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July 03, 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.

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

Verisign Reports Domain Registrations Worldwide Continue to Grow at a Brisk Clip - Almost 18 Million Added Since Last Year 

Verisign released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief, covering the 1st quarter of 2015 (.pdf file), today.  The report revealed that the total number of domain names registered worldwide across all top-level domains had risen to 294 million by the end of the quarter. 6 million domains were added in 1Q-2015 alone, a 1.9% rise over the previous quarter. Year over year, total registrations jumped 6.5% with 17.8 million names added since the end of 1Q-2014.

Verisign's dominant .com extension, with 117.9 million domains registered, accounts for 40% of all registrations worldwide. Verisign also runs .net, which ended the quarter with 15.1 million registrations. Taken together those two legacy extensions alone give Verisign a 45% chunk of the market. The company said it added 8.7 

million new .com or .net domains in 1Q-2015, a bit higher than the 8.6 million they added in the same quarter a year ago. 

Total ccTLD registrations were approximately 136.9 million at the end of 1Q-2015, after 2.9 million new domain names had been added in the quarter (a 2.2% increase from the previous quarter). Year over Year, approximately 10.3 million new country code domain names were added, a good looking  8.2% jump in year. However, a large part of that can be attributed to the biggest ccTLD - .tk (with over 25 million registrations, attributable to the fact domains in the extension are given away free). If .tk is not included ccTLD year-over-year growth drops to 4.4%.

Their quarterly Brief is always chockfull of interesting information. You will find a lot condensed into one tidy infographic here. The Brief also includes a special article - “‘Mobilegeddon’: Good for Small Business?” which discusses the benefits of mobile websites for business.

(Posted June 30, 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/20150630.htm

The DNA Promotes New gTLDs By Documenting Sightings at InTheWild.domains Website

The Domain Name Asoociation, an industry trade group whose members include many major registry operators and Internet related corporations, including Google, Amazon and Go Daddy, has taken a novel approach for promoting the use of new gTLDs (a primary reason why the group was formed). A DNA site at InTheWild.domains documents user submitted photos and videos of websites - built on both new extensions and established TLDs -  being advertised by businesses, organizations at individuals around the world.

I think it is a smart way to promote domain registrations across the board. For new gTLDs, the key to wider adoption is people recognizing the extensions and becoming comfortable enough with them to put them to use. The more often they see others developing and advertising their new extension names, the more likely they are to consider the option themselves.

Before I visited the site, I fully expected to see only new gTLDs in the wild and was pleasantly surprised to see ccTLD and even .com websites included. Again, I think this is a smart approach. If you want people to recognize a string as a 

domain name, they need a point of reference. When they see a .com or a familiar ccTLD sprinkled in among the new extensions they are more likely to understand that all of the strings they are looking at are domain names.

Some of the live websites featured on the site's home page as of this writing are FlatironDistricy.NYC, Burger.Melbourne, ARC.Clinic, H2H.Jobs, Coca-Cola.FM and Soap.Club

The site describes itself as "a place to highlight and celebrate creative uses of Domain Names," noting "Domain Names (web addresses) are the glue that keeps the Internet connected. They are how you remember and find things, and, more importantly, they are how you brand and market yourself or your business online. Domain Names are the ultimate "call to action" and at InTheWild.Domains we're collecting great examples of attention getting domain names "in the wild." So, if you spot a cool billboard, ad, side of a bus, video, sign etc. that includes a domain name, please share it here. Go wild!"

(Posted June 29, 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/20150629.htm

Is WhoIs Privacy Important to You? If So You Will Want to Weigh In on a Battle Brewing at ICANN

A lot of people utilize WhoIs privacy services to keep their personal contact details (including name, telephone number, email, and postal address) from being available to anyone who wants to look it up in the public WhoIs record that is accessible through any registrar as well as a variety of independent sites. I've personally never used the privacy option on  my domains but I recognize there are many valid reasons why others might wish to do so. Just one of those is that spammers routinely harvest public WhoIs information for their email lists and unwanted phone solicitations.

Privacy image from Bigstock

Still, ICANN is considering a new program (.pdf file) that if enacted could remove the privacy option for many users. Some registrars and other service providers opposed to the proposed changes have banded together to create a website at SaveDomainPrivacy.org that details all of the issues involved and what is at stake for domain registrants. Among other caveats, the site notes, "Providers could be required to give your private contact details to anyone complaining that your website violates their trademark or copyright. None of these scenarios would require a court order, search warrant, or due process of any kind."

ICANN currently has a public comment period on this matter open and SaveDomainPriivacy.org is urging all registrants opposed to this change to send a message to ICANN before the comment period closes July 7, 2015. You can simply put your thoughts into an email and send to comments-ppsai-initial-05may15@icann.org.  You’ll receive an automatic reply asking you to confirm your email address and once you confirm, your comment will be posted. Alternately (or in conjunction with your email) the site had also posted a petition you can sign that will be forwarded to ICANN.

All of the details are on SaveDomainPrivacy.org and I would recommend reading what is on the concise site first then, if you are moved to do so, add your voice to the others concerned about the proposed changes.  

(Posted June 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/20150623.htm

The DOMAINfest Caravan Adds A Major New Stop - First DOMAINfest Asia Slated for Macau Sept. 4-7

A lot of people wondered what NamesCon would do with the DOMAINfest brand when they bought the rights to that conference from Oversee.net at the end of last year. Since then some successful one day DOMAINfest events have been staged in conjunction with other meetings (with another one set to run Sept. 27 alongside THE Domain Conference in Florida).

Now, DOMAINfest is spreading its wings even further with a big four-day event - the first DOMAINfest Asia - that will run September 4-7, 2015 in Macau, China

DOMAINfest co-founder Jothan Frakes said, “Many are looking to Asia as a market of robust growth and innovation. Macau is the perfect Asian location for the DOMAINfest caravan. Providing a great experience for regional industry players is central to the DOMAINfest mission, and Macau is easy to 

access for our many friends in the China region, the Indian subcontinent, Japan, Korea, and south-east Asia."

The conference will be jointly organized by DOMAINfest,  DotAsia Organisation (the operator of the .ASIA registry) and China-specialist strategic communications agency Allegravita and it will be supported by the Internet Society of China. DOMAINfest.Asia 2015 is designed to serve as a meeting place for China’s and Asia’s domain name industry to network with sector leaders from around the world. The show will feature the parallel discussion tracks made popular by NamesCon on diverse domain name industry subjects topical to Asian and Chinese markets. 

DotAsia CEO Edmon Chung (left) and Allegravita CEO Simon Cousins  have joined forces with DOMAINfest to stage the first DOMAINfest Aisa conference in Macau Sept. 4-7, 2015.

DotAsia Organisation CEO Edmon Chung said, “We’re very excited to host the international domain community in Macau. I know DOMAINfest.Asia 2015 will help drive growth in domain market expansion and awareness in China and Asia.” Allegravita CEO Simon Cousins added, “China’s central importance to the global domain name business is undisputed, and we couldn’t be prouder to be bringing the world to meet China at DOMAINfest.Asia in Macau.”  

A full conference schedule and sponsor details will be announced in coming weeks, and full event information will be available online soon at http://domainfest.asia.

(Posted June 22, 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/20150622.htm

Domain Investor Warren Royal's Coronation is Complete - TV Star Mike Rowe Features the Bobblehead King on CNN

Most of our readers buy and sell domains and some take the next step and attempt to develop one or more of their favorites into successful businesses. That is a lot harder partly because  domain investors go at from the exact opposite direction taken by mainstream entrepreneurs. People in the latter group normally come up with a business idea and well thought out business plan then look for an appropriate domain name to build on. The domain investor is more likely to start with a name they love then try to figure out how to make a business work on that particular name (kind of like putting the cart before the horse). 

Since doing it that way is such a daunting task it is good to see examples of people who have done it successfully. On that score, Bobbleheads.com Founder Warren Royal (who was profiled in our December 2008 Cover Story), has done it as well as anyone you are ever likely to find. Warren didn't know a lot about bobbleheads when he bought Bobbleheads.com in an auction for $30,000 in early 2008 but once he acquired the category defining domain name, he decided he might be able to turn it into a pretty nice little business by selling bobblehead dolls on it. 

Warren Royal, Founder
Royal Bobbles and Bobbleheads.com

Warren started out selling bobbleheads from a variety of companies and that worked out pretty well - well enough to pique his interest in manufacturing his own bobbleheads to sell. He even produced dolls of two domainers - Rick Schwartz and Ron Jackson that first year (and as you would expect, both now sell at a big discount)!  The two domainers aside, the move to manufacturing worked out pretty well too - in fact way beyond pretty well. Since debuting his Royal Bobbles line, Royal has become one of the biggest players in the entire industry. These days he is frequently called upon by major corporations to create a doll to their specifications and by celebrities who want one made in their own likeness to sell to fans. A huge number of satisfied customers have found that when it comes to bobbleheads nobody does it better than Royal.

Some of the now famous Royal Bobbles creations spread out on a table in Royal's office.

Royal's latest coup came earlier this month when his company was featured in a segment of Mike Rowe's TV show, Somebody's Gotta Do It on CNN (you can see the full episode here - the segment featuring Royal Bobbles starts at the 30:00 mark). 

Royal told us how it all came about saying, "We worked with Mike Rowe (star of the Discovery Channel hit show Dirty Jobs) on a project to produce a Mike Rowe "made in the USA" bobblehead that he could auction off to raise money for his nonprofit mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which supports the skilled trades through scholarships. That  journey resulted in him deciding to film the segment for his TV show." 

Bobbleheads.com has also produced a fascinating 3-minute video of their own that will give you a great inside look at what the Atlanta-based company does and how big they have grown. Amazing what has blossomed from that $30,000 domain name purchase eight years ago. It is a real testament to the powerful combination of a category defining domain and a smart entrepreneur -  as well as proof that sometimes putting the cart before the horse can pay off in a really big way!

(Posted June 18, 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/20150618.htm

India's DomainX Conference Announces Major Expansion and Plush New Venue for Sophomore Show in August

After a successful debut event last summer in Hyderabad, India, an expanded DomainX Conference will return in August with a plush new location - the five-star Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore, India - a booming city of more than 8 million residents (making it the 3rd largest in India) that is referred to as both the "Silicon Valley of India" (because it has attracted so many major IT companies) and the "Garden City of India" (thanks to its gentle climate, broad streets, greenery and many public parks). The Taj West End also lives up to that name with its own  meticulously landscaped grounds that cover 20 acres near the heart of Bangalore. 

After the one-day inaugural DomainX event was so well received, conference Founder and CEO Manmeet Pal Singh decided to set the bar higher this time around with both a new venue and a new two-day format to accommodate an ambitious show that will run Friday and Saturday, August 7th & 8th, 2015. He has also lined up a compelling list of speakers including Uniregistry Founder Frank Schilling, Esiksha.com's Deepak Daftari and TeachMe Inc. CEO Bill Karamouzis. I will also be there to speak and cover the event for you. 

Though the conference is expanding the cost to attend is not. In fact, as was the case last year, hundreds of free tickets are available (345 as of this writing) as well as a limited

Manmeet Pal Singh
DomainX Founder & CEO 

number of tickets with added benefits priced at $49 or $99, depending on the option you choose. That $0-$99 price range represents a remarkable bargain for an event of this size in a venue of this quality.

Above: an exterior view of the Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore, India 
where the 2015 DomainX Conference will be held August 7-8.

Below: The lobby at the Taj West Hotel (rated by TripAdvisor readers as one 
of the four best hotels in Bangalore (out of more than 500 reviewed). 

The patio cafe overlooking the lush grounds at the Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore.

DomainX brings investors, hosting providers, startups & entrepreneurs together to network and discuss industry issues. Over the course of its two-day run more than a dozen business sessions are scheduled. 

I had intended to travel to last year's debut event but major problems with India's visa system prevented myself and several others from making the trip, limiting our participation to Skype interviews. Fortunately, a new streamlined visa system is now in place that has reportedly solved those travel problems, so we I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of new people at DomainX in person, as well as re-connecting with old friends from India and other countries in the region who have been coming to the U.S. shows for many years now. I'm also looking forward to giving our readers a first hand view of this key event in one of the world's most important Internet economies. 

(Posted June 17, 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/20150617.htm

Dream Team: DOMAINFest Joins Forces With THE Domain Conference for September Show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The inaugural edition of THE Domain Conference (TDC) continues to take (and change) shape as the September 26-29, 2015 event at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida draws closer. In an announcement that will surprise many, TDC announced today that the venerable DOMAINfest brand (acquired from Oversee.net by NamesCon last year) will be part of the show in South Florida. 

The revised agenda still has pre-show cabana networking kicking things off Saturday morning (September 26), but Sunday, September 27 (when only cabana networking and the opening night party were previously scheduled) now adds DOMAINfest at THE Domain Conference day, 

featuring a full slate of business sessions and networking that will get underway at 10am. That day will be capped with the Sunday evening Networking Welcome Cocktail Party that will get underway at 5:30pm in the famous revolving party room that sits atop the Pier 66 hotel providing a fabulous 360-degree rotating view of  Fort Lauderdale and the Atlantic Ocean beaches. 

A spectacular view of Fort Lauderdale and the Atlantic Ocean  from the top of the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel where the Welcome Cocktail Party at THE Domain Conference will be held Sunday evening, September 27, 2015.

Two more full business days will follow Monday and Tuesday (September 28-29) to complete this first conference staged solo by the Neu family (Howard, Barbara and Ray) who played such an integral role in producing the pioneering T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference that closed with Co-Founder Rick Schwartz's retirement after the 10th anniversary show last fall on Miami Beach.

With T.R.A.F.F.I.C. ending after its decade long run, and NamesCon absorbing DOMAINfest (but keeping the latter brand alive as a globe-trotting one day special event often tied to other major industry functions), only NamesCon and THE Domain Conference remained as the industry's globally oriented multi-day domain trade shows. I think the fact that those two forward thinking companies are now working co-operatively is a very constructive development for the industry at large. In the past there has been some rivalry between the various shows (with Domain Roundtable also part of the mix) but the pairing of DOMAINfest and THE Domain Conference signals that all of the organizers intend to make growing  the industry at large their top priority - a scenario under which everyone wins.

Jothan Frakes

I'm sure NamesCon Co-Founder Jothan Frakes, who has always had that co-operative mindset (we described him as "the domain world's leading diplomat" in a July 2014 Cover Story about his career), deserves a lot of credit for bringing this about - as do the Neus, who wanted to incorporate some fresh ideas into stamping their own imprint on the new show. Jothan has taken the reins of the DOMAINfest brand since NamesCon acquired it and has already done some very creative and productive things with it - including staging a DOMAINfest day in Sofia, Bulgaria earlier this month in conjunction with Bulgarian Internet Week. If there is an audience for domains anywhere on the planet Jothan will most likely find it!

While DOMAINfest at THE Domain Conference is a big value add, you won't see it in the ticket price which remains at $499 (until July 1 when it is  scheduled to go up to $699). Hotel rooms are also a bargain, starting at just $109 a night.  If you are feeling generous, voluntary donations will be accepted at DOMAINfest at THEDomainConference to support two very worthy causes -  the Internet Commerce Association and the Water School.

(Posted June 15, 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/20150615.htm

Over 1.3 Million Piping Hot Donuts to Come Out of the New Domain Registry's Oven This Summer

Donuts Inc., the world’s largest registry for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), will begin releasing over 1.3 million previously reserved domain names in the 144 extensions they administer this week. The names are to be released in batches each week between June and September. These are domains that were previously withheld to address the potential for “name collision,” or the possible leakage of Internet traffic from a closed private network onto the broader domain name system ( DNS), an issue no longer of concern.  

Those interested in the more than 1 million frequently searched terms contained in these domains can order them through these accredited domain name registrars. In the final month of the release program - on September 9 - Donuts will also release thousands of two-character combinations across all its gTLDs.

 

Donuts had another major development to announce this week. On  Tuesday, Lionsgate, the U.S. film studio, began promotion of its latest feature in the wildly popular The Hunger Games series by directing viewers to a name chosen from Donuts' stable of new gTLDs -  TheHungerGames.movie. As Kevin Murphy reported at DomainIncite.com today, that domain was allocated a few days earlier than .movie domains were supposed to be released, but the opportunity for this kind of massive exposure for a new TLD is one that a lot of new registries would have a difficult time passing up. If ICANN does impose any kind of penalty for bending the release rule the cost would likely be worth the reward Donuts will reap from having the extension associated with such a highly anticipated movie release.

Paul Stahura
Donuts Co-Founder & CEO

Regarding the release of the more than 1.3 million previously reserved domains, Donuts Co-Founder and CEO Paul Stahura said, "This is an opportunity to secure some very strong domain names. Over the past several months we’ve had thousands of inquiries about these names, many of which we’re offering at standard pricing. These are terms that already enjoy a high rate of lookup traffic and have great potential for appreciation.”

The domains include popular terms like Airport.LIMO, Digital.CAMERA and A1.DEALS and Donuts said less than 2% will carry premium pricing. Each batch will be offered through Donuts’ now familiar Early Access Program (EAP) for the first seven days of their availability (through the EAP week, the price is progressively lowered, finally settling after one week at the every day standard price that varies from one registrar to another).

Donuts has sorted the domains that will be released each week into 14 categories. You can find a list of those categories, the TLDs within them and the dates they will be released in this announcement from Donuts.

(Posted June 11, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:
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It's Summertime and Route 66 is Calling But as Always Domains Come Along for the Ride

Editor's Note: This post was written Friday (June 5) and I planned to publish it that day but due to lack of working Internet access where we were staying I was unable to do so. We returned to Phoenix Sunday night and I was able to post it from there.

I'm away for a week of summer vacation. Diana and I are in Williams, Arizona, a well-known old western town that is famous for being on America's historic Route 66 (that stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles before there were Interstate highways) and as the home of the Grand Canyon Railway.

This morning we will take the railway from Williams up to the Grand Canyon. As much as I have traveled this will be the first time I've been there and people have told me it so grand I should expect a spiritual experience. Of course, wherever you go these days, domains are always close at hand. On Route 66 last night I saw the shop below's URL emblazoned on the trunk of a classic Oldsmobile parked in front. The shop refers to themselves as "The World Famous" Addicted to Route 66 Shop. That may be hyperbole but but thanks to domain names and the Internet, any business and anybody can be world famous!

Getting my kicks on Route 66
in Williams, Arizona Thursday evening.

I like Route 66 so much I decided to see if I could find the exact term available for registration at a low price in any extension. Thanks to Uniregistry I did, getting Route66.click for under $5. Now I can get my clicks on Route 66! :-)  It makes a nice pair since  had picked up GrandCanyon.click when we were planning our trip and both domains cost me less than a coffee mug in one of the Route 66 gift shops.

When we return to Williams Saturday afternoon this old steam engine will be pulling our train back from the Grand Canyon. We'll be exploring some more of Arizona for a few more days, then I'll be back with you here Wednesday (June 10), refreshed and ready to see what the ever changing domain industry has in store for all of us this summer!

(Posted June 5, 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 Lands Morgan Linton as Keynote Speaker - Spotlight to Shine on John Ferber and Braden Pollock As Well 

With the inaugural edition of THE Domain Conference coming up this summer, key positions on the agenda are rapidly being filled. We've learned that veteran domain investor, developer and blogger Morgan Linton will deliver the keynote speech at the event that will run September 26-29, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Most recently Morgan and his wife, the equally talented Daina Linton, has been busy growing their award-winning startup, FashionMetric.com, into a disruptive force in the fashion industry. Their new company, based in Austin, Texas and backed by billionaire entrepreneur (and Shark Tank TV Star) Mark Cuban, is an SaaS solution for apparel retailers and brands to gather intelligence about their customers and personalize the online apparel shopping experience.

From the first time I met Morgan in person (at the 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver 

Morgan Linton to deliver keynote
speech at THE Domain Conference

conference in Canada), I was impressed by his drive, intelligence and unbridled optimism. We had been in touch frequently online before that but as soon as I spent a few minutes talking with him face to face I thought "this is a guy who is going places" and he has certainly done that. 

John Ferber
Bidtellect.com Co-Founder

 

Braden Pollock
LegalBrandMarketing.com

We also learned that THE Domain Conference has completed an impressive trifecta by adding Bidtellect.com (and DomainHoldings.com) Co-Founder John Ferber and multi-talented entrepreneur Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com) to the all-star cast that will take the stage during the show (the first event being produced by Howard, Barbara and Ray Dillman Neu since their long run with the pioneering T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference that ended with the 10th anniversary show last fall, after which partner Rick Schwartz (and the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. brand) went into retirement).

John Ferber has had a remarkable business career that includes selling his first major company, Advertising.com, to America Online for nearly $500 million! We were fortunate to get him into our field after that when he teamed up with industry veteran Chad Folkening to co-found DomainHoldings.com, then Bidtellect.com. The latter company is the first open, multi-format, multi-device Native Marketing Platform connecting advertisers and publishers to deliver optimized and insightful native advertising at scale.

Braden Pollock is a veteran domain investor/developer with a long track record of  business success. While he has been a speaker at many domain conferences (including T.R.A.F.F.I.C., NamesCon, DOMAINfest and Domaining Europe) he has become especially renowned for his stage personality and insightful interviewing skills that have made him the most in-demand moderator in the industry. Braden will make sure you leave his sessions with useful, actionable (and entertaining) information.  

An early bird admission rate of  $499 is still available for THE Domain Conference, but it will be going up to $699 on June 15th, so now is the time to take advantage of the lower 

pricing.  You can also reserve your room at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 now with rates starting at just $109 a night with  no resort fee and free Internet.

(Posted June 2, 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/20150602.htm

A New GeoDomain Leadership Conference - GEO.CEO -  is Coming to Los Angeles in May 2016 

I've really missed geodomain conferences but, after a 5-year hiatus, that hole in the show calendar's heart will finally be filled in May 2016. I got word from Josh Metnick, the co-founder of the original GeoDomain Expos (the last of which was held in New Orleans in 2010), that he is organizing a new event called GEO.CEO, that will put geodomains and apps front and center once again. The event will be staged May 4-6, 2016 in Los  

Angeles at the Hyatt Regency LAX Hotel which currently has a massive $60 million remodeling project underway (the property was known as The Concourse before Hyatt purchased it last summer and began the renovations expected to be completed in 1Q-2016)). This will be the first geodomain specific conference since an event called the GeoPublishers Expo was held in Chicago in 2011

GEO.CEO Founder Josh Metnick

Metnick gave himself 11 months of lead time because he is intent on getting everything right to make sure GEO.CEO will be a show that is here to stay. If you take a look at the Participants page on the GEO.CEO website you will see he is already off to a great start with Dan Pulcrano (Boulevards MetroNews), Ammar Kubba (ThoughtConvergence), Jothan Frakes (FrakesOnAPlane.com), Michael Berkens (TheDomains.com), Monte Cahn (RightOfTheDot.com), Mark Daniel (DomainHoldings), Nat Cohen (Telepathy Inc.), Page Howe (Dot LA), Tom Brackey (Brackey & Freund), George Minardos (dotBuild) and Tommy Butler (Glasgow.com) among the many industry leaders already confirmed with many more to be announced in the months ahead (I will be there too of course). 

The things I loved most about the geo shows were the people (extremely bright entrepreneurs who were all about building businesses) and the development focused agenda. Clearly both will return in a big way at GEO,CEO. Metnick already has a list of topics likely to be tackled next May including:

  • Some variation on Geo.com vs. word.Geo vs. Geo.gTLD -- with a positive tone. i.e., "Plenty of room for innovation, plenty of room everybody"

  • The future of mapping technology integration & 3D/VR mapping 

  • Myanmar, Cuba, Vietnam, Space -- marketing online to formerly closed destinations

  • Special sessions on monetizing State.com's and State-focused websites

  • "Micro-moments" -- designing for micro-attention spans

  • Implementing cohesive web/mobile/app strategies

  • Best Geodomain software platforms (including insight into how Tommy Butler manages to maintain 900 websites around the Glasgow area alone)

Tours of the L.A. offices of ICANN and Google are also on the preliminary agenda. With so many new gTLDs based on geo locations now live (like .nyc, .london and .berlin) and many more coming, plus the continuing and even growing strength of .com geodomains, Metnick, the former owner of Chicago.com, thinks the time is right for a new geo focused show. It looks like he has landed a great venue too. The renovations underway at the Grand Hyatt LAX include a brand new conference center and the largest ballroom space in the LAX area. While Metnick is planning for 500 attendees, there is enough room to accommodate as many as 1,500.

Artist's rendering of the new ballroom at the Grand Hyatt LAX Hotel

The Grand Hyatt LAX will also have a new Event Lawn providing open air space in an oasis like setting and state of the art guest rooms featuring 55” flat screen televisions in all rooms. You couldn't ask for a more convenient hotel to the Los Angeles airport either. The Hyatt is the closest hotel to LAX and it has a complimentary shuttle that runs every 10 minutes (though the hotel is  closest to the airport, the rooms have been sound-proofed. It is the only property at LAX that has double-soundproof windows to eliminate airport noise). 

Registration for the CEO.GEO is already open with a $699 early bird ticket available (after that sale ends the door price of $1,599 will be in effect). You can get GEO.CEO updates as they are posted by boomakring either GEOCEOConference.com or GEO.CEO

(Posted June 1, 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/20150601.htm


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