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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.

Spain Joins Michael Mann in the Domain Spotlight This Week and Deadline to Protest .Com Contract Renewal Arrives Thursday

Today I'm on my way to Valencia, Spain to cover the Domaining Europe 2012 conference that gets underway Thursday (April 26) at the Sercotel Sorolla Palace Hotel. I'll have daily photos and highlights from Spain in this column for you starting with an on location pre-show post on Wednesday

This will be the 4th Domaining Europe conference staged in Valencia by Dietmar Stefitz (who is getting a big assist from co-producer Jodi Chamberlain for this edition of the show). 

Valencia, which sits directly on the Mediterranean Sea, is Spain's 3rd largest city (only Barcelona and Madrid are bigger), a metropolis that offers a stunning mix of ultra modern architecture (exemplified by the futuristic Hemisferic and Palau de Les Arts) and buildings that have stood for centuries including the 13th century Cathedral in Plaza de la Reina where a chalice many believe to be The Holy Grail resides.

Dietmar and Jodi know that networking is the #1 reason people attend domain conferences so they have built ample time into the show schedule for registrants to enjoy Valencia together, a perfect way to get to know each other and get more business done. The entire closing day Saturday has been set aside for leisure activities that foster group networking (for those staying through the weekend, as Diana and I will, those opportunities will continue with a Sunday brunch).

Of course there will be plenty of traditional business sessions too with top notch speakers Thursday and Friday. New gTLDs will be among the subjects covered - a particularly hot topic since ICANN has had to postpone closing of the new gTLD application window (originally scheduled for April 12) due to technical glitches. As of this writing we still don't know when the application system will

Hemisferic and Palau de Les Arts in Valencia, Spain
Image from Bigstock


Above: The Sorolla Palace Hotel in Valencia, Spain - site 
for this week's  Domaining Europe 2012 conference 

Below: One of the meeting rooms at the Sorolla Palace

Below: The Poolside terrace at the Sorolla Palace

re-open or when the Big Reveal will take place letting the world know who has applied for what new TLDs. 

On a personal note, one of the highlights of the week in Spain (or lowlights depending on how you look at it) will be finding out whether or not I'll be coming home from Valencia with any hair left on my head. As I told you last month PPX International Chairman Gregg McNair has 

started a campaign to raise $50,000 for The Water School and he has already gotten $10,000 each in pledges from Frank Schilling (InternetTraffic.com) and Jan Barta (Elephant Orchestra) if he can get me to let him shave my head in Valenica. 

Those who want to see it happen can make a tax deductible donation at WaterShave.org or in person in Valencia if you will be there for the show. I am a big fan of the Water School's life saving work that helps eradicate water borne diseases in developing nations through an effective, low cost clean water solution. If donors step forward I'm coming to grips with the idea of coming home with an entirely new look next week. 

A couple of other notes before I head for the airport - Thursday (April 26) is the deadline for the public to comment on renewal of ICANN's widely reviled contract with Verisign that would  allow then to jack up .com renewal prices 7% a year in four of the next six years. You can make your feelings known by sending an email to com-renewal@icann.org. You can also read comments others have already made here: http://forum.icann.org/lists/com-renewal/.  (Hat tip to George Kirikos for  the reminder on this important impending deadline).

Michael Mann goes "gangsta"

And last, but certainly not least, kudos again to Paul Sloan for a very interesting article on domain industry pioneer Michael Mann that was published over the weekend at CNET where Paul is now the Executive Editor. Sloan wrote about Mann's domain registration binge earlier this month in which he went through $100,000 piling up almost 15,000 new registrations in just 24 hours!

Some immediately piped up saying it was a waste of money, but Mann, who co-founded BuyDomains and later sold the company to NameMedia, has proven over and over again that, when it comes to domains, he doesn't make many mistakes (we've written two Cover Stories about Michael, including one of our earliest ones in 2003 and another in 2007).

As for Sloan, no one from the mainstream business press has written more insightful and influential articles about the domain space than he has. His 2007 piece about Kevin Ham  

called The Man Who Owns The Internet (written when Sloan was at Business 2.0 magazine)  put this industry in the mainstream spotlight and had a lot to do with a boom in the business that peaked that year. 

((Posted April 23, 2012)

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