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The Lowdown
August 2023 Archive
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Welcome to the The Lowdown from 
DN Journal
- your source for notable news 
and information from all corners of the global 
domain name industry! 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal 
Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

.HipHop/Cortex Network Partnership to Wed Web 2 & 3 Domains Gives 50th Year of Hip Hop a High Tech Hue

Dot Hip Hop, LLC, the domain name registry that operates the .HipHop TLD, has joined forces with  The Cortex Network (a Web3 content network) to develop an innovative integration between traditional Web 2 domain names and Web 3 blockchain domain names. Once completed and launched (expected before the end of October), this solution will make it possible for creators to connect with users and additional revenue streams through new kinds of digital objects enabled by a registry. The partnership coincides with the 50th Anniversary of hip hop music and the popular culture that has grown up around it.

When the new system goes live, .HipHop domain owners will be able to register a Web 3 domain that would ultimately work as a digital wallet address for blockchain transactions. That will open the door for .HipHop registrants to seamlessly register a ‘like named’ Web3 domain name that is integrated with the Ethereum Name Service (ENS).

Image from Bigstock

Through the minting of full non-fungible token (NFT) subdomains, domain owners will also be able to open an NFT namespace that will allow them to create new kinds of digital objects like music, concert tickets, merchandise and more.  These integrated domains will also enable publishing on the user-controlled Web3 Cortex Network with content hosted on IPFS (InterPlanetary File System), a decentralized peer-to-peer file system for managing data. On these integrated Web3 blockchain domains, users will be able to publish just about anything they’d typically publish on a traditional Web2 website or social media platform, but within the blockchain framework, opening up new opportunities for monetization, ownership, and community-building. 

Ajene Watson, Managing Director of Dot Hip Hop, LLC, noted, “As my partner, Monte Cahn, will often stress, .HipHop Websites, .HipHop email addresses and now other types of .HipHop digital assets in Web3, offer creators more control and full ownership over content, user data, and fan interaction. The .HipHop domain extension is an immediate identifier that a platform and its creator are part of the community and global multinational culture of Hip Hop. The web3 layer would provide users of the .HipHop extension with an additional financial tool to generate, collect and protect the money earned from their talents. Web3 tools like this further support artist independence while advancing the community’s effort to reclaim Hip Hop as its birthright."

August has been a very busy month for the .HipHop team. In addition to on this project, the registry crew has spent much of the month in New York City, taking part in a variety of events they sponsored to support the 50 Years of Hip Hop celebration in the city where the world changing genre was born.

Above: On August 11, New York City Mayor Eric Adams hosted a celebration of 50 years of Hip Hop at Gracie Mansion, honoring some of the pioneers including MC Sha-Rock, Coke La Rock, Kool Herc, Ralph McDaniels, and DJ Red Alert. .HipHop gifted each of the honorees with their own .HipHop domain names.

Above: Fans congregate outside the .Hiphop tent during the Universal HipHop Museum's Park Jam

Below: .HipHop Co-Founder/Co-CEO Monte Cahn with Hip Hop legend Ice-T helping to fly the registry's colors in New York City.

Of course, of you want to be seen in New York City, Times Square is the place to be and .HipHop had that base covered too. You can learn more about .HipHop domains here.

(Posted August 28, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


The 2023 London Domain Summit Concluded with a Non-Stop Day (and Night) in the UK's Capital City

The 2023 London Domain Name Summit wrapped up its two day run at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel Wednesday evening (August 23). Everything about this second edition of the conference, including the venue, attendance (featuring domain professionals from all over world) and roster of speakers was bigger than the debut event held in August 2022. 

That's exactly what you want to see from a new event that wants to become a fixture on the global show calendar. The social media feedback from attendees that I've seen so far has also been universally positive. That is also a critical element because nothing beats good word of mouth advertising in creating demand for the next one.

My last post, covering opening day Tuesday (August 22) was published when the day's final sessions were still winding down. DN.com's Yue Dai helped close day 1 with a keynote presentation on the Secondary Market for Premium Domain Names in China.

Above (L to R): Yue Dai (DN.com), Cate Lim (who helped translate) and conference moderator Tess Diaz welcoming the audience to Yue Dai's presentation about the domain aftermarket in China. (Photo credit: Nadeem Azam). Below: An Andrew Bennett photo from this session.

Day 1 concluded with an evening social event at the Metropole. Among those on hand were (left to right) London Domain Summit Founder Helmuts Meskonis, ShortDot SA Founder Lars Jensen, IT.com Founder & CEO Andrey Insarov (IT.com was the conference's title sponsor) and Mark Ghoriafi (MrPremium.com). 

Since we weren't able to make it to London this year, it was good to see photos posted on social media by Mark and many other attendees so we could share a pictorial taste of the event with you. IT.com provided some of the best shots from the colorful event including this one spotlighting their crew (left to right), Business Manager Rolandas Japertas, Andrey Insarov, Business Development 
Director Natalija Japerte and a very properly attired British footman.

The second and final day of this year's London Domain Summit got underway at 10am Wednesday morning (August 23) with a panel discussion devoted to Buying and Selling Premium Domain Names. That session featured (left to right in the photo below) Moderator Tess Diaz, Michael Law (Grit Brokerage), Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com), Adam Wagner (ParkingCrew.com), Mark Ghoriafi (MrPremium.com) and Ryan De Corsie Ewen (Digital Candy). Photo credit: Mark Ghoriafi.

A trio business sessions followed to take attendees up to the 2pm lunch break. Those break times provide the best networking opportunities for attendees and nothing is beats those face to face chats with friends and fellow domain investors from around the world. The UK's Sam Charles (at right below) posted this shot of him with one of America's most well known industry figures (and all around good guys), Braden Pollock.  

After the lunch break it was time to head down the home stretch with a quartet of final business sessions. In one of those FreeName.io's Eleonora Bellotto (Head of Partnerships) and Federico Costa (Co-Founder & CTO) delivered an informative presentation on what is happening with Web 3 domains (that is Eleonora and Federico with London Domain Summit Founder Helmuts Meskonis at right).

Below: The final session of the 2023 Summit was an In-Person Debate featuring two of the candidates for the post of  member-elected non-executive director at Nominet (the administrator of the .uk registry). Left to right are candidates Thomas Rickert and Steve Wright with moderator Andrew Bennett.

Once business is out of the way, London night life always beckons. The shot below, from IT.com, captured (left to right) Munir Badr (AEServer.com Founder and Founder of the highly anticipated Domain Days Dubai conference that will be launching in November (dates are November 1 & 2, 2023), Joe Alagna (IT.com), Yue Dai (DN.com), Andrey Insarov (IT.com Founder) and Rolandas Japertas (IT.com).

With a second London Domain Name Summit now under his belt, conference Founder Helmuts Meskonis (above) is no doubt already thinking about #3 in 2024. The groundwork has been laid. Now comes the tough part - finding a way to top yourself again next year!

(Posted August 25, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


The 2023 London Domain Name Summit Got  Underway Today with an International Audience on Hand

The 2nd annual edition of the London Domain Name Summit began its two-day run Tuesday (August 22) with attendees from the UK, Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia converging at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel for the event.

Prior obligations prevented us from being there in person but we've gathered some photos posted on social media by attendees to give you a glimpse into a conference that founder Helmuts Meskonis and his team have been hard at work on since the day their inaugural event ended last summer. 

The show's official kickoff was at 11am local time but the audience was treated to a special pre-show session at 10 featuring BrandForce.com Co-Founder Louis Pickthall who was able to speak with authority on the topic of  How to Sell a Domain Name for $10 million because BrandForce handled the sale of Connect.com at that price last year.

Photo credit: Yue Dai

At 11am, Helmuts Meskonis, seen here (at far right) visiting the Sedo booth today, formally got things underway with his Founder's Message. Also seen above, left to right, are Sedo CMO Christian Voss, Sedo Senior Broker Dave Evanson and MrPremium.com Founder Mark Ghoriafi

Above & Below: CentralNic CEO Micheal Riedl followed Helmuts on stage at 11:15 with a keynote talk that included a call for other industry executives to join him in setting up a meeting to formulate a coordinated industry response to climate change. DomainIncite.com's Kevin Murphy, who was at this session, posted more about that on his site today. Photo credits: Mark Ghoriafi (above and Andrew Bennett (below).

AEServer.com Founder Munir Badr kicked off the afternoon sessions with a Keynote Presentation on the State of DNS & Domain Names in MENA region. Munir is also the Founder of the new Domain Days Dubai conference that will make its debut in November. 

The five sessions that followed were punctuated by a 2pm lunch break. The last of those, a 6pm panel discussion on Domain Monetization, was still underway as we were writing this. It featured Ryan  Ewen (Digital Candy), Christian Voss (Sedo), Claus Barche (InterNetX) and Adam Wagner (InterNetX).

Earlier in the day, Claus, InterNetX's Head of Sales (3rd from left in adjacent photo) was busy welcoming visitors to the InterNetX booth. Those included Joe Alagna, representing the show's title sponsor, IT.com (3rd from right) and DN.com Founder Yue Dai (2nd from right). Yue Dai was also a featured opening day speaker with a well-received 5pm Keynote Presentation on the  Secondary Market of Premium Domain Names in China. InterNetX Marketing Team Leader Michael Piotrowski (far right) also helped hold down the fort at their booth.

An evening social event is going on at the Metropole this evening. Wednesday morning at 10, attendees will be back in the conference hall for another full day of sessions that are scheduled to run all the way to 7pm Wednesday evening. We'll have more on that in our next post.  Photo Credit: ShortDot.

(Posted August 22, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


IO.net Sold for $118,000 in Biggest Non .Com gTLD Sale Reported Year to Date

Mansour Elseify (DomainsNext.com) has closed a huge two-letter .net sale, moving IO.net for $118,000 in a transaction handled by GoDaddy Broker Ray Shannon. Mansour has been in the domain business since 1999 (four years before DNJournal even existed and just four years after IO.net was registered for the first time in 1995)! 

When we add this sale to our charts August 30 (the date of our next bi-weekly domain sales report) it will take over the top spot on our YTD Non .Com Top 100 Sales Chart (assuming no larger sale from that category comes in before then). IO.net went for four times more than the year's previous top sale in this TLD - Cloak.net at $29,888. It is also the biggest .net sale reported since March 2021 when an eye popping $750,000 sale of Poker.net stunned the domain world.

Image from Bigstock

(Posted August 18, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


1H-2023 Results and New Initiatives Are Painting a Rosy Growth Picture for the .ART Registry

I got a note today from Jeff Sass, the Chief Markting Officer at the .ART Registry (and a long time friend since his days in the same role at .CLUB before that TLD was sold to GoDaddy). Jeff was excited about the high growth rate .ART generated in the first half of this year, climbing to  244,407 domains under management, representing a 19% surge over the same time frame last year. 

Jeff credited adoption of .ART domains by some of the world’s best-known museums and art institutions for expanding recognition for the new TLD. .ART also benefited from a strong renewal rate of 82% for premium names and 61% for standard domains. The registry sold 2,533 premium domains in 1H-2023 with that group accounting for 64% of their domain registration revenue. 24 .ART premium names were sold from the $5,000 or $10,000 price tiers including

Sculpture.art, Imagine.art, Motion.art, Ultra.art, Mexican.art and Pen.art to name a few. Sass noted, "The average price of premium names sold in H1 2023 was $385 confirming our belief in the demand and revenue-generating capability of affordable premium names, as well as higher-priced, super-premium names. All .ART premium names have a renewal price of $39 regardless of the first year registration fee."

.ART CMO Jeff Sass

Jeff added, "In Q2 we also released a number of previously reserved super-premium names into new $50,000 and $100,000 tiers, including many two letter names as well as high value geo names such as Miami.art, Paris.art and others.

At the end of H1 2023 .ART domains were offered by 201 registrars worldwide, and 100 of them were actively selling premium domains. The top 5 registrars in terms of domains sold were Namecheap, GoDaddy, Google, Tucows, and Alibaba, while the top 5 registrars in terms of premium domains sold were GoDaddy, Namecheap, Google, PDR, and OVH. The recently released  Namecheap Domain Insights & Trends Report covering 1H-2023 ranked .ART is in top 10 TLDs with the best renewal rates.

.ART also has an impressive active usage rate with 42% of their registered domains currently hosting developed websites. Those include popular sites like Noble.art, Alba.art and Imagine.art (an AI art generator), Poco.art and Yakob.art

.ART completes the growth picture by running a series of innovative initiatives that are bringing new converts to the TLD every day. Those include ENS Names, the Art Therapy Initiative, The Digital Innovation in Art Award, Name.art (an innovative way to earn referral commissions for the sale of premium .ART domains) and ID.art (providing ways to digitally store evidence of authenticity and the provenance of any art object by using US-patented “Digital Twin” domains). 

(Posted August 15, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Radix's Grass Roots Focus on Female Entrepreneurs in Florida Helped Fuel Ongoing Ascent of .Online

Now that "new" gTLDs have been with us for a full decade it is easy to see what has separated the biggest winners from the rest of the pack - creative and consistent marketing of their TLDs. Radix, who administers ten new TLDs, has been a standout in dreaming up win-win campaigns that have benefited both their TLDs and the communities those TLDs were created to serve. Last week Namecheap (the world's 2nd biggest registrar with 17 million domains under management) released their semi-annual Domain Insights & Trends Report that listed the most popular gTLDs - new and old - on their platform and Radix claimed three of the top ten spots with .online. .site and .store. .Online was in the top five, moving up two spots from last year after leapfrogging long established legacy TLDs .net and .org.

That's quite an accomplishment but Radix put in the hard work and financial investment needed to get there. The company has frequently drilled all the way down to the local level to run contests and events that have put tools, tips and money into communities whose grateful members have reciprocated by using and and spreading the word about Radix TLDs. Being based in Florida, we saw a perfect example of that during the recent NBA finals. As basketball fans know, the Miami Heat was in the championship series. Unfortunately for Miami fans, Denver won the series 4 games to 1, but thanks to Radix, female entrepreneurs in South Florida were still winners.

Radix ran an innovative month-long

Spotlight.online contest, tied to the NBA finals, that gave the winning entrepreneur a professional produced TV commercial that ran during the June 7 Heat-Nuggets game, putting the winner's company in front of 500,000 viewers. Radix and .online won big as well. The contest attracted over 650,000 social media views, nearly a million impressions and was also endorsed by top local influencers in the SMB space. .Online partnered with SMB communities including United Way, Venture Cafe Miami, and eMerge Americas for on-ground activities that engaged over 1,200 attendees. The contest also received attention from mainstream media, with prime-time coverage from NBC6, CBS Miami and the South Florida Business Journal, among others. 

The contest winner was Founder and CEO Susan Aran from Radiate Kombucha. Susan said, "Sharing Radiate Kombucha's story with over half a million people in South Florida and receiving significant media attention after the commercial was aired has been great for the brand. I am proud to be associated with a brand that is committed to supporting women entrepreneurs such as myself.  We love our domain, www.radiate.online, because it completely aligns with our D2C brand that ships nationally.” Here is the 30-second Radiate commercial TV viewers watched:


Susan also had to love the two-minute story about her and Radiate Kombucha below that CBS Miami's Channel 4 showed in their late newscast after the basketball game: 


Priyanka Panchmatia, the Brand Director for .Online Domains, said, “The intention behind offering a TV commercial as the prize was to level the playing field for a local, woman-owned business in South Florida. By providing opportunities that are otherwise exclusive to big-budget corporations, we wanted to give women-owned businesses a chance to thrive online and get marketing exposure that is often out of their reach.”  In a recent survey led by .Online Domains among women entrepreneurs in South Florida, 36% reported difficulty in securing funds to grow their business, while 54% found it difficult to compete in a crowded marketplace. This led us to launch the Spotlight.online contest.”

Last year, .Online Domains launched #FempowerOnline, an Instagram-led contest inspiring women entrepreneurs to go live with their business ideas. The contest ran for two months garnering 14 million impressions and over 700,000 views on social media. It was also endorsed by inspiring women influencers with over 4 million followers in total.  

(Posted August 1 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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