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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.

Day 2 (Wednesday) Photos and Highlights from the DOMAINfest Global Conference

The second day of the DOMAINfest Global Conference in Santa Monica, California opened Wednesday (Jan. 27) with a pair of stuctured networking sessions that gave attendees a chance to ask questions one on one with leading experts in two different fields. In the photo below an inquisitive group gathered to get advice on Buying and Selling Domain Names from Michael Berkens, Ari Goldberger, Larry Fischer, Monte Cahn and Kathy Nielsen

Scene from Wednesday's networking session on Buying and Selling Domain Names

At the same time, in another corner of the exhibit hall, another group congregated around attorneys John Berryhill, Paul Keating, Will Delgado and Steve Atlee for a Q & A session on Domain Names and Legal Issues

Next up was one of the show's main events - a fireside chat with Zappos.com Founder Tony Hsieh. Oversee.net CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky interviewed Hsieh, a 36-year-old Harvard graduate who sold his first company, LinkExchange, to Microsoft for $265 million in 1998. Hsieh used part of the proceeds to start up online shoe retailer Zappos.com, a company he sold to Amazon.com last summer for approximately $850 million.

Oversee.net CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky (left) interviews Zappos.com 
Founder Tony Hsieh during Wednesday's keynote "fireside chat" at DOMAINfest Global.

Hsieh, a very relaxed and engaging speaker with a disarming send of humor, said he thinks the most important keys to building a succesful business are building a strong culture and having a vision that goes beyond just making money. In the case of Zappos.com, the entire corporate culture is built around world class customer service and engaging customers on a personal level.

A pair of afternoon panel discussions filled the remainder of the business day. The theme of the first one, moderated by Ron Sheridan, was Turning Domain Names into Killer Websites

Panelists for a session on Turning Domains Names into Killers Websites were 
(from left to right in the photo above): Brian Gilbert (Thomason Management), Rory 
Holland (Credit.com), Rick Waters (Webcast 1) and Howard Wyner (Scentiments.com).

The next session was titled Domain Names: How Prime Internet Real Estate Builds SEO and SEM Success. I'll have commentary on both of these seminars (as well as all of the other conference businesses sessions) in a comprehensive conference review article that we will be publishing a week or so after the conclusion of the show.

The Domain Names: How Prime Internet Real Estate Builds SEO and SEM Success panel 
above, moderated by Oversee.net SVP and General Manager Ryan Berryman, included (left 
to right) Bruce Clay (Bruce Clay Inc.), Dan Ho (Adknowledge), David White, Danny Sullivan 
(Search Engine Land) & Melodie Tao (MarketingMelodie.com). 

With Wednesday's business out of the way it was time to get ready for a hghly anticipated Networking Dinner Party at the fabulous mountain-top Getty Center art museum in Los Angeles. Attendees were taken to The Getty on luxury buses and found an elaborate dinner buffet waiting for them in The Getty's entry hall.

Above: A scene from the Networking Dinner Party at The Getty in Los angeles last night.

Below: Guests at The Getty  included (left to right) Barbi Benton (probably the most famous
Playmate of the Year in the history of Playboy Magazine), veteran domainer Marc Ostrofsky
Bianka Krausch, domainer Chad Folkening and Barbi's husband, developer George Gradow.

Below: After dinner, attendees were free to explore the West Wing art galleries 
and the many masterpieces on display at The Getty (the first painting on the 
wall in the photo below is Van Gogh's Irises.)

The 2010 DOMAINfest Global Conference closes today with another full day (and night) ahead. The agenda includes three more structured networking sessions and a second Pitchfest in the morning, followed by Moniker's Premium Live Domain Auction this afternoon (it is scheduled to run from 2:00-6:00pm (U.S. Pacific time). Tonight the show closes with a huge DomainSponsor party at the Playboy Mansion. The party will double as a fund raising event (with a prize raffle) that will benefit Jenny McCarthy's Generation Rescue Foundation. I'll have the photos and highlights from all of the closing day events in this column for you tomorrow.

(Posted Jan. 28, 2010)

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