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Friday Report
(posted Oct. 22)

By Ron Jackson

(Delray Beach, Florida) - The second full day of activity at the historic T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 domain conference opened at 8am this morning with a buffet breakfast hosted by The company is headed by well-known domain industry attorney Ari Goldberger.


From left to right in the booth in the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2004 Exhibit Hall: Ari Goldberger (President,, Michael Berkens  and Adam Matuzich of, and Larry Fischer (VP, Business Development,


After breakfast the attendees headed for the conference hall for the day's opening seminar and debate on whether it is better to rely on PPC (pay per click) or content to derive maximum value from a domain name. A panel featured domainers who have had success with both approaches. They included Floridian Roy Messer, Grant Keiser of California, Canada's Chris Stewart and Marcia Walker of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 



Stewart was the leading proponent of PPC use, pointing out that it can provide excellent revenue while freeing the owner from the often heavy investment in time and money needed to develop site content. Stewart told an amusing anecdote about a billboard company that approached him about buying Seeing the PPC links on the domain, the company suggested Stewart could sell it to them cheap as he "wasn't using the domain." In reply, Stewart asked them what they were doing with all of those empty wood frames they had dotting the highways. The company said "we put advertising on them." Stewart said "I do the same thing!"

As with previous seminars, members of the audience were invited to step to one of the aisle microphones and asked the panelists a question or present their own views on the issue.

Eytan Elbaz

That exchange of information and experiences produced a lot of valuable ideas that attendees could apply to improve their own revenues regardless of their preferred approach. With experts like Eytan Elbaz of and Howard Hoffman of (pictured at right) contributing to the discussion everyone left the session with a better understanding of the pluses and minuses of the two avenues to maximum monetization of domain value. 

After a lunch break it was back to work with the first afternoon session; Morons! God Love 'em, hosted by conference co-founder Rick Schwartz.

 That provocative title brought just about everyone back to the hall and had people nodding in agreement as Schwartz gave his examples of morons in a colorful presentation. With an internet presence indispensible in today's business world, his list included people who still hand out business cards with no web addresses on them, large corporations that missed golden internet opportunities (and still don't get the importance and value that comes with premium domain names) and those that "still haven't figured out that type-in domains offer the most potent traffic possible. It is the bulls eye - if you don't get that, you are a moron!" Schwartz declared.
Things were a bit tamer but no less interesting in the final afternoon session on the Future Direction of Domains, Traffic & Values. Predicting the future is an inexact science but as you would expect this group is bullish on all three, including noted Philadelphia attorney John Berryhill (in photo at left). While the current market rebound gives just about everyone in the industry ample reason to smile, that same boom has been accompanied by at least one major problem - how to deal with people who want to steal those increasingly valuable domains. That concern was acknowledged when the discussion veered into the issue of how to protect domains from hijackers. 
With law enforcement at all levels apparently uninterested in helping victims, the general consensus was to make sure you have your domains with a registrar that has a record of good security and a willingness to help customers when they are targeted. With internet law still in its infancy the current situation was likened to the Wild West where people were often left to fend for themselves.



After another productive day of lively discussions and intense networking, it was time to switch gears and enjoy some downtime. hosted a 6pm cocktail party, then it was on to a sumptuous dinner complete with live entertainment compliments of Dark Blue Sea Ltd. (


The evening included final results from a two-day auction (the top sale was purchased by Rick Schwartz for $41,000) and a special awards ceremony. The first annual Waddy Awards (an acronym for the presenting World Association of Domain Name Developers) were handed out by T.R.A.F.F.I.C. co-founders Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu.

The first major award - Sponsor of the Year went to the show's lead sponsor, The company's Director of Business Development, Ron Sheridan, accepted the award (see photo at left). DomainSponsor has brought a lot of innovation to the industry with their new 2.0 product (the new website is expected to be unveiled Oct. 26) and has delighted partners with increasingly high pay per click rates in 2004. They were out in force at this show with a huge contingent of staff members and an impressive exhibit designed specifically for the Traffic 2004 conference.

Next up was the award for Best Overall Domain Solution. The selection of was a popular choice with the more than 100 domainers at the dinner.

Company chief Dan Warner (between Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Neu in the photo below) accepted the award for the Brisbane, Australia based company. 

The final presentation was for Domainer of the Year, an honor that went to Richard Lau of Vancouver, Canada and (seen in photo at right).  

After an auspicious beginning, the show organizers are looking ahead to even bigger things. Two other awards were issued - a Bricks to Clicks award to Bank of America for their site and a We Get It Award to Barry Diller (recognizing a non-internet company that understands domain value). Schwartz knew in advance they would not be here to accept the awards but he expressed confidence that in future years individuals and corporations of this caliber will appear. He said Diller was the top choice to be next year's speaker (he is represented by the same company that handles this year's speaker - Ben Stein). 

Once the awards were handed out the entertainment began with the highlight being a performance from Grease featuring none other than Mr. Neu in the John Travolta role! His Olivia Newton-John lookalike partner Felicia Lynn was accompanied by a group of female back up singers. Not to be outdone, Neu recruited a quartet of domainers from the crowd to provide his chorus line.


While we love these guys they were not quite up to the high performance standard Mr. Neu (a seasoned performer) set, but we have to applaud them for giving it the old college try! The unexpected musical number delighted the crowd and set the stage for the final day of the conference.


The closing session will be held at 9am Saturday. We will have a report on that Saturday night and are planning a special show review column Sunday night with material and photos you haven't seen.



In case you missed our first day report from Thursday (Oct. 21), it is here.


The report on the closing session Saturday (Oct. 23) is available here.

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