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The Lowdown

May 2008 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)


Moniker.com has released the results from their online silent auction that end yesterday (after starting at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Orlando last week). A blockbuster 

winning bid of $346,480 for DomainRegistration.com helped push total silent auction sales to $737,639. Combined with the more than $2.55 million bid on domains at the live auction at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East, Moniker wound up booking a total of $3.3 million in the conference auctions. Some of the other top silent auction sales included Undies.com ($70,590), LonelyWives.com ($35,300) and Grammas.com ($28,481). Complete live auction results have been posted on this page at Moniker.com and all of the the silent auction results will be added shortly.

The next live domain auction will be held at the DomainerMeeting in Paris on June 20 (our preview of that conference will be posted on our home page later today). Details on the Paris auction are available here.  Also, today (May 30) in the deadline for bulk submissions for the GeoDomain Expo live auction that will be held in July (single and limited quantity submissions will be accepted until June 17). Details on all upcoming Moniker auctions are posted here.  
(Posted May 30, 2008) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:

Associated Cities scored a major coup when they announced that one of the world's leading media consulting companies, The Kelsey Group, was joining them as co-promoters of the 2008 

GeoDomain Expo in Chicago July 10-12. The company's Co-Founder and Chairman, John Kelsey, will also be the keynote speaker. Registrants got a preview of Kelsey's view of the geo space in an interview just published on the AC website.

Regarding the unique opportunity presented by owning a good  

geodomain Kelsey said, "The opportunity is to become a true local information hub that’s not weighed down by traditional notions of what a “newspaper” or a “directory” should be. GeoDomainers can take the best of all worlds and better serve local residents as well as out-of-town people who are looking for local information. GeoDomains receive a certain amount of direct navigation traffic as a result of their intuitive URLs. This provides an edge in the hyper-competitive and fragmented local media space. The opportunity for GeoDomains is to take that advantage a step further with deeper content and social media features that generate repeat traffic." 

Ways to do just that (and attract more local advertising) will be presented at the Expo, making it a must attend event for those seeking to maximize the potential of their geo targeted domains.
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T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Down Under, the first overseas T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference, has announced their keynote speakers for the November 18-20 show on Australia's Gold Coast. Fabulous.com,

who will host the event, has lined up ICANN's President and CEO Dr. Paul Twomey and Graeme Wood, Founder and Executive Director of pioneering travel site Wotif.com to be their lead speakers at the Sheraton Mirage Resort.

Meanwhile back in the States, they are wrapping up business from last week's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in Orlando with the close of Moniker.com's online silent auction scheduled tomorrow (May 29). 

The monthly online auction at GreatDomains.com also ends tomorrow at approximately 2pm U.S. Eastern time. There are some real blockbusters on the board there, including America.com, Import.com, Won.com and Cognac.com, to name just a few. 

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Allegations of trademark infringement are filling the air this week. A few days ago David Castello, COO of Castello Cities Internet Network, left a post at TheDomains.com noting 

that GoDaddy had several obviously infringing domains for sale on their TDNAM.com service, including DisneyStudio.com, KinkosCommercialSolutions.com, JetBlue.tv and BarclaysCapitalGroup.com. The price tag on each was $50,000. Castello wrote, " It is outrageous and unethical that GoDaddy is allowing these obvious TM violations to be promoted on their site. A six year old could tell you these names would not last two seconds in UDRP arbitration. As an industry leader GoDaddy is setting a terrible example. They need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem."

In a reply to Castello's post, the author of the blog, attorney Michael Berkens, said "The drop sites are no better. Pool.com sends out a daily list of dropping domains, often they contain terrible trademark domains. NameJet.com 

David Castello

displays the dropping domains in the same manner on their site. These companies are hurting the domain industry by allowing it and profiting off it from drop auctions, backorders, commission and parked page revenue." 

Michael Berkens

About GoDaddy Berkens added, "Most of their business comes from outside the domainer community... when you got non-domainers (who go) to the site and see domains with famous trademarks for sale at big prices, how many of them think it's OK to register and own such names? We will never know, but my guess is some. Some people will see a name like DisneyStudio.com for sale for 50K and register some infringing names of their own, not knowing anything is wrong with it, especially when they see the name advertised on a site that just advertised on the Super Bowl."

Some aftermarket venues like those operated by Moniker.com and Fabulous.com strive to keep TM domains off their sites. That is the wise way to go as a 

flurry of trademark lawsuits clearly illustrates. Earlier this month Verizon filed a lawsuit against Navigation Catalyst Systems (NCS) alleging wholesale infringement, but in an interesting turnabout, NCS has now filed a counter suit against Verizon claiming they they are cyber squatters too. They have a point as Verizon operates a DNS wild card system that allows them to profit from typos of trademarked terms entered through their ISP service. There is a thread about this donnybrook at the DomainState forum and one of their senior members, George Kirikos, has also posted all of the relevant legal documents on his site. It's clear that there are 

bad actors on both sides of the playing field, a fact tidily summed up by noted attorney John Berryhill who wrote in the thread referenced above "These suits are simply jousting matches between two different gangs of pirates." 

Still, it is individuals and companies in the domain industry who are under the greatest scrutiny. The fact that so many continue to put themselves at great risk through ownership and marketing of clearly infringing domains is baffling. It would be one thing if they were hurting only themselves, but today those who play by the rules are also harmed by stereotyping of the whole industry due to rampant TM abuse. That being the case, it's little wonder that more and more of the white hat operators are calling on their less fastidious peers to clean up their portfolios.

John Berryhill

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We will be away for the Memorial Day national holiday in the United States today. Back with more daily news and information in the Lowdown Tuesday!
(Posted May 26, 2008)

The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Orlando officially ended this morning with a farewell breakfast and a meeting of the show's advisory board. The last full business day Friday (May 

23) began with an SEO Expert's panel. I'll have details on that session and all of the other seminars and events in our comprehensive conference review article that will be published on our home page no later than May 31. 

At Friday's noon luncheon I gave an update on the latest information we have on aftermarket domain sales trends. Despite a continuing downturn in the general economy, the domain aftermarket continues to grow, though results from the first six weeks of 2Q-2008 indicate that the rate of growth is slowing. Over that time frame $11.1 million worth of completed sales were reported to us. In the same period in 2Q-2007, $10.9 million in sales had been reported (these results do not include sales from Moniker's live domain auction at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East yesterday. Those still have to go through the payment and domain transfer process).

The entire afternoon was devoted to the live 

Ron Jackson updating attendees on 2008 
domain sales trends at Friday luncheon.

auction that produced a little over $2.5 million in sales. The highest bids went to a half-dozen domains that each attracted six-figure prices; GasPrices.com ($225,000), InsuranceRates.com ($225,000), Rainbow.com ($170,000), Athlete.com ($122,00), OW.com ($120,000) and Ringtones.org ($120,000). Michael Berkens posted the complete list of results on his blog at TheDomains.com

Scene from Moniker's live domain auction May 23 at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2008 in Orlando.

After the auction, registrants enjoyed a dinner featuring buffet stations representing each of Disney's four theme parks and several prize drawings. After dinner, a large group of attendees headed for the Magic Kingdom to take advantage of a late 11pm-2am park opening for Disney hotel guests only.

Dr. Chris Hartnett gets into the spirit of things after the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in the wee hours of this morning at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Behind him, left to right, are Gregg McNair, Barbara Neu and Rob Grant. The rapidly departing woman in the blue blouse is an innocent bystander wondering who the crazy guy with the sword is and how quickly she can escape!

We shot more than 1,400 photos during the week and the best of those will be included in our upcoming conference wrap up article. Our daily Lowdown posts from Orlando this week have been just a sampling of show events so you won't want to miss our definitive show review when it is released late next week.
(Posted May 24, 2008) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:

The Thursday agenda at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in Orlando began with a networking session that matched registrants with others who shared a specific interest, such as

development, SEO or monetization. Three seminars followed capped by an afternoon session, "Insider Tips", that featured half a dozen industry experts. Several of those were speaking for the first time at a domain conference so it was especially interesting to hear their proven strategies for success. Lonnie Borck, Page Howe and Dave Evanson were in that group and I also got to hear Sedo's Lissi Mack-de-Boer for the first time. Ofer Ronen of Sendori.com (whose company we plan to profile soon) and I also took part. I'll have more details and photos from all of the seminar sessions in our complete conference review article that will be out by the end of next week.

Lonnie Borck giving a terrific talk 
Thursday afternoon at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East.

After the day's educational program ended attendees were treated to a late afternoon wine and cheese networking party in the sponsor exhibit area. The Parked.com booth was especially popular all week thanks partly to a Segway personal transporter they brought for registrants to ride (almost all doing it for the first time). Parked should have set up an affiliate arrangement with Segway because everyone who rode one, wanted to buy one!

Nat Cohen gets his bearings on a Segway personal transporter under 
the watchful eye of the vehicle's owner, Parked.com CEO Sig Solares.

Parked.com also treated everyone to a big beach party last night. Due to inclement weather that event actually ended up being moved indoors but that certainly didn't dampen anyone's spirits. Two Disney illustrators were brought in to do cartoon caricatures of attendees and people howled with laughter as they watched the artists render cartoon versions of their friends and associates. There was plenty of great food and drink as a tropical band played in the background and it wound being a great evening.

Crowd gathers around as Moniker.com CEO Monte Cahn get the cartoon caricature 
treatment from a talented Disney artist at last night's Parked.com Beach Party.

A closer look at Cahn's cartoon alter-ego taking shape.

The final business day of the conference is currently underway. Due to a full schedule that will take us into the wee hours of the morning and a business meeting that will run right up to checkout time tomorrow, I won't have a chance to recap today's activities (which include Moniker's big live domain auction) until we get back to our home base in Tampa tomorrow evening, so please check back then. Though attendance at this show is lighter than recent T.R.A..F.F.I.C. conferences have been (organizers say just over 360 registered) I don't think I have ever seen registrants enjoying themselves as much as they have this week. 
(Posted May 23, 2008) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:

The first full day of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference Wednesday at Disney World in Orlando, Florida featured a jam-packed schedule of seminars, networking sessions and social 

events that stretched from 8:30 am to 2am this morning. We will have wire to wire coverage of show week in our conference review article that will be published late next week, but will touch on a couple of Wednesday highlights here before heading back down to the conference center here at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.

Prior to the conference T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founder Rick Schwartz said he would be telling attendees about a revolutionary new product that he expects to 

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz (seated) and 
Howard Neu
welcome attendees Wednesday morning.

be the "next big thing". That was unveiled right after lunch and the product - dubbed Vertisi - did indeed appear to be a show stopper. Vertisi allows you to lay a piece of film over any piece of glass and that layer of film becomes an interactive touch sensitive display that can be used for anything from store displays to public Internet access available from any surface the film is applied to. A projection unit casts the interactive image on the film. Schwartz has bought 10% of the company and has an option on another 13%. The live demo of Vertisi pulled a shoulder to shoulder capacity crowd into the conference room where it was unveiled. 

Registrants packed the room where Vertisi was publicly unveiled.

A pair of afternoon seminar sessions followed the debut of Vertisi then the business day was drawn to a close with a speed networking session that gave attendees a chance to meet dozens of fellow registrants face to face. Show goers have always placed networking at the top of their priority list and T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is accommodating that demand with a second networking session scheduled to kick off today's agenda.  

Registrants get up close and personal during this speed networking session.

Next up the evening social events took center stage with a cocktail party at the conference center followed by a night out at Disney's Pleasure Island. TrafficZ treated everyone to a rousing party at the Raglan Road Irish pub that was still going strong when we left a little after midnight.

Attendees enjoy an evening of good company and great food and drink along 
with Irish music and folk dancing at TrafficZ's official conference party.

Another busy day waits so we are off to the conference center again. I'll have a post recapping today's events in this space Friday morning.
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The 2008 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference got underway last night at Disney World's fabulous Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando, Florida. The event began with a welcoming cocktail party 

that brought domainers from all over the world together in the Grand Floridian's conference center. It was interesting and gratifying to see so many new faces in the crowd. Show organizers said more than a third of the registrants at this show were attending their first domain conference. 

After two and a half hours of getting to know each other the action moved to an adjacent ballroom where Moniker.com served up an appetizer for their big live auction coming up Friday 

TrafficZ founder and CEO Kevin Vo (front left) chats with Jeff Beasley of BlueFrog Interactive at the 2008 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East opening night cocktail party (May 20).

afternoon. They did it with a one-hour no or low reserve live auction of about 30 domain names. 53% of the names put on the block were sold, led by DayCare.org at $16,500. SpaceForRent.com and Refinancing.net added $8,000 each and DietChocolate.com drew $7,500 to help boost the final sales total to $62,750. It was a solid trial run for the main auction event coming up later this week.

Scene from Moniker.com's No or Low Reserve Live Auction at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East last night.

Today is the first full day of conference activity and events are scheduled to run from 8:30am to well past midnight. I'll be back Thursday morning with a post featuring highlights from today's schedule.
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I wasn't planning a post today as I'll be traveling to the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference that gets underway this evening in Orlando, however just before heading out the door I got word that the dates and location for this year's GeoDomain Expo have been finalized and I didn't want to 

delay getting that news out to you. The conference will be held in Chicago at the W Hotel (City Center) July 10-12. That's less than 60 days away so you if you want to go to this key event you'll need to start making arrangements now. By acting quickly you can also take advantage of an early bird registration rate of $595 that is good through May 31. 

The big news this year is that the Kelsey Group, one of the world's largest and most respected local media research, analysis and advisory groups, is joining with Associated Cities to stage the event. Kelsey's involvement takes the event to an entirely new level. Also this year, owners of geo domains in all extensions - not just .com - are encouraged to attend as the rapidly growing geo domain industry continues to broaden its base. The preliminary show agenda is posted here. Our review of the 2007 GeoDomain Expo in San Francisco will also give you an idea of what to expect at this unique event aimed at domain owners who want to develop their geo targeted domains into profitable local media properties.
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We've spent the day getting the decks cleared so we can head out tomorrow for the 2008 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference at Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort. The event runs 

Tuesday through Saturday (May 20-24). We won't have a Lowdown post tomorrow as we will be in transit to the conference, but starting Wednesday we will post a daily item  from the show in this column (starting with a post on the opening event - tomorrow night's Welcome to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. cocktail party). As always, the week after the event we will publish our definitive conference review article. 

Going to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East in May is a 

little disorienting because the Florida event  has always been staged in the fall. However by reconfiguring their 2008 schedule, show co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu have gotten the conference out of Florida's Hurricane season. After seeing Hurricane Wilma threaten the 2005 show in Delray Beach, prompting some attendees to leave early, that can only be a good thing. This year, the fall show will be in New York City Sept. 23-26. For an advance look at what we will be covering in Orlando this week, you can check out the show agenda here.
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Domain name registrations have exploded in recent years as more and more businesses come to realize the importance of domain names in boosting their enterprises online. I have 

often said that a domain name is as essential to a business as a business card - and it is an even better value. For $8-$10 you can register a domain that allows you to distribute your contact information plus infinitely more content and do it worldwide

Rob Sequin of SearchDomainsForSale.com sent me an interesting example of how real estate agents in his Cape Cod, Massachusetts neighborhood are using domain names to distribute information about houses they have for sale. As you can see in the photos at right, two different real estate agencies are registering the street addresses of houses they have for sale as .com domain names and are placing the easy to remember URLs on their For Sale signs. 

In visiting the websites that were set up for the two houses for sale in these examples, 44TeeWay.com and 15Fairway.com, I found nice slide show photos of the properties and all of the relevant details about the homes. Using domains to advertise in this way makes it a snap for people driving by to get a web address that gives them in depth information about the homes they are interested in. 

As other businesses think of creative ways to use domain names to market their products the uptake of both new registrations and reasonably priced names on the aftermarket should continue to strengthen.

One other note today - giant web hosting company 1 & 1 Internet Inc. has named a new CEO. Oliver Mauss succeeds Andreas Gauger, who steps down after 13 years on the job. Mauss will also run the company's subsidiaries in the UK, France and Spain. 1&1 Internet Inc. is a subsidiary of United Internet, a public company with a market cap of $4 billion. 1&1, whose U.S. headquarters is in Chesterbrook, PA, hosts more than 10 million domain names.
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Some of the world's best domain names changed hands today, including such priceless gems as News.com, TV.com, Radio.com, MP3.com and Download.com. Those domains and 

many other premium names were owned by CNET Networks Inc. but today CBS Corp. bought the entire company in a $1.8 billion deal that suddenly makes CBS a major player online. At $11.50 a share CBS paid a 45% premium over the price CNET stock closed at yesterday. Some financial analysts think CBS overpaid but I think in the long run this will prove to be a great move for the company. Online is the future for media and those that don't stake out prime territory on the web now are going to be left behind. 

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said he saw opportunities for distributing CBS news, music 

and other content on CNet's online outlets, and also for tapping CNet's significant online advertising sales operation to boost ad growth for the media company.
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As a follow-up to yesterday's post below, we wanted to let you know that Pool.com CEO Richard Schreier has sent  DomainNews.com a response to the story they ran yesterday about a German website that accused Schreier of gaming the .asia land rush auctions for his own benefit. Schreier said statements posted by Thomas Reucker and Madunia Modellbau GmbH at www.dotasia-complot.org were false and defamatory and were made in retaliation for Reucker/Madunia being barred from some .asia auctions while Pool and the dotAsia registry conducted an investigation into possible bid rigging.
(Posted May 15, 2008)

A controversy over the .asia land rush has erupted. It started when a German bidder in the land rush auctions put up a website - DotAsia-ComPlot.org - alleging that most of the prize domains in the land rush wound up in the hands of Pool.com CEO , whose

company has been enlisted by the .asia registry to run the auctions. The complainant's website claims that Schreier set up companies overseas to acquire multiple domains on his own behalf. The uproar prompted registry CEO Edmon Chung to send out a letter last night denying any irregularities. DomainNews.com posted the story today, including the full text of Mr. Chung's letter. 

It seems that every new extension rollout is plagued with allegations of abuse. Last year's botched introduction of the European Union's .eu created a firestorm of criticism against the registry after many of the best domains ended up in the hands of speculators outside the EU. Thousands of domains wound up being cancelled by the registry as a result. It is too early to say where this flare up with .asia is headed but its obviously not the kind of publicity any new registry wants when they are just coming out of the gate. 
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Death of Newspapers Puts $42 Billion of Ad Revenue Up For Grabs - that's the headline on an article written by well-known financial analyst Henry Blodget for his Silicon Alley Insider 

website. The newspaper industry's pain has largely been caused by the Internet's gain (online ad spending has been increasing 30% annually as advertisers continue to migrate to the web). Blodget wrote, "After another jarring 3.5% decline over the past six months, print-paper circulation will drop to about 50 million this year- the lowest level since 1946 (62 years ago). That's during a period in which the U.S. population has doubled, meaning that per-capita newspaper consumption has been cut in half." 

Blodget has many more details on the insurmountable problems newspapers face, so check out the entire article in you are interested in this topic.

In a related note, a couple of week's ago Madison, Wisconsin's Capital Times became the first notable daily paper to stop the presses and move entirely to the web. The paper's editor emeritus Dave Zweifel told Channel3000.com "I never thought this time would come during my career." Editor Paul Fanlund said that it was a tough move, but a move that made sense for an industry that's struggling nationwide. The Capital Times is reportedly down to a daily circulation of only 17,000. "How can we still be relevant if we have so few printed copies, particularly in a market of this size?," Fanlund said.
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Several items to pass along to you today. Afilias, who operates the .info registry, has just unveiled a new site for .info lovers at www.info.info. The new site featured a .info directory 

where .info webmasters can submit their sites for inclusion in the guide at www.info.info/directory. There is also a news blog featuring .info media coverage and press releases at www.info.info/news and an enhanced information section with new and old content about the extension and a new statistics blog. That section is 

at www.info.info/info. Last but not least there is a ShareThis application (on the right hand menu at Info.info) that allows you to save and send website pages to social networking sites.  

Afilias Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Roland LaPlante said "With over 5 million registrations .info continues to prove itself as a valuable top-level domain." The new site will help spread the word. Well done Afilias.

Moniker.com has released the complete inventory list for their upcoming live domain auction at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Orlando conference May 23 (the event will begin at 2pm U.S. Eastern time). The main event will be preceded by a Low or No Reserve auction on the first night of the conference (Tuesday, May 20) starting at 8pm. That list

is also included on the inventory page. There are a lot of great domains in the live auction including Pay.com, Greek.com and ForSale.com to name just a few.

Sedo.com also had some exciting news today, announcing that this year's SedoPro Partners Forum will be held on the French Riviera October 26-28! The five-star Royal Riviera on the Côte d'Azur will host the 3rd annual event. Sedo pulls out all of the stops for these

invitation-only forums for their SedoPro partners. Last year's meeting at the Mohonk Mountain Resort in New York State's Hudson Valley drew rave reviews from all who attended and they would have a hard time going wrong on the French Riviera.
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The Orlando, Florida T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference is just 11 days away (the event runs May 20-24 at Disney World's Grand Floridian resort). If you have always wanted to attend a 

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show but can't swing the $1,995 registration fee you might want to enter a drawing for a free ticket that DNZoom.com will hold on Monday (May 12). It's part of a first anniversary celebration underway at the portfolio management company. To be included in the drawing you need to be registered at DNZoom (there is no charge for registration or using DNZoom's platorm). 

You can create a new account or log into your existing account from this page, then click the button in the header that says “Win a FREE 

ticket to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Orlando!” Submit your email address using the form on that page, and you will automatically be entered in the drawing. More info is available here.
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Interesting story at SearchEnginePeople.com this week about the coming boom in local search on mobile devices. In the piece titled Local Search Predicted to Be Killer App for Mobile Phones author Tom Tsinas wrote "According to a new Juniper Research report, 1.3 billion 

mobile users are expected to use local mobile search services by 2013. While the trends bode well for for the mobile search industry (agencies and marketers alike) the report goes on to caution that these numbers are based on a good user experience. Mobile devices however appear to be catching up to user expectations with the iPhone getting 50 times the amount of searches than the other leading handsets!"

Since the iPhone (and other products in the pipeline) can deliver readable versions of current websites, this news, from a domain perspective, will probably further fuel the debate over how much need or demand there will be for the scaled down websites prescribed for developers in the .mobi extension aimed at mobile devices.

In any case, the Juniper report said that local search is expected to account for 43% of cumulative mobile search advertising revenues between 2008 and 2013, reaching total revenues of $4.8 billion by 2013. User response rates to advertising which supports mobile local search are expected to be significantly higher than for advertising on general mobile web search.
May 8, 2008)
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You've got to hand it to Skip Hoagland and Steve Morales. Less than two weeks after they announced their ambitious Simply Geo LLC partnership, they've already rolled out one of their 

first major projects, a new social networking site for geodomainers at...where else... GeoDomainer.com (these guys don't scrimp when it comes to domain names either). They also have GeoDomains.com which is slated to become the new home for the SimplyGeo.com blog.

I registered at GeoDomainer.com (which just launched Saturday, May 3) to check it out and though I have just started poking around I am very impressed with the features and quality that have already been built into the rapidly growing site. Morales told us, "We have built a variety of 

apps to assist domainers in networking, communicating and getting to know other professionals in the industry and  there are many more apps to come. Users are able to start groups and discussions, can build their blog thru their profile, post important notes to the community, place their profile in private mode, see who is online and write comments with the shout message function. They additionally have all the of the MySpace functions with email, photo/video sharing, etc." 

Morales added, "The site will help domainers become validated by showing potential clients who they are and the people associated with them. We are doing our part to help create

Steve Morales

standards and prevent bad things from happening to good people. The end state is to have a social network where professionals register and publish their profile and associates, and buyers/future partners can learn more about the professionals they are doing business with."  

Geodomainer.com also has forums and even an arcade to let users have a little fun when they have time for a break. Looks like they definitely have a winning package on their hands and they are just getting started.
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In the largest .ca (Canadian country code) sale on record, Ogopogo Media Inc. announced today that it has acquired the domain name Jobs.ca from Domed Technologies, Inc. of Montreal for $600,000 (USD). Ogopogo Media executives said the company will develop Jobs.ca as the core property of a planned job network, which will include JobSearch.ca and Resumes.ca that will cover all the needs of both job seekers and employers.  

Ogopogo CEO and co-founder Robert Montgomery said  “Jobs.ca is unquestionably the most intuitive, typed-in domain name for Canadian job seekers. It gives us a huge competitive advantage to hitch our brand to the domain name that defines the industry and the marketplace." Montgomery said Jobs.ca routinely receives thousands of valuable type-in visitors each day. 

Ogopogo President Shaun Pilfold added “Our first order of business was to 

Ogopogo CEO Robert Montgomery (left) 
and President Shaun Pilfold

search for a seasoned Job Board  professional to lead our entry into the Canadian job services marketplace. To that end, Mark Huttram, former VP of Sales and Customer Satisfaction at Monster.ca, will lead the team. In the coming months, Jobs.ca will be searching for other key staff experienced in the online job segment, including sales and customer service.
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As our Sunday night bulletin told you to expect, Thought Convergence officially announced the acquisition of Name Intelligence, Inc. this morning. Thought Convergence, a privately held company based in Los Angeles, thus combines its popular domain industry services and 

technologies, including TrafficZLeaseThis.com and Idea.Net, with Name Intelligence staples DomainTools.com and the Domain Roundtable conference. Thought Convergence officials said the acquisition paves the way for them to realize their vision of a unified Domain Ecosystem.  

“We are proud to welcome Jay Westerdal, Ray Bero and the entire Name Intelligence team into the Thought Convergence family,” said Kevin Vo, Thought Convergence Founder and Chief Executive Officer.  “The addition of Name Intelligence further strengthens our industry-leading technology platform and lays the groundwork for the continuing expansion of our comprehensive suite of tools and services for domain professionals.”  

Thought Convergence Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ammar Kubba, added “Name Intelligence shares our passion and drive to create technology-driven solutions and innovation 

Thought Convergence Founder & CEO Kevin Vo (left) 
with the company's COO Ammar Kubba.

within the domain industry.  By combining our award-winning monetization and development platform, deep industry relationships and extensive resources with Name Intelligence’s unparalleled research, analysis and data aggregation tools, we are putting into place a robust and scalable framework for the creation of a symbiotic Domain Ecosystem.”  (Vo and Kubba were profiled in our October 2007 Cover Story).

In commenting on the close of the transaction, Jay Westerdal, Co-Founder and CEO of Name 

Intelligence, said, “We are incredibly excited to join forces with Thought Convergence and to leverage our core competencies and proprietary technology in order to create the next generation of DomainTools, our auction and marketplace platform, intellectual property protection services and semantic suggestion technology.”  

Name Intelligence operations will remain in Seattle, Washington, and will continue to be led by Westerdal and Bero. In addition to their responsibilities at Name Intelligence, both Westerdal and Bero will collaborate with senior management at Thought Convergence to develop and execute on the Company’s long-term strategy.
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The DOMAINfest Global conference has announced the dates and location for its 3rd annual show in Los Angeles. The event, produced by Oversee.net (parent of DomainSponsor.com).

will return to Hollywood's Renaissance Hotel for the third consecutive year, with the conference running January 28-30, 2009. The Renaissance, which is part of the Hollywood & Highlands complex where the annual Oscar ceremonies are held in the Kodak Theater, has proven to be a popular venue with attendees. 

Organizers said the conference will once again offer an agenda designed for advanced and intermediate/beginner domain investors. Discussions will include finance, buildouts, corporate branding, regulatory environment and the aftermarket. Event registration will open later this year. 

The sold-out 2008 event featured the first Town Hall meeting hosted by renowned domain investor Frank  

The Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, 
will again host the DOMAINfest 
conference January 28-30, 2009.

Schilling as well as panel discussions by an unprecedented number of domain experts. John Battelle, best selling author and CEO of Federated Media, was the keynote speaker. The 2009 event will also feature a Moniker live domain name auction powered by SnapNames Live™ technology. Last January, the SnapNames Live auction garnered more than $4 million in live and online sales. More information can be found at http://www.domainfest.com
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In our Lowdown posts May 1 and May 2, as well as in our latest newsletter that went out to email subscribers over the weekend, we talked about how the current downturn in the general economy is affecting the domain business (which is joined at the hip with the Internet advertising business). A major article from Silicon Valley's MercuryNews.com released last 

The general economy may be 
in a downward spiral but the 
Internet economy is still going up.

week is among several recent reports that agree there has been no economic slowdown on the Internet. 

Frank Davies, who is based in Mercury's Washington D.C. bureau, wrote "Internet commerce continues its robust growth, defying a sluggish economy that's teetering on recession, Google's chief economist (Hal Varian) and several analysts said Friday (April 25) at a forum on the state of the Internet economy at Google's new Washington office... Ed Garrubbo, chairman of the Electronic Retailing Association, said online sales jumped 17% in the first quarter of this year."  "The lesson here is that the economic slowdown is not an Internet slowdown," Varian said. 

Davies went on to write "Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a non-partisan tech think tank, predicted continued growth for online commerce as high-speed connections increase and "the core technologies are becoming faster and cheaper." "The absolute growth has been steady now for several years. The Internet economy is almost counter-recessional," Atkinson said. He added that comparisons with past slowdowns are difficult because this is the first downturn in which online commerce has played such a big role." 
(Posted May 5, 2008) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:

Sunday Night Bulletin - A reliable source tells us that the rumored sale of Name Intelligence, Inc. (parent company of DomainTools.com and the Domain Roundtable conference) to Thought Convergence, Inc. (parent company of TrafficZ.com and LeaseThis.com) will be officially announced Monday (May 5). More details on the transaction are to be released then. Monday morning update - latest word we have is that a news release is planned late today, but the document may not be finalized and sent out to media outlets until Tuesday. None the less, from past experience I never assume that something is a done deal until both sides make a public announcement.
(Posted May 4/5, 2008)

Recession? Not in the Ad Biz - that's the headline of a story I just came across at Conde Nast's Porfolio.com, that reinforces what we reported yesterday about a Forrester Research study showing that the online advertising business continues to hold its own despite disruptions in the general economy. Author Willow Duttge wrote "Sure, the U.S. could be in a recession.

Consumer confidence is declining. Food and gas are so expensive it’s more cost-effective to stay home and diet. But the advertising business (of all things!) is actually benefiting from the painful spectacle of the traditional media landscape fragmenting into shards. The internet is continuing to oust broadcast TV, print, and radio from their once-secure position as the automatic repository for ad dollars, and the complex environment that’s been rattling the advertising and media industries could actually function as an economic buoy during these hard times."

Online advertising continues to 
fly above the economic clouds

Duttge added "Clearly there’s pain; but it’s not being evenly distributed right now" then went on to give examples of the ongoing boom in web advertising. That is the key point - even in hard times there are sectors that do well and we happen to be fortunate enough to be in one that is positioned much better than others. It is easy to get caught up in all of the despair and predictions of doom that are heard every time the general economy heads into a downturn, but those who are old enough to have lived through these cycles many times before know that things will rebound and that there are always opportunities if you know where to look for them. We think those who are looking at the Internet (and the long term value of domains) right now are looking in the right place
May 2, 2008) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL:

With the general economy continuing its downward spiral those who are fortunate enough to be in healthy industries (as we are with domains) are keeping an eye out for any signs that our business will be severely impacted by the malaise on Main Street. Of course, online advertising is the primary driver of the Internet economy. Many domain owners depend on it for pay per click revenue and those who have developed websites on their domains depend on it for revenue collected directly from advertisers (or through monetization programs for publishers like 

Google AdSense). So, the continued willingness of advertisers to spend online is crucial to the continued health of our industry. 

That's why it was nice to see a note at Online Media Daily today citing a new report from Forrester Research that found that online advertisers plan to keep spending their money on the web. OMD columnist Mark Walsh wrote "A slumping economy is not curtailing online spending plans, according to a recent study by Forrester Research. The firm found that 72% of 333 interactive marketers surveyed expect to keep their interactive spending on plan or increase it in a recession. Advertisers are especially committed to performance marketing, with more than 80% planning to maintain or increase investments in e-mail and search engine marketing channels." 

Obviously, there are a lot worse places to be than the domain business these days. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference co-founder Rick Schwartz had a lot to say about this topic in the exclusive T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Orlando preview article we just published today. In addition to giving us the inside scoop on the upcoming May 20-24 show at Disney World, Schwartz talked about how the general economy might impact the Moniker live domain auction in Orlando as well as the industry in general. It's very interesting reading from someone who has a good track record for predicting future events in this business.
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