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Domain Names for Sale - Afternic

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Comes to Canada: 2010 Vancouver Conference Proves to Be a Crowd Pleaser
Page 2  
      By Ron Jackson 

Day two 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? 

(L to R) Moderater Rick Silver, panelists  Victor Pitts (DomainIt.com) 
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. 

Above: (L to R): Tessa Holcomb (PPX International), Richard Lau (DomainManager.com) 
and Gregg McNair (PPX International) recognize industry supporters of the Water School

Below: Water School supporters gather for a group shot after the session.

To put 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 today. 

John 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 chat. 

L to R): Oh Canada! panelists Peter Maxmych (Emall.ca/DOAC), Zak Muscovitch 
(DNAttorney.com), Paul Anderson (CIRA Chairman) and David Fowler 
(CIRA Marketing & Communications Director).

CIRA 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. 

The 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 the future. 

The 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).

Scene 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.

Above: L to R): Ray Neu, Diana Jackson, Laura Schmidt, Kellie Peterson, Susan Prosser 
and Jodi Chamberlain at the post .CA auction party hosted by Gregg McNair

Below: Other guests on the balcony took in the panoramic view 
of Vancouver's Coal Harbour from their hotel-top vantage point.

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 platforms.

(Left to right): Domain Development panelists Morgan Linton (MorganLinton.com), 
Mark Michael (DevHub) and Kevin Legault (n49 Interactive) 

Linton said he preferred developing in house rather than outsourcing. He recently started developing keyword .US domains like StimulusCheck.us and MoneySaver.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 like Dining.ca, Clothing.ca and Kitchen.ca.

Next 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 value.

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

A scene from the Latonas.com live domain auction at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver June 10.

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 as well.


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