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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.

Photos & Highlights From Day 2 - The First Full Day of Business - At T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010

After getting underway Sunday evening with a welcoming cocktail party at the Loews Hotel on South Beach, attendees at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami got down to business Monday (Oct. 18). The day began bright and early at 8:30am with a speed networking session conducted under an entirely new format. 

Scene from Monday's one-on-one speed networking session at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010

Participants had to register in advance so they could be matched up with people who worked in the areas that they were most interested in. That allowed show organizers to set up six extended one-on-one meetings (each lasting just under 10 minutes) for each participant. As you entered the room you were given a personal schedule that directed you to numbered pre-assigned seats for each of your sessions. 

I found the new format to be an improvement over previous ones that limited each contact to two minutes. The old format let you meet more people but many were from fields unrelated to your interests. The new one lets you target the categories you want to explore while giving you considerably more time to get to know each person you meet. 

After the networking session, attendees headed to a 10am brunch where they heard welcoming comments from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu. Schwartz told them that much of the conference would focus on the need for domain owners to re-take control of their own destiny from partners (Google and Yahoo in particular) that he believes are shortchanging domainers who send traffic to the search engine giants through PPC programs (you can read more details of Schwartz's views on this in a pre-show interview with him that we recently published).

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Howard Neu (left) and Rick Schwartz welcoming attendees to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami

Keynote speaker Simon T. Bailey tells the 
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. audience how to release their brilliance.

Author Simon T. Bailey's keynote speech was next on the agenda and his tips for unleashing your inner brilliance was a treat. Bailey believes that each of us is born brilliant. Then we spend the rest of our lives having our brilliance buried by people, circumstances, and experiences. He says that eventually we forget that we ever had genius and special talents, and our brilliance is locked away in a vault deep within. So we settle for who we are, instead of striving for who we were meant to be.

He details how to change all of that in his latest book, Release Your Brilliance, that is available on Amazon and can also be 

purchased for immediate download to iPads and iPhones. I sat with Simon at brunch prior to his talk and found him to a very inspiring person. The way he rose from poverty to become an internationally celebrated speaker, author, and consultant underscores that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

In another conference highlight, attendees had an opportunity to hear from the highest ranking government official ever to speak at a domain conference - U.S. Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-Florida), who was accompanied by former Congressman Mike Ferguson.

U.S. Congressman Cliff Stearns (left) and former Congressman 
Mike Ferguson speaking at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami Monday.

Depending on how the mid-term elections go next month, Stearns may become Chairman of a powerful House committee that oversees Internet issues. He expressed support for domain owner's rights and urged attendees to get involved in the political process to make sure those rights are not taken away by those who want to grab assets they did not have the foresight to acquire years ago when they were available to anyone who wanted to put their capital at risk.

Ferguson emphasized that it was crucial for domainers to join forces because they are battling giants in this fight. Unfortunately, as an industry we have a poor track record of working together, so whether or not Stearns and Ferguson's sage advice will be heeded remains to be seen.

The day continued with an afternoon schedule that three seminars, starting with one titled Where Do We Go From Here? devoted to next steps domain owners can take to develop domains or improve monetization prospects for the assets.

Above: A large crowd turned out for a Monday afternoon 
session called Where Do We Go From Here? 

This session featured a panel of seven experts who all have extensive development experience, including John Ferber (Domain Holdings), Craig Rowe (WhyPark.com), Rob Monster (Epik.com), Dan Warner (DomainAdvertising.com), Ted Olson (NameMedia), David Castello and Michael Castello (Castello Cities Internet Network). There isn't enought time while the show is underway to provide details on each seminar. However, we will be publishing a more comprehensive show review a few days after the conference ends.

The next session - Stop Whining and Start Doing Something Constructive - expanded on the theme of what to think about doing next.

Stop Whining and Start Doing Something Constructive panelists (left to right) were Adam Matuzich, Owen Frager, Ira Zoot, Zappy Zapolin, Lonnie Borck and Michael Berkens.

There was a new format for all of the business seminars at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami. No Powerpoint presentations were allowed. In every case, the time was spent in a free flowing discussion moderated by Howard Neu with the audience invited to ask their own questions as well.

In the last session, I joined five colleagues to discuss Is The Gold Rush Over, or Are There More Nuggets to Mine? The opinion I and several others expressed was that the gold rush is far from over but that some of the best opportunities are being found in places people haven't mined so heavily in the past - everything from ccTLDs to using CPA monetization methods.

The Is The Gold Rush Over, or Are There More Nuggets to Mine? panel featured Gregg 
McNair
(PPX International), Keith Levenson (Rio.com), Chad Folkening (Domain Holdings), 
Ron Jackson (DN Journal), Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com) & Rick Schwartz (T.R.A.F.F.I.C.).

The final event of the business day was the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Test Track that allows those who have businesses seeking investments to make their pitch to a panel of judges who are also potential investors. 

Lori Anne Wardi (at the podium) of the .CO Registry, the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Test Track's 
sponsor, introduced Monday's program. The judges/investors were (seated L to R): 
Dr. Chris Hartnett, Rick Latona, Gregg McNair and Rick Schwartz.

With business out of the way it was time for evening's big social event, a spectacular party, hosted again by the .CO Registry, at the fabulous Versace Mansion on South Beach.

Above: Scene from Monday night's party at the fabulous Versace Mansion on South Beach.

Below: Three of the many guests who turned out for the Versace Mansion party; 
(L to R) Diana Jackson, Dr. Chris Hartnett & Gregg McNair.

As I write this day three of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami is underway. This morning featured the annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards Brunch. The award winners included Domainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Sponsor of the Year - the .CO Registry and two new members voted into the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Hall of Fame; Monte Cahn and Rick Latona. Tomorrow I'll post photos and highlights from all of today's activity, including more on the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards, a talk delivered by legendary boxing promoter Don King and an afternoon security session thatI am sitting in on now in which a panelist just said that a domain thief is lurking among the attendees at the show.

(Posted Oct. 19, 2010)


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