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October 09, 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.

Photos and Highlights from the First Full Day of Business at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2012 Monday October 8 

After opening Sunday evening with a series of social events, the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2012 conference being held at the Ritz Carlton on Florida's Fort Lauderdale Beach got down to business Monday (Oct. 9) with a full slate of business sessions during the day and the show's official party at Pier 66 Monday night. The first panel discussion featured eight company executives who offered their opinions on the current Health of the Industry and the prospects for the future.

Monday morning's Health of the Industry panel featured (left to right): Michael Gilmour  
(ParkLogic.com), Ted Olson (Afternic), Brad Lemire (Sedo), Jeff Gabriel (DomainAdvisors), 
moderator Howard Neu, investor Chris Hartnett, John Ferber (Domain Holdings), Ron 
(DNJournal.com) and Steve Cheatham (JuiceCow.com). 

The next session focused on the new gTLDs that ICANN expects to begin approving in the next year or so. As you would expect there were varying degrees of enthusiam for the new gTLD program and how they might impact the current supremacy of .coms. Panelists included .com proponent Michael Mann (DomainMarket.com) and three executives with financial interests in the new gTLD space, Monte Cahn (RightOfTheDot.com), Michael Berkens (RightOfTheDot.com) and Daniel Schindler (Donuts.co). 

Michael Berkens (RightOfTheDot.com), at left, and Daniel Schindler (Donuts.co) 
were among the four panelists who offered their vews on new gTLDs Monday morning.

Next, in what proved to be one of the most popular T.R.A.F.F.I.C. sessions in years, DNForum.com owner Adam Dicker, in a solo interview conducted by DomainSherpa.com's Michael Cyger, provided invaluable advice on how to properly select domains and build profitable niche and authority websites using WordPress. Adam gave out detailed tips that attendees could take home and immediately put to revenue producing work.

Adam Dicker (right) giving his advice in a well received  interview 
conducted by Michael Cyger (left) at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Monday. 

The business day continued with Declan Dunn's highly anticipated Keynote Address. Dunn, the author of Net Profits: How to Win the Internet Game, is one of the world's leading experts on afiliate marketing and he opened a lot of eyes to new ways domainers can increase traffic and make more money.

Animated keynote speaker Declan Dunn gave domain owners a new perspective 
on the best current ways to increase site traffic and monetize visitors. 

At 3pm it was time for T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s live domain auction. In recent years, results from live auctions have been underwhelming at all conferences.  Unfortunately, sales at this one (approximately $100,000) did not reach the level T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founder Rick Schwartz had hoped for after revamping  the name selection process in an effort to reverse the downward trend in live auction sales.

A scene from T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s live domain auction Monday afternoon (Oct. 8).

The first day of business closed with T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s always popular Speed Networking session. The oportunity to meet one on one with dozens of other industry professionals at a single event has paid huge dividends to many participants over the years, making it one of the show's most consistently popular sessions.

A scene from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2012's Speed Networking session Monday.

With the day's work done, it was time to party and the official T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Party is always top notch. This year's party in the revolving rooftop restaurant at Fort Lauderdale Beach's Pier 66, sponsored by Michael Mann's DomainMarket.com, was no exception. DomainMarket executives Chad Bennett and Sonia Martinez Doubet joined Michael and his fiancée, Tiffany, in welcoming guests to the big event. 

Michael Mann and his fiancée, Tiffany Reynolds, welcomed guests 
to the official T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Party at Pier 66 Monday night.

Elvis was in the building! In a major party highlight, a world class Elvis Presley 
impersonator appeared just before midnght and wowed the crowd. Bob & Trudie 
(center) were obviously thrilled to get an up close and personal view of their idol.

Elvis inspired others to swivel their hips including a domain industry duo that looked good enough to compete on Dancing With the Stars. Two of our favorite CEOs (and genuinely nice people) NameMedia's Kelly Conlin and Oversee.net's Debra Domeyer, joined forces to bring the house down. I just wonder if it is really fair for two people to be able to do so many things well. If you are going to be exceptionally smart and an  inspirational leader that is fine, but do you have to be a great dancer too? That's just rubbing it in! 

The Party was a great way to cap a highly productive and entertaining opening day at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. As I write this Tuesday sessions are still underway. I'll have photos and highlights of those for you in tomorrow's post. I do want to pass along results from the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards brunch that was held this morning (with more photos of that to come Tuesday). The winners were:


NameMedia CEO Kelly Conlin and Oversee.net CEO Debra 
delighted the crowd by hitting the dance floor at 
the official T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Party Monday night. (Photo courtesy
of Barbara Neu, as is the Elvis photo above and the Frank 
Schilling shot below)

Best New Monetizing Solution - Domain Power.com

Best Overall Domain Solution - Sedo

Best Domain Blog: DomainSherpa.com

We Get It Award: Sales Force

Broker of the Year: Dave Evanson (Sedo)

Developer of the Year: Alan Dunn (DomainHoldings)

Sponsor of the Year: Escrow.com

1st Annual Bandit Berkens Goodwill Ambassador Award - Judi and Michael Berkens
(Judi gave an emotional acceptance speech that had everyone tearing up)

Domain Hall of Fame (TWO new members are added each year): Michael Mann and Chad Folkening

Domainer of the Year: Frank Schilling (his third win in this category)

Frank Schilling (center) receiving his third Domainer of the Year Award from 
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu Tuesday morning (Oct. 9)

In addition to receiving his thrd Domainer of the Year Award Tuesday morning, Frank Schilling unveiled a truly remarkable new mobile sales platform (now available for iPhone only through Apple's App Store). You do not have to park your domains with Schilling's InternetTraffic.com to use the company's revolutonary new DomainNameSales.com platform. It is open to everyone. You can see a video with more details here

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