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August 27, 2012

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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.

Video from Local Comedian Drives New Traffic to Chicago.com, Afilias Offers Cash Prizes to the Best .Info Developers & Our Thoughts on the Demise of AEIOU.com

Yesterday I told you about progress being made by a number of domain owners who are developing full scale business websites. There is more on that front today. Associated Cities Co-Founder Josh Metnick dropped me a note today to let me know about a new twist at his marquee property - Chicago.com, that is driving a lot of new traffic to the site. Chicago.com enlisted popular local comedian Vinnie Rapponi to do a special video for the site's home page extolling some of the Windy City's most beloved restaurants and hotspots. With the success of this new feature, Metnick said he expects video to be a big part of Chicago.com's evolution. 

Comedian Vinnie Rapponi
is drawing a crowd to Chicago.com

If you happen to have a developed .info website, you may want to enter the 2009 .Info Awards contest that the .info registry, Afilias, currently has underway.  A 6-person panel of judges was chosen today to select the best submitted .info website with the winner to be awarded a cool $7,500! The runner-up will get $5,000 and the third place finisher pockets $3,000

The panel will review all eligible sites submitted for consideration based on five criteria: presentation of content, functionality of the website, design, usability, and originality. Their scores will determine a shortlist of the top ten submissions, which will be published

at www.info-award.info on November 2nd.  From November 2-6, the public will be invited to vote on the sites selected by the judges. Public votes will be combined with the judges scores to select the top three Award winners. If you want to enter you will have to hurry, the deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time) Friday, October 23.

Those who have been trying out mini-site development lost a key service provider yesterday when Rick Latona's AEIOU.com announced they were exiting the business. Latona, who runs many other domain related companies, decided his time could be better spent on enterprises 

other than the low margin mass development business. Some have speculated that Latona's move indicates that mini-site services in general are already becoming passé.  I think it is much too early to write the sector off though, especially if you are willing to apply some elbow grease yourself to keep an initial mini-site moving forward with fresh content. 

Any site will quickly die on the vine if a few pages are thrown on the web and never changed. I haven't used any of the minisite services yet but if I do in the future I would go in with a plan to let the service do the basic site and then start building on the foundation they provide. If you find a service whose design work you like, that alone could save you a ton of time en route to a fully developed site and, time being money, that alone could represent a good return on your investment. 

If you are looking for a good .de domain (German ccTLD) to build on, you may be able to land one later this week when DENIC (operators of the .de registry) opens the extension up to one, two and three character domains Friday (Oct. 23) at 9am Central European Time

Sedo is already working with registrar partners to let you enter pre-bids on domains you want through 12 Noon U.S. Eastern Time Thursday (Oct. 22). When the registration period opens Friday, Sedo’s registrar partners will place bids on your behalf if you win the domain in their 

Pre-Auction.  If they are unable to register the domain right away, their brokerage team will use your winning bid to try to buy the domain from the successful registrant. You can get all of the details on the process here

Speaking of Sedo, we just published our comprehensive review of the 2009 SedoPro Partner Forum conference that was held at the Waldorf Astoria's Casa Marina Resort in Key West, Florida October 7-9. The article contains many previously unpublished photos and meeting details that we didn't have time to bring you in the daily updates from the conference that were posted in this column. 

This was the 4th annual event in the Partner Forum series which alternates each year between the United States and Europe

(Posted Oct. 20, 2009)

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