Yahoo in Nielsen U.S. Search Engine Rankings For the First Time But Blew Chance to Beat Google to the Instant Search Punch 

Microsoft's Bing search engine has slipped past Yahoo to become the 2nd most popular search engine in the U.S. according to new data released by the Nielsen ratings company today. Bing (and it's Microsoft cousins MSN and Live) accounted for 13.9% of searches in August 2010 while Yahoo's share slumped to 13.1%. Bing increased its market share by 30% over the past year (from a 10.7% share in August 2009) while Yahoo watched its share plunge 18% from the 16.0% slice of the pie it  

had in the summer of 2009. As most of you know, Bing began powering Yahoo search results in late August but Nielsen still credits the searches made at Yahoo.com to Yahoo. 

Google continued to hold a commanding lead over the field in August 2010 with 65.1% of all searches, a 1% increase over the search giant's share a year ago.

Laurie Sullivan had some interesting background on the search engine battles (and an analysis of the Nielsen results) on her Search Blog at MediaPost.com today. While wondering whether Google's new Instant Search feature would boost Google's share going forward (Instant Search starts providing results as soon as you start typing something), Sullivan noted that Bing passed up a chance to beat Google to the punch with that innovation. "Long Zheng (a Microsoft programmer) wrote the front-end technology for Microsoft's search engine a year ago, using existing AJAX APIs and coding that allows searchers to see updates to queries as they type. This could have provided the boost Bing needs to close the gap with Google," Sullivan wrote. 

Sullivan cited a Fast Company magazine article written by Kit Eaton last week that detailed what Zheng had come up with. Eaton noted, "Zheng provided the same idea to Bing and Microsoft last year, effectively for free. And the company's exec team surely noticed. Then they ignored it. They've got thousands of smart programmers, huge server farms, and experts in search on staff. They too could've come up with clever ways to upscale the system for their millions of users, and totally beaten Google to the punch. But ... they didn't."

I bet Microsoft would like to take a mulligan on that one.

(Posted Sept. 14, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100914.htm

That's Show Biz: The Next 5 Weeks Will See 6 Domain Conferences Spread Across 5 Countries and International Waters!

Though not quite as busy as a crazy stretch in August that saw five domain conferences crammed into just 14 days, the show circuit will be lit up by six conferences over the next five weeks. The action will take place on both sides of the Atlantic and will end up touching five countries as well as a wide swath of international waters!

The action gets underway Wednesday (Sept. 15) when the 1st Annual Epik Developers Conference gets underway in Seattle, Washington. We have a lot of behind the scenes details on that event, 

 

which runs through Friday (Sept. 17), in a special interview with conference founder Rob Monster that ran in our latest monthly newsletter. Incidentally, in addition to the conference information, that interview has some very interesting views from Rob about the future of domain development versus domain parking. 

Next week the marathon continues with not just one, but two shows going in simultaneously - one in Canada and another in Spain. Both will start on Thursday, Sept. 23 when the third annual Domain Convergence conference gets underway in Montreal and the Domaining III meeting (also in its third go round) kicks off in Valencia, Spain. The keynote speakers at Domaining III will be Sedo co-founder and CEO Tim Schumacher and the Castello Brothers (Michael and David). The Montreal show continues on the 24th while Domaining III will run through the 25th. (Update: On Sept. 16 DomainConvergence announced postponement of their show - it will be rescheduled for next spring in Montreal - tentative dates are May 12-13, 2011).

After a 10-day break, the schedule resumes with the first of three major October events - DOMAINfest Europe in Prague, Czech Republic October 5-7. This event, staged by DomainSponsor.com, will feature Search and Social Expert Bas van den Beld as its keynote speaker.

Bas will be joined by an all-star line up of speakers and industry experts (details here) and, for the first time ever, free on-site interpreters will be available to help non-English speaking guests from Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic get the most out of their DOMAINfest experience.

The following week, the conference circuit takes to the high seas when Chef Patrick hosts the first domain conference on a cruise ship! DNCruise will sail from Miami on Monday October 11 and the Carnival Cruise Lines ship will make stops in Key West and Cozumel, Mexico before returning to Miami on Friday, October 15. My wife Diana and I will be on the boat and, like a lot of people joining the cruise, we will stay in Miami for the grand finale in this six-show run - T.R.A.F.F.I.C. South Beach.

From everything I am hearing this event October 17-20 at the fabulous Loews Hotel on Miami's world famous South Beach,  is shaping up to be one of the best T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences ever

It is the only show that T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu are putting on this year and 

they are pulling out all of the stops to make their return to South Florida (where it all started six years ago) a blockbuster event. Wild horses couldn't keep me away from this one. By the way, you can keep up with the latest T.R.A.F.F.I.C. South Beach developments on a special Facebook page the organizers have set up.

As you can see, there are going to be a lot of great opportunities over the next five weeks to get out and start building new relationships (or re-enforcing old ones) and catch up on the latest developments in a constantly changing business. With the number of shows on the calendar these days it is much easier to find one that is close to you and priced within reach (one of the benefits of the heavy competition among promoters). We all love our computers and spending time online, but there is still no substitute for meeting face to face if you really want to jump start your business. 

(Posted Sept. 13, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100913.htm

Hitting Home Runs With Domain Development: The Castello Brothers and Rob Grant Show How It's Done 

Website development has been a hot topic among domain owners this year. While much of the conversation has centered on developing a large number of domains at once - some of the most successful developers in our business continue to do it the old fashioned way. That involves carefully building full blown online businesses - brick by brick - on category defining domain names, or adding powerful new features to existing online businesses to make them even stronger and more profitable.

A couple of examples of what I'm talking about crossed my desk this week. One came in a note from David Castello of Castello Brothers fame, telling me about a great looking new music section on their Nashville.com website that is starting to explode

David and brother Michael brought in Jerry Holthouse 

 

to be Nashville.com's Music Editor and Holthouse has commissioned articles that are making waves in the national press. The latest is an item written by David Scarlett that featured country music superstar Trace Adkins's view on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy in New York City. Mainstream media outlets like USA Today, CBS News and Arizona Central jumped on the story, crediting Nashville.com for originating it. That's what you call "publicity money can't buy" and it is helping make the site synonymous with Nashville news and information.

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

Another example of developing real online businesses came in from Rob Grant. A few weeks ago I told you about a domain development deal that Rob's company - RealEstateDirectory.com - cut with Select Sotheby's International Realty involving some of Grant's New York real estate domains. This week the partners proceeded with stage two of their agreement -  the launch of www.SaratogaSpringsRealty.com and www.CatskillsRealEstate.com.

Grant, who owns the largest network of geo-targeted real estate domains in the world, said, "Our strategy is to create a powerful New York based real estate and referral network linking the largest regional markets throughout upstate New York. Our goal is to combine our unique real estate domain brands with Sotheby's extensive agent network. If this model works the way we hope, it will pave the way for additional referral partnerships throughout New York State."

John Burke of Select Sotheby's Realty added, "The real estate industry is going through a metamorphosis with regards to the prevalence of technology based lead generation, and with the large scale industry wide consolidations that are projected, we feel it is important to have a multi-pronged technology strategy that will help us proactively ride in front of the market movement. Rob Grant is an Internet pioneer and his resources fit into out overall technology marketing strategy."

While I believe new platforms that are making it possible to develop a lot of domains at once hold a lot of promise for domain owners who are seeking better ways to monetize their assets, I also think the longest home runs will continue to be hit by those who take one or more of their best properties and build them into full fledged businesses as the Castello Brothers and Rob Grant have done and continue to do.

(Posted Sept. 10, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
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We Are Not Alone: Life Discovered Outside the Internet Solar System!    

For the past eight years my life, like a planet orbiting the sun, has revolved around domain names. That's not a complaint, I have loved every minute in this business - but after being forced to spend a full week away with almost no Internet access it dawned on me that there is life beyond the web and that other world  has a lot going for it too! As I wrote in my last post before heading out of town, the occasion that pulled me away from the computer was the wedding of our son Aaron that was held Sunday on the stunningly beautiful white sand beach on Sarasota, Florida's Siesta Key

A scene from Aaron and Nancy's wedding Sunday on the beach in Sarasota

Aaron and new bride Nancy live in Boston where Aaron is a chemical engineer, but he grew up in Sarasota and wanted to come back home for his wedding (Diana and I lived in Sarasota for 11 years when I was the Sports Director at the local ABC-TV station and it is still just over an hour's drive away from our current home in Tampa). 

I have been to a lot of weddings but the way this one was done made it the most fun of them all. Dozens of members of both families rented condo units for an entire week at the complex where the wedding was held. Most arrived five days before the wedding, so every day we all had a chance to get to know each other as we hung out on the beach or by the pool and moved from one impromptu condo gathering to another in the evenings. 

We had only met Nancy once prior to the wedding and had never met any of her relatives before going to Sarasota, so this was a fabulous family bonding experience that we would not have had otherwise - especially since most of her relatives live outside the U.S.

There was no Internet access in our condo, so the only way to get online was to sneak off to the complex clubhouse to use the wifi access there. I did it only twice during the week and 

that was just to check to see if there was any critical email. To my surprise, the web withdrawal symptoms I had expected didn't materialize (OK, so maybe getting an occasional fix through my iPhone helped a little - I didn't want to be a fanatic about it!).

I did take a half day to run around town collecting photos and information for a Sarasota website I am thinking about building. I know the town and its current media situation well and think there is an opportunity there for a new website to do well. It is a very popular and wealthy resort town with some of the world's best beaches, a gorgeous waterfront, great restaurants and a thriving art, theater and museum scene - so content would never be in short supply. 

Above: Part of the Sarasota skyline looking east from the city's beautiful bayfront park. 

Below: Life-size bronze dolphins play in a stunning fountain adjacent to the bayfront marina.

This would be my first geodomain project, so I have some more research to do - the most important being to determine the kind of subject matter to focus on that would allow us to stand out from the crowd and reach our goal, which would be to become the city's signature website. That is much easier said than done but I love Sarasota and one thing I have learned is that  having a passion for what you do - the kind of passion I have for domains - dramatically increases your chances to succeed. I wouldn't take on full scale development on any topic I wasn't personally excited about.

(Posted September 8, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/20100908.htm

Editor's Note: We returned from the wedding (see last post below) late today. I have a lot of unpacking and answering email to do, so I will wait until  tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 8) to resume our regular daily Lowdown posts. I'll have a few shots from the wedding and Sarasota for you then!
(Posted Sept. 7, 2010)

Back to My Old Stomping Grounds For a  Family Wedding and Research on a Possible GeoDomain Project     

I will be in Sarasota, Florida until next Tuesday (Sept. 7) and this will be the last Lowdown post I will have a chance to make until I return to our home base in Tampa that day. Our son, Aaron, is getting married on the beach at Siesta Key (one of Sarasota's beautiful barrier islands) on Sunday. With family and friends coming to Florida from around the country for the wedding, Diana and I decided to rent a condo at the complex where the ceremony will be held and spend a full week here to visit with others who are coming in early (the photo below was snapped from our window this afternoon).  

View of the Gulf of Mexico from the complex where the wedding will be held Sunday.

Sarasota is a special place for me. I spent 11 years here as a TV sportscaster at the local ABC station. During those years I spent part of almost every day on the beach in the photo above. I lived on the mainland about 10 minutes away and would get up every morning, drive to the beach and spend a few hours soaking up the sun  in one of the world's most beautiful locations. At mid-day I would head back home to get ready for work on the 6pm and 11pm newscasts. 

I later moved on to a major market station in Tampa (CBS at the time but now a Fox station) and spent 6 years doing sports there before opening my own business and leaving broadcasting for good to become an entrepreneur. I never forgot Sarasota though and have always thought about re-connecting with the city in some way. Recently I acquired a Sarasota geodomain that I like a lot and as time permits this week, I will go around town and do some research to decide if I want to go ahead with the project (I don't want to release more details at this point - best not to tip competitors off in the event I do take the plunge). Right now, my mind says yes - do it!, but my current work schedule says, "Are you out of your mind!" If I tackle the project I will have to be very hands on - I have never been a good delegater, probably my biggest weakness - but knowing that in advance will hopefully help me make a sound decision. 

This is a great thing about domains though - they open the doors to an endless variety of opportunities - the biggest problem is often deciding which ones you want to (or have time) to pursue.  Have a great Labor Day weekend (for those outside the U.S. - this is a big national holiday on Monday - one that marks the unofficial close of summer) and I hope to see you back here Tuesday!

(Posted Sept. 1, 2010) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2010/dailyposts/2010901.htm


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