The Thursday (Sept. 25) schedule at
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York 2008 opened with a speed networking
session at 9:30am. That's a little early for people who stayed out
late partying, but a good portion of the crowd got out of bed to
take advantage of the chance to meet dozens of potential business
partners in a single hour. In a tried and true format, one row shifted
down a seat every two minutes, bringing people face to face with a
new contact after each move.
from the Speed Networking session Thursday morning
The first Thursday at seminar at 10:30am - A
View from the End User - was one of the best of the
conference. Brad Geisen of Foreclosure.com was there
to explain what purchasing that domain for a little over a million
dollars turned out to be a great bargain. The man he bought it from,
Kevin Wood (ByOwner.com), was also on the dais, along with
Rick Schwartz who recently signed a deal to sell Geisen a 90% interest
in Property.com in a deal that Schwartz said will rank and as
one of the biggest of all time.
When Geisen started his online business, he
didn't believe a domain name was worth much and passed on a chance
to buy Foreclosure.com for just $50,000. After that, every
time he decided he should get the name, he went back only to find
out the price had risen dramatically from the previous offer. That
happened several times before he finally realized (after spending
hundreds of thousands dollars on ads to bring traffic to his site)
that would save money by paying up for the category killing
At one point in the session Wood revealed that
he had bought Foreclosure.com for just $1,600 on Ebay
in 1997, causing Geisen to exclaim, "I didn't need to know
that!!!" Everyone, including Geisen, laughed. Geisen
now has no regrets. He said, "No one can comprehend how big the
Internet will be in 10 years. It will dominate everything."
The show's final seminar
at 11:30am featured an seven-man "Meeting of the
Chiefs" but unlike at last shows where this panel was
dominated by PPC executives, the Chiefs were all domainers
who run their own businesses. Sitting on the dais were Rick
Schwartz, Sahar Sarid, Lonnie Borck, Nat
Cohen, Larry Fischer, Elliot Silver and Michael
A hot topic that dominated much of the
discussion was the state of Kentucky's move to try to
confiscate 141 gambling related domain names (never mind
that Kentucky has no jurisdiction over those domains).
Berkens, who owns over 70,000 domains talked about
the need for domain owners to band together to head off
these kinds of unfounded claims to domain names. He was
instrumental in getting the Internet
Commerce Association (ICA), involved in
challenging the Kentucky action.
Sarid noted that if a single state like Kentucky succeeds
in hijacking domains they are not entitled to, geo domains
would likely be the
|next target that government
entities would go after. Schwartz chastised registrars like Enom
who handed over their customer's domains to Kentucky with no
questions asked. He praised Moniker for standing up to Kentucky
and refusing to turn over domains.
At the 1pm luncheon, Fabulous.com's Mike
Robertson updated attendees on plans for the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Down Under conference that Fabulous will host on Australia's
Gold Coast in November.
I spoke after Mike, giving an update on how the
domain aftermarket was faring in the current quarter. With two weeks
remaining in the quarter when I spoke, sales for the first 11 weeks
of 3Q-2008 were running about $6 million below sales from the
same 11-week period in 2007. The big difference was at the very high
end of the market. In 2007, there were four 7-figure sales in that
time frame that accounted for all of the difference as there were
none at that level over the same period this year. As our weekly
domain sales reports show, the the low to mid range of
the market is holding up very well, but in these economic times,
buyers are proving more reluctant to place bets on domains priced
above $1 million.
|After lunch it was time for the live auction
main event - Moniker's big sale conducted by auctioneer Wayne
Wheat. In a very respectable outing, just under $3
million worth of sales were booked in this event and
another $900,000 was added in the online silent
auction that ran in conjunction with the show. Moniker's hit
list was led by FinancialAid.com at $800,000 and
four more six-figure sales; Floor.com ($275,000),
Camps.com ($110,000), LT.com ($100,000) and Cleaning.com
($100,000). A number of .me domains also sold at
impressive prices, led by Date.me at $70,000.
Again, you can see all of the Moniker (and other) auction
The auction segued into the 5th Annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Awards Dinner at 6pm. Honors went to winners chosen by
their peers in seven different categories. More than 2,000
voters participated in the email balloting. The winners are
shown in the photos below.
Wayne Wheat directing
Moniker's live domain auction
Overall Solution - Fabulous.com
Robertson accepted award
New Developer - Kevin Ham
Ham accepts award for brother Kevin
New Monetization Solution - Sendori.com
Feeley of Sendori.com
Get It Award - Foreclosure.com
Chip accepts award
of the Year - TrafficZ.com
Kubba accepts for TrafficZ
of the Year -
Latona accepts his
Domainer of the Year Award
Domain Hall of Fame - (Two new members are
elected each year, but a tie in the voting resulted in three
people being elected this year). This year's inductees
and Dr. Chris Hartnett.
(They join Frank Schilling, Sahar Sarid, Rick
Schwartz and Ron Jackson who received the honor
over the past two years).
Schwartz looks on as Howard Neu announces
three new inductees to the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Domain Hall of
In another bit of news was released during the
Awards Dinner - Skenzo.com will become the lead sponsor
for the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences in 2009 when shows will be held
in Silicon Valley and New York City. The Silicon
Valley show will be held April 27-30, 2009 at the Santa Clara
Marriott which hosted a previous T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show in January
2006. The New York show scheduled for October 20-23,
2009 will return to the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.
An awards night after party was hosted by Parked.com
got underway in an adjacent ballroom at 9pm. It was a final opportunity
to network and wind down with friends, new and old.
of the crowd at Parked.com's awards night after party.
Most people headed home Friday morning (Sept.
26) after enjoying a farewell breakfast. However, several people
stayed over a day or two to enjoy the weekend in New York. My wife,
Diana, and I stayed an extra day and joined Howard Neu, his wife Barbara
and their son Ray to catch a Broadway play Friday night (Mary
Poppins at the New Amsterdam theater).
Broadway - Arriving at the New Amsterdam Theater Friday
night (left to right):
Barbara Neu, Ron Jackson, Ray Neu, Diana
Jackson and Howard Neu
As they always do, Barbara, Ray and Rick
Schwartz's wife, Alina, played a key role in helping Howard
and Rick stage the conference. It has been a family affair from the
start and their warm hospitality has been a major factor in giving
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. the unique personality that has earned the show so
many loyal fans.
and Alina Schwartz with keynote speaker Barbara Corcoran
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. #12 is now in the
books. Next up - T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Down Under November 18-20 on Australia's Gold Coast.
Hope to see you there!
We have many additional pictures from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York and as
soon as we get a chance to go through those and edit them (there are
more than 1,000 shots), we will add the best ones to a Photo Gallery
that will be attached to this article. We will place a link to the
Gallery here when it is ready and will also post a note in our daily
Lowdown section to let
you know it is up. We have some other deadline items to take care of
first but expect to have the Gallery online within the next
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