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August 27, 2012

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
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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.

2012 DNCruise Officially Scuttled But Organizer Patrick Ruddell May Raise the Anchor Again Next Year

After two well received voyages in 2010 and 2011, DNCruise, the only domain conference held on a cruise ship, will not leave port in 2012. Organizer Patrick Ruddell (AKA Chef Patrick) gave me the news today. Ruddell, who co-owns ScienceFiction.com  (with Braden Pollock) said the decision came was based on one thing, or to be more precise, the lack of one thing. "TIME!," Ruddell exclaimed.  "Zezura and I dedicate a lot of our time to ScienceFiction.com - so much time that we do not feel comfortable stepping away from the website for 5 to 7 days."

Ruddell noted, "DNCruise 2010 and 2011 were both set in motion before ScienceFiction.com started and took off to where it now receives over 500,000 monthly visitors. Plus, it has been really difficult trying to figure out how we could top visiting Grand Cayman and Frank Schilling like we did last year."

"Still, this was the toughest decision I have personally have had to make since entering the domain business," Ruddell said. "You know from being a guest on both cruises that I take a lot of  personal pride in the event and put all of my effort and emotion in it."


Patrick Ruddell
DNCruise Founder

Ruddell added that the decision was made even more difficult when he realized the event had more significance than he originally envisioned. "The first cruise was all about my brand," Ruddell said, " but after spending time with the guests and realizing that our event offered something others could not, the second year was solely for the industry. Coming back for a third cruise in 2013 would be for that reason alone, doing what I can to help grow and encourage beginner to intermediate domainers to succeed."

 A scene from the opening night cocktail party aboard the
Carnival Inspiration during DNCruise 2 in September 2011. 

"Many life-long relationships were formed on both DNCruise 2010 and 2011," Ruddell said. "A week does not go by without an email asking when will the next DNCruise be? So yes, this was tough, and extremely difficult for me to say we will not be returning in 2012."

Ruddell did leave the door open for a return of DNCruise in 2013 but at this stage he did not want to guess what the odds of sailing again might be. "I honestly do not know right now," Ruddell said. " We are extremely busy with our work and DNCruise takes a lot of time to organize and coordinate with so many guests. If we are able to make a 2013 event happen we would look around June or July, during the summer months so domainers can take their families, or sometime in October or November, so it could run back-to-back with T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Ft. Lauderdale.

The Carnival Imagination (docked in Nassau, 
during the 1st DNCruise in October 2010. 

With a 2012 cruise now out of the equation, Ruddell said he will focus on continuing to build quality content to drive more traffic to ScienceFiction.com. He also plans to re-enter the field he specialized in before he moved into the domain business. " In addition to my web properties I have decided to get back into physical real estate," Ruddell revealed. " I will be able to get back into doing what I do best, flipping investment properties. I am also currently in the process 

The Carnival Inspiration leaving port in Tampa, 
at the start of DNCruise 2 in September 2011

of doing some minor renovations to my new office space in Tampa, Florida. We should be moved in by mid-month, also giving me space to accommodate ScienceFiction.com's growth."

While I think it has been a good thing for the previously over-crowded domain conference schedule to finally get scaled back to a sustainable level, DNCruise will be missed. With its unique cruise ship format, it offered something no one else did. That has been the key for the events that survived the conference shakeout and are now positioned for renewed growth. DNCruise may not be back, but I'm  keeping my deck shoes handy just in case!

(Posted May 8, 2012)

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