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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Countdown to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York - the Last Conference That Will Feature Two Competing Live Auctions 

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York gets underway Monday evening (Oct. 26) at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. This will be the last show in the series to feature multiple live domain auctions (starting in 2010, Rick Latona Auctions will be the live auction provider for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences). Both Latona (starting at 4:30pm Eastern time Tuesday) and Moniker.com (beginning at 4pm Eastern on Wednesday) will be running live sales in New York and both have catalogs loaded with gems for their events. 

Moniker's list got a further boost today when it was announced that Neustar, the .biz registry, is putting some one and two character domains into their auction. The live event will feature i.biz, NY.biz, OK.biz, EZ.biz and HD.biz and Moniker's silent online auction that will run for a week after the live sale will have TX.biz, HI.biz, HA.biz, UR.biz, LO.biz and KC.biz on the block.

You'll recall that Nesutar partnered with Sedo to auction off a group of one-character domains last month and that sale went better than many expected - pulling in over $360,000 for 31 domains. With the Big Apple as its stage, this sale should do well too, especially since the names are going to be auctioned off with no reserve

Almost all new extensions since the original launch of .com, .net and .org have struggled to build recognition. I think that Neustar's strategy of using some of their high profile one and two character domains to draw interest to the extension is a smart, cost effective way to promote the TLD. With luck, some of the buyers of these domains will develop them into real businesses (as Overstock plans to do with O.biz). If that happens, these seeds that Neustar is planting now could bear some very nice fruit a couple of years down the road. Real world use of new extensions is the best (actually probably the only) hope any of them have to break into the public's consciousness. 

Neustar operates another extension, America's official country code, .us, that I have always felt has great potential.  If their .biz gambit works, I would expect them to try something similar (along with additional novel strategies) in an effort to light a fire under .us. Domain owners with an interest in a particular extension will have to do their part too by building out some of their non .com domains or getting then into the hands of someone else who will. 

(Posted Oct. 21, 2009)

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