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The Lowdown
January 2020 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.

Day 2 Photos & Highlights From the 2020 NamesCon Global Conference Thursday in Austin Including New GoDaddy CEO's Embrace of Domain Investors

The 2020 NamesCon Global conference continued Thursday (January 30) with another full slate of business sessions and social activity at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas (you can see the opening day photos and highlights here). While the show is underway we are posting a selection of photos from each day to give you a sampling of how the event is unfolding. After the conference concludes Saturday we will start putting together a complete review with photos from every business session held through the entire week, as well as the social events that we attended. For now, here is a capsule view of a busy day 2 at NamesCon Global 2020:

Above & below: The highlight of the business day Thursday (January 30) was a 1pm Keynote Address that new GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani delivered in front of a standing room only audience. Yesterday I noted how impressed I was by Mr. Bhutani when I met him for the first time at a GoDaddy reception Wednesday afternoon. After seeing his talk Thursday I am beyond impressed and am convinced Aman's arrival is going to have an enormous positive effect on the domain investment and website development community. The first thing you saw on the side screens were photos of domain investors who were at the conference. Mr Bhutani told their individual entrepreneurial stories and even ran a film produced at Peter Askew's onion farm in Georgia (buying the VidaliaOnions.com domain put Peter in the onion business where he has thrived). 

Bhutani has committed to putting domain investor/developers front and center as part of his makeover of the industry giant (even labeling one of the newly defined pillars of the business "Domain Investors") and that is going to do wonders for positive recognition of an entrepreneurial category has been mis-understood and unfairly characterized since it began. Aman recognized and understood the many incredible entrepreneurial success stories that sprung from buying one or more domain names. Those are the kind of stories that inspired me to start DN Journal back in 2003. Bhutani is a master story teller and I couldn't be more excited to see what his advocacy for domain investors and developers will do to help our industry fulfill the extraordinary potential it has always had.

Above and below: In addition to catching at least part of every business session Thursday, I took a walk through the NamesCon Global Exhibit Hall to catch up with what some of the many innovative companies in our space are doing. Exhibitors have long used a variety of cool swag to attract visitors to their booth but dog lover Kevin Kopas from Short Dot SA knew nothing attracts a crowd like a friendly dog! So Kevin put his best buddy, Winston, to work at the new gTLD registry operator's booth.

Above: At 4pm Thursday NamesCon devoted the Keynote Hall stage to a special memorial and awards presentations. It began with the memorial to Charlotte Gilbert, the universally loved domain investor/developer who passed away exactly one year ago, shortly after undergoing unsuccessful heart and lung transplant surgery.  Charlotte's husband Brian Gilbert (above) was by her side throughout the battle and recalled the bubby personality and ever present sense of humor that drew so many people to Charlotte, an amazing, courageous woman none of us will ever forget.

Below: Next the Internet Commerce Association (ICA)  presented their 4th annual Lonnie Borck Memorial Award, named for another beloved domain investor that we lost much too soon. I was honored and humbled to receive the award from ICA Executive Director Kamila Sekiewicz (and owe moderator Bill Sweetman (at right) a thank you for his very kind introduction). If you read yesterday's photos and highlights post from NamesCon you know the award winner was first announced at the annual ICA Dinner last night. Both then and Thursday I tried to convey why Lonnie was so widely loved and respected, but words really can't do it. The closest I could come is to say that Lonnie made every person he met feel loved and respected in a way that was so genuine and heartfelt you couldn't help being deeply moved by it. For me, receiving an award with Lonnie's name on it is the highest honor the domain investment community could bestow on anyone and I could not be more appreciative to the ICA and its members for giving the nine of us nominated this year the honor of being considered for it.

Above: Next it was time for Escrow.com General Manager Jackson Elsegood to take the podium to oversee the presentation of the highly anticipated Escrow Awards that went to the top ten domain sellers worldwide on the Escrow.com platform for 2019.

Below: This year's the #1 seller was Andrew Rosener from MediaOptions.com. Andrew had to cancel his trip to NamesCon at the last minute but two other members of the MediaOptions team,  Tess Diaz and Chris Zuiker, were there to pick up the award for Andrew.

Escrow.com also presented awards to the rest of their global top ten. Those were #2 James Booth, #3 Brent Oxley, #4 Andy Booth, #5 Todd Reum, #6 Ryan McKegney, #7 Hobi Michalec, #8 Joe Uddeme, #9 Mark Thomas and #10 Nat Cohen.

Above: There is a reason that NamesCon President & CEO Soeren von Varchmin is wearing an auto racing suit. Prior to Thursday's RightOfTheDot.com/GoDaddy live domain auction, NamesCon held a charity auction to raise funds for the NamesCon School El Rosario in Guatemala. The racing suit was one of several cool items auctioned off, along with bottles of very high end wine and champagne (a perfect way to toast a new year and celebrate NamesCon's effort to break the cycle of poverty by making educational opportunities available in places where few if any exist now).

Above and below: A standing room only crowd filled the Keynote Hall for the Live Domain Auction that closed the day Thursday (January 30). After bidders carefully studied the catalog it was time for the battles to begin.

Above: With world class auctioneer Wayne Wheat once again calling the action, 74 premium domains were sold totaling more than $1.8 million. The top sales were Add.com at $800,000, Offices.com at $260,000 and Please.com at $141,000. OnlineDomain.com has a full recap of auction results you will want to check out. 

Above: With the business day done, many attendees headed across the street from the Omni to the CU29 Lounge that CentralNic booked for a wonderful Thursday evening party hosted by COO Alexander Siffrin (3rd from left) with Ron & Diana Jackson (DNJournal.com) and domain attorney Howard Neu. Over the past couple of years I have been astounded by CentralNic's explosive growth as they have acquired one top quality asset after another. I think the smartest thing they have done (in addition to identifying the right companies to go after) is keeping the talent that made the companies they acquired great in the first place.  Alexander, who founded Key-Systems over 20 years ago (a company acquired by CentralNic in 2018) is a prime example of that. As COO and a major CentralNic shareholder Alexander will continue to help grow what has become one of the most important companies in the industry to watch.

Above (left to right): Danielle Romeo, Bennett Collin, Bob Mountain and Leona Chen Birkner were among the guests at the CentralNic Party Thursday night.

Below: Also enjoying the festivities were Ilze Kaulins-Plackacz and George Verdugo. We're also pretty sure we recognize the lady photo-bomber but probably should withhold her identity to protect the innocent! :-)

Now it's on to the final day of business Friday (January 31), plus the Fun Day Saturday. See you back here, same time, same station, tomorrow morning for the Friday day and night highlights from Austin.

(Posted January 31, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

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Opening Day Photos & Highlights From the 2020 NamesCon Global Conference in Austin, Texas  

The 2020 NamesCon Global conference officially got underway Wednesday (January 29) with a full day and night of activity at the Omni Hotel (and beyond) in Austin, Texas. This is NamesCon's first visit to the Lone Star State's capital city after staging the first six annual shows in Las Vegas. While the show is underway we are posting a small selection of  photos from each day to give you a sampling of how the event is unfolding. After the non-stop NameCon extravaganza is over (it runs through Saturday) and we are back home, we will put together a complete review with photos from every business session held through the entire week, as well as the social events that we attended. For now, here is a capsule view of opening day at NamesCon Global 2020!

Above: Attendees at the NamesCon Global 2020 entryway, inside the massive lobby of the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin, Texas, waiting for the big show to open Wednesday morning (January 29).

Below: A view of the crowd as the opening session welcoming attendees to Austin gets underway.

Above: The conference began with NamesCon Global President and CEO Soeren von Varchmin (far right) introducing the moderators who would conduct the dozens of business sessions held thoughout the week. Starting at far left, they are Monte Cahn (President of RightOfTheDot.com, the company that will team with GoDaddy to run the live domain auction that closes the day Thursday (January 30), Braden Pollock, Christa Taylor and Bill Sweetman.

Below: In the first business session of the day, ParkLogic.com Founder Michael Gilmour delivered an excellent keynote speech on Domain Insights and Trends Reporting. This was the first of 16 business sessions spread across two stages Wednesday (with both Pro and Newcomer tracks) along with additional special events held in the Afilias Lounge. We will have photos from all of them in our complete conference review that will be posted early next week.

Above: After the business day closed at the Omni, GoDaddy welcomed over a hundred guests to a happy hour at their 12th floor offices in a building just a couple of blocks from the show hotel. The special occasion was organized to introduce attendees to GoDaddy's new CEO Aman Bhutani who took over the reins of the domain industry powerhouse in September after a very successful career running travel giant Expedia. I took a lot of photos at the event but this one really encapsulated how Aman struck me. He took time to personally chat with everyone who wanted to me him and listened intently to everything they had to say. He is a very friendly, well grounded man who already loves this industry and is excited about helping it, as well as GoDaddy, soar to new heights. I was very impressed.

Above & below: A picture perfect first day closed with the opening night reception back at the Omni, sponsored by .VIP and MMX. The three-hour event ran from 5-8pm, giving attendees what most say is the main reason they go to conferences - networking in a casual environment where you can make new friends and catch up with old ones. Left to right above are NamesCon's Head of Operations Helga Neumer, attorney Karen Bernstein and Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz (ExcellentDomains.ca). Below, holding down the fort at the bar are (L to R) are Tobin Pociask, Bradley Arthur, Gregg McNair and Kevin Kopas.

Below: There is a story behind this photo, that was taken shortly after a lot of tears were flowing. Barbara Neu (right) lost her mother Millie early last year. Over the years Millie made friends with hundreds of people in the domain business, including Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz (at left) who was an especially close one. At the opening night reception, Barbara brought Ilze a double strand of Millie's pearls (that immediately went around Ilze's neck) as a gift to remember her mother and the bond she and Ilze had. It was a very emotional and heart warming scene to witness.

Above: In a grand finale to Wednesday night, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA), the non-profit organization that works to protect domain registrant's rights, held their annual dinner at Max's Wine Dive with a sell-out crowd on hand for the event (another sign of the remarkable strides the rapidly growing organization has made over the past couple of years). 

Below: A highlight of the dinner was a presentation of the ICA's 4th Annual Lonnie Borck Memorial Award, made by (L to R): ICA General Counsel Zak Muscovitch, Executive Director Kamila Sekewicz and Board Member Nat Cohen. The award was created in honor the widely known and universally loved domain investor that we lost way too soon in 2016. In its first three years, the accolade recognized outstanding work in protecting the rights of domain name registrants.  However, this year, in keeping with Lonnie’s generous spirit, The ICA decided to broaden the scope of the award to honor those whose contributions have fostered a sense of community within the domain name industry and members selected nine outstanding nominees.

Below: I was was waiting to take photos of the winner when I was shocked to hear Nat Cohen call my name. I felt there were several other nominees more deserving of the award but was deeply moved and appreciative to receive it from the peers (ICA members) that I respect so much. Nat was so generous in his comments in introducing me, I was pretty sure he was talking about someone else! Most of all, thank you to Lonnie, one of he most caring and inspiring individuals I've ever met, not just in this industry, but in life. Receiving an award with his name on it and that of the ICA, means the world to me.

Kamila Sekiewicz, Ron Jackson (DNJournal.com) and Zak Musovitch.

Now it's on to day two Thursday. I'll let you know how it went in my next post Friday morning!

(Posted January 30, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

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Early Birds Got NamesCon Global 2020 Off to a Great Start at Pre-Show Parties Last Night in Austin 

The 2020 NamesCon Global conference officially opens this morning at 10am at the Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas, but things were already in full western swing in the Lone Star State's capital city last night. Several companies hosted parties around town that gave those who arrived in Austin early a chance to get a jump start in  re-connecting with old friends and making new ones. My wife, Diana, and I joined our friends and fellow Floridians, Howard and Barbara Neu, to drop in on a couple of those events held at clubs on Austin's famous 6th Street. Here are a few photos from a great night out that was a perfect way to kick off what promises to be another great conference for NamesCon in the exciting new city selected for this 7th annual event.

Sister companies Sedo and InterNetX hosted a packed party at The Jackalope on Austin's 6th Street Tuesday night (January 28, 2020). Among those there to greet to guests (left to right in the back row) were Sedo's Brad Lemire, Christian Voss, Michael Robrock and Dave Evanson, with NamesCon Global attendees Howard and Barbara Neu in front. 

Among the InterNetX team leaders welcoming guests at their pre-show party were Marco Hoffman (left) and Claus Barche. Marco and Sedo's Michael Robrock both provided very insightful commentary in our annual State of the Industry Cover Story that was published Monday. 

Here Diana Jackson (left) and Barbara Neu (3rd from left) catch up with Josephine Kubba (2nd from left) and her husband (and one of the domain world's nicest guys) Ammar Kubba

Meanwhle, holding court at the bar we found (left to right) Clifton Steele, domain attorney Howard Neu, Mark Ghoriafi (.GLOBAL) and, all the way from India, Aishwin Vikhona.

At the same time Tuesday night, just a block down 6th Street at the San Jac Saloon, ParkLogic.com was hosting an equally enjoying evening for their clients and friends. (Left to right)  ParkLogic Founder Michael Gilmour and Account Manager Matt Herbert chat with guests Christina and Christa Taylor. Michael will be kicking off NamesCon Global 2020 with a keynote speech this morning (Wednesday, January 29) at 10:30am.

As the evening was winding down, Diana and Barbara found a comfortable place to sit down and re-connect with long-time friends Michael Robertson (Fabulous.com), at left, and Brian Gilbert (NameTime.com) at the ParkLogic party.

Tomorrow morning (Thursday, January 30) we will have some favorite photos for you from the opening day and night at NamesCon Global and will continue those daily through the close of the show that runs through Saturday (February 1). When we are back in Florida we will be putting together and publishing a complete wall to wall wrap-up of the conference that will cover every session (and every evening social event we attend) during conference week. 

(Posted January 29, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

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A Few Final Notes Before the NamesCon Global Curtain Goes Up Including Our Conference Coverage Plans 

After a year of waiting once again it's showtime! The 7th annual NamesCon Global conference opens Wednesday (January 29, 2020) in a new city, Austin, Texas, where it will run through Saturday. Earlier this month we published an extensive show preview interview with NamesCon CEO Soeren von Varchmin and Head of NamesCon Operations Helga Neumer. Before heading out to Austin I wanted to point out a couple of major events at the show that were finalized after that preview was published. 

One is a keynote speech from GoDaddy's new CEO, Aman Bhutani, that is scheduled for 1pm Thursday (January 30). Bhutani just took the reins in September after spending the past 20 years building his wealth of technical, entrepreneurial, managerial, and leadership experience. He has expressed a commitment to helping domain investors, developers and entrepreneurs realize their visions on the web. GoDaddy plays such a large role is so many aspects of this business, I expect Bhutani's address will provide one of the most important and insightful hours of the week.

Another big event that has been a fixture at NamesCon Global, is the 

GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani

annual Women in Domaining networking gala. That will he held Friday evening (January 31) from 6 to 8pm in the Afilias Lounge at the show hotel (the downtown Austin Omni). There is no charge but ladies do need to RSVP for free passes to the event. 

A couple of scenes from one of the Women in Domaining networking events held at NamesCon Global during the show's six-year run in Las Vegas (it is being held in Austin for the first time this year).

Finally a little "inside baseball" regarding show coverage. There is such a busy agenda this year I will have events to cover not only every day but every night (with multiple events on every weekday night except one - and that may change)! I realized that meant I will have to change my coverage strategy this year. In the past I have written and edited complete daily wrap ups at night and in morning hours of the following day while sessions were going on at the same time. This year the night hours will not be available and there is not enough time the morning after to write up wall to wall coverage. So, this year, each morning I will post a handful of my favorites photos from the day/night before (starting Wednesday morning with some shots from pre-show social events Tuesday night). I will do that each day, then when I am back home after the conference, I will do a complete show wrap-up in one big report

There will be a big historical advantage in doing that too. With coverage of previous shows broken into multiple daily wrap ups, there are no single links back to those shows (and providing a long list of daily links is cumbersome to say the least). So, With NamesCon Global 2020, one link will lead to complete coverage of the conference. No matter how the sausage gets made, the conferences are always enjoyable, rewarding events for me and I am expecting Austin to rank right up there with the best!

(Posted January 27, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Second Half Surge Gave Radix a Record Breaking Year for Premium Domain Sales Revenue in 2019 

Radix has released their latest semi-annual report (.pdf file) detailing the new gTLD registry operator's premium domain sales results for the second half of 2019 (2H-2019). Radix administers nine gTLDs - .store, .tech, .space, .site, .store, .website, .fun, .press and .host. The company reported $1.67 million in total premium sales over the six-month period, a 22% jump from the $1.36 million logged in the first half of the year. That second half surge gave Radix their first $3 million premium revenue year. 

The report said .online, .tech and .store were Radix's highest grossing TLDs with respect to premium sales revenue. Clean.tech at $30,000 via Sedo was their highest single sale in 2H-2019. Radix rang up more than 220 sales of at least $1,000 in the second half of 2019. 

The company also reported an impressive renewal rate of 82% for premium domains originally registered in 2018 or before.

(Posted January 24, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Dates Set for NamesCon Europe, DAN.com Launches Domain Lease to Own Option, Dunn & Daniel Discuss Big Deals!

The 2020 NamesCon Global conference is coming up next week in Austin, Texas, but the NamesCon team has already started laying the groundwork for the next NamesCon Europe conference coming up this summer. NamesCon had previously announced that the show would be held in Budapest, Hungary but the official dates were just announced today. NamesCon Europe 2020 will run August 6th-8th, 2020 at the Budapest Marriot Hotel that sits on the bank of the Danube River.

NamesCon is also already offering heavily discounted pre-sale event passes for €249 (50% off the regular admission rate). That offer ends on February 12.

DAN.com (the popular aftermarket domain sales platform previously known as Undeveloped.com) has just announced a new domain lease to own option that could be a hit with domain owners looking to make their domains affordable  to a broader range of potential buyers and increase recurring revenue. 

The company's announcement said, "The beauty of this highly optimized and copyrighted model is that your buyer can use a simple slider to determine which deal terms he or she can afford and accept. Our new Lease to Own option also introduces a new markup model which acts as a negative incentive for buyers to not at all times opt for the longest payment plan term available, and make you money in the process." This is the DAN markup schedule:
2–12 months = no markup added
13–24 months = 10% markup
25–36 months = 20% markup
37–60 months = 30% markup

DAN noted, "The markup is added on the total sale price, and 50% of the markup will be used by DAN to cover for the recurring payment processing fees, domain renewals & providing DNS support to the buyer for example. The remaining 50% of the markup is paid out to our sellers. We highly advise all our sellers to enable our max lease period of 5 years, so you can sell more domains but also generate more income when a buyer chooses a long term domain payment plan."

Earlier this month I told you about an excellent new podcast at DomainStories.com that has been launched by industry veteran Alan Dunn. Alan has just released a new episode in which he talks with one of the best brokers in the business, Mark Daniel, who is the Director of Business Development at DomanHoldings

In this episode Alan, Mark and special guest Wendy Leung take you inside 3 big domain name deals. You'll hear how a seller was found by a random text message on a TV show, how a deal was agreed upon but the seller decided to sell the whole company instead of the domain (to someone else!) and more. I think you'll really enjoy hearing these domain name industry pros dive deep into these complex transactions.

(Posted January 23, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Mike Sullivan Adds The Ultimate Domain Resource Guide to His 13-Year-Old Industry Blog 

Domain industry veteran Mike Sullivan has been insightfully writing about this business since 2007 at the outstanding SullysBlog.com. It is one of the many excellent resources that help newcomers learn about the industry and  veterans stay abreast of the latest developments in it. Mike recently added an impressive new section to Sully's Blog called The Ultimate Domain Name Resource Guide. With a name like that, you are biting off a lot to chew! If you claim to be the ultimate anything you are setting expectations so high you had better deliver on them! Mike knows that and it shows in the work you will see in his new guide. It is so comprehensive I think all of our readers need to be aware of it, not only for your own use, but as a place you can direct newcomers who ask you where they can learn more about this seemingly inscrutable industry that you're involved in!

Mike's Ultimate Domain Name Resource Guide covers 16 different categories, ranging from fundamentals like Learn Domaining, Domain Name Tools and Buy/Sell Domains to areas that become more important the more you grow, like Development, Legal, and Governance. There are also categories devoted to other resources - Blogs, Podcasts, Books, Newsletters, 

Mike Sullivan

Forums - you name it, it's there (and I still haven't listed them all). As you browse through the Guide it will quickly become obvious that a ton of work went into pulling this information together in one place and remarkable that it is all free of charge to users. Kudos to Mike for producing a guide whose pages would quickly become dog-eared from constant use if they were on paper rather than the web!

(Posted January 21, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Guta.com's 2019 Premium Domain Sales Observation Report Shows Big Jump in Demand for One-Word .Coms

International domain brokerage Guta.com has released their annual Premium Domain Sales Observation Report covering 2019. With offices in both the U.S. and China, Guta, founded by CEO George Hong, has handled millions of dollars worth of domain sales for clients in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Their reports focus primarily on .com domain sales in these categories: 1-4 Numbers, 1-3 Letters, 2 Characters and one-word English dictionary domains. For 3-letter .com domains, the Guta report includes only those made to or from the Chinese market where most of the activity in that popular category has been centered in recent years. 

The report begins with the rare two-letter .com category.  The number of transactions on that very pricy playing field increased every quarter in 2019, starting with just two sold in 1Q, doubling to four in 2Q, jumping to 

7 in 3Q, then closing the year with a bang in 4Q when 11 two-letter .coms changed hands. 15 of the 24 two-letter .coms sold last year went to Chinese buyers. The report includes the exact price paid for the sales that were publicly reported , but most at that seven-figure level were subject to non-disclosure agreements.

Guta.com Founder  & CEO George Hong

The Guta report continues with similar data breakouts for the other categories the brokerage specializes in and also includes quarterly comparisons of how each category fared against the same quarter in the previous year. That makes it easy to spot current trends in all of the popular premium domain categories. 

One category that fared especially well in 2019 were one-word English dictionary domains. The report noted, "The number of end-user sales of one-word English .com domains, increased by 71.7% from 2018 to2019. Among the end-user sales was a record-breaking $30 million domain sale of Voice.com."  There is much more detailed information in the free report  you can read here.

(Posted January 20, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

20-Year Industry Pro Alan Dunn Launches New Podcast at DomainStories.com

After more than 20 years in the domain business there are very few people in it who are as well-known and widely respected as Alan Dunn is. As the Managing Director of NameCorp® he has been involved in well over $50 million worth of domain sales (three years ago we published a very popular Cover Story profile about Alan). Knowing the depth of his domain knowledge, I was very happy to learn today that Alan has launched a professional produced  podcast at DomainStories.com where he has already started sharing his incomprable industry insights and experience. 

Dunn kicked the project off by posting seven episodes at once. The 7th of those features another industry pioneer, attorney John Berryhill, PhD, who delves into domain due diligence. Some of the other topics covered in these first shows include How Much Is a Domain Name Worth?, Reported Domain Sales - Do They Matter? and Do You Really Need the Perfect .com, to give you just a few examples.

While podcasting is a new platform for Alan, he is not new to domain, internet and tech media.  He has contributed many major articles to sites like TechCrunch, Business Insider and Quartz (and has also been interviewed himself by BBC Radio 1). Now you can listen to him 

Alan Dunn

(and subscribe to DomainStories) through any of the major services, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

It always nice to start a new week with some good news and the launch of DomainStories is an exciting development for everyone in the industry (and out) who wants to learn more about the business and get the inside stories on some of the many marquee transactions Alan has been personally involved with. I have no doubt DomainStories will quickly become one of the industry's most important resources.

(Posted January 13, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Industry (and Military) Veteran Toby Hardy Joins Forces with Don Nelson to Launch New Domain Sales & Consulting Firm 

You never know who you are going to meet at a domain conference or what kind of opportunity may come from casual conversations with fellow attendees. I was reminded of that in a note I just got from Toby Hardy, a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, who I first met at a conference in Washington, D.C. over a decade ago. Toby wrote to tell me that he has started a new Veteran owned domain sales and consulting company at TargetRichDomains.com with Don Nelson, a partnership that blossomed when Toby and his wife, Susan, met Don at the inaugural Asheville Professional Domain Investor's Meetup that DomainKing Rick Schwartz staged in North Carolina last summer

Toby will serve as the new company's CEO with Don filling the CMO role. Nelson, who spent nearly four decades in the cyber security space after retiring from the Air Force, will represent TargetRichDomains at the upcoming NamesCion Global conference in Austin, Texas. It will be a short trip for Don since he now makes his home in San Antonio. 

Toby Hardy

Toby will regrettably miss this NamesCon as Susan is undergoing knee replacement surgery the same week. However, he urged show goers to look Don up (he can be contacted via email to don @ targetrichdomains.com). Toby noted "Don's deep data research, analytical skills and insight are invaluable to our mission of matching end users with our domain brands for sales, joint ventures, startup partnerships as well as our services as brand advisors." The TargetRichDomains portfolio includes FrenchRiviera.com, Suntan.com, DiscountDrugStore.com and over 1,000 more that can be reviewed on their site.

(Posted January 9, 2020) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

In case you missed the link on our Home Page, we have just published a major preview of the 2020 NamesCon Global conference coming up January 29 - February 1 in Austin, Texas. It includes a special interview with NamesCon CEO Soeren von Varchmin and NamesCon Head of Operations Helga Neumer in which they detail major changes that have been made for the 7th annual event that is making its first appearance in Austin after a six-year run in Las Vegas. If you are going the big show you will also be interested to see the newly updated agenda that now has the names of the speakers listed for almost all of the conference sessions. Hope to see you in Texas!

(Posted January 7, 2020)

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

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