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The Lowdown
December 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.

Re-Branding a Popular Online Business is a Big Challenge - Why Digital Candy Did It and Morphed Into Domain Manage 

When Ryan Ewen's company developed a sweet tooth for DigitalCandy.uk a couple of years ago he never dreamed he would need to change the name of his fast growing domain and website marketplace just as it was starting to scale new heights. Unexpected changes are seldom welcome but in this case Ewen proved to be an adroit CEO in orchestrating a re-branding to DomainManage.com under less than ideal circumstances. In the end, the move not only solved a problem - it also opened up a host of new opportunities for the business.

A change had to be made when Ewen became aware of a trademark held by a different company -  Digital Candy Inc. It only became a matter of contention when Ewen purchased DNForum.com in February 2023 (a site he wound up selling to Helmuts Meskonis in April). With the acquisition Digital Candy UK would have a problem promoting the business in America where Digital Candy Inc. held a trademark. So, Ewen flew to Washington, DC to discuss it with one of the domain industry's top attorneys, Stevan Lieberman of Greenberg & Lieberman, who also owns EscrowDomains and, as fate would have it,  Digital Candy Inc., the company Ewen now had an issue with!  

Ewen told us, "In Digital Candy Inc., Stevan runs an established business and is closely connected to the brand. Stevan and I are both members of the Internet Commerce Association (ICA), the non-profit organization that advocates for the right of domain name owners and service providers. We agree with the ICA's code of conduct so it was an easy exploratory conversation."

The solution wound up being another acquisition that Ewen made in September 2023 when he purchased Domain Manage, a business that has been established in 2014. “It was a tough decision to let go of the Digital Candy brand but without being able to develop the site and promote it freely we realized it was a necessary step," Ewen said. "Acquiring Domain Manage enabled us to execute our development plans and pivot quickly. The Domain Manage name also aligned with our desire to offer domain name specific services rather than services for the broader ‘digital space’."

Ryan Ewen
Domain Manage CEO


Steven Lieberman

The move to DomainManage.com has been just one element of what has been a very busy year for Ewen's company. “We've seen exceptional growth in 2023 with the acquisition of 25,000 .com domains and multiple R&D projects coming to fruition, coupled with the launch of The Dot UK Group including www.brandable.uk and www.flip.uk.  Brandable has pre-registrations totaling 200,000 UK domains and is our flagship offering in terms of technical capabilities and brand creation. It is an example of what is to come in 2024 under the Domain Manage brand."  

Ewen added, “Parent company EW3N has seen gross sales reach $5 million. We have completed several domain name loans and will launch our Affiliate Domain Parking platform in early 2024 along with our fractional ownership product later in the year.”

While this article started with the re-branding of Digital Candy to Domain Manage, Ewen's journey into the domain world started much earlier. That was all set in motion back in 2012 when he founded the Falbros Group, specialized in financial services, we had also gotten into digital services and that side grew to include over 500 websites, a team of 150 people and expansion into SEO, design and social media," Ewen said.

"It became apparent to us that if a premium domain name was paired with a website a leader in a market could be created. This resulted in huge growth by deploying several premium domain names like bridging.com, expatmortgage.com and a host of .uk premium domain names like privatebanks.uk. These sites had exceptional designs and a premium domain name took them to another level."

“Over the years Falbros Group grew a huge digital asset base so it was strategic to create a marketplace to sell some of the unwanted or underused assets. The Digital Candy dot UK acquisition had come about prior to an entrance into the digital asset space with a vision of creating a trusted brand that lay people could identify with and feel safe buying and selling digital assets. The reason behind choosing Digital Candy was to encompass the whole digital space and include websites, domain names, social media, apps and was broad enough to grow into anything digital that was to come. Digital Candy UK launched with an offering that could point to headline sales including mayfair.com and newz.com as evidence of its success."

In conclusion Ryan noted, “While not a core offering of Falbros Group a real business opportunity had been identified and in December 2021 Falbros Group restructured to allow a real focus on Digital Candy dot UK. 2022 saw $950,000 in gross sales which for a first year of business was exceptional, particularly from a standing start with little experience in a new market."

With 2023 now coming to a close, Ewen will have another strong year to look back on and with a new brand to expand on, he is expecting 2024 to be even better.

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


Legacy of Lonnie Borck Honored in Campaign to Buy Armored Ambulance for United Hatzalah 

For people in the domain industry who knew him, Lonnie Borck was a person they will never forget. Lonnie passed unexpectedly in his sleep in 2016, but his friends and colleagues have kept his memory alive in various ways that honor and reflect Lonnie's spirit for giving and helping others. The most high profile of those has been presentation of the  Internet Commerce Association's annual Lonnie Borck Award (the winner of the next one will be announced at the ICA's upcoming Annual Meeting in Las Vegas next month).

One of Lonnie's closest friends, domain attorney Ari Goldberger, is now using a high profile domain that he and Lonnie previously shared ownership in, Jewish.com, to raise money for United Hatzalah, a non-profit emergency medical services organization that provides fast and free emergency medical services to all people in Israel, regardless of race, religion, or nationality. Lonnie spent much of his spare time volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician for the Baltimore Hatzalah chapter.

Lonnie Borck

When Ari learned that United Hatzalah was able to provide volunteer EMS service with a record 90-second response time throughout the State of Israel, thanks to a fleet of fully-equipped armored ambulances he thought Lonnie Borck's name should be on one of those-life saving vehicles. Hatzalah volunteers were the first responders on the scene of the October 7th terrorist attack in Israel and they are now bringing doctors and medical staff to save lives on the frontlines of the war with Hamas that has followed. Jewish.com noted that United Hatzalah was on the scene before the IDF, thanks to their GPS trackers pinging the first calls for help, adding "They dispatched over 1,000 emergency first responders and more than 120 rescue vehicles to the south and north to save as many lives as possible."  

Ari's mission now is to raise money for the purchase of one of those ambulances to be donated in memory of Lonnie Borck.  "Lonnie lived a life of kindness, humanity, and generosity, and would have been honored to ensure that as many lives as possible were able to be saved in the land of Israel. May his memory be a blessing," Donations for this initiative can be made through a Lonnie Borck memorial page on the United Hatzalah website at IsraelRescue.org

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


GoDaddy Auctions Celebrating Ambitious 2023 Overhaul With Massive Year End Domain Auction

GoDaddy Auctions is closing out the year with a bang that is creating a lot of buzz in the domain aftermarket. They launched a gargantuan NameFind Premium Domain Auction last week and have kept it in the spotlight by adding new names to the mix every day. The auction's 7-day rolling format means individual auctions will also be ending daily. As of this writing no specific end date for the auction has been set but you can see everything that will be closing over the next seven days.  

The scale of this sale is extraordinary. GoDaddy's Domain Investment Community Manager Jame Iles gave us some insight into why it is happening now.

*Details on site.

"2023 was a phenomenal year for us, as we took major strides towards our goal of a more seamless, integrated investor experience," James noted. "One area we're particularly proud of is the overhaul of our GoDaddy Auctions platform. This was a labor of love that started in 2021 and has thrived through this year with a series of key releases. We've updated the look, made searching and filtering a breeze, and enhanced access to domain auctions. Plus, we've added more data points and inventory, and improved the backend infrastructure."

James Iles
GoDaddy Investment Community Manager

"GoDaddy Auctions is about to wave goodbye to its Beta phase - but that doesn't mean we're slowing down. We're planning further enhancements to keep improving the investor experience. To mark the end of the Beta phase, we're infusing auctions with some top-notch premium domains from our NameFind portfolio with no-reserve prices and low starting bids. We're also using this opportunity to experiment with ways to drive even more buyers for your domains for sale. The auctions began December 6th with names like Cliche.com, VisitVegas.com and Sitcom.com on the block and new premium names added daily. You can filter for these names within Auctions or head over to NameFind.com to be redirected."

James added, "This is both a celebration of how far we've come and a stepping stone towards an even brighter future. Here's to making your business run smoother and achieving even more together!" 

James also provided us with a convenient list of key points about the auctions that will help you navigate through them and make the most of this buying opportunity.

Auctions URL: https://auctions.godaddy.com/beta?q=namefind


  • December 6th: Initial batch of names listed (first batch will be ending December 13)

  • Each subsequent weekday: New names added with 7-day auction times

  • Auction end dates follow a predictable schedule (e.g 12/11 additions end on 12/18 but the final end date of the whole auction event is undefined)

  • Weekends excluded from auction start dates

Premium Domains:

  • First day included high-quality names like Cliche.com and VisitVegas.com

  • On the second day we added more domains such as SalesDesk.com, Appy.com, and Spent.com

  • Similar caliber names will be added daily throughout the event

No-Reserve Auctions:

  • Starting prices vary but all names will sell with at least one bid

  • Essentially, if you place a bid, you can win the name

  • Competitive starting bids (e.g $6,499 for Cliche.com)

Stay Updated:

  • Since we’re adding new names every day, it’s recommended that buyers check back daily to discover new additions

  • Visit NameFind.com for a redirect to the auction page

(Posted December 11, 2023)
To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


ICA Website for Next Month's Annual Member Meeting in Las Vegas Went Live Today  

The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) is set to welcome members back to Las Vegas for their 2024 annual meeting that will run January 17-20 at Resorts World. The venue was selected for a return engagement after last year's meeting there proved to be a hit with attendees. Today, the ICA launched a new meeting website dedicated to the upcoming event. That provides a central location for checking out the agenda, finding out who is coming and, or course, securing tickets if you don't already have them and booking a room at the hotel.

If you are not a member of the non-profit organization that fights to defend domain owner's rights, you should be! It is easy to do, with multiple membership levels that make it affordable for all corporate and individual supporters of the invaluable association to join. This is the perfect time to get on board too. Anyone who joins at the Premium Individual Level can get 50% off the $599 price for a meeting

ticket. Those joining at the Bronze Level will get a free ticket. Step up to Bronze Plus or Silver and get two free tickets or Gold and above to score three

The ICA has a rewarding and entertaining experience waiting for their members. For those who will be in town Wednesday evening (Jan. 17) they even have a group trip to the fabulous new Las Vegas Sphere planned (available until the limited supply of tickets runs out). Daytime Thursday (Jan. 18) will be for group networking activities with a Red Rock canyon hike, pickleball tournament or visit to the Mob Museum being just a few of the options to choose from. The welcoming reception will be Thursday night, followed by a full business day Friday (Jan. 19) and a closing reception Friday night that will include an amazing Mentalist show

Some will stay over to spend the weekend in Las Vegas. If you are doing that, they will have a a couple of extra events Saturday (Jan. 20) just for you, including a morning Broker Breakfast and an ICA and The Domain Industry Through the Years session at 11:30am as welcome bonuses. We will be there to cover it all and hope to see you there too!

(Posted December 8, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


12-Month Study Shows .Store Strength and How New gTLDs Can Cut Through the Clutter

ICANN launched their new gTLD program over a decade ago, resulting in more than 1,100 new domain extensions being available for registration today. However, the ten most popular new gTLDs, less than 1% of total TLDs, account for 53% of all new gTLD registrations. It is obvious that reaching a high level of success with new gTLDs is not an easy task. Even so, in July ICANN green lighted the creation of another round of new gTLDs that are expected to arrive in 2Q-2026. With the already stiff competition soon to get even tougher, it is imperative that current and future new GTLD operators figure out how they can stake out a profitable piece of the market for themselves. 


A good way to do that would be to look at what today's successful operators have done to cut through the clutter. That group includes Radix, the operator of ten new TLDs, who has made several of their extensions stand out in the crowd using a multi-pronged strategy that has included building communities around specific TLDs, conducting unique marketing campaigns that reward participants and providing credible research that demonstrates the inherent value of their TLDs. With respect to the latter tack, Radix commissioned a recently completed independent 12-month SEO study of .store domains (one of the ten most popular new TLDs) conducted by eCommerce marketing agency Contrast Digital.  

The purpose of the study was to determine if there were any performance differences in using a .store vs a .com domain for an eCommerce website. Contrast Founder Elliott Davidson noted, "There isn’t any public data available on this so to test this, we launched two eCommerce sites that were the same, selling the same products, the only major difference being that one used .com and the other used a .store domain name extension. We wanted to run this as any business owner or creator would want to do for their own store from a resources and knowledge perspective. As such, the stores were built using Shopify and we didn’t invest an excessive amount of time into paid or SEO that couldn't be replicated into a monthly owner's workload."

"The main thing here is that, unlike most other experiments like these, these would be actual stores customers could buy from, not just a front as a way to collect the data. This way, the experiment could be as real as possible. So that search engines and users interpret the sites as unique, we reworded the content."

The study determined that the eCommerce businesses using .Store domains got 87% more traffic, a 12% lower cost per conversion and achieved 2X visibility by ranking faster and higher on search engines.   


Suman Das
Radix, VP of Brand Operations

With the new study in hand, Suman Das, VP of Brand Operations at Radix, now has an even stronger case to make for why eCommerce entrepreneurs should have .store on their radar. "A .Store domain inherently communicates a clear, retail-focused identity, helping businesses to stand out in the crowded online marketplace," Das said. "By slashing customer acquisition costs and boosting store visibility, .Store can provide a marketing advantage to eCommerce business owners. These advantages are vital for businesses looking to establish a strong online presence, drive more traffic, and, ultimately, increase sales. The results of this study not only highlight the effectiveness of .Store, but also reinforce our commitment to providing solutions that address the real needs of the eCommerce seller community."  

Suman added, "For eCommerce business owners, customer acquisition and website traffic are some of the key challenges today. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by GoDaddy Venture Forward (.pdf file), 42% of small business owners listed online marketing through ads, promotions, and social media as one of the top three challenges when starting their business."

(Posted December 4, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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