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July 28, 2015

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The Lowdown Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

NamesCon Introduces New Team Member Terri Potratz and Rolls Out Show's 1st Affiliate Program 

The 2016 NamesCon conference (coming up January 10-13 at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas) is still over five months away but preparations have been ongoing since the day this year's event ended. With the 3rd annual event drawing closer, Producer Richard Lau has geared up for another growth spurt by adding a key new member to the full-time NamesCon staff. Marketing and Communications whiz Terri Potratz has come on board and will be based at the conference's home office in Vancouver, Canada

Lau said, "Terri is a highly experienced professional with a BA from the University of Victoria. Her most recent position was based out of 

New NamesCon team member Terri Potratz (left) seen with Webanmes.ca Founder Cybele Negris on a recent visit to the  registrar's headquarters in Vancouver.

Montreal where she was  producing a print magazine, daily web content and several conference events per year within the airline industry.

Among her other duties Ms. Potratz will also oversee a new NamesCon affiliate program that has just launched. The ticket sales program is open to anyone. When you sign up you will be given a special NamesCon registration link that you can share with others via email, social media or posts on a website of your own. You will earn a 5% commission on every 2016 NamesCon registration that comes through your link. 

(Posted July 28 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Australia's .AU Reaches 3 Million Registrations Solidifying Its Place Among the World's Top 10 ccTLDs

With the arrival of hundreds of new gTLDs over the past year the always popular major ccTLDs probably haven't been getting as much press as they deserve, especially since they continue to thrive in what has become a very crowded domain extension marketplace. A good example is Australia's venerable .AU ccTLD that reached a major milestone this week when it passed 3 million domains registered. 

A joint press release issued by auDA (the non-profit company responsible for operating the .au registry) and AusRegistry (the custodian of the technology that powers the .au namespace) marked the occasion with an honor roll of .AU highlights on the TLD's road to 3 million:

  • In June 2015, AusRegistry processed 41.2 billion DNS queries for .au domain names,  an average of approximately 1.4 billion DNS queries per day in the .au zone. 

  • Almost 40% of all .au domain names have been registered for between 2-6 years. 7% have been registered for more than 10 years

  • Approximately 86% of all .au domain names are registered under .com.au (other .au options includes .net.au and .org.au among others)

  • New South Wales accounts for the largest number of .au registrations (1 million), followed by Victoria (800,000) and Queensland (600,000).

  •  .au domain name registrations grew at a rate of 6% over the past 12 months.

  • Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is now available for .au domain names, which is a security extension that facilitates the digital signing of Internet communications, helping to ensure the integrity and authenticity of transmitted data. 

Malcolm Turnbull
Australian Minister of Communications

Australia's Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, recognized .AU's achievement  noting, "The Internet is the most transformative infrastructure ever built by mankind. It has connected 40% of the global population and before too long it will connect almost all of us. It has supercharged every aspect of human development spreading knowledge, trade, ideas (good and bad) to every corner of the world. Australia, once remote, is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the Internet's annihilation of geography. Congratulations to auDA on this momentous milestone!"

Chris Disspain, CEO of auDa (.au Domain Administration), said the success of .au domain names reflects the strong position of Australia’s digital economy. "Australian businesses and consumers have confidence in .au domain names because they’re the best way to identify yourself as a trusted Australian 

source  online," Disspain said, adding, "The .au namespace has been ably supported by AusRegistry, the technical registry provider for the .au namespace and the official .au Registrars who provide the retail channel."

Adrian Kinderis, CEO of AusRegistry, said the technology behind .au has helped position it as one of the most trusted locations on the web. "The significant investment we have made in the infrastructure and stability of the .au Registry has produced a robust and secure platform that is recognized for its best-of-breed architecture. This is one of the reasons .au has achieved 100% uptime throughout our tenure. Our sole purpose is to ensure the .au Registry flawlessly performs its role as a mission-critical, essential service infrastructure asset for Australia’s digital economy," Kinderis said.

Further evidence of .AU's importance in Australia's digital economy is highlighted in the quarterly Behind the Dot publications which examine the significance of the .au namespace. This is complemented by an annual survey of consumer attitudes towards the .au namespace, and a 2011 Deloitte Access Economics study into the economic contribution of the namespace to the Australian economy.

Adrian Kinderis
CEO, AusRegistry

In a related note, the 2015 Australian Internet Governance Forum (auIGF) will be held in Melbourne October 6-7, 2015 and will provide a forum to discuss Australian Internet policy issues. auDA and AusRegistry encourage stakeholders to participate in the auIGF and contribute to the continued development of Australia’s digital landscape.

(Posted July 24, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150724.htm

With India's 2nd Annual DomainX Conference 2 Weeks Away Registrations Have Already Doubled Last Year's Total  

After drawing approximately 350 attendees to their successful inaugural show last summer in Hyderabad, organizers of India's DomainX conference are experiencing explosive growth as they prepare for their 2nd  annual show coming up August 7-8, 2015 at the Taj West End Hotel in high tech hotbed Bangalore, India. I  got an update on how things are progressing from DomainX Founder Manmeet Pal Singh who told me over 700 registrants have already signed up for the show and with two weeks to go attendance could approach the 1,000 mark.

That's impressive growth by anyone's standards but it's not a huge surprise to me. India's domain community has been growing by leaps and bounds and the country is producing successful entrepreneurs at an unmatched rate. Just last week I read that the number of millionaires in India grew by 27% in the past year, the fastest rate in the world. Last spring CNN Money reported that India has the world's fastest growing major economy. Indian companies and individual investors have been key players in our industry for years now and their numbers and influence are only going to increase, so DomainX has come on the scene in the right place at the right time.

Manmeet Pal Singh
DomainX Founder & CEO 

DomainX has assembled an impressive list of speakers and sponsors and having the support of the latter group has allowed them to keep the cost to attend extraordinarily low. You've heard the old saying "there is no such thing as a free lunch?" - well, At DomainX there is! Free tickets too (August 8 only) for those who register in advance online. Those who show up at the door will still pay only $49 and to attend both days (including the special August 7 networking day) - the cost is just $99 and that includes lunch both days. You can see the schedule of activities here

Despite the low (or no) cost, attendees will get to see and hear some of the world's top domain experts on stage, including speakers coming in from the U.S., Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and other countries to join some of India's most successful domain entrepreneurs. I'll be going over to participate in a panel discussion August 8 with Deepak Daftari (eSiksha.com) and Domainer.com.au's Ned O'Meara. Visa issues limited my participation in last year's conference to Skype, so I am very much looking forward to being there in person to meet everyone this year.

Also coming over from the States to speak will be Escrow.com President Brandon Abbey (whose company is a Platinum sponsor, as is INForum). Our continent will also be represented by  accomplished Canadian domain attorney Zak Muscovitch from DNAttorney.com who will be part of a legal panel discussion

Pioneering Indian domain investor Deepak Daftari 
speaking at the 1st DomainX conference in 2014. 
Deepak will return for DomainX 2015 in Bangalore.

August 8 that will also include Rodney D. Ryder (Partner at Scriboard.com) and  Na Vijayshankar (CEO at CyberLawCollege.com).

Part of the crowd at the 2014 DomainX conference. Attendance is expected to more than 
double
for this year's show August 7-8 at the Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore, India.  

A new addition to DomainX this year will be an Awards presentation. Nominations are now being accepted in two categories - DomainX Rising Star (to recognize an up and coming Indian domain investor) and Domain Name Magazine.

(Posted July 23, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150723.htm

Launch of DNA University Brings " Higher Education" to Domain Industry - First Session a Week Away

The Domain Name Association (DNA), a non-profit industry trade association whose members include many of the biggest players in the space (including giants like Google and Go Daddy) just rolled out an interesting concept. From the start the DNA has said part of its core mission is to "build trust, exchange ideas, educate, and raise awareness of domain related issues." Toward that end DNA Executive Director Kurt Pritz announced in a post at Circle ID the launch of a new DNA University that will "offer stakeholders an opportunity to share their experiences, learn from each other and provide a forum to incubate concepts that will advance the domain name industry."

Pritz wrote, "One of the first initiatives of the DNA University will be to roll out a webinar series that will offer expert insights across a wide range of topics." Pritz said the new series follows and builds on a highly successful TLD Operator Webinar that was recently organized and moderated by Tony Kirsch, Head of Global Consulting at ARI Registry Services. That webinar attracted more than 300 registrations and 40% of all new TLD operators. That obvious hunger for information and advice prompted the DNA Board to invite Kirsch to bring his webinars under the DNA University banner and serve as the inaugural "Dean" of the DNA University and Kirsch has accepted the challenge.

DNA Executive Director Kurt Pritz

DNA University Dean Tony Kirsch

In a follow up post of his own at Circle ID, Kirsch said this about his role, "It's my ambition that the DNA University will be able to service the large (and growing) demand for education in the domain name industry as it is clear that this is one of the most crucial times in the history of the Internet. As an industry, we have a responsibility to work together to ensure our shared success for years to come and I am passionate about making the DNA University a unique, collaborative forum that drives this."

The first DNA University Webinar has already been scheduled. The inaugural event, covering Premium Domain Name Planning, will be held one week from today - on  Monday, July 28, 2015 at 15:00 UTC and is open to all Registry operators, domain name Registrars and new gTLD applicants who can register here. There is a special incentive too - unlike most universities this one has no cost to attend!.

Kirsch said, "This topic was chosen for the inaugural session because carefully-planned premium name selection and marketing efforts are crucial for success as a domain name registry. In this webinar, attendees will gain a 360 degree view of premium names — including the key experiences of seasoned TLD operators, strategies in developing premium name lists and customer and sales insights from some of the world's most prominent Registrars."

Kirsch has put together an all-star Speakers line-up for the first DNA University webinar, one that will include Dan Schindler, Co-founder, Donuts; Jeff Sass, CMO, .CLUB; Mark Delzoppo, Business Operations Manager, Naming Services Division, ARI Registry Services; Matt Overman, VP & GM, Aftermarket and Premium Domains, Rightside and Rich Merdinger, VP of Domains, GoDaddy.

Kirsch noted, "Future webinars are planned to address a wide range of industry topics — with insights being provided by some of the most successful folks within the industry and beyond. We need the support of the industry to make the DNA University and webinar series a success. I encourage you all to get behind us, participate and support this brilliant initiative."

(Posted July 21, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150721.htm

5th Birthday Gives .CO a Chance to Celebrate COlossal Success That Led to a $109 Million Sale 

Hard to believe it has already been five years since .CO domains entered General Availability with a bang on July 20, 2010. Within 30 minutes of the launch .CO registrations had passed the 100,000 mark. Now here we are - on the extension's 5th birthday - looking at more than 1.8 million registered .CO domains across more than 200 countries and territories.

As we have said many times before,  much of the credit for that success goes to the original .CO management team (including then CEO Juan Diego Calle and Vice President Lori Anne Wardi) who orchestrated a phenomenal marketing effort that 

became a textbook example that others have since taken more than a few pages from. They and their teammates made the franchise valuable enough to convince Neustar to buy the registry last year for $109 million.

A press release marking .CO's 5th birthday noted that in addition to high volume the TLD has attracted a lot of quality registrants, pointing out "The .CO domain has been adopted by high growth startups, such as Twitter® (T.co and Vine.co), AngelList® (Angel.co) and 500 Startups® (500.co), as well as by innovative Fortune 500 companies, such as Google® (G.co) and American Express® (amex.co)."

Lori Anne Wardi
Vice President, Neustar

Ms. Wardi, who became a Neustar VP after their acquisition of .CO, added “Today the domain industry is in the middle of a radical transformation, opening up opportunities for an unprecedented level of innovation and opportunity. The businesses, brands, and ideas that are being created on .CO every day on a global scale are fundamentally changing the landscape of the Internet, and Neustar has been instrumental in driving that change.”  

In celebration of .CO’s 5th birthday, Neustar is providing a set of exclusive offers to its community of innovators and entrepreneurs through its Membership Program, which include free public relations consulting, memberships to co-working space, and access to high value software to help startup founders run their business.  .CO also released a fact filled 5th Birthday Infographic series that you can view here.

(Posted July 20, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150720.htm

Aussie Mike Robertson's Big Adventure in America Continues to Bear Fruit for DNC Holdings

Nine months ago Mike Robertson (who previously  gained fame at Fabulous.com and DomainGuardians.com) moved to America from his native Australia to take on a new role as Director of Business Development for DNC Holdings (the parent company of several Internet enterprises including popular registrar Directnic.com.)  Our December Cover Story detailed what Mike and another industry vet, Kellie Peterson (then DNC's President), were building from their base in Tampa, Florida. Since then Kellie left to fulfill a long time dream to live in Oregon's wine country, a move that happened when she took a new position with Neustar. Rob Alfonso (also featured in our Cover Story) took Kellie's place and he, Mike and the DNC team have kept the ball rolling with the launch of several new services. I connected with Mike this week to get the lowdown on those. 

DNC Holdings Director of Business Development 
Mike Robertson at DNC's Tampa, Florida office. 

The first is a VIP Program for qualified clients designed to attract domain investor/portfolio owners to the Directnic registrar.  Robertson said, "We understand that domain investors require a different approach when they need customer support. VIP status allows them to "jump the queue" and receive quality support in a timely fashion." Robertson said the program also allows Drectnic to reward and build on the kind of customer loyalty the business has thrived on. "47% of our active customers have been with us 10 years or longer," Robertson noted, adding, "We're confident that the level of customer service will help us retain this market."

Asked what criteria is used to determine VIP status Mike told us, "Applications are reviewed case by case. Our main selling point is that we are very aggressive/competitive on price. To do this, we are looking for volume, so the size of the portfolio is one of the main factors we take into consideration."

Directnic has also rolled out a new Domain Specialist service that can help you acquire domain names from their current owners. Much of this initiative stems from Robertson's personal skills, experience and relationships that helped him successfully acquire domains such as Rev.com, Curious.com and Strong.com for clients. Roberston said, "We're seeing a growing trend of companies seeking out quality, premium domain names, many of which don't understand the process required to acquire such names, or they simply want to remain anonymous during the negotiations."

In yet another new initiative Robertson said "We're in the process of rolling out a "From

Local to Global" campaign in the New Orleans, Louisiana region (where Directnic was originally founded). This initiative, is designed to encourage local businesses to take their ideas from a local audience to a global market by utilizing the powerful tools Directnic provides. Leslie Almeida, Directnic's Creative Marketing Strategist, will be the editor of a campaign blog, conducting Q&As with NOLA-based business owners and discussing how they took their business from local to global. The blog will also serve as a hub of valuable business and entrepreneurial resources."

Robertson also told us, "We recently acquired the domain business of NatNames, adding 2,000 domains (and over 100 customers) to those we have under management. We're also looking at other similar opportunities to increase our growth and solidify Directnic as a leading registrar."

While catching up with Robertson we were also curious to know how he was adjusting to life in the United States since his move from Down Under. "I've really found my feet here now in Tampa," Robertson said. "I'm working with a really great group of people, which is key. We've initiated a "Fun Friday" policy, where the first Friday of the month we finish up early and do something as a team; ten pin bowling, laser tag, movies, etc."

"I've also managed to do a few trips away, spending Christmas and most recently, 4th of July in Sylvania, Georgia with Brian and Charlie (Charlotte) Gilbert. I flew over to Las Vegas for 

a weekend to attend the Rock in Rio music festival. Another weekend I was up in Philly for another concert and last month I had a much needed dose of "family time" when my twin brother Mitch visited and I spent two weeks traveling with him to New York City, Nashville and Orlando."

"It's coming up to my 9 months anniversary here in the States and I can't believe how quickly it's gone!," Robertson declared. "As they say, time flies when you're having fun," Robertson smiled before signing off with a bit of information that had him especially excited. "Oh yeah! I passed my driver's tests first try and got a set of wheels, so I've been exploring more of the local area!"

  The Robertson Brothers 
Mitch and Mike (or is Mike and Mitch)!

Before saying goodbye we thanked him for the warning. We happen to be located in Tampa too and as many of you know Australians drive on the left side of the road while we drive on the right. While we are always happy to run into Mike, we would just as soon not have it happen in a head on collision!

(Posted July 16, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150716.htm

Laying Down the .Law - Legal Credentials Will Be Required to Register a Name in the New Extension 

Minds + Machines (M + M) will launch their new .law extension when Sunrise begins July 30 (with General Availability starting October 12, 2015) and they are banking on limited availability helping the new gTLD take root on a playing field that gets more crowded every week. The registry operator says those wishing to register a .law domain will have to be "credentialed legal practitioners."  

It might seem counter-intuitive to seek success by purposely limiting your customer base but if M + M's strategy for instilling trust in the new extension works, it is much more likely to be looked upon favorably by both legal practitioners  and consumers seeking legal help. 

The first sign that their gamble could pay off came today when M + M announced a strategic partnership with ALM Media, LLC, one of the

 

world’s largest legal media companies, to collaborate on advertising and marketing content for .law across ALM’s legal media publications, conferences and digital platforms. In addition, ALM will adopt over 100 .law URLs for its existing legal properties and new product rollouts.  

ALM’s legal properties, including The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal and Law.com, reach in-house counsel of Fortune 1000 companies, Am Law 200 firms and legal technology decision makers. Today's announcement was made at the Legaltech West Coast conference that is currently underway in San Francisco.

.Law CEO Lou Andreozzi said, "We are very happy to be working with ALM, whose broad reach and global reputation as a legal media powerhouse is unparalleled.  We designed the new domain to provide the legal community with opportunities to grow their practices and brands, while also providing a way for the public to identify legitimate legal sources, and, just like .edu or .gov, it is our goal that .law will signal a vetted and trusted organization.”  

ALM CEO Bill Carter added, “.Law promises to provide the legal marketplace with a much-needed dedicated URL, backed by strict registration criteria. We are looking forward to being an early adopter of the .law domain, which will help us to stand out as a reliable and high profile resource for the legal community. We are delighted to be working with Lou Andreozzi and the .law team as they bring this significant opportunity to market.”   

Lou Andreozzi
.Law CEO

To add a personal observation -  I noticed that John Morgan is serving as the Chairman of .Law. Morgan is one of the most widely known attorneys in our home state of Florida. As Founder of the powerful consumer focused law firm of Morgan & Morgan the renowned businessman, philanthropist and political power broker is seen on TV here virtually every day. I would expect his support for .Law will go a long way in helping the TLD gain traction in the legal community.

M + M said more information on the .law launch will be available soon at http://nic.law.

(Posted July 13, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150713.htm

 

Three Decades & More Than 10 Million Registrants Later .ORG Turned 30 Today! 

.ORG fans are singing Happy Birthday to their favorite domain extension  today as the revered TLD celebrates its 30th birthday. The first .ORG domain - Mitre.org - was registered on July 10, 1985 and since then .ORG has blossomed into the world's 3rd largest gTLD with over 10.5 million registrants. 

To commemorate the impressive legacy of .ORG - a TLD aimed at "bringing people together around a shared cause" -  Public Interest Registry – the nonprofit operator of .org, .ngo and .ong – has launched Happy30th.org, a website where users can explore notable .org websites through an interactive timeline and discover how these websites and organizations have changed throughout the past 30 years.

Brian Cute
CEO, Public Interest Registry

Brian Cute, the CEO of Public Interest Registry, said, “The .ORG domain continues to give a voice to organizations and individuals working on behalf of the greater good. From encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism to preserving natural and cultural heritage, fostering economic growth and much more, causes that live on .ORG  bring incalculable benefits to our communities, our society and our shared planet. We look forward to many more years of giving organizations of all kinds a trusted online home for building communities and working towards a common cause.”

There are approximately three billion people online worldwide today. With respect to the millions who use .ORG, PIR noted "the growth of the Internet has allowed nonprofits to thrive through online giving, cultural institutions to spread word of their traditions, and global communities to breakdown boundaries and come together online."

Giving some specific examples, a PIR news release pointed out, "when Japan was struck by a devastating tsunami, when a building collapsed in Bangladesh, and when a 7.8 earthquake rattled Nepal, people from across the world turned to .ORG websites like japansociety.org, ifrc.org, and globalgiving.org respectively to take action."  Here are some other notable .orgs from the past 30 years:

·         WordPress debuted wordpress.org on May 27, 2003 and it has grown to become the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

·         The Wikimedia Foundation introduced open-source database wikipedia.org on January 13, 2001, and today it offers free educational content in 284 languages as one of the top 10 most trafficked sites globally.

·         The Nature Conservancy has operated nature.org since May 15, 1996 where it communicates efforts to preserve lands and waters in more than 35 countries worldwide.

·         UNICEF launched unicef.org on March 10, 1993 where it promotes the well being of children in 190 countries and territories. On February 9, 2015, UNICEF launched 7.org in support of its initiative, 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund, to protect millions of children around the world from danger.

·         As the very first .org registrant on July 10, 1985, The MITRE Corporation (mitre.org) continues to work with the U.S. government to research and develop expanded uses of technologies to solve problems.

For more information about Public Interest Registry, you can visit www.pir.org. To learn more about .org’s growth and composition, download the latest bi-annual “Dashboard” report at www.pir.org/dashboard. You can also find 30 interesting facts about .org and the Internet from the past 30 years at www.pir.org/30-org-and-internet-facts.

(Posted July 10, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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THE Domain Conference Adds More Than a Dozen Well-Known Speakers for Inaugural Show in September

In early June THE Domain Conference (TDC) announced that FashionMetric.com Co-Founder Morgan Linton would be the keynote speaker at the Neu Family's first show coming up September 26-29, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At the same time TDC confirmed DomainHoldings.com and Bidtellect.com Co-Founder John Ferber would also be speaking and that super moderator Braden Pollock of LegalBrandMarketing.com would run several business sessions. 

The Neus have been very busy since then, adding 14 more highly respected speakers and another superb interviewer/moderator in DomainSherpa.com's Michael Cyger.  

Like Ferber and Pollock, eight of the 14 speakers added have been profiled in DN Journal Cover Stories over the years - the most recent being Igloo.com Founder and CEO Tessa Holcomb who is the subject of our current Cover Story

DNForum Founder Adam Dicker - one 
of 16 speakers already lined up for the inaugural edition of THE Domain Conference

Also speaking from that illustrious group will be Monte Cahn (RightOfTheDot.com), Adam Dicker (DNForum.com), Fred Mercaldo (CityBrandMedia), Mike "Zappy" Zapolin, Gregg McNair (PPX International), Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com), and Jothan Frakes (NamesCon/DOMAINfest). 

The impressive line up will also feature two leaders from the new gTLD space, Donuts Co-Founder Dan Schindler and .CLUB's Jeff Sass, as well as Weebly.com's Chris Sheridan (also known for his excellent earlier work at eNom and Verisign), Media Breakaway Founder Scott Richter, Ambition Insight Founder Brett Napoli and DNJournal's Ron Jackson - and more are still to be announced. 

With the speaker's line up assuring a solid agenda and other recent developments - including the addition of a DOMAINfest at THE Domain Conference day on Sunday, September 27 and a two-day Womans Meet Up that will be held at the same venue September 25-26, Fort Lauderdale is clearly the place for digital era entrepreneurs to be in late September.

Looking east to the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where  the first edition of THE Domain Conference will be held September 26-29, 2015. 

With an ambitious agenda, unlimited networking opportunities and a top notch show venue (featuring rooms starting at just $109 a night) the $499 registration fee for THE Domain Conference (which includes daily luncheons and all of the evening social events) is one of the best bargains we've seen on the show circuit to date.

(Posted July 9, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150709.htm

Donuts Adds Andee Hill to Management Team in Move Meant to Give Domain Investors More Attention 

Well that didn't take long! Yesterday, when we told you about Greenberg & Lieberman acquiring the escrow platform developed by EscrowHill.com, we noted that EscrowHill Founder Andee Hill intended to stay in the domain industry and that an announcement about her next stop was expected soon. That announcement came this morning when Donuts, the largest operator of new gTLD registries, revealed that Ms. Hill officially joined their staff Monday (July 6) as Director of Business Development

At Donuts Andee will report to Dan Schindler, the company's Executive VP for Business Development.  Word came in an email from Donuts Communications VP Mason Cole who noted Andee would have "specific responsibility for relationships with the domain investor community. Cole added, "Donuts has long believed domain investors are a critical element of the industry, one deserving of an emphasis in time and

Donuts Executive VP for Business Development Dan Schindler and the company's new Director of 
Business Development Andee Hill

resources. Andee's leadership will be critical in developing these relationships and leveraging investors' interest in new domain names."

That should be music to the domain investor community's ears as many in it have often felt their financial support of the industry was often undervalued and under appreciated. While every registry operator needs end users to develop their domains to increase recognition of their extensions, they also need (but don't always acknowledge) investors who often buy (and renew) hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of domain names. From the standpoint of registration revenue - the life blood of any registrar - one customer who buys 1,000 domains is worth just as much as 1,000 customers who buy only one name each. While developers may bring more public recognition, it is a lot easier to handle one account and personal relationship than a thousand different ones - making both camps - end users and investors - equally important in our view. 

In Ms. Hill Donuts has brought on board someone who already has a very high number of investor relationships in place after her many years with Escrow.com, then with her own shop, allowing her to hit the ground running. Given the job description for the position Donuts wanted to fill, Ms. Hill should fit the bill.

(Posted July 7, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Greenberg & Lieberman Expands Their Escrow Services with Acquisition of EscrowHill Platform

Greenberg & Lieberman (G & L) has long been of the best known and most often called upon intellectual property law firms in the domain industry. The Washington D.C. based firm's high profile in our business can largely be credited to attorney Stevan Lieberman's presence at key  domain conferences ever since they began with the first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show in 2004 right up through this year's NamesCon conference (where the photo at right was taken).

What you may not have known is that Greenberg & Lieberman have been providing escrow services more than 20 years. The main reason you may have been unaware of that is the firm seldom handled transactions under $100,000. That has now changed with the firm's acquisition of the software platform that had been developed by EscrowHill.com - a company that was founded by Andee Hill early last year. Ms. Hill reportedly plans to remain in the domain industry and we've heard rumors she will begin work with another company in the near future. 

Lieberman told us the software automates much of the escrow process making it possible for G & L to handle transaction of any size. The 

Attorney Stevan Lieberman
Greenberg & Lieberman, LLC
APLegal.com

system can be accessed at escrow.aplegal.com. While  EscrowHill branding is still on the  page, Lieberman said that will likely go away over time as the brand is closely associated with the former owner rather than G & L. The law firm bought only the software application with no employees or system other business assets included (since the sale the EscrowHill.com domain has been pointing to the escrow information page at G & L's APLegal.com).

Lieberman became more familiar with EscrowHill earlier year when the company, that was registered in New Zealand, retained him to give their customers the option of using an associated service provided based in America. Lieberman said G & L will service all 

geographical regions except Texas, one of a handful of states that has very strict escrow licensing rules - rules that EscrowHill ran afoul of a few months ago (before Lieberman was retained), resulting in a stiff fine from authorities in that state. Lieberman said he will extend service to Texas residents as soon as possible. 

(Posted July 6, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150706.htm

THE Domain Conference Week Just Got Busier With Major Two-Day Meet Up for Business Women to Precede September Show in Fort Lauderdale

There was already considerable excitement surrounding the debut edition of THE Domain Conference (TDC), coming up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this fall, when a one-day DOMAINfest event was added to the show schedule a couple of weeks ago. The anticipation for the first event run by the Neu family since the pioneering T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference (co-founded by Howard Neu) ended its 10-year run last fall following the retirement of Neu's partner Rick Schwartz has just been turned up yet another notch.

Today we learned that veteran conference producer Jodi Chamberlain's company, 32Events.com, will stage a major two-day Women's Meet Up for "business women of the digital era" (not just domain industry ladies) on September 25th and 26th, 2015 at the same hotel - The Hyatt Regency Pier 66 - where THE Domain Conference will run September 27-29 (with pre-show cabana networking opening September 26). TDC's $109 a night room rate will also be extended to Women's Meet Up attendees.

Ms. Chamberlain, who has played a key role in staging previous T.R.A.F.F.I.C.NamesCon and Domaining Europe conferences, as well as many events in other fields, said the new Women's Meet Up will bring together some of the most inspiring and influential women in business - all successful female professionals, entrepreneurs and experts in different fields. Jodi said, "Attendees will get to hear their inspirational stories and experiences, learning and acquiring valuable advice from women who have been there and done that. Join us, register and get ready to be empowered!"

The registration fee of $399 covers all of the business sessions, luncheons and parties. For those who can't attend during the day it is also possible to buy just tickets for one or both of two major social events - a VIP Little Black Dress Party Friday night (September 25) and a VIP M&V Magazine Party Saturday night (September 26).

Jodi has already lined up some impressive speakers including TalentDirect.com Founder Bianka Krausch, performance catalyst and effectiveness coach Mia Hewitt (who has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times, USA Today and Inc. Magazine, to name a few) and renowned keynote speaker and executive coach Roy Assad, a founding partner of Muses & Visionaries Magazine who will also be speaking at TEDx Miami in August.

 

Jodi Chamberlain
32Events.com

 

M&V Magazine Co-Founder, Keynote Speaker and Executive Coach Roy Assad will be the 
Opening Keynote Speaker
at the Women's Meet Up in Fort Lauderdale Sept. 25, 2015.

Jodi noted, "The objective for this meet up is to inspire business women by setting up a conference style agenda which will allow effective communication leaders the opportunity to enlighten and transform our gals. We're going to give them the tools they need to make  the 4th quarter it's very best!" Jodi added that a full show agenda will by posted at 32Events.com within the next couple of weeks. Also, some sponsorship opportunities are also available. You can email Jodi at 32Events.com if you would like to know more about that. 

 

(Posted July 3, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150703.htm


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