Blogs about the domain industry and the various players and companies within it.

DomainFest Hong Kong

DomainFest Hong Kong

After a 48 hour turn around in Melbourne I jumped on a plane and headed to DomainFest in Hong Kong. The short flight of nine and a half hours was a welcome change from the twenty-six to Fort Lauderdale the previous week.

I've never been to Hong Kong (the previous conference was in Macau) and I'm really looking forward to meeting a whole new group of domain investors. After being dropped off at the wrong hotel by the taxi I finally managed to get to the right one and check-in. It wasn't long before I found a number of my friends that had flown in from around the world and we took off in the direction of a bar with a cool drink.

The next day, after the relatively short bus ride I'm now registered and sitting at DomainFest.Asia. I have a number of goals for the conference that relate to ParkLogic and monetising traffic but I'm also wanting to gauge the Chinese market to see what is happening with domain sales. Last year, I came away with an urgency to sell or a ChiP domains and it ended up being really profitable.....so maybe it's time to buy back in?

I'm speaking three times at the conference on the topics of:

  • Monetisation 101
  • Monetisation Masterclass
  • Monetisation for Registrars and Registries

Anyway.....I've got to race into the next meeting. I'll keep you posted!

1138 Hits
1 Comment

The Domain Conference - It Was Awesome!

The Domain Conference - It Was Awesome!

Just to let you know, I’m writing this blog from 30,000 feet. I’m about an hour from Melbourne airport after travelling for twenty-four hours from “The Domain Conference” in Fort Lauderdale. My body feels like it’s been put through the ringer and my brain feels a little mushy (see above picture - LOL!) so you’ll have to excuse me if it doesn’t contain any epiphanies.

For a start, the conference, as normal, was an outstanding success. It’s not as big as NamesCon but a lot of the right people were in attendance. I don’t mean to insult anyone but stupid people judge a conference by numbers of attendees……I judge a conference on the level of business conducted. I’ve returned with easily enough to keep me busy until the end of the year.

If you really want to accelerate your business growth, then taking the opportunity to attend every domaining event is mandatory. I often find the same people that say they will attend and then don’t are the same people that complain in the forums about the downturn in the domain industry. Go figure? You reap what you sow……make the effort to reach out to people at events and don’t be surprised if you suddenly start selling domains and finding other opportunities.

I met so many great people at “The Domain Conference”. From hedge fund managers (yep, they have heaps to invest) right through to registries who are doing some awesome deals. What I find the most beneficial is just hanging out with other entrepreneurs who are hungry to throw some ideas around.

People like Colin Campbell from dot club are simply incredible and over the years we’ve developed a great friendship. He shared the dot club story with a lot of personal anecdotes in a session and it was awesome.

The CEO of Sedo, Tobias Flaitz, did a keynote speech that was really a call to action for the whole industry to work together and grow the pie rather than fight amongst each other. It was a great inspirational talk from someone that I highly respect as one of the leaders in the industry.

David Warmuz and I had a fantastic time sharing with the attendees in the session I participated in. We went through a monetisation masterclass on the benefits of traffic optimisation and in the process we looked at a number of case studies.

A real highlight for me was when Howard Neu, the conference convener, was brought to tears when he thanked Barbara, his wife, for all the effort she made to make the conference a success. As Barbara came forward to embrace her husband the entire room spontaneously gave her and Howard a standing ovation. It really displayed the high level of esteem all the attendees hold for the Neu’s.

Over more than a decade I’ve seen both Howard and Barbara working so hard to make each and every conference they’re involved in a great success. There’s nothing quite like being greeted by Barbara’s smiling face after traveling all the way from Australia.

It was great catching up with Jackson Elsegood from Escrow.com and hear about some of the new things that Escrow is launching. Lorianne Wardi did a riveting keynote on her journey with .co and now Neustar. Veteran advertising network leader, Joe Casale, came with his wife and promoted a new service that I know ParkLogic will be integrating. Stevan Lieberman shared some of the intricacies of UDRPs and I really appreciated the time we spent together. And the list goes on and on…..all quality people who are more than willing to share their expertise and look for opportunities together.

I'm already looking forward to next years conference.....even if the flight from Australia to Ft Lauderdale takes 26 hours. Beats the heck out of me why some local domainers can't drive 15 minutes. You've really got to wonder if they want to still be in the domaining business or not.

Recent Comments
mgilmour
Would have loved to have caught up with you more as well! I always enjoy our conversations.
17 September 2016
whizzbang
Hi Michael, Cheers to you for sharing this with us busy with other stuff and not able to attend the conference. I just wish that... Read More
19 September 2016
1324 Hits
5 Comments

The Domain Conference - Don't Miss It!

The Domain Conference - Don't Miss It!

I’m leaving for The Domain Conference (TDC) in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow and twenty-four hours later I’ll arrive. There’s nothing like the expectations of a long-haul plane flight to force you to evaluate whether it’s a really good idea to make the journey or not. So why am I going?

One of the things I love the most about conferences is that most of the people in attendance are there because they want to improve their business. This could be to do deals, learn or mostly it's a combination of both. I must admit that I love sitting down with a group of fellow domain investors and hearing about what they are doing. It’s often refreshing and definitely invigorating!

I’m really looking forward to the privilege of sharing in one of the sessions on advanced monetisation. I plan on digging into the stats and techniques on how to get the most out of domain traffic….so watch out!

Of course I’m attending to get a chance to speak with domain investors about how ParkLogic can help them get the most from their domains. In fact, we’re previewing the new ParkLogic website now….it also has a number of videos about ParkLogic Next. We already have some clients on Next and the feedback has been outstanding.

I’m also looking for domain traffic portfolios for sale. We have a number of clients that are cashed up and wanting to buy good quality portfolios. If you have a portfolio that you are looking at parting with then don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Attending a conference like TDC is also about renewing friendships. I love catching up with friends that have flown in from all over the world. It’s great sitting in the bar late at night to hear about some of the entrepreneurial activities they’ve been doing. Domains are so incredibly flexible that I’m constantly amazed at what people do with them.

So is it worth the 24 hours of traveling from Melbourne Australia to Fort Lauderdale in the USA? Absolutely! Last year Barbara, Howard and Ray put on an incredible show and we’re still reaping the benefits of it twelve months later.

If you’re still considering whether you’ll attend, then take my advice and stop considering. If you really want to get your business moving ahead then spend a few days with other like-minded people and you’ll be surprised at what you come away with.

See you in Fort Lauderdale!

1049 Hits
0 Comments

Interview With Jackson Elsegood - Escrow.com

Interview With Jackson Elsegood - Escrow.com

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Jackson Elsegood, the general manager of Escrow.com. During the interview we discuss all the latest news from Escrow.com of what they have been doing and what they plan on doing in the future.

Escrow services are a critical part of the domain ecosystem and Jackson expresses Escrow.com's ongoing committment to the domain space. I hope that you enjoy the relaxed interview and gain some new insights for your own domain business.

984 Hits
0 Comments

A .XYZ Disaster Story

A .XYZ Disaster Story

A client recently purchased a .XYZ domain for an application that they were developing. Everything was working fine until today when suddenly the domain stopped resolving. It just so happens that in their infinite wisdom the .XYZ registry had decided to suspend the domain. So what actually happened?

When you sign-up for a .XYZ domain name you are coming under the terms and conditions of the registry. A part of the terms is they have the right to suspend a domain if they deem the domain is being used for inappropriate reasons. The stated goal is to keep the .XYZ namespace safe…..sounds interesting.

Here’s the problem. For the domain in question SpamHaus, Google Safebrowsing, SURBL, URIBL (all recommended by the registry) flagged the domain as safe. Virus Total has 68 sub-organisations that they relate to and one of these organisations flagged the domain for possible phishing reasons.

Why was this the case? It just so happens that at some time the domain had been sent to advertising networks and I’m guessing that one of these networks may have had a problem with a “spam advertiser”. This sometimes happens and the networks immediately kick these types of advertisers out. In the case of the .XYZ domain this resulted in it being banned.

What was really annoying is that neither the registry nor the registrar communicated anything like, “I think you may have problems with your domain. If you don’t do something, then we’ll have to suspend it.”

One day the domain was working and the next day it wasn’t. To track back to a registry suspending the domain wasn’t trivial when the client was in the middle of a development cycle.

And the client’s registrar wasn’t immediately helpful.  First came the “it isn’t resolving, check with your hosting provider”, then lots of apologies while the client pushed back that the problem was in the DNS somewhere, and finally the registrar pointed to the status of “Server Hold” in the Whois information and pointed our client to the unsuspend site for .xyz.

And on further quizzing the client’s registrar indicated that this was a common occurrence with .XYZ domain names…..which didn’t sound very good, and would have been useful if that was the first thing they checked.

Just for the record, getting a domain unflagged by some of these “monitoring companies” is next too impossible. In fact, at one stage I had whizzbangsblog.com flagged by a company (no idea why) and after months of filling out forms I gave up. In the end I took the attitude that if Google flagged my blog as safe then that was good enough for me!

So what’s the problem with all of this? If any .XYZ domain is flagged by any monitoring company in the world (false positive or otherwise) the domain can be banned. In fact, given our client’s experience, if the domain is not banned then the .XYZ registry is acting in a preferential manner and my guess this is breaking either their contract with ICANN or the registrars.

If you’re looking at your .XYZ domain portfolio and parking them then I’d think again. There is actually an obligation on the part of the XYZ registry to ban the domain and there goes any potential revenue (small though it may be) to help pay for the re-registration costs.

So let’s imagine you’re a business (like our client) working away at developing a brand on a .XYZ domain. A dinky little backwater monitoring company has a glitch in their software that flags your domain as suspicious. Immediately your website is taken down (by the registry) and as a business owner who knows nothing about phishing etc. you’ve got to find out what the heck happened while you’re losing sales! This is crazy!

In the end, our client gave up with the .XYZ domain and went with a .COM….probably what they should have done in the first place. There’s many good reasons why .COM is so big and one of them is they don’t behave in this ridiculous manner.

Recent Comments
Wolftalker
Never did like .xyz.
17 August 2016
mgilmour
Good article!
19 August 2016
mgilmour
Given the uncertainty that this presents to business I would also advise that they did not try and build a brand on a .XYZ domain.... Read More
19 August 2016
3313 Hits
15 Comments