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August 27, 2012

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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.

Post Memorial Day Weekend Potpourri of Domain News, Headlines and Links

We are coming off a three-day weekend in America where most businesses shut down Monday to observe Memorial Day - a day when we pause to honor U.S. soldiers who died while serving their country. The Memorial Day weekend is also regarded as the unofficial start of summer in the States and many spent the extended break going to the beach or having a cookout. I spent all of it at my desk finishing up our new Cover Story on Dan Warner, the man 

who was the face of Fabulous.com for 7 years and now heads up DomainAdvertising.com

Dan has an amazing personal story and even though he is very well-known in the industry it is a story that very few people have heard before. As always, Dan was very frank in our discussions and was equally open in talking about the good times as well as the bad times he has been through. 

He has bounced back from some catastrophes that would have put most of us on the sidelines for good, including a near fatal accident and having a con artist destroy a promising multi-million dollar company he had built prior to joining Dark Blue Sea and its famous offspring, Fabulous.com, in 2002. I think there is a lot to learn from the experiences he shares and his amazing resilience in the face of major challenges so, if at all possible, set some time aside and check out this article - I believe you will find it to be time well spent

Dan Warner
CEO, DomainAdvertising.com

ICANN was busy over the weekend too, issuing a boatload of documents, recommendations and the long awaited 4th (and possibly final) draft version of their New TLD Applicant Guidebook. This details things you will need to know if you are thinking about applying for one the unlimited number of new gTLDs ICANN plans to eventually start rolling out.

As always seems to be the case, some of their proposed actions in other areas are raising some huge red flags in the domain industry. At the forefront of those is a proposed Expedited Transfer Reversal Policy that, if passed, could be a major disruption to the domain aftermarket. The policy is intended to be a tool to thwart domain hijacking but it could have the reverse effect as it would allow someone who has sold a domain to you to reverse the transfer of the domain for up to six months after the "sale" has been 

completed. As is so often the case with ICANN matters, George Kirikos spotted this issue and took it public. Check out this thread he started at the DomainState.com forum more details on the proposed policy and steps you can take to help stop it (ICANN has not yet opened a public commentary period on this proposal).

Also over the long weekend, the .mobi extension took a pretty good punch to the gut when a Miami Herald story declared that "The popularity of Facebook pages and smartphone apps may signal the death of dot mobi."

In the paragraph that landed the biggest haymaker, author Bridget Carey wrote, "It's not just the iPhone that made mobi domain names the mobile equivalent of an eight-track car stereo. The extension is unnecessary now, thanks to advances in how websites are built. Formerly, a .mobi extension was required to follow design rules that made web pages easy to read on a mobile phone screen. But now, a site can detect that a user is on a mobile device and automatically display in a cellphone-friendly format. Plus, phone keyboards now come with .com shortcut buttons - piling the dirt on dot mobi's young grave."

I don't know if .mobi is dead yet or not, but it is certainly walking with a serious limp and getting knee-capped by the Herald won't help its prospects. I will make one observation though - there are some other extensions that some people have also declared dead that, thanks to having strong keywords that define commercial products or services, I have been able to make money with. That comes from sales to small business end users and revenue generated by new monetization programs likes SmartName's ecommerce platform that 

does not rely on a Google or Yahoo parking feed for its income. Perhaps, someone will come up with something new that will give .mobi a new lease on life too but right now I would have to say the odds don't look good.

(Posted June 1, 2010) 

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