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Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.


Day 1 at NamesCon.Online Delivered Excellent Content on a Versatile Trouble Free Platform

The first ever NamesCon.Online conference got off on the right foot today, delivering 15 different business sessions on three separate tracks, featuring dozens of domain industry experts from around the world. That's a lot of moving parts for a live online conference to keep synchronized but NamesCon pulled it off. I watched throughout the day and never saw a serious problem with audio, video or delays in the program. Every session started on time with almost all featuring a snappy half-hour format that left no time for boredom to creep in, especially with the array of top notch speakers assembled for the event. 

  

The show began promptly at 11am U.S. Eastern Daylight Time Wednesday (September 9, 2020) with a Welcome Session conducted by NamesCon President and CEO Soeren von Varchmin (in top left corner above) and some members from his crack team of moderators. They included (clockwise after Soeren above) featured moderators Bill Sweetman (Name Ninja) and Christa Taylor (MMX), Jay Paudyal (Domahkhan.com), Michael Cyger (DNAcademy) and (in the photo at right) Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing).  

After they set the stage for the show's agenda, there was a brief session that told viewers how to navigate the site and take advantage of special areas like the Networking Lounge, Exhibitors/Partners Area, the Social Wall and even a spot for ongoing Contests.

With so much going on I decided to watch the Keynote Hall sessions live today. A great thing about this online format is that all of the sessions on every track are being recorded and will be available for replay until the end of September. That is a great value add for the already low $59 registration fee that insures you won't have to miss a single session if you don't want to. It will allow me to go back and watch all of the Breakout Hall and America's Track sessions I didn't get to see today (I will tell you what those covered below).

NamesCon.Online's first panel discussion (above) provided a great overview of The State of the Domain Industry. It featured, clockwise from the top left, moderator Bill Sweetman, Paul Nicks (GoDaddy), Matt Wegrzyn (Bodis) and Karn Jajoo (Radix). While many industries have been decimated by the current Covid-19 pandemic, the opposite has happened to the domain industry. Most corners of this business have been thriving as homebound individuals and the businesses that serve them have been forced to turn to the Internet to meet a wide variety of needs that brick and mortar can no longer deliver in this new age of social distancing. Paul, Matt and Karn all reported double (and even triple) digit increases in business, customers and traffic to their companies this year.

The next session delved into Ethics and Best Practices in Domain Brokerage, a fresh topic that provided a lot of insight into issues domain buyers and sellers need to be aware of when they get involved in transactions that can run into six and seven figures. You need to know who you are dealing with and that you have protected yourself legally. This panel featured, clockwise from top left, veteran broker Tessa Holcomb who also masterfully served as moderator, Bill Sweetman (Name Ninja), attorney Zak Muscovitch (Muscovitch.com), Clara Wade (Escrow.com), Dan Adamson (GoDaddy).

The next panel provided the deepest dive I've seen on How to Value SEO Domains. A lot of domain investors haven't paid attention to the relationship between and SEO metrics and domain values and I have to admit I had no idea of the complexity involved in mastering this field. The amount of  data (and ability to correctly interpret that data) and research required sent me away from this session with a much deeper respect for the people who excel at it. They included, clockwise from moderator Braden Pollock (at top left) are Jason Hennessey (Hennessey Digital), Kalin Karakehayov (Edoms.com) and  Sean Markey (SEM).

NamesCon Online continued to roll out fresh topics when four of the industry's most successful domain investors sat down, not to talk about their successes, but their regrets about The One That Got Away! Panelists, clockwise form top left, Braden Pollock (Legal Brand Marketing), Amma Kubba (afterTHOUGHT), Adam Strong (Stronger Inc.) and Andrew Miller (ATM Holdings, Inc.) have all made blockbuster sales  but their stories also revealed gems that slipped through their fingers.  One interesting fact that came out was that Andrew was the first domainer to own Beer.com and Ammar was the last domainer who had his hands on it. (Ammar does still have his hands on his share of beer, just not Beer.com)! Andrew was also one of the early owners of Sex.com. Bsed on the comments this session generated, the audience really loved hearing their stories.

Also having a great story to tell was Shane Cultra (Uncomfortable.com), at right above with interviewer Bill Sweetman. Shane was able to speak from experience about Domaining as a Side Business and Supporting a More Remote Lifestyle. Shane's primary business is a large and very successful plant nursery that has been in his family for five generations! He got into domaining on a part time basis a decade ago and kept plowing profits from his sales into better domains and higher profits. It is amazing how he has balanced his family business, domain business and passion for running so successfully - and to top it off, he is one of nicest guys in this business. If you missed the live session today you will want to be sure to watch the replay.

I wrapped up the day by watching super domain broker Kate Buckley (Buckley Media) talk about an entirely different topic in the closing session in the Breakout Hall. We all know how good domains create great brands but do you know what it takes to take your own identity from good to great? Kate told everyone how it can be done in a spellbinding talk titled Brand Yourself: How to Create a Compelling Narrative Around Your Personal Brand. This is another session that will be available to replay until the end of September and should not be missed.

I will also be pulling up the earlier sessions in the Breakout Hall that featured Dynadot's Todd Han (Dynadot Aftermarket & Auction Updates), FLATsite COO Michiel Grotenhuis (The Secret to Static WordPress Sites: Faster, More Secure and Inexpensive), Warbi Inc's Robert Jacobi (Expanding the Domain Market), DNAdvisor's Jason Eisler (Outbound Strategies 101: Everything You Need to Know to Sell Your Domain Names Proactively) and Radix's Karn Jajoo (New TLDs and the New Normal). I'm also looking forward to taking in the premium Domain Investing sessions that DNAcademy mastermind Michael Cyger presented in the America's Track room.

Another very busy day is coming up Thursday (September 10) when three new tracks will be added to the three that ran today! There will be a Europe Track, a Southeast Asia Track and a FLATsite Workshop. It will again all get started at 11am U.S. Eastern Time. I'll be taking a turn in the Keynote Hall at 11:30am when Giuseppe Graziano (GGRG.com) joins me to talk about The State of the Domain Aftermarket. If you can make it, we would love to see you (virtually) in the audience!

(Posted Sept. 9, 2020)

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