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August 25, 2014

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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.

More Good News on the Domain Sales Front: Sedo Reports Double Digit Rise in Average Prices for First Half of 2014

Just two days after DomainHoldings reported a huge increase in their 2Q-2014 domain sales, Sedo is out with a report (in infographic form) today revealing a 17% increase in their mean average sales price during the first six months of this year vs. the 


same time frame a year ago. That number rises to $2,214 while their median price (the point at which half of all sales were higher and half were lower) was up 7% to $616. Sedo reported a total of $35.9 million in sales for 1H-2014, generated from 16,216 transactions.

The report said, "the biggest trend this year has been the emergence of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), which started to become available for the first time in January and have quickly made their way onto the secondhand market. More than 300 new domain name extensions have launched in 2014 and domains representing 38 of them have been traded on the Sedo marketplace."

Sedo noted that the highest public sale of a new gTLD domain on their platform was Eat.club at $20,000 however they said they also had one at $100,000 that 

was subject to a non-disclosure agreement. Had they been able to release the name it would have been a record public sale, a distinction currently held by DomainHoldings.com's $50,000 sale of Luxury.estate.

Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz

Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz said, "It’s exciting to finally start seeing new TLDs being traded and already commanding significant market value. Even with this influx of new extensions, we’ve always predicted that .com domains would remain strong and the market is beginning to reflect that. We’re still early in this process and new TLDs are definitely being adopted at a much slower pace than many in the market predicted. There’s still a big need to better educate businesses and the public about the benefits of these new TLDs, and it will take some time until they’re being used by brands and corporations. But once that happens, we’ll see positive impacts for the domain industry.”

During the first half of 2014, .com retained its position as the most popular TLD at Sedo, with 55% of their sales involving a .com domain. In addition, the mean price for a .com domain on their platform reached an all-time high at $2,807, compared to $2,775 in 2011, $2,148 in 2012, $2,235 in 2013.

The Sedo report also noted that "the popularity of Buy Now sales, where domain investors, consumers and business owners sell and purchase domains at a set price with no negotiations, continued to increase in the first half of 2014 as more end users wish to purchase domains quickly and simply. 49% of all sales were Buy Now sales, an increase from 44% in 2013.

Sedo added that more than half of all buyers thus far in 2014 have been based in Sedo’s two largest markets, the United States (with a 36% share) and Germany (accounting for 22%).

(Posted July 31, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140731.htm

Domain Sales Continue To Heat Up - Domain Holdings Reports 2Q-2014 Sales Three Times Higher Than the Previous Quarter

After a long recession, we've been seeing  reported domain sales rebound nicely in 2014 and further evidence came today when Domain Holdings reported their 2Q-2014 domain sales (PDF file) nearly tripled from the previous quarter. The Delray Beach, Florida based company's sales rocketed from $3,381,634 in 1Q-2014 to $9,935,618 in the recently concluded second quarter of the year.  

The Domain Holdings report said over 79% of their buyers were end users who paid an average of $98,372 per name, a number that was inflated by some exceptionally high sales on the top end. However even if you subtract the outliers - the top five and bottom five sales - the company said their average ticket price was still a very healthy $29,019 per name.

Alan Dunn
SVP Acquisitions and Divestments,
Domain Holdings

Domain Holdings said their buyers included well-known brands like Mark Cuban Investments, Liberty Tax, PolicyMic and Wickr with many new buyers reached through an extensive outreach program that included over 12,000 phone calls and more than 72,000 targeted emails.

Senior Vice President Alan Dunn, who wrote the quarterly report, noted, "These results are not just a testimony of success for our team but further acknowledgment that our brand continues to earn trust around the world. While we celebrate our success in this report we should also look beyond the numbers and note that the value of premium domain names are growing due to the combined efforts of the industry and great public awareness. From the success of the new GTLDs to the millions of new dollars being

invested in promoting existing options there never has been a time with such extensive global marketing finally supporting the industry we love so much."

Dunn added, "The rest of 2014 promises to be an incredible year and I hope you enjoy the data we can share. We are extremely proud to be part of this industry and look forward to reporting even higher sales next quarter."

(Posted July 29, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140729.htm

What's a Better Domain for a Blueberry Farm - Blueberries.link or HowsMyPicking.com?

I'm a big fan of blueberries. I eat the healthy fruit almost every morning either fresh when they are in season or frozen when they are not. So, when I picked up a couple of fresh pints at my grocery this week I couldn't help noticing the domain name on the label - HowsMyPicking.com - not WishFarms.com - reflecting the name of the 92-year-old Plant City, Florida farm not far from us that is one of the state's top growers (and top importers of the fruit from other regions after the Florida crop is gone. With the North American season nearing an end Wish Farms is currently bringing the berries in from Canada). 

Now Wish Farms does own WishFarms.com and has a nice website there. So, why 


would they put a name like HowsMyPicking.com on their label instead of building their own brand? A visit to HowsMyPicking.com - apparently a takeoff on the How's My Driving? stickers you see on the back of semi trucks (though I'm not sure how many people will make that connection) - provided the answer. 

It turns out How's My Picking is also a trademarked brand they use for a traceability tool that allows them to trace the berries they sell back to the grower, variety, field location, date and time. A unique 16-digit number that appears on the package is tied to specific information about each individual package of produce. Consumer feedback is then linked to their growers and pickers so they can hold them accountable to ensure their customers get a high quality product. 

So, they are using HowsMyPicking.com (which actually re-directs to a page on the Wish Farms website - http://www.wishfarms.com/hows-my-picking/) to try to educate consumers about the extra quality assurance steps they take (and if you follow the link and enter the 16-digit number on the package they will enter you in a drawing for a $100 grocery gift card). That's all well and good and I think the unique identifying number is a really nice way to differentiate them from others growers. However,  I don't know how many people, other than a domain geek like me, would bother to go their computer and type in HowsMyPicking.com (especially since there is no mention on the package of the chance to win something). 

Blueberries image from Bigstock

I also wonder about the choice of the name for their traceablity tool - a name with high visibility on the face of their product. HowsMyPicking.com seems like a reach - but this is the heart of the current arguments surrounding the arrival of new gTLDs isn't it? With all of the good .com names supposedly taken (leading to choices like HowsMyPicking.com) the new Gs are meant to offer more descriptive and concise options. Indeed you can get many one-word keyword domains in new Gs that are not only taken in .com but almost every other previous alternative (like .biz, .info and .us) as well.

That was true in this case too. I looked up "blueberries" and found a registration fee would get you the exact name of

 the Wish Farms product in any number of extensions, including one that would have made perfect sense for their tool (the number that links you to specific information about that package of fruit) - Blueberries.link. In fact I liked it well enough - being a huge fans of blueberries as I mentioned - I registered it myself for under $7 at Uniregistry.com (a discounted price that is available through their affiliate program).

Now, I say that a name like that would have made perfect sense, and from purely a language standpoint it would have - but from a domain standpoint - perhaps not so much at this stage of the game. How many would not recognize Blueberries.link as a domain name - even if you put www in front of it? How many would type in BlueberriesLink.com? When people see .com they know its a web address.

So, as of today many traditionalists would likely argue HowsMyPicking.com is the better name and brand while new gTLDs advocates would say, no way - Blueberries.link is much better. My guess is Wish Farms has no idea new gTLDs even exist - but they and other businesses like them may learn they exist in the years ahead - provided new gTLD registries can get the word out

Whether or not they can do that remains the multi-million dollar question that no one can answer with certainty yet. If they can scale that Everest sized mountain the game really could change - but as of today, the finish line is still too far away for any of us to even know where it's at or even if it is a finish line marking the end of a winning race, or a finished line eulogizing a massive program that failed to meet expectations. My guess, like many, is that we will see something in between with some finishing the marathon as winners and others failing to go the distance. 

(Posted July 28, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140728.htm

Webfair Virtual - The First Online Only Domain Conference is Ready to Open Its Doors Thursday Morning

In February we told you about plans Michael Marcovici of DomainIndex.com had to stage the first virtual domain conference online this summer. Well, that event, called Webfair Virtual, that was originally scheduled for June, finally arrives tomorrow (Thursday, July 24


with the virtual doors open from 6am to 6pm U.S. Eastern time (11am to 11pm Western Europe Time).

A screenshot from a Webfair Virtual video that 
shows how Thursday's online conference will work. 

It doesn't cost anything to participate in the event that will also feature Hosting and SEO. Webfair Virtual will take place on a sophisticated 3D platform provided by Hyperfair.com with dozens of exhibitors and booths set up in a virtual exhibit hall to display their products and services (you can watch this brief video to see exactly how everything is supposed to work. DomainGang has also published a very comprehensive review of the platform). 

Marcovici said, '"We thought how much easier it would

be if we could bring the event to the attendee rather than the other way around. Given the nature of the business we are in, we should be looking for innovative, technological solutions to such problems; so we came up with the idea of the virtual show."

Attendees can construct a personal avatar that reflects their own personality and dress. The avatar will then carry your personal information and a virtual bag for storing information, contacts, and other material gathered in the course of your virtual journey. 

Marcovici said, "They can interact with anyone they meet, exhibitor, or delegate, simply by clicking on their name, providing the contact is accepted, of course. Then they can chat online or Skype call for a more extended, personal discussion. You can engage as few or as many people as you like as you pass through the virtual hall - just like a real-world event only in cyberspace."

A map locates the user in the virtual venue and visitors have the option of navigating around the hall or jumping directly to places that interest them. Attendees can watch exhibitor videos and presentations and also provide feedback to let exhibitors and presenters know what they thought.

You can select an avatar and dress him 
or her in your own personal style.

While I don't think there is any substitute for face to face interaction if you want to build deep long term  relationships, I can definitely see a place for virtual events like this that enable you to connect with a lot of colleagues and industry service providers at once without leaving home.  After you've made some of those initial contacts you can then look forward to meeting your new friends in the real world at one of the traditional events that have fueled untold millions of dollars worth of new business and long lasting friendships over the years. Then you can truly enjoy the best of both worlds.

(Posted July 23, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140723.htm

Third Heritage Auctions Domain Names & Intellectual Property Auction Will Be Held Thursday Afternoon (July 24, 2014)

Domain names  took a big step forward last year when Heritage Auctions (HA), one of the world's three biggest mainstream auction houses, began offering domains alongside the traditional high value assets like artwork, jewelry and coins that they are known for. 

HA will stage their 3rd Domain Names & Intellectual Property Auction on Thursday (July 24, 2014) in a live event at their Dallas, Texas headquarters. The sale will get underway at 1PM U.S. Central Time (2pm Eastern and 11am Pacific) with buyers able to place bids in person, by phone (1-866-835-3243), email ([email protected]) or online (http://domains.ha.com/c/halive/). 

Due to potential technical issues with Internet bidding, HA encourages online buyers to place proxy bids before the 10pm deadline Wednesday 

night (July 23). You will still be able to bid during the live event but having a proxy in place is a smart backup plan.

Aron Meystedt, Founder & Director,
Domain Name & IP Division
Heritage Auctions (HA.com)

As word of HA's commitment to domains has spread, the auction house has been able to offer  increasingly impressive sales catalogs, with veteran domain investor Aron Meystedt, who is the Founder & Director of HA's Domain Name & Intellectual Property Division, spearheading that effort. 

For this third event has an exceptionally large group of high end domains including DEC.com (the 5th oldest domain on the Internet - registered in  1985), Digital.com, Cute.com, SEM.com (search engine marketing), OklahomaCity.com, Watermark.com, Rides.com (includes a Facebook page with 210,000 followers), and SouthernCalifornia.com

The catalog also includes many 3-letter .coms with FRR.com, SFD.com, TYI.com and DFO.com in that group. Even one of the better new gTLDs, .CLUB, will be  represented with Bitcoin.club, Baby.club and Luxury.club all going up for bid.

A primary reason that HA's entry into domain sales created so much excitement was knowing their involvement would draw a lot of attention to domain assets from the mainstream press and that has been the case with the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, GigaOM, PC World, ZDNet and several overseas news sites all having spotlighted HA domain events.  

(Posted July 22, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140722.htm

Sedo Plans to Shift Promotion of New gTLDs into High Gear at Europe's Biggest Digital Marketing Conference

Some of the new gTLD registries have been criticized for failing to promote their new domain extensions, but there has also been some debate about whether the primary responsibility for marketing is even theirs. Some say registrars, who usually provide the retail outlets for new gTLDs, should be doing it, others that the new gTLD community as a whole (including back end service providers, consulting companies, auction houses and other service providers, alongside the registries and registrars) all need to contribute to the effort.


Industry giant Sedo (a major service provider to new gTLDs) has decided to take the bull by the horns by organizing a major domain presence at Europe's biggest digital marketing conference - DMEXCO (short for Digital Marketing Exposition & Conference) that expects to welcome approximately 30,000 attendees to the upcoming event in Cologne, Germany September 10-11, 2014.  

Those attendees will include some of Europe's leading  marketers, many of whom represent multi-national businesses. Sedo's goal will be to facilitate a way for their registry partners to reach the right audiences and tell them about the value of domains in general and educate them about the new domain names. For the first time will be a dedicated domain booth at DMEXCO. Sedo received special permission from the conference organizers to do a unique shared space in which they will be  collaborating with Registry partners like .CLUB, Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry, .ME  and others -  with all represented  within a huge booth/lounge space in the middle of the conference floor. 

Sedo Marketing Associated Carolyn Rodon told us, "One of the walls in the space will feature a sponsor wall and custom social wall.  Visitors will be able to choose their TLD and their domain name for a picture to share on all their favorite social channels. This way all of our partners can get an idea of what their customers –potential and existing - are looking for."

Another fresh twist will a frozen yogurt bar in the center where visitors can order a free frozen yogurt and request toppings by saying “I’ll have vanilla with .SEXY sprinkles (coconut) and a bit of .ME or .CLUB, etc. Rodon noted, "There is no better way to get booth traffic than this kind of appealing free giveaway which makes learning about the wide variety of domain names fun. Another attractive part for specific TLDs is each TLD sponsor will have a HUGE balloon with their TLD on it, representing each TLD on a larger visual scale."  

A small portion of the crowd at the 2013 DMEXCO

Rodon added, "We want to get people to actually start understanding the new TLDs and also getting a better idea of the value of existing TLDs. This is how we can solve the main challenge of companies knowing how to build domain portfolios for their businesses including new and already established domain names. The visitors will have plenty of space to roam around and talk to our domain experts, and sit down in the lounge areas to talk with us about domain strategies." 

If you are interested in learning more about how to get involved with this program you can contact Kathy Nielsen, Jodi Chamberlain  or Christian Voss, each of whom can help you put together a tailored package for your needs.   

(Posted July 21, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140721.htm

Love of Domains Explained: Mystery Revealed By Muscle Car and "Smokey & The Bandit" Movie Fans!

How many times have you tried to explain to friends and family exactly what it is you do and why you love, of all things, domains? I'm sure that anyone who has tried to do it is familiar with that blank look you get back from the other person who is too polite to respond, "What planet did you say you were from again?"

It's hard to explain the unexplainable. After years of trying and failing I came across an article in our local paper this week that gave me one of those rare "Aha!" moments. The subject matter was a most unlikely source of enlightenment - it was a McClatchy-Tribune News Service syndicated piece about fanatical fans of the 1977 Burt Reynolds movie Smokey & The Bandit and, more specifically, the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am that starred along with Reynolds in the film. 

I had no idea there were fanatical fans of that 


movie - fans so devoted that they actually get together every year to re-enact the cross-country beer run that is the centerpiece of the film in which Reynolds's Bandit character uses the car to outrun police while helping to get an illegal load of Coors beer from Texas to Atlanta (at the time it was illegal to sell Coors east of the Mississippi). To keep things fresh, the movie's fans run a variety of routes - this summer's re-enactment started in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and ended two weeks later, on July 3rd, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina).

Normally I would have skipped over such an oddball article but a few years after Smokey & the Bandit came out I had occasion to spend some time around Burt Reynolds when I was a sports reporter for a TV station in Tampa, Florida where Burt had a minority interest in the fledgling United States Football League's Tampa Bay Bandits. Reynolds, who played college football at Florida State, would show up at practices from time to time and I found him to be a very approachable and likeable guy (even though he was the biggest star in Hollywood at the time) so I wound up following his movie career more carefully from that point on.

Find your niche image from Bigstock

I'm glad I read the piece because the more I read the more I recognized in the movie/car fan's behavior, the things that really tie domainers together. I should have recognized it before because I've always advocated developing at least one website with an emphasis on finding a unique niche that no one else is filling (that is what I did with DNJournal in 2003. It has since become a much bigger niche that many capable people help fill, but finding it early on helped get the site established for the long run).

Though it is bigger now, the domain industry is still a very small niche in the overall 

business world. When you are involved in such a small corner of the world at large you tend to have an affinity for people who share that cozy space with you - people who understand you (and your love for something the rest of the world doesn't quite get) in a way that no one else can. So on that level I can understand the people the McClatchy article profiled. 

After all, when it comes to niches, what could be more niche than people regularly getting together to re-enact a fictional beer run across hundreds of miles of U.S. highway? Actually it is even more finely tuned that that as 90% of them are Trans Am owners (even though you don't have to have one to participate). 

One Trans Am owner, Drew Demarco of Baltimore, explained the camaraderie and special connection, telling McClatchy, “We have a blast. The cars are quite a show, but they almost become a by-product because of the friendships you make. It’s a great thing.” If you have been in the domain business for a few years, you can probably identify with that sentiment.

In another almost exact parallel to our business, Larry Smith, a farmer from Franklin, Illinois, noted how his esoteric hobby had expanded his horizons, noting “We know people from all over the world now. It’s a family.”

I may not get the beer run and the fixation on Trans Ams but I do get that. I grew up in a small town in central Ohio but thanks to domains, like many of you, I now have good friends on almost every continent on earth (still looking for one from

Friends image from Bigstock

Antarctica!) and have traveled to industry events all over the world (next stop will be India in a few weeks). As inscrutable as a love of domains may be to 99.9% of the earth's inhabitants, it is wonderful to have this unique love in common with the special people who make up our small, yet global, community of domain aficionados. 

If I was a beer drinker I would pop open a can of Coors to thank the movie's fans for the insight into the forces that really fuel otherwise unexplainable passions. I'm not,  but I will toast them with a glass of red wine - and while I am enjoying it I might do a little prospecting. I bet there are some pretty good "movie nut", "muscle car" and "beer run" domain names still out there for the taking!

(Posted July 18, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140718.htm

NamesCon Proves Me Wrong - Rooms for the January 2015 Show in Las Vegas Will Be $79 Again

The new NamesCon conference made a very successful debut this past January when show founder Richard Lau and his all-star production team, featuring Jodi Chamberlain, Jothan Frakes and James Morfopoulos, launched the event with a well-run, well-received and well-attended conference at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. NamesCon's exceptionally low registration and hotel room prices played a big role in making the show an instant hit. 

In March, when NamesCon announced the dates for their return engagement in Las Vegas (January 11-14, 2015), I wrote "2015 room

rates are not yet available on the NamesCon site and I will be surprised if they are that low ($79) again. Prior to the 2014 show, the Tropicana had just finished a major remodeling and were cutting some great deals to get people to sample the impressively revamped facility." 

Well, color me surprised - maybe even shocked - but today NamesCon announced that they have been able to secure room rates at the Tropicana for just $79 again for the 2015 conference. Unless you are a high roller who gets your rooms comped, you may never see a

A view of the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas that we 
snapped during the January 2014 NamesCon conference.

better deal on such spacious and very well appointed rooms right on the Las Vegas Strip. I immediately booked six nights in the Tropicana's Club Tower (which puts you just a quick elevator ride away from the conference floor). 

While the show runs from noon Sunday January 11 through 6pm Wednesday, January 14, you can get the $79 rate - as of this writing - starting Saturday, January 10 all the way through Thursday night, January 15. However, with NamesCon expecting over 800 attendees for the 2015 event, those rooms will likely go quickly - so if you plan to attend, I would reserve them now to make sure you get the deal and dates you want.  

The Tropicana is conveniently located on the south end of the Strip, just minutes from the airport and immediately across the street from the MGM Grand (which you can walk to in minutes over a 

pedestrian bridge across Tropicana Avenue that connects the two properties). While NamesCon provides no food service (a key reason the conference can keep registration prices so low), there is such a wide variety of restaurants between the Tropicana and the MGM, you would never need a taxi to eat every meal at a different spot. 

The first NamesCon was a real crowd pleaser because the organizers got so many things right - ultra-low prices in a great location that attracted a large and very diverse audience (perfect for networking opportunities) and an impressive array of speakers. As things are falling into place for 2015 it looks like Lau and company fully intend to once again exceed everyone's expectations.

(Posted July 14, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140714.htm

A New Option for Buying and Selling High End Domain Names Has Just Launched at HilcoDomains.com 

The options you have for buying and selling  domains has increased by one as well-known IP auction house Hilco Streambank has just launched a new platform devoted entirely to domain sales at HilcoDomains.com


Hilco Streambank EVP Jack Hazan said, "This is a natural progression for our brand as we continue to come to market with exclusive offerings of valuable and iconic intellectual property assets.  The HilcoDomains.com site will be a platform that is easy to navigate and will enable bidders to participate in our exciting domain auctions on a more regular basis." 

Hilco Streambank Director Dmitriy Chemlin noted, "In the past we piggybacked on one of our affiliates sites created to sell machinery and equipment. This will be an exclusive domain sales site.  We will focus on holding only high value premium domain auctions and will hold them on a regular basis. We don't expect to have non-premium domains on auction alongside these unless they are directly related."

Gavel graphic from Bigstock

HilcoDomains will kick things off July 31, 2014 when bidding will open on LOA.com, Essential.com and Essentials.com (with no reserve on the latter two names). Those auctions will close on August 7. The bidding process will  differ depending on the assets for sale and seller preferences. For this kickoff auction bidders need to register and place a $500 deposit to become qualified to bid. Winners will have three days to pay the purchase price. Chemlin said, "We have been seeing active registrations since launching on Wednesday. Members consist of both end users in companies known for purchasing domains as well as domain investors."

Prior to launching their new platform Hilco Streambank booked several undisclosed six-figure sales as well as large IP packages, one that included domains such as Borders.com, for $15 million and another that included CircuitCity.com for $17 million. Their reported domain only sales have included DL.com at $210,689, Dots.com at $335,000, 800.com at $250,000 and Bargain.com at $150,000. Chemlin said you can expect to see more one-word generic, brandable and premium domains in future auctions.

(Posted July 10, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140710.htm

Domainers Bestow Awards on 16 Industry Leaders, .CO.COM Enters GA & Bitcoins.com Headlines Next HA Auction

I had a very nice break the past two weeks while Diana and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in Europe, but I'm sorry I had to miss the 2014 Domainer's Choice Awards dinner that was held June 28th in Dana Point, California. DomainBoardoom.com's Donna Mahony (with some much appreciated help from friends like Charlotte Gilbert and Warren Royal) put the awards program together to recognize excellence in 16 different industry categories. The program was also built to support the non-profit Domainer's Choice Scholarship Fund that will aid deserving children in the domain investor/developer community by helping pay for their school/college expenses.


The award winners were chosen in open balloting conducted by an independent third party, Votenet.com, to insure a a fair voting system. I'm sure many of the other industry news sites and blogs reported the results while I was away but I wanted to place them into the record here as well so the program and those honored get the recognition they deserve. The 2014 awards and their winners were:
Award Winner
Domain Ambassador Award Richard Lau
Best Industry Conference NamesCon
Industry Customer Service Rep Joe Higgins, RookMedia.net
Quiet Champion Nat Cohen
Best Independent Broker Andrew Rosener, MediaOptions.com
Best Brokerage Agency DomainNameSales.com
Best Domainer Resource DomainTools.com
Best Domain Auctions NameJet.com
Best Domain Marketplace Sedo.com
Best Domain Financial Services Escrow.com
Best Domain Publication DNJournal.com
Best Legal Services John Berryhill
Most Helpful Resource for Domain Industry Newcomers Domain Sherpa.com
Best Parking Solution InternetTraffic.com
Best Industry Forum DNForum.com
Your Favorite New gTLD .CLUB

You can see full descriptions for what each award category entails here. Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees - you have clearly earned the respect and admiration of your peers for the way you conduct yourselves and do business.

More new gTLDs were also released while I was away as the weekly introductions of new extensions continues. At the same time, a new entry in an old extension, .co.com, moved into general availability Tuesday.  

.co.com came out of land rush with several thousand registrations and the registry operator said that was accomplished without the kind of deep discounting, giveaways and gimmicks we've seen from a few of the new gTLDs. The registry also reported getting its greatest uptake in the many countries where third level names like those offered in .co.com are commonplace, such as the UK where .co.uk is the most popular extension. Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Korea, Japan are other examples. 

Elsewhere, Heritage Auctions has announced its next Domain Names & Intellectual Property Auction will be held on July 24, 2014 with Bitcoins.com headlining the catalog. That domain is  being offered by Mark Karpeles, the 

founder of the failed Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, and HA expects the domain to bring more than $750,000. Karpeles said, "We are hoping, with the sale of Bitcoins.com, to provide some relief to the people impacted by the Mt. Gox bankruptcy and will be putting at least half of the sale amount toward that purpose.”

Bitcoins.com is being offered alongside more than 90 other premium domain names, including OklahomaCity.com, DEC.com (the fifth oldest domain name on the Internet, circa 1985), Rides.com, SEM.com, Digital.com, Cute.com and SouthernCalifornia.com.

(Posted July 9, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140709.htm


After a Great Break We are Back in the Real World Ready for Whatever the Second Half of 2014 Has in Store

I'm back from a two-week break that my wife Diana and I spent celebrating our 30th anniversary in Europe. It's the longest time I've spent away from the publication since starting DN Journal over 11 years ago and being disconnected from all of you for so long certainly felt strange!

I did eventually manage to adjust to offline mode though and we had a great time on a trip that started with a couple of days in Rome before we boarded the Celebrity Equinox there for a cruise around the Mediterranean. The voyage took us on to Florence, Italy, the French Riviera, Corsica, Sardinia and Mallorca before ending in Barcelona, Spain Saturday morning. We stayed over there through the weekend and finally got back to our Florida home last night. 

We made some new friends, saw many spectacular sights and enjoyed perfect weather throughout the trip, making it a truly unforgettable experience. In addition, Celebrity delighted us by living up to and even exceeding all of the great reviews we had read about the 

Ron & Diana Jackson celebrating their 30th anniversary 
during a Mediterranean cruise last week.

cruise line before going. When it comes to service they have to be right up there with the best companies in the world.

The Celebrity Equinox anchored off the French Riviera Monday, June 30, 2014.

As perfect as the trip was there is still no place like home - and home for me (iin addition to my physical residence) is the domain industry. Thanks to all of you for making this business the kind of home that anyone would feel blessed to be able to come back to. I've spent the day unpacking, catching up with emails (still some work to do on that front) and reading about what has gone on while I was away. I'll comment on some of the news that caught my eye tomorrow when I expect to be fully back up to speed and ready to tackle whatever the second half of 2014 has in store for us!

(Posted July 8, 2014) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140708.htm

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