of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver - Wednesday, June 9 -
opened with a morning seminar titled Domain Names - the Past
or the Future?
to R) Moderater Rick Silver, panelists Victor
and the Castello Brothers, David and Michael (Castello
Cities Internet Services)
discussing the future of domain names.
The question was whether technological changes, the
ability to access web information through mobile phone apps or the
rising popularity of promoting and conducting business on social
media sites like Facebook and Twitter would have a
negative impact on the value of domain names in the future. The
consensus of the panel was that domain names are unlikely to be
materially affected by these developments. As Pitts pointed out, it
would be unwise to build your business on someone else's platform
(Facebook for instance) when they would have total control of your
content and could shut down your account at any time.
Regarding possible technological changes such as
voice commands replacing type-ins, the Castello Brothers noted that
you would still be taken to an address and domain names are the
addresses of the Internet and nothing on the horizon is likely
to change that. We still depend on street addresses to reach
destinations in the real world, a system that has not changed in centuries
and is unlikely to change in our lifetimes either.
Next up a special one-hour session led by Richard
Lau, Gregg McNair and Tessa Holcomb was held to
publicly recognize the domain industry's contributions to furthering
the work of The
Water School - whose proven,
cost effective system for providing clean drinking water in
developing nations around the globe has staved off water borne
diseases and saved countless lives since it was introduced.
to R): Tessa Holcomb (PPX International), Richard Lau
and Gregg McNair (PPX International) recognize industry
supporters of the Water School.
School supporters gather for a group shot after the session.
things into perspective, 3.4 million people die from water
borne diseases every year - 160 children die every hour! A $50
donation to The Water School is enough to provide clean drinking
water for a family of four for life. I don't know of anything
you could spend $50 on and have a greater positive impact. Earlier
this year a group of domain industry people raised $200,000 for
the Water School by climbing
Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro. Another climb will be held in
2011 and if you would like to take part of sponsor climbers you can
get the details on that event at WaterClimb.com.
A highlight of Wednesday's program was a "fireside
chat" with John Demco, the person directly
responsible for the establishment of Canada's .CA country
code extension in 1987. With Rick Silver conducting the on stage
interview, Demco recounted how things developed in the earliest days
of the Canadian Internet and led to the system in effect there
Demco - The father of Canada's .CA country code TLD
After he was successful in getting .CA delegated to Canada, Demco
single handedly ran the extension's registry in its early days. He
was also instrumental on the creation of CIRA, the current
governing body for .CA and Demco continues to serve on the CIRA
board. John was also a co-founder of a major registrar, WebNames.ca,
and serves on their board as well.
Demco had good things to say about .US as well as his beloved
.CA. Regarding the American country code Demco said, "I think
.US is a big opportunity. ccTLDs have inherent value in them.
If the registry does a good job of promoting then I think they have
a good chance to succeed."
CIRA's promotional efforts on behalf of of the .CA
extension were one of the prime topics in a CIRA panel discussion
titled Oh Canada! that followed Mr. Demco's
L to R):
Oh Canada! panelists Peter Maxmych (Emall.ca/DOAC), Zak
(DNAttorney.com), Paul Anderson (CIRA Chairman) and David
(CIRA Marketing & Communications Director).
Marketing & Communications Director David Fowler detailed
the proactive measures CIRA has taken in an effort to push .CA front
and center in Canada,
including extensive advertising and a series of high profile
contests including one had people submit videos showing how .CA
helped their online business efforts (check out the winning
videos here). It appears to be working. .CA's share of
total regstrations in Canada rose from 21% to 27% over
the past three years while .com's share has decreased.
panel also discussed issues related to the future direction on the
ccTLD - most notably whether or not .CA's requirement that those
registering .CA domains have a Canadian presence. Businessmen like Maxmych and Muscovitch
think the kind of open registration approach used by many other
ccTLDs would enhance Canada's position in global ecommerce. However CIRA
has no plans to consider changing the presence requirement now or in
second day of business closed
with a .CA domain auction (with a few Canada related .coms
sprinkled in) conducted by Rick
Latona Auctions. The auction wound up generating
over $260,000 in sales with Surrey.com generating the
lion's share of the revenue with a $195,000 sale (Surrey.com
is a developed website devoted to the city of Surrey, British
Columbia, so it is not purely a domain sale - but is an
impressive transaction none the less). The top .CA sales included Snowboards.ca
($20,250), Diet.ca ($20,000) and Vehicles.ca ($9,000).
from the Rick Latona Auctions .CA domain auction Wed. June 9,
2010 in Vancouver.
After the auction, PPX International
Executive Chairman Gregg McNair opened the doors to his suite
on the top floor of the show venue, the Renaissance Vancouver
Harborside Hotel, for a Wednesday night party open to all
conference attendees. That event started at 6pm and was still going
strong when I finally called it a night at 10:30pm.
to R): Ray Neu, Diana Jackson, Laura Schmidt, Kellie
Peterson, Susan Prosser
and Jodi Chamberlain at the post .CA auction party hosted by Gregg
Other guests on the
balcony took in the panoramic view
of Vancouver's Coal Harbour from their hotel-top vantage
The third and final day of the
first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference ever held in Canada -
Thursday, June 10 - opened with an 11am seminar on Domain
Development: In-House or Outsource? Panelists Morgan
Linton, Mark Michael and Kevin Legault pointed out
the pros and cons of various domain development strategies and
to right): Domain Development panelists Morgan
Mark Michael (DevHub) and Kevin Legault (n49
said he preferred developing in house rather than outsourcing. He
recently started developing keyword .US domains like StimulusCheck.us
with encouraging results after good search engine ranking. Michael
gave some details about the latest version of DevHub.com's
domain mass development platform that has just launched the week of
the conference. He said that sites on the DevHub platform were
averaging about 480 annual unique visitors each with revenue worth
$90-$120 annually per site. Legault covered the wide ranging
services provided by N49
Interactive and the elements they use successfully in
building out their stable of premium directory-based .CA domains
up was a session on Mastering the Resale Market that
featured (left to
right in the photo below) Jason Miner (Senior VP at NameMedia),
Victor Pitts (DomainIt.com/iGoldRush) and Jeff Gabriel
(Senior Broker at Sedo).
All three panelists have vast
experience in selling domain names and offered tips on increasing
sales. Miner said that pricing domains rather than telling
people to make an offer will generate far more sales. He also
said that it is much smarter to sell domains based on their brand
value than on traffic metrics. "If traffic enters the
discussion, the deal is dead," Miner said. I have found
this to be true as well. I have virtually never had an end user
inquire about traffic. If the subject is brought up you can be
almost certain the other party is a domainer rather than an business
owner who will value the domain much higher for its keyword or brand
Pitts had a very nice presentation
with slides detailing his advice. His entire presentation is now
available on this
page at iGoldRush.com, so rather than touch on just a
couple of points here, I encourage you to check that out if you are
looking for some helpful tips on selling your domains.
The final seminar of the
conference, Advanced Parking Solutions, followed with (left
to right in the photo below) Dan Warner (CEO,
DomainAdvertising.com), Craig Rowe (WhyPark.com) and Richard
Lau (PPX International/DomainManager.com) detailing some
of the new parking and monetization platforms that have been
developed in an effort to boost domain earnings.
Warner, who was profiled in our May
2010 Cover Story, detailed the new image-based domain monetization
approach being employed by DomainAdvertising.com.
Their graphics rich landing pages are some of the most visually
appealing pages I've seen to date. Warner said page optimization
will also be done by humans rather than automates system which could
also dramatically affect results. Lau, who runs DomainManager.com,
also stressed the difference optimization can make and makes it a
hallmark of his service.
Rowe, who founded WhyPark.com,
said a new version of that popular minisite development platform is
coming out soon and it will include a web directory feature that
will allow publisher to sell listings to local advertisers.
With the seminars schedule
completed, the last order of business for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver
was the Latonas.com main live domain auction.
scene from the Latonas.com live domain auction at T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
The auction wound up producing
just under $700,000 in sales with a pair of six-figure
blockbusters providing most of the firepower. Those were Jewelry.net
at $270,000 and CloseOut.com at $200,000.
Other notable sales included XYZ.com and Cardiologists.com
at $50,000 each, SalesPeople.com at $40,000,
HAA.com at $18,500 and Telephone.net at $18,000.
The auction brought the curtain
down on the year's most satisfying T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference to date
- one that reflected the hard work put into staging the event by Rick
Latona, Toby Clements, Jodi Chamberlain, Ray
Neu and the rest of the Latona team. The show was made even more
memorable by its location in one of the world's most beautiful
cities, so a special thank you to Vancouver, British Columbia
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