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The Lowdown

October 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)


Sedo's GreatDomains.com has just released the results from its latest 7-day live online auction that ended October 25. Forty domains totaling close to $300,000 wound up

being sold in the event that drew bidders from 37 countries around the world. The top sales were Turntable.com ($45,000), MemoryCard.com ($41,267), SilkScreen.com ($32,500), Fold.com ($25,000) and WWI.com ($22,500).  Since buying GreatDomains in June, Sedo has run a 7-day auction 

once a month on the site. The next one will start November 29 with Recording.com, Coed.com and Mustang.net among the names to be offered.
Posted Oct. 31, 2007

NameMedia continues to broaden the partnership base for its AfternicDLS global sales platform. Today the company announced one of its biggest partnership deals to date - bringing 

the first commercial domain name registrar (and leading provider of web services to small businesses) Network Solutions on board. The arrangement will allow NameMedia to offer more than 2,000,000 domains to Network Solutions customers via the AfternicDLS  platform. Peter Lamson, Senior VP and general manager of NameMedias domain name marketplace said In 

addition to providing small businesses with access to our domain name portfolio, AfternicDLS members will benefit from the continued rapid expansion of our distribution network.  NameMedias network now includes more than 35 marketing partners, including eight of the worlds top ten registrars. The company said the result is the broadest distribution network in the world for secondary domain names.
Posted Oct. 30, 2007

Over the weekend we added a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2007 Photo Gallery to the conference wrap-up article we published last week. We shot hundreds of photos during show week but

Shot from our T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2007 Photo Gallery

didn't have room for a lot of great ones in the article (especially from the many top notch social events). So, we gathered the best of those (plus some terrific shots taken by T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s Barbara Neu) and put them in this Gallery. 

If you were in South Florida for the conference you may see yourself here.  Plus, we know you're dying to find out who that Lamborghini belongs to! 
Posted Oct. 29, 2007

A lot of people have left other industries to join the booming domain business, but we may see a case of reverse osmosis with DomainSponsor exec Joe Higgins - we may lose him to  

the world of rock and roll. If you were watching the 12 finalists compete on the Fox TV reality series America's Next Great Band that was televised coast to coast in the United States last night, you caught a band formed just five months ago called The Likes of You. Though the band has a great front man in Geoff Byrd (who, as a solo artist, has opened for Hall & Oates), people in the domain business were focused on the group's superb drummer - one of this industry's true nice guys - the multi-talented Joe Higgins. Viewers across America were able to vote for their favorite bands last night and two will be eliminated when the final vote is tallied. If you haven't seen the show yet, catch it next Friday night at 8pm (US 

Joe Higgins of DomainSponso
and the hot new band The Likes of You

Eastern time) and be sure to phone in a vote for Joe's band - The Likes of You. You would never believe these guys have been together for such a short time. They have a real shot at going all the way in this competition. 
Posted Oct. 27, 2007

Sedo received a major honor this week when the company won Ernst & Young’s  highly-coveted German “Entrepreneur of the Year 2007” Award. Sedo was singled out by a panel of industry and business experts. A gala was held in Frankfurt to celebrate the event and 

recognize the outstanding achievements of this year’s winners. Sedo was one of five entrepreneurial organizations selected from more than 350 companies and 98 finalists across five categories.  Sedo won in the “Information and Communication Technology and Media” category.

“We’re honored to receive such prestigious recognition from Ernst & Young,” said Tim Schumacher, CEO of Sedo.  “It is a testament to the hard work of the Sedo team and its commitment to innovation and market leadership in the domain name economy, a market driven by entrepreneurs from every corner of the world.” The panel found Sedo, which was founded in 2001 by Schumacher, Ulrich Priesner, Marius Wuerzner, and Ulrich Essman, as a shining example of what Ernst & Young seeks to celebrate through this annual awards competition. 

Tim Schumacher
Sedo CEO & Co-Founder 

Sedo was recognized due to its high growth and excellent innovation. Another factor which was considered was the growth in revenue, exemplified by the fact that Sedo has seen over 100% increases in revenue yearly.  The company itself has been growing as well, with more than 150 employees now working for Sedo in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Cologne, Germany. Carsten Knop from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said “Sedo clearly demonstrates what many of the German companies have not incorporated into their strategy: a very early and successful internationalization. At Sedo, more than 70% of daily business occurs outside of Germany, and Sedo’s employees come from more than 20 different nations." 
Posted Oct. 26, 2007

.US fans got some encouraging news today when giant registrar/hosting company 1&1 Internet said they are seeing surging registrations for the American country code. A 1&1 

press release said "1&1 Internet today announced that they are the leading registrar for United States country code domains, with over 53,000 .US domains registered. 1&1 has seen an increase of over 12% in the last six months and expects even stronger growth to come. As name space in the popular .com shrinks with every domain added on top of millions of registered domains, .US still 

offers space for many private and business websites." The press release added "1&1 believes the .US domain name is growing in popularity due to its professional appearance and also because it is technically very stable and reliable. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are also taking advantage of selecting a more prestigious or catchy domain phrase, as many are 

already registered under the more common .com or .org suffixes. Not only do website owners achieve the most memorable phrase for their money, but they are also able to take advantage of a top level domain (TLD) that is growing in popularity."

1&1 said "the .US domain gives a website an American identity, letting browsers know it belongs to a business located or prominently working within the United States. Anna and Andrey Kolesnik, creators of CityReviews.us, agreed with that viewpoint, saying "The more information the domain name says about the nature of your website the better the chance that the right users will notice it and visit. We chose .US because it explains that the website is about city reviews in the U.S. By choosing a more descriptive TLD, most of the traffic comes from our target market, people predominantly in the U.S." Many web surfers from other nations

where country codes are already the preferred option also naturally look to the U.S. ccTLD when they are interested in information about American destinations.

Of course, as a registrar, 1&1 has a vested interest in seeing more .US (an other non .com) registrations as it will broaden their business. 1&1's Chairman of the Board Andreas Gauger addressed that point as well. "Being a substantial shareholder of Afilias, the global registry for the .info domain, 1&1 is a vocal supporter of the need to develop new TLDs. We believe that competition between TLDs is essential in the best interest of customers, businesses, and in the growth of the web solutions industry," Gauger said. 
Posted Oct. 25, 2007

GoDaddy has announced the 30 domains that will be sold in its first live online auction (under the banner GoDaddy Signature Domain Auctions) that will run November 6-8. The concept is to handpick a select group of name for these special auction events. The line-up for the debut sale includes:































Bidding will star at the seller's reserve price. To bid you will first need to go to GoDaddySignatureAuctions.com to register. Domain names will be put up for auction one at a time. There is no time limit to each auction;  

so once the bidding stops, the auction ends. A moderator will be on hand in a live-chat setting to answer any questions potential bidders may have. If you are unable to attend the auction for the domain name you would like, you can place a sealed proxy-bid, which automatically bids for you until your pre-set limit is reached. All winning transactions will be handled through Escrow.com. Financing is also available through DomainCapital. It is highly recommended that bidders interesting in financing their purchases pre-qualify at DomainCapital.com before the event.
Posted Oct. 24, 2007

In yesterday's post we told you about a young domainer (Chris Chena) who used some of his Internet profits to buy leading TV and radio stations in his country (Paraguay). Just a few years ago if you had suggested such a turnabout in the media pecking order could ever happen you would be locked up in an insane asylum. Now irrefutable evidence of this seismic shift is everywhere. Take a new article by Fortune Magazine's Richard Siklos for example. In it he 

talks about the ongoing implosion of the newspaper industry (the Internet is the dynamite) noting "stock in the New York Times company hit its lowest point in a decade after a Morgan Stanley fund manager who had been agitating for changes at the company sold off the firm's entire 7.2% stake. Also last week, the equity research arm of Morgan Stanley laid off its newspaper analyst and dropped coverage of the industry!

You know you are fading into obscurity when finanancial analysts won't even bother to cover your industry any more. Siklos added "newspaper owners have hardly been alone at failing to heed the threat of emerging competition. Barely 

two decades ago, the major broadcast TV networks that dominated living rooms derided the emergence of niche cable channels like CNN, ESPN and MTV. And we know how well the music industry has fared in its grasp of digital downloads and file-sharing." Does the image of an ostrich with its head in the sand seem especially apropos here? As a domain owner you already have a leg up on the competition and your quest for success is being made 100 times easier by former media powers that have never been able to grasp what you already know. The only place I disagree with Siklos is that he thinks newspapers still have a good chance to turn things around. That's one I would not bet the ranch on.
Posted Oct. 23, 2007

If you need any further evidence of how the Internet is superseding traditional mediums like newspapers, radio and TV, you need look no further than Chris Chena. The 29-year-old Chena got started in the domain business just a few years ago when he began acquiring top 

quality Spanish language generic .coms so he could build full service websites on those properties to serve the Hispanic market. Chris and I became acquainted early on through DNForum.com (where he is known as krisblade) and found we had a lot in common as we had both come into this business after working as TV reporters. So I watched with special interest and admiration as Chena built one newly acquired domain after another into an Internet powerhouse. 

He became so successful that I ended up writing a DN Journal Cover Story about him in July 2005. Since then Chena's empire has continued to grow and prosper, so much so that he just acquired ownership of Paraguay's TV Channel 13, one of the oldest and most popular stations in his native country, and two associated radio stations - Cardinal AM and Cardinal FM

Chena told me "The earnings from my last sales (the Marchex/Fox Latin America acquisition  

Chris Chena
Paraguay's Internet, TV & Radio Magnate

of my portals, and the sale of Juegos.com) allowed me to buy the TV and radio stations. Who would think the Internet helps to buy TV and Radio!", he exclaimed. Knowing Chena as I did, I would think it because it was   obvious to me that he was going to be wildly successful. Today he stands as the embodiment of what carefully chosen domains can do for an enterprise and of how the Internet continues to replace all other forms of media as the world's most important communications platform.
Posted Oct. 22, 2007

Rich McIver at BusinessCreditCards.com dropped me a note to let me know about an exhaustive domain resource directory compiled for their Bootstrapper section by Jessica 

Hupp. There are 100 links to useful industry sources and tools in Jessica's article titled 100 Tools and Resources to Value, Negotiate, and Sell Your eProperties. The links are neatly categorized in sections for Do It Yourself Valuation, Appraisal Services, Market Watch, 

Marketplaces, Development, Negotiation Tactics, Brokers, Financial Services, Transfers, Management Services, News & Blogs and a catchall Other category. It's obvious that a lot of work went into this project and the result is an excellent directory that will hook you up with a lot of great resources whether you are an old pro or new to the domain game.
Posted Oct. 21, 2007

In news that won't make a lot of .US domain investors happy, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has 

renewed Neustar's contract to manage the .US domain space. The deal allows Neustar to continue to run the .US registry for three years with two one-year options beyond that. .US is the official country code of the United States

A number of professional domain investors who hold .US names feel that Neustar has not done a good job of promoting the extension since it was opened to general registration in April 2002. When GoDaddy and Afilias announced a partnership effort to win the .US management contract a few months ago, a lot of investors lined up behind that effort, largely because of GoDaddy's marketing clout. The NTIA did not say why the GoDaddy/Afilias effort fell short. In their only comment on the Neustar renewal NTIA Assistant Secretary John Kneuer said “Neustar’s bid met our selection criteria and we are confident of its abilities to manage the .us domain space. NTIA takes seriously its responsibility to ensure the stability and security of the .us domain

 for the benefit of the nation’s Internet community. Therefore, we will continue supervising administration of the usTLD to achieve those goals, and will work closely with Neustar to support the domain’s growth, particularly in the second-level 

kids.us space.”  Ironically, kids.us has been widely regarded as a dismal failure and one of the main reasons pros have questioned Neustar's marketing efforts. 
Posted Oct. 20, 2007

Just days after the Dallas Cowboys reneged on their $275,000 bid to buy Cowboys.com in Moniker's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East live domain auction (see our Oct. 18 post below) the domain

has been purchased by a group of private investors for $370,000. After the Cowboys' crazy about face (though this name was a great buy at 275K they say they thought they were only bidding $275!) Moniker put the domain into a silent auction that ended yesterday. That's where the new group, put together by Eric 

Rice (who was the subject of our February 2007 Cover Story), jumped into the fray and walked off with the prize - paying $95,000 more than the football team could have had the domain for a couple of days ago! Even at the elevated price, knowing many of the 20 partners in the purchasing group, I expect them to make a good return on their investment. What they have done in pooling resources is a model you will see used more and more in the years ahead as great generic domains like this are developed by partnership groups to reach their maximum potential.
Posted Oct. 19, 2007

We are currently working on our T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference wrap up article (due for publication Monday) but right now you can get one interesting review of the show posted by 

David Castello (left) takes notes while brother 
speaks during a panel session at 
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2007 in Hollywood, Florida

brothers David and Michael Castello of Castello Cities Internet Network on the Associated Cities website. David and Michael (who were featured in our December 2006 Cover Story) spoke on back to back panel sessions at the conference, sharing what they have learned in operating their highly profitable PalmSprings.com and Nashville.com sites (among others). In their T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East review they talked about keynote speaker Steve Forbes and some of the top domainers they met for the first time, including Frank Schilling and Kevin Ham.

They also commented on changes they have seen in the philosophy of people who attend T.R.A.F.F.I.C. saying "The basic type of attendee has evolved. More and more are realizing that the real future is in developing their domain names. Parking, which was once a priority, is now seen as something done to generate revenue before a name is developed. Ironically, we’ve always seen it this way and it is satisfying to see others come around to a lucrative philosophy we’ve always embraced."
Posted Oct. 19, 2007

SnapNames.com just announced that they will debut a new live auction system for premium domain names at the DOMAINfest Global conference in Hollywood , California January 21-23, 2008. Dubbed SnapNames Live, SnapNames said "the new service demonstrates 

SnapNames’ commitment to expanding the domain aftermarket by bringing a new level of transparency and operational excellence to premium auction events." In partnership with 

DomainSponsor, the producer of DOMAINfest Global, SnapNames Live will conduct a themed, premium auction each day of the conference, rather than hold a single one-day event. “We’ve learned from attendees that one of the main reasons they attend domain name conferences is to buy and sell names,” said SnapNames CEO Sudhir Bhagwan. “In recognition of this, we’re featuring auctions each day of the event. This allows us to offer shorter and more targeted auctions that minimize bidder fatigue, keep interest high, and reach more segments of the audience.”
Posted Oct. 18, 2007

Talk about dropping the ball! Cowboys.com was auctioned off at Moniker's live domain auction last week at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Hollywood, Florida. An attorney for the Dallas Cowboys reportedly placed the winning bid of $275,000. It looked like a great 

purchase that would return the cost many times over to the NFL team in the years ahead. Then, in one of the most unbelievable incidents I've seen since I entered the business, the attorney rescinded his bid saying he thought he was bidding $275 instead of $275,000! A quote on a domain forum summed it up pretty well saying 

"not even an idiot could be that idiotic." Some speculated the about face was part of a ploy to try to get the domain for nothing through a trademark challenge, but there is virtually no chance they could steal this superb generic name on TM grounds. The current owners hold a trademark themselves on Cowboys.com for use as a western goods store and they have consistently used the domain for that purpose. Until they put the name up for auction it appeared the football team was forever stuck with the longer and far less desirable DallasCowboys.com URL they currently use. A golden opportunity fell into their lap and, unless they reverse course again before someone beats them to the punch, they completely blew it for a sum that is probably less than their concessions take on a single NFL Sunday. Just when I thought I had seen it all :-)
Posted Oct. 18, 2007

The first ICANN meeting held in the United States in more than six years is coming up October 29-November 2 in Los Angeles. Internet Commerce Association Executive

Director Michael Collins is encouraging all ICA members and concerned domain name owners to attend the meeting, noting that several critically important issues for domain owners are on the agenda including:

·        The registry operator contracts for generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that set the baseline cost for all DN registrations.
The content and enforcement of registrar accreditation agreements with more than 800 ICANN-accredited registrars around the world.
The terms and arbitrator enforcement of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policies (UDRP) that determine registrants’ vulnerability to reverse domain name hijacking.
·      The authorization of new gTLDs and the new policies that will govern their operations.

At the meeting Collins said the ICA's action items will include recommendations to assure there are no more Registerflys (referring to the registrar meltdown), a call for an end to abusive domain tasting, expressing opposition to a proposed new dispute resolution process that could harm domain owners, and a call for transparency in the organization (especially the GAC). Collins said, "The future of the Domain Name System – and the future value of your DN portfolio and your rights as a registrant – are being decided by ICANN. Come to LA and participate in its decision-making." He also requests that if  you are planning to attend the LA ICANN meeting please drop him a note at [email protected]. You can read the ICA's complete position paper on the  upcoming meeting here.
Posted Oct. 18, 2007

NameMedia has steadily grown by making major domain industry acquisitions (Afternic.com, SmartName.com and GoldKey.com to name a few) but they are now growing well beyond the boundaries of the domain business. Today they announced the acquisition of Photo.net, a

very popular community site for photography enthusiasts with more than 600,000 registered users. Photo.net, a site that allows photographers to connect and discuss photography, explore galleries, share photographs, and learn more about the art of photography, was founded in 1993. The site has since grown to become one of the most active photography sites on the Web, receiving more than five million visitors each month. Every day, Photo.net users post thousands of images, forum responses, photo critiques, classified ads, photo ratings, and comments to the site. The Photo.net gallery boasts more than 2.5 million high quality user-uploaded images. 

As an established community, Photo.net complements NameMedia’s Photography.com site. Both sites seek to engage users that are passionate about photography. “This acquisition is another example of our strategy at work,” said Jeff Bennett , President and COO of NameMedia. “We now have a leading position in this large and growing market and are extending our network of leading online enthusiast communities that rely on our social networking platform, deliver a rich experience for users and offer a compelling source of leads for marketers.”  It's a fascinating thing to see companies that took root in the domain business like NameMedia expanding into and conquering new worlds. It shows you what is possible when you own great generic domains especially when you have (or can partner with someone who has) website development expertise. 
Posted Oct. 17, 2007

The past week was an especially good one for the .mobi extension. Just as the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference was getting underway the registry announced the results from 

its first online auction (conducted through Sedo.com). Dozens of premium domains that had been on the registry's reserved list were auctioned off with total sales exceeding $850,000. The top sales in the auction were Hosting.mobi ($101,000), Bank.mobi ($51,501), Download.mobi ($51,500)

Currency.mobi ($47,000) and Insurance.mobi ($42,005). A few days after that news came out, .mobi had another strong showing in Moniker.com's live domain auction at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East where Poker.mobi went for $150,000 and Ringtones.mobi returned $145,000. The dotMobi registry and Sedo are planning another online auction beginning October 31 that will include Car.mobi, GPS.mobi, Gay.mobi, Kiss.mobi, Love.mobi and Map.mobi, among others. The complete list of names for the October 31 auction, along with terms, condition and buyer requirements, is available at http://premiumauction.mobi.
Posted Oct. 16, 2007

Hot on the heels of another successful conference in Hollywood, Florida last week, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu announced the first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 

conference outside the United States will be held in November 2008 in Australia. Responsibility for the show will actually be handled by Brisbane-based Fabulous.com who will stage the event as the first official licensee of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference. Dates were also announced for 2008 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences in Las Vegas (Feb. 18-21) and Orlando, Florida (May 20-24) and plans currently call for a fall show in New York City. We will be publishing our complete wrap-up of last week's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference at the Westin Diplomat Resort in a major article scheduled for release between October 20-22.
Posted Oct. 15, 2007

The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference is 
coming to Australia in November 2008

Moniker.com conducted another successful live domain auction at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Hollywood, Florida Friday. $8.1 million worth of domains were sold as 54% of 

Auctioneer Joel Langbaum conducts the 
Moniker/T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East live domain auction
in Hollywood, Florida Oct. 12, 2007 while Moniker
CEO Monte Cahn logs the results on his laptop. 

the names put on the block were taken. The top sales were Computer.com ($2.2 million), Investment.com ($900,000), SportingGoods.com ($450,000), Cowboys.com ($275,000), Table.com ($260,000) and CrosswordPuzzles.com ($210,000). There were also some strong sales in the .mobi extension with Poker.mobi fetching $150,000 and Ringtones.mobi going for $145,000. A silent auction is also currently underway and will run through Thursday, Oct. 18. It's quite possible that sales from the event will push the 

combined auction total into 8 figures for the second time in a row. That level was breached for the first time in the last Moniker/T.R.A.F.F.I.C. auction in New York City in June. 

The last major event on the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East schedule was last night's annual awards dinner where the following honors were bestowed (winners were selected in voting among T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees):

Domainer of the Year: Kevin Ham
Sponsor of the Year: Traffic Z.com
Best Overall Domain Solution: Moniker.com
Best New Click Program: Skenzo
We Get It Award: Steve Forbes (Forbes Magazine) and Russian Standard Vodka
Domain Hall of Fame (2 new members elected each year): Frank Schilling and Sahar Sarid

The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference officially ends this morning at the Westin Diplomat Resort with a farewell breakfast and a board of advisors meeting. We will be publishing our complete wrap-up of the conference in a major article scheduled for release between October 20-22.
Posted Oct. 13, 2007

Today is the last full day of business at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East domain conference in Hollywood, Florida (the show closes Saturday morning with a farewell breakfast and a board 

of advisors meeting). The main event today will be Moniker.com's live domain auction that will run from 2-6pm U.S. Eastern time. The auction will be broadcast live on WebmasterRadio.fm. Moniker sold more than $12 million worth of domains in the last T.R.A.F.F.I.C. auction in New York in June and could hit a new high water market with today's sale and the accompanying silent auction that will continue through next Thursday (Oct. 18). The auction will be followed this evening by the annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards dinner.

Yesterday (Thursday) was a very full day at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. with a great round of seminars, parties and special events. We were at all of them and will have all of the details and photos for you in our customary wire-to-wire conference wrap-up article that will be published on our home page between Oct. 20-22.
Posted Oct. 12, 2007

Moniker.com CEO Monte Cahn and the 
company's Director of Marketing Genie White 
(seen in this photo at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 
Wednesday night) will have a very busy day 
today running Moniker's live domain auction 
at the conference in Hollywood, Florida

Forbes Magazine publisher Steve Forbes gave a very well received speech at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East domain conference last night at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida. In fact the former U.S. presidential candidate was given a standing ovation before he even began his speech. Forbes focused on historical examples of how disruptive

Steve Forbes speaking at T.R.A.F.F.IC. East
last night in Hollywood, Florida

technologies (like the Internet) changed the world and creative massive amounts of new wealth. That helped put into perspective what has happened with the domain industry and served as a cautionary tale on what to look out for. 

Forbes said the government will eventually try to siphon off a big chunk of that wealth through new taxes that could stifle Internet growth. He has long been an advocate of a flat tax rate to lower the burden on entrepreneurs and encourage investment in new enterprises. He advised domain owners to organize and be ready to combat new tax initiatives.

Unlike most of his traditional media counterparts, Forbes recognized how powerful the web would become years ago and invested tremendous resources in Forbes.com while refusing (unlike the Wall Street Journal) to charge people for access to the site. He said he also recognized that print and the Internet were different mediums so the content on Forbes.com is almost completely different from what is in the printed magazine. Both entities are highly profitable and have helped his company escape the attrition that has hit other traditional media companies. As a result, Forbes was named co-winner of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s "We Get it Award" that was presented to him last night. The other winner will be announced at an Awards Dinner tomorrow night. We'll have more on Forbes talk in our comprehensive conference wrap article due out late next week. The show continues through Saturday morning.
Posted Oct. 11, 2007

Forbes Magazine publisher (and former U.S. Presidential candidate) Steve Forbes arrived at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida just a few minutes ago in advance of his 

keynote speech this evening at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East domain conference at the hotel. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founder Rick Schwartz was on hand to greet Forbes (see photo at right) when he arrived. I also had a chance to chat with Forbes in the hotel lobby as fans gathered around waiting for a chance to have their picture taken with him. He has obviously done his homework on the domain business and told me he was very impressed by what he has learned about the business. 

Forbes was also proud of the huge audiences his company attracts to Forbes.com, telling me the company was very aggressive on the web starting years ago when other media companies were "deep freezing" their sites. He said today the site receives 15-20 million unique visitors a month. He said when the magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans came out last month that page alone received over 100 million page views in less than 24 hours. 500 domain investors from around the world are here in Hollywood looking forward 

Steve Forbes (right) greeted by Rick 
when he arrived at the 
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East
domain conference late 
this afternoon in Hollywood, Florida.

to tonight's talk from Forbes - the best-known businessman ever to address a domain industry audience. His appearance here should go a long way in boosting recognition of the domain industry in mainstream business circles.
Posted Oct. 10, 2007

The 2007 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East domain conference got underway last night at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida with a welcoming cocktail party that drew approximately 500 attendees from around the world (see some of the early arrivals to the event in the photo below). This kickoff party provided a lot of great networking opportunities and set the stage for a big week ahead - including Moniker.com's multi-million dollar live domain auction coming up Friday.

The first full day of business gets underway today with a series of seminars, a speed networking session and a keynote address from Forbes Magazine publisher (and former U.S. presidential candidate) Steve Forbes this evening. The conference will continue through Saturday morning. We'll have a complete report on the event posted by the end of next week.
Posted Oct. 10, 2007

I'll be heading out for Hollywood, Florida tomorrow morning to cover this week's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference at the Westin Diplomat Hotel. I'll try to post a daily item from 

the show but as always the schedule is jam-packed from sunrise to well into the wee hours of each morning, so I may not make it back here every day. As long-time readers know, I have found it is better to stay in the middle of everything going rather than exiting the non-

stop activity to try to file a lengthy daily report. That allows me to come back when the conference ends and compile the comprehensive information and hundreds of photos we collect for the industry's definitive show report. That will be on our home page by the end of next week. Incidentally the lead sponsor of the conference is TrafficZ.com. Just today we posted our October Cover Story about company leaders Kevin Vo and Ammar Kubba who had a very inspiring story to tell. I think anyone interested in getting ahead in this business (or any business for that matter) will find it well worth reading.
Posted Oct. 8, 2007

Another step toward a world in which web surfers will be able to navigate the Internet entirely in their native languages is expected to be taken as early as next week when sample

addresses with non-English suffixes in nearly a dozen languages will be added to the Internet's root servers. Only 11 domain names will be added - primarily as a means for software developers and web site designers to test the new system - but it is a significant development because they are the first such names entered in the root servers, after years of discussions and limited-access tests. In some cases it has been possible to use foreign languages to the left of the dot, but the suffix - the ".com" part of an address - could use only English characters. The upcoming tests involve non-English suffixes. Users outside the United States have long clamored for non-English domain-name scripts, finding the current limitation to the letters a through z, the numbers 0 through 9 and the hyphen to be too restrictive. 

The 11 suffixes now under review will read "test" in 

Arabic, Persian, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese,  Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese and Tamil. Tina Dam, director of the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) program for ICANN said they were chosen based on the online communities that have expressed the most interest in and need for non-English domains. Associated Press writer Anick Jesdanun had more details on the upcoming experiment in an article released today.
Posted Oct. 6, 2007

New expiring domain auction house NameJet.com went live this afternoon when the company launched a new website that consolidates the exclusive inventory of deleted and expired domain names from top registrars Network Solutions and eNom and makes them

available for auction. The new service allows customers to create an account, manage backorder requests, and participate in auctions of recently available domain names.  “Working with top registrars like Network Solutions and eNom gives us exclusive access to an extensive inventory of domains that includes some of the 

most sought-after expiring names in the industry” said Jeff Grosman of NameJet. “Our service provides industry-leading search and sort features and auction functionality that makes the process for finding deleted and expired domain names more efficient, while also allowing our customers to participate in auctions with ease.”

SnapNames.com previously had the rights to auction off expiring domains from Network Solutions and Enom, so the loss of those registrars who have now gone off on their own to form NameJet is bound to cut into SnapNames' revenue stream. NameJet said their auction venue allows customers to pre-set the maximum auction price that they are willing to pay for available domain names. Customers will only pay if the domain name they want becomes available and they are the only bidder or win the multi-bidder auction. NameJet’s auction venue gives customers the ability to place backorder requests on any domain name (including currently registered domain names) and access to expired .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info top level domains as well as .tv premium names. 
Posted Oct. 5, 2007

Domain investor and industry analyst Michael Gilmour projects that the domain name and Internet traffic industry will show dramatic growth when the final numbers for 2007 are tallied. Gilmour, who will be a presenter at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Hollywood, Florida next week, projects that online advertising spending will increase by 15.1% for 2007, while

Michael Gilmour

domain channel advertising will grow at more than twice that rate - 37.5%. Gilmour arrived at his figures by extrapolating to four quarters the Q1 2007 Internet advertising revenues of $4.864 billion reported by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which comes to an estimated $19.42 billion annually, then dividing it by the total revenues they tallied for 2006 of $16.879 billion. His estimate that the domain channel will grow by 37.5% in 2007 is predicated on figures published by Jordan Rohan of RBC Capital Markets. The domain space accounted for $800 million in revenue in 2006, according to Rohan, and he projected it will reach $1.1. billion this year. These figures represent the United States market alone. For a copy of Gilmour’s full analysis send an email to [email protected].

Gilmour, who is based in Melbourne, Australia, is a former Vice-Chairman of the Australian Internet Industry Association and has been a director of the organization for the past six years. In his report he also also noted that exploding ad revenues at Google and Yahoo! add to a bright near term future for domain owners. Publicly available corporate reports state that Google and Yahoo!'s total revenue in 2006 from their ad-network channel was $7.88 billion, including $800 million from domain parking. Thus, domain parking represents 10.2% of the companies’ total ad-network channel. “With Google and Yahoo!’s advertising revenues continuing to grow dramatically in the coming year, the domain and Internet traffic industry will benefit accordingly,” Gilmour said. Gilmour frequently writes about financial and other issues concerning the domain and Internet traffic industry at his blog, Whizzbang’s Blog
Posted Oct. 5, 2007

Roger Collins, who was the subject of one of our earliest Cover Stories back in 2003, has resigned as General Manager at Afternic. As our story Domain Industry Ghostbuster: Why Roger Collins Brought Afternic Back From the  Afterlife detailed, Collins bought the

Afternic.com domain name from Register.com in late 2002 and went on to successfully resuscitate the moribund aftermarket venue. In fact he was so successful he went on to sell the revitalized company to NameMedia last year. Roger stayed on as General Manager of the operation after the sale but after years of working around the clock finally decided it was time to take a break. He posted a farewell message on the discussion board at Afternic about his decision to leave. 

Roger's brother Michael was also instrumental in rebuilding the Afternic brand. He too stayed over for a time after the NameMedia acquisition, but earlier this year he left to purchase a private business and to become Executive Director of the Internet Commerce Association. I have known both of the Collins 

Roger Collins

brothers for a long time now and highly respect what both men have accomplished. Though they have moved to new stages, I'm sure they will both continue to be key players on the Internet for years to come. 
Posted Oct. 4, 2007

GreatDomains has announced the results from their 7-day September auction (the site, operated by Sedo.com, holds a 7-day premium domain auction each month, starting on the 

third Thursday of the month). The September auction produced over $500,000 in sales revenue with over 30% of the listed domains selling.  Bidders from 38 different countries took part with the number of bidders increasing by 74% from the August auction. Notable sales included Track.com for $100,000, FederalGrants.com for $76,100

HOO.com for $47,000 and Portals.com for $35,000This was the first GreatDomains auction where the domains’ reserve ranges were shown to potential buyers. GreatDomain said "By giving buyers a ballpark idea about a domain name's reserve price, buyers are able to more efficiently identify relevant acquisition targets in a short amount of time. Auction research indicates that revealing that type of information is increasing the likelihood for a successful sale." The next GreatDomains Premium Auction will begin on October 18th at 2pm U.S. Eastern time. Sales listings can be seen at GreatDomains.com
Posted Oct. 3, 2007

Another excellent domain industry story from Business 2.0 Editor-at-Large Paul Sloan was published on CNN.com last Thursday. I was busy finally completing a long moving process to

Writer Paul Sloan

a new home and office when the story came out so didn't get a chance to read it until today. You may have already seen the article - The Web's Local Mogul - about Marchex CEO Russell Horowitz, but if you missed it too, it's a piece you will want to check out. Marchex (who was the subject of a Sept. 2006 DN Journal Cover Story) is launching websites for thousands of large and small cities in an effort to beat Microsoft, Google and Yahoo to the punch in connecting businesses to local customers. Sloan starts his story with a previously untold anecdote about Frank Schilling's role in helping Marchex enter the industry with their landmark $164 million purchase on the Yun Ye portfolio in 2005. As always, 

good stuff from Sloan who will continue to be a writer you will hear a lot from despite the recent announcement that Business 2.0 is closing down.
Posted Oct. 2, 2007

Jay Westerdal had an interesting item on his DomainTools blog today. Jay learned that last week NetworkSolutions filed for a trademark on the term NameJet for the purpose of offering 

an online domain auction service for expiring domains (A Coming Soon page is now posted at NameJet.com). As Jay noted, this would be bad news for SnapNames.com who already provides such a service and gets many of their 

best domains from the expiring list at NetworkSolutions through a contract between the two companies. Now that NetSol is apparently getting ready to go out on their own, that valuable pool of domains would no longer be available to SnapNames, who was recently purchased by Oversee.net

Jay referred to SnapNames as "dead man walking" as a result of this development. It will surely hurt but I wouldn't go quite that far. SnapNames has an excellent management team that was kept intact by Oversee and has developed a strong reputation and widespread trust 

in the domain community over the years. They will still be able to successfully compete for drops from registrars other than NetSol. I think the bigger problem for dropcatchers like SnapNames is that  the number of quality names dropping at all registrars will likely continue to dry up in the years ahead due to increased recognition of the high value of quality domains. My guess is they will recreate themselves by branching into other areas like live aftermarket domain auctions where they have a natural platform through Oversee's DOMAINfest conferences. Moniker.com pioneered the live auction format at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences (and has since expanded it to many other trade shows) and Jay himself had a lot of success with a first-time live auction at his Domain Roundtable conference in Seattle in August. 
Posted Oct. 1, 2007

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