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September 27, 2016

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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.

Radix Registry's Startup League Gives New Online Businesses a Reason to Build on Their TLDs 

With hundreds of new domain extensions having been introduced over the past two years, the biggest challenge registry operators have faced is standing out in what has become a very big crowd. If they can't find a way to make potential customers aware that they exist

they are never going to gain traction. Most agree that the best way to build recognition is to encourage end users to develop businesses on new extensions. The more sites the public sees on new gTLDs the sooner they will recognize, accept and start using the new options themselves.

With that in mind, Radix Registry, the operator of several high profile new gTLDs, including .website, .tech, .store, .online, .space and others, has come up with a unique new way to encourage new online businesses to set up shop on one of their domains. With the launch of Startup League Radix has introduced a  startup-support program designed to aid early stage startups that use any of Radix's TLDs to launch their idea or company. 

Those accepted into the program will get perks that include help with event sponsorships and  public relations. Radix lists the key benefits of the program as these:

  • Cash Sponsorship for startups attending leading tech events like Disrupt, Web Summit, Collision, RISE, SLUSH, etc.  Radix will pick-up 25% of every start-up’s participation cost
  • Media mentions on leading tech startup portals such as Alley Watch and Tech.eu.

  • Start-up branded t-shirts and schwag.

  • Special discounts and payment plans on Radix premium domain inventory.

During the first week of the program, Radix incubated 15 startups including Emoji Keyboard developer Kika.tech, AI powered outsourced software development firm, Devteam.space and Wearable device for the visually impaired, Horus.tech. The Startup League has also partnered with renowned startup enablers like Founders Space, Whub and Founders Institute to support the program and onboard their startups to the Startup League.

Sandeep Ramchandani, VP & Business Head of Radix, said, "We believe that our growth and success is linked closely to the number of high-visibility websites using our TLDs. Through the start-up league we will provide financial and marketing assistance to our start-ups customers, with the goal of seeing some of them grow to become very popular brands."  

To spread the word Radix has been an active participant in several start up focused events like SXSW and the Techcrunch Disrupt event that was held earlier this month in San Francisco. Radix was also a sponsor of the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon and awarded a $5,000 prize to the most innovative project on a Radix domain - Racoon.tech. The hackathon saw 40+ projects choose Radix's new TLDs, including the Hackathon winner PointShop.space and the Verizon prize winner Auto-Trash.tech.  Radix and StartUp League also exhibited through the conference to engage with more startups and encourage them to consider Radix domains.

Sandeep Ramchandani
 VP & Business Head of Radix

The Racoon.tech team collecting a $5,000 prize from Radix Registry for Most Innovative 
Project
on a Radix domain at 2016 TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco earlier this month. 

Radix plans to continue ramping up its focus on end-consumer events, both as a way of supporting it start-up customers exhibiting there, and as a way to recruit new start-ups into the program. If you have a start-up you would like to have considered for Startup League you can apply here.

(Posted September 27, 2016) 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/2016/dailyposts/20160927.htm

Sedo Used Record Breaking DMEXCO Show to Give 50,000 Digital Marketers a Fresh Look at Domain Names

We have had a remarkable string of conferences and shows over the past two weeks that had domain industry professionals traveling all over the world. It started with THE Domain Conference in Florida, continued with the giant 2016 DMEXCO digital marketing extravaganza in Cologne, Germany and concluded with Domainfest Asia 2016 in Hong Kong, a show that just finished Thursday night (Sept. 22). 

Despite the distance separating those events, several dedicated pros managed to make it to two of them and at least one we know of, .CLUB CMO Jeff Sass, made it to all three - supporting his company's claim that ".CLUB is Everywhere!"

Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz also deserves special plaudits for flying all the way from his home base in Cologne to Fort Lauderdale to give a keynote speech at THE Domain Conference, then immediately flew back to Germany for the opening of DMEXCO, Europe's biggest digital marketing expo. Sedo gave the domain industry a major presence at that massive event that drew a record crowd over 50,000 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors. I've just gotten some photos and video from Sedo that will give you an inside look at the extraordinary show.

Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz

Above: Sedo's huge booth at DMEXCO had a homey feel in line with their 2016 theme - Your Domain is Your Home. DMEXCO provides a great opportunity to convey the value of domain names to a huge audience of leading Internet marketers from across Europe.  

Below: (left to right) Christian Voss, Sedo's Director of Marketing and Public Relations, and Dima Beitzke, Sedo Chief Sales Officer, chat with a visitor to the company's DMEXCO booth.

Above: They say "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" but when it comes to frozen yogurt, Sedo knows that applies to women too. So they attracted a constant flow of traffic to their booth by serving the popular treat at no charge with toppings named after new domain extensions - a very clever way to build both recognition and recall of new gTLDs

Below:  Lars Steffen from ECO (a European Internet Association) made an appearance at the Sedo booth where domain extensions were always on center stage.  

Sedo also produced a two and half minute video that will give you an even better look at the DMEXCO experience:

 

With three shows in two weeks now history, you might think the Sedo crew could stop and take a breather now, but Christian Voss quickly dismissed that notion noting "Next week I'll fly to Bangalore (Bengaluru) India for WHD.India!"  That is another major event that attracts both hosting and domain industry pros. WHD.India's parent company, World Hosting Days, recently bought the  NamesCon domain conference that returns to Las Vegas January 22-25, 2017.

(Posted September 23, 2016) 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/2016/dailyposts/20160923.htm

Domainfest Asia 2016 Conference Concludes in Hong Kong with a Celebration Cruise Hosted by New Domain Monetization Company Premium Traffic Limited 

The 2016 Domainfest Asia conference - Domainfest@Ion.Asia - concluded its four-day run today at the Cyberport in Hong Kong. You can review photos and highlights from the first three days of the event at these links: Monday (Sept. 19), Tuesday (Sept. 20) and Wednesday (Sept. 21). The final day of the multi-track show that attracted domain professionals from around the world was a little less hectic than the first three as organizers wanted to leave some time open for guests to get out and see some of Hong Kong and its fabulous Victoria Harbour.

The Thursday business day began as usual at 10am local time with a session in which Domainfest Co-Founder Jothan Frakes and DomainAgency.com President Brian Berke shared their insight on ccTLDs with the audience. Several other topics were covered through the rest of the morning, then after an extended lunch break, the show's final event - an Executive Summary Roundtable and Closing got underway at 3pm.

Above: The curtain came down on Domainfest Asia 2016 with this Executive Summary Roundtable and Closing session that featured (left to right) Simon Cousins (Allegravita.com), Joe Styler (GoDaddy), Alan Dunn (NameCorp) and Edmon Chung (DotAsia).  (Photo courtesy of Andee Hill). 

After that attendees were invited out for a celebratory night on Victoria Harbour that was hosted by newly launched domain monetization company Premium Traffic Limited (PTL) who made its debut during Domainfest Asia - which is a story in itself. 

As industry veterans know, domain industry entrepreneur Dr. Gregg McNair (who was profiled in an October 2009 DN Journal Cover Story) and his team have been leaders in developing innovative and high performance monetization platforms for domain traffic for more than a decade now. It started in 2006 with the STRATA rotational platform followed in

2008 with the integration of the PPX, a CPA business that provided further enhancements and options. By 2012 a unique, high performance zero click platform trading as DMPro was rolled out, then in 2014 Quotes.com became the group's direct to brand platform.

Dr. Gregg McNair
Premium Traffic Limited

McNair's companies have served a high volume, exclusive client base, many of whom have been long-term customers. With so many brands and email addresses Team McNair decided it was time for all of the group's monetization platforms to be combined into a single business. That new entity, PTL, will be owned and controlled in Panama while technical and administration support will continue to be contracted out of Hong Kong.

McNair said, "The Hong Kong staff manually hand-map each domain, and keyword each domain to each provider. They leverage years of monetization information and the Group experience. The six senior managers have been with the Group for more than 10 years."

McNair added, "Apart from the name change, the product offering and performance has been further enhanced, promising unbeatable returns. PTL has integrated all the Group platforms and is now developing new products to remain the 

clear leader in monetization options and performance. PTL offers state of the art user-friendly, real time access, providing instant multi platform optimization solutions for every name."

McNair said that domain investors holding large earning portfolios can contact PTL General Manager Steve Bjerking to arrange a risk free comparative test. He can be reached by emailing Steve at PTL.co.com

Domainfest Asia 2016, a show that grew dramatically from its debut in Macau a year ago is already getting some great reviews. That all points to a bright future for this latest event in the NamesCon/Domainfest line.

(Posted September 22, 2016) 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/2016/dailyposts/20160922.htm

Photos & Highlights from Day 3 Wednesday at Domainfest Asia 2016 in Hong Kong

The 2016 Domainfest Asia conference - Domainfest@Ion.Asia - continued with a third busy day in Hong Kong today. The four-day event got underway Monday (Sept. 19) at the Cyberport and rolled on through Tuesday and today en route to a final round of business sessions and networking coming up tomorrow.

Below: Simon Cousins snapped this shot of  Brandma's Eric Yang and his cartoon buddy Pikachu, before today's first business session. 

Above: In one of the well-attended morning sessions Michael Gilmour from ParkLogic.com covered Domain Monetization by Registries and Registrars.

Below: An hour later in the next round of sessions at the multi-track conference, Efty.com's Doron Vermaat detailed How to Buy, Market, Manage and Sell Brandable Domains. (Both of these photos courtesy of Name Ninja's Bill Sweetman).

Above: In another Wednesday morning highlight renowned Chinese domaining analyst Kassey Lee (on screen in this photo) delivered an hour-long presentation on Chinese Domains via a Skype connection. DotAsia Registry’s project manager Aaron SP (seated) and Cyberport IT manager Frank Ho are seen setting up Kassey's appearance. After his talk began Kassey was assisted by Allegravita’s Raymond Li and Simon Cousins in a Q&A segment with the audience. (Photo courtesy of Simon Cousins).

Below:  There was also a round of early afternoon sessions before the third live domain auction of the week got underway at 2pm. In one on those moderator and Domainfest Co-Founder Jothan Frakes (left) talked with TK Tan (center) of the Qinetics Group and Chan Kee Slak (Exabytes Group CEO) about Hosting and Domains - Serving Asia. (Photo courtesy of Bill Sweetman).

Above: Members of the 190.com team get things ready for the company's live domain auction that was held this afternoon, generating over CNY 17 million ($255,000) in sales. (Photo courtesy of Simon Cousins).

Below: A photo from 190.com's live domain auction (courtesy of Bill Sweetman).

Above: This shot was taken after the successful 190.com live domain auction today, Left to right are: 190.com’s CMO and auctioneer Cheng Nijuan, Allegravita’s Channel Manager Elaine Yang, Allegravita CEO Simon Cousins, .Asia’s VP Leona Chen, Domainfest Co-Founder Jothan Frakes, Allegravita’s China head Raymond Li and Nijuan

Below: As I noted above, today's auction was the third of three at Domainfest Asia 2016. Allegravita's Simon Cousins told us, "Some people in American domaining told me I would never be able to get three auction houses to this show. My team's so proud to have nailed it!"
The first auction was staged on Monday by Jianpai. Simon provided  this photo, taken today, of (left to right) GMO Registry VP Yoshi Tamura, Jinpai Chairman Shen Xiaohang, Jinpai Auctioneer and Co-Founder Qiao Yuanyuan and GMO Registry Registrar Manager Zhu Kai.

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Above: The second domain auction, held on Tuesday, was presented by 22.cn. Simon snapped this shot of 22.cn's Cat Feng (far right) being interviewed between sessions today by Allegravita’s Raymond Li.

Below: After today's 190.com auction business sessions resumed including this discussion of What is Working Well with the New Domain Names featuring (left to right): Jeff Sass (.CLUB CMO), Edmon Chung (DotAsia CEO), Christa Taylor (DotTBA CEO) and moderator Braden Pollock. (Photo courtesy of Simon Cousins). 

Domainfest Asia 2016 will close with another full business day tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 22). You can check out the complete schedule here

(Posted September 21, 2016) 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/2016/dailyposts/20160921.htm

Photos & Highlights from Day 2 Tuesday at Domainfest Asia 2016 in Hong Kong

The 2016 Domainfest Asia conference - Domainfest@Ion.Asia - continued with day 2 today at the Cyberport in Hong Kong. As it did on opening day Monday, the multi-track event again presented a wide variety of business sessions featuring expert speakers from around the world. The afternoon session also included a live domain auction presented by 22.cn

Below: One of the first speakers in the Main Hall this morning was GoDaddy Aftermarket Product Manager Joe Styler who details how GoDaddy's popular auction platform works.

Below: Another morning highlight was a keynote address from Name Ninja's Bill Sweetman whose topic was New gTLDs: Aren't We Forgetting Something? Bill proposed a new way of looking at the new gTLD program through the eyes of end user registrants - presenting alternative ways to gauge the true success of new gTLDs, now and in the future. 

Above: Speaker/moderator Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com) gets his bidding paddle for a 22.cn domain auction that was the main event on the Tuesday afternoon schedule at Domainfest Asia.

Below: Another popular session - as it is always is - was Allegravita.com's China Boot Camp

Above: Trellian.com President David Warmuz (at far left in the front row) was among those in those in the audience today. David was one of many on hand who made it to both Domainfest Asia and last week's 2016 edition of THE Domain Conference in Florida.

Above: Domainfest Co-Founder Jothan Frakes has another busy day planned for conference attendees Wednesday (Sept. 21), a day that will conclude with an evening party hosted by .CO. You can see the full agenda here

(Posted September 20, 2016) 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/2016/dailyposts/20160920.htm

Photos & Highlights from Opening Day Monday at Domainfest Asia 2016 in Hong Kong

The 2nd annual Domainfest Asia conference - Domainfest@Ion.Asia - got underway today at the Cyberport in Hong Kong. As I write this "today" here is actually "tomorrow" there. With the 12 hour time difference between Hong Kong and the Eastern U.S., when it is 5pm Monday here it is 5am Tuesday there, so they will be beginning day two in just a few hours. The event continues through Thursday, September 22 with an international roster of speakers and attendees on hand for the show.

Above: ParkLogic.com's Michael Gilmour posted this photo of the opening ceremonies at Domainfest Asia in Hong Kong today (September 19, 2016) on his Facebook page. DotAsia CEO Edmon Chung is at the podium welcoming the crowd. Domainfest Co-Founder Jothan Frakes also addressed the international audience to kick things off.

Above: In one of the more than a dozen opening day sessions (left to right) Bill Sweetman (Name Ninja), Andee Hill (Donuts.domains) and Kevin Kopas (.ORG Registry) offered tips to those who came to Domainfest Asia looking to buy or sell domain names. (This photo and the remaining ones in this article are courtesy of Bill Sweetman, posted via his Facebook page).

Above: In this session, attendees learned more about the Internet Commerce Association and the ICA's work to protect the rights of domain name investors and developers. It was conducted by ICA members (seated left to right facing the audience) Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com), Andee Hill (Donuts.domains) and Gregg McNair (PPX International).

Above: The opening day highlights also included a live video domain auction conducted by Qiao Yuanyuan, Co-Founder of Jinpai Auction. Online and offline auction events hosted by Qiao have generated over ¥1 billion in sales.

Above: .CLUB continues to be everywhere. Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Sass made the trip to talk about the new gTLD registry. Jeff was just in Florida last week for THE Domain Conference, then left there for Cologne, Germany to attend the DMEXCO show, then took yet another flight to Hong Kong for Domainfest Asia!

Above: Chinese market experts Raymond Li (left) and Simon Cousins of Allegravita.com were also among the featured opening day speakers. Another busy day is on tap Tuesday. You can review the full agenda here. Things will be getting underway at 10am Hong Kong time (which will be 10pm Monday night in the Eastern US) So, while many of us are sleeping tonight Domainfest attendees will be learning, earning and networking in a global industry that never sleeps

(Posted Sept. 19, 2016) 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/2016/dailyposts/20160919.htm

Photos & Highlights from the Farewell Breakfast That Closed THE Domain Conference 2016 Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

THE Domain Conference 2016 (TDC) closed its five-day run at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Wednesday morning (September 14) with the traditional Farewell Breakfast held in the revolving meeting room that sits atop the 17-story hotel that is wedged between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west. 

The show began Saturday (Sept. 10) with pre-show cabana networking and a new standalone event, Startup Saturday. It continued Sunday with more casual networking and the Opening Night Party that evening. Monday brought the first day of business sessions and an evening full of social activity,   

followed Tuesday by another full business day, including the annual Domain Industry Awards luncheon.  But Wednesday it was all about saying goodbye until we meet again over a sumptuous breakfast served in a gorgeous tropical setting.

Above: Wednesday's Farewell Breakfast at TDC was served in the revolving circular meeting room on the top story of the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. The room's floor to ceiling windows gives guests a sweeping 360 degree view of the city skyline, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. The shot below looks across the Pier 66 marina northwest to downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

Above: As another beautiful day dawned in that environment TDC 2016 guests gathered for one last time to enjoy breakfast and compare notes before scattering to all four corners of the globe.

Below: (left to right) At one table TDC Co-Founder Howard Neu caught up with KW Boswell, Angie Graves, Michael Gilmour (who began the long trip home to Australia soon after) and Pinky Brand (that is Diana Jackson's head behind Michael)! 

Above: TDC Co-Founder Barbara Neu, new Domain Industry Hall of Fame Member Nat Cohen and Keynote Speaker Lori Anne Wardi enjoying the view at the Farewell Breakfast.  

Below: A member of the GoDaddy contingent at TDC, Greg Silvius, chats with a friend during breakfast. Greg was my always reliable executive account rep at GoDaddy for many years and now he manages the entire department. 

Above: Mentioned that TDC guests came to Florida from all over the world. They included one of my friends from Norway, Truc Tran, who joined me for this shot taken by our mutual friend Reidar Rytter-Fjoeren, who is also from Norway. Truc is now a Floridian too! - he bought a home away from home in Naples on Florida's west coast and will be back to spend some time there this fall.

Below: When I started in this business is 2002, not many women were involved in it. It is thankfully a totally different story today with dozens of smart, top notch professional women excelling as domain investors, developers and corporate leaders. Here are some prime examples who have made it a much better industry for us all to work in (left to right), Angie Graves, Diana Jackson and KW Boswell

We missed one of the three TDC Co-Founders at the Farewell Breakfast, but Ray Dillman Neu had a good excuse. The night before Ray, who has been interested in a career law enforcement since before we first met him 12 years ago, fulfilled that dream when he graduated from the Broward College Police Academy and became an officer with the Broward County Sheriff's Department

We had the immense pleasure of attending Ray's graduation ceremony with his friends and family including Howard and Barbara Neu and Ray's Grandmother Millie who (at left) got a sky high hug from the 6'6" former college basketball player as soon as the ceremony ended. It's a win win for THE Domain Conference because going forward Ray can not only help run it, he can provide the security too!

This year's edition of THE Domain Conference earned 

rave reviews from everyone we talked to and you've likely read some of them yourself on social media. Our thanks to our TDC hosts,  Howard, Barbara and Ray, for another job incredibly well done. We are already looking forward to doing it again in 2017!

(Posted September 16, 2016) 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/2016/dailyposts/20160916.htm

Photos & Highlights from the Final Day of Business at THE Domain Conference Tuesday in Florida

THE Domain Conference continued its 2016 run at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Tuesday (September 13) with a second full day of business that followed the very productive day attendees enjoyed on Monday

Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz moderated two sessions Tuesday 
morning at THE Domain Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Above: In the opening session at 9am .CLUB CEO Colin Campbell gave an extraordinary talk on Paradigm Shifts in business and how one can become wealthy by taking advantage of those. Colin's story is a remarkable one. He started out as a farmer in Canada but went on to become a tech business whiz who has made millions of dollars in various enterprises. He is also forthright about losing millions in one, but what he learned from that failure helped him rise from the ashes and soar to new heights. 

At left: Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz, a very successful Canada-based domain investor, made her debut as a conference moderator in the panel discussion that followed Colin  and she proved to be a natural at it. Ilze joined David Warmuz (Above.com/Trellian), at left below, and Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com) for a deep dive into Domain Monetization and Domain Tools

Above: Fellow Australians David Warmuz (Above.com/Trellian) and Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com) gave attendees an inside look at the current state of Domain Monetization and Domain Tools.

Below: After a session that gave attendees a chance to deliver two-minute elevator pitches, 101Domain.com's Joe Alagna took the stage to explain his Ten Percent Rule for Domain Names in Advertising. Joe says, "If you allocate 10% of your advertising budget towards memorable and/or traffic-producing domain names, you will achieve 10 times the results for your advertising."

The Tuesday luncheon was the busiest part of the day as it included my annual State of The Industry report on the latest domain sales trends, a Fireside Chat that I conducted with Keynote Speaker Lori Anne Wardi and the presentation of TDC's 2016 Domain Industry Awards.

Above: DNJournal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson giving his annual State of The Industry update at THE Domain Conference Tuesday (September 13, 2016).

Below: Ron then welcomed Keynote Speaker Lori Anne Wardi to the stage for a Fireside Chat in which the Neustar Vice President detailed her remarkable rise in the domain industry. Lori Anne co-founded .CO Internet with Juan Diego Calle and helped build the administrator of  the .CO domain extension from a startup into a highly successful enterprise that commanded $109 million in a sale to Neustar (who wisely kept Lori Anne on their team as a Neustar executive). 

The luncheon closed with the announcement of this year's Domain Industry Award winners, selected in balloting open to all domain industry participants. The envelopes please!

Above: TDC Co-Founders Howard & Barbara Neu presented the Developer of the Year Award to Michael Cyger of DomainSherpa.com and DNAcademy.com. The next award, Blogger of the Year went to Elliot Silver of DomainInvesting.com. Though Elliot was at the conference he was not at the luncheon to pick up the award, taking that time to visit an ill fried instead - just the kind of thing people who know Elliot would expect him to do.

Below: The Registry of the Year Award went to .CLUB. CEO Colin Campbell led his team on stage to accept the honor. CMO Jeff Sass, who had been at the conference, was missing only because he had had to fly off to Germany to represent .CLUB at the massive DMEXCO event in Cologne.

Above: The Registrar of the Year Award went to GoDaddy.com and Aftermarket Product Manager Joe Styler was there to accept the honor. GoDaddy also played a role in Michael Berkens winning the Investor of the Year Award. Michael, who could not be at the conference, sold his portfolio to GoDaddy earlier this year for an estimated $30-$35 million.

Below: It was a very good day for Sedo as they took home two big awards. Their Senior Broker Dave Evanson, at left below, won the prestigious Broker of the Year Award and Sedo also won the Company of the Year Award, accepted by Business Development VP Brad Lemire at right below.

Above: DNJournal.com Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson, seen here with his wife Diana, received the Goodwill Ambassador of the Year Award - an honor that originated at the pioneering T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Conference in memory of Michael & Judi Berkens' beloved dog, Bandit Berkens. If you were among the hundreds of conference attendees who met Bandit over the years, you know why a goodwill award was established to honor him and there is no award I would rather have (as a side note Diana and I are dog lovers who, like Michael and Judi, had a Yorkie who passed and now have another).

Below: The final presentation went to two new members elected to the Domain Industry Hall of Fame - Garry Chernoff and Nat Cohen (Telepathy.com).  Nat is seen here with his award, surrounded by six colleagues who were elected in previous years. Left to right are Monte Cahn, Dr. Christopher Hartnett, Nat, Ron Jackson, Michael Cyger, Howard Neu and Chad Folkening. Garry could not be at the conference but, like Nat, the honor for him was long overdue. In addition to being among the most successful, both men are among the nicest people in this business and neither seeks the spotlight. As a result newcomers may not know as much about Garry as they should. Suffice it to say that Frank Schilling cites Garry as his mentor and that should tell you all you need to know. Nat and Garry are among the few true pioneers of this entire industry.

Above: Though the awards had all been handed out the most emotional moment of the day (and maybe of conference history) was yet to happen. Before concluding the luncheon Howard Neu called his wife and partner Barbara to the stage and - with tears in his eyes - declared this conference never would have existed without Barbara and her constant support. His heartfelt thank you brought everyone in the room to their feet for a standing ovation, compelling Barbara to pull out her iPhone to record a moment she (and the rest of us who saw it) will never forget (we told Barbara's life story in the current DNJournal Cover Story).

Below: Here is what Barbara saw from the stage - one of her actual iPhone photos.

Below: The GMO Registry, operators of new gTLD .Shop, sponsored the luncheon where we also had an opportunity to hear CEO Hiroya Tsukahara speak. Hiroya also held court at the TLD's booth in the Exhibit Hall where we snapped this shot on our way back to the conference room for the Tuesday afternoon sessions.

Above: At another booth we caught up with Jodi Chamberlain and Joe Casale at the <header_tag> table. <header_tag> is an innovative new website advertising platform that you can learn more about at headertag.com

Below:  The afternoon business session began with a panel discussion - Brokers: Do We Really Need Them? that featured (left to right) moderator Braden Pollock, Larry Fischer (GerYourDomain.com) - Dave Evanson (Sedo), George Hong (Guta.com) and Tessa Holcomb (Igloo.com). In short, the answer to the session title is Yes! - we do need them!

Above: Guta.com's George Hong stayed over for the next session - American Market vs. China Market: What Dies the Future Hold in Store?. He was joined by two other widely known experts on both markets - at left, Michele Van Tilborg (.CLUB) and Pinky Brand (Focus Nua Ltd).

Below: Next up attendees got an ICANN Update from (left to right) ICA Legal Counsel Phil Corwin, Rolf Larsen (Founder & CEO, .Global) and Angie Graves (WEB Group Inc.)  After this, in the final business session of the show, Chris DeRose gave a talk on Digital Assets like bitcoins. 

Above: In a final pass through the Exhibit Hall I stopped by the .GDN Registry booth to meet executives from the Dubai based new gTLD registry, (left to right) Head of Registry Muhammad Kausar Saleem, Hassan Piracha and Anthony Burton. .GDN is a generic extension that stands for Global Domain Name.

Below: With the conference's Farewell Breakfast still to come Wednesday morning, many attendees spent Tuesday evening doing some informal networking at the Hyatt Regency's Pier 66 lobby bar and lounge. We would spend some time there too, but first we had a very special event to attend at 7pm - TDC Co-Founder Ray Dillman Neu's graduation from the Broward College Police Academy and appointment as an officer with the Broward County Sheriff's Department. Witnessing that with the Neu family, including Howard, Barbara and Ray's grandmother Carmella was a truly unforgettable occasion. Over the past 12 years Diana and I have watched Ray grow from an 18-year-old college basketball player (who helped out alongside them at all of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences) to the universally admired man he is today. Ray, who was already  envisioning a law enforcement career when we met him as a  teenager, will be a great asset to his department and the Broward County community where the Neus live.

Tomorrow I will have one final post from THE Domain Conference 2016 for you - Photos & Highlights from the well-attended Farewell Breakfast Wednesday morning at the top of  the Pier 66 Hotel!

(Posted September 15, 2016) 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/2016/dailyposts/20160915.htm

Photos & Highlights from the 1st Day of Business at THE Domain Conference Monday in Florida

After a special Startup Saturday event and the Opening Night Party Sunday night, THE Domain Conference 2016 (TDC) got down to business Monday (September 12) at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Above & below: In the first business session at THE Domain Conference 2016 Monday morning (Sept. 12), an expert panel discussed How to Weed Good Names and Extensions From the Bad. Those are the dais included (left to right): Moderator Michael Cyger (DomainSherpa.com), Joe Styler (GoDaddy.com), Crews Gore (InterNetX.com), Daniel Schindler (Donuts.domains), Monte Cahn (RightOfTheDot.com) and Jeff Sass (.CLUB). Before the session began Broward County Mayor Martin Kiar welcomed attendees from around the world to Fort Lauderdale.

Above: Next up Brett Napoli (AmbitionInsight.com) delivered a well-received presentation The Big Picture - How to Turn a Domain Name Into a Business, a popular topic that Brett had also detailed in depth while helping lead TDC's Startup Saturday event for local entrepreneurs.

Above & Below: During the Verisign-sponsored noon luncheon Monday, Sedo.com CEO Tobias Flaitz came over from company headquarters in Cologne, Germany to deliver TDC's first Keynote Address - one that encouraged industry collaborations and partnerships to benefit all. Tobias made the trip even though he knew he would have to rush back to Germany for one of Sedo's biggest annual events - today's opening of the giant DMEXCO show that will draw tens of thousands of digital marketing professionals to Cologne.

Above: On the way back to the main conference room we paused in the Exhibit Hall (located immediately outside the conference hall) to check out some of the sponsor's booths. Attendees love to pick up "swag" - company T-Shirts, pens,  playing cards - you name it - anything with the company logo on it - and the innovative marketers at .CLUB offered a wide array of it. (Left to right): Angela (.CLUB) welcomes booth visitors Eddie & Barbara Sixto.

Below: Coffee.Club's free coffee and coffee cake was also a very popular draw in the Exhibit Hall - all provided by company founder Bill McClure who was on hand for the show.

Above: Payoneer.com's Brandon Abbey and Matthew Watts had a prime position right next to the Conference Room entry doors. Brandon, the former President at Escrow.com, is helping global payments giant Payoneer expand their operations in the domain space.

Above: The afternoon session at TDC Monday began with an exploration of How Will .Brands Affect the Market? The panelists included Amazon.com's Stacey King, RightOfTheDot.com's Monte Cahn (both seen above), Jebidiah Burnett (Rightside.co) and Daniel Schindler (Donuts.domains) 

Below: Next up, leading industry attorneys took the stage to discuss UDRP & Legal Issues. The distinguished panelists included Canada's Zak Muscovitch (DNAttorney.com), seen here, attorney/author Gerald Levine from New York City, Phil Corwin (Virtual Law LLC and ICA Legal Counsel) and Stevan Lieberman (Greenberg & Lieberman LLC).

Above: After the attorney's session we visited the Escrow.Domains booth - a company founded by Stevan Lieberman (left) who was featured on the legal panel discussion. Shannon Gregory helped Stevan introduce Escrow.Domain services to attendees.

Below: Industry veterans (left to right) Chad Folkening (ECorp.com), Mark Daniel (DomainHoldings.com) and Dr. Chris Hartnett were among the attendees from around the world at TDC 2016

Above & below: The final session of the day was devoted to fun and games thanks to a Larry Fischer creation - Domain or Not a Domain? It was a live quiz show in which three two-person teams had to guess whether a domain name Larry announced was actually registered or not registered. It is a lot tougher to guess right than you might think! Above you see the three teams - Alan Shiflett (GoDaddy) and Andee Hill (Donuts.domains), then Sevan Derderian (Uniregistry) and Michael Cyger (Domain Sherpa), followed by Braden Pollock (LegalBandMarketng.com) and Tessa Holcomb (Igloo.com). Larry Fischer sits on the stage (waiting to pounce) while TDC Co-Founder  Howard Neu tells everyone how the game works.

In the end, Braden & Tessa (below) eked out a come from behind win to pick up a prize from Larry - a cocktail recipe book that no doubt came in handy at the Igloo.com Suite Party Monday night. In a second round of the game the entire audience participated where the last man standing - having gotten every question right - was Steven Kaziyev of NewYorkMedia.com. Steven won a ticket to the 2017 edition of THE Domain Conference for his expertise!

Above: With the business day out of the way, many attendees gathered in the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Lounge or scattered around town to corporate client appreciation functions like a Donuts.domains dinner just down the street at Fort Lauderdale's outstanding Market 17 restaurant. Here Donuts Co-Founder and EVP Dan Schindler uses a chair as a makeshift stage to welcome his guests.

Below: (left to right) Dan Schindler (Donuts), Jebidiah Burnett (Rightside.co) and Andee Hill (Donuts) at the Donuts.domains client appreciation dinner.

Above: Later Monday night it was time for Igloo.com's traditional open to all Suite Party. Igloo Co-Founder Gregg McNair started the function and while Gregg could not attend this year, his fellow Igloo Co-Founder Tessa Holcomb (with guest Pinky Brand here) picked up the flag and, with her team, carried it into the wee hours of the night.

Below: Some of the first arrivers at the Igloo.com party (left to right in front): Tessa Holcomb, Larry Fischer, Kamila Sekiewicz, Michael Cyger and Mark Levine. Magically elevated behind them are Eddie Sixto and Steven Kaziyev.

As I write this, the Tuesday business day has also concluded and we are now getting ready for this morning's closing event - another tradition - the Farewell Breakfast. Tuesday (day and night) was so busy I haven't had a chance to even get through the photos yet and we will be heading back to Tampa right after breakfast, so I will have the Tuesday Photos & Highlights, as well as those from the Farewell Breakfast, in my next post that will come out Thursday when I will be back home and in a position to put it all together for you.

(Posted September 14, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Photos & Highlights from Sunday's Opening Day & Night at THE Domain Conference  in Fort Lauderdale

The 2016 edition of THE Domain Conference (TDC) officially got underway Sunday night (September 11) at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The day began with another round of the pre-show poolside cabana networking that began Saturday when the first early birds arrived. It ended late last night with the official Opening Night Cocktail Party in the revolving Pier Top room that caps the Pier 66 Hotel.

As you can see from these photos the show venue provided a spectacular tropical setting for the event that debuted last year under the direction of Co-Founders Howard Neu, Barbara Neu and Ray Dillman Neu

At right: The entrance to TDC's private poolside cabana networking area.

Below: TDC attendees enjoying a beautiful Florida day Sunday at TDC cabanas (Photos above and below courtesy of Barbara Neu).

Above & below: The Verisign cabana, one of several sponsor cabanas that ringed the pool, won the award for best booth display. Cabana visitor David Warmuz (Above.com), seated at left, dropped in to see Verisign Director of Strategic Account Management Tim Switzer (seated at right) and Verisign Senior Product Manager Duane Bailey (standing).

Above: After dark it was time for TDC's official kickoff - the traditional Opening Night Cocktail Party. Among the first to arrive were (left to right) Kaitlyn O'Connor, TDC Co-Founder Barbara Neu, Steven Kaziyev (NewYorkMedia.com) and TDC Co-Founder Ray Dillman Neu (Ray and Kaitlyn are engaged and planning an April wedding)!

Below: The party was held in the revolving meeting room that sit on top of the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel, 17 floors up, giving guests a spectacular 360-degree view of the Fort Lauderdale area. While the view was incredible attendees were more focused on catching up with each other!

Above: TDC Co-Founder Howard Neu with Kamila Sekiewicz (ICA Operations Manager) and, at right, Andee Hill (Donuts Inc.). Kamila and Andee have played instrumental roles in helping the Internet Commere Association grow and fulfill its mission to protect the interests of domain investors and developers.

Below: The opening night party had two purposes - to kick off the conference and to also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ICA!

Above: ICA Legal Counsel Phil Corwin (with Board Member Nat Cohen behind him) tells the audience about the ICA's 10-year history of protecting the rights of domain industry investors and developers and thanks them for their support of the organization.

Below: ICA members in attendance gathered for a group photo after Phil's talk.

Above: After celebrating the ICA's continued growth and success, attendees continued to enjoy the opening night of THE Domain Conference. Here is a group of domain guys from around the globe -  (left to right) David Warmuz (Australia), Ron Jackson (USA), European trio Frederick Schiwek, Axel Kaltz and Jochen Kieler, and Mark Thomas (USA).

Below: Still, as always, Dr. Chris Hartnett is the coolest guy in the room! (photo from Barbara Neu)

Above: (L to R) Barbara Neu, Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz (ExcellentDomains.ca) and Diana Jackson say goodbye as a delightful opening night at the TDC comes to an end. 

Now it's on to business with two full days of keynotes speakers, panel discussions and non-stop networking today and tomorrow, followed by Wednesday morning's Farewell Breakfast. I'll have all of the photos and highlights from Monday's first day of business in my next post from Fort Lauderdale. 

(Posted Sept. 12, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Saturday Photos and Highlights from THE Domain Conference 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida  

The 2016 edition of THE Domain Conference (TDC) doesn't officially begin until the traditional Welcome Party tonight (Sunday, September 11) but there was still plenty of activity at the show venue - the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida - on Saturday. Most of that was due to the addition of a new standalone event called Startup Saturday (SS), the brainchild of TDC Co-Founder Ray Dillman Neu.

SS was designed for local entrepreneurs seeking advice on how to launch or grow a new business. Though domains were not the primary focus of SS, many of the speakers were successful, well-known people from our world. 

Above: Ray Dillman Neu, Co-Founder of THE Domain Conference and originator of TDC's Startup Saturday, welcomed attendees to the first SS event at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale September 10, 2016. Here he is introducing FashionMetric.com Co-Founder Morgan Linton who delivered the first presentation of the day via Skype. Morgan covered the differences between a startup and a small business. 

Above: Next up AmbitionInsight.com Founder Brett Napoli told the audience How to Turn a Domain Name Into a Business.

Below: South Florida entrepreneur Stuart Maloff absorbing information at Startup Saturday.

Above & below: In the final session before a lunch break, .CLUB CEO Colin Campbell (standing) joined (seated left to right in the photo above) moderator Jeff Sass (.CLUB), Barry Kates and George Verdugo (VisitSpace.com) to deliver one of the best panel discussions I've sent at any conference anywhere. In a session titled Lessons From the Edge the quartet took on a topic most entrepreneurs prefer not to talk about - failure. The speakers detailed overwhelming challenges that resulted in a previous enterprise of theirs coming close to failure or failing, what they learned from that setback and how those lessons helped them rebound and realize their dreams. Their honesty was refreshing and their advice inspirational. Entrepreneurs need to know there is a good chance you are going to get knocked down but you can get back up again armed with valuable, albeit painful, experience that will make you better equipped to succeed than you were before.

Startup Saturday concluded with three afternoon sessions featuring individual presentations from Victor Pitts, Evan Oder and Jeff Sass (above). Jeff detailed How .CLUB And Other New Domains Are A Smarter Branding Bet For Startups & Entrepreneurs Worldwide. Before Jeff's closing talk Victor offered Domain Name Branding and Purchasing Tips and Evan provided advice on Picking the Best Business Partner.

Above: While Startup Saturday was going on inside, Cabana Networking was open at TDC's private pool area at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel. That's where we snapped this shot of (left to right) Mike Morrison (Rook Media), TDC Co-Founder Barbara Neu, and recently retired police officer turned domain investor Jim Garbutt.

Below: An overhead view of the Cabana Networking area taken from our 13th floor balcony. The sponsor's cabanas ring the private TDC pool at left. There are also tables set out with full umbrellas to shield guests from Florida's intense summer sun. Attendees can freely move between the cabanas and the indoor Neustar Lounge for free drinks and snacks in air conditioned comfort (the Lounge is located in Windows on the Green a few steps away on the same level).

Above: A ground level view of the entrance to TDC's poolside Cabana Networking area. With most conference attendees arriving today this will be the central outdoor gathering point with the adjacent Neustar Lounge offering a convenient indoor retreat. 

Above: Saturday night gave TDC guests a chance to explore Fort Lauderdale, check out a local restaurant or attend an off-site corporate party. .CLUB CEO Colin Campbell hosted one of the latter at his lovely home on the Intracoastal Waterway, just a few miles upstream from the Pier 66 Hotel. Here Colin gives Diana Jackson a look inside his new Tesla X - a state of the art all-electric self-driving car. The driver can take over when necessary but Colin said the car did 90% of the driving on its own when he had taken it to the hotel earlier in the day. 

Above: A view of the Intracoastal Waterway from Colin's rear deck a little before sunset and the arrival of several dozen more guests for a party hosted by the .CLUB CEO, his lovely wife and their three King Charles Spaniels!

Below: .CLUB guests enjoying a beautiful Florida night (and a lot of talk about domains!) at last night's party at the Campbell home in Fort Lauderdale.

After two days of pre-conference activities THE Domain Conference gets into full swing with tonight's 7pm Welcome Party in the revolving Pier Top above the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel. Two big business days will follow Monday and Tuesday (you can check out the full agenda here) before the 2016 show closes Wednesday morning, September 14, with the traditional Farewell Breakfast (sponsored this year by MediaBreakaway.com CEO Scott Richter).

I'll have all of the Sunday photos & highlights for your in my next post from Fort Lauderdale Monday morning. 

(Posted September 11, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Domain Conference Doubleheader! Domainfest Asia Begins in Hong Kong 5 Days After THE Domain Conference Ends in Florida

On Friday we will be on our way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to join over 200 other domain industry investors, brokers, developers and service providers for the 2016 edition of THE Domain Conference (TDC) that runs at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel Saturday through 

Wednesday (September 10-14). Several TDC attendees will be away from home a good bit longer than that though. That's because after TDC closes some will head across the Pacific Ocean for this year's Domainfest Asia conference that gets underway in Hong Kong just five days after TDC ends. 

The Hong Kong event, under the Domainfest@Ion.asia banner, will be held at the Cyberport business park September 19-22 in the follow up to a successful debut show in Macau last year. It represents a merging of two separate entities. In 2014 

DotAsia Organisation founded IoN Asia (IoN standing for ‘Internet of Names’ was started as a domain industry publication, dedicated to all things domains, with a focus on Asia. However, this year, together with DOMAINfest, IoN launches the four-day DOMAINfest @ IoN.Asia conference that will connect Asian and Western domain markets through informative panels and business networking sessions.

The joint effort will make this year's show considerably larger with more than 200 attendees, over 40 speakers and more than 30 companies sponsoring the conference. The event will be hosted by hosted by industry leaders  Jothan Frakes (Co-Founder of DOMAINfest and NamesCon), Edmon Chung, (CEO of DotAsia and Simon Cousins (CEO at Allegravita and a renowned expert on the Chinese domain market.

The Domainfest Asia speakers list shows an impressive roster that includes at least four experts that will also be speaking at THE Domain Conference - Michael Gilmour (ParkLogic.com), Jeff Sass (.CLUB), Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com) and Joe Styler (GoDaddy). Domainfest Asia  highlights will also include four separate domain auctions conducted by China's leading auction houses and a special .shop auction.

The September twin bill of TDC and Domainfest@IoN.asia will make this an especially exciting and productive month for the industry on both sides of the Pacific!

(Posted September 8, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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Internet Commerce Association Gets a Major Boost from Afternic - Premium Domain Marketplace Signs On as a Gold Member

The Internet Commerce Association (ICA), the Washington, DC based non-profit trade organization that represents domain name investors, website developers and related companies, had some good news to share today. The ICA, who is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, announced that Afternic, the premium domain marketplace giant owned by GoDaddy, has joined the ICA at the Gold membership level.

ICA President Jeremiah Johnston

Afternic CRO Bob Mountain

That represents a commitment of $10,000-$25,000 annually in support of ICA's work to better secure the rights of domain registrants and other participants in the domain name industry and to advocate for policies that will allow the domain name industry to continue to thrive and to innovate.

ICA President Jeremiah Johnston noted, “The domain investment industry has long enjoyed a positive relationship with Afternic. As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our founding this month, we are delighted to have earned the support and input of such major industry player.”

Afternic Chief Revenue Officer Bob Mountain added, “Our support for ICA is based upon its long and successful record of advocating for the interests of domain investors and ordinary registrants in both Washington and ICANN. In addition, recent portfolio acquisitions have increased our interest in working for equitable and investment-friendly domain policies, and we look forward to engaging with ICA to develop and advance them.”

The ICA will mark its 10th anniversary by joining DomainSponsor in co-sponsoring the opening night Welcome Party at THE Domain Conference (TDC) that gets underway at 7pm Sunday (September 11) at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In addition to giving current ICA members a place to commemorate the occasion, it will give all TDC attendees a chance to learn more about the ICA and the various membership options that make it affordable for any industry professional to join and have a positive impact on the future our business. 

(Posted September 6, 2016) 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 Is Just One Week Away - Here's Why the Exhibit Area Will Be a Hot Spot at the 2016 Show

After two days of pre-show Cabana Networking next Saturday and Sunday (September 10-11) and a special new standalone Startup Saturday event on the 10th, the 2016 edition of THE Domain Conference (TDC) will officially get underway a week from tonight, Sunday, September 11, with the traditional Welcome Cocktail Party at 7pm. That event will be held in the revolving Pier Top lounge at the top of the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where THE Domain Conference returns after making its debut there last year. 

In recent weeks I've written several articles (the most recent one here) about what conference Co-Founders Howard Neu, Barbara Neu and Ray Dillman Neu have in store for attendees this year. Of course, the networking opportunities are the main reason most people

go to conferences where they get a chance to meet fellow domain investors and developers to share ideas that can significantly boost their business. Though that side of it usually gets the most attention, it is just half of the story.

Equally important is the opportunity to meet many of the industry's leading service providers in person - not only giving you a first hand look at what they have to offer but also to build personal connections with them that will help you get the most out of your relationship and quickly solve any problems that may arise while using services that are critical to running a successful domain business. 

You won't have any problem finding those service providers at THE Domain Conference. They will have booths set up in the Exhibit Area immediately outside the conference room - making it easy to zero in on the ones you are interested in at any time during the show's two business days - Monday and Tuesday, September 12 & 13 (the conference closes with a Farewell Breakfast on Wednesday morning, September 14).

Above: Attendees at last year's inaugural edition of THE Domain Conference gather in the Exhibit Area to meet new friends, catch up with old ones and visit the Sponsor Booths where some of the industry's leading service providers were on hand to answer questions and show how they can help you grow you business. More than two dozen companies will be set up there this year.

Above & Below: In addition to meeting others, the Exhibit Area is the place to grab a free hot cup of delicious coffee provided by sponsor Coffee.Club and pick up a tasty dessert or two to go along with it. 

Above: Attendees visit the booth of 101Domain.com at last year's show to pick up some swag and find out more about what the popular registrar has to offer. 101Domain.com will be back for this year's show as well.

Below: .CLUB will also return as a sponsor at THE Domain Conference 2016. In this shot from last year's show, .CLUB's David Herman (center) gives attendees Craig Pratka (left) and Reidar Rytter-Fjoeren (who came in from Norway) a look at what is happening with the successful new gTLD registry operator.

Above: Aaron Kvitek, Senior VP for Strategic Marketing at Above.com/Trellian  chats with an attendee at last year's conference. Above.com/Trellian will be sponsoring again this year. 

Here is a list of the more than two dozen companies (shown on THE Domain Conference website) who will be sponsors at THE Domain Conference 2016:

GoDaddy HQ
Above.com (Trellian) 
ParkingCrew.com 
101domain 
RookMedia
DomainSponsor 
CrowdReviews
dotClub
Dot Global Domain Registry
Coffee.club
NameJet
igloo.com
ParkLogic
AdMarketplace

Payoneer
<Header_Tag> 
Verisign
Internet Commerce Association
Sedo.com
.GDN
GMO Registry, Inc. (.Shop)
Soap.club
InterNetX GmbH
NeuStar
Protected Parking
Escrow.domains 
Donuts
Escrow.com

Several of these exhibitors are also sponsoring specific events during the show. The GMO Registry (.Shop) is sponsoring Lori Anne Wardi's Keynote, Ron Jackson's State of the Industry report and the 2016 Awards Luncheon and Verisgn is sponsoring the Tobias Flaitz Keynote Luncheon.

The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) is celebrating its 10th Anniversary by co-sponsoring the Welcome Party Sunday evening, alongside DomainSponsor (the ICA held their first  meeting at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 10 years ago).  Also, for the first time TDC using the Windows on the Green area right below the lobby for the Neustar Networking Lounge on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 11-13) with coffee, drinks and snacks throughout the days. 

We will, of course, be at THE Domain Conference to cover it all for you with daily Photos and Highlights from Fort Lauderdale in this column and, if you are making the trip to Florida, I am looking forward to seeing you there!

(Posted Sept. 4, 2016) 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 ccTLD Celebrating Its 30th Anniversary With Over 3 Million Domains Registered

Australia was first connected to the Internet in 1986 - a time when Crocodile Dundee was a big hit at the box office and Bob Hawke was the Prime Minister. That's when the country's official top level domain - .au - was first deployed,  giving Aussies their own unique online identity and - more than 3 million .au domain name registrations later - they've never looked back. 

The earliest adopters of the .au domain namespace included iconic local brands like St. George Bank, LJ Hooker, Wattyl and the Sydney Opera House

Image courtesy of AustraliaDomainNames.com.au

Adrian Kinderis
CEO, AusRegistry

While reflecting on .au's 30th anniversary, AusRegistry CEO Adrian Kinderis noted, "Our annual surveys consistently identify the .au domain namespace as the most trusted in Australia. From small businesses and bloggers to multi-million dollar companies such as Vegemite, Bonds, Akubra and Holden, if you want to succeed online in Australia a domain name ending in .au will tick the right boxes; trust, security and popularity."

The domain landscape has changed dramatically since .au was introduced and Mr. Kinderis said the critical issue for the next 30 years will center on competition in an increasingly crowded market, where disruption is the new business paradigm. Still, he is confident that .au will continue to thrive in this more challenging atmosphere. "You don't chalk up 30 years of success without being nimble and responsive to your changing environment," Kinderis noted.

He pointed to Innovative changes such as the introduction of one-to-five year terms and direct .au registrations that give Australians a greater opportunity to get online by registering domain names in formats like yourname.au and businessname.au.

Kinderis added, "This is not the f inishing line and it is vital that we protect this national asset and recognize the investment made in the .au domain namespace over the 30-year course, while positioning for success for the next 30 years and beyond. The .au domain namespace is indeed worth celebrating, so congratulations to each and every online Australian who chooses to represent themselves and their businesses online with a .au domain name."

(Posted September 1, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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