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May 17, 2015

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The Lowdown
April 2015 Archive
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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.

Freelancer.com CEO & Chairman Matt Barrie Tells Us What's in Store for Escrow.com

As just about all of you have heard by now, a domain industry institution, Escrow.com, has been purchased by Australia's Freelancer.com (the world’s largest freelancing, outsourcing and crowd sourcing marketplace) in a $7.5 million cash deal that was announced Sunday. Freelancer is a public company (FLN:Australian Stock Exchange Ltd) with 15 million users in 247 countries and a market cap of more than $460 million.

Today Freelancer.com's Sydney based CEO & Chairman Matt Barrie was at Escrow.com headquarters in Orange County, California, meeting with employees and laying out his vision for the company - one that includes a major expansion in every area including new services, more staff, marketing and technical innovation.

Matt is no stranger to the U.S., especially California. The brilliant young executive (SmartCompany magazine named him one of the top 10 Australian entrepreneurs to watch), holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University at Palo Alto and is also a graduate of the prestigious Stanford Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business. 

During a break in his rounds today, I had a chance to chat with Matt and Escrow.com 

Matt Barrie
CEO & Chairman, Freelancer.com

President Brandon Abbey by phone to get some insight into the acquisition and what it means for Escrow.com and Freelancer.com going forward.  

First (and foremost in the minds of many current Escrow.com customers) Matt and Brandon said it will be business as usual at Escrow.com with no changes in the widely respected staff other than adding more employees as Freelancer's resources are thrown into growing the business and using it to take advantage of new opportunities. 

Barrie is especially excited about the potential Escrow.com has to help the company become a major player in the payments space. While millions of Internet transactions are made every day Barrie pointed out that one thing is lacking from the vast majority of them - something very highly valued by buyers and sellers alike - security. If Escrow.com is synonymous with anything it is security. When you pay by credit card your data can be stolen, a seller who accepts PayPal can get hit with a chargeback, losing both the money and their merchandise, etc. At this stage Barrie doesn't want to reveal the payments strategy he has in mind but based on his track record of turning small companies into major corporations with market caps in the hundreds of millions of dollars, anything is possible. 

Matt Barrie (left) and Brandon Abbey at Escrow.com headquarters in California.

Payments are just one of many synergies Barrie expects to take advantage of with Escrow.com now on board and that has long time company Escrow.com President Brandon Abbey and his team members excited too. Asked how he thought having Freelancer as its new parent would help Escrow.com, Abbey said, "The amount of resources behind us now is tremendous and will fuel growth and improvement in everything we do." 

Barrie concurred and said he saw his job as handling resource allocation - meeting with the Escrow team to find out what they need and give them the tools they need to grow.

I also had to ask Barrie about the widespread perception that the price Freelancer paid for Escrow.com was "a steal". He said that he was certainly excited to acquire the company but felt a fair price had been paid (something Australian blogger Michael Gilmour concurred with after analyzing the Escrow.com financials).  

Abbey said that some of that perception of a low sales price stemmed from the fact that even though Escrow.com has a major presence on the Internet it was actually still a small company. The fact that they have achieved the remarkable visibility they have with limited resources is a testament to the job Abbey and his team have done over the years - a job that has now created an opportunity to soar to new heights they are just beginning to imagine.

(Posted April 29, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

DNSeattle Returning for Round 2! Next Month's 2015 Meetup Follows Sold Out Debut in 2014 

Seattle has long been a focal point of domain industry activity, so when DomainSherpa's Michael Cyger decided his hometown should have a high profile meetup for the area's many industry professionals, no one was surprised to see the debut event he organized (held atop the iconic Seattle Space Needle in January 2014) quickly sell out. 

Though he set a high bar with the first edition of DNSeattle, Cyger expects a new venue and a  change of season will make next month's encore even bigger and better than the inaugural event. DNSeattle 2015 moves from winter to spring with the next show slated for Thursday evening, May 28 (running from 6pm-9pm). 

The event also moves to an attractive new venue - Rightside headquarters in suburban Kirkland overlooking beautiful Lake Washington. Rightside, one of the top new gTLD registry operators, as well as the parent company of domain sales platform Namejet and leading registrars Enom and Name.com, will also be DNSeattle's lead sponsor. "I'm very grateful to Rightside's Taryn Naidu and Dwayne Walker for their support," Cyger said.

Cyger told us, "Attendees will likely come from all over the Pacific Northwest, just like last year: Seattle, Vancouver-BC, Portland, Montana, Idaho. But we're welcoming attendees from anywhere, like Bob and Trudie Olea who came up from San Diego for the 2014 event."

2015 attendees can look forward to socializing, networking, educational speakers, a .Ninja training camp and ping pong - as well as appetizers and a bar to keep you fueled up for all of those activities. 


Michael Cyger at the first 
DNSeattle meetup (January 30, 2014)

(Photo: DNSeattle, Steve Stolee)

The cost to attend has to be one of the industry's best bargains - just $18.05 through May 20, 2015 ($25 after that, assuming any tickets are left) so you will want to register ASAP.  As was the case last year, all proceeds from the event will benefit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle - a phenomenal research institute focused on finding a cure for cancer.

(Left to right) Michael Cyger, Donuts.co Co-Founder & CEO Paul Stahura and Rightside 
Sr. Vice President Dwayne Walker at DNSeattle 2014 (Photo: DNSeattle, Steve Stolee)

You can get more information on DNSeattle and sign up for their mailing list to get updates by visiting the meetup website. You can also see dozens of photos, like the one above, from last year's event in the DNSeattle Photo Gallery

(Posted April 28, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Australian Firm Freelancer.com Buys Escrow.com - No Changes Planned for U.S. Based Business

Sundays are usually pretty quiet in the domain world, but Australia's Freelancer.com ( the world’s largest freelancing, outsourcing and crowd  sourcing marketplace with  15 million users in 247 countries around the world) dropped a bombshell as the weekend came to a close by  announcing they have purchased (subject to regulatory approval) California based escrow business giant Escrow.com from a private investor for $7.5 million in cash.

Brandon Abbey
President, Escrow.com

The many people in our industry who are Escrow.com clients first got word of the deal Sunday night (U.S. Eastern time) when they received an email from Escrow.com President and Managing Director Brandon Abbey expressing the company's excitement at becoming part of the Freelancer family and reassuring customers that "The company will remain a California based business and we will continue to operate the business as usual and to exceed the high standards that you have come to expect from us."

Shortly after Brandon's email arrived reports and commentary on blogs relaying the news expressed widespread surprise about what seemed to be a bargain basement price for such a well-known and respected company. The best analysis we have seen regarding the $7.5 million paid was posted by Australia's Michael Gilmour that you can read at  WhizzbangsBlog.com (Michael is a domain industry veteran  and who holds an MBA degree 

and runs a well-known domain monetization business at ParkLogic.com). Michael concluded the price was not unreasonable given the financials he reviewed.

Freelancer.com Chief Executive Matt Barrie said, “We are pleased to acquire Escrow.com, the 
world’s largest online escrow company. This highly complementary acquisition will enhance 
the ability of our 15 million users to transact securely, and there are large opportunities for 
growth and synergies with core offerings. Finally, it is a strong cornerstone for entering the 
payments space

Freelancer, a public company with a market cap of more than $460 million ((FLN:Australian Stock Exchange Ltd), had recently raised the money they needed for the cash purchase by selling AUD $10 million (about $7.9 million USD at today's exchange rate) in ordinary shares to institutional investors in an offering that was oversubscribed.

(Posted April 27, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

.Green Turns Earth Day into Earth Month - Celebration Continuing This Weekend in New York City

While Earth Day was held on Wednesday (April 22), the .green registry has been holding a month-long celebration around the event. In fact this weekend DotGreen is sponsoring the GreenFestivalExpo in New York City, a 3-day event that will continue through Sunday at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.


As part of its Earth Day/Month celebration, DotGreen Community is also sponsoring local San Francisco events such as the Green Film Fest and Earth Day San Francisco, and connecting the global green movement through posting links of Earth Day related events and blogs on their website, Community.green.  

DotGreen Community also recently announced a $10,000 Earth Day gift through DotGreen Foundation to EarthShare, a non-profit federation that partners with business and employees to develop workplace giving and learning opportunities supporting the environment. 

On Earth Day itself this past Wednesday, DotGreen announced that several major corporations, including General Motors and Fetzer Vineyards were using .green domains to promote their Earth Day and green endeavors. Other companies who have signed up for .green domains range from major tech corporations to big box retailers and a global payments corporation. Smaller companies, individuals and nonprofit organizations supporting environmental initiatives are also utilizing the new gTLD.

Josh Prigge, Fetzer Vineyard’s Sustainability Manager, added "Sustainability has been part of our company DNA for more than 25 years. Our actions speak for themselves, and we see the .green online platform as a tremendous opportunity to showcase our green initiatives, share our sustainable practices with our industry and connect with our customers and the growing green movement. Fetzer.green is now live and online."

Sharon Basel, Sustainability Communications Manager at  General Motors said, “At General Motors, we see every day as Earth Day and every day we are making progress in reducing our environmental impact and footprint. We 

Image from Fetzer.green

see .green as a channel dedicated to sustainability where we will be able to get this message across and cut through the Internet clutter in reaching our stakeholders and customers." 

(Posted April 25, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Day 1 is Done at the 2015 Domaining Europe Conference in Valencia, Spain

The 2015 Domaining Europe conference got underway today at the Sorolla Palace Hotel in Valencia, Spain where show founder Dietmar Stefitz welcomed guests from around the world to the 7th edition of the popular event. 

A conference room view on the opening day of the 2015 Domaining Europe Conference 
today in Valencia, Spain (photo provided by show founder Dietmar Stefitz).

Moderator Braden Pollock (left) fielding questions from the 
audience during an opening day session at Domaining Europe

Day one began with three individual morning talks presented in order by AVALNET President Manuel Juliá, DNForum.com owner Adam Dicker and noted domain attorney Paul Keating.  

In the afternoon the focus switched to panel discussions moderated by Braden Pollock of LegalBrandMarketing.com. The topics ranged from new gTLDs (including a talk from ICANN's Andrea Beccalli), to modern SEO and domain monetization (including optimizing for mobile).

A busy day one ended with a dinner at the Valencian Beach restaurant this evening. 

Day 2 will kick off tomorrow morning at 10am with Jeff Sass from .CLUB talking about how the new gTLD found success in its first year of operation. The conference concludes Saturday.

(Posted April 23, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Marchex Sells Over 200,000 Domains to Go Daddy for $28.1 Million - Will Now Focus on Mobile Advertising Analytics

Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHX), who in recent years has morphed from a major domain sales and development company into a mobile advertising analytics company, has sold off the bulk of its remaining domain portfolio. Marchex announced this morning that they have entered into a definitive agreement to sell more than 200,000 domains to GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), for $28.1 million, as well as additional earn-out considerations subject to certain sales targets. The company also reported moving another $6.7 million in direct domain sales since January 2015 when

it began liquidating its portfolio in earnest. Go Daddy is widely recognized as the world's biggest domain registrar but they have expanded their service offerings dramatically in recent years and now think of themselves as the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses.

Pete Christothoulou
CEO, Marchex, Inc.

Marchex CEO Pete Christothoulou said, "Our complete focus is on establishing Marchex as the world’s leading mobile advertising analytics company. A significant and growing majority of the consumer engagement and sales driven by mobile advertising happens offline, such as through phone calls.  Narrowing our focus on this opportunity, while growing our balance sheet, strengthens our ability to continue delivering technology solutions that bring accountability to mobile advertising and transform business performance for our clients.”

Marchex provided some additional information on the transaction in a series of bullet points, stating: 

  • From a revenue standpoint, our domains assets have generated more than $290 million in cumulative revenue (excluding domain sales) and meaningful profits, so they have been a valuable and important part of Marchex’s history.

  • We’ve used some of the cash flow generated from our domains assets to fund the development of Marchex’s market-leading Call Analytics Platform, which now generates more than $100 million annually and is the foundation of our business going forward. So in essence, the cash generated from the domains and other assets has helped enable Marchex to build a strong leadership position in a growing market of mobile advertising analytics.

  • In addition, with today’s announcement, Marchex has sold $80 million in domains through today in separate transactions.

  • It’s important to note that what we announced selling today is NOT directly comparable to what we acquired in 2004, as we have sold certain assets since that time.  

  • During the past decade, Marchex has enjoyed being part of the domains marketplace and we believe that it remains robust and entrepreneurial, with plenty of room for growth and innovation. However, our business has evolved to where domains are not core to Marchex’s focus on mobile advertising analytics, so the time was right for us to sell our portfolio. Our complete focus is on establishing Marchex as the world’s leading mobile advertising analytics company. 

  • It is a win for both parties, as GoDaddy gets a high-quality portfolio and we can now focus entirely on our core business.  Furthermore, now interested parties will be able to find and purchase high-quality domains that were in our portfolio through GoDaddy.  

(Posted April 22, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

George Hong Brokers Year's Biggest 3-Letter .Com Sale to Date + Rob Grant Reports Boom for Real Estate .Coms

It's no secret that sales of 3-letter and other short .coms have been booming and that trend continued today when we  learned that broker George Hong of Guta.com has closed the year's biggest 3-letter .com sale to date, moving PPP.com for $290,000. Hong said the buyer and seller both prefer to remain anonymous but he provided proof of the completed sale and price paid.

When we chart the PPP.com sale it will rank as the 7th biggest sale of any kind reported so far this year (unless an even bigger sale is reported before our next weekly domain sales report is released. We will be away the next two days for a family funeral so this week's report, normally released on Wednesday, won't be out until Friday). 

Short .coms are not the only category in the world's most popular extension that is seeing a surge, despite (or perhaps because of)  the release of hundreds of new gTLDs. Veteran domain investor Rob Grant of 

George Hong

WebMediaProperties.com, who holds the world's largest portfolio of .com city real estate domains (NewYorkRealEstate.com, for example) sent us note today to let us know he had just sold JacksonHoleRealEstate.com for $85,000.

Rob Grant

Grant told us, "I've seen a significant increase in the number of qualified and substantial offers coming in from brokers for the premium '.com' real estate domains - this, paradoxically, as many of the new competing "real estate" extensions are just now being launched, most notably .realtor, and to a lesser extent .house, .home, .realty, .mls, .estate, etc. Over 23 new 'real estate' related gTLDs are scheduled to launch (or have launched already). As this growing clutter of new gTLDs overwhelms the public and the real estate industry, there appears to be a growing identity crisis among agents and brokers... and especially consumers."

"Amid all this confusion - pure .com real estate domains (brands like HiltonHeadRealEstate.com, SantaFeRealEstate.com, OttawaRealEstate.com and TorontoRealEstate.com) have continued to rise in value - selling in the high five and six figure range. The reason is simple - brokers and agents (and most importantly the public) instinctively recognize that these names are the most trusted and valuable brands."

Grant believes this is trend that is going to gain momentum as more new gTLDs are released, predicting, "The day is not far off when a major brand like HawaiiRealEstate.com, AtlantaRealEstate.com or NewYorkRealEstate.com will sell in the half million dollar range, or more. I talk to hundreds of brokers and agents who inquire about real estate domains for their business. There is also a great fear out there for the new 500 pound gorillas - called Trulia and Zillow - who dominate the search results for real estate. Brokers are scrambling to find new ways to rebrand themselves and stand out in the search results. If you own MiamiBeachRealEstate.com (a domain I've turned down offers for in the 6 figure range) vs. Joe Schmo real estate, you win!", Grant opined.

(Posted April 21, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

WorldHostingDays Conference Coming to America for the First Time Next Month

WorldHostingDays (WHD) conferences are a BIG deal. Founded in Germany over a decade ago, WHD events (the world's largest series of events for the hosting and cloud service provider industry) are anchored by the massive WHD.global conference that drew a record 6,300 attendees (from 85 countries) to this 


year's event, held last month in Rust, Germany.  600 people would be a lot for a domain conference so you can imagine  how much bigger an event 10 times larger would be. 

In addition to WHD.global, regional WHD events are also held throughout the year and six of those are still to come in 2015 with conferences in Singapore, Australia, India, Japan, China and - for the first time ever - the United States all on the calendar. WHD's debut in the U.S. will be staged May 19-20, 2015 at Pennsylvania's scenic 7Springs Ski & Mountain Resort (about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh). 

Even though this will be WHD.usa's first lap around the track in America, organizers are expecting more than 800 professionals from around the world to attend next month's event. Many well-known names in the domain business will be there - no surprise since domain registration and hosting services go hand in hand and many major companies provide both. 

InterNetX.com will have an especially high profile at 7Springs as a Platinum Sponsor with .CLUB, eNom, Key-Systems, Radix, Sedo and Uniregistry also among those in the spotlight as Gold Sponsors. Representatives from several of those companies will be featured in some of the many panel discussions and breakout sessions that fill the jam-packed WHD.usa agenda. Attendees will hear from Brad Lemire (Sedo), Alexander Siffrin (Key-Systems), Jeff Sass (.CLUB), Helena Schindler (InterNetX) and Chris Sheridan (the long time eNom exec who is now with Weebly) among others.

Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales 
will be a keynote speaker at WHD.usa

WHD always lines up an all-star list of keynote speakers for their events as well and WHD.usa will be no exception with Wikipedia Founder Jimmy WalesCoreOS CEO Alex Polvi, and Tim Wu, author of the book The Master Switch and the man who coined the the phrase "net neutrality”, all set to take the stage.

One thing that has helped make WHD so popular is a low cost to attend - even free in many cases if you have a contact at any of the event's dozens of partner companies (scroll down for the full list). Those partners can give clients a code to enter on the registration page to waive the $349 cost of a standard ticket. There is also a $999 VIP ticket option that is loaded with perks.

Having WHD come to the USA for the first time is a significant event for a lot of people in the domain business, as well as those in the the hosting field, so we will be going to 7Springs to cover it for you. Conference organizers have 

graciously given us a nice perk to pass along to any of our readers who want to go for both show days - a free night - at the 7Springs Resort (worth $129). Just send an e-mail to [email protected] with the subject line “DNJournal Member” and you will receive the $129 voucher code.

(Posted April 20, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

eMarketer Report Says Success of New gTLDs May Depend on Promotion By Major Brands

eMarketer, a major market research firm, has released a new study on the introduction of new gTLDs and their chances for success. eMarketer releases over 200 analyst reports per year, which are only available to their corporate subscribers, but they did make some excerpts from this report - titled “The Domain Name Explosion: Hundreds of New Choices Beyond .com Mean New Marketing Considerations" -  available to all on their website. 

eMarketer, who has no skin in the game themselves, acknowledged that there are widely divergent views of the new gTLD program, noting, "What some view as a “blank canvas for innovation” to spur more creativity, diversity and trust on the internet, others 

see as costly, exploitative and bound to cause consumer confusion. Nonetheless, it continues to move forward, requiring all internet users to adapt."

eMarketer estimates  that 84.6% of U.S internet users navigate the web by search at least once a month and said "Such high search penetration, combined with surging time spent on social platforms and mobile devices globally, might suggest declining use and utility of domain names as direct entry points to websites by visitors. Thus, it’s reasonable to question the value or relevance of dedicating resources to utilizing new gTLDs."

However, eMarketer added there is more to the story, writing, "Typing a domain name into a browser’s address bar remains a common internet behavior. In countries like Brazil, India and Mexico, search was not as prominent as directly entering a URL in a browser, (according to findings from a Domain Name Association report). Furthermore, more than half of all respondents indicated they always paid attention to domain names in their search results."

It what may be the most interesting conclusion shared in these excerpts from their study, eMarketer said, "It may be brands with their own “dot-brand” domains that make or break the success of the program." They noted that Nao Matsukata, CEO of FairWinds Partners (a firm that advises companies on domain name strategy) believes "Brands are going to be the ones that ultimately turn the users into believers. The generics are always going to be there, and they’ll have their own place, but in terms of full adoption and real usage of the new top-level domains, the brands hold a very critical piece of it.”

(Posted April 16, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

DomainHoldings Broker Tracy Fogarty Leaves to Open Own Shop at eNaming.com

After two years as an outstanding broker at DomainHoldings (and 20 years as a successful broker in both the mortgage and domain fields), Tracy Fogarty has left to open her own brokerage and domain consulting firm at eNaming.com. While most high end domain sales are subject to non-disclosure agreements, Tracy has been able to publicly report as many as three six-figures sales in a single week. In addition to her sales prowess she is known for helping promote domains at every opportunity, including at the local level as a co-founder of the South Florida Domain Pros trade association.  

Tracy introduced her new enterprise in a blog post at eNaming.com today in which she wrote, "A new beginning always involves leaving something behind and embracing something new and different, and in my case, boldly and excitingly different — For the first time in my whole life, I’m going to be my own boss!  I’ve had a blast serving my clients, taking on new challenges, learning, and contributing. I’m thankful and grateful to all my co-workers and colleagues, clients, and acquaintances. I couldn’t be where I am today without you."

Ms. Fogarty said the idea to go out on her own stemmed from asking herself how she could serve her clients better, noting "The answer to that question led me to this moment. I can only do so by being my own boss, talking the talk and walking the walk, and 

 Tracy Fogarty
Founder & CEO, eNaming.com

pushing the boundaries like I have never imagined before. Confucius once said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” and to Confucius and the rest of the world I want to say, thank you sincerely, I am grateful, wish me luck, I am ready!"

Based on Tracy's track record we have no doubt about that. Congratulations to her and bes of luck as she enters this exciting new chapter of her business career.

(Posted April 13, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

New Study Says "Consumers Feel Uncomfortable with the ‘New Internet’ and New gTLDs"

The quote in the headline above comes directly from a press release we received today from the NCC Group about a "New Internet Study" they conducted (in collaboration with IDG Research Sevices) that involved a survey of 10,000 consumers (half form the U.S. and half from the UK). NCC Group is a publicly traded global information assurance firm (listed on the London Stock Exchange) who says they serve 15,000 clients through 1,000 specialists located in 20 offices around the world. The sub-heading on their press release stated "87% don’t feel very comfortable surfing on new domains with phishing on new domains already underway – and set to get worse." 

We sent a message to a leading new gTLD registry operator requesting their take on this study but have not yet received a reply. The full text of the NCC Group press release is below:


With hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLD) arriving on the Internet – like .shop, .bank and .london – research has revealed that 87 percent of consumers do not feel very comfortable visiting them.  

The survey, entitled the “New Internet Study,” by global information assurance firm NCC Group questioned 10,000 consumers across the US and UK regarding their attitudes to these new gTLDs.  

With more domains going live, 42 percent of web users also reported feeling less secure online since their introduction. Data from NCC Group’s Domain Abuse Monitoring service backs up this consumer concern, with 50 of the new gTLDs being used to launch phishing emails in the last ten months alone.  

Rob Cotton, CEO at NCC Group, said: “The Internet is undergoing the biggest change in its history, causing uncertainty for consumers. We’ve also shown that the new domains are already being used for nefarious purposes, with users expressing security concerns too.  

“Currently there is a lack of awareness of this change in the business community. This is an issue that affects a number of different departments, from marketing and IT all the way up to the board – but most firms are oblivious.  

“Businesses cannot afford to do nothing here. The new gTLDs offer a wealth of possibilities for cyber criminals to attack an organization’s online presence. Brand reputation, customer trust and ultimately revenue are all at risk.  

“Companies are at a crossroads. A defensive strategy of buying up brand related domains might have been a simple task when there was only 22 gTLDs, but is it feasible when there are over a thousand? Purchasing your own brand gTLD would allow you to carve out your own space on the Internet, but would you have the back-end systems to support it and the initial capital to invest?  

“Organizations need to make a decision and quickly. Doing nothing is not a solution.”  

Other findings include:  

·         45 percent of those surveyed said they would feel more likely to visit sites with new gTLDs if companies were clear about the steps being taken to protect users’ personal information

·         UK respondents are more comfortable visiting sites with new domains than their US counterparts (14% vs 12%, respectively)

·         US consumers are more likely to feel less secure as a result of the changes to gTLDs than their UK peers (46% US vs 39% UK, respectively)

·         Baby boomers (those born in 1964 or earlier) are more likely to feel much less secure with these additional domain extensions than millennials (those born between 1980 and 1996) and generation Xers (those born between 1965 and 1979)

Survey methodology

The survey was conducted in collaboration with IDG Research Services. Data collection took place online among US and UK consumers 18 years or older during October 2014. A total of 10,000 consumers (5,000 from the US and 5,000 from the UK) who regularly use the Internet for transactional activities such as online banking and shopping or managing investments or healthcare services, completed the survey. Participants were fairly equally split by gender (51 percent female; 49 percent male) and represent a range of age groups: 36 percent under the age of 35, 27 percent between 35 and 49 years old, and 37 percent age 50 or older.

(Posted April 9, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Friday's World Domain Day is the 1st of Three India Conferences Planned for 2015

After a successful debut in Hyderabad last August World Domain Day is back, this time in a different city, for round two coming up on Friday (April 10) in New Delhi. The one-day event will be held at the India Habitat Centre with several hundred registrants again expected to attend. 

You can see the full World Domain Day schedule including featured speakers here. There are several registration options levels ranging from Free up to $59 VIP tickets that include lunch and admission to an exclusive VIP Networking Arena. 

In early March we told you about a new Indian conference in Mumbai that was also scheduled for this month but this morning we got word that this two-day event, called DigitalCon is going to be  rescheduled for new dates that have not yet been announced. The founder of this conference, Nishank Yadav, who was one of the organizers of last year's first DomainX conference in Hyderabad, has been joined by a new partner, Vaibhav Aggarwal (of BladeBrains.com) who will help stage the event.

Mr. Aggarwal said, "The call for Papers / Speakers is now open and a high power panel is being setup to shortlist 15 speakers and presenters with up to eight case studies of different organizations which may be startups or veterans that will be shared with the audiences with the take aways as best practices for all entrepreneurs and decision makers to learn from." You can get more details on plans for the event and contact organizers through the conference website

Organizers of the DomainX conference have just started the planning process for their sophomore show that, like last year, is slated for late summer. I have been told that DomainX, which was held in Hyderabad in 2014, will likely be staged in Bangalore this year. We will have more details on that event as they unfold.

It has been very interesting to see how quickly the domain scene in India has been evolving. Prior to last year there had been no major domain-specific conferences in the country - now, if plans for all three come to fruition, Indian domain investors will be able to meet face to face, compare notes and learn from experts in three different cities that, as a group, will offer convenient access to the northern, western and southern regions of the domain loving nation. 

(Posted April 7, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Next Heritage Auctions Live Domain Sale Coming to San Francisco This Summer

Heritage Auctions has announced that their next live premium domain auction will be held in San Francisco on Thursday, June 25, 2015 (HA's last live event was held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City in February). The upcoming auction will be held at HA's San Francisco office at 478 Jackson Street. 

Aron Meystedt, the Director of HA's Intellectual Property Department said that like the successful New York auction (that produced over $1.3 million in sales) the catalog for the June auction will be limited to 30 premium lots. Meystedt is now considering submissions of "one word .com names as well as  very short 2 and 3 letter .com domains." Submissions can be sent to aronm @ HA.com.

San Francisco image from Bigstock 

As has been the case with past HA auctions, Meystedt said the company will promote the event with an extensive advertising and public relations campaign.

(Posted April 6, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Uniregistry Tells Customers They Will Be Rolling Out an "Innovative New Domain Marketplace" Soon + THE Domain Conference Offers a Discount & We Step Up to the Brand.Bar!

Uniregistry sent a letter to clients Thursday thanking them for helping the new registrar founded by Frank Schilling reach over 800,000 registrations in the company's 1st year (Uniregistry just celebrated their 1-year anniversary March 19, 2015). 


There was also an interesting bit of news in the letter - a line that said, "We have some exciting new features in store for the coming year, including the Uniregistry Market.  Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for more information about how to take advantage of this innovative marketplace to buy and sell domains." As most of you know Uniregistry's sister company, DomainNameSales.com, is already one of the most powerful domain sales platforms in the industry, so it will be interesting to see how the upcoming Uniregistry Market will fit into the ever growing Schilling ecosystem of domain services. 

A couple of other notes as we head into the Easter and Passover holiday weekend. THE Domain Conference, the new event that Howard, Barbara and Ray Neu will be staging in Fort Lauderdale in September, has a nice little 

holiday gift for those who want to attend the show without breaking the bank. From now through Easter Sunday, you can register for $399 ($100 off the normal rate) by entering the special promo code - TDC15 - in the Promo Code box.

While you are on the site you can also get a great rate on rooms at the conference venue. They start at just $109 a night for the event that runs September 26-29 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Hotel

We also wanted to let you know about a new hour-long interview that my wife Diana and I just did with Brand.Bar Founder Angela St. Julien, in the latest of her series of Happy Hour Chats (it's the first time Diana and I have been interviewed together). The shows are done live (ours was at 4pm yesterday) but are also recorded so you can check them out any time you like. Yesterday's show can be seen here

Angela, whom we had the pleasure of meeting for the first time at the NamesCon 2015 conference in Las Vegas this past January, is a newcomer to the industry who has come up with an interesting concept with her interview series. They are held on the Go to Meeting platform so anyone can log in when they are live and ask questions of their own. She had guests from as far away as New Zealand on Thursday's show.

Angela St. Julien
Brand.Bar Happy Hour Chats

In addition to the usual topics like domain buying, selling and monetization, Angela keeps things fresh by exploring other areas of concern to industry newcomers and veterans alike - like how do you explain to spouses, relatives and friends exactly what it is you do! That was one of the many subjects Diana and I tackled in a fast moving hour that we think you will enjoy.

(Posted April 3, 2015) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150403.htm

Go Daddy Off to the Races With Fast IPO Start - .CLUB Registry Reaches 200,000 Registrations

One of the biggest stories not just in the domain world, but the mainstream business world as well, is Go Daddy's first day as a publicly traded company today (GDDY on the NYSE). Before the opening bell Go Daddy had sets its IPO price at $20 but that was quickly eclipsed as soon as the stock stated trading, going over $26 a share (which would value the 

company at $4 billion). The price will obviously move around a good bit over the next few days but it was still trading at that level during the lunch hour when this post was written.

Colin Campbell
CEO, .CLUB Registry

While the Go Daddy IPO has been met with skepticism from many quarters, Colin Campbell, CEO of the top selling new gTLD on the Go Daddy platform, .CLUB, expected it to be a hit from the start. Campbell said, “We’re very bullish on the Company and the impact of the new domain extensions on their future success. I personally think the (original) $3 billion valuation is under-valued as most of the other top new domain extensions like .web and .shop have yet to come to market unleashing the full potential of Go Daddy.  In addition, as we launch .CLUB in over 50 countries we see the power of the Go Daddy brand internationally which should support strong growth outside of the U.S. for the company. “

.CLUB had some good news of their own to announce today. The TLD has just gone over 200,000 registrations and they hit the mark before their 1st anniversary. .CLUB is one of only five new gTLDs whose total 

registrations have hit six figures and they have done it without giving away tens of thousands of domains as some others have in the fight for market share.

(Posted April 1, 2015) To refer others to the post above only you can use this URL: http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2015/dailyposts/20150401.htm

If you've been out of the loop lately, catch up in the Lowdown Archive!

We need your help to keep giving domainers The Lowdown, so please email [email protected] with any interesting information you might have. If possible, include the source of your information so we can check it out (for example a URL if you read it in a forum or on a site elsewhere). 

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