Learning to be a Good Alien

Learning to be a Good Alien

This past week I had the pleasure of heading to DomainFest in Macau. Besides the fact that it was a brilliant conference I learned a lot about being an alien. No, I’m not talking about something that creeps around in the dark on a strange planet. You’ll have to read my book “Battleframe” to find out about those…..I’m talking about being a stranger in an entirely different culture.

While I sat in the Qantas club waiting for my flight to Macau I browsed the Internet to learn at least some of the do’s and don’ts of interacting with Chinese. I didn’t want to do some cultural mistake and upset anyone inadvertently.

Escrow.com

The first thing that I found was the Chinese culture is VERY different from western culture and that it would take a lifetime to learn the subtle differences. In the end, I gave up and decided to be as “good” an alien as possible. So what do I mean by this?

Two words summarise the attitude that all of us should try to adopt upon entering the turf of a different culture, they are, “Be Humble”. As a broad generalisation, humility is not a typically western trait. We tend to come in telling everyone why they are wrong and we are right. This, in my opinion is a BIG cultural “no no”.

Humility involves changing both your outward and inward responses to situations. For instance, I may not understand what is transpiring in a Chinese social setting where there are various people from a company at different levels. This can be very off-putting….but I can make the decision to reduce my natural voice volume and hand gestures. In short, I’m trying to reflect the behaviour of those that I’m interacting with.

Remember that humility involves not emphasising your own achievements but acknowledging those of your host....so be mindful of doing a bit of research beforehand.

Humility is also a realisation that you don’t know everything and that people from different cultures may view the world very differently from you. For instance, westerners tend to highly value freedom while those from Asia place a higher importance on security. This one difference in mindset can completely change your interactions.

Freedom tends to be very individualistic while security has a more group mindset. For example, a person from Asia is very concerned about their job security and working for a prominent successful company. Westerners tend to be more loyal to their career path and taking the next steps forward.

From an interaction perspective, when you ask an Asian to “sponsor a project” internally in their organisation then it’s a REALLY big thing. They are essentially being asked to trust that you will deliver results….because if you don’t then their job security may be on the line.

Understanding these little but also substantial differences in culture is sometimes hard and requires all of us to be humble in the recognition of our differences. It’s sometimes tough being an alien in another country but it can also be extremely fulfilling.

I found my time in Macau incredibly exciting and it was great interacting with a completely different group of investors. I think that one of the best sessions I attend was moderated by Simon Cousins. He really opened up the whole language of Chinese culture that was brilliant. I could write a whole series of blogs on what Simon shared.

I would encourage everyone to attend DomainFest in Hong Kong next year as I believe that it will not only be an outstanding event but an opportunity to learn a little about the diversity of cultures in the world.

Have a great weekend!

---------------------------------------------------

Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

  2815 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2815 Hits
0 Comments

DomainFest Macau

DomainFest Macau

I'm now sitting at Hong Kong airport waiting for my plane to return me home to Melbourne Australia from DomainFest in Macau. The conference was an outstanding success on so many fronts that in the limited time I have before my flight I'll try to get through a few of them.

For a start, the organisation team from .Asia with ample support from Allegravita should be congratulated on hosting a great event. Of course, we must not forget all of the work that Jothan Frakes did to make it all happen.

It was wonderful meeting a lot of new domain investors from China and abroad that were seeking to learn further about our incredible industry. I'm really sorry that I didn't manage to get around to everyone as there was only so much time in the day.

Escrow.com

What I really enjoyed were a number of sessions that I attended outside of all of the meetings. I'm finding that with Simon Cousins able mentoring that I'm finally beginning to understand the nuiances of the Chinese domain space. I absolutely came away with a possible strategy for moving forward and engaging this incredibly diverse and massive market.

Edmon Chung (CEO of .Asia) presented an absolutely brilliant summary of the Chinese market that really opened my eyes up to the opportunities. I hope to get a copy of the presentation and share parts of it here on my blog.

It was also great catching up with old friends and have some good times with them. Many of us had a brilliant time at a Water show that was very reminiscent of Cirque de Soliel (I think that's the spelling!)

Sorry.....gotta go my flights's just called for boarding.

---------------------------------------------------

Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

Cheers!

  2829 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2829 Hits
0 Comments

DomainFest Macau - Here I come!

DomainFest Macau - Here I come!

Once again I find myself sitting in the Qantas club at Melbourne airport waiting for my plane to head to DomainFest in Macau. It's been a little while since Namescon earlier this year and I'm really excited to catch-up with many of my domaining friends and make some new ones.

So why do I make all of these long-haul journeys? No surprisingly, I've found the more you attend conferences, the more friends you make and the more business results. What's great is that  I'm now conducting business with friends not just partners or clients. We've known each other for so many years that in many cases I know all of their children as well.

Escrow.com

So when I look at DomainFest Macau I'm really hoping to not just "do business" but make new friends. It's taking the long-term view that helps build good solid businesses and long-lasting friendships.

I'm really looking forward to speaking at the conference and have been asked to be share in two sessions. It should be a great time.....and even more so as we work with a Chinese interpretter.

If you aren't going to DomainFest then it's not too late! It would be great to catch-up and swap domaining stories. In the meantime, my flights just been called so I'd better get going.

Safe travels everyone!

---------------------------------------------------

Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

  2701 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2701 Hits
0 Comments

Finding the Gold in Domain Traffic

Finding the Gold in Domain Traffic

I’ve had many domain investors ask me what is the difference between domain traffic monetisation now versus five years ago. The best way to understand this is to use a simple mining analogy.

During the gold rush floods of people poured onto the gold fields in search of their dream nugget that would make them rich. They looked everywhere and in a number of cases, individuals found a mother-load of gold. 

Then someone came up with the great idea of using a pan to “pan for gold” in creeks. They worked out that heavier gold nuggets would wash into the deeper parts of the creek and all you had to do was sort out the gold from the other rocks. More miners struck it rich with this innovation and gold fever seemed to be catching!

Escrow.com

This is very similar to the early days of parking domains. Initially, all you had to do was find a domain with traffic and point the DNS to a parking company. Magic happened and you received a cheque each month.....cash was raining into the industry!

Now let’s move on with our gold rush…

As gold became more difficult to find miners moved from the creeks to digging shafts into the sides of mountains. They’d pull out the rocks and use a sluice to wash the muck to pull out the gold. The new sluice technology was incredibly innovative and made previously unprofitable mines viable.

In the domaining world it didn’t take long for individuals to realise that by using a complicated spreadsheet and a heap of “look-up” statements they could point some domains to parking company A while others to parking company B. This would then potentially increase the revenue but it required a lot of manual labour. It's the sluice but not full automation.

So where is the domain industry now compared to the gold rush? Right now, to extract all of the domain-gold we are driving shafts six miles deep into the earth’s crust. The crust is actually mass data and systems that plough through the muck and extract the gold.

So this brings up an interesting point….where are you in the spectrum of the domain gold rush?

Are you still putting all of your domains with one parking company because it’s easier? Are you using a traffic splitting system or are you digging into sophisticated analytics each and every day to extract every penny from the traffic?

If you are still parking all of your domains with one company then please let me know as I’d be reasonably confident that I could find a buyer that would be more than happy to relieve you of your portfolio. They would then take the domains and go up with technology curve to extract more value from the traffic.

Before looking at the following case study I will fully disclose that all of the data comes from ParkLogic of which I have a stake. I will also say that ParkLogic is a company that drives very, very deep shafts into the bedrock to search for domain-gold on behalf of clients.
 

Case Study

At the end of July a new client came to us with a portfolio to see if we could extract any additional value from their domain traffic. Prior to ParkLogic receiving the domains they had been using a commercial rotation company to send the traffic to a number of parking companies. The baseline data from May 2015 was around $145 per day.

The first chart shows both the revenue and trend for the portfolio. It’s obviously a pleasing result for the client with the revenue continuing to increase despite the typical downturn that's expected during the USA summer.

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150902_revenue.gif

The second chart shows the normalised RPM for the portfolio. A normalised RPM is VERY different from an RPM that is typically displayed in a parking company interface.

A normalised RPM is when the revenue is divided by the RAW TRAFFIC for the domain while an RPM is the revenue divided by the VIEWS. Why is this different?

Raw traffic is the unfiltered traffic that a domain receives while views is the raw traffic multiplied by some filter applied by the parking company. Since every parking company has a different filter then you get some very different RPM numbers that are quite often used as a marketing tool.

The fact that the normalised RPM trend is increasing indicates that more money is being earned for each piece of traffic. This is good news!

b2ap3_thumbnail_20150902_plrpm.gif

So what’s the bottom line?

By driving a really deep shaft into the data, so far, we’ve managed to increase the revenue for the portfolio by 27.35%.  I’m reasonably confident that over time the portfolio will settle down to around an overall increase of 40%.

Not surprisingly, these numbers actually hide the true results for the portfolio.

If we were to take all those domains that displayed the same level of traffic as the baseline then the increase for them is actually 84%! For domains that had at least 80% of the traffic the number is a 62% increase. In other words, if there is the same level of traffic for a domain we knocked it out of the ballpark. These numbers can be viewed in the below graph.

Percent

Every domain investor needs to ask a simple question, “Where am I on the technology curve?” If you are still “panning for gold” with all of your domains at a single parking company then the data clearly shows that you are not getting the full value for the traffic. I would recommend to at the very least get stuck into Excel and get the sluice working for you.

I will be attending “DomainFest” in Macau later this week and also “The Domain Conference” in Fort Lauderdale at the end of the month. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to discuss this further.

---------------------------------------------------

 

Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

 
  3615 Hits
  7 Comments
Tags:
Recent Comments
impulse
Great posting. You said we should ask ourselves "where are you in the spectrum of the domain gold rush?". But, the bigger question... Read More
02 September 2015
mgilmour
Thanks for that! I know people that are still building traffic domain portfolios right now. The mining side of the equation is how... Read More
03 September 2015
vanclute
Nothing to see here... move along...
03 September 2015
3615 Hits
7 Comments

DomainFest Asia - not long now!

DomainFest Asia - not long now!

I’m really excited about attending DomainFest in Macau. Once again Jothan Frakes and the team have put together an incredible event that is attracting many domain luminaries as well as individuals that are new to the industry.

For those that don’t know, Macau is an old Portuguese colony about an hours’ boat ride from Hong Kong. It’s known as the Vegas of south-east Asia and includes many of the familiar hotels from that famous city….such as, The Venetian and the Wynn.

Escrow.com

It’s a short 9 hour flight for me to Hong Kong and when the event was announced I couldn’t resist attending. As well as this, I think that it was a stroke of genius to put a conference on only a couple of hours’ time zone change for me! How could I say no?

As soon as I signed-up Jothan tapped me on the shoulder for a few panels which I always enjoy. This industry has given so much to me, that like my blog, it’s one of the ways I like to give back. If you’re attending then be prepared for some sessions of in-depth analysis and insights into the domain industry.

So what do I like most about attending conferences like DomainFest? It’s the attendees that really make the event. The industry fosters an entrepreneurial spirit that can’t help but inspire you forward in your own ventures. I’m certain that the many different conversations will open doors to incredible opportunities.

What’s going to be fantastic is meeting domain investors from all over Asia. From my experience they have a unique and often very different outlook on what it means to be a domainer. Whether you’re from India, Korea, China, Hong Kong or any of the many different countries in the region I would love to speak with you to get your thoughts on where you think the industry is headed.

For those of you that are wondering how to get to Macau the DomainFest.Asia website has a great video created by Simon Cousins. He literally takes you on a tour of exactly what to do to get from Hong Kong airport to the conference….many thanks for putting this together Simon!

DomainFest runs from Sept 4-7th and I believe that it will be an event that will become a regular fixture in the industry’s calendar. I look forward to seeing everyone there!

---------------------------------------------------

Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

  2428 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2428 Hits
0 Comments