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

Escow.com Launches New Website

Escow.com Launches New Website

A couple of days ago I was speaking with Jackson Elsegood (General manager of Escrow.com) and he indicated that the company was just about to release a completely revamped website and user interface. The wait is over as it's just hit the production servers.

I noticed a few things immediately. The first is that it really looks slick and stylishly modern. Secondly, I pulled my cell phone out and was pleasantly surprised to find that it's completely mobile friendly via a responsive template (see PC and iPhone capture below). I'm sure that this will make a number of people very happy!

Escrow.com

Escrow.com mobile

As soon as I logged in I was faced with what appeared to be an older style web interface that I'm sure will be further revamped over time. What is new is that there is a "type of transaction" field that once selected will streamline the transaction and make it a lot easier to manage....this is a BIG improvement.

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Fix the Problem Enom!

Fix the Problem Enom!

There are a number of basics to business. The first is that you remember to collect the money and the second is to never forget the customer. It just so happens that for quite some time registrar, Enom, has forgotten both of these.

Escrow.com

You'll have to excuse the little rant.......About 2 weeks ago I went to top up my account for my domain renewals. It’s a regular thing that I do and I wasn’t expecting any surprises. After clicking the “submit” button I was presented with the server error page below.

Enom Error

I’ve been around technology for a long time so although the error was annoying I wasn’t that phased by it. A couple of weeks later I decided to try adding money to my account again and I received exactly the same error. You would think that after a couple of weeks (at least) that any problems with the payment system would have been resolved.

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Rightside - What are you doing?

Rightside - What are you doing?

Due to being a publicly listed company, Rightside, is a really interesting case study of the entire domain industry and in particular the new gTLD space. The company has accumulated enough domains that it is a good representative sample of the domain space.

So back in November last year I conducted an analysis of Rightside wrote an article (click here) that predicted there would be layoffs. I stated:

Eventually, the investors will come in and hack the expense line to pieces (ie. fire lots of people) to get the profits up since their returns are unlikely to come from capital growth.

I really didn’t want to be a prophet of gloom and doom but several days ago Rightside downsized by 6%. I am deeply sorry to those people that lost their jobs….it’s never a fun experience to suddenly find yourself without a pay check.

Escrow.com

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NamesCon and Presentations

NamesCon and Presentations

I’m finally over my jetlag from attending NamesCon in Vegas and back sitting at my desk. If I was to summarise the conference in a single word it would have to be WOW! It was an incredible event that really started on the Sunday and went right through to the early hours of Thursday morning.

Escrow.com

I had the privilege of speaking at two sessions, Domain Monetisation 101 and Domain Monetisation Masterclasss. It was standing room only during the sessions and I had a great time sharing some of my own experiences in the domaining industry as well as breaking down exactly what it means to monetise traffic.

As promised to the attendees please find the presentations that I went through below.

Monetisation 101 Monetisation Masterclass
Monetisation 101 Monetisation MasterClass

We had five team members from ParkLogic and on the Sunday we had a chance to meet a lot of new faces at our table. During this time, we also demonstrated ParkLogic Next….which is really on the cusp of being released. A presentation on some of the many features of ParkLogic Next is below.

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Arrived at NamesCon

Arrived at NamesCon

After around 24 hours of traveling I've finally reached Vegas for NamesCon! If anyone is around then ping me on skype, facebook or here on whizzbangsblog. I'll be the guy trying to stay awake and get into the Pacific time zone.

On the flight over I fine tuned my two presentations on Monetisation (on Sunday and Wednesday) and I must admit that they've really come together nicely with heaps of illustrations, case studies and data on monetisation. I think that anyone attending the sessions will go away with a lot of great information to help them with their portfolio.

Escrow.com

We have a large team from ParkLogic here which is really great but the bad news is that it looks like our banner for the table on Sunday didn't make a flight.....sigh.....just got to love Qantas. We'll be the table that is handing out little miniature koalas that you can clip to your lanyard and then give to your kids when you get home.

So make sure you make a beeline for our table on the Sunday to pick up your koala and get a demonstration of the ParkLogic Next platform. I think that you're going to love it!

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My Predictions For 2016

My Predictions For 2016

At the end of each year I like to reflect on the past twelve months and then try to make some predictions for the coming year. In a nutshell, I believe that 2016 will see an incredible amount of change in the domain industry. Here’s a few predictions for you…

Shanghai Index

The current Chinese powered boom will peak by the end of quarter one as the Shanghai index continues its rebound. Chinese investors that were looking at exiting money will return to the more liquid stock market as a source of investment returns. Those domain speculators that have invested in long strings of numbers will find they are left holding their assets.

Escrow.com

In an effort to curb costs domain investors will seek to outsource their domain management to firms that provide such services. The economies of scale derived by such firms will free investors time to concentrate on other investment opportunities.

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Interview with Jackson Elsegood from Escrow.com

Interview with Jackson Elsegood from Escrow.com

It was a privilege to interview Jackson Elsegood, who is now the general manager of Escrow.com. During our time together Jackson shares a few things about himself and some of the exciting things being developed for Escrow.com.

Escrow.com has become a key part of the domain industry ecosystem and if you buy and sell domain names then this interview is not to be missed!

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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.

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Analysis of .CLUB and the New gTLDs

Analysis of .CLUB and the New gTLDs

With the crossing over the 10 million mark for the total number of new gTLDs registered I thought that it would be worthwhile conducting an analysis of what is happening in this new market. As is typical of any new market, quite a number of new gTLDs are struggling but as registrations increase, time is on the side of those that have the cash to survive.

Escrow.com

The first chart shows the total number of new gTLDs that have been registered month on month since Feb 2014. As can be seen from the graph it’s basically been a linear growth rate until the last month, where it has taken a definite turn upwards. It will be interesting to see if this recent trend will continue moving forward.

new gtld growth in registrations

 

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Why Rightside is a Good Long-Term Investment

Why Rightside is a Good Long-Term Investment

In a previous article (click here) I wrote about some of the challenges that I believed that the publicly listed company, Rightside, was facing in the short-term. In particular, I explored the registry business as a reflection of the entire new gTLD space.

Now let’s take a look at the Rightside registry, now from a quarterly targets perspective but from a more long-term point of view. If the business unit can sustain the most recent quarter on quarter growth rate of 26% then in the long-term the registry business will just print money.

Escrow.com

As the following chart shows, a consistent 26% growth rate will mean the registry business will eclipse the registrar business and leave it behind. At the end of 2018 (which is only just over 3 years away) the business will be doing around $50m per quarter.

Rightside Registry

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New gTLDs - It's not if, it's when

New gTLDs - It's not if, it's when

A number of domain owners have come to the misconception that I don’t believe in the new gTLDs. This couldn’t be further from the truth! What I’m wrestling with is the when not the if the new gTLDs take-off.

In the last 12 months there has been a lot of growth off a small base with the new gTLDs. According to ntldstats the numbers have grown from around 3.6m to just over 10m so far this year. This is around 270% growth this year (off a small number compared to the incumbents) and pretty good when you consider it wasn’t long ago when there were none. Yes, I know these numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt.....but let's ignore that for the time being.

Escrow.com

The number one problem for the new gTLDs isn’t the initial flurry of sales and trying to hit yet another quarterly target. The problem is getting accepted by society as a means to navigate the Internet. Most people have been scripted to automatically type in .com or their ccTLD extension. To change this behaviour is going to take time.

You also can’t compare the new gTLDs to the early days of .com. They’re completely different. When .com was released, it and a handful of other extensions were all that you could get. It was a case of a limited supply and a massive latent demand fueled by billions of dollars of investor funds and media hype.

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