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The Lowdown

May 2007 Archive

Here's the The Lowdown from DNJournal.com! Updated daily to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry!

Compiled by Ron Jackson (Editor/Publisher)


SnapNames.com has been sold to Oversee.net (the parent company of DomainSponsor) according to Jay Westerdal at DomainTools.com. Over the past few months we have been contacted several times by parties researching a

possible purchase of SnapNames so the sale does not come as a surprise. Westerdal said Oversee beat out another bidder to take control of the popular expired domains auction house. 

Yesterday Frank Schilling told readers of his Seven Mile blog that a major acquisition was in the offing. When the news broke this evening he said that the Oversee-SnapNames deal was rumored to be worth $25 million

Update: SnapNames has sent out an email to their customers confirming the sale. Their letter states, "there will be no changes to the way SnapNames provides its services. This transaction is expected to close in mid-June. There is more information available on our Web site at www.snapnames.com."
Posted May 31, 2007

Registration is now open for the 2007 Domain Roundtable Conference to be held August 13-15 in Seattle. Show promoter Jay Westerdal said a detailed agenda will be posted on the conference site later this week. The registration fee is $1495 and the first 100 people who sign up will receive a free eNom reseller account along with $100 in credit. 
Posted May 30, 2007

I am in Venice, Florida today, where family members are gathering for the funeral of my father-in-law, Gordon Case, who passed away Friday at the age of 84. My wife, Diana, was one of Gordon's four daughters. He also left eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. It has been a pleasure for me to know him for the past 23 years and he will be sorely missed. The viewing is this evening and it is appropriate that it falls on Memorial Day in the United States when we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Gordon was a World War II veteran who, like my dad, served in the U.S. Navy. The funeral will be held tomorrow, so there will not be a Lowdown post Tuesday (May 29).
Posted May 28, 2007

Gordon Case

NameMedia is featured in a major domain industry story in today's New York Times. The Waltham, Massachussetts based company is the parent of aftermarket venues BuyDomains and Afternic and also operates pay per click domain monetization services Active Audience

Gold Key and Smart Name. Writer Bob Tedeschi did an excellent job in detailing the success of a company that holds over 725,000 domain names and has attracted $120 million in financing in just the past year. NameMedia CEO Kelly Conlin told Tedeschi "What we’ve wanted to do, quietly, is amass the largest real estate position on the Internet, which we feel we have." 

You'll hear much more about NameMedia late next week when the company will be profiled in our June Cover Story.
Posted May 28, 2007

You've all heard about the explosion of video on the web, led by the popularity of YouTube, but Wendy Davis of MediaPost had an especially important bit of information about online video you may not be aware of in her Just An Online Minute column this week (free subscription

required to read). Davis said that a new survey from the Kelsey Group showed that online video ads had an extremely high response response, surpassing the traditional video ad format - television. 59% of the people in the survey said they had watched a video ad online and 43% said they then clicked on a Web site, while 22% requested more information, 18% went to a store, 15% made a purchase, 11% forwarded the video to a friend, 9% signed up for a product or trial and 3% ordered a subscription. 

Kelsey thinks the unusually high response rates for Internet viewers can be attributed to web surfers watching video while literally "leaning forward," with one hand on the mouse ready to click somewhere else. The Kelsey report said, "Users who views ads during a television broadcast are often on their couches in 'lean back' mode and are thus unlikely to immediately respond in any meaningful way beyond making a mental note. Users watching video on their PCs are conversely in 'lean forward' mode and are likely engaged in a search process to find a product or service." Just one more reason why advertisers will continue to move ad dollars to the web en masse in the years ahead. 
Posted May 26, 2007

DomainSponsor has set the dates and location for their 2008 DOMAINfest Global Conference. The good news is that the show is returning to the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, California where

the debut DOMAINfest Global event was held (to rave reviews) this past January. Mark your calendars now for January 21-23, 2008.

On a related note, by the end of the month we expect to publish a wrap-up article on the DOMAINfest Regional event that was held in Amsterdam, Holland last week. I was unable to attend due to a previous commitment in Philadelphia but arranged to have recordings and professional photos from the event sent to us. Those are due here in a few days and we'll go through them as soon as they arrive to put together a piece on the Amsterdam experience for you.
Posted May 25, 2007

Hot on the heels of the IAB report on the booming U.S. online advertising market (see the post below this one), comes the latest report from eMarketer on China's online ad market which has been growing close to 50% annually since 1998. The Chinese market for web ads reached an

estimated $176 million in the first quarter of 2007, according to Analysys International data cited in Digitimes. The new report said "As is often the case with China , sheer numbers are driving growth. eMarketer Senior Analyst Ben Macklin estimates that China will have the world's largest number of Internet users by the end of the decade. Broadband is on the rise as well. While adoption has slowed from the extraordinary rates of a few years ago, eMarketer conservatively forecasts that there will be 90.5 million broadband households in China by 2011, up from 46.6 million in 2006."
Posted May 24, 2007

The Interactive Advertising Bureau reports that Internet advertising soared 35% in 2006 over the previous year. In its Internet Advertising Revenue Report released yesterday, the IAB said Internet  ad revenues in the U.S. hit $16.9 billion in 2006. The fourth quarter of 2006 was also a record quarter with $4.8 billion in web ad sales booked. IAB President and CEO 

Randall Rothenberg said, “Interactive advertising revenues continue to show solid growth as advertisers and agencies recognize that it is a medium that can uniquely affect consumer behavior from product awareness, to purchase intent, to actual purchase and then brand loyalty. We have

every confidence that this growth trend will continue as marketers allocate more of their total marketing dollars to interactive and the industry delivers effective and innovative platforms for connecting with consumers.” 

The Interactive Advertising Bureau, founded in 1996, represents over 300 leading interactive companies that actively engage in, and support the sale of interactive advertising. IAB members are responsible for selling over 86% of online advertising in the United States. 
Posted May 24, 2007

Those unfortunate domain owners who have been stuck with discredited registrar Registerfly.com may find their domains at a new registrar as early as next week. A post on ICANN's official blog Tuesday said a deal has been struck for another registrar to take on 

Registerfly's customers. The new registrar was not identified but most rumors peg GoDaddy.com as the most likely candidate. The ICANN announcement said "ICANN has been advised of a deal to transfer all names in RegisterFly’s management from RegisterFly to an existing accredited Registrar with a demonstrated record of customer service...The deal is a commercial transaction where the acquiring registrar has worked out a financial arrangement to take over names managed by RegisterFly. In order to make the transfer happen, all data must be provided to the acquiring registrar by RegisterFly. We have been informed that most of the data has been now made available. Final steps are underway to effect the full transfer of information which should be completed next week, with an announcement by the acquiring registrar to be made at that time."

Of course, this will not help those who owned an estimated 75,000 domains that were permanently lost through mismanagement at Registerfly, who is now facing a major class action lawsuit as a result.
Posted May 23, 2007 

Domain owners who have 
been imprisoned at Registerfly 
may soon be released

Business 2.0 Magazine Editor-at-Large Paul Sloan had just published a new article that is a must read for everyone in (or interested in) the domain business. The Man Who Owns the 

Paul Sloan
Business 2.0 Magazine

Internet is Paul's profile of Vancouver's Kevin Ham, a 37-year-old domain pioneer who has built an empire worth an estimated $300 milllion. Sloan carefully details step-by-step how Ham made his fortune after giving up his career as a medical doctor to pursue domains. Sloan was the first writer to publish a major mainstream article about the domain business (a December 2005 piece for Business 2.0 called Masters of Their Domains). That article spurred hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new investment in the domain space and his new piece could well have the same effect. The domain industry is very difficult to understand and only a handful of mainstream journalists really have a handle on it. Sloan is at the top of that list and has a gift for making this arcane subject matter understandable to readers outside the industry.
Posted May 22, 2007

We recently saw a registrar (Registerfly.com) collapse and it now looks like we are about to see the first implosion of a whole registry. The Washington Internet Daily reported yesterday that the company that runs the .travel registry (TheGlobe.com) could fold by the end of this 

month. In its latest 10-Q filing with the SEC, TheGlobe.com stated ""Based upon the Company's current financial condition...and without the infusion of additional capital, management does not believe that the Company will be able to fund its operations beyond May 2007." It remains to be see how ICANN, who

is still dealing with lawsuits in the aftermath of the Registerfly debacle, will handle the collapse of a registry and how that event will effect the approximately 25,000 people who registered .travel domains. 
Posted May 22, 2007

In our April Newsletter we told you about how Italian tire company Pirelli was trying to reverse hijack a clearly generic domain, Zero.us, through a WIPO action filed against the domain's owner Christian Zouzas. We are happy to report that Zouzas has beaten Pirelli with the help of noted domain attorney John Berryhill whose argument convinced the arbitration panel to deny Pirelli's complaint. You can read the complete decision here
Posted May 22, 2007

Marchex, Inc. and Fox’s Latin American Channels division, a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corporation, today announced  a partnership to jointly develop a set of Spanish-language Web sites owned by Marchex, including cocina.com (English translation is “Kitchen” or “Cook”),

fotos.com (Photos), futbol.com (Soccer), deportes.com (Sports), mascotas.com (Pets), mujer.com (Woman), peliculas.com (Movies), salud.com (Health), and tarjetas.com (Greeting Cards). Through the partnership, Fox will provide

localized content and community features to the Web sites including videos, forums, blogs, personal home pages, and photo albums. Marchex recently acquired more than 100 Spanish-language Web sites from two separate parties (one of them being Paraguay's Chris 

Chris Chena

Chena, who was featured in our July 2005 Cover Story). The acquired Web sites collectively generated more than 1 million unique monthly visitors for the month of April 2007.

Under the terms of the transaction agreements, which are effective immediately, Marchex paid a total of $10 million in cash for all of the Web sites. By partnering with Fox, which operates over 50 Spanish-language Web sites, Marchex is further extending its business internationally and targeting one of the

fastest growing global Internet demographics: Spanish-speaking Internet users from Spain, South America, Central America, Mexico and the United States. According to Internet World Stats, there are more than 100 million Spanish-speaking Internet users worldwide, an increase of more than 260% since 2000, outpacing the rest of the world’s usage growth by more than 25% over the same period.
Posted May 21, 2007

The Center for Media Research just cited another prime example of how dramatically the Web is siphoning ad dollars away from traditional media outlets. In a post today, CMR broke down a new report from Borrell Associates on advertising trends in the automotive industry. Borrell

said that by 2010 automakers will be spending $4 billion a year on the web, surpassing newspapers, cable, radio and direct mail and trailing only broadcast TV. If you hold auto-related domains with type-in traffic, that is obviously good news for you. While Borrell estimates automotive advertising on the Web will rise 13% annually for the next three years, the firm says budgets for offline auto ads in newspapers, direct mail and directories will decline by 20% each during the same period.

The report also said that online will become the top marketing channel for used-car marketers this year at the local ad level, surpassing newspapers for the first time. Used car dealers will allocate 20% of their spending to the online channel while the overall industry is currently spending a little under 8% online. 

The report also predicted that the kind of online advertised utilized by used car dealers will change dramatically over the next five years. This year local car dealers will spend about 29% of their online ad budget on online video and paid search, but those categories will 

claim a whopping 76% of the dealer's online marketing by 2012. E-mail will also gain as a lead-generation tool, while display ads such as banners will decline according to Borrell's research.
Posted May 21, 2007

CitizenHawk.com, a company that is building a business helping trademark owners police misuse of their brands online, issued a press release today saying that there are over 10,000 domains infringing on the trademarks of ten of the top U.S. retail bank web sites. CitizenHawk said

"These statistics include typo domains (e.g. welsfargo.net) as well as other potential trademark-infringing domains (e.g. wachovia-bank.org)." CitizenHawk said it found 2,519 questionable domains related to Capital One, 2,318 related to Wachovia and 1,595 to Bank of America. In addition to using infringing domains to generate PPC revenue, 

CitizenHawk said cybersquatters often use such names in phishing schemes in an attempt to make people think they have reached the real corporate site. Citizen Hawk CEO Graham MacRobie said "Cybersquatting is particularly insidious in industries such as financial services where people are entering their financial information online. With online fraud on the rise and the increasing sophistication of scam tactics, it is imperative that financial institutions ensure the security of their domains.”
Posted May 21, 2007

With virtually all PPC ad revenues flowing to domain owners from just two sources, Google and Yahoo, those who rely on parking to monetize their assets have longed to see more competition at the top. Most have felt Microsoft was the most likely candidate to step into the 

ring with Google and Yahoo and the software giant certainly took a big step in that direction Friday with their purchase of aQuantive, Madison Avenue's last big independent digital shop, for $6 billion. In his Just An Online Minute column Friday (free subscription required to read), MediaPost Editor Joe Mandese wrote, "Microsoft's move represents a double-threat as aQuantive is both a huge advertising services company via its Avenue A / Razorfish unit, as well as a formidable ad-serving business via Atlas." 

Another MediaPost commentater, Ross Fadner, said "Atlas will improve Microsoft's adCenter and bring with it a considerable client list on both sides of the advertising pond, while Avenue A/Razorfish should help improve Microsoft's Web sites and bring its extensive marketing relationships to the table...It is clearly a move that brings Microsoft farther into Google territory."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said, "The advertising industry is evolving and growing at an incredible pace, moving increasingly toward online and IP-served platforms...Microsoft is intensely committed to creating a thriving advertising business and to partnering closely with all key constituencies in this industry to help maximize the digital advertising opportunity for all." That has to be music to domain owners' ears though it will be awhile before we know whether or not Microsoft's move will help boost PPC payouts by adding another competitor for type-in traffic to the mix. Microsoft needed to make a bold move after Google's acquisition of DoubleClick last week threatened to leave them even further behind.

Mandese noted, "As far as deals go, Microsoft's is the biggest yet, but even at $6 billion it 

represents a mere pittance - 2% - in terms of Microsoft's $293 billion market value. Interestingly, that's about the same percentage of Google's $147 billion market cap that its $3.1 billion DoubleClick acquisition represents."
Posted May 20, 2007

Domain aftermarket sales companies continue to come up with new ways to get their domains for sale listings in front of a wider audience. Sedo.com has just announced a strategic partnership with DomainsBot (the leading domain semantic search engine). A visitor searching for a domain name on a registrar or hosting company’s site that has integrated the DomainsBot suggestion tool can now get results showing related domain names that are available to register,

as well as domain names that are for sale on Sedo’s secondary market. Domainsbot's clients include several leading registrars including GoDaddy, Tucows and Register.com.

When a registrar or hosting company integrates and displays the Sedo portion of the domain suggestion tool to its users, Sedo will pay the costs that would normally have to be paid to Domainsbot for the queries executed and will also pay the service provider commissions of any transactions that come through Sedo. 

Emiliano Pasqualetti, DomainsBot’s Chief Operating Officer, said “Having Sedo sponsor our name suggestion is a terrific win-win for the entire market. This gives registrars the opportunity to increase their sales and profit from the exponentially growing secondary market at no cost, and registrants the advantage to find the most relevant domains available and for sale in one place."
Posted May 19, 2007

The Amsterdam DOMAINfest conference wrapped up yesterday in the Netherlands with a live auction that saw Poker.de draw a high bid of €695,000 ($938.980 at today's exchange 

rate). Once payment is made and the domain is transferred to the new owner that will rank as the highest .de (German ccTLD) sale ever reported. A silent auction in conjunction with the event is continuing through next week. A previous commitment prevented me from attending this DOMAINfest but we arranged coverage of the conference and expect to have our wrap up article on the event published by the end of the month. 
Posted May 18, 2007

Coming on the heels of yesterday's post about the ongoing implosion of traditional media are a couple of news items today that underline the continuing shift of ad dollars to the web. First,  

the Tribune Company reported that its ad revenues fell 10.3% in April compared to the same month last year, tumbling $25 million to $217 million. It's another ominous sign of the deteriorating health of the newspaper industry as a whole as this report follows an alarming number of downturns reported by other companies in the first quarter of the year. 

Also, today ABC-TV announced that it will start offering  episodes of its shows this summer on an upgraded ABC.com broadband player in high-definition. The decision to stream HD content on the Web is an industry first and is another sign that ABC has redefined its view of television. This move should convince even more

Advertisers and traditional
media outlets continue 
their move to the web

advertisers that the future belongs to the Web and that it is the right place to spend their marketing dollars.This of course will benefit owners of generic domains that attract the kind of  type-in traffic essential to advertisers. 
Posted May 15, 2007

"The traditional advertising models are collapsing." My jaw about hit the floor when I saw that quote this morning. Not because of what the quote said, but because of who said it - a 

reporter for traditional media powerhouse The Washington Post (Libby Copeland). I've written a good bit about how the web is luring advertising dollars and influence away from traditional media outlets, however the companies that own some of the top newspapers have predicted their decline will be reversed and have claimed that online advertising is rife with problems like click fraud (a problem they typically blow out of proportion to try to scare their advertisers away from the web). It's not working and now we are also seeing defections from radio and TV. 

In another major upheaval - a commercial twist on User Generated Content, Copeland detailed how savvy companies are starting to let consumers produce advertising for them. Surveying this new landscape, Copeland wrote, "Where once there were mass media, with the audience a passive receptacle, we are moving toward what branding expert Rob Frankel calls "the masses controlling the media." An audience


empowered by hundreds of cable channels and TiVo pays less and less mind to TV ads. And the marketers, well, some might suggest they are desperate. "You can smell the fear," Garfield says." 
Posted May 14, 2007

Moniker.com said more than $1.2 million worth of domain names were sold in their Casino Affiliate Convention 2007 silent auction that ended Thursday. 33 domains were purchased 

during the silent auction as well as one large domain name portfolio that consisted of 393 domains including betsmarts.com and sportsbookpros.com. Scores.com was purchased for $1.18 million, a price that would rank among the five biggest sales reported so far in 2007 (payment and transfer of the domain still has to be completed). Moniker.com CEO Monte Cahn said, "This silent auction has been our most successful silent auction to date. We continue to break our previous sales records with each auction, a sign that the market for premium domain names is maturing and becoming better understood by buyers and sellers alike."

The next big event for Moniker will be a live auction that will be staged during the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York conference coming up June 19-22 at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan
Posted May 12, 2007

At the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West conference in March, keynote speaker John Reese talked about the importance of domain and website owners building opt-in email lists so they could capitalize over and over again on their traffic. the way such lists can pay off was underscored in a new report from the Center for Media Research today that said "Internet Retailer reports that

even though pay-per-click advertising and social networking are gaining status in retail marketing circles, E-mail remains one of the best one-on-one marketing tools retailers can use to attract and retain customers. 

The April survey of all subscribers of IRNewsLink, analyzed by Vovici Corp. finds that, of the 302 merchants taking part in the survey, 94.5% are building bigger opt-in lists and 64.7% are conducting more e-mail campaigns than a year ago." The report says e-mail generates 1%-2.5% of sales for 18.7% of all retailers in the survey and between 2.51%-15% of revenue for 37.4% of them. However 20.4% of chain retailers, catalogers, virtual merchants and consumer brand manufacturers also cite e-mail as generating more than 15.1% of their total revenue and 11.1% of those surveyed count on e-mail messages and campaigns to drive more than 25% of total sales.

Jordan Ayan, CEO of SubscriberMail LLC said, ""E-mail will continue to grow as a marketing vehicle, particularly as direct marketers look at even higher postage rates."
Posted May 11, 2007

Even if you are not going to the Netherlands next week for DomainFEST Amsterdam (May 16-17), you can still enter names in the live auction that will be held there next Thursday (May 17). DomainSponsor, who is hosting the event, says more than 1,000 domains have

already been entered. If you’re interested in putting some of your domains up for bid, you have until May 14th to do so. Go to the NICIT/DOMAINfest Auction site and register for an account. Then, submit your domains, and if you are interested in buying as well, browse the domain list for names you want to bid on. You can also learn more about off-site bidding procedures, at NICIT's auction buyer page.
Posted May 10, 2007

ICANN wants to know what you think about them. At least that's what they say. An announcement on the ICANN website yesterday said "As part of an ongoing interest in continuous improvement, ICANN is seeking community feedback about its performance. All responses are welcome." Of course, as their approval of sweetheart registry contracts

in the face of near unanimous opposition from domain registrants has shown, they may pay no attention at all to the feedback they get. These are some of the questions they would like you to answer:

  • Is ICANN becoming more transparent, accessible and accountable? (the answer to this one is so obvious we have to assume that it is a "trick" question)

  • Has ICANN improved its operational performance? 

  • Has ICANN increased international participation? 

  • Have there been improvements in participation and in efficiency of the ICANN multi-stakeholder model? 

Each question is followed by the follow-up query - what more needs to be done? Comments will be posted at http://forum.icann.org/lists/performance-2007/ and should be sent to [email protected] before the June 5, 2007 deadline. A discussion is also taking place on ICANN's Blog. ICANN's public participation site will also serve as a tool for participation in this dialogue. 
Posted May 9, 2007

Sedo's Chief Strategy Officer Matt Bentley authored a good column about the wisdom of  using domain names instead of keywords in marketing campaigns that was published in the

E-Commerce Times today. Bentley detailed the three primary ways that marketers can use generic targeted domain names as a traffic source: 1) Redirect the domain to your main site, 2) Use the domain as a targeted vertical portal to drive traffic to your main site, or 3) Rebrand your entire operation on the new generic domain. 

Bentley wrote, "As a marketer, investing in direct navigation generally pays for itself within a year or two, dependent of course on the quality of the domain and how well you can convert the traffic into sales. However, instead of being an expense as with purchasing clicks from a search engine, acquiring a domain (or portfolio of domains) for direct navigation purposes becomes an asset that retains its value (possibly even increasing in value) and can even be resold again in the future should your marketing objectives change." Bentley added, "Only a few very savvy firms have already discovered that in this click-hungry era where 

Matt Bentley
Chief Strategy Officer

many companies blow tens of thousands of dollars each month on PPC advertising, that purchasing targeted generic domain names delivers the same type of high quality targeted visitors at a much, much lower cost."
Posted May 8, 2007

The domain industry lost a good man yesterday when Afternic.com executive Michael Collins wrapped up his last day there before heading to a new position in the automotive field. Michael and his brother, Roger Collins (who remains at Afternic as the General Manager), completely rebuilt the Afternic brand after purchasing the name from Register.com when that company's aftermarket endeavor folded in 2002. With Roger as President and Michael as VP, they restored Afternic to a prominent position in the industry, then sold the company to Name Media last fall. Both stayed on under the new owners until Michael made his decision to depart. We wish him and his lovely wife Janet the best of luck in their next adventure.
Posted May 8, 2007

Michael Collins

Interesting article at Advertising Age today about how major advertisers who've come to expect tracking and instant accountability from online advertising are starting to demand the same kind of transparency from magazines. If they don't get it, they are canceling their print ad buys. Nat Ives wrote that Kraft, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola are among the marketers that are 

prepared to stop spending in magazines if they don't get issue-by-issue circulation guarantees. "Media buyers long have been frustrated with many magazines' insistence on guaranteeing only average paid circulation - instead of guaranteeing the paid circulation of specific issues in which ads actually appear," Ives wrote. Which means they were often paying for circulation they did not actually receive. Does this sound to anyone like an offline version of "click fraud"? 

Robin Steinberg is a senior VP at MediaVest, an agency that placed $900 million in magazine advertising for its clients last year. Steinberg said "We believe that all publishers should make this issue-by-issue guarantee, and we will walk away from business with those who don't." Donna Campanella, executive director for global media at Avon, a MediaVest client, said, "As somebody who's ultimately paying the bills,

what I'm looking for is accountability and transparency. We want to make sure that the impressions we were hoping to get for a particular issue have been delivered. "In this age when there are so many choices out there, particularly in the digital arena, traditional media needs to step up and really prove their value, good or bad." Online media still gets only a fraction of the ad spending that goes to traditional media, but it looks like the tail is starting to wag the dog. 
Posted May 7, 2007

Frankie Valli (and a new group of Four Seasons) were here in Tampa yesterday, so I decided to take a break to catch the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's show at Busch Gardens after seeing an ad for the event in the local paper. However, the ad inexplicably left out the time they would be playing Saturday! Couldn't find it on the Busch Gardens website either, even though the show

itself was listed there. After a fruitless quest to reach a human being by phone at Busch Gardens I visited FrankieValli.com assuming all of his tour dates and times would be listed there. Wrong again! Not only was this date not listed, none of his tour dates were listed!  I couldn't believe he was not using "his" website to promote his shows - especially since he is hot again thanks to the hit Broadway play Jersey Boys (that is based on his life with the Four Seasons). However, a check of the WhoIs record indicates this may not be Valli's fault. Someone in Sarasota, Florida is listed as the registrant and Valli may not have a connection to the person who has redirected the domain to a very weak page at Celebrity-Websites.com. Tonight I learned that Valli has a much more informative page at My Space - it's just too bad FrankieValli.com doesn't send visitors there.

Frankie Valli singing Saturday 
at Busch Gardens in Tampa
(2 days after his 70th birthday)

My story did have a happy ending though. I finally found the show time (5pm) buried on an unrelated page at the Busch Gardens site and my wife and I made it to the concert on time. Despite a capacity crowd at the open-air festival grounds, we even managed to get great third row seats (from where I took the photo above). Frankie still sounded like he was 20 years old, even though he just turned 70 on Thursday. Wow - looking at that guy it's obvious 70 isn't what it used to be! We had a great time listening to him run through his incredible string of #1 hits. I just wish I could have gotten backstage to have a word with him about the value in his world famous domain name that is currently going to waste!
Posted May 6, 2007

Demand Media says $500,000 worth of premium .TV domain names were sold in the first 24 hours of availability May 1, not including those still pending payment. Over 53,000 domains, classified by the company as "premium" names, were made available again after a five-month

hiatus. The names are being offered at eNom.tv, domainsindemand.tv,  and many other registrars. 

It is likely that even more domains would have been sold if it were not for an issue involving the renewal costs for these domains (which already carry a high initial 

registration fee). Apparently no one knows what the renewal costs will be. eNom's site says "Annual Renewal fees for .TV premium name will be the same as the initial "Buy Now" registration fee," however that is followed by a contradictory statement, "Renewal prices are subject to change." The amount of any potential change is unspecified so, without further clarification, registrants can only assume that there is currently no cap on renewal price increases as there is in extensions like .com and .net. All markets hate uncertainty so this is a major issue with potential .TV investors, as demonstrated by this thread in the .TV forum at NamePros.com.
Posted May 4, 2007

The possibility of a merger or partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo is apparently back on again. The Wall Street Journal just sent out an email news alert that said "In what appears to be early-stage discussions, Microsoft and Yahoo are considering a merger or some kind of match-up that would pair their respective strengths, people familiar with the situation say. The two companies explored a combination a year ago, but those talks went nowhere. Shares of Yahoo soared in early trading in Europe Friday." There's more on this at TimesOnline.co.uk.
Posted May 4, 2007

Some killer domain names are available in a week-long silent auction that began yesterday in conjunction with the Casino Affiliate Convention 2007 in Amsterdam, Holland

Moniker.com is running the event and as the auction opened they announced a group of late additions to the auction that included Scores.com, Gin.com, HorseRacing.com and DailyDouble.com among others. Those join such gems as Poker.com, Winner.com and Slots.com that had previously been announced. All conference attendees were given a password to access the auction that is being run from the Moniker website with more than 2,000 domains  

up for bid. Those who are not at the show can also participate for a $99 entry fee that can be credited to any auction purchase. Details on remote auction access are available here.
Posted May 4, 2007

Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) have created headaches for a lot of websites including those of parking companies and the landing pages their provide for their clients. 

Sedo.com, who hosts more than 3 million parked domains, just announced a new partnership with Prolexic Technologies that promises to mitigate DDoS attacks (and the potential loss of income for Sedo or their customers). Utilizing a custom interface, Sedo can view attack traffic directed at the network and determine which domain is being targeted. In case of attack, Sedo can route its traffic through Prolexic's mitigation infrastructure within minutes. The decision to adopt protective measures was prompted by an attack in February on a domain name parked on Sedo’s servers (other companies have also been attacked over the past year).

Sedo’s Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Bentley, said “Since maintaining 100% uptime for our customers is a top priority for us, we are pleased that Prolexic can provide a clear insight into malicious traffic, as well as a back-up system that we can switch over to if necessary. With Prolexic on board we are sure to prevent the re-occurrence of such attacks in the future.”
Posted May 3, 2007

DomainSponsor has announced that a live domain auction will be held during its upcoming DOMAINfest conference in Amsterdam, Holland May 16-17. The auction will be conducted by NICIT, who operates a leading German language domain aftermarket. The top domains submitted will be auctioned off during a live auction at the Hilton Amsterdam Hotel May 17 at 5pm Central European Time. Names not selected for the live auction will be offered through NICIT's online auction site. Full details are available at the NICIT/DOMAINfest auction site.

Today is the day for .tv fans. Demand Media will officially relaunch the extension at the Always On Hollywood conference in California. Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt and Carson Daly, the NBC-TV personality who serves as .tv's spokesman, will unveil the new .tv 

while participating in an opening keynote panel at 6:30pm U.S. Pacific time (9:30pm Eastern). Demand Media said the event can be heard on a live webcast that is to be accessible from this page. At 1pm Pacific (4pm Eastern) 53,000 premium .tv domains (which have been off the market since late last year) will be made available at all .tv registrars on a first come first served basis (these domains will carry considerably higher prices than those classified by the registry as non-premium domains). At the same time, Demand Media's highly touted new tools for building 

video-rich websites, complete with social networking elements, will become available at no charge - but only for .tv domains registered at eNom.tv, an eNom reseller or ChannelMe.tv. Rob Sequin at Exclusively.tv conducted an interview with Demand Media's Quinn Daly yesterday to get more details on the .tv relaunch. You can read that interview here.
Posted May 1, 2007


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