Featured in Wall Street Journal · Newsweek · USA Today · New York Times · MSNBC · Boston Herald · Montreal Gazette  

April 03, 2015

Domain Sales

Latest News


Dear Domey



YTD Sales Charts

The Lowdown

Legal Matters

Letters to Editor

Classified Ads

About Us








Domain Roundtable: Highlights From a Landmark Gathering of Industry Leaders in the Pacific Northwest
(Page 2 of 3) 

The first big event of day 2 at Domain Roundtable, the breakfast keynote address from Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, will undoubtedly be viewed by many as their personal show highlight. 

Mr. Cerf, who currently serves as Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist and as Chairman of the Board at ICANN, has been called the Father of the Internet, a term he detests as he prefers to talk about contributions made by others and downplay his own role. He is an living encyclopedia of internet knowledge and an exceptionally engaging speaker who could easily have talked the entire day without losing anyone's attention.

One of the many interesting things Cerf said was that though he never envisioned domain names having the commercial importance they do today, he always felt that the internet itself needed to embrace commercial enterprises in order to grow. In the early years of the web many of his contemporaries did not want to see the web sullied by commerciality of any kind.  

Internet pioneer Vint Cerf
(Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.com
and Chairman of the Board at ICANN)
speaking at 2006 Domain Roundtable

Cerf addressed the controversional ICANN-Verisign .com agreement, saying he voted for it as he didn’t think continued litigation between the two parties would result in a better settlement than the one ICANN finally signed off on. 

Many complain that ICANN does not keep a tight enough leash on registrars that fail to abide by ICANN rules. Cerf admitted that the organization has lacked the manpower and tools needed to enforce compliance. He said ICANN currently has only one option of disciplining registrars, which is to disaccredit them (sometimes referred to as the "nuclear option"). He would like to see more options, including a structure for levying fines but does not expect changes anytime soon.

On another topic, Cerf said that as search engines improve a smaller percentage of people may use direct navigation (type ins) to reach web sites. However he said that since the number of web users will increase the actual number of direct navigators may go up.  

Cerf went into the audience for a question and answer session after his talk. When moderator Jothan Frakes asked him about a quote (erroneously) attributed to Al Gore saying that Gore had invented the internet, Cerf said, “everywhere I go, some a**hole always brings that up!” 

The audience cracked up, including Frakes who said Cerf is one of his heroes (and later mused on what an honor it was to be called an a**hole by Vint Cerf). For the record, Cerf noted that Gore never said that and in fact did have a major role in development of the commercial web and should receive credit for that rather than ridicule for something he never said.  

Jothan Frakes (L) "honored" by Vint Cerf 
during audience Q & A session

After Mr. Cerf’s speech it was decision time again. From the 9:45am options I picked a seminar on Domain Registration and Renewal Market Trends which brought back Mr. LaPlante from Afilias and Michael Ward, Director or Marketing for the Public Interest Registry (operators of the .org registry). Renewals, like aftermarket sales, are an important barometer of overall market health. Both renewals and new registrations have been booming for more than a year now.  

LaPlante said that the .info registry’s free domain promotion has been very successful as many registrants who originally got their names at no cost are renewing them, leaving the registry a huge increase in what are now paid registrations. LaPlante said the promotion also increased both usage and recognition of .info. LaPlante also noted that ccTLDs are enjoying a renewal rate of 75%-90% (depending on the extension), which is considerably higher than the 65% rate for .com/.net.  

Eric Harrington
Founder/President, Moniker.com

At 11am, with four more choices staring me in the face I went for a well-attended session on The Domain Aftermarket featuring six well known figures from that space.

Fabulous.com COO Dan Warner illustrated the current market boom by noting that his company’s sales have been doubling every quarter

Moniker’s Eric Harrington said that the entry into the market of companies like DomainCapital.com that provide domain financing will have a huge impact. He said “imagine the housing market without mortgage financing.” Basically that is what we have had in the domain market but that is now changing, opening the door for many potential new owners of premium domains.  

Thursday’s luncheon session featured the final keynote address from Internet REIT President Marc Ostrofsky. Internet REIT is playing a major role in the ongoing consolidation of major domain portfolios and currently holds approximately 400,000 domains. Ostrofsky has a terrific grasp of everything going on in this market and had many interesting observations. While he believes firmly in domains he said investors should always diversify and that can be accomplished by selling some assets rather than keeping all of your wealth in one category.  

Marc Ostrofsky
President, Internet REIT (iREIT.com)

While acknowledging that .com remains the gold standard, Ostrofsky said today there might actually be a greater return on investment in some other extensions. In particular he said he loves .info and that many of those have a better chance of going from $100 to $200 than a .com has of going from $1,000 to $2,000. Ostrofsky is also bullish on the Asia Pacific market, especially China. He predicts that the next wave of millionaires will come from those who invest there.

Ostrofsky also called on the industry to come together to address risks that face domain owners. He would especially like to see a movement that will result in domains being classified as property, noting that “as property, assets are much harder to take away.”  

After Mr. Ostrofsky’s well received talk, it was back to the seminar rooms. For the 2:30 breakout I sat in on Chris Ambler’s one man session on The Domain Drop. With Ambler (the guy behind Enom’s Club Drop), one man is sufficient when the drop game is the subject.

Ambler gave a very detailed presentation on how the whole drop process works and what leads to success for the drop catching companies. He also noted that he expects the whole game to change again soon, predicting approval of Verisign’s proposed Central Listing Service (CLS). Every .com and .net domain that expires would be auctioned off through the CLS (except those that current registrars keep and auction off before the names enter the traditional drop cycle). Under the CLS plan, Verisign (operators of the .com/.net registry) would split the proceeds with the registrar losing the dropping domain.

For the 3:45pm sessions Thursday, the seminar choice was already made for me as I was part of a panel on Tools for Following the Domain Industry that included DNForum.com owner Adam Dicker, ICANNWiki.org operator Ray King (an original founder of SnapNames.com) and Ali Farshchian of CircleID.com. I think the best way to summarize that session is to just tell you to bookmark each of the sites represented and you will never be out of the loop when it comes to what is happening in the domain industry.  

Chris Ambler
Enom's Club Drop

After our panel there was a single 5pm session on I-Names, InfoCards, and I-Services that I had to miss in order to catch up on the email that had gone unanswered since I arrived in Seattle the day before the show. It was the only opening I had as I wanted to be back on the floor for the Silent Auction that evening. At that event, bidders sipped wine and enjoyed hors douvres while scanning the bid sheets sponsored by Afternic, Moniker and Sedo. The highlight of the evening was the $110,000 sale of Jail.com. AutomotiveLoans.com was another winner at $18,000. The auction brought the curtain down on a very interesting day two and left a great deal of anticipation about the final events waiting for us on closing day Friday.

Continue to Page 3: .....And the Winner Is!

 Home  Domain Sales  YTD Sales Charts   Latest News  The Lowdown  Articles  
Legal Matters
  Dear Domey  Letters to Editor  Resources  Classified Ads  Archive  About Us





Copyright 2006 DNJournal.com - an Internet Edge, Inc. company. 
No material may be copied from this site without expressed written consent.