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The Lowdown

Jan. 29, 2009 Post

Here's the The Lowdown from DNJournal.com! Updated daily to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry!

Compiled by Ron Jackson
(DN Journal Editor/Publisher)
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The DOMAINfest Global Conference continued in Hollywood, California Wednesday with Jeff Kupietzky, President of show organizer Oversee.net, kicking off Day 2 with an information-

Oversee President Jeff Kupietzky
speaking Wednesday at DOMAINfest

packed "state of the industry" address.  Kupietzy said the current economic environment is the worst he has ever seen and predicted it will get worse before it gets better, however he remains optimistic about the future, noting that "we have an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on what is happening around us."  A bit later Kupietzky conducted a keynote interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak who himself noted that Apple was born during a recession. Innovation is often born of necessity. During hard times like these smart people find better ways to meet people's needs and operate in a more efficient manner. As history has shown, many great business successes germinated in this kind of environment.

Oversee Senior VP Peter Celeste followed Kupietzky to the podium for a brief talk and to 

serve as moderator of the day's first panel discussion which centered on what the next evolutionary phase of the domain industry will look like. We will have more details on all of the seminar sessions in our comprehensive conference review article that will be published at the end of next week.

The highly anticipated main event, Wozniak's keynote talk, got underway a little before noon. With Kupietzky conducting a delightfully informal interview on stage, Wozniak detailed how he and Steve Jobs created Apple and made it one of the great business success stories of all time.

One of the many fascinating tidbits that came out of the talk was Wozniak recalling his days as a dedicated Hewlett Packard employee. He said he pitched his idea for a small personal computer to HP five times and was turned down every time! It was, of course, a blessing in disguise as he and Jobs, forced to do it themselves, rolled out a world changing product that has made them iconic figures in business history.  

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak 
during his keynote appearance Wednesday

After lunch a pair of panel discussions devoted to building out domain names provided invaluable tips and information for those ready to get serious about developing their domains. We will cover those in depth in our show review article next week. The business day closed with one of the many new twists Oversee introduced at this show - a structured networking session in the Exhibit Hall. In this format, industry experts from four different fields were dispatched to the four corners of the hall. They donned white lab coats to make it easy for attendees to spot them so they could get answers to their questions and feedback on their ideas.

Structured Networking session Wednesday afternoon

I'll be taking part in another round of structured networking that will tackle four more topics this afternoon from 5-6:30pm (local time). Our group, including Moniker's Monte Cahn and Victor Pitts and Anthos Chrysanthou (Lease Domains) will be answering questions about buying and selling domains.

As night fell it was time to have a party and Oversee, as they always do, threw a great one at Universal Studios. They arranged to have a whole section of the world famous attraction reserved for a DOMAINfest special event. Attendees were bussed to Universal where they received a red carpet welcome to the studio lot (see photo below).

DOMAINfest attendees stroll a red carpet entrance laid out for them at Universal Studios

Attendees were able to enjoy two of the park's most popular rides, The Mummy and Jurassic Park, as often as they wanted with zero wait time. The famous Universal Studios tram tour was also open throughout the night, as were game rooms, restaurants and open bars (all free of charge to DOMAINfest guests).

The conference closes with another jam-packed day and night ahead. The Thursday schedule begins at 9:30am (Pacific time) with the first of two morning panel discussions. The second of those at 11am will feature Google's Hal Bailey and Matt Parry. Questions about Google's recent decision to provide direct parking services are sure to come up in that session as domainers try to get a handle on the company's long term plans for that sector.

The afternoon will be devoted to Moniker's big live domain auction while the night will be dominated by the social highlight of the conference - a DOMAINfest party at the Playboy Mansion. I'll have all of the Thursday highlights for you in this column tomorrow morning.

(Posted Jan. 29, 2009)

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