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October 01, 2015

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The Lowdown
August 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.

Finalists For THE Domain Conference Awards Announced - Vote for Winners Before 8PM EDT Tuesday

After more than 160 individuals or companies were nominated for THE Domain Conference Awards, run off balloting was conducted last week to choose the finalists in each of 9 categories. Those finalists were announced this morning when the last round of voting to pick the winners also opened. The polling will close at 5PM U.S. Eastern Pacific Daylight Time (8PM EDT) tomorrow (Tuesday, September 1, 2015) with all votes being tabulated by Escrow.com.

The inaugural edition of THE Domain Conference runs September 26-29 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The award winners will be announced at the Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, September 29

Conference organizers said no one candidate in any category received more than 50% of the votes. The final ballot (below) was narrowed down to each person or company that received at least 10% of the votes cast in that category. You can vote for 1 person or company in each category (except the Hall of Fame were two names may be selected). In order to be counted, your ballot must be submitted to [email protected] on this official form (which you can coy and paste) no later than 5PM PDT Tuesday (September 1).  You will need to send a complete ballot because organizers, in an effort to prevent ballot box stuffing, will not count ballots that name only one person or company.















  [  ] .CLUB

  [  ] DONUTS.CO




  [  ] GODADDY



  [  ] ALI ZANDI




  [  ] .CLUB




  [  ] NAT COHEN











(Posted August 31, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

.Online Connects With New gTLD Registrants Setting New High Water Mark for Day 1 Registrations - Meanwhile MediaOptions Closes a Million Dollar Deal for PX.com

Radix Registry had high hopes for their latest new gTLD - .online - that entered General Availability Wednesday (August 26). Their dreams came true when it took just 30 minutes to blow past 28,000 registrations, setting a new record for opening day new gTLD registrations (a mark that had been set by .club at approximately 25,000). By this afternoon, the .online numbers had crossed 35,000 according to ntldstats.com

Registrars selling .online for Radix were equally happy with the launch. Richard Stevenson from 1&1 Internet said, “.online has extensive global appeal and relevance as it applies to anyone and everyone – hence, we expect it to be a popular domain option. Businesses and individuals alike will be attracted to both the clarity and vast potential for attractive new names that .online offers them."  Go Daddy's Theresa Geraghty added, “We have seen a trend where customers select domains that are relevant and easy to remember – just like .online."

Sandeep Ramchandani
Business Head, Radix Registry

Sandeep Ramchandani, Business Head at Radix, said, "We are thrilled with the day 1 performance and delighted to see months of hard work & planning in action. Based on the feedback and the numbers, we strongly believe .online has the potential to be amongst the biggest sellers on Registrars' storefront."

Radix said the start of General Availability was just the first step in what they think will be a long prosperous journey. They will showcase .online at TechCrunch in September and the company plans to heavily advertise .online to end customers in downtown San Francisco. Radix will place .online ads on bus shelters and moving billboards next month in an effort to boost customer awareness and adoption.

One other note today. Our latest weekly domain sales report came out last night and it was a relatively slow week in what has otherwise been a red hot summer. However, we already know the next report is going to be more in line with what we've seen in recent months. Just after our deadline for this week's report, we learned MediaOptions.com had brokered the sale of PX.com for $1 million in cash and some additional unnamed considerations. The sale was confirmed by Frans van Hulle, the CEO and Founder of ReviMedia, the company that purchased the name. 

If no higher sales are reported before our next report, PX.com will rank as the second biggest 

sale reported so far this year. I will be starting a one week vacation tomorrow so our next report will be released on Wednesday evening, September 9, 2015. That will be a double-length column that will cover the next two week's worth of reported sales. 

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

Above.com Begins a Repositioning of Their Brand - Aaron Kvitek Hired to Oversee the Effort

While Above.com is a well-known domain industry brand the Co-Founder and President of Trellian (Above.com's parent company), David Warmuz, feels a lot of domain investors still aren't aware on many of the company's wide ranging services. If your first thought when you hear Above.com mentioned is domain parking, you aren't getting the big picture. To change that, Above.com, who provides domain investors with free tools designed to minimize the daily challenges associated with the monetization, registration and selling of their domains, has announced the launch of a major brand repositioning initiative.

The company said that as changes unfold in the months ahead domain investors with accounts at Above.com will have "access to a variety of enhanced product features and benefits that will reinforce Above.com’s brand positioning as a technology innovator."

Warmuz said, "Despite what many domainers think, Above.com is not a parking service. We actually operate at a level above parking services by making them compete against each other for domain traffic.  In fact, we go a big step further by enabling direct advertisers to compete for the same traffic. By maximizing the competition for traffic, our technology ensures the best possible monetization."

David Warmuz
Trellian Co-Founder & President

Warmuz added, "Many domainers don’t know this, and many also don’t know that Above.com has an integrated registrar and buy/sell marketplace.  This lack of awareness is why we are launching our brand repositioning initiative.  We want to help everyone fully understand and experience the revenue improvement advantages that we offer, not to mention the time and cost saving advantages.”

Aaron Kvitek
SVP, Strategic Marketing, Above.com

To underscore their commitment to this initiative,  domain industry veteran Aaron Kvitek has been hired as SVP, Strategic Marketing.  As many of your know, Aaron served as VP Marketing & Communications at Oversee.net from 2007 to 2013.  In addition to holding corporate level responsibilities as a member of Oversee’s senior executive team, Aaron was in charge of marketing and communications for DomainSponsor, Moniker and SnapNames. He also organized and ran ten global and regional DOMAINfest conferences from 2008 to 2013 in the U.S. and Europe, helping to build that franchise’s reputation for providing the domain industry with high quality learning and networking opportunities. 

While you can expect a lot of changes at Above.com through the rest of this year the company noted, "domain investors do not have to wait for the rollout of this initiative to take advantage of Above.com’s ability to

make parking services and premium advertisers compete for their traffic.  This technology has been in place since 2009 and has been consistently upgraded with new features. For domain investors who are not ready to point their domains to Above.com’s name servers, creating a free account at Above.com will allow them to consolidate, view and download historical and daily stats from all of their parking company accounts. 

One other note today - Angela St. Julien has a very special guest lined up for his next Brand.bar Happy Hour Chat coming up Thursday (August 27) at 4pm (US Eastern Daylight Time). Angela will be interviewing Royal Bobbles Founder Warren Royal - the veteran domain investor/developer who built one of the world's leading bobblehead doll companies from scratch on the Bobbleheads.com domain name he bought for $30,000. If you want to take a good domain to the next level, Warren's inspiring story is a great case study detailing how it can be done. 

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

Flood of Nominations For THE Domain Conference Awards Requires Run-off Vote to Pick Top 3 in Each Category

THE Domain Conference's first Domain Industry Awards are off to a flying start. Conference Co-Founder Howard Neu said 161 different people or companies were named in 9 voting categories during last week's nomination period. With close to two dozen nominations in some  categories,  a round of run-off voting will be required this week to determine the finalists in each category. Final balloting will then be held next week to pick the winners from among the finalists in each category. The awards will be presented during the inaugural edition of the show coming up September 26-29 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The run-off voting is now open and will continue until 5pm Pacific Daylight Time (8pm EDT) Thursday, August 27. Escrow.com has agreed to tabulate all votes.  You may vote for 1 person  or company in each of the 9 categories shown below that also lists the eligible nominees. Ballots must be emailed before the deadline to [email protected] using the official form below provided by THE Domain Conference.

























































[  ] .CLUB



[  ] .GREEN







[  ] .XYZ



[  ] ENOM

[  ] EPIK









[  ] WEB.COM

The Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel where the 
1st edition of the THE Domain Conference 
will be held September 26-29, 2015.
















[  ] Konstantinos Zournas








[  ] .CLUB



[  ] ENOM





[  ] IGLOO







[  ] SEDO






















































(Ballots must be emailed to [email protected] before 5pm PDT, Thursday, August 27).

(Posted August 24, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Making Money from Your Own Blog - How One Guy Did It Even Though His Family Disapproved

I had an opportunity to meet a lot of very interesting new people a couple of weeks ago when I went to India to cover and speak at the 2nd annual DomainX conference in Bangalore. One of them was Jitendra Vaswani of BloggersIdeas.com, who is one of the country's most popular bloggers. I found Jitendra's story to be especially interesting because he has done something I've always advocated domain investors should do - pick a subject you are passionate about and develop at least one website on that topic. I've seen many people create nice new revenue streams for themselves by doing that, just as Jitendra has done.

A blog is one of the most cost effective and quick ways to put your idea online, but like anything else that is worthwhile, it will take a little planning and a lot of elbow grease to turn your domain into a money making business. In the planning stage you need to determine if you can bring something new and interesting to a topic that will let you stand out from the crowd and attract an audience. That is easier to do if your topic falls in an area of interest that is currently underserved by sites that are already out there.

Jitendra Vaswani
Founder, BloggersIdeas.com

Vaswani said, "One needs to find the right niche to write about. My blog has a niche : SEO and the business of blogging itself.  Blogging caught my attention when I was in my first job as an SEO executive.  I learned blogging from one of my friends who  told me I should start my own because I was  good at SEO. Once I  started I got very interested in the process and started experimenting on my blog. I followed many mentors in my industry like Neil Patel, Zac Johnson, John Chow and many other top marketers who dominate the blogging world.  I always  try to learn from their  posts and how they are making money from it."

The main reason I tell people who want to develop a site to choose a topic they are passionate about is that writing and producing content is a lot of work - work they will get tired of doing, causing them to quit before they gain traction, unless they love what they are writing about. It is a view Vaswani shares. "Yes, the subject is very important when starting a blog. If you don't have the right subject,  trust me, you will  never get interested in writing a blog. I was interested in SEO & digital marketing, so it  compels me to write about it a lot. I have seen newbies not choose their  subject wisely. They make mistakes and ultimately lose interest in blogging."

Blog image form Bigstock

Many bloggers find it difficult to continually come up with fresh content for their site. Interesting information isn't easy to come by. Vaswani said, "I do a lot of research online to write a piece of content for my blog.  I use Google Trends and the Google Adwords tool to search for good  content. You should also strive to create great headlines in order to grab user attention. For that, you can use title generator tools like Tweak Your Biz Title Generator, HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, Portent’s Content Idea Generator and many more that are available online. Headlines can definitely increase user engagement and will  help you to write more."

Vaswani has another content tip that 

is already being successfully employed in the domain industry's blogosphere by our friend Elliot Silver at DomainInvesting.com. "People enjoy learning from bloggers who share their journey of success and failures on their blogs," Jitendra noted. "I have seen many top bloggers share their stories and readers get engaged because they want to know the story behind that blogger. I analyze and incorporate all these factors and develop my blog according to reader's requirements. I share my real thoughts and the internet lifestyle I am living."

In addition to finding the right niche, a successful blogger has to find ways to promote their site and build traffic. Vaswani pointed out several methods he uses to do that. "My target audience is from the digital and online money making niche. So I use social media channels to  promote my content, especially Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Google+ which is very important because it is a Google property."

"I also use some blogging  communities that I share my content to: Blokube.com, Bizsugar.com, BlogEngage.com, Indiblogger.in, etc. These are some very active communities where you can share your content and get targeted  traffic. Join some Facebook groups to share your content, but don't spam on Facebook otherwise they will ban your URL. If you really want to get traffic on your site your SEO and social media should be very strong. Also build relationships with fellow bloggers as this will  help to get more traffic too."

Jitendra Vaswani (right) with DomainX Co-Organizer Gaurav Kholi earlier this month in India.
(Photo from Domain Name Owners Association of India)

Vaswani got a nice introduction to the domain business at the DomainX conference and was even motivated to register a few new names of his own. While Vaswani is much more a developer than a domain investor he has wrestled with a problem many in our industry have. Domainers often talk about how difficult it is to explain what they do to friends and family. In Vaswani's case, the problem was a much bigger one than that when he decided to become a blogger. As a profession that is barely a decade old many outside the field don't recognize it as a serious way to make a living.  "When I told my parents about blogging, they didn't agree with it," Vaswani said. "I was forced to  take a job because of societal pressure. Parents don't understand their children's needs, they think about society first. This is the main problem with Indian parents."

Vaswani turned that negative into a positive, using their disapproval as motivation to succeed and prove them wrong. "They encouraged me to leave blogging and get a secure job but I never quit doing it," he noted. "With all of the family members against me, and alone on my journey, I wanted to prove I could make enough money from blogging." Vaswani has just about all the proof he needs, having risen to a position among the top couple of dozen professional bloggers in India, but he hasn't brought the matter to a head yet. "I still I haven't told my parents that I am doing full time blogging -  they still think that I have a job and while doing that job I am blogging and freelancing. When the right time comes I will tell them I am a full time blogger," Vaswani smiled (apparently confident his family doesn't read DN Journal)!  

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

Radix Registry Has High Hopes for .Online -  New gTLD Enters General Availability Wednesday

Coming off the most successful Sunrise period for a generic new gTLD, Radix Registry has high hopes for their new .online extension that will enter General Availability next Wednesday (August 26, 2015).  The Early Access Period for .online (which allows the public to register domains now but at higher prices than those that will be in effect in General Availability) got underway yesterday (August 19).

.Online had 775 Sunrise registrations (Sunrise is the period in which trademark holders can file claims on domains before they go on public sale). That is the most to date for a generic extension (other examples of generics include TLDs like .website, .link, .xyz and the still to come .web). From a Sunrise standpoint only two adult extensions (.porn and .adult with 4,000 each), .sucks (with 3,000) and two geo extensions - .brussels (1,200) and .melbourne (856) had more names claimed than .online.  

Sandeep Ramchandani
Business Head
Radix Registry

With the Sunrise numbers as a benchmark, Radix officials have their eyes on a specific target for new registrations in General Availability. Their Business Head, Sandeep Ramchandani, said " We expect to start off with at least 15,000 registrations at launch and would love to break .club's launch record! (Editor's note: .Club had over 25,000 registrations their first day). Ramchandani added, 'We are confident .online will be amongst the biggest new gTLDs that have launched. The same sentiment across several Registrar Partners has reinforced our beliefs."

If you are interested in .online you can register them in any stage (Early Access, Pre-Registration or General Availability) at many popular registrars including these examples provided by Radix:  GoDaddy, Domain.com, 1&1, 1Api, Name.com, 101Domain, United-Domains and eNom

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

From Its High Tech MLS Network (that Just Added eNom) to Low Tech T-Shirts Sedo Does What it Takes to Sell Domains

Sedo continues to show they will do whatever it takes to sell domain names. Today the world’s largest domain marketplace announced a major new outlet for the SedoMLS domain distribution network, adding  the leading wholesale domain name registrar, eNom, as a partner. That means domain owners served by eNom and their resellers can now list their premium names for sale on the SedoMLS network, putting those domains in front of the customers of over 650 sales partners, including top registrars around the world. 


Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz

Matt Overman, VP & GM, Aftermarket and Premium Domains at eNom's parent company, Rightside, said  “eNom’s integration with SedoMLS Premium Fast Transfer network offers our partners a turnkey way to distribute and sell a large and growing inventory of high quality, premium domains from eNom and improves the purchase experience for our mutual customers.”

Sedo CEO Tobias Flaitz added, "In today’s domain market it is challenging to find the perfect name; SedoMLS is our solution to obtaining the best domain name in a simple, approachable way while addressing customer needs. With eNom becoming a part of the SedoMLS global network, customers will increase their likelihood of making a sale and reaching the right end user allowing them to purchase the domain they want."

While Sedo's innovative MLS platform has been around for awhile, the company keeps coming up with the new ways to market high end domains. I saw one I hadn't seen from a major brokerage 

before when I was in India last week covering the DomainX conference in Bangalore. Sedo's International Senior Sales Consultant Frank Tillmanns was also there and I couldn't help noticing the T-shirt Frank wore to lunch.

Yes, becoming a human billboard for Software.com (and a portfolio of other names included in the package - see the back of Frank's shirt below) may be a little bit "low tech" in this day and age, but in front of the right crowd it can be very effective. You have to admire the Sedo broker's willingness to do whatever it takes to find a buyer!

Tillmanns said he is already in negotiations with an interested buyer for the Software.com package. He noted that the seller holds a registered U.S. trademark for Software.com - a name that has been in active use ever since it was registered in 1995. Tillmanns expects the package to go in the high 7-figure range. 

On the downside, if he sells the package this cool T-shirt will suddenly be obsolete! Not to worry though, Frank already has suitable subject matter for another one as Sedo is also brokering Files.com and a related package of domains, including 10 ccTLD variants (the .co.uk, .com.au and .de among them). Tillmanns projects that package will go in the low 7-figure range. If you are interested you can contact him directly (frank.tillmanns at sedo.com) - and if you buy he might even throw in the T-shirt!

(Posted August 18, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

THE Domain Conference Has Opened Nominations for Their 1st Domain Industry Awards

THE Domain Conference (coming up September 26-29 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida) has just opened nominations for their 2015 Domain Industry Awards. As most of you know, an awards program was a big part of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference that came to an end after its 10th anniverasary edition last fall. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Co-Founder Howard Neu decided to keep the tradition alive with THE Domain Conference, the new event being launched next month by Howard, his wife Barbara and their son Ray.

If you want to nominate someone, you can copy the form in the section below, fill in your choices and email them to [email protected] no later than Thursday, August 20, 2015. You can nominate only one person or company in each category. 

The categories are:  


I nominate _____________________________________________



I nominate _____________________________________________



I nominate ______________________________________________



I nominate ______________________________________________________



I nominate ______________________________________________________



I nominate ______________________________________________________



I nominate ______________________________________________________



I nominate ______________________________________________________



(The following have already been inducted into the DOMAIN INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME: Mike Berkens, John Beryhill, Monte Cahn, David Castello, Michael Castello, Michael Cyger, Scott Day, Adam Dicker, Chad Folkening, Jeff Gabriel, Ron Jackson, Rick Latona, Igal Lichtman (Deceased), Mike Mann, Howard Neu, Sahar Sarid, Frank Schilling, Rick Schwartz and Yun Ye):


I nominate ______________________________________________________

Once the nominations are received, all balloting will be handled by Escrow.com and the winners will be announced at the Awards Luncheon scheduled for Tuesday, September 29th in the .CLUB Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel and Spa.

(Posted August 17, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Sales Soar at DomainHoldings, Chinese Domaining Masterclass is in Session & Sedo Set for Giant Show 

While I was away covering the DomainX conference in India last week Domain Holdings released their 2Q-2015 report. As one of the major domain sales platforms (a position amplified when Flippa.com bought DH in late May to bring two key platforms under one umbrella while  keeping their individual brands), I wanted to get the DH results onto the record here. 

For Q2-2015 Domain Holdings report over $6.1 million in sales, a very healthy 29% jump from the previous quarter. That is an average of better than $472,000 a week and Dh said their average sales price is $59,079 (19% higher than in 1Q-2015) which reflects their emphasis on brokering top tier domains. 

The DH report said, "the USA and China remain the largest two markets for Domain Holdings, accounting for 90% of all sales. In Q2 we

continued to see a strong demand for number and acronym domains from the Chinese buyers. Short brandable domains also continue to be on the rise for the Chinese buyers." 

Even though the general economy has been slumping in China recently, DH said they expect demand from domain investors there to remain strong in the current 3rd quarter. You can read the complete Domain Holdings 2Q-2015 Report here

Speaking of China, TLD Registry has published the second article in their highly informative Chinese Domaining Masterclass series of blog posts. Even if you do not follow the Chinese market closely, most of  of you know that numerals can play a major role in determining the popularity of domains sold to Chinese investors. Every numeral has a unique meaning there (beyond its simple numeric value). So, in this this latest installment of the series the number 3 is carefully dissected. The article notes "3 in Chinese is considered “the limit,” “coming to the end of tolerance,” and “trying repeatedly” in old Chinese culture. The first article in the series covered the number 7

The aftermarket has seen a huge influx of Chinese buyers this year, so the more you know about what they value the better your chances are to sell to them.

One other note today - Sedo is gearing up for another edition of the giant (think 32,000 particpants!) dmexco conference coming up September 16-17, 2015 in Sedo's home town - Cologne, Germany. Dmexco, the largest digital marketing conference in Europe. attracts marketers and digital communication professionals from a range of multi-national companies and agencies. 

A Sedo release about dmexco noted, "This collaboration is a way for our registry partners to gain access to end users and multiplier agencies. Dmexco is the perfect opportunity to converge on a unique target audience and share expertise

on domains as well as what’s to come with new gTLDs and the future of the internet. Also with many of our partners being headquartered in North America, this event offers exposure to a vast European industry base of digital marketers."

For the second year in a row, Sedo will be the exclusive domain marketplace participant at dmexco. This year’s exhibition space concept is a Times Square theme using the tagline “On top of the domain world with Sedo.com”.  Sedo is offering Registry and Registrar Partners premium brand placement within large scale multimedia representations of the iconic billboards and other visitor-engaging options. They will also be featuring a play on the New York Stock Exchange ticker with domain names constantly running on a screen throughout the event. 

Sedo said, "Our featured partners include but are not limited to Radix, .CLUB, Donuts, Uniregistry, Minds+Machines and many more - and the space wouldn’t be complete without our signature frozen yogurt bar with “gTLD-infused” toppings. We welcome visitors to join us for a complimentary tasty treat at our booth located in Hall 6- Booth D011. "

If you are interested in attending dmexco you will want to register for your ticket today.  Tickets are free of charge but only until August 17th.  Those who want to learn more about how to get involved with this program should contact Christian Voss, Sedo’s Director of Marketing. Any other questions can be directed to Carolyn Rodon, Sedo PR and Marketing Associate.  

(Posted August 14, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Will Google's ABC.XYZ Address for New Holding Company Help Get New gTLDs Over the Hump? 

I spent all day Monday flying home from India after spending last weekend at the 2015 DomainX conference in Bangalore. As I result I didn't see the big news about Google launching a new holding company for their various enterprises called Alphabet on the domain ABC.XYZ until yesterday morning. I've spent some time since then reading some of the countless press reports that have understandably created a lot of excitement in the new gTLD community as well as expressions of continued skepticism from other quarters. 

The news and opinions were everywhere including in our local paper,  the Tampa Bay Times, this morning. This is obviously a major coup for new gTLDs and especially for .XYZ and its founder Daniel Negari. However, opinions on exactly how much impact it will have on overall  

ABC-XYZ blocks image from Bigstock

new gTLD recognition and acceptance ranged from very little all the way up to Wired's breathless proclamation that the announcement signals the end of .com dominance.  As is usually the case with such extremes, the outcome will likely fall somewhere in the middle but the fact remains no one knows for certain exactly where the needle will end up on that spectrum. 

I personally think this is a really solid cornerstone to build on, but the new gTLDs will still need many more bricks in the wall. The thing that made .com dominant was that it was adopted by almost every major corporation around the world, so .com was seen everywhere you turned, becoming synonymous with the Internet. It is still everywhere you turn and I think it will take a lot of time for that to change. Even many new gTLD registries have admitted that uptake has not met their expectations to date.  We will of course see more and more new gTLD raindrops hit the .com stone but that stone is so massive I suspect it will take a long time to erode it significantly. As for this specific case, Alphabet will not be a consumer facing site and Google's use of the name is a special case, something Alan Dunn broke down very astutely (as he always does) on his NameCorp blog

In any case the Google play has given awareness of the existence of new gTLDs a big and much needed shot in the arm. This particular string - ABC.XYZ - also looks like a perfect match for the Alphabet name - demonstrating the branding possibilities opened by the arrival of new gTLDs. As developments like this occur it is always wise to assess them, case by case, and make a decision whether to stand pat or re-calibrate your own

investment plans. New gTLDs are going to be part of the game from now on, so if you like playing the game, as I do, you have to weigh how they are going to affect your stack of chips and place your bets accordingly.  (For the record I have registered a limited number of new gTLDs in areas of special interest to me, budgeting a figure that would not hurt me even if those registrations are a total loss). 

With this Google win and a tireless marketing effort at his back, it looks like Daniel Negari has already won big on his initial $185,000 bet (the initial application fee) on .xyz. I think the fact that the TLD's registration numbers have been enormously inflated by doling out a ton of free domains and thousands more for as little as a dollar apiece, has overshadowed the non-stop marketing spadework Negari and his team has done with registries, purple man mascots, bobsled teams - you name it. He has managed to keep his extension and himself in the spotlight ever since .xyz went live. 

Were it not for the firestorm of criticism leveled at him (me being among those critics) for touting numbers inflated by giveaways as evidence of popular demand, I think people would have been lauding Daniel as one of the best marketers of a new extension ever (a la the .co folks) - and he would be deserving of that recognition. With the Google coup, he will still get those accolades on the broader business stage because the registration brouhaha was mostly "inside baseball" that mainstream media and the man on the street doesn't know or care about.

.XYZ Founder & CEO Daniel Negari

However anyone feels about "registration-gate"  the man is getting results. If you happen to be in Southern California next week, and want to hear more about how he has done it - straight from the horse's mouth - Negari will be hosting the August 20 meeting of the Southern California Domainers at .XYZ headquarters in Los Angeles.  You can register for the 6:30PM meeting here

(Posted August 12, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Final Day of 2015 DomainX Conference Hits Mainstream Media Home Run as Horde of Reporters Make Beeline to Bangalore

The busy day two registration desk this morning at the 
2nd annual DomainX conference in Bangalore, India.

The 2015 DomainX conference concluded at the luxurious Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore, India today - a day that produced something I have never seen at a domain conference before. Nearly two dozen mainstream TV, newspaper and online media reporters showed up for a lunch hour press conference set up by DomainX organizers at the Taj. In the past it has been unusual for more than one non industry reporter to cover a domain event (and many times there have been none). 

I'll tell you all about that important breakthrough - but first things first. After an opening day that was dedicated entirely to networking, the second and final day of the 2nd annual DomainX event was notable for another unheard of attribute - all of the day 2 passes were free of charge to those who pre-registered online. DomainX is a non-profit organization whose 

mission is to spur growth in the Indian domain market by making the public and potential investors aware of the value of high quality domains and how they can benefit any enterprise. 

Organizers expected the giveaway - which drew 1,000 online registrations - would result in hundreds of no shows (and it did) - but they didn't want cost to prevent people from hearing the message they are trying to spread. Those who didn't take advantage of the free offer don't know they missed a day that others pay 

hundreds of dollars to be part of in other parts of the world. Despite the no cost policy there was no drop off in quality - in fact it was an extremely professional production that ranks with the best of any we have seen in covering dozens of industry conferences around the world over the past 11 years. I think that will be obvious to you as you scroll through the photos and highlights from day two in this article.

Above: After some of the first guests were in their seats DomainX hostess Sneha Bhati (left) kept them thoroughly entertained and engaged while they waited for the rest of the audience to get their nametags and make their way into the Taj West End Ballroom for the official start of the program.  She did it by interviewing some of this year's international guests including Australia's Ned O'Meara from Domainer.com.au

As soon as the sign in process concluded the day's busy agenda began with a traditional Indian Lamp Lighting & Inauguration ceremony. Again DomainX honored their international guests who traveled long distances to attend the show by making them part of the lamp lighting ceremony.

Ron Jackson (USA), Ned O'Meara (Australia), Zak Muscovitch (Canada) - seen with his candle in the photo at right - and Martijn Schneider (Netherlands) each lit a lamp channel before Indian domain pioneer Deepak Daftari concluded the process by lighting the last channel.

The first session then began with the first keynote address from Mr. Daftari - a frequent visitor to U.S. shows who is regarded by many of his countrymen as the "Father of Indian Domain Investors."

Deepak Daftari (eSiksha.com) delivering his keynote address 
Saturday morning (August ) at the 2015 DomainX conference in Bangalore, India

One the highlights of our trip to India was a chance to spend more time with Deepak and get to know him better. He is a humble man who goes about his business quietly, so few people know he ranks among the world's most successful domain investors and is also the owner of several profitable businesses and an investor in many others. He has also become part of DomainX's educational mission by serving as the conference's Brand Ambassador.

It was a pleasure to listen to the great advice in his keynote this morning and an honor to follow him in delivering the day's 2nd keynote. I have always been fascinated about the paths that led people into the relatively small and largely unknown business of domain investing. So, I shared my own journey with the audience - one that started as a radio/TV broadcaster, followed by a 12-year stretch in which I owned a string of record/CD stores. Then, when the Internet wiped out that  

DNJournal's Ron Jackson addresses the DomainX audience
 in the 2nd of Saturday's back to back keynote speeches.

business, had the good fortune to stumble upon domains and discover what made this industry  more rewarding than any I've ever been involved with, especially on a personal level that has produced several lifelong friendships forged with kindred spirits in our always fascinating field.


Above: A cross section of the audience at the final day of DomainX Saturday in India.

After the keynotes Deepak and I were asked to join international guests Ned O'Meara, Zak Muscovitch and Martijn Schneider, as well as DomainX Founder and CEO Manmeet Pal Singh at a press conference for local media interested in what was so important about domain names that prompted people from around the world to fly all the way to Bangalore for this gathering. When we reached the press conference room I was stunned to see TV crews and row after row of print and online reporters. It was a real home run in DomainX's quest to spread the domain gospel through India, one city at a time.

Above: (left to right) Deepak Daftari, Ned O'Meara, Ron Jackson and attorney Zak Muscovitch fielding questions from mainstream reporters in Bangalore, India. Another panelist, Martijn  Schneider (HousingAgent.com), left his seat to take this photo and DomainX Founder Manmeet Pal Singh is also off camera answering questions. Press reports from this session are already starting to be filed as I write this. 

Below: DNJournal's Ron Jackson fields questions about the domain business and what brought him to India from a KNN TV reporter (this photo also taken by Martijn Schneider). 

Below: At the same time the press conference was going on, .Desi Registry Principal Siddharth Ohri was on stage in the Taj West End Ballroom offering a presentation on the new gTLD that is probably closer to being a "Super ccTLD" in that it represents the culture, people and products originating from the Indian sub-continent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka).

Below: Next up with a 90-minute outdoor lunch break on the fabulous Prince of Wales lawn at the Taj West End Hotel were guests were treated to a wide variety of Indian entrees and desserts. It was a beautiful day with great company and a terrific idea by DomainX to dine outdoors.

Below: The afternoon sessions resumed with a Legal Panel covering UDRP, URS and INDRP issues. Panelists included (left to right) Moderator Ankur Raheja, Na. Vijayshankar (CEO, CberLawCollege.com), Rodney D. Ryder (Partner, Scriboard.com) and Zak Muscovitch (Founder, DNAttorney.com).

Next up, Sushanto Mitra, Founder & CEO of Lead Angels, seen in the photo below, discussed how Indian venture capitalists view the domain space in a talk hosted by Dr. Shurjo Ghosh.

A presentation on IBM's Cloud Business, handled by IBM Cloud Business Development Leader Samarth Kholkar, filled the next spot in the agenda, followed by another presentation, this one from Joeri Bortslap (MD at Resello.com) who is seen during his talk in the photo below.

Below: Resello also had a spot in the sponsor exhibit hall adjacent to the main ballroom, an area that doubled as a coffee and cookie break lounge. That's where you see my wife Diana with our new friends Pradeep Kumar (left) and Ashvin Patel (right).


Below: Also in the exhibition hall, Sanjeev Sharma from SS Consultancy Services, was on hand to welcome vsitors to his OpenSRS/Tucows booth.

In the final business session of DomainX 2015, Deepak Daftari (center in the photo below) returned to host a Fireside Chat with Ned O'Meara (Domainer.com.au) at left and Martijn Schneider (HousingAgent.com) at right.

Below: While business was now done - the day was not over. It was time for a celebration as DomainX handed out their 2015 Awards. The first for Domain Magazine of the Year went to Ron Jackson for DNJournal.com.

Below: The next award for "Rising Star" in Indian Domaining went to Aishwin Vikhona (Aishwin.com) earning him a hug from presenter Zak Muscovitch (left).

Below: DomainX then handed out thoughtful Thank You awards to 14 different show participants who made special contributions to the event, incuding Dr. Shurho Ghosh (at right below) with DomainX Founder & CEO Manmeet Pal Singh

Below: Mr. Singh (at left) also presented three special recognition awards - momentos handed out to thank the co-organizing team of tjhe first DomainX last year - who are no longer with the organization. They are (left to right after Mr. Singh, Nishank Yadav, Email.biz's Anshul Goyal and Sibtain Zaheer).

Below: Next, DomainX invited Ron Jackson to help Aishwin Vikhona (right) launch his new book - Sell Domains Fast (available in both paperback and ebook editions). The launch capped a big weekend for Aishwin as it accompanied his Rising Star award noted above. 

Below: (Left to right) DomainX Co-Organizer Gaurav Kholi, team members Pankaj Vijayvargiya, Dhairya Cholera and Hardik Modi and Founder Manmeet Pal Singh then came onstage to thank everyone in the appreciative crowd for coming and making the second annual DomainX conference something truly special.

refers to the culture, people and products originating from the Indian sub-continent (India,Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka). - See more at: http://registry.desi/#sthash.1raetzCz.dpuf

With the final curtain having now come down on DomainX 2015 we can say that this show exceeded our expectations in every way - from the spectacularly beautiful Taj West End Hotel, to the sights and sounds of Bangalore to the non-stop networking Friday to the huge mainstream press response and informative and entertaining business day today, we could not have asked for more. It all made our first visit to India - a country we have quickly come to love - a trip we will never forget. 

(Posted August 8, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Networking Was the Name of the Game at the Opening Day of DomainX in India

The 2015 DomainX Conference opened today at the Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore, India. It has long been known that networking is far and away the number 1 reason people cite for going to domain conferences. At most conferences you will find a high percentage of 

attendees out in the halls chatting rather than sitting in on whatever session is running in the ballroom. So, DomainX decided to try something different and make day one of this year's show ALL networking. 

This was also the only day DomainX charged an admission fee. Tickets for day 2 tomorrow - with a more traditional mix of speakers, sessions and networking - were offered at no charge to those who pre-registered online and all of those tickets were taken. Those who bought the networking session felt they got a great return on their money today.

At left, Aishwin Vikhona (BulkWhoIsFinder.com) chats with DomainX's Dhairya Cholera 
(2nd from left) at the sign-in table for the Day One networking session at DomainX.

Facing the camera at front left are Frank Tillmans and Sophie Piek 
who flew into represent Sedo at DomainX.

DomainX Brand Ambassador Deepak Daftari (center), who will deliver the first 
keynote speech Saturday morning, visits with HousingAgent.com's Martjin Schneider (left) 
and Domainer.com.au's Ned O'Meara who will also be speaking tomorrow.

Above: Intense discussions were the order of the day 
everywhere you looked at DomainX today. 

Below: OK, maybe a little less intense at the bar where we spotted Canada's top notch domain attorney Zak Muscovitch (left). Zak will take part in a legal issues panel discussion Saturday. At center is Kashish Vikhona and at right, his brother Aishwin Vikhona (Aishwin.com) who will also be back tomorrow to launch a new book he authored on selling domains.

Above: We learned a lot about Indian food this week and one thing we learned was that we really liked it! Some of the best we've had was served at today's outdoor buffet luncheon at the Taj West End Hotel.

At left: While Indian food may a bit spicier that some like, everybody liked the desserts - something that seems true everywhere we visit!

Below: After lunch, fortified with another cup of coffee, it was back to full strength networking that went on until well past the planned closing time - another hallmark of domain shows around the globe. 

Above: It's a small world - my wife Diana, while talking with Dr. Amaresh Hombal who came from the Bahamas, learned he has a sister who lives just a few miles from us on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Below: .CLUB is in the house! Nivu Hussain was on hand to represent the popular new TLD. 

Below: Even after day one ended, the networking didn't stop. About two dozen guests got together for a dinner at the Taj West End Hotel's Masala Klub Restaurant hosted by Deepak Daftari, DomainX Founder Manmeet Pal Singh and his Co-Organizer Gaurav Kholi.

Tomorrow's closing day at DomainX will open with a coffee & tea networking session at 9:30am followed by keynote talks from Deepak Daftari and Ron Jackson. The day will continue through the afternoon with a series of panel discussions, presentations and a 5pm awards ceremony. I'll have all of those highlights for you in my next post from Bangalore Saturday.

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

Inside Bangalore - A Quick Trip Around India's High Tech Capital Where DomainX Starts Friday

With one day to go before the 2015 DomainX conference begins Friday at 12 Noon (local time) at India's Taj West End Hotel we took the opportunity to get out today and explore the host city - Bangalore - a metropolis of more than 8 million people that is known as India's Silicon Valley. 

By getting into town a couple of days early we've been able to see some of the groundwork DomainX Founder Manmeet Pal Singh, conference Co-Organizer Gaurav Kholi and their entire team have done to make this 2nd annual event something special. After their successful debut last year in Hyderabad I came to India with expectations already set high but everything I have seen so far has exceeded those expectations, so I think attendees are in for a couple of very productive days here Friday and Saturday. 

As I wrote yesterday, the site for the show, the Taj West End Hotel, is a true world class hotel that underlines DomainX's intention to play in the domain conference big leagues. As the bustling capital of Indian high tech, Bangalore is also a natural host city for the event. My wife, Diana, and I got a close up look at the town today when DomainX arranged a car and driver and again lent us team member Dhairya Cholera to help guide us through an urban maze we likely would have gotten lost in without their help. We certainly wouldn't have been able to cover as much ground as we did - and now that we've done that I wanted to share some photos from this lively city with you.

Above: DomainX team member Dhairya Cholera (left) and our expert driver at one of today's stops - Lalbagh Botanical Gardens.

At right: Our first stop - the Sri Someshwara Swamy Temple in Old Bangalore. We have always loved Indian architecture and art and this temple is an eye popping example of both.

Below: A  closer look at the temple entrance's multi-level dome reveals some remarkable artistry. We were surprised to find that this structure is essentially just the gate. The actual temple is a few yards behind it. We did walk through it but photography is not allowed inside. It was also interesting but it is this structure that provides the eye candy.

After our temple visit we headed for one of Bangalore's most famous attractions - the fabulous Lalbagh Botanical Gardens.  

Above: This may not look like a scene from a world famous botanical garden but it is. This very unusual natural rock outcropping is at the entrance to the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, an enormous green space that stretches over 240 landscaped acres.

Above: The crown jewel of the Lalbagh Botancal Gardens is this massive Victorian inspired greenhouse. It overlooks a horticultural complex that was laid out in 1760 by Mysore ruler Hyder Ali.

At right: Inside the greenhouse a floral replica of the famous Bangalore Palace was being constructed almost entirely from flowers (a la Rose Bowl parade floats but much bigger). The display is one of many being put together to celebrate India's Indendence Day August 15

When we left the Lalbagh we drove across town for a quick look at the real Bangalore Palace. From there it was on to the massive Vidhona Soudha


Above: Vidhona Suddha - the seat of the Karnakata state government. Like many places in rapidly growing Bangalore a major construction project is underway at the site.

After a few more stops, we decided to have a late lunch before heading back to the Taj West End. Dhairya and another DomainX team member who had joined our group back at  Lalbagh Gardens, Hardik Modi, decided we needed to have some good Indian food so they took us to a barbeque joint!  But make no mistake - this was Indian barbeque - with both spicy versions of various meats and vegetarian barbeque (an animal I didn't know existed)!

I always thought Americans ate more food than anyone but now I think Indians could beat us hands down in that department. The all you can restaurant - Barbeque Nation - served up plate after plate of appetizers, soups, salads, main courses and desserts that Dhairya and Hardik made disappear (OK, maybe we helped them a little bit). The only downside is we now have an insurmountable calorie overload to work off this week! 

Above: Diana Jackson and DomainX's Dhairya Cholera get ready to dig in at Barbeque Nation.

When we got back to the Taj West End at the end of the afternoon, hotel receptionists had another nice surprise waiting for us - fresh jasmine flower garlands and a Bindi dot painted on our foreheads - a gesture said to bring good health. They also gave us fresh glasses of coconut water (maybe as a backup in case the Bindi dots don't work)!

We have had a couple of great days to get acclimated in Bangalore, but now it's time to get down to business. DomainX gets underway at 12 Noon (local time) Friday (August 7) and continues all day Saturday. I will, of course, have photos and highlights from both days for you in this column. 

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

DomainX in Bangalore, India Will Be a Feast for the Eyes as Well as a Fest for Investors

We arrived in India early this morning, a couple of days ahead of the 2nd annual DomainX conference, so we could explore Bangalore and the historic Taj West End Hotel where the show will be held Friday and Saturday (August 7 & 8). Those coming in for the event at the 

125-year-old venue are in for a treat - both on the domain front and in the eye candy arena. It is hard to imagine a prettier place to gather for any occasion. 

Above: My wife, Diana and I, exploring some of the 20 acres of lush tropical foliage that surrounds the five-star Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore, India where the DomainX conference will be held Friday & Saturday (August 7 & 8).

Below: Rooms at the Taj are located in a collection of Victorian era buildings connected by scenic walkways that meander through the spectacular property. 

Above: While sitting on the back lawn at the Taj West End, Diana is visited by some friendly fowl representing a turkey-related species that we were told lives only in southern India.

Below: The Taj takes full advantage of their gorgeous scenery with a variety of outdoor dining options including these tables at the Masala Klub.

Above: The spacious Taj West End Hotel Ballroom  
where the DomainX conference will be held.  

Below: DomainX team members (left to right): Hardik Modi, Founder & CEO Manmeet Pal Singh, Dhairya Cholera, DomainX Co-Organizer Gaurav Kholi and Preetham Shetty in the conference hall planning the stage and seating layout for this weekend's sold out show. 

Tomorrow we plan to get out and see some of the surrounding city and it looks like we have lined up a great tour guide in Deepak Daftari who will be the first keynote speaker at DomainX Saturday. That will be a lot of fun and I expect to have some photos and highlights from the day for you in this column Thursday. Then we all get down to business when the show opens at 12 Noon Friday (local time in Bangalore - that is 9.5 hours later that U.S. Eastern time, so when the conference starts it will be 2:30 in the morning back home in Florida).   

(Posted August 5, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Full House Will Be on Hand for India's 2nd DomainX Conference This Week - Final Agenda Now Set

India's 2nd annual DomainX conference is coming up this week with the two-day event set to run at the five-star Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore, India Friday and Saturday, August 7 & 8, 2015. DomainX Founder and CEO Manmeet Pal Singh told us registration is now closed after hitting 1,000 online sign ups Saturday. The actual attendance is expected to fall between 500-600 because many who registered for the free second day only (with nothing invested) will not make the trip. Even so, if expectations are met, attendance will be around 40% higher than it was the show's successful debut run last year in Hyderabad

DomainX's unique format offers a special networking day on day 1 Friday - a day dedicated to face to face interaction between attendees and experts, with just a couple of short introductory  talks from the stage (the first coming from DomainX Brand Amabassador Deepak Daftari and the second from DN Journal's Ron Jackson). Day 2 Saturday has a more traditional agenda with keynote speakers and an array of panel discussions on timely subjects. I was originally scheduled to sit on one of the panels but have since been invited to deliver a second keynote instead and will be honored to again join Deepak in doing that Saturday. You can see the full conference agenda here

Manmeet Pal Singh
DomainX Founder & CEO

IBM's Samarth Kholkar will be 
speaking at DomainX Saturday 

There have been several additions to the agenda since my last update on the show. IBM Cloud Business Development Leader Samarth Kholkar is now scheduled to speak at 3:30 Saturday afternoon and 90 minutes later, during the Conference Awards ceremony, there will be a book launch event marking the release of Selling Domains Fast, written by Indian domain name investor Aishwin Vikhona. Singh said Mr. Vikhona has closed domain sales running into six figures over the past few months.

I mentioned earlier that DomainX made day 2 Saturday open to anyone at no charge (until the show reached full capacity and registration had to be closed). There was a low fee for those who wanted to come for day 1 networking but even those tickets topped out at only $99, far below western conference standards. Of course the only thing that allows DomainX to do that and still hold the show at a world class facility like the Taj West End Hotel is sponsor support

Singh believes the cost to attend has to be kept low to help accelerate growth in the Indian domain market by eliminating cost as a barrier to entry for those who want to learn more about the business. Fortunately, a number of well-known sponsors share that vision and stepped up so DomainX could continue to offer no or low cost tickets as they did last year as well. 

In alphabetical order, Escrow.com, Go Daddy and INForum.in are Platinum sponsors while Airfare.in, .Desi, Domaining.com, DomainPros.com, IBM and Resello.com are Gold Sponsors. Further support is coming from eight Silver Sponsors including Bruwink, BulkWhoisFinder, Verisign (.com/,net), Catchy.com, JUA Domain Name Consultants, NameCatch.org/.in, OpenSRS and Uniregistry

We are looking forward to our first visit to India, meeting that country's up and coming domain investors and covering it all for you. Look for our first pre-show post from Bangalore in this column Wednesday with daily reports continuing through the conclusion of DomainX 2015 Saturday.

Lobby of the Taj West End Hotel in Banglore, India where 
DomainX 2015 will be held Friday & Saturday (August 7 & 8).

(Posted August 2, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Money Back Guarantee Offered on "Dirty" Domains, Free Chinese Domaining Masterclass Goes Online &  New Domain Extension to be Auctioned Off 

Senior Strategist Bill Hartzer

We've had a busy week making preparations for our trip to  India to cover next week's DomainX conference in Bangalore. As a result I didn't get a chance to share a few  interesting items that came across my desk, so I wanted to do that this weekend before heading overseas Monday. 

For starters, Globe Runner, a digital marketing and SEO agency based in Dallas, unveiled a new product called Verified Domains. Globe Runner Senior Strategist Bill Hartzer told us, "It's the first service that provides background checks and due diligence for domain names. Kind of like a CarFax report for your car, but for domain names. Verified Domains checks out a domain's past and offer a Buy Back  guarantee that the domain name is clean and ready for commerce." 

The dollar amount of the Buy Back guarantee depends on the level of service you choose to use. Hartzer said, "The Verified level gets you over 15 manual reviews of various data points, and includes a $5,000 Buy Back Guarantee. Manual reviews include data points like a Whois History Review, Review of Former Site Topic, Email Blacklist 

Check, Limited Search Engine Reputation Review and DNS Health Check. The Verified Plus level gets you all of the checks included in the Verified level, but includes more data points and a $25,000 Buy Back Guarantee. The Verified Premium level includes the Verified and Verified Plus checks, but also includes more extensive checks of whois data and search engine reputation issues. There are over 45 different manual reviews of various data points done, and it includes a $50,000 Buy Back Guarantee."

You can review pricing for each level and more details on the level of service each provides here. The Buy Back Guarantee essentially says that if Verified Domains verified the domain as being "clean" and ready for commerce, and a problem is found within 30 days of the verification, Verified Domains will buy the domain. "Hartzer said, "For domainers, a report from Verified Domains could be used to "close the deal", giving some assurance to buyers that there aren't any problems with the domain. Adding a report could allow you to ask more for the domain, as it's a Verified Domain. Discounts are available for multiple domains and entire domain portfolios. For resellers, Verified Domains will work with you to integrate into your platform  and provide a referral fee."

On another front, if you were at this year's NamesCon conference in Las Vegas in January you may well have sat in on some or all of the popular Chinese Domain Masterclass sessions presented by TLD Registry during the show. If you didn't get to go to NamesCon, we have some good news for you. TLD Registry is making key portions of that information on the Chinese domain market available to everyone in a series of blog posts at ChineseLandrush.com. The first post in the series, covering numeric domains, went up this week. 

Mitch Watkins, the Partners Program Manager at TLD Registry told us, "This blog series is an extended effort to educate western domainers and also to lead them to our ChineseLandrush.com site, which offers hundreds of free, premium-sounding Chinese domain suggestions, and to help them confidently 

invest in these domains with the knowledge they will have received from the blog series." If  you are interested in selling domains to the Chinese market the information is very helpful and you can't beat the price!

Last but not least, new TLDs are being released almost every week and while registering names in new extensions has become commonplace, seeing an entire new extension being put up for public sale doesn't happen every day. So, it will be interesting to see what the TLD .Versicherung (the German word for insurance) will go for when  RightoftheDot, LLC in cooperation with Heritage Auctions (HA.com) conducts an ascending clock auction sale of the extension on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 10am (U.S. Eastern time). 

Those interested in bidding on the TLD must register to bid by filling out the form on http://rotd.com. At that site you can also download a PDF file containing the auction details (in English or German), as well as the list of reserved and premium domain names (which exceeds 10,000 names). An ROTD press release noted, "We believe there is great value in the 

premium lists where insurance agents, companies, affiliates, etc. could have the very best GEO and keyword names in a top industry string." As of this writing there are also over 3,000 domain names registered in the .versicherung at a cost of 99 euros a year.

Each bidder will be required to deposit $100,000 USD in escrow prior to the auction. Once you register, you will be contacted by email with more details and instructions regarding escrow deposit and Terms of Service.

(Posted August 1, 2015) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

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