& Highlights From the Closing Day at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York Including
Annual Award Winners & Moniker Auction Results
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York conference
with a very busy day Wednesday at the Brooklyn Bridge
Marriott. Technically the show ends this morning
with a casual farewell breakfast for those still in the Big
Apple and a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Board of Advisors meeting
that is also open to all registrants. However, the
show's business schedule ended Wednesday evening with
the close of Moniker's live domain auction.
day began at 10am with one of the most interesting
sessions of the week, Inside the Candy.com
Deal, that featured both the seller of the
$3 million domain, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Rick
Schwartz, and the buyers, Joe Melville and Greg
Balestrieri of the Melville Candy Company.
Melville (left) and Greg Balestrieri (right)
of the Melville Candy Company gave
Rick Schwartz a bonus Wednesday morning. On top of
the $3 million they paid for
Candy.com, the duo presented Schwartz with a giant
lollipop to commemorate the deal.
sides detailed how the often contentious negotiations
led to a deal and Schwartz, who is known as one of the
shrewdest negotiaters in the domain industry, revealed
some of the tactics he has used in this and other
landmark deals (like the $750,000 sale of iReport.com
to CNN) to earn top dollar for his domains. I'll
detail those in a comprehensive show review article we
will be publishing before the end of the month.
Next up was a busy two-hour
brunch, sponsored by EuroDNS,
that featured an array of speakers plus the main event -
presentation of the annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards.
The speakers included Gregg McNair (who is
profiled in our current Cover
Story), who spoke on behalf of The
Water School, a great charitable
organization that the industry has been rallying
I delivered a report
on aftermarket domain sales through the first
three quarters of this year. The numbers I cited
are detailed in our latest monthly newsletter.
I also had the singular honor of seeing Bobbleheads.com
founder Warren Royal unveil a new Ron
Jackson bobblehead doll during the brunch.
Royal had one placed at every table setting so let
me take this opportunity to apologize in advance
for any indigestion that may have caused!
Royal, who is a
dedicated domain owner/developer, introduced the
company's first domain industry bobblehead last
year in New York with a Rick Schwartz doll. He
decided to follow up on the theme this year and I
was certainly humbled that he chose to add me to
his extensive inventory at Bobbleheads.com. In
addition to retailing countless bobblehead
figures, Royal has increasingly moved into
manufacturing and recently inked
a deal with the estate of the late Dr.
Martin Luther King to produce and sell a
commemorative bobblehead doll that will be
available at the King Center in Atlanta
among other outlets.
bobblehead doll that was
introduced by Bobbleheads.com Wednesday
of the Wednesday brunch was the presentation of the
annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards. Honors went out in 8
categories and veteran domain investor Michael
Berkens, who also writes a popular blog at TheDomains.com,
picked up trophies in two of those. Berkens
joined the Castello
Brothers (David and Michael) as this year's
inductees into the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Hall of Fame
and also picked up the top individual award - Domainer
of the Year.
(left to right): T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Howard Neu,
Domainer of the Year Michael Berkens and his
fellow Hall of Fame
inductees David Castello and Michael
Castello, and Rick Schwartz.
award winners were all chosen in open balloting. Here
are the winners in six other categories:
Of The Year - Parked.com
Best Overall Domain Soultion - Sedo.com
Best New Monetizing Solution - Above.com
Best Developer Of The Year - Shaun
Best Domain News Blog - DNJournal.com
The “We Get It” Award - Melville
will have photos of all of the award winners in
our upcoming conference review article.
at the Wednesday brunch, Rick Latona (now a
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. partner with Schwartz and Neu) released
the full schedule for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences in 2010.
There will be six events, two in the U.S. and four
international shows. Here is the complete line up:
Vegas - January 21-23
Milan, Italy - April 27-29
Vancouver, Canada - June 15-18
Dublin, Ireland - August 24-26
Miami (South Beach) - October
Hong Kong - November 15-16
Wednesday afternoon schedule included a pair of panel
discussions. The first, called Blog Roll,
featured Man on the Street video interviews
conducted by Howard Neu in Florida before
the show, with the panelists (industry reporters and
bloggers) then commenting on the sometimes surprising
street sentiment expressed in the videos on three
topics. Those were the interviewees' preferred computer
operating systems and search engines (Mac rapidly
gaining ground on Windows and Google
trouncing Yahoo in search), preferred social
media outlets (Facebook in a landslide) and their
preferred source for news (the Internet
overwhelming traditional media).
Roll panelists (from left to right): Rick
Latona (RickLatona.com), Elliot Silver
(ElliotsBlog.com), Michael Berkens
(TheDomains.com), Owen Frager (FragerFactor.com),
Ron Jackson (DNJournal.com), Rick Schwartz (RicksBlog.com)
and moderator Howard Neu.
final session of the show was a Meeting of the
Chiefs, with seven top level company executives
fielding questions about the current state and future of
domain monetization from four panelists; Dr. Jeffrey
Reynolds, Gregg McNair, Ron Jackson
and Lonnie Borck. The executive team featured Divyank
Turakhia (Skenzo), Pete Lamson (NameMedia), Ammar
Kubba (TrafficZ), Peter Celeste
(Oversee.net), Kevin Ham (Reinvent), Sean
Moriarty (DDC.com) and Donny Simonton
(Parked.com). I'll have details on that wide ranging
discussion in our upcoming conference review article.
conference closed with Moniker.com's
final T.R.A.F.F.I.C. live domain auction (Rick Latona
Auctions will become the exclusive T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
auction services provider in 2010).
from Moniker's live domain auction Wednesday in
total sales coming in at approximately $412,150,
the Moniker auction didn't fare as well as the Rick
Latona sale the previous day that netted well over $1
million. Some frequent auction buyers in the
audience told me they passed on many names in the
Moniker event because they felt the reserves were set
too high. The biggest sale was Multivitamins.com
at $45,000 (the Latona auction Tuesday had been
topped by Rio.com at $450,000).
we have given you a daily capsule view of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
New York in our Lowdown posts this week, there is a
lot more to tell you about. We will do that in a comprehensive
show review article that we will begin work on soon
after returning to our home base in Florida. Look for it
by the end of next week (the article will be posted on
our home page just below the current Cover Story). We
are going to stay over in New York for an extra day to
catch a Broadway show and a little extra sleep -
something that will be a special treat after three
non-stop days and nights in the Big Apple. It was time
very well spent though and I would certainly do it
again (and will when T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas
rolls around in January).
One more bit of
domain conference news. Organizers of the DOMAINfest
Global conference, coming up January
26-28 in Santa Monica, California, have
announced that attendees will be treated to a
night out at the Playboy Mansion in Los
Angeles for the second year in a row. As they
the domain monetization division of show organizer
has arranged for their guests to take part in a
charity fundraising party and accompanying
celebrity auction. The 2010 event will benefit Jenny
McCarthy’s autism organization Generation
We snapped the
adjacent photo at the 2009 DOMAINfest Global Party
at the Playboy Mansion. The world famous estate
covers over 5 acres in the Holmby Hills section
of Los Angeles. We will of course be at the 2010
event as well.