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The Lowdown

Welcome to the 
Lowdown
from 
DN Journal
- your source
for notable news and information from all 
corners of the global 
domain name industry! 

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


The Domain Industry Loses a Gentle Giant With the Passing of Shaun Pilfold 

For the past 20 years Canada's Shaun Pilfold has been a soft-spoken, big-hearted, high-achiever who has brought smiles to every room he entered. So I was deeply saddened this morning when I received notes from several friends pointing me to a thread at the DN.CA domain forum. In it a long time friend and former business partner of Pilfold's shared the news that Shaun had passed Sunday evening after a battle with cancer. 

Not surprisingly, given Shaun's nature, many were unaware his health had taken a turn for the worse. He was not the type to talk or complain about it. In fact when left a post about cancer on his Facebook page on February 4 (World Cancer Day), Shaun made no mention of his own status, instead writing, "Today, I want to remember those who are no longer with us but are living on in our hearts and memories. For those that are struggling with this horrible disease, either as a sufferer, caregiver or know someone that is, I wish you strength, hope and god's grace in fighting this beast."  He knew the

Shaun Pilfold

fight well, as it was his fight too, but his thoughts were about how the disease was affecting others and memorializing those it had already taken. That was Shaun - a man who will most certainly live on in our hearts and memories. 

Shaun was a very successful domain investor and developer, having owned and/or helped develop top tier assets like Jobs.ca, Candy.ca, Houses.ca, GoldCourses.ca and many others. His CandyCrave.ca ecommerce site has proved to be a big hit too. Sean was also a well-known player in the geodomain space as the owner of Kelowna.com, Kamloops.com and Penticton.com. Still his domain acumen is not what drew so many people to Shaun and made him one of the most beloved people in the business. It was the way he treated and connected with everyone around him.

I met Shaun in person for the first time in 2005 when we were both at the Domainfest conference in Los Angeles and the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Delray Beach, Florida. We already knew each other from the domain forums online but to really appreciate Shaun you had to meet him in person. My first impression was this guy was a living, breathing teddy bear - you were instantly comfortable around him and would have been happy to give him a big hug - in fact many did just that!

Above: Marcia Lynn Walker giving her friend Shaun Pilfold a hug at the 
2005 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Delray Beach, Florida

Above: Many of us first got to know Shaun through DNForum.com
owned at the time by Greg Ricks (at right above), who is seen here with
Shaun at the 2007 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Hollywood, Florida.

Above: Shaun made many other friends in the geodomain community where he was well-known as the owner/operator of several Canadian city .com websites. In this shot from the 2007 GeoDomain Expo in San Francisco, Shaun (at far left), chats with a friend during the live domain auction. 

Above: Shaun was also at the 2008 GeoDomain Expo in Chicago where he is seen 
sharing some thoughts from his seat in the audience during a panel discussion.

Above: Wherever domain people got together, Shaun was most likely there, 
making new friends and enjoying the chance to see old ones again.  Here he is 
chatting with Eliot Silver at the 2007 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in New York City.

In 2010, Shaun finally had a chance to welcome his many industry friends to a big event on his side of the border at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver conference in Canada. This particular occasion was a surprise birthday party for Gregg McNair (at far right). When it comes to wishing people well, Shaun was always front and center and this was no exception.

With Shaun gone now, all we can do is send heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and share our stories of how he positively impacted our lives with his quiet manner, kindness and grace. It was a wonderful blessing to know him and I have no doubt that anyone who ever met him will tell you the same. Thank you Shaun, for being the man you were and showing us how to do it right in both business and life.

(Posted August 11, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220811.htm

*****

Fresh Off  Forming Partnership with Hilco Global, Andrew Miller Will Be Doing Some Myth Busting at NamesCon Global

A couple of the biggest domain sales of all time were reported over this past week - NFTs.com at $15 million and Connect.com at $10 million. It is rare for sales at that level to be publicly reported as most are governed by non-disclosure agreements. That is something pioneering broker Andrew Miller is well aware of because he has been involved in some of the biggest sales ever made, some reported but most not due to NDAs (recent examples include

venture, with Miller serving as the Managing Director. Andrew said, "

Andrew Miller
Managing Director
Hilco Digital Assets

has long been a sought after speaker, so no surprise h

As busy as he is, Andrew told me he has spent a lot of time thinking about that keynote and what he can share that will be most meaningful for domain investors, buyers and sellers who focus on  premium domain assets. One thing he plans to do is dispel a lot of common myths. and in doing so, hopefully invoke some change in either thought process or practices to create a better value for this amazing asset class. Miller noted, "to the right buyer a domain is game changing for their enterprise value, magical as I like to say."  

While great domains do indeed have a magical quality, Andrew delivers his advice in a straight forward manner. After you hear him speak it's unlikely you will go away still wondering what goes on behind the curtain. Andrew says most think there has to be a "secret sauce" of some kind involved in getting premium domain sales done but he will explain why the key ingredient boils down to something more accessible to all - tried and true common sense. By the way, Andrew will also be moderating the Blue Chip NFT Panel later Thursday morning (Sept. 1) with that session (also in the Keynote Hall) scheduled to get underway at 11:35am. 

While we're talking about NamesCon Global, there are some related big events to tell you about. The Internet Commerce Association will be holding their 7th Annual Dinner (featuring presentation of the Lonnie Borck Memorial Award) in Austin on September 1st. A limited number of tickets are now available to all NamesCon attendees. The event will run from 6 to 9PM at the acclaimed Parkside Austin restaurant that offers both indoor and outdoor dining options and is just a 3-minute walk from the Omni. You can learn more about the dinner from Executive Director Kamila Sekiewicz's post on the ICA blog. 

Also, if your are already an ICA member (or want to become one) there are two more events scheduled just for you earlier on the day of the dinner (Thursday, Sept. 1). At 9am there will be a special meeting for domain brokers who are ICA members. It will be held at the Omni with the exact meeting room to be announced before the show. That will be followed at 12:40pm Sept. 1 by the  ICA Town Hall for all Members, giving them a chance to talk with fellow members, as well as members of the ICA Staff and Board. As with the brokers meeting, the specific room for the Town Hall will be assigned and announced before NamesConGlobal gets underway. 

(Posted August 9, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220809.htm

*****

Second 8-Figure Domain Sale in As Many Weeks -  Connect.com at $10 Million - Uncovered by George Kirikos

Less than a week after a $15 million sale of NFTs.com was announced, George Kirikos discovered that Hubspot paid $10 million to acquire Connect.com earlier this year. Kirikos found the details in Hubspot's 2Q-2022 SEC filing and broke the news on his FreeSpeech.com blog Sunday. Confirmation of the sales price comes after DomainInvesting.com had reported spotting a transfer of the domain to Hubspot in April.

Two of the four biggest publicly reported domain sales of all time have now come to light in the past five days. NFTs.com is second only to Voice.com ($30 million), followed by Sex.com ($13 million) and new #4 

Image from Bigstock

Connect.com. We will be adding Connect.com to our YTD Top 100 Sales Chart and All-Time Top 20 Chart when out next bi-weekly domain sales report comes out August 17. 

There is an interesting back story to the reporting of this information. As regular readers know, George is a veteran researcher who has uncovered countless big money sales over the years (our charts would have bee a lot less impressive had he not been digging this data out and cross checking it to share with the industry). Unfortunately, as happens far too often on the web, some unscrupulous sites and social media accounts have stolen his work and republished it un-credited as if the work was there own. George finally had enough of that and announced he was going to pause his research for the rest of the year to protest what amounts to IP thievery. It has to be especially galling to him because he has done the work and shared the results expecting no compensation (he doesn't accept ads on his sites) other than credit where credit is due for the work done. Uncovering the details of this huge sale of Connect.com on the way out the door for a well deserved break serves as a perfect mic drop moment as it shows how much we are likely to be missing over the next few months.

There is one favor from industry participants that Kirikos would very much appreciate. As he has written on his blog, ICANN is a considering change in its domain transfer policy that could make it much easier to hijack domains. It is such a threat to domain registrants that George has lobbied ICANN to extend the public commentary period to mid-September (the cutoff is currently set for August 16). It only takes a few minutes to submit a comment (click "Provide Your Input") noting your support for additional time for the community to address this critical issue. 

(Posted August 7, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220807.htm

*****

Blockbuster $15 Million Sale of NFTs.com Gets The Domain Industry's Day Off to a Great Start

In the 2nd largest domain sale ever publicly reported, NFTs.com has changed hands for $15 million, a figure eclipsed only by the $30 million sale of Voice.com in 2019. The news came this morning in a joint press release (.pdf file) from Escrow.com and premium domain brokerage and acquisition specialists Domainer.com

The deal was brokered for an undisclosed buyer by teams at Domainer.com and GoDaddy.com who worked together in hand with Escrow.com who facilitated the landmark transaction. Plans for the marquee domain have not yet been announced but a Domainer.com statement said the buyer has associations with other web3 projects, such as DigitalArtists.com (a curated web3 service to artists). 

Image from Bigstock

The lead broker of the deal, Domainer.com's Matt Holden, said "It was a pleasure to work with all parties involved with NFTS.com, an incredible opportunity for the buyer to acquire a category killer domain and one of, if not the best, possible .com's in the entire web3 space." Ian Garner, Director at Domainer.com, added "The recent purchase of NFTS.com is an acquisition all brokerage platforms would love to be involved in. It has truly been a privilege to have played our part in the deal and to continue to represent a very happy buyer."

This news takes away any suspense about what the #1 sale will be in our next bi-weekly domain sales report that will be out this evening. At the same time, NFTs.com will be placed in the #1 position on our Year-to-Date Top 100 Sales Chart. Congratulations to all of the parties involved in making it happen. I think for just about everyone in our industry, this is the kind of news you love to wake up to! 

(Posted August 3, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220803.htm

*****

XYZ Registry Spices Up Growing Portfolio With Addition of Latin Flavored .LAT TLD

The XYZ Registry's continually expanding portfolio of  domain extensions just reached 34 TLDs with the acquisition of .LAT that was announced today. With this move XYZ adds an extension that the seller, eCOM-LAC, launched in 2015 to serve the Latin community. The TLD has been available to the general public since then and a number of established websites already call it home. 

Anthony Harris, executive director of eCOM-LAC,  noted, "For the last few years, as a Latin American non-profit Business Federation, we have been the ICANN assigned Registry for .LAT, in line with our mission objectives, which center on the development of the Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean. This task was carried out with the assistance of our able back-end technical and marketing services provider – NIC MX. Certainly, the LAC region deserves to have a specific domain identifier which can contribute to the growth of Internet usage and content in this part of the world. It is time now for XYZ to apply their experience and expertise in order to take .LAT to the next level, and we wish them every success for the future."

 

Daniel Negari
XYZ Registry Founder & CEO

In a post on his personal blog, XYZ Registry Founder and CEO Daniel Negari wrote, "I am excited to announce the acquisition of .LAT – a culturally significant domain ending and a representation of the exceptional community that it powers. The Latin communities are some of the most underserved internet populations on earth. For many years, I have been actively seeking .LAT to promote diversity and affordability of naming options to the world community and to provide inspiration for Latin identities and expression."

Negari added, "While registrations will continue as usual, we will be formally relaunching .LAT sometime in 2023. This will include efforts to increase awareness, access, and marketing. The existing team has done a truly incredible job of starting .lat and getting it going. As the next steward of this important domain we will look to accelerate registrations and usage by celebrating the existing successful users, and looking to inspire the next generation of users to choose .LAT."

 In addition to their flagship .xyz domain, the XYZ Registry operates .Cars, .Car, and .Auto, .College, .Rent, .Security, .Protection, .Theatre, .Storage, .Baby, .Monster, .Beauty, .Hair, .Skin, .Makeup, .Quest, .Homes, .Autos, .Motorcycles, .Boats, .Yachts, .Tickets, .Game, .Guitars, .Audio, .Christmas, .Diet, .Flowers, .Hosting, .Pics, .Mom, and .LOL. You can learn more about XYZ at www.gen.xyz.

(Posted August 2, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220802.htm

*****

Rick Schwartz Returning to Domain Conference Spotlight to Talk About Negotiating at NamesCon Global

It has been a long time coming, but Domain King Rick Schwartz has finally been lured back into a major domain conference spotlight by NamesCon Global. As the co-founder of the legendary T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference (with Howard Neu),  Rick's name was synonymous with conferencing  for a full decade stretching from the industry's first major conference in 2004 to the last T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in 2014.  

Since then the outspoken industry pioneer has retained a high visibility profile through frequent posts on his popular Twitter feed and occasional articles at RicksBlog.com. However, other than a semi-private event he hosted in Asheville in 2019, Rick hasn't sat down for a long form live conference conversation since T.R.A.F.F.I.C. wrapped. That will change during NamesCon Global 2022's four-day run in Austin, Texas August 31 through September 3 when Rick will discuss The Art of Negotiating in a masterclass with star broker Kate Buckley from BuckleyMedia.com. Their 5:15pm session will be the the grand finale of the opening day of business in the Bodis Keynote Hall on August 31.

Kate Buckley

Kate, who has been a fixture at or near the top of the DNJournal sales charts for years, will be in Austin while Rick will teleconference in for the talk. With many multiple millions of dollars worth of domain sales under their belts, there are few people on the planet who are as well qualified to provide insight into effective negotiating methods as this pair. One thing that will make this conversation especially interesting is that Kate and Rick have very different personalities and their own ideas about how to successfully negotiate (think velvet glove versus iron fist), yet they both end up consistently arriving at the same destination - a successful sale

If you are considering registering for NamesCon, this is a good time to do it. They have a 45% off summer sale in effect but the deal expires August 1 so the clock is ticking on that offer. We will, oif course, be in Austin, and hope to see you there!

(Posted July 27, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220727.htm

*****

With the Success of Titan Business Email It May Be Time for Bhavin Turakhia to Put Out a Greatest Hits Album 

Over the past 20+ years brothers Bhavin Turakhia and Divyank Turakhia have founded so many wildly successful businesses (both collectively and individually) that it's becoming hard to keep track of them all. You can go all the way back to 1998 when they founded Directi and grew it into the domain industry giant they sold for $160 million in 2014. That turned out to be just an appetizer for what was to come as the young entrepreneurs spread their wings into multiple fields. Divyank followed with a $900 million sale of Media.net in 2016 while Bhavin founded (and still runs) rapidly growing new gTLD registry Radix, Zeta, Flock.com and his latest success, business email powerhouse, Titan. Zeta and Flock are currently valued at approximately $1.5 billion each while Titan, founded in 2018, has already rocketed to around $300 million

There is only one way an entrepreneur can score that big, with different products, time after time. You obviously have 

Bhavin Turakhia (left) and Divyank Turakhia 
on the cover of Forbes India in December 2018.

to build a great team around you but since consumers have the final vote, job one - each and every time - has to be to deliver real value. What the Turakhias have proven is they know how to build, develop and bring to market outstanding, innovative, yet value-priced products that the public is invariably drawn to. 

For the umpteenth time, Bhavin is making it happen again with his latest baby - a titan that is already living up its towering name. Titan has emerged as the highest-rated email software on globally recognized research and review platform G2.com, with a rating of 4.8/5,  to shoot past long established products like Microsoft Outlook and Google Workspace. Titan, specifically designed for professionals and small businesses, was awarded the #1 position in Customer Service for Email in G2’s Summer 2022 Report that ranks the world's best software products based on authentic reviews from real users. Titan also received top rankings for Ease of Use and Implementation

Titan's stack of G2 2022 Summer Awards

Titan is available through leading Web-presence providers around the world, notably WordPress.com, Hostinger and Name.com. Their customers mentioned the product’s aesthetics and the company’s philosophy of taking direct input from users to co-create the product as the most significant factors that contribute to their ratings. Within the last two quarters, Titan has risen to be among the top five products by G2 in business email and now serves 300,000 small businesses in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Bhavin Turakhia explained why he chose business email for his latest endeavor. "We invested in email as a category because we believe small businesses are underserved by expensive, overbuilt tools that have not innovated meaningfully in years. The recognition and the awards only validate our belief that we’re co-creating the future of email with our users.”

Another remarkable thing about Bhavin's string of hits is that he  is still just 42 years old (and Divyank is only 40)! So, if Titan is the last track needed for an entrepreneurial Greatest Hits album,  it would still have to be labeled Volume 1 because there is undoubtedly more to come.

(Posted July 20, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220720.htm

*****

Internet Commerce Association (ICA) Announces 5 Nominees for the 2022 Lonnie Borck Memorial Award

The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) has announced five nominees for the 6th Annual Lonnie Borck Memorial Award that recognizes individuals who have  made extraordinary contributions toward fostering "a sense of community within the domain name industry." 

In April everyone in the industry (whether they were an ICA member or not) was invited to submit a nomination for the prestigious award with those submissions producing the top nominees named today. They are (alphabetically by last name) Andrew Allemann, Gerry Levine, Todd Ryan, Nikul Sanghvi and Elliot Silver

The next step of the process is now underway with ICA members voting for their choices from among those five. That will yield a final three, with the 

ICA's Board of Directors then selecting a winner who will be named during the NamesCon Global conference that gets underway in Austin, Texas August 31.

The award was created in 2016 in honor of the late great domain investor and humanitarian, Lonnie Borck, who unexpectedly passed at the age of 47. The first three Lonnie Borck Memorial Award recipients were chosen based on their exceptional efforts in "championing the rights of domain name registrants" and, as such, those came from the legal arena. Starting with the 2020 award, the criteria was broadened to include every corner of the domain industry. The previous winners of the Lonnie Borck Memorial Award were:

2017 - David Weslow

2018 - John Berryhill

2019 - Kathy Kleiman

2020 - Ron Jackson

2021 - Michael Cyger

The ICA released these notes about each of this year's nominees:

Andrew Allemann 

When it comes to important policy issues confronting domain name investors, Andrew consistently assists the community by exploring the issue and getting its message out in a highly credible and understandable manner to the wider domain name industry. Through thousands of posts over 17 years, he has covered all aspects of the industry and his addition of in-depth podcast interviews have educated us, entertained us and introduced us to many of the most creative people in the industry.

Gerry Levine

Gerry has devoted countless hours over many years to create the definitive scholarly guide to the policy that most affects domain name investors, the UDRP. He started and hosts a unique and remarkable weekly call bringing together domain name attorneys from diverse backgrounds, in particular brand-side attorneys and respondent side attorneys, for a collegial, educational discussion of legal matters. The opportunity he created for attorneys who are typically on opposite sides of disputes to have open and friendly conversation has led to better understanding of each others' perspectives and may be the single most important development to promote a better understanding of the legitimacy of domain name investment among UDRP panelists.

Todd Ryan

Todd Ryan's weekly calls with David Michaels, and more recently Jeff Newman, on Clubhouse have helped hundreds of people who are new to domain name investing by educating them about avoiding the pitfalls of investing in infringing domain names, informing them of best practices, sharing the nuances of how the UDRP affects domain name investors, and setting them on the road to success. It has also led to several of his listeners learning about the ICA and choosing to join as members.

Nikul Sanghvi

Nikul's radical transparency about his business financials and his willingness to share his journey has helped usher in a period of increased openness about our businesses that have helped all domain name investors. Nikul was also instrumental in setting up the new Discord server for the ICA and thereby helping create a greater sense of community among ICA members.

Elliot Silver

Elliot's daily blogs sharing his perspectives and newsworthy events along with his willingness to engage with commentators and on social media has brought him a large and loyal following. He has built one of the largest communities within the domain name industry. In addition, each year he puts his body on the line to raise funds for the Pan-Mass Challenge to fight cancer and brings the domain community together in support of this worthy cause.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and thank you for your contribution to the domain community - the recognition is well deserved!

(Posted July 18, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220718.htm

*****

Two New Reports Shed Light on Domain Sales Trends & Sedo Makes It Easier to Find Names with Traffic

The domain business continues to boom creating a steady stream of news that made it feel like Friday came up quicker than usual this week! That left me with several bits of good information to pass on to you before we head into the weekend. Let's start with a couple of reports on domain trends, including one that just came out today - the monthly XYZ Registry Domain Report covering June 2022

In addition to breaking down results from the company's flagship .xyz TLD the report covers highlights from the other extensions the registry operates including .lol, .security and .beauty, to name just a few. The registry logged 146 premium registrations in June, led by Travel.xyz with an MSRP of  $13,000. Aftermarket sales were also detailed with the $28,000 sale of Redeem.xyz topping that channel, followed by Mozart.xyz at $10,000. All told, the registry racked up over $98,300 in aftermarket sales with the average sale coming in at $1,117

The most popular SLD keywords in June for .xyz registrations were web, art, meta, app, bet, verse, shop, dao, nft and tech. These notes just scratch the surface of the full report, so check that out for all of the details.

Back on the .com front, the latest quarterly Liquid Market Report from the GGRG Brokerage covering Q2-2022 is out. This report focuses on short acronym and numeric domains that, due to steady demand, tend to have more liquidity than most other domain categories. These are .com domains comprised of 2-4 letters, 2-5 numbers or a combination of 2-3 characters mixing letters and numbers.  

At first glance, seeing total aftermarket sales volume for liquid domains soar 185% from the previous quarter (jumping from $3.6 million to $10.3 million) was a shock - but then you remember the $3.8 million IT.com sale closed

in June which would account for much of that surge. Still, even if you take IT.com out of the mix,  the total would be up 86% from the previous quarter. 

The third quarter for this category also looks to be off to a great start - just yesterday we reported the sales of DDL.com at $359,000 and GRT.com at $300,000.

One other note, while we are talking about domain values - domains that have traffic continue to be in high demand but they can be hard to find. Sedo just made that task easier on their marketplace by adding a  new filter function to search for names based on their traffic counts. The numbers returned reflect views over the preceding 31 days. 

Once you find ones with raw numbers you like, you should do some more research to try to determine the quality of that traffic as that will be the key to whether or not it can be monetized.

(Posted July 15, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220715.htm

*****

Four New 6-Figure Domain Sales Totaling Over $1.1 Million Revealed - Kate Buckley's Lucky Day Plays Big Role

Our next bi-weekly domain sales report (coming out Wednesday evening, July 20) is already shaping up to be a big one. In the last 24 hours alone we've learned about four six-figure sales (and a fifth sale under NDA that almost certainly fell in the same range).

The top sale in that quartet was DDL.com, a domain that changed hands in a private transaction for $359,000 (the seller is well-known to us but prefers to remain anonymous). The next highest new sale was also from the perennially popular 3-letter .com class - GRT.com at $336,600. The buyer is a large jewelry company based in India that has been operating from GRTJewels.com.  Again this was also a private transaction (one handled by a veteran broker who provided us with  documentation verifying the details).

Image from Bigstock

Kate Buckley

Filling out the quartet are two six-figure sales that were handled by Kate Buckley at Buckley Media - Kindness.com at $227,002 and Patience.com at $221,780. Kate not only made both sales, she received the funds from both on the same day - July 7. But wait, there's more! :-)  

Kate also made the NDA sale I referenced above. That domain was Eclipse.com and while the price was not disclosed the name alone will tell you why I am certain the sale was for at least six figures. Now, for the real kicker - payment for Eclipse.com came in the same day as the other two - July 7, completing the kind of trifecta one can only dream about. It's the kind of Groundhog Day none of us would mind repeating over and over again!

(Posted July 14, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220714.htm

*****

Public Interest Register Expands Its .ORG Family of Top Level Domains with Three New TLDs

Public Interest Registry (PIR), the non-profit organization that administers the  .ORG top level domain - and leading provider of mission-driven domains - today announced the addition of the .CHARITY, .FOUNDATION and .GIVES TLDs to the .ORG family of domains. The three newcomers are all available through PIR authorized domain registrars

With the addition of these TLDs, the PIR portfolio now includes .ORG, .NGO, .ONG, Internationalized Domain Names (IDN version of .ORG in other languages/character sets),  .CHARITY, .FOUNDATION, and .GIVES. PIR announced that .GIVING will also be officially added to PIR’s growing family later this year. 

The new additions represent a step forward in PIR’s strategic plan to fulfill its commitment to serving the public interest online and empowering mission-driven organizations to engage with their communities and advance positive change in the world. 

Jon Nevett, CEO of Public Interest Registry, said' "Options are good. We want mission-driven organizations to have more tools in their toolboxes to connect with each of their specific audiences with the important work they’re doing to power meaningful progress in their communities. If your organization aims to do good, you’re a fit for the .ORG family of domains—from corporations launching a corporate social responsibility initiative, to mission-driven social enterprises, to non-profit organizations large and small. Our .ORG family of domains is for everyone working to make a positive impact in the world.”

 

PIR expects the trustworthiness and security of the .ORG domain and its fellow domain family members to provide a multitude of benefits for mission-driven organizations and detailed those in a news release today: 

  •      Create Dedicated Websites for Specific Campaigns and Initiatives:  Mission-driven entities can leverage .CHARITY, .FOUNDATION, and .GIVES to establish a standalone website for a specific campaign or project, serving as a complement to their primary website. Dedicated websites and microsites can help streamline communication and navigation, as well as signal to an audience that an initiative is an area of focus. For example, a for-profit entity could create a microsite using .GIVES or .FOUNDATION for their charitable arm or a corporate social responsibility initiative—conveying a commitment to doing good. 

  •       Clearly Signal a Purpose: Choosing a TLD such as .CHARITY, .FOUNDATION, and .GIVES as an organization’s primary online home can help send a clear signal about its specific purpose. For example, .FOUNDATION can be used by philanthropic entities to immediately and easily communicate their identity and purpose. Additionally, in countries such as the United Kingdom, where people refer to non-profits as charities, .CHARITY would immediately signal that a website belongs to a non-profit organization.

  •       Secure a Desired Domain Name: When a mission-driven organization aims to launch its website or e-mail address, they may find that their desired name is already taken on some of the larger top level domains, such as .ORG. PIR’s newly expanded .ORG family of domains offers more opportunities to secure a website name that might be taken on legacy top level domains like .ORG. For example, smaller, startup non-profits may want to use .CHARITY, .FOUNDATION or .GIVES as their main domain from the outset, especially if they cannot secure their preferred name on .ORG.

Mission-driven organizations can purchase .CHARITY, .FOUNDATION and .GIVES—and any of the other members of the .ORG family of domains—through accredited registrars listed on PIR’s website. .GIVING—which can be used to create a dedicated space for specific fundraising efforts by social enterprises, corporations with a commitment to CSR, and non-profits of all sizes—will launch in 2022 and be available to all in 2023.

(Posted July 12, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220712.htm

*****

NamesCon Global Releases Ambitious Agenda for Next Month's Return to In-Person Conferencing in Austin

The two-and-a-half year wait for a chance to see your domain industry friends and colleagues face to face again is about to end! The first major domain industry business event since NamesCon Global in January 2020 is coming up fast now with NamesCon set to return August 31 through September 3, 2022. While a global pandemic has changed the timing, the place remains the same as where we left off in 2020, the downtown Omni Hotel, in Austin, Texas.

A huge step in the road back to normalcy, the release of the full conference agenda (other than some space reserved for most timely late additions) has now happened and it outlines a lot of sessions worth getting excited about, especially given the ambitious scope of this show that encompasses everything related to the world of digital assets including domain names, NFTs and other emerging elements of a new economy. 

I know I am bit biased on this point, but one session I'm especially looking forward to is the very first business session in the Bodis Keynote Hall at 11:05am on Opening Day, August 31 (right after the Welcome Address from Soeren Von Varchmin, the Chairman of Namescon's Supervisory Board) . That's because I'll be on stage then to have a Fireside Chat with the multi-talented Christian Calvin

Christian is a veteran domain investor that many of you have come to know over his more than 10 years in the business, but the Tennessee native is also a prolific abstract expressionist artist with a unique style that is attracting a significant following (Nashville's newspaper, The Tennessean, just covered a major exhibition of Christian's work). 

As a guy who has always been tuned in to the latest technology, it won't surprised you to hear he is marrying his large scale canvas artwork with the cutting age NFT market. We'll be talking about how 

 

Christian Calvin
Domain Investor/Artist

creative people can use their experience with domains and other digital assets to do things that weren't possible before now - but that's just the start. During the show, Christian will be creating a painting for the NamesCon community and will be doing it live, giving the audience a chance to see the entire process as an artistic idea is rendered in physical form!

Dozens of business sessions will follow in the Keynote Hall and on the Breakout Stage over the remainder of Opening Day and the next two business days - Thursday, September 1 (also the day of the Live Domain & NFT Auction that starts at 3PM Central Daylight Time) and Friday, September 2. The big event will close Saturday, September 3 with a day devoted entirely to socializing. NamesCon's Fun Day will be filled with conversation, collaboration, celebration, eating, drinking and table hopping at Austin's famous Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden (you can bring a Plus-One, too)!

A blast from the past - Fun Day at the last NamesCon Global conference in January 2020 (also at Banger's in Austin, Texas). Left to right are attendees Krinal Mehta, Prakhar Bindal and Aishwin Vikhona.

The agenda is far too big for us to do justice to in one article, check it all our for yourself, and we will continue to fill in some of the details and late-breaking additions in this column as we continue the countdown to Opening Day. Registration is open now and, as a DN Journal reader, you can get a 20% discount using the preceding link. If you need a room at Omni, you can also take advantage of the special show rate NamesCon arranged with the hotel by booking here (don't delay as the conference's block of rooms is limited).  We hope to see you in Austin!  

(Posted July 8, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220708.htm

*****

 
Happy Impendence Day America!

If you are having a problem reaching friends in the USA today it's probably because they are having a July 4th cookout or are at the beach and looking forward to a local fireworks show tonight. Believe it or not, those things are even more popular than buying and selling domains here (I know, some people just don't know how to have a good time, right)! In any case, if you are celebrating America's 246th birthday today we hope you are having a fabulous holiday wherever you are. 

By the way, today is also the 1st birthday of the American Domain Names website at ADN.US - one of our stable mates at Internet Edge Inc. So that gives them two birthdays to celebrate after completing their first full year focused on .US - America's ccTLD and the first ccTLD on the Internet (launched on February 15, 1985).

(Posted July 4, 2022)  

*****

 

Verisign Reports Registered Domains Passed the 350 Million Mark in 1Q-2022 with Strong Start to New Year

Verisign (the administrator of the .com and .net TLDs) has released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief covering the 1st quarter of 2022. The quarter ended with 350.5 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs) worldwide, a gain of 13.2 million domains from the same point a year ago, representing a healthy 3.9% jump year over year. More than half of the added domains (8.8 million of them) were added in 1Q-2022 alone, indicating a big upswing in momentum during the opening quarter of the year.

Verisign's flagship .com TLD had 161.3 million registrations at the end of 1Q-2022, up 6.7 million  year over year - a 4.3% growth rate 

that is almost a half point better than that of all TLDs combined. However, Verisign's .net TLD remained stuck at the same 13.4 million registrations the extension had at the same time a year ago.

The ccTLDs (country code domains) finished 1Q-2022 with 133.4 million registrations, a 2.4% gain year over year. However, like the overall market, momentum for the ccTLDs took a powerful turn up in the opening quarter of this year when their total leapt 4.7% (6 million domains) from the previous quarter.

The new gTLDs, who have had their ups and downs, returned to high growth mode in the 12 month ending March 31. They finished 1Q-2022 with 26.3 million registered domains a 15.3% surge year over year with the addition of 3.5 million domains. Almost half of the that gain (1.6 million domains) came in the opening quarter, mirroring the quick start to 2022 that we saw with both the .coms and ccTLDs. 

Numbers for the the second quarter of the year that just ended Thursday (June 30), won't be tabulated for awhile, but they will be highly anticipated to see how domains fared over the course of a full quarter rocked by the ongoing global economic shockwaves triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

(Posted July 1, 2022) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
https://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2022/dailyposts/20220701.htm

*****


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