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December 31, 2019

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The Lowdown
July 2019 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.

Record Breaking Domain Broker Jeff Gabriel Wraps Up 7-Year Run With Uniregistry

Domain sales giant Jeff Gabriel, who was profiled in a 2016 DNJournal Cover Story, is closing yet another successful chapter in his remarkable career. Gabriel broke into the business with Sedo.com where he closed a record breaking deal for Sex.com at $13 million in 2010 - a deal that reigned as the biggest publicly reported domain sale of all time until it was finally surpassed by the eye popping $30 million sale of Voice.com last month. 

Gabriel's success at Sedo led to Domain Advisors (who later re-branded as Igloo.com) luring him away to be their President in 2011. Then, two years later, industry legend Frank Schilling called on Gabriel to run the new domain sales operation Schilling launched under the Uniregistry banner.

After 7 years with Uni, Gabriel, who played a key role in helping building the company into an industry powerhouse, decided his mission there

Jeff Gabriel

is now complete. In a post on the Uniregistry blog late Tuesday, Gabriel officially announced he is leaving his position as Vice President of Sales so he can move his family back to his Massachusetts home after seven years spent living in Cayman Islands where Uni is headquartered.

Gabriel will return home with a lot to be proud of. He noted, "We grew from four to forty salespeople, with sales support staff selling thousands of domains, eclipsing the $50 million USD mark in yearly sales volume. We will more than likely have broken $250 million mark in sales during my tenure while you read this. We also built new technology, products, and processes."

Jeff's time in the Caymans were accompanied by the biggest events in his personal life as well. "My wife had our two children here," he said. "After discussing this with friends and family, it is time for me to step down and return home to make up for lost time with my family and pursue other projects. I want to thank all of the customers, Frank, and our team that have made these past seven years the best seven I ever had!" Gabriel declared.

With Gabriel's departure Dan Adamson will take over as Vice President of Sales and Wade Smith will become the Director of Sales. Adamson and Smith were both already part of the Uniregistry family and both are well-known and highly-regarded industry veterans. While the sales operation at Uni will remain in good hands, Gabriel's many friends and fans are looking forward to seeing what his next move will be.

(Posted July 31, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

NamesCon Global 2020 Announces Change in Dates for January Show in Austin, Texas

After six years  In Las Vegas the NamesCon Global conference is moving to Austin, Texas for their 2020 event in January. Show organizers released dates for the upcoming conference last month but today they announced a slight change that will have the show starting three days later than originally planned. The event is now set to open Wednesday, January 29, 2020 and continue through Saturday, February 1.

The previous dates had NamesCon Global opening on a Sunday and closing on a Wednesday, however after a closing day Beach Party at last month's NamesCon Europe conference in Lisbon, Portugal proved to be a huge hit with attendees, NamesCon leaders decided the Global event in Austin also had to close with a bang centered around a day of fun and informal networking. They have found the special activity they were looking for in Texas (not yet publicly announced) but it was something that can only be done on a weekend, hence the decision to slide the show back three days. 

Registration for NamesCon Global 2020 is now open and a special Early Bird rate has been extended to August 4. Rooms at the conference hotel, the Omni Austin Downtown, can also be booked now at a special conference rate

(Posted July 30, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

India's Annual DomainX Conference Returns This Weekend With a New Premium Domain Auction Added to the Mix

The 6th annual  DomainX conference will be held Saturday and Sunday (August 3 & 4, 2019) at the Eros Hotel in New Delhi, India, the same venue used to host last year's show in the Indian capital.


The DomainX agenda will again offer a full slate of business sessions and social events but this year, for the first time, the conference will also present a live premium domain auction that will be held Sunday afternoon. The catalog includes 24 hand picked domains including Tablets.com, DPF.com, ENP.com, Salary.in and Pun.in to name just a few. You can see the full list of domains and get more information about the auction in this post on the DomainX blog.

A scene from the 2018 edition of DomainX last year in New Delhi
(photo credit: Kumar Amit)

Manmeet Pal-Singh and Gaurav Kohli from the Domain Name Owners Association of India launched DomainX in 2014 and we got a first hand look at the conference when we covered the 2015 event in Bangalore. Since 2016 the annual show has been held in New Delhi where an impressive line up of speakers will take this stage again this weekend.  You can still register for the show here.

(Posted July 29, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

16 Years of DNJournal & Domain Industry History Discussed in New Edition of the Domainer Show

Domain industry veterans  Rob Kaay (DBR.com.au) and Ed Keay-Smith (OnlineImpact.com.au) have teamed up to bring the industry an interesting new source of information. It is a video podcast called The Domainer Show that is located at Domainer.com.au. As Australians, Rob and Ed give domain investors Down Under vital information on the .au market of course, but they also provide a unique perspective on the global domain industry


Clockwise from top left: Domainer Show Co-Hosts Rob Kaay and Ed Keay-Smith with DNJournal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

in which Australian investors and service providers have always played a central role. 

The latest edition of The Domainer Show - episode #17 - was just released today and I had the pleasure of being Rob and Ed's guest for a lively hour-long discussion on a wide variety of domain-related topics. We wound the clock back to New Year's Day 2003 when DNJournal.com was launched and talked about how and why I started the publication and some of the most interesting ups and downs I've seen in this business over the past 16 years (as well as a forecast of what I expect to see in the decade ahead). It's all there - the booms, the busts, the dominance of .com and the prospects for new gTLDs, to name just a few.

I've chatted with both Rob and Ed in person at industry functions over the years so we already had an easy rapport that made the conversation about this delightfully unique business fly by in what seemed like 5 minutes rather than 60 - at least to us - but granted, we may be delusional, so you will have to check it out for yourselves to find out!

(Posted July 26, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

.ORG Registry Operator PIR Releases Annual Report Detailing 2018 Results and 2019 Initiatives

Public Interest Registry (PIR) released its 2018 Annual Report today. The report highlighted several organizational improvements in 2018 including reorganizing the management structure to align with strategic priorities, sharpening efforts to further improve the quality of the .ORG base, maintaining robust .ORG renewal rates, and producing strong financial results in support of the Internet Society and their work to keep the Internet free and open for all. 

The report also details PIRís plans for 2019, which include initiatives aligned with PIRís mission "to help educate those who are making


a difference in their communities through the power of .ORG."

Jon Nevett
PIR President And CEO

PIR President and CEO Jon Nevett said, ďPIR achieved the ambitious goals we set for ourselves in 2018, thanks in no small part to the inspiring work of the .ORG community. Itís the people and organizations using .ORG to make a positive impact on the world who motivate us to remain diligent in our stewardship of the .ORG domain. This year, we are in the midst of a number of exciting initiatives aimed at providing even more support for the broad .ORG community and our domain industry partners. These include maintaining .ORG as the most trusted domain extension, amplifying our education and outreach efforts, and continuing to expand our already robust anti-abuse program.Ē

The report noted, "2018 was  a solid year for .ORG, from exceeding financial goals to continuing to grow a strong user base with high renewal rates. These results are a direct reflection of PIRís commitment to promoting 

quality domains in the .ORG base. In 2019, PIR is building upon these efforts through the launch of the Quality Performance Index (QPI) initiative, which helps reward those registrars who are growing and maintaining trust in the .ORG domain while identifying areas of improvement for registrars when it comes to online trust."

The Report also noted, "For 2019, PIR is putting an even greater focus on combating abuse online and making significant investments in education and outreach initiatives. PIR also is establishing a .ORG Impact Awards program to recognize the incredible work of organizations across the globe, and creating a PIR Grants Program to connect PIR with highly motivated individuals and groups with mutual aspirations to help them further their missions." 

(Posted July 18, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Buyer of  Money.com.au Details How He Made His Chart Topping Acquisition in a  New Domainer Show Interview 

In our weekly domain sales report a couple of weeks ago we told you about a huge Australian ccTLD sale that was being reported for the first (even though the sale was completed in 2018). The domain, Money.com.au, changed hands in a private transaction for AUD $400,000 (US $279,435 at the conversion rate in effect when our report came out). That made Money.com.au the biggest country code sale reported last year and, having received proof of the price

Clockwise from top left: Domainer Show Co-Hosts Rob Kaay and Ed Keay-Smith with new Money.com.au owner Shaun McGowan.

paid, we installed it in the top spot on the 2018 Top 100 Sales Chart in our Domain Sales Archive (Top 100 Charts from previous years are also in that section). 

The buyer of Money.com.au, Shaun McGowan, was already operating Lend.com.au, so he is an experienced end user in the financial space. At the time the sale came to light, Shaun reserved further public comment on the transaction, but, fortunately, Rob Kaay (DBR.com.au) and Ed Keay-Smith (OnlineImpact.com.au), who co-host the Domainer Show podcast at Domainer.com.au, persuaded McGowan to join them on the air and share the full story of his landmark acquisition. The 47-minute show was just posted today. Most sales at this level are subject to NDA's that prevent investors from learning more about how deals like this come together (one notable exception is the Michael Castello's $1.5 million sale of Room.com that is the subject of our current Cover Story). So, when an opportunity to get the inside story of a big deal like this (one of the biggest in com.au history) it is something you will want to check out!

(Posted July 15, 2019) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

ICA/WIPO Public Webinar Wednesday to Address WhoIs Chaos Created By GDPR 

Everyone involved in the domain business knows how difficult it has become to get accurate domain ownership information with the advent of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In many cases, the new privacy initiative has resulted in a domain owner's contact information being completely hidden, creating problems for registry operators, registrants, investors, attorneys, journalists and researchers among others.


With everyone looking for answers the Internet Commerce Association will be hosting a public webcast Wednesday, July 10 starting at 1pm U.S. Eastern Time that will feature Michael Palage and Frank Cona, who have developed  the ďWIPO ModelĒ for post-GDPR access to non-public Whois data. Michael and Frank will make a presentation and also answer questions any questions you may have. Registration is now open here.

Michael and Frank presented their model at ICANN65 in Marrakesh, and the open webinar will provide an opportunity to learn more about it. The presentation of the model is expected to be about 30 minutes long, followed by a Q&A and comments session. 

You will be able to find out if the WIPO Universal Access Model potentially provides WhoIs access:

  • To secondary marketplaces and escrow services for verification and compliance?

  • To brokers, agents, journalists, and researchers for due diligence, investigation, and acquisition purposes?

  • To IP, domain name, and business lawyers for domain name disputes and transactions; and 

  • Are there benefits for registrant identification purposes, domain name portfolio management, and accessing registrar services?

(Posted July 8, 2019) 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!

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

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