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The Lowdown
January 2024 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.

Editor's note (Tuesday, Jan. 23): I'm back from Las Vegas where the Internet Commerce Association's 2024 Annual Meeting concluded over the weekend and we've just published photos and highlights from the landmark conference that firmly established the ICA event as one of the most important ones on the industry's global conference calendar. We also tell you how the ICA was able to accomplish this in such a short period of time.


Replay of  Complete ICA Webcast That  Surprised Howard Neu With a Lifetime Achievement Award Now Online

Last week I told you about what was publicly announced to be an upcoming episode of the popular Ask Me Anything webcast series that the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) produces for the benefit of their members. The show with domain attorney and TRAFFIC conference co-founder Howard Neu and myself as the guests was held as scheduled on Thursday (January 4).

We were supposed to be there to answer questions on any topic from other ICA members on the call and we did that for the first 40 minutes of the one-hour webcast. However, everyone involved in the production and in the audience, was able to keep what would be happening in the final 20 minutes a secret from Howard. That is a miracle in itself because so many people were told about it in advance and no one broke confidence, including Howard's wife Barbara and son Ray (lifting my already high opinion of ICA members even higher)! 

The reason for the secrecy was a desire to surprise Howard while presenting him with a prestigious ICA Lifetime Achievement Award. No one has deserved one more. Howard has played a huge role in creating the flourishing global domain name industry we have today. From helping to build a true community by bringing people together face to face for conferences around the world to protecting their rights as one of the very first domain attorneys AND being a co-founder of the ICA (the non-profit organization that fights for domain owner rights), Howard has made the lives of everyone around him better.  


Howard Neu
ICA Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree

For that reason, the webcast screen switched to ICA General Counsel Zak Muscovitch with 20 minutes still to go. Zak told Howard he was being honored for his invaluable service to the industry and, fittingly, Barbara then presented him with the physical award on camera in a very emotional moment and it just continued to get better. The ICA had asked members to record a message of congratulations to Howard and they responded in droves. Though members were asked to keep their greeting to around 30 seconds, ICA Executive Director Kamila Sekiewicz wound up with almost a half hour of video to edit down to the 10-minute film shown during the webcast. What is nice is that all of the original comments are available online as is the 10-minute edit

But, as they say on late night TV, wait - there's more! The entire one-hour webcast was uploaded to YouTube this afternoon, so if you missed the show Thursday you can watch it now (below). I think you will find it rewarding and, in the final third, very emotionally moving as Howard and his family got to hear exactly how much he and they are appreciated by their friends and colleagues around the world. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed being there to help shine a light on someone who has brought so much light to our own lives.


(Posted January 8, 2024) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:



New International Women's Alliance Aims to Help Women Succeed as Online Entrepreneurs

New enterprises launch with every new year  and one of the interesting ones to keep an eye on in 2024 will be the International Womens Alliance. The new IWA was founded by Natalija Japerte who has assembled a successful team of women entrepreneurs who can equip others with the connections and tools they need to build a personal brand and survive in business. Natalija is already a busy executive handling multiple roles as Business Development Director at Intis Telecom, Business Manager for .it.com Domains and CEO of Intis Telecom SIA (Latvia), but she also felt compelled to do something to help fix inequities that exist at too many other firms.

In a blog post Natalija noted, "Although the share of women hired into leadership roles has increased by 3.6% over the past 6 years, there are still far fewer of them than male leaders. Last year, they made up only 36.9% of the total number of managers. In entrepreneurship, the disparity is even larger - of the 8,800 global companies listed on Crunchbase, less than 900 were founded by women."

"While building a business is always challenging, for female entrepreneurs it comes with the additional complexity of having to break down 

Natalija Japerte
Founder & CEO

the barriers of stereotypes...time and time again, studies have indicated that women have just as strong an ability to develop connections, mentor others, care for the community, and lead by example as men, making them valuable members of leadership teams at every level." 

The idea of the IWA originated at the 2023 We Make Future (WMF) trade fair in Italy when the organizers, Hosting Solutions, and it.com Domains collaborated on a project aimed at helping Italian female-led startups participating in the WMF by providing them with the

Tess Diaz

necessary resources and expertise to grow locally and successfully establish their presence on the global market. The initiative included hosting, a domain name, and business consulting, all offered to eligible startups free of charge. The project gained significant interest including being featured in Forbes Italy. As a result, Natalija pursued the idea of establishing an organization dedicated to supporting women in business around the world and now, powered by it.com Domains, the IWA has arrived.  

At IWA Natlija leads a 10-women team that includes four ambassadors appointed to specific countries. The IWA's U.S. ambassador, Tess Diaz, is already well-known on this side of the pond and beyond after serving in high profile positions with several well-known companies since entering the domain industry back in 2006 with GoDaddy.

You can learn more about what the IWA offers here and much more about Natalija's personal journey in the business world here.

(Posted January 4, 2024) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


ICA Ask Me Anything Event with Howard Neu and Ron Jackson Will Be Open to All Thursday

Editor's Note (2pm Jan. 4): The ICA AMA event detailed below happened earlier this afternoon and what we couldn't tell you in the story was that a surprise was waiting for Howard Neu during the live event when he was honored with an ICA Lifetime Achievement Award for his pivotal role in establishing the global domain name community that exists today. In addition to the great turnout for the live event a video was played with with congratulatory messages from many of the countless friends Howard has made in the nearly 25 years he has been in the industry. We are all in his debt.

The Internet Commerce Association's 2024 Annual Member Meeting gets underway two week from today at Resorts World in Las Vegas. As most of you know, the ICA is the highly effective non-profit organization that fights to defend domain owner's rights. Its members include most of the leading companies, service providers and individual investors in the domain industry. These dedicated people have built an invaluable community that, through their combined efforts, has helped the domain business progress from its early "Wild West" days into a key player in the creation and growth of online enterprises around the world. If you are not already an ICA member I encourage you to join the team and become part of an extraordinary professional community that will help you reach your personal goals in this dynamic industry. 

The ICA helps its members do this in a number of ways including personal networking at their annual meeting as well as other key industry events like the annual NamesCon conference.

They also have regular members-only live online Ask Me Anything events that allow you to get your questions answered by long-time pros who have already been down a path you have just begun or simply want to know more about.

While the AMA events have always been a benefit reserved for members, I am happy to tell you that the ICA, ahead of its annual meeting, is going to give everyone a chance to see what they are all about by making the next AMA available to members and non-members alike. That is happening Thursday (January 4) at 12:30pm EST and I am even happier to tell you that I will be joining my long-time friend, domain attorney and pioneering TRAFFIC conference Co-Founder Howard Neu, as guests on the show. Members will get their usual email link to the event while non members are invited to drop ICA Executive Director Kamila Sekiewicz a note at [email protected] so she can send you a link to watch. 

I hope you will take this opportunity to see what the ICA has to offer and ask any questions you may have on any other domain business topics. While I am a big believer in the "under promise, over deliver" approach to business, I'm confident this will be an especially memorable session Thursday that you won't want to miss! 

(Posted January 3, 2024) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


In addition to being New Year's Day, today is DNJournal's 21st birthday! Thanks to all of you for making the past two decades plus such a joy and wishing you all the best in the new year ahead!

(Posted January 1, 2024)


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