Here's the The Lowdown
from DNJournal.com! Updated daily to
fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name
by Ron Jackson (Editor/Publisher)
our review of
the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York conference back
in June I used harsher than usual language in assessing
how clueless Madison Avenue ad agency reps were
about the massive upheaval coming to their
industry courtesy of the Internet. Someone said
continue their relentless march
to the Internet - but ad agencies are
having trouble keeping up
don't get it and they don't
want to get it!" and that sums it up pretty
well. However burying your head in the sand is not a
good formula for success. Still there are some signs
that a few light bulbs are starting to go off.
The headline of an article
by David Goetzl at Media Daily News today
said it plainly - Agencies
Must Address New Media, New Challenges.
The most stunnig quote in the article came from Starcom
MediaVest executive Laura Desmond who
day could come when up to 60% of clients' budgets
what's now still known as "new
Today the number is in single digits so you can imagine
how that kind of shift would turn the advertising world
upside down (and improve the already promising fortunes
of domain owners). Ms. Desmond is obviously someone who
understands what is going on and I'll predict that she
will still be working and thriving in her chosen
profession five years from now while many of her current
colleagues are in a new line of work or unemployed as a
result of their inability to read the tea leaves.
Posted Sept. 27, 2007
has released some details about the agenda
for their second DOMAINfest
Global conference coming up January
21-23, 2008 at the Renaissance Hotel in
Major events will include a Domainer Town Hall
Meeting (that will be presided over by Name
Administration chief Frank
Schilling) and a live domain auction.
There will also be a series of continuing education
Town Hall Meeting is designed to be an in-depth
industry, as well as a free-wheeling question and answer
Schilling, who is one of the world's most successful
domain investors. Much like presidential Town Halls,
participants will be
Hotel - Hollywood, California
Site for DOMAINfest Global Jan. 21-23, 2008
able to ask
questions that are on their minds and most
their business. The organizers say the
DOMAINfest auction will be presented in an
innovative new format. For those interested in
submitting names for auction or who want
additional information, you can send an email to
or [email protected].
The educational seminars will include sessions devoted
to negotiation, business structure, finance,
taxation and network building.
said all DOMAINfest guests will receive VIP
treatment. DOMAINfest Global is open to
domain professionals as well as those interested
domain industry. The registration fee is $795
however existing or new DomainSponsor members
are eligible to
receive a rebate of up to 100% of
the cost of an individual registration. More details are
on the official
Posted Sept. 26, 2007
has announced the
line-up of premium domains that have
made the cut for their live auction at the
East conference that runs October 9-13
Joel Langbaum (left) and
Moniker.com CEO Monte Cahn at the
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. live auction in New York
In their last T.R.A.F.F.I.C. auction at New York
City's Grand Hyatt in June, Moniker sold a
record-breaking $12 million worth of domains.
That record could fall October 12 at the Westin
Diplomat Resort with names like Computer.com,
WallStreet.com, Taxes.com and SportingGoods.com
scheduled to go under the hammer. The auction list also
includes such gems as Cotton.com, Cowboys.com,
Promotion.com and StockQuotes.com.
attendees of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East are automatically
eligible to take part in
live bidding. Single-day access to the invitation-only
event is also available. To request an invitation and to
learn more about the conference, visit TargetedTraffic.com.
Moniker will also be offering absentee, telephone proxy
and online bidding for individuals who are unable to
attend the event. You can learn more about that process here.
A silent auction will also be conducted in
conjunction with the event with thousands of additional
names up for bid. The silent auction will run online
from Friday, October 12 through Thursday,
Posted Sept. 25, 2007
will be traveling back home to Florida today
after spending a few days in Los Angeles visiting TrafficZ.com
founder Kevin Vo and his partner Ammar Kubba.
They will be the
subject of our upcoming
October Cover Story and both of these men have exceptionally
inspirational life stories that you won't want to
miss. You can meet them in person if you are going to next
East Conference in Hollywood, Florida.
As soon as we get back in the office we will be posting a
preview of that key industry event that runs Oct. 9-13
at the fabulous Westin Diplomat Hotel.
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founder Rick Schwartz will fill
us in on the show agenda that will include another huge
live domain auction staged by Moniker.com.
We also have a story in the
works that is due to go up just before T.R.A.F.F.I.C. gets
underway detailing a unique program
partners Ammar Kubba (left) & Kevin
will be featured in our October Cover Story
that makes it possible for you to be your own registrar at
a very affordable cost. We've been looking at a
groundbreaking new domain management system from DNZoom.com
as well and a piece on that project is also in the works.
Lots more is coming up as we enter the busy final quarter
of what has been another banner year for the domain
Posted Sept. 24, 2007
has just received a high honor from Deloitte
& Touche, having been chosen for
Deloitte's prestigious Technology Fast 50 Program
for New England, a ranking
CEO Kelly Conlin
of the 50 fastest
growing technology, media, telecommunications and life
sciences companies in the area by one of the nation’s
leading professional services organizations. Rankings are
based on the percentage revenue growth over five years
NameMedia's CEO Kelly P.
Conlin credited an innovative business model and a
highly talented team for the rapid growth required to be
selected as a Fast 50 company. NameMedia owns leading
domain aftermarket companies BuyDomains.com
(and a global sales platform known as Afternic DLS)
as well as parking service providers SmartName.com,
Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and chair of the New
England Technology Fast
50 Program said
“Deloitte’s New England Technology Fast 50 companies
have shown the strength, vision and tenacity to succeed in
today’s very competitive technology environment.
NameMedia, with their phenomenal revenue growth, has
proven to be one of the fast-growth success stories in New
England and we applaud their dedication to making their
vision a reality.”
for the Technology Fast 50, companies must have had
operating revenues of at least $50,000 in 2002 and $5,000,000
in 2006, be headquartered in North America, and
be a company that owns proprietary technology or
proprietary intellectual property that contributes to a
significant portion of the company's operating revenues;
or devotes a significant proportion of revenues to the
research and development of technology. Using other
companies' technology or intellectual property in a unique
way does not qualify.
from the 16 regional Technology Fast 50 programs in the United
States and Canada are automatically entered in
Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 program, which
ranks North America’s top 500 fastest growing
technology, media, telecommunications and life sciences
companies. For more information on Deloitte’s Technology
Fast 50 or Technology Fast 500 programs, visit www.fast500.com.
Posted Sept. 22, 2007
Wednesday (Sept. 26) the first of three monthly online auctions
of premium .mobi domain names will be held through Sedo.
com. Names to go under the hammer
cars.mobi, love.mobi and moto.mobi.
100 domains will be sold in each auction - all premium
generic domains that were not available for registration
when the TLD was launched last fall. The auction rules will follow Sedo’s standard auction terms and
conditions. dotMobi does have some minimal requirements for the buyer, such as:
· Domain to be registered by auction winner within 10 days of receiving authorization code.
· Site to initially consist of a dotMobi compliant parking page (available via
· Best efforts to create, launch and operate a live web site with relevant content within six months.
(For example, acupuncture.mobi should not display a site for car sales.)
· Fully compliant site with an http://ready.mobi score of at least 4/5 (highest score is 5/5).
Schumacher, CEO of Sedo, said, "dotMobi’s premium names are specifically designed for people wanting to reach a mobile audience. Sedo’s buyers have been lining up for more than a year now to get a chance to buy these dotMobi names. We are excited that dotMobi will use us as their first online auction."
Trey Harvin, CEO of dotMobi. “dotMobi is selling these highly-sought after names through Sedo because they are one of the main places on the internet where brand managers search for domain names.”
Full information, including the list of auction names, is located on the dotMobi web site at
Posted Sept. 21, 2007
CEO Tim Schumacher
won't be a news post today as we will be
traveling to Los Angeles to gather information and
photos for our upcoming October Cover Story. We will
resume posting in the Lowdown Friday.
Posted Sept. 20, 2007
the charity founded by WashingtonVC
founder Michael Mann (who is the subject of our
Story) has received a $50,000
donation from Sedo.com,
with a block of
free advertising on Sedo's popular aftermarket website. Grassroots.org drives social change by providing free technology services
to non-profits so they can better focus on their
organizations. Sedo CEO Tim Schumacher said
shares our vision that the Internet and related
technology can make a huge, positive difference in the
world. We also value its use of generic keyword domain
names to inform citizens seeking to both digest and
deliver content regarding key social issues.”
currently operates more than 30 portals, including PlanetEarth.org,
The donation will help Grassroots.org meet its ultimate
goal of adopting 10,000 nonprofit members, and providing
them each with an average of $10,000 of services per
year at no charge for a total savings of $100 million
is very excited about our partnership with Sedo,” said
Angela Siefer, Executive Director, Grassroots.org.
“The generous cash and in-kind donations will
help us increase our capacity, generating more traffic
on our website and allowing us to provide additional
services to more organizations."
Posted Sept. 19, 2007
has released the results from the live domain
auction they staged at the Domainvermarkter
Forum conference in Hamburg, Germany last
week. Over 50
were sold producing a total of $360,400 for the
three-hour event. The
top sales from the auction included three International
Domain Names (IDNs); ärzte.de (“doctors”
in German) for $77,000, and reisebüro.de
plus reise-büro.de (“travel
in German) at $70,000 (for the pair). Also, Hawaii.de
went for $30,000 and weiber.de
(“skirts” in German) sold for $26,000. Those
sales will become eligible for our weekly
charts once payments have been made and the
domains transferred to the new owners.
Posted Sept. 18, 2007
continues to expand the reach of its AfternicDLS
platform that puts domains listed for sale with the
service in front of potential buyers around the globe.
latest step forward is a new
agreement with major registrar Register.com
who will now show AfternicDLS names in their
search results when their customers look for available
domains. This enables Register.com customers to see
that are available on the
aftermarket alongside those that are currently
unregistered when they research names related to
their needs. Peter Lamson, senior vice president
and general manager of NameMedia’s
domain name marketplace, said "This partnership
customer base new ways to find the right digital
identity." Register.com CEO Larry Kutscher
added "The expansion of our domain name searching
capabilities further enhances our customer’s
ability to create a great online presence. With
search results spanning a
multitude of available options, we’ve
made finding and purchasing the right domain name easier
Posted Sept. 17, 2007
Commerce Association (ICA) announced
adoption of a member Code of Conduct Thursday.
The document is designed to foster and promote fair and
ethical business practices in the domain name industry.
ICA Executive Director Michael Collins said,
that following these best practices will go a long way
toward addressing and resolving many of the important
issues facing the domain name industry as it continues
to grow and mature."
ICA’s Member Code of Conduct (full text of the code is
available at the end of the full ICA press release on this
page) covers the major areas of conflict
that have arisen in the emerging domain name business.
These include protection of intellectual property
rights, ending abusive domain name tasting, strict
adherence to Internet fraud laws, transparency in the
ownership of domain names and the use of lawful content.
The Code also condemns a process that involves returning
a domain name just before the five-day grace
registration period expires and re-registering it again
as soon as it becomes available in order to avoid paying
registration fees (often referred to as domain
ICA Executive Director
ICA is eager to work with our members and others
involved with the domain name industry, including ICANN
and Congress, to further establish reasonable and
effective rules of the road that protect the rights of
consumers as well as all the companies that participate
in Internet commerce,” Collins said. “ICA has zero
tolerance for Internet outlaws,” Collins added. “ICA
supports strict enforcement of the laws that target
illegal practices such as cybersquatting and “phishing.”
The ICA and its members believe that existing laws
generally do a good job protecting consumers, as well as
the intellectual property rights of companies in cases
involving fraud or
intent. We also believe that the industry itself
can resolve most of the other issues that have
arisen and that may not be fully addressed by
these laws,” Collins said.
Posted Sept. 14, 2007
International Trademark Association (INTA)
today announced that INTA members Dell Inc., Microsoft
Corp., Time Warner Inc., Wal-Mart Stores
Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. each intends
to pursue individual legal
actions against a total of twenty-two cybersquatting
operations that are accused of violating their trademark
rights. Microsoft has been
especially vigorous in
protecting their marks and today they announced 3
more lawsuits, filed in Indiana, New York,
and Washington involving at least 214 misleading
domain names. INTA said that cybersquatters target
businesses and consumers by registering Internet domain
names that are confusingly similar to legally protected
company names and internationally recognized trademarks
(typos being one very common method used). INTA said
that once misdirected through a deceptive domain name,
consumers can be bombarded with advertisements,
pornographic material, unlawful spyware and even harmful
computer viruses. Today's complete press release is
Posted Sept. 13, 2007
September issue of ICANN's new online magazine
has been published. The magazine (that debuted last
month) is meant to cover all of the latest news and
events surrounding the
organization that governs
the Domain Name System and also includes interviews with
the ICANN CEO and a key member of the community each
month. The September issue has interviews with ALAC
chair Jacqueline Morris and CEO Paul Twomey.
Recent Board meeting are covered and the policy issues
reviewed are: IDNs, Registry and Registrar contracts,
and IPv6. This issue also covers what has been happening
in the past month on the ICANN blog and their public
participation site and also gives a rundown of recent
periods and an upcoming
outreach program. You can see and sign up for the
magazine (as well as view an archive of magazines) at http://www.icann.org/magazine/.
Posted Sept. 12, 2007
the wake of numerous problems at the debut
Domain Focus conference in London last week
(including a last minute change of venue - see our Sept.
7 post below for more information on that) a post today
at the AcornDomains.co.uk
forum, attributed to company Managing
Director Alan Brownlee,
said that by mutual consent David Brayshaw (who
was described as the company's founder in press
releases sent out last month) will no longer
be affiliated with Domain Focus. Brownlee's post said
only 49 people had paid to attend the event two weeks
before the show date, leaving organizers short of the
funds needed to pay the bill due at the original show
venue (the London Savoy Hotel). As a result The
Savoy pulled the plug the day before the event.
Organizers scrambled and were able to move the
conference to the nearby Strand Palace in time to
host the event but are now having to deal with the
aftermath caused by the sudden dislocation.
Posted Sept. 11, 2007
latest quarterly ad sales figures are in from
the Newspaper Association of America and the
declines in the newspaper business just get more
horrifying with each passing quarter. For
latest newspaper ad
revenue numbers are out
and they aren't pretty
the second quarter of 2007,
overall ad revenues plunged another 8.6% from
last year. The only bright spot was that
newspaper's online ad revenues jumped over 19%.
Unfortunately, online represents only 7% of their
overall ad revenues so that could not offset the 10%
drop in print ad revenues.
The news was just as bad
for some major magazine publishers. The three major news
weeklies in the U.S., Time, Newsweek
and U.S. News and World Report all saw
readers disappear in droves. According to the Audit
Bureau of Circulations, Time's newsstand
sales plummeted 13.6% in the first half of 2007
compared to the first half of 2006. In the same time
frame, Newsweek sales dropped 9.3% and
U.S. News fell 6% (if you look a little further
back, U.S. News numbers are much worse with a 20%
drop since the spring of 2005). Guess where the
readers are going? (If you need a hint, see the lone
bright spot in the newspaper numbers above).
Posted Sept. 10, 2007
two-day Domain Focus conference ended Friday
in London with a live auction of .uk
domains staged by Sedo.com.
Sedo said 20 domains were sold (about a third of the
number offered) with a
total value of over $350,000. The top sales were Fly.co.uk
at £87,500 ($177,476) and Employment.co.uk
at £17,000 ($34,481). Though there were
several problems with the staging of conference itself, including
a last minute change of venue (see yesterday's post
below), Sedo was pleased with results from this first
ever live auction of .uk domains.
Next week they will conduct
another live auction - this time of .de domains -
at the DomainVermarkterForum
in Hamburg, Germany Sept. 13-14.
Posted Sept. 8, 2007
Focus conference scheduled to end in London
today has apparently run into some serious problems.
According to a thread at the British domain forum
the venue for the show was changed at the last minute
from the Savoy Hotel to the Strand Palace.
A Savoy representative told a caller that the hotel
cancelled the event because financial commitments had
not been honored prior to the meeting. According to
forum posts attendees were crowded into an undersized
meeting room at the Strand Palace, there was no food
service and several scheduled speakers did not appear.
The event is to end today with a live auction sponsored
by Sedo. At the time of this post, there had been no
response from show organizers to complaints posted in
the forum thread.
Posted Sept. 7, 2007
is currently taking a look at the
controversial practice of domain tasting
(registrars or private investors try to register every
single deleting domain, test them for traffic, then
the registrations of those
without traffic for a full refund before a 5-day
grace period is up). Many consider this an abuse of the
grace period which was originally meant to allow
registrants to get a refund when making an honest
registration mistake (such as making a typo in a name
they want to register).
I fall in the camp that
considers this to be mis-use of an unintended loophole
and would personally like to see it stopped (or modified
so that those mis-using the system pay for the benefits
they are receiving). In my opinion the practice is
especially harmful with respect to the perception people
have of domain investors as a whole. However you feel
about the issue, ICANN would like to hear your opinion.
They are conducting a Request
for Information survey that will end
Sept. 15. You can view current results from the
So far, sentiment registered in the survey is running
solidly again domain tasting.
Posted Sept. 6, 2007
to end the free lunch
for "domain tasters"?
became the first company to offer "domain
insurance" yesterday when CEO Jay Westerdal
announced the offering on his site. If the prospect of
having your domain stolen makes you nervous, the
DomainTools service will cover a loss up to $100,000
$1,000 for every day
your domain is in the hands of a thief) for a premium of
$100 per year. You can buy higher coverage
amounts if you wish - all the way up to $20 million
(with a $200,000 per day payment for each day
your domain is missing) for an annual premium of $10,000.
You can contact Jay -at- DomainTools.com to
enroll or learn more about the service.
Posted Sept. 5, 2007
we mentioned upcoming domain conferences in
September, October and November. If that is not enough
to sate your appetite for domain information there is
December event that is well
worth a place on your calendar. That is Pubcon
2007 coming up at the Las Vegas
Convention Center December 4-7. Pubcon is aimed
primarily at owners of developed websites but the host, WebmasterWorld.com,
is expanding the spotlight on domains this year with a
full day of domain panels and a live domain auction.
speakers have already been recruited - CraigsList
founder Craig Newmark and Matt Cutts of Google
(with others to be announced soon). A lot of you will
use any excuse to go to Las Vegas. Well, here is a very
valid reason to make the trip! If you pay close
attention you should be able to gather enough tips and
new contacts to boost your website income (and offset
the money you leave at the blackjack tables)!
Posted Sept. 4, 2007
was a major holiday - Labor Day
- in the United States. Labor Day is
viewed as the unofficial end of summer in the U.S.
Though another season is coming to a close, the domain
conference season never ends. The next one will be Thursday
and Friday of this week (Sept. 6-7) when
Focus show will be held at the Savoy
Hotel in London. Next month, T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
East returns to the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida October
After that, the 2007 GeoDomain Expo, presented by
Cities, will be held November 15-17
in San Francisco. I will have the honor of
delivering the keynote address at that event.
Cities will also be hosting a live auction at the
Expo presented by Moniker.com.
The GeoDomain Expo is the only
the year to meet and greet owners of more than 85 U.S.
major city and destination sites including NewYorkCity.com,
LosAngeles.com and Chicago.com. Show
organizers say the 2007 GeoDomain Expo will be the
largest and most important gathering to date of the
owners of some of the most lucrative properties on the
Web. For event information and to register, you can
If you would like sponsorship information, contact Patrick
Carleton at 877-244-0686 or email him at [email protected].
Posted Sept. 3, 2007
you've been out of the loop lately, catch up in the Lowdown
We need your help to keep giving domainers The
Lowdown, so please email [email protected]
with any interesting information you might have. If possible,
include the source of your information so we can check it out (for
example a URL if you read it in a forum or on a site
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