(posted Oct. 22)
Beach, Florida) - The
second full day of activity at the historic
2004 domain conference opened at 8am this morning with a
buffet breakfast hosted by Smartname.com.
The company is headed by well-known domain industry attorney Ari
|From left to right in the SmartName.com
booth in the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 Exhibit Hall: Ari
Goldberger (President, SmartName.com), Michael Berkens
and Adam Matuzich of MostWantedDomains.com, and Larry
Fischer (VP, Business Development, SmartName.com)
breakfast the attendees headed for the conference hall for the day's
opening seminar and debate on whether it is better to rely on PPC
(pay per click) or content to derive maximum value
from a domain name. A panel featured domainers who have
had success with both approaches. They included Floridian Roy Messer,
Grant Keiser of California, Canada's Chris Stewart and Marcia
Walker of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Stewart was the leading proponent of PPC use, pointing out
that it can provide excellent revenue while freeing the owner from
the often heavy investment in time and money needed to develop site
content. Stewart told an amusing anecdote about a billboard company
that approached him about buying Billboard.ca. Seeing the PPC
links on the domain, the company suggested Stewart could sell it to
them cheap as he "wasn't using the domain." In reply,
Stewart asked them what they were doing with all of those empty wood
frames they had dotting the highways. The company said "we put
advertising on them." Stewart said "I do the same
with previous seminars, members of the audience were invited to step
to one of the aisle microphones and asked the panelists a question
or present their own views on the issue.
exchange of information and experiences produced a lot of
valuable ideas that attendees could apply to improve their own
revenues regardless of their preferred approach. With experts
like Eytan Elbaz of Google.com and Howard
Hoffman of PPCIncome.com (pictured at right)
contributing to the discussion everyone left the session with
a better understanding of the pluses and minuses of the two
avenues to maximum monetization of domain value.
After a lunch break it was
back to work with the first afternoon session; Morons! God
Love 'em, hosted by conference co-founder Rick
provocative title brought just about everyone back to the hall
and had people nodding in agreement as Schwartz gave his
examples of morons in a colorful presentation. With an
internet presence indispensible in today's business world, his
list included people who still hand out business cards with no
web addresses on them, large corporations that missed golden
internet opportunities (and still don't get the importance and
value that comes with premium domain names) and those that
"still haven't figured out that type-in domains offer the
most potent traffic possible. It is the bulls eye - if
you don't get that, you are a moron!" Schwartz declared.
were a bit tamer but no less interesting in the final
afternoon session on the Future
Direction of Domains, Traffic & Values.
Predicting the future is an inexact science but as you would
expect this group is bullish on all three, including noted
Philadelphia attorney John
(in photo at left). While the current market rebound gives
just about everyone in the industry ample reason to smile,
that same boom has been accompanied by at least one major
problem - how to deal with people who want to steal those
increasingly valuable domains. That concern was acknowledged
when the discussion veered into the issue of how to protect
domains from hijackers.
law enforcement at all levels apparently uninterested in
helping victims, the general consensus was to make sure you
have your domains with a registrar that has a record of good
security and a willingness to help customers when they are
targeted. With internet law still in its infancy the current
situation was likened to the Wild West where people were often
left to fend for themselves.
another productive day of lively discussions and intense networking,
it was time to switch gears and enjoy some downtime. Pool.com
hosted a 6pm cocktail party, then it was on to a sumptuous dinner
complete with live entertainment compliments of Dark
Blue Sea Ltd. (Fabulous.com).
evening included final results from a two-day auction (the top
sale was Banker.com
purchased by Rick
and a special awards ceremony. The first annual Waddy
(an acronym for the presenting World
Association of Domain Name Developers)
were handed out by T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
major award - Sponsor of the Year
went to the show's lead sponsor, DomainSponsor.com.
The company's Director of Business Development, Ron
accepted the award (see photo at left). DomainSponsor has
brought a lot of innovation to the industry with their new 2.0
product (the new website is expected to be unveiled Oct. 26)
and has delighted partners with increasingly high pay per
click rates in 2004. They were out in force at this show with
a huge contingent of staff members and an impressive exhibit
designed specifically for the Traffic 2004 conference.
up was the award for Best
Overall Domain Solution.
The selection of Fabulous.com
was a popular choice with the more than 100 domainers at the
|Company chief Dan
Warner (between Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Neu in the photo
below) accepted the award for the Brisbane, Australia
|The final presentation was for Domainer
of the Year, an honor that went to Richard Lau of Vancouver,
Canada and Lau.com (seen in photo at
an auspicious beginning, the show organizers are looking ahead
to even bigger things. Two other awards were issued - a Bricks
award to Bank of
for their Loans.com
site and a We Get It
to Barry Diller
(recognizing a non-internet company that understands domain
value). Schwartz knew in advance they would not be here to
accept the awards but he expressed confidence that in future
years individuals and corporations of this caliber will
appear. He said Diller was the top choice to be next year's
speaker (he is represented by the same company that handles
this year's speaker - Ben
the awards were handed out the entertainment began with the
highlight being a performance from Grease
featuring none other than Mr. Neu in the
role! His Olivia
partner Felicia Lynn
was accompanied by a group of female back up singers.
Not to be outdone, Neu recruited a quartet of domainers from
the crowd to provide his chorus line.
we love these guys they were not quite up to the high
performance standard Mr. Neu (a seasoned performer) set, but
we have to applaud them for giving it the old college try! The
unexpected musical number delighted the crowd and set the
stage for the final day of the conference.
The closing session will be held
at 9am Saturday. We will have a report on that Saturday night
and are planning a special show review column Sunday night
with material and photos you haven't seen.
In case you missed our first day report from Thursday (Oct. 21), it
The report on the
closing session Saturday (Oct. 23) is available here.
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