March 2006                    DNJournal.com               The Domain Industry News Magazine

The DN Journal Newsletter is sponsored by DomainSponsor.com, The Leader in Domain Traffic Monetization.


Welcome to the Debut Edition of the DN Journal Newsletter! This publication is sent only to subscribers who registered at DNJournal.com to receive our free monthly newsletter and email notifications when new articles are posted on our site. You may unsubscribe at any time by sending a removal request to editor@dnjournal.com.

 

What's the Plan?

I plan to use this publication to fill you in on what is going on behind the scenes at DNJournal.com and to offer some personal comments on articles that appear on the site as well as events in the domain industry at large. I have always tried to keep personal opinions out of articles I write as a journalist's role is to tell the story, not become part of it. This newsletter and a DNJournal blog currently being planned will provide formats where I can give you a personal view on domain developments that would be out of place in our articles.



Let's have a little chat!


The blog I mentioned above is just one of several new features we have planned for the weeks and months ahead. We currently have a web designer working on improving the look of the site, implementing an RSS feed and doing some backend upgrades that will make finding information on the site much easier. 

Another exciting new development will be the opening of a DNJournal Chat Room where everyone can meet and discuss articles or domain issues in real time. DomainSponsor.com is making the chat room (and production of our newsletter) possible through their sponsorship support.

A Word About Sponsors

One of the first personal comments I would like to make is on the subject of sponsors. Another central tenet of good journalism is not to let sponsorships influence what you write, otherwise you forfeit any credibility you might have with your readers. Many sponsors (in all industries) do not understand that, but ours do and we really appreciate them. Unlike most media outlets, we have never asked anyone to advertise on our site, but a number of industry leaders have supported us through the years with their unsolicited advertising purchases.

I think it is telling that generally the same people who support us are the people who support conferences like T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and Domain Roundtable, have representatives answering questions in the various domain forums and make a real effort to interact with domain owners to find solutions to their problems. There are many huge and highly profitable companies in this industry that go out of their way not to have to deal with you or give anything back for the support you give them. 

DomainSponsor reps talk with domainers at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Silicon Valley last month.

In my own experience, the companies that are highly visible and plow resources back into the domain business to help it grow are also the ones with customer service you can count on. I would encourage you to support those companies that show an interest in being partners with you rather than those who just want whatever you have to give them.

 

On Deck

Our March Cover Story will be out by the middle of next week and I think you will find it to be a fascinating read. It is the story of Gary Kremen, the former owner of Sex.com (sold recently by Kremen for an estimated $12 million). We'll detail the remarkable trials and tribulations he went through at the hands of career criminal Michael Cohen (now jailed in San Jose) who stole Sex.com from Kremen in 1995. It took six years and $5 million in legal expenses to get the domain back and the process drug Kremen through a personal hell you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Of course, as a subscriber to our newsletter and email update service, you will receive a notice as soon as the article is online.

 

Cost of ICANN-Verisign Deal Will Come Out of Your Pocket


If you regularly scan the Latest News headlines at DNJournal.com you have heard about ICANN's decision to approve a settlement with .com/.net registry operator Verisign despite widespread objections throughout the Internet community. While the settlement gets ICANN out from under a lawsuit filed by Verisign, the agreement will leave domain registrants with a bill that could reach into the billions of dollars in the years ahead (through steady increases in registration fees granted to Verisign in the deal). In addition it essentially gives Verisign control of .coms and .nets in perpetuity, even though competing companies would have offered the same services for far less. 

Monopolies are never good for consumers and we agree with many others that ICANN fumbled the ball in their 9-5 vote approving the settlement. There is still a chance the deal can be scuttled as it requires Department of Commerce approval. However it will likely take intervention from Congress on behalf of domain registrants to keep the DOC from rubber stamping the agreement. To make that happen, if you oppose the settlement, you need to contact your representative in Washington. CFIT.info details the issues involved and has information on how to register your opposition. 

 

Lines Blurring Between Domain Parking and Development

A long running argument in the domain business has centered on whether it is best to develop your domains or park them and rely on PPC (pay per click) revenue. Good development work and promotion can greatly increase income from domains, but it is also possible to develop sites and make less money than you could by simply parking your domains (especially if you lack development and search engine optimization skills). Development is hard work, so for those who want the minimum number of headaches and the maximum amount of free time, parking has been the preferred option.


Develop or Don't?

Like many of you I have struggled with how to squeeze maximum revenue from my domains and I have tried a number of different approaches to see what works best for me given the time constraints I face (there are more than 6,500 domains in my own portfolio). A large scale development like DN Journal is a full time job, so there is no way I can take on another project of that scope. An alternative is building low maintenance mini-sites (with an easy to use software program like XSitePro) that rely on Google Adsense or Yahoo! Publisher to generate revenue. I have tried that and though I am impressed with how easy the software is to use, I have been underwhelmed by the money the sites generate. 


It is starting to look like the parking companies may provide the ideal solution for those with lots of domains but little time for development work. Almost all of them now allow you to customize your landing pages to varying degrees. Depending on the company, you can choose your own keywords, add your own page titles, content and graphics that match the domain name. Some even let you put your company logo and links to your other sites on your parking pages. I have experimented with these features at several different companies and in many cases have seen conversion rates increase dramatically for a domain with as little as 10 minutes spent polishing up it's landing page. With the new tools now available I'm going to follow this path for the forseeable future and see where it leads. 

 

Show Time!

Two major domain conferences are coming up within the next 60 days so if you have always wanted to attend one, now is the time to make your plans. First up will be the 2nd annual Domain Roundtable Conference in Bellevue, Washington (Seattle suburb) April 19-21. Just two weeks later, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. will reconvene at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas for a show that runs May 2-5. I plan to cover both conferences for DN Journal. 


As you know I have always been a big advocate of these trade shows as they have helped the domain business grow to levels that couldn't have been imagined just two years ago. The networking opportunities are invaluable so if you suffer from sticker shock when you total up the cost to attend one of these events, rest assured that it is worth the price. In fact I have yet to meet a single attendee from either event who didn't feel like being there was worth the time and money it cost to go.


Thanks you for requesting our newsletter, reading and continuing to visit us at DNJournal.com. Your support is truly appreciated!

Sincerely,
Ron Jackson
Editor/Publisher
DNJournal.com

The DN Journal Newsletter is supported by Afternic.com - The Domain Name Exchange Where You Can Get  the Name You Want!

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The DN Journal Newsletter is produced by DN Journal - The Domain Industry News Magazine located at www.DNJournal.com. Contents may not be reproduced or redistributed without expressed written consent from Internet Edge, Inc. (Copyright 2006)
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