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High Stakes Game: The Fate of New gTLDs & The Future of Domain Investing Will Be on the Table at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West in Las Vegas

By Ron Jackson

The 2014 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West Conference coming up May 28-31 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (preceded by two days of Cabana Networking starting May 27) marks the start of the pioneering show's 10th anniversary year. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu staged the first major domain conference ever held back in October 2004 and will conclude this year with a landmark T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East anniversary show October 28-November 2 at the historic Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach.

But first things first. With all eyes trained on Las Vegas we got together with Schwartz and Neu to find out what they have planned for their return engagement at the Bellagio where T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West 2013 was also staged - and more importantly, why you should be there.  Full Story Here 


New Funding & Key Partnership Has CitiesPlanet Poised to Put GeoDomains In Higher Orbit

By Ron Jackson

CitiesPlanet.com, the world’s first full monetization platform for geodomain brands, has announced both a major capital infusion and a partnership with Tallwave, a firm that describes itself as a "first of its kind “commercializor” known for its ability to take early-stage ventures from ideation all the way to sustainable commercialization."

CitiesPlanet.com expects the additional funding and partnership to allow the company to expand its existing client portfolio of 65 city .com brands to thousands of worldwide geodomains in the coming 24 months concurrent with development of the next generation of CitiesPlanet's City in the Box software

Click here for Full Story 


How NamesCon Plans to Spur Domain Industry Growth With New January Show in Las Vegas

By Ron Jackson

For the last seven years domain investors have gotten used to seeing Oversee.net stage a major conference in the opening weeks of the New Year. However, that show, known as DOMAINfest before being re-christened Webfest Global for the 2013 event last February, has yet to announce their plans for 2014. That left a void the domain industry veteran Richard Lau decided to fill with a new conference called NamesCon that will run at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas January 13-15, 2014.  

NamesCon is not just a new domain show though - it is an attempt to expand the business  by bringing people from other corners of the Internet and business worlds together under one roof and to do so at an astonishingly low price

Click here for Full Story 


Richard Lau
NamesCon Founder

Sedo Revisited: How the Pioneering Domain Company Has Kept Pace  Through a Decade of Constant Change

By Ron Jackson

In recent years the original founders of industry pioneer Sedo have made a profitable exit, selling their shares in transactions that resulted in the domain sales and monetization powerhouse becoming a subsidiary of German corporate giant United Internet. In the nearly 10 years since we first profiled Sedo much has changed there but one thing remains the same - the company continues to play a leading role in an industry where the tides are always shifting. Many other companies that failed to adapt have come and gone but Sedo is now well into their second decade, determined to make the next 10 years even better. 

To get a complete overview of today's Sedo, we connected with several members of the company's leadership team to find out how see Sedo has changed (and what has remained the same) and to get an update on the company's latest service offerings, as well as what they have in the pipeline. Our conversations started with CEO Tobias Flaitz who took over leadership of the Cologne, Germany based company 18 months ago.     Click here for Full Story 

Sedo's home office building
in Cologne, Germany

Someone Filed a UDRP Against Me - Now What?

Editor's Note: If you find yourself asking the question in our headline, this guest article by veteran Internet legal counsel Brett Lewis of Lewis & Lin LLC is for you! 

By Brett Lewis, Lewis & Lin LLC

Being on the receiving end of a UDRP Complaint can be unnerving and worrisome for some clients, while others receive it as a declaration of war.  Many factors will influence whether a domain name registrant chooses to fight back and file a response, including the value of the domain name, the registrant’s ability to fund a defense, and the odds of successfully defending the domain name.

Although the odds are generally stacked against registrants statistically, statistics can be misleading. Many times respondents should expect to lose, because they are engaged in conduct that runs afoul of the dictates of the UDRP and governing law. However, the odds for respondents in contested proceedings are far better – perhaps in part because the Respondents are represented by counsel, and in part because the domain names in question are worth defendingClick here for Full Story 

Cyber law image from Bigstock

Waiting for the .Green Light: After Spending 5 Years Preparing to Run a New gTLD the DotGreen Community's Fate Rests in ICANN's Hands 

By Ron Jackson

Within the next year or two hundreds of new domain extensions are expected to go live as part of ICANN's new gTLD program. While a few new gTLDs have been launched over the past decade, the Internet has never seen a mass release of hundreds of new extensions at once. That is going to create a significant challenge for operators of new gTLD registries - how are they going to break through the clutter and achieve the public awareness they will need to sell enough domain registrations to become a going concern (and recoup the hundreds of thousands of dollars it will cost to launch each new gTLD)?

It will take a lot of legwork to get over that hurdle - something that one prescient applicant who hopes to administer the .green registry - Founder & CEO Annalisa Roger and her team at the DotGreen Community Inc. has always understood. That's why they have already been spreading the .green gospel and building public awareness for the extension for over five years now! Even so, with three other applicants also chasing .green, the race is still far from over, but what DotGreen Community has done to date serves as a textbook example of how to build public recognition and support for a new gTLD to give it the best possible chance for success.   Click here for Full Story 

Annalisa Roger
Founder & CEO
DotGreen Community Inc. 

Inside Sedo: Co-Founder & Former CEO Tim Schumacher Leaves With a Fascinating Look Back at the Decade He Spent Running the Show 

By Ron Jackson

January 31, 2012 marked the end of an era at domain aftermarket and parking powerhouse Sedo.com. It was the day that company Co-Founder and long time industry leader Tim Schumacher officially completed his run as Sedo's CEO and, after more than a decade leading the Cologne, Germany based company, set his sites on new business ventures outside of the domain space. 

Less than 48 hours after Schumacher turned over his CEO duties to Tobias Flaitz, I sat down with Tim in Santa Monica, California, where we were both attending the 2012 DOMAINfest Global conference, for a private chat about his years at Sedo and the company's meteoric rise during that time. The result was a fascinating look back at a turbulent decade in which the company first thrived, then had to survive a global recession that washed many others away. You won't want to miss this inside look at the history of one of the industry's key companies.     Click here for Full Story 

Tim Schumacher, Sedo
Co-Founder & Former CEO

DOMAINFest Global 2012 Review: Industry Changes Prompt a Promising New Direction for Oversee's Big Event 

By Ron Jackson

The 6th annual DOMAINfest Global conference rewarded an estimated 600 guests with a week of unique networking and educational opportunities in a show held under picture perfect sunny Southern California skies at the oceanfront Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica Jan. 31 - Feb. 2, 2012.

While this was the 6th show in the DOMAINfest Global series it was considerably different than the ones that came before. The show's organizers, Oversee.net, parent company of lead sponsor DomainSponsor.com, decided to expand the scope of the show beyond traditional domain investor issues with an increasing emphasis on alternative ways to generate traffic and revenue - topics that are of increasing interest to domain owners seeking to offset the heavy decline in PPC revenue in recent years.   Click here for Full Story 

Industry Heavyweights Find New Domain Monetization Gold in Old Vein: Why @Identity's Founders See Big Bucks in Email Addresses

By Ron Jackson

When I got an email from Chicago.com owner Josh Metnick with a subject line that said "Something amazing is happening" I naturally sat up and took notice. Not only is Josh a giant in the geodomain space, he is not a guy who is given to hyperbole. Josh wanted to get on the phone to tell me all about it and he did indeed have an amazing story to tell - one that will be music to the ears of owners of top tier .com domain names - especially (but not limited to) geodomains. 

Metnick accidentally discovered that individuals and companies were willing to pay far more than he (or you and I) would have ever dreamed for memorable email addresses that identify where they live and do business - in his case Chicago. As the owner of Chicago.com Metnick found that he had just what they were looking for. 

Metnick shared his discovery with fellow industry heavyweight Ammar Kubba,  the CEO and a principle in Thought Convergence, Inc., whose portfolio of well-known companies includes TrafficZ, Aftermarket.com and DomainTools.com. Kubba said, "Josh mentioned some preliminary numbers and projections, and I thought that he was crazy...but then we talked some more and I started to see the light." Kubba decided he wanted in. The two formed a new company @Identity LLC, to build a platform enabling themselves and owners of other premier domains to tap this promising new source of revenue.    Click here for Full Story 


Josh Metnick
Co-Founder, @Identity LLC

The GeoPublishers.com Expo Makes Its First Appearance on the GeoDomain Stage With an All-Star Cast in Chicago 

By Ron Jackson

The first ever GeoPublishers.com Expo was held Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 2011 at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago with some of the world's top geodomain owners on hand for the inaugural event. This show followed in the footsteps of the popular GeoDomain Expos that were staged by Associated Cities before that groundbreaking organization was sidetracked by irreconcilable differences among some of its founders.

Many former AC members were involved in putting together the new group and its conference, an event that impressed with exceptionally strong programming and a first rate venue in a great city. Here is our wire to wire coverage of what went down in the Windy City.    

Click here for Full Story 


DNCruise 2 Delights Domain Industry Guests on a Wonderful Week-Long Cruise Through the Caribbean

By Ron Jackson

Alumni from the debut edition of DNCruise in 2010 were first in line to sign up when the event's organizers, Patrick Ruddell (Chef Patrick) and his wife Zezura, announced plans for DNCruise 2 to run Sept. 5-10, 2011. Last year the itinerary was changed on the fly when an unexpected hurricane developed in the Gulf of Mexico, but attendees still kept a sunny disposition throughout, delighted to have an opportunity to spend several days networking with industry veterans and newcomers alike in a low cost, casual, fun filled environment.

This time the weather fell in line with everything else and was picture perfect. A change of port to Tampa, Florida also opened up an especially attractive Western Caribbean itinerary that not only took cruisers to Cozumel but also to Grand Cayman for an unforgettable day with legendary domain investor Frank Schilling on his home turf. 

Click here for Full Story 

DNCruise 2 took dozens of 
domain industry guests on 
a memorable tour of the 
Caribbean Sept. 5-10, 2011

Backstage at Domain Holdings: How They Are Turning Tier 1 Generic  Domains Like Mortgage.org Into Fully Developed Businesses

By Ron Jackson

When Advertising.com co-founder John Ferber (who was featured on ABC-TV's Secret Millionaire March 27, 2011) and domain industry pioneer Chad Folkening teamed up with Erik Simons to found Domain Holdings Group, LLC last year, big things were expected from the new domain development, SEO and monetization company. Ferber already has one massive success under his belt with the sale of Advertising.com (a company that he and his brother Scott founded) to AOL in 2004 for $435 million in cash and his new partners also have a long history of internet success. 

As expected, that new union is already bearing fruit. The acquisition and development of Mortgage.org on behalf of a major corporate client is a perfect example of the multiple skill sets that Domain Holdings Group, LLC can apply to projects they take on. The Mortgage.org story also offers an interesting case study in the process of turning a premium domain name into a full-blown business that stretches across traditional geographic boundaries.  Click here for Full Story 


Five Years of Painstaking Development Produces New Standard in Domain Management at ParkLogic.com 

By Ron Jackson

Michael Gilmour, the founder of ParkLogic.com, is one of the most familiar figures in the domain industry. If you have ever attended a major domain conference you have likely seen Gilmour on the dais. His expertise in domain monetization and management have made him one of the most wanted speakers among show organizers.  

While you have probably seen and heard a lot about Gilmour, you may not be as familiar with the parking services provider he founded - ParkLogic.com. That is because ParkLogic has always been very selective about the portfolios they accept in their system. Gilmour has quietly built the company (with close to a half million domains under management) through personal contacts and word of mouth recommendations - a strategy that has allowed him to aggregate a very high quality flow of traffic.

His clients have been rewarded with a remarkably advanced system that, after five years of development work, has morphed into a phenomenal all purpose domain management platform. In fact that is what caught my attention and led to this story, rather than the company's domain parking component alone. Click here for Full Story 

Michael Gilmour

Magnificent 2010 Show in Miami Burnishes T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s Luxury Brand -  Here's What Happened & How It Helped Shape the Conference Hierarchy

By Ron Jackson

The 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami conference was hailed by many as the best show in the six-year history of the ground-breaking series. The event, the only 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference produced by the show's co-founders, Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu, was held October 17-20 at the perfectly located Loews Hotel on Miami's world famous South Beach.

One reason this was a landmark event, aside from the overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees, is that it brought some clarity to a domain conference picture that had become muddled over the past couple of years by an explosion of shows that came with varying themes, lengths and locations around the globe. Equally important, it brought T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s high end brand back into sharp focus.  
Click here for Full Story

Loews South Beach Hotel
Site of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010

Rick Schwartz Takes Off the Gloves: Says Domainers Getting the Shaft While "Partners" Roll in The Dough

By Ron Jackson

We hooked up with long time partners Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu to do an interview previewing their 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami conference. However, the conversation quickly morphed into one covering much broader ground once we started talking about recent changes in the industry and how the current business environment would be addressed at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami.  

Schwartz said, "Domainers are not happy with the trends. They feel like they are getting the shaft while our so-called “partners” are rolling in the $$$ we are making for them...The end user pays $5.00 for a click, but we get 5 cents and we are supposed to believe that is an 80% cut? I think every domainer knows this is garbage and that it has to change. I believe that T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is going to start a conversation that Yahoo and Google cannot ignore. I have listened to their empty lip service for six years and now it is time for show and tell."     Click here for Full Story 


Howard Neu and Rick Schwartz

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Comes to Canada: 2010 Vancouver Conference Proves to Be a Crowd Pleaser  

By Ron Jackson

Scenic Vancouver, British Columbia provided a perfect setting for the first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference ever held in Canada. The landmark show was staged June 8-10, 2010 at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel that directly overlooks the city's spectacularly beautiful Coal Harbour.

Vancouver was an appropriate location not only for its natural beauty but also because the city has produced some of the most successful domain investors of all time (Garry Chernoff, Frank Schilling, Dr. Kevin Ham and Richard Lau are just a few examples).

The highly anticipated event was produced by the same Rick Latona team, captained by Jodi Chamberlain, that is responsible five of this year's six T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows. Here is our wire to wire review of those three memorable days in Vancouver.        Click here for Full Story 


2010 GeoDomain Expo Review: New Orleans Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Domain Developers  

By Ron Jackson

The 2010 GeoDomain Expo enjoyed a successful run at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in the heart of New Orleans April 28-30. Geodomain developers from around the U.S., Canada and beyond converged in the Big Easy for the annual event staged by Associated Cities (a global association of .com city geodomain owners). 

Don Jones and Bill Hammack, the partners who own and operate AC member NewOrleans.com, served as gracious hosts for the conference and thanked attendees for coming back to a truly unique city that has staged a remarkable comeback since being devastated during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.   Click here for Full Story 


2010 DMG Review: Domainer Mardi Gras Dialed Everything Up a Notch For the Show's Second Run in New Orleans

By Ron Jackson

The 2010 Domainer Mardi Gras (DMG) conference was held in New Orleans Feb. 11-13, right in the middle of the world famous Mardi Gras celebration that brought hundreds of thousands of revelers to the Big Easy. With the show's headquarters located at the New Orleans Marriott, DMG attendees were just steps away from the French Quarter and Mardi Gras ground zero on Bourbon Street.  

The 2009 debut edition of Domainer Mardi Gras was a big hit with attendees but show sponsor Parked.com managed to dial everything about the 2010 event up another notch. Credit the conference's Executive Director Michael Ward and his team for strengthening the show's content while simultaneously providing attendees with a VIP Mardi Gras experience.  Click here for the Full Story 



Opportunity is Knocking and DOMAINfest Global 2010 Attendees Are Ready to Answer After Record Breaking Show in Santa Monica

By Ron Jackson

After debuting with three consecutive top notch annual shows in Hollywood, California, Los Angeles based Oversee.net took the risk of tampering with success and moved their popular DOMAINfest Global conference across town for the 2010 edition that ran January 26-28 in Santa Monica. I've always believed in the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but soon after arriving at the new venue, I understood that the show's organizers were putting their faith in a different time tested axiom, "never rest on your laurels."

That philosophy and a willingness to spend the time and money it takes to continually one up themselves resulted in a record breaking crowd turning out in Santa Monica where DOMAINfest Global cemented its reputation as a can't miss event Click here for the Full Story 



Extreme Makeover - A New Leader, New Venue and New Format Made the 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas Conference a Pivotal Event

By Ron Jackson

The 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas conference that  ran at the Hard Rock Hotel January 21-23 marked a turning point in the popular series that began with the first large scale domain show in October 2004. This was the first time that conference co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu were not at the helm of a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in America.  Under a new partnership agreement, Schwartz and Neu turned the operation of five of this year's six T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows to Rick Latona - starting with the Las Vegas event. 

Latona introduced several changes with this conference, including a new show venue at the Hard Rock Hotel and a revamped show schedule. Despite a technical snafu that interrupted the live domain auction, the overall end result was another crowd pleasing show that upheld the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. tradition.  Click here for the Full Story 



2009 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York Conference Marks the End of an Era

By Ron Jackson

The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York conference that ran at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott October 26-29 marked the end of an era for the domain industry. This show came on the 5th anniversary of a collaboration between co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu that began with a historic event at the Delray Beach, Florida Marriott in October 2004. Now, after staging 15 shows together and licensing two others overseas, the pioneering duo is turning the reins over to Rick Latona who will be fully responsible for five of the six T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences scheduled for 2010.

Schwartz and Neu will resurface on the show circuit only once in the upcoming year, having retained the rights to run a big show in their home state of Florida at the Loews Hotel on Miami's South Beach in October 2010 (October 17-19, 2010 to be specific). Though not exactly their swan song, this third consecutive annual show in the Big Apple was a fitting first class send off for Schwartz and Neu as they begin a 12-month break from the show production grind.   Click Here for Full Story




T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders 
Howard Neu
(at podium)
& Rick Schwartz welcome 
attendees to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 
New York

Partners in Paradise: Our Review of the 2009 SedoPro Partner Forum in Key West, Florida 

By Ron Jackson

The 2009 SedoPro Partner Forum was held at the Waldorf Astoria's Casa Marina Resort in Key West, Florida October 7-9. Sedo's annual gathering is a different animal than mainstream domain conferences that cover a broad range of industry issues and attract registrants of all kinds - individual domain investors, service providers and venture capitalists to name just a few. Sedo's Partner Forum is a special corporate event that is staged primarily to thank their top clients and business associates for their support. 

Less than 100 people are invited to attend the Forum which alternates between Europe and the U.S. each year. The Sedo events focus much more on networking during social and recreational events than than they do on business seminars. With the SedoPro Forum's picturesque locations the company knows their guests want to spend more time outdoors than being cooped up in a conference room. Here is how the 2009 edition went down.  
Click Here for Full Story



Scene from the beach at 
the Casina Marina Resort in 
Key West, Florida where the 
2009 SedoPro Partner Forum 
was held October 7-9.

2009 Domain Roundtable Provides Rousing Conclusion to the Amazing Conference Race 

By Ron Jackson

When I walked onto the National Mall in Washington D.C. a few days ago, I felt like I had just finished competing in The Amazing Race. I was in the nation's capital for the 2009 Domain Roundtable conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. (held June 14-16) - my sixth major domain conference in six months. Since mid-April I had averaged one show every two weeks

Could there possibly be anything new left to talk about at Roundtable after so many shows had preceded it? Would there be any new faces left to see that I hadn't seen in the previous five shows? Could Roundtable's new owner, Thought Convergence, come up with any surprises that would make them stand out in a very large conference crowd? The answers to all three questions would turn out to be an emphatic yes.   Click Here for Full Story

Washington D.C. hosted the
2009 Domain Roundtable

Return to Silicon Valley: Three Years After A Landmark Show in Santa Clara T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Came Back for an Encore

By Ron Jackson

The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference returned to the site of one of its greatest triumphs April 27-30 when the 2009 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Silicon Valley show was staged in Santa Clara, California. Three years before, in the same location, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu produced an event that played a key role in launching a phenomenal boom in the domain business.  

That left them with a tough act to follow this time, especially since the overall economy is now mired in a severe slump. Attendance took a hit as a result but as has always been the case at T.R.A.F.F.I.C., quality trumps quantity. Here is our blow by blow account of what went down in the Valley.  Click Here for Full Story

Sunny Days for GeoDomains: Our Comprehensive Review of the 2009 GeoDomain Expo in San Diego

By Ron Jackson

Talk about pulling a rabbit out of a hat. The annual GeoDomain Expo, staged by Associated Cities, has a history of presenting exceptionally high value events despite charging the lowest registration fee of any major domain industry conference. Even so, it looked like it would take a miracle to maintain their lofty standards at the 2009 show that was held at the scenic Catamaran Resort in San Diego April 23-25.

As we reported in mid March, a disagreement among AC board members on the future mission and structure of the organization took the group's focus off their showcase conference and some favored canceling as a result. The debate didn't end until March 16, so once the green light was on for good, AC leaders were left with just five weeks to put the Expo together. In a testament to their entrepreneurial skills they not only did it, they did it exceptionally well, not only living up to their previous standards but setting a few new ones along the way. 
Click Here for Full Story


The Catamaran Resort in
in San Diego, site of the 
2009 GeoDomain Expo

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