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April 19, 2016

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The Lowdown
March 2016 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.

Igloo's New "Brand Stories" Page Tracks How Companies Are Using the Top Tier Domains They Purchased

Popular domain brokerage company Igloo.com has just given their website a nice refresh that includes an interesting new page devoted to Brand Stories. It currently features capsule reports on more than two dozen companies that have purchased high end domain names through the brokerage - items that detail how the companies are utilizing their newly acquired domain assets.

The domains/websites featured include Jet.com, IG.com, Yoga.com, Turkey.com, Israel.com, Card.com, Pro.com and NewOrleans.com to name just a few. We are obviously talking about some high end Internet real estate here.

Tessa Holcomb
Co-Founder & CEO, Igloo.com

Igloo.com Co-Founder & CEO Tessa Holcomb (who was profiled in our June 2015 Cover Story) told me, "We're really excited about our Brand Stories page because there is nothing we love more than seeing our client's ideas transform into sites/businesses, so we wanted to share some of our favorites and will be adding to this page weekly."

Those on the Igloo.com mailing list also got word about the new feature today in a note that said, "Our success has always been based on our thorough understanding of who are clients, are, how they think, and what matters most to them. In taking the time to find out their stories, we can then use our talents to help them tell that story to the world with the right domain."

"We all agree that the best part of our job is watching a domain we place transform into an impressive site, cool brand, or even a household name.  This is why we have added a Brand Stories page to our website to celebrate the successes of our clients and to inspire others."

To give you just one example of an Igloo Brand Story, here is an excerpt from their entry about the 2013 sale of IG.com: "The London-based international financial trading company IG Group purchased the IG.com domain asset for $4.7 million shortly after consolidating its businesses in the UK under one brand.  IG is now the world’s leading provider of contracts for difference and financial spread betting.  With a team of over 1,000 staff based across five continents, the IG Group is an established member of the FTSE 250 with a market capitalization of £2.9 billion."

"(The seller) Brazil’s third-largest search portal were equally pleased with the deal.  As reported in DN Journal, Andre Chaves, iG CEO and Executive Board member of BRZtech remarked,  “Although we initially had alternate plans for the IG.com domain name, we were extremely satisfied with the final sales price that Mr. Marcus Kocak and Ms. Holcomb were able to broker while ensuring we felt comfortable with the process throughout the negotiation.” 

We don't always hear a lot about what happens after the sale. As Igloo continues to build this new section of their website out, it promises to become a go-to repository for success stories that should be very helpful in showing other corporate leaders how valuable the right domain can be to their enterprises.

(Posted March 31, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

You Have to Buy a Domain Before You Can Sell One - Thanks to Giuseppe There is a Guide for That!

Volumes have been written about the business of selling domain names, but what if you found yourself on the other side of the table and wanted to buy a specific domain so badly you could almost taste it? It isn't always as easy as looking up the owner's contact information and sending a note asking if they would be willing to sell and, if so,  for how much? You can also bet that the better the name is, the more complicated the process is likely to be.

If you find yourself in that situation (or someone has asked you for advice on how they might go about acquiring a domain they need) veteran domain broker/consultant Giuseppe Graziano from GGRG.com has published an extensive free guide to the process titled The Ninja Guide to Buying a Domain When It’s Already Taken.

You probably already know about Giuseppe. Prior to opening his own shop based in Lisbon, Portugal,  he served as the European Director of Business Development for DomainHoldings. Since opening GGRG he has published a number of insightful free domain business guides on his blog with the latest being this in depth piece on an important topic that often gets overlooked. 

GGRG Founder Giuseppe Graziano

Whether you want a specific name for a development project or to improve your investment portfolio, the advice in his guide could help you land the asset you've set your sites on.

Graziano noted in his introduction to the guide, "Over the past few years, this has been my job –  helping people buy and sell domain names. After many hiccups, a decent amount of large deals and a few millions in brokered transactions later, I have a good grip on what is the best way to approach the acquisition of a domain name. It is both an art and a science, because every domain name and every domain owner is different. Whoever gives you generic negotiation advice is not telling the full story. In this post, we are going to open the kimono and reveal our proven acquisition process and domain negotiation hacks, so you too can experience that feeling of being a proud owner of your dream domain, and know that you paid a fair price for it."  

The guide is well worth checking out - or at the very least, bookmarking, so you will have it handy when the need arises. 

(Posted March 29, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Uniregistry Market Goes Live -  DomainAgents Unveils New Website - .AU Lets CEO Go 

Spring is here and the season isn't the only thing changing. Earlier this year Uniregistry announced they would soon be releasing the successor to their popular DomainNamesSales.com (DNS) aftermarket platform - Uniregistry Market. Today it arrived

In an email to current clients, Uniregistry promised the same solid foundation as DomainNameSales, with faster tools, instant insights and an up-to-date modern user experience, adding "If you already have a DNS account, simply log in to Uniregistry and link to it. This will give you access to all your inquiries right there in the Market."

Domains listed at Uniregistry with a “buy it now” price are eligible for instant checkout through their Registrar. The company noted, "Once added to the market, anyone can find your domains with a simple search from our homepage. You can manage all your sales inquiries with ease using a sales inbox designed specifically for the process of selling domains. Reply, set reminders, quote prices, and do it all from a single interface. Act on individual requests or use our powerful bulk tools to manage everything in an instant. We’ll even help you out with credit card payments, wire transfers, and payment plans."

DomainAgents CEO Phil McKegney

Toronto based DomainAgents.com also released a fully redesigned website and marketplace today. Their announcement said, "Incorporating years of operational experience, user requests, and plans for the future, the new DomainAgents website was developed to be a flexible platform that is intended to grow with the company and its users over the coming years."

CEO Phil McKegney said, "Planning for the next phase of DomainAgents has been in the works since we released the Marketplace feature last year. We’ve been focused on creating the premier Negotiation Platform and Marketplace for both domain owners and end users. DomainAgents works with thousands of buyers and sellers each month to provide a secure and low-friction process to negotiate and complete domain name transactions. By focusing on our core products and strengths we’ve avoided the common pitfalls of spreading ourselves thin. We’ve worked directly with domain buyers and owners to craft the best Negotiation and Marketplace experience in the domain industry.”

Yet another major change today involved a management move rather than a platform makeover. The Board of auDA, the administrator of Australia's .au ccTLD, announced today that it was ending the contract of  long time CEO Chris Disspain who has served the organization for the past 16 years.  Mr Disspain’s contract was due for renewal later this year, but a statement released by AuDa said, "the Board agreed new leadership was required to take the organisation forward."

The Board acknowledged and thanked Mr. Disspain, as founding CEO of auDA, "for the hard work and visionary leadership he has demonstrated throughout his tenure, helping to cement the organisation’s standing as a one of the world’s best practice ccTLD managers."

auDA’s current Chief Operations and Policy Officer, Jo Lim has been appointed Acting CEO and the Board will undertake an executive search to fill the position vacated by Mr Disspain, over the next six months.

Chris Disspain

We first had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Disspain (as well as current AuDA Board member and veteran entrepreneur/domain investor Simon Johnson) at the 2008 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Down Under conference in Australia and wish the widely respected executive the best in his next position. 

(Posted March 24, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Latest News on Domaining Europe -  Auction & New Speakers Added to May Event in the Netherlands

With the 8th annual edition of the Domaining Europe conference just a couple of months away show Founder Dietmar Stefitz continues to add new elements to an event that he said will easily be the biggest in the series to date. Having already chosen a new host city, The Hague in the Netherlands, for the 2016 conference May 29-31, Stefitz just announced another first - Domaining Europe's inaugural domain auction on May 31. The sale will be run by Netherlands-based aftermarket sales site Undeveloped.com. Names for the auction can be submitted at D-E.auction (you can also sign up to receive upcoming auction updates there). 

With new speakers and sessions still being added to the Domaining Europe program the official 

Andrew Simpson
Verisign Data Scientist

show agenda won't be posted until early April but Stefitz has already announced there will be a Dotcom Day on May 30 and a NonCom Day (spotlighting new gTLDs and ccTLDs) on May 31. We've now learned that Verisign (the administrator of the .com registry) will lead the Dotcom day and will send Data Scientist Andrew Simpson to provide advice during a Meet the Expert session. 

Simpson will cover trends in domain name investment that include top trending words in various languages, characteristics of domain names and parts of speech. He will also show how Verisign tools can help you find great names with these identified trends. Verisign will also sponsor a Gala Dinner the same day (Monday evening, May 30). 

The NonCom Day May 31 will feature .CLUB's globe-trotting Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Sass and Ingrid Baele, Head of IP&S at corporate giant Philips, who will talk about their plans for .philips, one of the first ".brand" new gTLDs.  Stefitz also said Uniregistry (operator of many new gTLDs including .link and .click) plans to send as many five representatives to the show. 

Stefitz also told us about a couple of additional speakers that have been added to the line up. Michael Gilmour from ParkLogic.com will come in from Australia to participate in a panel discussion of parking issues that will include representatives from Sedo, Bodis, DomainSponsor and ParkingCrew with Braden Pollock moderating the event. Canada's Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz (who was profiled in our September 2015 Cover Story) will also be there to participate in a domain investment panel.

To cap it off, Stefitz announced a new site - YourDiscountTicket.com - has been set up to give those who want to attend a limited time opportunity to buy a half-price ticket for Domaining Europe 2016 for just €315.75. Discounted rooms are also available at the show hotel - the Grand Hotel Amrath Kurhaus in The Hague.

Dietmar Stefitz
Domaining Europe Founder

(Posted March 22, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

DomainX Stages Successful Workshop in India - Co-Founder Releases Domain Investing eBook

Organizers of India's DomainX conference will stage their 3rd annual event August 6-7, 2016 in New Delhi but they've already got another 2016 event under their belt. Growing the country's domain industry is a year round job so the Domain Name Owners 

Association of India decided to add a smaller workshop event that was held March 5-6 at Vivanta by Taj in Panjim, Goa, India.

Above: DomainX Co-Founder Manmeet Pal Singh (left) welcomes attendees at the sign in table for the DomainX 2016 Workshop in Goa, India March 5, 2016. 

Below: Deepak Daftari (left, facing audience) from eSiksha.com was one of the many speakers featured at the workshop.

Above: Deepak Daftari chatting with fellow speaker Alpesh Shinde from GoDaddy.

Below: In addition to education, the DomainX Workshop provided invaluable networking opportunities. These happy attendees marked the occasion with a selfie. 

Above: In another highlight of the Workshop, DomainX Co-Founder Manmeet Pal Singh (left)  launched his new ebook - Domain Name Investing 101 (there is also a promotional video for the book on YouTube). Every Workshop attendee received a free copy.

Below: A "class photo" from the first DomainX Workshop in Goa, India (March 5-6, 2016)

With their first successful Workshop project completed, DomainX organizers will turn their attention to the big show coming up in August. I had the pleasure or covering and speaking at last year's event in Bangalore and am planning to return for the 2016 conference a little over four months form now in the nation's capital.

(Posted March 21, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

3rd Edition of DNSeattle Will Welcome Attendees from the Pacific Northwest and Beyond May 12

The 3rd annual edition of DNSeattle will be held May 12, 2016 in Kirkland, Washington at Premier Sponsor GoDaddy's offices overlooking beautiful Lake Washington. The meetup for domain industry participants, organized by  DomainSherpa's Michael Cyger (a Seattle area resident himself), will welcome guests from throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

DNSeattle will officially run from 6-9pm but post-event socializing will continue until midnight next door at the Woodmark Hotel. Discounted rooms at that hotel are being made available to DNSeattle attendees at a nightly rate of $239. 

Guests can look forward to an evening of networking and hearing from distinguished speakers while enjoying appetizers and drinks. Tickets are just $14 but capacity is limited to 75 people so they will sell out very quickly as they have in the past (a wait list will be started when the tickets are gone). You can get a good idea of what to expect at the event by checking out photo albums from the 2015 and 2014 editions of DNSeattle. 

Once again all proceeds from the event will benefit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle - a pioneering research institute focused on finding a cure for cancer. Mr. Cyger thanked GoDaddy for their sponsorship and providing the meeting space, acknowledging company representatives Arnold BlinnShefali Shukla and Joe Styler for their support. He also thanked supporting sponsor Donuts and noted additional supporting sponsors would be appreciated.

(Posted March 17, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

The New Executive Director of the Domain Name Association - Roy Arbeit - Took Charge Today

The new Executive Director of  The Domain Name Association, Roy M. Arbeit, officially stepped into that role today (March 15, 2016). As the industry trade association's leader Mr. Arbeit will help drive domain name industry awareness globally and increase membership support by engaging stakeholders to influence the continuing evolution and advancement of the industry. The DNA, a non-profit organization, was established as an industry-led effort to advocate for the expanded use, universal acceptance, and trust of domain names by promoting best practices and sharing the value they provide as a primary tool for users to navigate the Internet.

Mr. Arbeit has over 20 years of experience in business marketing strategy positions and has been an integral member of strategic leadership teams for global business services organizations. Previously, he was Managing Director of Marketing and Sales at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in New York, a 140,000-member global professional organization. At ASME, Mr. Arbeit helped drive revenue growth and expansion into new markets, and he led the association’s digital strategy for greater impact, engagement, and global reach. He has held several high-level sales and marketing roles at other companies, including the American Arbitration Association, Ernst & Young and Citibank.

Executive Director Roy M. Arbeit
Domain Name Association

Adrian Kinderis, Vice President of Corporate Development at Neustar and Chairman of The DNA, said “Roy is a strategic thinker and experienced team builder who will help us to accelerate our mission of making the importance, value, and utility of domain names more widely understood. He was selected from among a robust pool of qualified candidates because of his significant expertise in driving membership success in industry trade associations."

Mr. Arbeit said, "I’m excited to begin working with such high-caliber, industry-leading companies to develop a comprehensive global strategy for furthering The DNA’s mission and member activities. With increasing interest in the domain name economy, the timing is right to raise the association’s profile and engage and extend its membership base to encourage the healthy growth of domains globally.”

(Posted March 15, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Rock Band Bree Featuring Domain Hall of Famer David Castello Breaking Out Big in the UK

As domain industry veterans and our regular readers know, David Castello (of Castello Brothers fame) returned to his music industry roots a few years ago to manage the career of his wife BREE in the rock trio named for her that David also plays drums for. The Nashville based group has been making steady progress ever since and is now poised for a major breakout in the UK, a country long known for discovering talent before the rest of the world catches on. 

David and Bree just returned from a promotional tour of the UK where Bree was interviewed on many of England's top radio stations. Bree's first single from her upcoming album New Skin, "Damn, I'm Being Me Again", is currently receiving play on over 40 radio stations in the UK. 

Bree doing one of several major radio interviews 
in the UK this month
(photo from Steve Hughes).

They will return to the UK in May with fellow band member, upright bassist Mayrk McNeely, for a series of live shows and interviews. I believe their music and the discerning UK audience is a perfect match that is going to create major waves in the months ahead. You can check out their newly released video for " Damn, I’m Being Me Again" by clicking the play button below.

(Posted March 14, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

China's  Most Popular Auction Platform - 4.cn - is Giving Premium .CLUB Domains an Exclusive Spotlight This Month

For the first time China's most popular domain sales platform,. 4.cn, is going to hold a premium domain auction featuring a single new gTLD - .CLUB. The catalog will include 8.club, along with 24  two-number domain names, including 11.club., 44.club, 55.club, 99.club and others. You can see the full list here.  Bidding will open on Monday (March 7th, 2016) at 5pm in China (4am US Eastern time) and the auctions will continue with staggered end dates from March 21-24. All of the names will be offered with no reserve so all 25 domains are expected to be sold.

Enthusiastic Chinese domain buyers has buoyed a number of new gTLDs with .CLUB being among the prime beneficiaries. The registry has reported a significant spike in registrations from China with more than 420,000 of its domains having been registered there. .CLUB has also logged more than $2 Million in .CLUB premium name sales to Chinese investors over the past few months. 5.club, for example, sold for more than $58,000 in a  December auction.

.CLUB Founder & CEO Colin Campbell said, "The strong demand we’ve been experiencing in China, especially for short numeric domain names, should make this auction on 4.cn very exciting. Investors see these names as more than domains. They are a valuable and increasingly liquid currency and they are in limited supply. We are also honored that 4.cn has selected .CLUB to be the first ever dedicated new domain extension to have its own auction on 4.cn.”  

4.cn is a fully bi-lingual platform making it easy for both English and Chinese speakers to participate in the auction. To register in English, you can click here.   

(Posted March 4, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Domainers Meet Announces Speakers & More Details About Debut Show in Dubai Next Month

We've leaned a lot more about the first big domain conference in the Middle East since we initially told you last month about the debut edition of the Domainers Meet show that is coming to Dubai April 23 & 24, 2016. For starters, the venue was moved   

to the Hotel Radisson Blu, Deira Creek in Dubai after it was determined the original location wasn't going to be able to accommodate the conference's needs.

Conference organizers also revealed their international list of speakers that includes some of the most well-known names in the industry as you can see from this line up (listed alphabetically by first name): 

  • Adam Wagner (UK) - Owner at GCCinternet.com 

  • Alan Ezeir (US) - .WS President | high margin affiliate network program

  • Braden Pollock (US) - Owner - Legal Brand Marketing LLC, ScienceFiction.com

  • Brett Napoli (US) - Founder/CEO - Ambition Insight, ThatDROP.com

  • Daliah Saper (US) - Owner & Attorney at Saper Law Offices, LLC

  • Francesco Cetraro (Denmark) - Head of Registry Operations - .CLOUD

  • Kelly Hardy (US) - Owner at Kelly Hardy Consulting, Inc | Business Development Consultant - domain .ME

  • Michael Gilmour (Australia)- Founder and CEO of Park Logic

  • Rolf Larsen (France) - CEO and Founder of dot GLOBAL

  • Solomon Amoako (Canada)- Former Sedo Chief Sales Officer & SVP, Americas

  • Tessa Holcomb (US) - Co-Founder and CEO of Igloo.com.

In addition, organizers said that, subject to their availability, they are expecting representatives from ICANN, Google, Facebook, Etisalat, Du, UAE Government and the Arab Emirates Domain Authority (AEDA) to attend.

We can also now tell you more about who is staging the conference. The lead role has been taken on by Cyber Unicorn Pvt. Ltd., the first eBusiness architect company of India, with the active support of the World Domain Owner's Association. Domainers Meet is officially owned and executed by Dubai based startup company Yup2 Events LLC  and is being locally coordinated by Orange Events International LLC.

Drilling down further to a personal level, the guiding light behind the new event is the Founder & and Chairman of  Cyber Unicorn Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Esahaque Eswaramangalam, an eBusiness industrialist with a focus on Virtual Real Estate, eBusiness Architecture, Domain Name Trading and ebrand Development with 15+ years of experience in the eBusiness and Domain Name industries. Esahaque was also successful in  Sales & Marketing, Print and Cyber Media and Event Management before entering the domain world. You can learn more about him by simply Googling "Esahaque Eswaramangalam".

Esahaque Eswaramangalam
Founder & Chairman
Cyber Unicorn Pvt. Ltd. 

Another key figure in staging Domainer's Meet is Co-Producer Mr. Fasaludeen, who operates businesses in both the UAE and India. In the UAE he  is one of  two directors of Yup2 Events and also Director of  Finance for Domainers Meet. Mr. Fasaludeen is currently the CEO & Managing Partner of Bin Bakheet Diesel Trading LLC in Ajman, Green Leaf International Restaurant in Dubai and is also the Managing Partner of Speed General Trading LLC in Sharjah. In India he is Director of Pearl Builders & Developers, Alwaye Techno Rubbers Pvt. Ltd and Hotel Pearl Palace

All told the conference has a core team of six professionals and a seven-member advisory panel. The team is led by Mr. Anilkumar K, Director Business Development, Mr. Muzammil P, Project Manager and Ms. Swathi K Satheeshbabu, Manager Admin. Support is also being provided by WebCastle, Team Maargga and Mr. Alavudheen Bin Majeeed.

(Posted March 2, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

InterNetX to Stage Live Domain Auction at WHD.Global - SnapNames Announces Auction Partnership With Radix

InterNetX will kick off festivities surrounding the world's biggest hosting/cloud conference, WHD.global, with a live domain auction in Rust, Germany on Monday night, March 14, 2016 (the night before WHD.global gets underway there with a crowd of more than 6,000 expected to be on hand). The auction of premium new gTLDs will get underway at 10pm (local time) in the lobby of the El Andaluz Hotel.

34 lots from five registries (Radix, .CLUB, Uniregistry, .Cloud and .Global) will be put up for bid. The catalog includes such names as   Hosting.Club, LowCost.Cloud, V.Hosting, Backup.Global and Website.Host. 

You do have to be registered for WHD.Global to bid, but InterNetX is providing a free WHD ticket code that is posted on the auction registration page where you will also find the complete list of domains that will be sold. Space will be limited so you are encouraged to register early if you wish to attend the event.

Auction image from Bigstock

On another front Radix has teamed up with popular auction platform SnapNames to conduct a series of exclusive auctions featuring Radix TLDs. The official announcement from SnapNames said Radix will be placing a substantial amount of inventory up for bid, starting with .website domains, followed by .host, .press, and .pw in subsequent weeks (you can download the auction lists here). Auctions will run throughout the month with minimum bids as low as $69.

A sampling of the .website domains in the catalog includes 2016.website, Laugh.website and Herbs.website. SnapNames Operations VP Michael White said, “Our customers are innovative, bold, and savvy. Partnerships with Registries like Radix are a natural step forward in our efforts to help them get the best domains on the market.”

(Posted March 1, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

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

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