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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 Two (Wednesday) Photos and Highlights From the 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver Conference

The second day of the 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver conference on Wednesday (June 9) opened with a lively 11am panel discussion titled Domain Names - the Past or the Future? The Castello Brothers, Michael and David (Castello Cities Internet Services), joined Victor Pitts (DomainIt.com) on the dais with Rick Silver moderating the session. 

(L to R): Victor Pitts, David Castello and Michael Castello kicked things off on day two at 
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver Wednesday when they discussed the future of domain names.

The question was whether technological changes, the ability to access web information through mobile phone apps or the rising popularity of promoting and conducting business on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter would have a negative impact on the value of domain names in the future. The consensus of the panel was that domain names are unlikely to be materially affected by these developments. As Pitts pointed out, it would be unwise to build your business on someone else's platform (Facebook for instance) when they would have total control of your content and could shut down your account at any time. 

Regarding possible technological changes such as voice commands replacing type-ins, the Castello Brothers noted that you would still be taken to an address and domain names are the addresses of the Internet and nothing on the horizon is likely to change that. We still depend on street addresses to reach destinations in the real world, a system that has not changed in centuries and is unlikely to change in our lifetimes either.

Next up a special one-hour session led by Richard Lau, Gregg McNair and Tessa Holcomb was held to recognize the domain industry's contributions to furthering the work of The Water School - an admirable charity that we have frequently written about.

Workers from The Water School and a number of domain industry leaders who 
support the charity were recognized at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver Wednesday afternoon. 

The Water School's proven, cost effective system for providing clean drinking water in developing nations around the globe has staved off water borne diseases and saved countless lives since it was introduced. A $50 donation is enough to provide clean drinking water for a family of four for life. I don't know of anything you could spend $50 on and have a greater positive impact.

John Demco - The father of 
Canada's .CA country code TLD

Another major highlight of Wednesday's program was a "fireside chat" with John Demco, the person directly responsible for the establishment of Canada's .CA country code extension in 1987. With Rick Silver conducting the on stage interview, Demco recounted how things developed in the earliest days of the Canadian Internet and led to the system we have today. 

After he was successful in getting .CA delegated to Canada, Demco single handedly ran the extension's registry in its early days. He was also instrumental on the creation of CIRA, the current governing body for .CA and Demco continues to serve on the CIRA board. John was also a co-founder of a major registrar, WebNames.ca, and serves on their board as well.

Demco's insight into the history of .CA was the perfect lead-in for a panel discussion sponsored by CIRA that followed. 


(L to R): Oh Canada! panelists Peter Maxmych (Emall.ca/DOAC), Zak Muscovitch 
(DNAttorney.com), Paul Anderson (CIRA Chairman) and David Fowler 
(CIRA Marketing & Communications Director).

The Oh Canada! panel discussed current CIRA initiatives to promote the .CA extension as well as issues related to the future direction on the ccTLD - most notably whether or not .CA's requirement that those registering .CA domains have a Canadian presence. CIRA has uphold that rule in the past but has expressed a willingness to at least discuss changing it. Businessmen like Maxmych and Muscovitch think the kind of open registration approach used by many other ccTLDs would enhance Canada's position in global ecommerce.

I was especially impressed by CIRA's .CA promotional efforts, including extensive advertising and contests, that Fowler showed in his presentation. That has helped .CA's share of total regstrations in Canada rise from 21% to 27% over the past three years while .com's share has decreased. Fowler was brought on board to proactively market his country's extension and I think the results he has achieved serve as an example that other ccTLD regstry operators could successfully follow.

The day closed with a .CA domain auction (with a few Canada related .coms sprinkled in) conducted by Rick Latona Auctions

Scene from the Rick Latona Auctions .CA domain auction Wednesday afternoon in Vancouver.

The auction wound up generating over $260,000 in sales with Surrey.com generating the lion's share of the revenue with a $195,000 sale (Surrey.com is a developed website devoted to the city of Surrey, British Columbia, so it is not purely a domain sale - but is an impressive transaction none the less). The top .CA sales included Snowboards.ca ($20,250), Diet.ca ($20,000) and Vehicles.ca ($9,000).

After the auction, PPX International Executive Chairman Gregg McNair opened the doors to his suite on the top floor of the show venue, the Renaissance Vancouver Harborside Hotel, for a party open to all conference attendees. That event started at 6pm and was still going strong when I finally called it a night at 10:30pm.

(L to R): Ray Neu, Diana Jackson, Laura Schmidt, Kellie Peterson, Susan Prosser and Jodi Chamberlain at last night's post auction party hosted by Gregg McNair. Other guests on the balcony in the background took in the panoramic view of Vancouver's Coal Harbour from the 19th floor suite.

The final day of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Vancouver gets underway today at 11am local time (2pm U.S. eastern time) with a panel session on Domain Development. It will be followed by seminars on Mastering the Resale Market and Advanced Parking Solutions, then at 3:45pm (6:45pm Eastern) the Main Live Domain Auction, staged by Rick Latona Auctions, is scheduled to get underway.

I'll have the closing day photos and highlights for you in my last post from Vancouver early Friday morning before we begin the return trip to our home base in Florida.

(Posted June 10, 2010)

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