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September 13, 2018

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The Lowdown
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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.

Photos and Highlights from the 2018 HEXONET Domain Industry Cruise in Vancouver, Canada

Hexonet hosted their third annual Domain Cruise Thursday night (August 23, 2018) in Vancouver, Canada (the global registrar has offices in both Vancouver and Homburg, Germany).

Having heard so many good things about the first two Hexonet cruises, my wife, Diana, and I went for the first time this year and the event far exceeded the high expectations we already had.   

Above: The Westin Bayshore Hotel overlooking the adjacent marina where the Hexonet cruise event began at 5:30pm Thursday afternoon. Most of those who came from out of town for the cruise stayed there. Hexonet created the cruise as a way to educate regional business owners about the importance of domain names and an Internet presence to their enterprises. As a result, well over half of the attendees are local business leaders rather than domain industry insiders. Even so, the success of the cruise has started attracting people who travel thousands of miles to be there as we did, coming from Florida. 

Below: At 5:30 Hexonet cruise ticket holders began boarding the tri-level Pride of Vancouver for a three-hour harbor cruise that has to be one of the best entertainment, educational and networking values in North America. Tickets were just $20 (Canadian), with all ticket proceeds going to the British Columbia Children's Hospital Foundation, prompting over 160 people to get on board.

Above: Once on board, guests began exploring the ship's three levels. The first deck was set up for an all-star domain industry panel discussion that was a centerpiece of the night. The middle deck was filled with tables where guests could enjoy their food and drinks and talk while watching the beautiful scenery go by. The open air top deck, seen here, was the most popular at the start of the cruise because the city was blessed with a beautiful evening for the event.

Below: The ship's dock is located on Vancouver's scenic Coal Harbour so within minutes of pulling up anchor we had a great view of the skyline and Canada Place cruise port (the tented structure at left) as our journey began.

Above: Hexonet cruise guests enjoy the view and conversation while passing under the iconic Lions Gate Bridge, one of Vancouver's most widely-known landmarks.

Below: While there were many new people to meet from Vancouver's business community there were also a lot of familiar faces in the crowd including NamesCon Marketing and Events Director Terri Potratz and Escrow.com General Manager Jackson Elsegood

Above: As we got further away from shore a wider swath of the ever growing Vancouver skyline came into view. 

Below: After an hour and a half of productive informal networking, it was time for the cruise's sole business session - one the featured eight domain industry experts who filled the crowd in on how to navigate the world of domains, website development, ecommerce and other topics. They also questions the audience members had. The session began when Hexonet Chief Marketing Officier Tony Kim, who was one of the panelists, introduced his fellow industry experts. 

Above: It was standing room only on the first deck when Hexonet's Tony Kim began introducing the audience to his fellow panelists at 7pm.

Below: In addition to Tony, the all-star panel included (left to right) Stacey King (Amazon Registry Services), Chris Sheridan (Weebly), Mariah Reilly (Donuts), Christopher Campbell (Afilias), Kelly Hardy (.ME Registry), Rick Terry (.ORG, Public Interest Registry) and Richard Lau (NamesCon Founder).

Above: Hexonet VP of Marketing Marie Lanyon, who put the panel together, also served as moderator of the well-received session. Marie joined Hexonet a little over a year ago and has already supercharged their outreach programs aimed at expanding awareness of domain names and their importance throughout the regional business community and beyond.

Below: Snacks were continually served from the time guests got on board until the business session began. As soon as it ended Hexonet rolled out a table filled with sliders, sushi, meatballs and other treats that quickly drew a crowd.

Above: As the sun sunk toward the horizon, the ship entered one of Vancouver's busiest strips of water - False Creek - home of the popular Granville Island Public Market.

Below: Our boat was designed to provide great vantage points from locations throughout the vessel. This trio found a perfect spot to sit and watch the wonderful world of Vancouver go by.

Above: You have to love a town where even the most mundane surfaces are often given an eye-catching new look thanks to the imagination of its artists. These grain silos are a perfect example.

Below: One of the most entertaining aspects of the cruise was watching the wide variety of watercraft that surrounded us on all sides. I'm used to seeing this kind of paddle wheeler on the Mississippi River but wasn't expecting it in the Great Northwest.


Above: These colorful little Aquabus water taxis crisscross False Creek shuttling passengers from one shore to the other.

Below: With False Creek now in our rear view mirror a racing shell managed to keep pace with our boat for several hundred meters before peeling off. Not far behind him you see one of the many standup paddleboarders that were also on the water Thursday evening.

Above: On the way back to Coal Harbour after sunset guests continue to enjoy their conversations and the cool outdoor air.

Below: As we headed down the home stretch, darkness has settled in and the Vancouver skyline is lit up in a brilliant array of colors, all accented by the full moon seen over one of the tent peaks at the Canada Place pier for cruise ships.  

Above: One of my favorite things in Vancouver are the seaplanes that continually take off from and land in Coal Harbour. the Passing them Thursday night as our boat pulled back into the dock where we began was one of the few times I saw them stationary. I couldn't help noticing they were beautiful even when not flying.

Below: Every few minutes during our stay in Vancouver a seaplane would fly by our balcony near the top of the Westin Bayshore, making it easy to snap photos like the one below that I took shortly before the cruise began. It is an appropriate metaphor for the innovative Hexonet cruise  itself. The event is flying high and reaching greater altitude every year. As this year's delightful cruise ended, one of the last things I told our friends at Hexonet was, "You're going to need a bigger boat!"

In closing I want to thank Hexonet for being such gracious hosts. It was not only a pleasure being back in Vancouver, it was great getting to better know CSO Robbie Birkner, CMO Tony Kim, Marketing VP Marie Lanyon (who I had just met for the first time in January at NamesCom) and other members of the talented Hexonet team. They are doing great work in building recognition of domain names and explaining their central role in online success to the mainstream business community - an effort that benefits all of us who are part of this extraordinary industry.

(Posted August 24, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Anchors Aweigh! First Report from Vancouver Where Hexonet's Domain Industry Cruise Launches Tonight

Popular domain registrar HEXONET will be hosting a special cruise/charity fund raising this evening that will launch from Vancouver's scenic Coal Harbour at 5:30pm.

Above: This morning's view of Coal Harbour from our hotel balcony in Vancouver, Canada where Hexonet will be hosting their annual domain industry cruise event this evening. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the British Columbia Children's Hospital Foundation.

We had heard so many great things about previous editions of this event we decided to come to Vancouver for this year's cruise to experience it in person (I will have photos and highlights for you in this column tomorrow). Over the past 15 years we've covered dozens of domain events around the world and while the major conferences get the most coverage we've found that some of the most productive and enjoyable gatherings are more intimate regional events like this that allow you to spend more quality time with each of your fellow attendees. The cruise hasn't even started yet and we've already been able to do that thanks to a dinner Hexonet hosted last night at Vancouver's Blue Water Cafe that featured many of the speakers who will be heard from on the cruise tonight.

Above & below: Some of the Hexonet cruise speakers and guests arrived in town Wednesday, giving them a chance to get together for a dinner at the Blue Water Cafe in Vancouver last night. It was a perfect prelude to this evening's cruise that will bring domain industry and regional business leaders together for an evening of networking in one of the world's most beautiful settings. The cruise will come with panoramic views that sweep from the city skyline to the mountain peaks that provide a stunning backdrop to the harbour.

Above: The best possible way to spend a Wednesday evening - with great company at a dinner hosted by Hexonet at Vancouver's Blue Water Cafe. Hexonet CSO Robert Birkner (with his hand up at center), Maketing VP Marie Lanyon (in the foreground to my right), CMO Tony Kim and Product Development VP Lucas Vall were all there from Hexonet along with guests from companies including Donuts, PIR, Weebly, Amazon Registry, Afilias and .ME Registry.

Below: Hexonet CSO Robert Birkner welcomed guests to dinner and gave a brief update on the latest developments at the popular registrar. We also heard from VP of Marketing Marie Lanyon who Birkner credited with supercharging the company's outreach programs to increase awareness of the importance of domains to every enterprise. Birkner noted that more than half of the attendees on tonight's cruise will be business operators from outside the domain industry itself.

This evening's cruise will run from 5:30pm to 9pm. With limited space available we're expecting a full boat and an unforgettable experience. If you will be onboard we will look forward to seeing you. If not I will look forward to telling you about it in my next post from Vancouver.

(Posted August 23, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

MERGE! Alert: Discount Room Rates End Friday -  More Sessions & Speakers Added to Show Agenda

With the 2nd annual  MERGE! conference just over three weeks away, event organizers have issued a final reminder that discounted hotel rooms for the September 14-19, 2018 event at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista Hotel at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida will disappear this coming Friday (August 24). If you want to go to the big show you will save $75 a night by booking now.

Under the special MERGE! rate that will be expiring, rooms are just $149 a night plus taxes (rather than $189 + taxes) with no resort fee (as opposed to the $35 daily fee that will be added when the rates go up Friday). There will also be a significant self parking savings for MERGE! attendees whose rate will be lowered to $10 a day. This hotel and the surrounding Disney Springs area is in the middle of one of America's most popular vacation/resort destinations. We stayed there in June to get an advance look at the property and Disney Springs and came away very impressed (photos and highlights from that visit are here). 

MERGE! Co-Founders Ray Dillman Neu & Jothan Frakes

Since our visit, conference Co-Founders Jothan Frakes and Ray Dillman Neu have put together an exceptional agenda and I just received some updates on that today. The line up of speakers includes experts from a wide variety of technology disciplines and the the world of domain names. Some of the most recent additions include (from the Domain Industry): Jennifer Gore (ICANN), Joe Styler (GoDaddy) and Dave Evanson (Sedo). From the Development, Blockchain and Security fields: Paul Vixie (Farsight), Chad Bennett (Heroic),and Bianca Diosdada (Quire).

In addition, the CMS Summit track at MERGE! will have leaders from Automattic, people from Wordcamp Orlando and leaders from Joomla, along hosting solutions providers, developers and designers who will be speaking and engaging with attendees. Jothan Frakes noted, "There will be many discussions about blockchain solutions and where they are good fits, where the benefits are and how to 'dodge the mirage' where blockchain hype exists.  Most importantly, how the existing systems overlap with centralized systems like domains and DNS."

With respect to domains, Frakes added, "One key debate will be around dispelling the myth of domains becoming obsolete any time soon. MERGE! will be fun, but also will cover important current events and issues like GDPR, the next new gTLD round and UDRP.  Major brands and brand managers will be discussing the perspective of managing corporate brand portfolios. Leadership from the Internet Commerce Association, the Domain Name Association, and the Brand Registry Group will all be at the conference. 

All told, MERGE! will feature more than 50 speakers and over 40 business sessions. The show was designed to brings together a carefully curated group of conferences and open source initiatives in one location. It worked for them at the inaugural show in 2017 and this year the stage has been set for something even bigger and better. You can register for the 2018 edition of MERGE! here. If you are coming we will look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

(Posted August 20, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

New Verisign Report Reveals Total Domain Registrations Worldwide Climbed to 340 Million in 2Q-2018

Verisign, the administrator or the .com and .net domain registries, has released their latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief covering the 2nd quarter of 2018. The company reported that worldwide domain registrations across all extensions reached approximately 339.8 million at the end of the quarter. That is an increase of approximately 6 million domains since the end of 1Q-2018 (an increase of 1.8%) and 7.9 million year over year (a 2.4% jump).

As of June 30, 2018, the .com domain name base totaled approximately 135.6 million domain name registrations, 1.7 million more than the previous quarter (a 1.3% increase). Year over year that is about 6.4 million more .com registrations - a 5% rise.

The .nets did not fare as well. They stood at approximately 14.1 million registrations at the end of 2Q-2018, about 300,000 down from the previous quarter and approximately 1 million down from the same time a year ago (a loss of 6.6%). 

Total new gTLD domain name registrations were approximately 21.8 million at the end of the second quarter of 2018, an increase of approximately 1.6 million domain name registrations, or 7.9%, compared to the first quarter of 2018. However, that rebound came after the new gTLDs had a massive year over year loss of over 20% of their total registrations at the end of 1Q-2018. At the end of 2Q-2018 they were still below the same point a year ago, but in that time frame the loss (down about 2.5 million names from the end of 2Q-2017) was cut in half percentage wise to minus 10.4%.

Total ccTLD domain name registrations were approximately 149.7 million at the end of the second quarter of 2018, an increase of about 3.5 million domain name registrations (up 2.4%), compared to the first quarter of 2018. ccTLDs increased by approximately 5.5 million domain name registrations year over year, a 3.8% rise.

Verisign publishes the Domain Name Industry Brief to provide internet users throughout the world with statistical and analytical research and data on the domain name industry. The second quarter 2018 Domain Name Industry Brief, as well as previous reports, can be obtained at Verisign.com/DNIB

(Posted August 17, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

GGRG 2Q-2018 Report on Liquid Domain Sales Shows China Slowdown Driving Drop in Median Prices 

Domain brokerage and consultancy GGRG.com has released their latest free quarterly report breaking down aftermarket sales and development of "liquid domain names" in the 2nd quarter of 2018. GGRG defines liquid domains as  being very short .com domains consisting of all letters (L) or all numbers (N), as well as 3-character (C) .coms that have a  combination of letters and numbers. GGRG terms these categories "liquid" domains because they are relatively easy to sell at prevailing market rates.

In recent years a very high demand for these kinds of domains in China has been pushing prices upward but with a major slowdown there, that trend has now reversed. In 2Q-2017 GGRG Founder Giuseppe Graziano noted, "The median values of disclosed transactions recorded very large decreases in almost all categories. This calls for caution in view of the early Q3 results which are indicating sharp valuation drops for Chinese premium 4Ls."

With respect to total dollar volume, the GGRG report noted, "Escrow.com recorded $12 million in transactions, with the strongest categories being the 3Ls ($4.8M) and 4Ls ($4.3M). These values are in line with last quarter and signal a notable growth in the 3Ls category. ShortNames.com recorded $5.4

GGRG Founder Giuseppe Graziano

million in transactions, with the most traded categories being 3Ls, 4Ls, and 5Ns, respectively at $1.4M, $1.6M and $1.3M. The 5th percentage values (a measure of floor prices - the lowest end of the price range for each category) gave us mixed signals: on one hand 5Ns and 3Ls showed record increases (+56% and +31%), on the other, 4Ls - the category which accounts for 75% of all liquid domains - dropped 13%."

Another passage in the report indicated the inception of the GDPR last May that brought significant changes to the ownership data that was still publicly available likely affected their domain ownership analysis . GGRG noted, "For the first time, we recorded a drop in Chinese ownership, coupled with a sharp decrease in the number of domains associated with European registrants (down to 4.6% from 7.4%). This could be easily explained by the new privacy rules affecting European owners. The gainers were the "rest of the world" (+4%, from 7.7% to 11.7%), the N/A category and, in small measure, the US, which gained 1%. China remains the largest owner of liquid domains with 165,000 domains associated with Chinese registrants."

Looking ahead, the GGRG report said, "A significant decrease in the wholesale value of Chinese Premium domains might signal that the tide is shifting away from China and back to the West. Chinese owners might start to finally sell inventory. Once again, we expect Western investors and end users to focus on the most premium liquid domains when looking at buying opportunities: specifically, acronyms with Western Premium letters and Keyword domains. We retain our recommendation for investors to focus on quality over quantity."

(Posted August 16, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Photos & Highlights from the 1st Edition of the Indian Domain Summit in Kolkata, India

The rapidly growing  domain industry in India got another shot in the arm Saturday, August 11, 2018 when a new conference, the Indian Domain Summit, made its debut at the Radisson Ballygunge Kolkata Hotel in Kolkata. The one-day event was co-organized by Startup Cafe and eSiksha.com.


Indian Domain Summit Co-Founder Deepak Daftari (eSiksha.com) welcoming  attendees to the debut edition of the event Saturday, August 11, 2018 in Kolkata, India. (Unless noted otherwise, all photos is this article are courtesy of the Indian Domain Summit).

eSiksha CEO Deepak Daftari, an industry pioneer who is well-known throughout the global domain community, told us the original plan was to hold a small gathering for less than a dozen friends and colleagues in Kolkata. However, as word got out the numbers kept growing until a full-fledged conference blossomed before their eyes. Despite the very short lead time, Daftari said a capacity crowd of 115 turned out with more than half of those traveling from outside Kolkata to attend the first major industry event ever held in eastern India.

Above: View from the audience as the first Indian Domain Summit 
got underway Saturday morning, August 11, 2018 in Kolkata

Below: In the first business session Deepak Daftari conducted a Fireside Chat 
with the Head of ICANN India, Samiran Gupta (right).

Above & below: The morning sessions continued with "Success Stories From Kolkata", a panel discussion (below) moderated by Deepak Daftari that featured successful local entrepreneurs Abhishek Rungta (center, Founder, Indus Net Technologies) and (at right) Srish Agarwal (Founder & CEO, A1 Future Technologies).

Above: Indian Domain Summit was set up to be an interactive event. Audience members were encouraged to ask any questions they had during the business sessions throughout the day.

Below: The next morning session was "Success Stories from the Domaining Industry." It featured (left to right) Moderator Arun Bansal (CEO, ServerGuy), Nitin Agarwal (InformationTechnology.com), Manish Lunja (BrandPros.com) and Arvind Reddy (100DollarDomains.com).

Above: In the final session before the lunch break Rohit Goyal (Founder, SmeHelp.In) and Aishwin Vikhona (eWriting.com) took the stage to share their "Outbound Sales Stories and Domain Sales Case Studies." With Rohit (left) and Aishwin (center) is moderator and Indian Domain Summit Co-Founder Jay Paudyal (DomainKhan.com).

Above & below: After the lunch break attendees returned to their seats for a full slate of afternoon business sessions. Those began with a discussion (below) about "Domain Development, Domain as a Brand, Finding the Right Exact Match Domain." It featured (left to right) Arun Bansal, Chetan Varma (Founder, Elite Back Office Solutions) and Om Thoke (Founder and CEO, Webfosys Group). 

Above: In one of the most well-received sessions of the day Varun Kumar of Pashmina.com (at podium) presented a talk on "Transition of a Domain Name to a Successful Business." Pashmina.com is a sustainable company promoting handcrafted accessories using pure cashmere. Every piece is hand woven & hand embroidered, bringing livelihood to thousands of artisans with fair-trade and ethical practices.

Below: In another highlight of the day, Neha Gupta (Founder, Namaxis Corporation) enthralled the audience with her "Success Story of a Female Domainer." After her talk, conference co-organizer Mayur Saparia presented Neha with a memento of the Summit's appreciation for her support of the event.

Above: After a break for coffee and tea, Deepak Daftari returned to the stage to conduct a Fireside Chat with local Kolkata business star Sagar Daryani (at left, CoFounder and CEO, WowMomo Pvt. Ltd.) who shared how he turned his company into a multi-million dollar operation.

Below: Next Deepak welcomed Alpesh Shinde (Sr. Manager, Heading Aftermarket & Premier Services at GoDaddy India) to the stage where the two of them conducted a session on the "Domain Aftermarket and Expired Domains."

Above & below: The final business session at the 1st edition of the Indian Domain Summit was one of the day's liveliest. Jay Paudyal and Deepak Daftari dove head first into "Domain Name Appraisals." People always want an opinion on what their domains are worth so hands were up in the audience throughout this crowd-pleasing closing session. 

Above: After Mayur Saparia took the stage with his fellow conference organizers for some closing notes and to thank the audience for coming, those still on hand at the end of the busy day were invited to gather for this group photo. In the future, when people talk about the 1st Indian Domain Summit they will have proof they were there!

Above & below: As veteran domain conference attendees know, the show being over just means it's time for the after-party to begin! For the Indian Domain Summit that meant reconvening at the Hard Rock Cafe Kolkata to spend the evening celebrating. Photos courtesy of Arun Bansal.

Above & below: ...but wait, there's still more! When domain people get together it is really hard to get them to go home! On Sunday, the day after the show, Deepak Daftari organized a walk around his hometown - Kolkata - for a couple of dozen high energy people apparently determined to turn the Indian Domain Summit into a marathon.  Even though there were showers that day they didn't dampen anyone's spirits as witnessed (below) by (left to right): Jay Paudyal, Deepak Daftari, Manish Lunja and Arun Bansal.

In a closing note about the inaugural edition of the Indian Domain Summit, Deepak credited Jay Paudyal for joining him in turning their initial idea into a finished product with invaluable help from fellow curators Manish Lunja and Mayur Sapiria. He was also especially appreciative of GoDaddy's support as the event's Principal Sponsor. Deepak noted, "The idea was to educate and grow the community and present the new breed of young successful domainers to the wannabes as the ideal role model for them to follow. Based on the feedback and appreciation on various social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook, I think we created a lot of value of them. We also wanted to highlight the local (Kolkata area) boys to show the young domainers that there is never a dearth of opportunities!"

(Posted August 14, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

.FUN Reaches 100,000 Registrations But Developed Domains Are What Radix Is Most  Happy About

I got a note  from Radix Registry this week letting me know that .FUN, one of the nine new gTLD extensions the company administers, had  crossed the 100,000 mark in total registrations. That is an important milestone for any new gTLD registry to reach but I've never put a lot of emphasis on total registration numbers because, if you compare them to other TLDs, it's like comparing apples to oranges

Some registries reach huge registration numbers by selling their domains for as low as a penny apiece (or even free). Others, with higher fees and a much lower number of registrations, could easily be a lot more profitable than those with far more registrations. There are over a 

thousand new gTLDs now and dozens of different approaches to pricing, with all registries trying to come up with the best balance to help their extensions succeed. 

While total registrations paint an incomplete picture, one measure of success that just about everyone agrees on is a high level of adoption by end users. If people are building websites and businesses on a TLD that dramatically increases public recognition for the extension. That in turn persuades more developers to adopt the TLD creating an ever widening circle of expansion.

New gTLDs are less than five years old (with many younger, like .FUN that was just re-lauched in April 2017), so they have just started this cycle but we've already seen instances of how this can work from TLDs that have been around longer and followed the development path to success. One of the most prominent has been .io, a once little-known ccTLD representing the British Indian Ocean Territory, that people in the tech sector started adopting. Others in that field and others liked the way it looked and sounded, so they built on .io too.  As a result .io has grown into a widely-known extension that does well in both new registrations (despite a very high registration fee compared to .com) and aftermarket sales. 

That is why the many examples of sites that have be built on .FUN were what really caught my eye in the information I got from Radix. Those included sites representing industries like gaming, media, entertainment, travel, technology and others. There were also blockchain startups (www.coin.fun and www.lucky.fun) and contextual domain-redirects (such as Amazon’s www.prime.fun and www.fire.fun) that use .fun domains for brand building and positioning. 

Radix originally acquired the rights to .FUN in October 2016 from Oriental Trading Company, a party supplies brand owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Radix wanted the TLD for its broad potential in the lifestyle industry as well as the media and entertainment industry. Radix's Swati Maheshwari told me, ".FUN is one of the few new TLDs that evoke a primary human emotion giving it broad appeal. The keyword ‘fun’ is also easily understood even in non-English speaking geographies, giving it an edge in the global market for all things light-hearted and leisurely." Radix is practicing what they preach, having incorporated the concept themselves in a game you can play at www.birdie.fun

Swati said, "from apps to comedians, corporate events to luxury travel - a wide array of business sectors are using .FUN in exciting and fun ways," and she went on to provide more examples of websites that are sharing the .FUN:

1.   www.culture.fun is based in Sunnyvale, California, and helps its corporate clients build a friendly and fun working environment. It also offers to conceptualize and execute corporate events, parties, team building activities, etc. Some of its clients include Adobe, BuzzFeed, Amazon, etc. 

2.   www.hello.fun is a voice-chat app by Singapore based Bigo Entertainment. Through this app, users can create free voice chat rooms and join other groups that match their interest. 

3.   www.tenerife.fun is a luxury yacht rental service in Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands.

4.   www.ismo.fun is the official website of Finnish standup comedian, Ismo Leikola, who made his U.S. debut in 2014 at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood where he won the title of The Funniest Person in the World.

5.   www.manwalksintoabar.fun is an an experiential travel company that arranges island tours and pub crawls for tourists in Madeira, an archipelago comprising 4 islands off the northwest coast of Africa

6.   www.design-lab.fun is the design portfolio of New York based Ani Liu, an alumnus of Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab with significant social media clout. 

7.   www.gogo.fun is owned by in-flight Internet subscription service, Gogo Air redirects to this Chicago based service’s ‘buy before you fly’ page meant for individual passengers.  

8.   www.playlab.fun is an American edu-tech startup that promises to create unique and engaging learning experiences for children through Virtual Reality.

9.   www.eli.fun is an Armenian business that offers travel packages and boutique experiences handpicked for couples, families, kids, etc. 

10. www.jumpingpandas.fun is a fun plug-in from Radix and 1&1.  When 1&1’s Volleyball team went to the court recently, we got together with them to create a website for the team which is called Jumping Pandas

In closing Swati noted, "It has already been over a year since .FUN was launched and the TLD has seen a healthy uptake thus-far with 36% registrations coming in from the USA and the rest from Europe, Japan, Russia and China. In November 2017, .FUN received its MIIT accreditation which made it possible for the TLD to make inroads into the growing Chinese business sector. As more and more brands look to connect with their customers with a fun-filled, light-hearted positioning, .FUN will prove to be one of the most promising nTLD for businesses across sectors and geographies."

Swati Maheshwari, Radix Registry

(Posted August 7, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Photos & Highlights from the 2018 DomainX Conference That Concluded Sunday in New Delhi, India

The 2018 DomainX conference concluded Sunday (August 5) at the Hotel Shangri-LA in New Delhi, India. After opening with an afternoon and evening of networking

on Saturday the show shifted into business mode Sunday with a full slate of presentations and panel discussions that ran from 10am to 6pm. We gathered some photos and highlights posted by conference organizers and attendees on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day to share with you.

Above: DomainX 2018 began the day Sunday with the traditional lamp lighting ceremony initiated by ICANN's India Head, Samiran Gupta (at far left). Continuing to the right are Dr. Ajay Data (Data.in), Brajesh Jain (ISOC Delhi)  and DomainX Co-Founder Manmeet Pal Singh. (photo credit: Amrita Choudhury).

Above: Mr. Gupta also participated in a special session on Internet Governance. L to R are moderator/DomainX Co-Founder Gaurav Kohli, Mr. Gupta, Dr. Data and Mr. Jain (photo credit: DomainX).

At left: The morning continued with a presentation on current domain market trends from DomainMagnate.com Founder Michael Bereslavsky (photo credit: DomainX).

Below: Next up was a panel discussion covering Web Hosting and the Cloud that featured Betrand Yella (Servers_com),  Munesh Jadoun (ZNetLive) and Ravish Gupta (WIPL). (photo credit: Deepesh Mishra).

Below: A view of the Domain X audience from the stage (photo credit: Kumar Amit).

Above: Next to take the stage was Anjali Wadwhani (LegalYaar) with a well-received talk on Internet Strategy. (photo credit: Deepesh Mishra)

Below: In the final session before the Sunday lunch break, Dr. Ajay Data (Data.in) covered Universal Acceptance, IDN & EAI. (photo credit: Deepesh Mishra)

Above: After lunch attorney Rodney D. Ryder kicked off the afternoon session with Domain Names & Web Hosting Legal Case Studies. (photo credit: Deepesh Mishra)

Below: DomainX Co-Founder Manmeet Pal Singh (at far right) participated in two of the panel discussions that followed - one on New gTLDs and another on domain valuation titled Will This Domain Sell? (photo credit: Deepesh Mishra)

A pair of individual presentations completed the final round of business sessions at DomainX 2018. Pardeep Goyal (Cash Overflow) delivered a Domain Name Sales Case Study and Amrendra Mishra (Analyzed Media) provided advice on How to Sell Domain Names by Email Marketing. The 5th annual show officially closed with the DomainX 2018 Awards Ceremony and the GameX Super 6’s Awards.

DomainX has played a major role in the ongoing rapid growth of the domain industry in India. If you have an opportunity to attend when the 2019 event rolls around next summer I think you will find your time very well spent.

(Posted August 6, 2018) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

First Round of Speakers Named for New DomainingAmericas Conference Coming to Brazil in October

Back in April  I told you about a new domain conference - DomainingAmericas - that is coming to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 6 & 7, 2018. Since then show founder Abner Duarte of PremiumDomains.com.br has been busy putting the agenda together and assembling an all-star line-up of speakers for the event that will be held at the five-star Grand Hyatt Rio De Janiero. With DomainingAmericas now just two months away that process and other final preparations are accelerating. 

Duarte, a domain industry veteran who lives in Boston but is a native of Brazil, had this to say about why he wanted to bring a major conference to his homeland. "With more than 200 million people, Brazil is the populous country in South America. The most influential brands in Brazil are technology companies and as a domain investor, who's been investing in the South American domain market place for over two decades the market place has significantly grown over the last 20 years. Investors, startups, registries, registrars, registrants, hosting and eCommerce companies have flocked into the market, so the time is right!"

Abner Duarte
Domaining Americas Founder

To make sure everything comes together the way he envisions it, Duarte just brought veteran conference producer Jodi Chamberlain of 32Events on board to handle event logistics and speaker co-ordination in the final run up to the show. As many of our readers know, Jodi was Director of the first two NamesCon conferences in Las Vegas and has also helped produced many other major conferences, including T.R.A.F.F.I.C. events and DomainingEurope (now NamesCon Europe). Jodi was just in touch today to tell me about some of the speakers that are now  confirmed for Domaining Americas. They include: 

Rubens Kuhl (Product Marketing Manager of Brazil's .BR Registry ). The .BR ccTLD is the world's 8th largest ccTLDs in total registrations. The .BR Registry takes pride in  investing in innovative actions and projects that help improve and expand Internet infrastructure in Brazil.

Jodi Chamberlain

Alfredo Pinochet (President of LatinTLD). LatinTLD is a Registrar/Agent that focuses on the registration and management of domain name portfolios all across Latin America. Alfredo will share information on registration, renewals, transfers, appraisals, buying, recovering and various other insights within the Latin - Caribbean market.

Daniel Fink (Stakeholder Engagement Sr Manager, Brazil for ICANN). Daniel will educate guests on the role ICANN plays and it important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. 

Jeff Sass (Chief Marketing Officer, .CLUB Registry). Jeff is a senior level digital media, marketing and business development executive with a rare mix of creative &  business experience. Jeff will provide advice on how to market domains both to the South American market and globally. Jeff is also the author of Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER, an entertaining and inspiring business and marketing book that presents real, practical business and marketing tips.

Braden  Pollock (Founder, LegalBrandMarketi ng). Braden, a veteran online entrepreneur and domain investor based in Los Angeles, will serve as the event moderator, a role he has excelled in at major conferences around the world. Braden's many credits included ownership of ScienceFiction.com as well as  membership on the Boards at Epik.com and Benevolent.  

Ms. Chamberlain told us many more speakers will be added between now and the end of August.  She said, "Anyone who is interested in becoming a speaker at Domaining Americas, can email [email protected]. We're currently reviewing profiles and will accept speaker requests until September 1st, 2018."

Tickets for Domaining Europe will be available for $275 at Eventbrite until September 1, 2018. Sponsors interested in branding opportunities at the 

Braden Pollock
DomainingAmericas Moderator

conference can download a media kit here. For general event inquiries, drop a note to [email protected]

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