late night out at the Versace Mansion Monday evening,
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami organiizers waited until 10am Tuesday morning (Oct. 19) to resume with
another one of the conference's signature events - the annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
of the crowd on hand to see who won the 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Awards were presented in seven categories and two
new members were also inducted into the T.R.A.F.F.I.C Hall of
Fame. The winners were:
New Monetizing Solution
Accepted by: Craig Rowe
Overall Domain Solution
Accepted by: Kathy Nielsen
of the Year
Accepted by: Rob
"We Get It" Award
Winner: National A1
Accepted by: Gary
Domain News Blog
Accepted by: Elliot
of the Year
Winner: .CO Registry
Accepted by: CEO
of the Year
- Winner: Gregg McNair (center)
told us he thought being voted recipient of the
prestigious Domainer of the Year Award was as
much about recognition of the worthiness of The
Water School (the charity he tirelessly promotes
and supports) than it is about him or his company (PPX.com).
We're sure that is part of it as the industry has rallied
around The Water School cause, however there is no doubt in
our mind that McNair is also deserving of the award for a
number of reasons and voters clearly agreed.
Domain Hall of Fame Inductees:
Rick Latona (2nd from left) and Monte Cahn
(2nd from right)
The other major individual awards
went to the two new inductees voted into the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Domain Hall of Fame; Rick Latona and Monte Cahn.
They join previous inductees Rick Schwartz, Ron
Jackson, Frank Schilling, Sahar Sarid, Yun
Ye, Dr. Chris Hartnett, Scott Day, Michael
Castello, David Castello and Michael Berkens. All award winners were selected in
pre-show balloting among T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees.
In a related note, Frank Schilling
was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 but was not at the
awards ceremony that year to receive his plaque. Frank was at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010
though so T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s Ray Neu (at left in the
photo below) took the opportunity to present Frank (at right)
with the HOF Award Ray had been holding for three years so he
could present it to Schilling
Another feature of the awards brunch was an
opportunity for any attendee who had a new service or
product they wanted to tell the crowd about to take the stage and deliver their best
2-minute elevator pitch. Several took
advantage of the opportunity including Tom Chapman
and new Domainer of the Year Gregg
McNair who used his time to - what else - urge people to
support The Water School!
After the award brunch attendees heard a bonus guest speaker - legendary boxing promoter Don King,
a local Miami resident, who was a surprise late addition to the show
| King was a controversial choice with some
who questioned his
relevance to a domain industry audience as well as incidents in his
past that led to time in prison. While his colorful, but somewhat meandering speech was
hard for some to follow several worthwhile nuggets emerged from a
question and answer session with King that followed and brought the
topic of domains to the forefront.
Schwartz asked King what he would do if he owned domain traffic but
received only a miniscule share of the proceeds from selling
that traffic via upstream "partners" Google and Yahoo.
King said he had run into almost exactly the same situation in his
business career. He said that he essentially "made"
the HBO and Showtime cable networks with his
exceptionally popular boxing cards, however he was paid a pittance
compared to the profits he generated for those companies. He said
the answer was to find a way around them, perhaps by creating
your own distribution channels to sell traffic directly to
advertisers. He said he is planning to do something similar with a
new People's Network to distribute his shows and
King speaking at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami
domain owners are currently like "tenant farmers"
who produce the crops but get a meager share of the profits from
their landlords. "The boss decides what your cut will be,"
King said. He encouraged domainers to educate themselves so
they can create new avenues from which to sell their product.
there were people who had reservations about King it was obvious
that many others did not. A big crowd gathered around him to take
pictures and get autographs when his talk ended. King accommodated
every request and wound up staying over for two hours to chat with
those who had questions for him.
King may have found a new boxing prospect in T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Domain Hall of Fame
member Sahar Sarid (left) who showed the legendary promoter
(Photo courtesy of Barbara Neu)
Tuesday afternoon schedule included another round of three seminar session,
conducted under the same open format that was introduced Monday.
first seminar Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 19) was titled Anatomy of a
featured (L to R above) panelists Michael Berkens, Rick
Schwartz, Jean-Pierre Khoueiri,
Michael Gilmour and Owen Frager. They discussed the
importance of knowing
who is typing in your domain name and what they are looking
more seats were added to the dais for the next session -
Prospecting for End Users -
featuring panelists (L to R) Kevin Leto, Ari Goldberger,
Neil Kavanaugh, Kathy Nielsen, Larry Fischer, Rob
Sequin & Monte Cahn. They provided tips on revving up
your domain sales.
Chris Hartnett (left) and Albert Angel (right) joined
five other panelists for the
final seminar - an Emergency Security Session that
covered recent incidents of
domain theft. They were joined on the dais by Donny Simonton,
Jeffrey Eckhaus, Gregg McNair, Michael
Berkens and Michael Robertson.
incident in which Dr. Hartnett was victimized by a domain thief
triggered the session. Angel was there because he and his wife Lesli,
who had been victimized in a previous domain theft involving P2P.com,
pursued the thief, helped catch him and wound up being the first
victims to see a criminal go to jail for stealing domains.
They are assisting Hartnett in building a case against the person
who victimized him.
believes he knows who the thief is and startled the crowd by
telling them that person was in the conference room. He
didn't identify the suspect because the case is still being built
against that person (Hartnett said the FBI is involved in the
investigation). Hartnett noted that the individual could be stealing
other attendees' information through the free wifi system or by
installing a keystroke logger on their computers. He added that the
perpetrator had threatened his family and he vowed to bring the
individual to justice. In the meantime he and other panelists urged
attendees to pay attention to security and gave them tips on
how to protect their domains.
business schedule closed with a live domain auction conducted by Rick
Latona Auctions. Winning bids totaled close to $500,000,
however a week after the sale Latona announced that the winning
bidders in what would have the two biggest sales; Shock.com
($200,000) and BVI.com/BVI.co ($110,000) did not pay.
That left Idle.com ($20,000), MZH.com + MZH.co
($15,000) and Coches.co ($15,000) as the largest sales.
evening NameMedia hosted a three-hour cocktail reception/buffet
dinner in beautiful weather on the outdoor terrace at
the Loews Hotel. It was the perfect way to spend the final evening
guests enjoy NameMedia's outdoor party at the Loews Hotel
Tuesday night (Oct. 19)
(L to R): Barbara Neu, Diana Jackson and Tessa
Holcomb at the NameMedia event.
NameMedia event wrapped up new Domainer of the Year award winner
Gregg McNair opened his suite at the Loews for an open to all party
for those who wanted to stay up late (judging form the crowd in
Gregg's suite, that was just about everyone)!
show wrapped up Wednesday morning (Oct. 20) with a farewell
breakfast and an Epik.com
- a domain sale, involving thousands of names, conducted
under a Dutch auction format (prices start high and fall
until they hit a price a bidder likes - or reach the minimum bid
level without selling). Several things make Swapfest a unique
sale. For one, all domains include a website developed on the
Epik platform and for another, you can pay for winning bids with
either cash of Epik
bucks, a new form of currency invented by the company to
bring added liquidity to the market. For more on that event,
check out this
post on the Epik blog that includes a big slide show
that covers all of the action.
current came down on T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010, Rick Schwartz,
Howard Neu and their tremendous family support team of Barbara
Neu, Ray Neu and Alina Schwartz could take pride
in successfully pulling off the kind of transcendent event they had
envisioned after 12 months of careful planning. In doing so they
have also followed the late great Walt Disney's golden rule
of show business, "Always leave them wanting more."
Those who were there undoubtedly want more and they are already
counting the days to a
2011 South Beach encore.
& Alina Schwartz at far left and Howard & Barbara Neu
at far right
(seen with the two couples' close friend Judi Berkens in the
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami 2010 attendees looking forward to more