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The Lowdown
May 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.

NamesCon Global Week Has Arrived! Here is How We Will Cover the Big Show in Austin

The 2023 NamesCon Global conference officially begins Wednesday (May 31) at the downtown Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas but a lot of attendees will be arriving throughout the day Tuesday for a variety of pre-show activities or just to get settled in and do some early networking around the lobby bar. After three full days of business sessions and special events Wednesday through Friday (including ROTD's annual live domain auction Thursday), the conference will conclude Saturday with a Fun Day filled with food, drinks and casual conversation at an Austin institution - Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden. 


Once the conference begins the action will be non-stop every day from early morning to late at night. Since we want to cover as much as possible for our big post-show review (due out early next week) we won't be leaving the floor to post a lot while the conference is underway (see the show agenda to see all of the sessions that will be running simultaneously on two stages through most of the week). Still, we expect to drop a few photos into this column along the way as time permits, so check back here for those.!

If you have already registered, we are looking forward to seeing you in Austin! If you haven't gotten tickets, it's not too late - you can still register here. While NamesCon's block of rooms at the Omni has sold out, they have made arrangements with the nearby Hyatt Centric Austin hotel to give attendees a convenient home base of the show. You use this link to book there. 

(Posted May 29, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


With Pandemic Receding Domain Investor Meetups Reemerge with South Florida Pros at Forefront 

The domain investment community was built on relationships forged in face to face meetings held around the world over the past two decades. Those gatherings came to an unfortunate halt when the Covid pandemic hit in early 2020. The coast only cleared last fall when NamesCon Global welcomed a joyous live crowd in Austin. NamesCon has since moved to spring dates and will be back in Texas for the 2023 show next week. Several attendees will be arriving at the big show fresh off helping to revive the local domain meetup scene in South Florida last night (May 25). 

Image from Bigstock

South Florida has had one of the world's largest concentrations of professional domain investors since the industry began (the very first conferences were the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. events that South Florida partners Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu staged around the world  from 2004 to 2014). As a result South Florida was one of a handful of regions that have been able to support their own local meetups off and on over the years (Seattle and Los Angeles have also been part of that small but influential club of domain hotspots). Industry vet Eddie Sixto took the lead in re-constituting the Florida group - now known as South Florida Domainers - with Ehren Schaiberger and original members Stu Maloff and Victor Pitts stepping up to help co-organize. They held their first event last night at the Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery in Fort Lauderdale.

Above (left to right): Eddie Sixto welcoming two of the domain industry's OGs, 
Monte Cahn
and Chad Folkening, at last night's meetup in Fort Lauderdale.

Below (left to right): Michael DeLucia, Jason Greenwald, Victor Pitts, Monte Cahn, Stu Maloff
and Adam Maysonet get the party started (all photos in this article courtesy of Eddie Sixto).

Above (left to right): Jeff Sass (.ART registry), Monte Cahn and veteran domain broker 
Tracy Seskin Fogarty (eNaming.com) were among the many familiar faces in the crowd.

Below: Eddie with another South Florida domain investor that goes way back - Rick Waters.

Above (left to right): Eddie Sixto, Rick Waters, Chad Folkening
Michael DeLucia, Adam Maysonet and Jonathan Goldfarb

Below: Also in the house, Mark Ghoriafi (MrPremium.com) and investing pro Keith Shanahan.

Above: A "family portrait" of those who helped bring the South Florida Domainers group back from a long pandemic induced absence (left to right (standing): Mark Daniel, Monte Cahn, Jonathan Goldfarb, Wilson Alvarez, Tracy Seskin Fogerty, Rick Watters, Leonard Nock, Ehren Schaiberger, Jeff Sass, Jason Greenwald, Michael DeLucia, Jason Eisler, Adam Maysonet and Victor Pitts. (Kneeling at front): Stu Maloof, Chad Folkening, Mark Ghoriafi and Eddie Sixto. (Attendees not in this photo: John Colascione and Keith Shanahan).

Looking back on the evening, Eddie remarked, "It exceeded all of my expectations with domain investors, entrepreneurs and industry professionals coming out for a night filled with knowledge-sharing, networking, and camaraderie. Attendees had the opportunity to gain insights into the latest trends, emerging opportunities and best practices in the domain industry. They shared their success stories, inspiring others and creating an environment of motivation and encouragement. The success of the event has not only invigorated the domain community but also showcased the immense potential for growth and collaboration within the South Florida domain ecosystem."

With the ongoing growth of the domain industry at large and the example set by the South Florida group, we should see the return of more regional groups in domain hot spots around the world. They can  can provide the opportunity to build invaluable relationships year around while also conveying the importance and power of a great domain name to businesses of all sizes in their own communities.  That helps all of us, no matter where we live! 

(Posted May 26, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Nominations Open for 5th Annual .ORG Impact Awards With PIR Ready to Deliver $180,000 in Prize Money

Public Interest Registry (PIR), the people behind .ORG, are now accepting nominations for the 5th annual .ORG Impact Awards, an annual celebration that recognizes outstanding mission-driven individuals and organizations from the global .ORG Community for their positive contributions to society. A total of $180,000 in prize money will be donated to award recipients with $50,000 of that going to the overall winner, so make sure you get your nominations in before they close June 28, 2023 (all nominees must be tied to an active .ORG website). 

Your nominee doesn't have to take the top prize to win either. Every Category winner will receive $10,000 and, for the first time, all finalist organizations will each receive $2,500 each, plus travel and accommodations for two representatives to attend the in-person award ceremony November 16, 2023 in Washington, D.C. The ceremony itself will be something special this year as it will be the first time PIR has been able to stage it in person since the pandemic began. Additional event details will be released in the coming months. 


Beyond the donation, receiving a prestigious .ORG Impact Award will help raise the profile of winning organizations, ultimately driving additional donations, funding, talent acquisition, partnership development and audience reach.


For more than 30 years, .ORG has served as the trusted home base that everyone from individuals and small community groups to large corporations and multinational NGOs have used to positively impact the communities they serve. Over the past four years, the .ORG Impact Awards have recognized 155 outstanding .ORGs from over 60 countries. Through the Awards, Public Interest Registry has donated $325,000 for transformative work taking place around the world. You can see the full list of last year's .ORG Impact Award winners here


Categories for the 2023 Awards include:
  • Health and Healing

  • Quality Education for All

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Environmental Stewardship

  • Hunger and Poverty

  • Community Building

  • Rising Star

  • .ORG of the Year

Submissions will be evaluated by a judging panel of leaders in the internet, nonprofit, and marketing sectors. The top five entries per category will be named as finalists on September 19, 2023 and will be eligible to win the .ORG of the Year award. As noted above, winners will be announced on November 16, 2023 at the in-person awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. 

PIR President and CEO Jon Nevett said, “As we celebrate our fifth annual .ORG Impact Awards, we are excited to once again recognize outstanding changemakers across the world who work tirelessly to create change and drive progress for good. This year’s celebration will be particularly special as winners and finalists will gather for an in-person ceremony for the first time since 2019. If you are, or know, a changemaker committed to mission-driven work, we encourage you to submit a nomination. I hope you join our growing community.”

Jon Nevett
PIR President & CEO Jon Nevett

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


ROTD's June 1 Live Domain Auction at NamesCon Global Expected to Attract an SRO Crowd

A live domain auction staged by RightOfTheDot.com (ROTD) will be a of highlight of the upcoming NamesCon Global conference that runs May 31 through June 3, 2023 at the downtown Omni Hotel in Austin, Texas. We can say that with confidence because every one of the live sales ROTD President Monte Cahn and his team, including World Champion auctioneer Wayne Wheat, have done at NamesCon over the years has produced a standing room only crowd. 

With domains like QD.com, OI.com, Dancing.com, Gorilla.com, Holiday.com, House.net and Software.ai among those scheduled to go under the gavel June 1st (starting at 3pm US CST) this auction will be no exception, especially with complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres as an added attraction. 

If you can't be at the live auction, no problem because bids will also be accepted online. The online auction will actually keep right on going after the live sale is over, with bidding on remaining lots open until 11AM (CST) on June 8, 2023.  You  can register to bid at  https://bid.rotd.com/ui/, where you can also view the entire auction catalog and join the pre-bidding that is already open.

Regarding the upcoming auction, Monte noted, "This is a unique opportunity for business owners, end users, and investors to obtain some of the very best, one-of-a-kind digital assets available anywhere. We believe that our auctions also help the entire industry by raising the value of all domain names and digital assets through sales and appreciation value of these assets over time."

(Posted May 19, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


This Week's Nordic Domain Days Event in Sweden Was a Hit With NamesCon Global Up to Bat Next

For many people coming to the 2023 NamesCon Global conference in Austin (that starts May 31), it will be their first domain meeting since late last summer when NamesCon 2022 was held, also in Texas. However, for some well traveled industry veterans, the Austin show won't even by their conference this month! That's because the 2023 edition of Nordic Domain Domains (NDD) was held this week in Stockholm, Sweden with a lot of familiar faces in attendance. Our friends Mark Ghoriafi (MrPremium.com) and Braden Pollock (LegalBrandMarketing.com) were among the NDD attendees from around the world who you'll also see in the Lone Star State if you're going to NamesCon. Mark and Braden posted some photos from the Stockholm event that ended Tuesday evening (May 9) that we thought you would enjoy.

Above: Mark Ghoriafi (MrPremium.com) with NDD Founder LG Forsberg.

Mark Ghoriafi was kind enough to give 
Braden Pollock a lift at Nordic Domain Days!

While Mark and Braden provided the photos, I got in touch with NDD Founder LG Forsberg to see how the show went from his perspective. LG noted, "Nordic Domain Days is a domain industry event, for the industry, by the industry and I personally think that could be felt all the way through this year's edition. Our industry is special in a sense because we all want to meet, share and learn. And we did. From our welcoming drinks to the last goodbye it felt like the family coming together. "

"From an organizer's point of view, the conference went off without a hitch, and I am so grateful to all of the moderators, speakers and partners that made it possible.  Since its founding, NDD has grown with roughly 20% per year, but we blew our record out of the water this year with more than 300 participants and 27% growth over 2022. "

"The agenda this year had a width that we have not had before with highlights such as a rundown on the new gTLD second round, a variety of data and customer retention talks and more in-depth sessions on DNS Abuse and the NIS2-directive. "

LG added, "The NDD attendees seems to have been more than happy with the event in general and it does feel like we have found a winning concept with our very intimate venue, keeping our participants together, and not spreading out too much away from the venue. The next Nordic Domain Days is already in the works and I can confirm that the dates and the venue has been set. We will be returning to Sweden and the Clarion Stockholm on May 13th to 14th 2024"

Above: Emiliano Pasqualetti (DomainsBot.com) delivering a presentation on 
domain industry growth at 2023 Nordic Domain Days this week in Stockholm, Sweden.

Below: Familiar faces in the crowd (left to right): Lars Jensen (ShortDot SA), Braden Pollock
Alan Shiflett (GoDaddy), James Iles (GoDaddy) and Mark Ghoriafi.

Above: Braden Pollock helped moderate key sessions at Nordic Domain Days and 
will be doing the same at NamesCon Global in Austin May 31 - June3, 2023.

Below: Evening social events also played a big role in the success of Nordic Domain Days
giving attendees ample opportunities to make new friends and connect with old ones. 

Thanks to LG, Mark and Braden for their help in putting this post together and congrats to the entire NDD team on a job well done. Now its on the other side of the Atlantic and we're looking forward to seeing all who will be in Austin next!

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


NamesCon Global Adds New Women of the Web Luncheon to Busy Agenda - ICA Dinner Also On Tap in Austin

With the 2023 NamesCon Global conference set to begin three weeks from today (on Wednesday, May 31, 2023) in Austin, Texas, show organizers are still improving and expanding the event's busy agenda. Today they announced a new Women of the Web Luncheon that will run from 12:30pm to 3pm on Thursday, June 1st. It will be open to all women attending the NamesCon Global and Cloudfest USA conferences that will run concurrently at the downtown Omni Hotel from March 31 through June 3.

This special luncheon will give women in the domain name and cloud industries an opportunity to socialize, network, and celebrate their achievements. The event will feature giveaways, food and drinks and pampering sessions with unique treats, while celebrating and promoting women's diverse talents 

and contributions to their respective industries. If you haven't already registered for NamesCon, you can do it here and if you act before Monday, May 15, you will get the almost Early Bird rate of $449.

Another note for those heading to Austin -  the Internet Comnmerce Association will be holding their 8th annual NamesCon Dinner on Wednesday, May 31 at 8:15pm. That will be right after NamesCon's opening night reception with the Eureka! restaurant, just a short walk from the Omni, serving as this year's venue. The dinner is open to all ICA members as well as those interested in the non-profit organization

that fights for domain's owners rights. If you order a ticket by May 15 you can get them for $100 each (they will rise to $150 in the final week before NamesCon).

As in previous years, the ICA is offering anyone joining the ICA at a Premium Individual membership level or higher a free ticket to the dinner. Also, any current ICA  Basic Individual member who upgrades to a Premium Individual level or higher will receive a free dinner ticket. To get one of those deals you will need to get your dinner tickets directly through the ICA website.

(Posted May 10, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Strong Q1-2023 Report Gives .ART Registry Another Good Reason to Celebrate 6th Birthday This Week  

The .ART domain registry celebrates their 6th anniversary Wednesday (May 10, 2023) and they have multiple reasons to mark the occasion. One of the biggest is the fast growth rate for the TLD that is reflected in numbers released in their Q1-2023 report (.pdf file). .ART reported a 27% increase in domain registrations over Q1-2022, bringing their total number of domains 
under management to 240,675.

The report noted "This growth is supported by high-quality registrations from renowned 
museums and art institutions, as well as an impressive 1st-year renewal rate of 80% for premium names. 1,276 Premium .ART Names were sold in the opening quarter of the year, including word.art, pet.art and auction.art to name a few. Those premium sales accounted for 70% of registry revenue.  

Another highlight of Q1-2023 was the launch of a new program designed to allow .ART domain owners to get their matching ENS names

As part of the birthday celebration, .ART released a new YouTube video to spotlight some of the high profile users that now have a home in .ART domains:

Image from Bigstock


(Posted May 9, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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