The final day at
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas 2010 had not been scheduled to
start until 12 Noon Saturday, Jan. 23 - but the live
domain auction that had been interrupted Friday was re-slotted
for 10am Saturday so things got off to an earlier
live auction that was suspended Friday was completed Saturday
morning (Jan. 23).
it was finally completed, the auction produced a total of just
over $456,000 in sales with a South African
ccTLD, Fly.co.za, emerging as the top individual sale
at $65,000. Other notable sales included GoFish.com
($50,000), DietFood.com ($49,000), CatFood.com
($41,000), MotorcycleHelmets.com ($35,000) and MenSuits.com
accompanying extended online auction continued for one week
after the show and wound up generating another $379,200 in sales,
bringing the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas 2010 auction total to
over $835,000. The biggest sale of the event came in
the extended auction where LongIsland.com went for $370,000.
auction was done, but there were still three more events on
the closing day schedule, beginning with a noon panel
discussion on how to best optimize your domain portfolio in a
Optimization panelists: Seated (left to right) Donny
Dan Warner (DomainAdvertising.com), Richard Lau
and standing at the podium, Jon Waterman (Domain
The panelists discussed
the importance of selecting the right keywords for your PPC
landing pages and the relative pros and cons of 2-click,
1-click and even zero-click landing pages. The latter involves
sending people who land on your domain directly to a relevant
advertiser rather than presenting them with a page on links
utilizes this model which has also worked for companies like Sendori.com).
Next up was a session
devoted to Playing the Drop Market. The featured
panelists (left to
right in the photo below) were Rob Monster (Epik.com),
Steve Brown (NameJet.com) and Kellie Peterson (Name.com).
Monster said that the
emergence of automated and semi-automated development
platforms (such as his Epik.com) has made picking up expiring
domains more interesting that ever. He said that even
non-traffic domains that have good keywords can produce
revenue when content is added though such platforms. Monster
said he views each drop catch as the raw land for a future
Vegas 2010 closed with one its new main events - Test Track
(an event modeled after the hit ABC-TV series Shark
Tank) that gave operators of seven online
businesses who are seeking investment capital a chance to
pitch their proposals to a panel of investors.
Test Track Investors Panel (left to right): Jon
Gregg McNair, Tony Morgan and Rick Latona.
impressed the panel of investors
during T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Test Track.
|While none of the business owners wound
up securing an investment on the spot, the panel
agreed that BuyersGuide.com
owner John Deneen made the best presentation.
Deneen was also seeking the most money - $2 million
in exchange for 40% of his company. Waterman
was impressed enough to ask for a post-conference
meeting with Deneen to learn more about his company
and see if there is a way for him to make an
investment that will work for both sides.
The panel also heard pitches from Matt Field
(TenYards.com), Louise Timmons (AlgebraAid.com
- site is currently undeveloped), Jiaqiang Chen
(China Geo Network), Lee Raney and Tom McCracken
(Level Ten Interactive), Michael Markovitch (Domain
Price Index) and R.J. Berg (StreetGames.com).
During the session Latona announced that he had
aleady invested $500,000 in Berg's company
which stages fantasy stock market tournaments. The
panelists liked the StreetGames.com site but some were
concerned that the concept could run into legal issues
in some states that could create unforeseen problems.
Test Track, an idea that
Howard Neu came up with and introduced at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
New York conference last fall, has been a
welcome addition to the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. schedule. With
the increased interest in domain development it is
very instructive to see what others are doing with
their sites and how good investors think those ideas
are or in what ways they think they can be
In addition to the scheduled
sessions like Test Track, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees
also often have an opportunity to learn about important new
industry developments in private one on one meetings.
I had one with an executive team from NameMedia who
showed me a presentation detailing some exciting
changes they have made in the company's SmartName.com
monetization program. The system can now automatically
generate slick looking websites that utilize a variety
of monetization methods - not just PPC. I was
impressed enough that I am going to try some of my
own names on the platform and I intend to write more
about it in the near future.
team members (L to R) Bob Mountain, Ted
Olson, David Hauser and Jason
Miner impressed a lot of people with a
demonstration of a new system at SmartName.com.
Another thing I liked
about T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas was seeing so many new faces in
the crowd. It is great to see young people joining the
business and coming up with innovative ideas of their own. One
of them was Morgan Linton of Los Angeles who
spent most of the week recording video interviews for a new
internet TV site he plans to roll out soon at Domainvestors.tv.
Linton (left) interviewing Rick Silver - one of
dozens of interviews
Linton has produced for his upcoming domain TV