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February 23, 2013

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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.

Today's Riddle: What Do Domainers, Escrow.com, Fender Guitars, Giving, Geddy Lee, Rush and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Have in Common?

One thing I've always loved about the domain business is the fact that there are so many very successful people in this industry that have not forgotten where they came from. They appreciate what they have and they generously give back to more causes than you might

ever imagine. In the past year alone they've donated tens of thousands of dollars to the good work of The Water School, an organization I've frequently written about because I know it is a charity where 100% of the donations go to the people the money is intended to help. 

That is just one example of many though. I'll tell you about another one,  but probably should first explain why that one immediately caught my attention. Those of you who are familiar with my background know that I am a big music fan and ran my own retail record stores in Florida for many years. I've got a Fender Stratocaster hanging on my office wall (that's it at right) with a Fender Mustang amplifier sitting right below it and a stack of Learn to Play Guitar books on an end table next to it. That's right, I don't know how to actually play it! However, one of the top things on my bucket list is learning to play a tune on electric guitar. 

I dream of it being something like Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower" (Jimi played a white Fender Stratocaster at Woodstock) but I know it will more likely be along the lines of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" - but that's OK! I just want to play something and I want the equipment and instructions sitting there to keep taunting me until I make time to start learning.

So, what does that have to do with domain people giving back? I'm glad you asked! As it happens the Fender Music Foundation (FMF) runs a program, that, like The Water School, makes sure every penny donated is used to put musical instruments in the hands of students enrolled in music education programs around the country. Over the past seven years more than 187,000 budding musicians have benefited from the program. 

As for the domain connection, Escrow.com, a company that just about every domainer has used at one time or another in the process of selling their names, played a key role in the FMF's latest fundraising effort. 

Escrow.com handled the sale of a black  Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass Guitar autographed by the Rush bassist and vocalist,  Geddy Lee himself, along with fellow  band mates Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart (all three of whom will be on hand when Rush is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2013). The sale raised over $10,000 after the guitar was auctioned off through Reverb.com.

Escrow.com initially got involved in the auctioning off of the guitar after hearing about the effort from one of their staff members, General Manager of Emerging Markets Andrew Sokol, who sits on the Board of the Fender Music Foundation as the Chairman of the Grants Committee.

Escrow.com President Brandon Abbey (through whom Escrow.com also contributed to The Water School's WaterShave fundraisers when they began last year and did so again this year) said "The Fender Music Foundation is yet another organization we are passionate about. We just recently co-sponsored a golf tournament that raised $120,000 for the Semper Fi Fund and America's Fund (both of which benefit injured 

Above: Rush drummer Neil Peart autographing the guitar sold by Escrow.com.  

Below: a close up of the autographed guitar that went for over $10,000.

(Photos courtesy of Reverb.com who ran the guitar auction on their site).

and ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families) and when Andrew approached me with the idea to sell the bass to benefit the Fender Music Foundation, it simply fit right into our model of wanting to help others." (You can read more abut the sale of the guitar in this pre-sale announcement).

Kudos to the folks an Escrow.com and everyone else in our business who do us all proud by supporting so many worthy causes. As Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

(Posted February 22, 2013)

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