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

Video - NamesCon Founder, Richard Lau

Video - NamesCon Founder, Richard Lau

In this video, Richard shares some of his background and how he became a domain investor. He then moves onto his passion for the Water School, a charity to helps save lives. He also discusses the beginnings of the first NamesCon and where the huge domain investor conference is headed into the future.

The video is full of personal experiences, adecdotes and insightful thoughts about the domain industry. Richard is one of those special individuals that is willing to take the time to help others in their life's journey.

I hope that you enjoy this video as much as I did in talking with Richard.

I should mention that there has been a correction to the NamesCon discount code mentioned in the video. It's actually "AlwaysThankful". This code provides $200 off the registration price and will expire midnight on November 11th.

Click Here to Go Directly To the NamesCon site with the code applied.

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Why .CLUB Is So Successful

Why .CLUB Is So Successful

I’ve been reflecting on some of the great companies that are being built in the domain industry and I couldn’t go past .CLUB. When you consider the new gTLD have only been in the marketplace for a couple of years it’s remarkable what .CLUB has achieved. There are so many new extensions launched and yet everyone seems to hold .CLUB in high regard. So the question I have is why?

Every company is not built on an excellent team and I just want to highlight a number of the team members that I regularly catch-up with at all the different domain shows around the world. I think that their attitudes and focus really provide a valuable insight into the .CLUB success story.

Colin Campbell (CEO)
Colin CampbellThere are a number of things that strike me about Colin and the first is passion. He’s passionate about .CLUB and provides such a focused drive to see it succeed. That being said, I’ve watched from the sidelines as he’s conducted deals that are beneficial for both parties. He isn’t a scorched earth CEO that has a win at all costs mentality but rather a collaborative one that wants to see others be successful as well.

Dirk Bhagat (CTO)
Dirk BhagatThe first time I met Dirk we were sitting around a fire pit at a hotel somewhere (can’t remember where). Underneath his easy going exterior ticks an incredibly smart individual that, like Colin, has seen the ebbs and flows of the technology industry across many years.


Jeff Sass (CMO)
Jeff SassAs chief marketing officers are concerned Jeff would have to be right up there with the most frequent milers ever clocked up. He’s everywhere! We recently chatted in Fort Lauderdale and he headed immediately to Cologne, Germany and we met up a few days later in Hong Kong. Not only does Jeff clock up the miles but he brings an incredibly creative mind to promote .CLUB to so many different cultures.

Michele Van Tilborg (VP Bus. Development, COO)
Michele Van TilborgLike the rest of the .CLUB team, Michele, clocks up the air miles as she makes sure that things happen in one country after another. To understand how dedicated she is to the .CLUB cause, while at DomainFest.Asia in Hong Kong, I watched as she had meeting after meeting, when she really should have been in bed due to being sick. She's a real powerhouse that gets things done.

There are other’s in the .CLUB team that also contribute but the above four are the people I have had the pleasure of interacting with directly. What I’m highlighting is the fact that a great, passionate, focused team is what’s driving the .CLUB brand. At .CLUB's core there is one particular value that seems to stand out more than everything else and that’s generosity.

It’s not often that you can call a business generous….after all, isn’t the goal to make money? When I look from the outside, .CLUB is generous (not stupid) in everything they do. They support the industry through their many sponsorship activities and are very generous with their time. They do whatever they can to help promote up and coming .CLUB based businesses.

For example, they are getting right behind George Verdugo (awesome, fun guy btw) in his plans for George has some incredible ideas for the website and with some of the rates he showed me it won’t be long before he climbs the travel websites ladder of success!

Another example of generosity, is one evening during “The Domain Conference” in Fort Lauderdale, Colin and his wife invited about sixty people to their home for dinner. The food was exceptional, conversation awesome and getting to know Colin’s wife was terrific… can really see the real power behind .CLUB :-)

.CLUB is inspirational on many fronts and I’m sure that over a few drinks the team will also share about the many mistakes they’ve also made. Which brings up a last point I would like to make…..they are a fun group to just hang out with. I think this last ingredient is what makes them a very special company…..they all individually and as a team seem to be having a great time expanding .CLUB to the world. Well done!

I thought that it was about time that I wrote about .CLUB as they are really and truly a real beacon of success for the new gTLDs. I really do believe that it's early days for the registry and it won't be long before .CLUB domain extensions are being used everywhere.

I want to state up front that I was not asked to write this article by anyone and that no one has twisted my arm in any manner whatsoever. I believe that great companies should be lauded and .CLUB is one of them.

Recent comment in this post
Very strong management team with years of experience. I see great future for .club in China.
04 October 2016
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DomainFest Hong Kong Presentations

DomainFest Hong Kong Presentations

As promised, please find links below to the presentations that I lead attendees at DomainFest Hong Kong through. I hope that you find them valuable and please feel free to ask any questions.

Domain Monetisation 101
This is an introduction to monetising your domains and then focuses on the various metrics used in generating revenue from domain traffic. This also includes what we can influence on a parked page and setting keywords.

Domain Monetisation MasterClass
This dives into the data and first of all defines the benefits of a normalised RPM. From there the presentation takes through the difference between intelligently switching versus rotating traffic. How to run a traffic test is briefly covered and followed up by managing a portfolio for profit.

Domain Monetisation for Registrars and Registries
The first part of the presentation covers the opportunities that registrars have to monetise their traffic with ParkLogic. This is followed by a registry perspective and the unique symbiotic relationship between registries and registrars.

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DomainFest.Asia Wrap Up

DomainFest.Asia Wrap Up

I’m on my way home…..yeah! Yes, DomainFest.Asia is finished and I’m writing this from the Qantas Club at Hong Kong airport. I’ve just finished a call to my ParkLogic business partner updating him on what a great event it was. The next call is to my very patient and wonderful wife who puts up with my travels…..

This is my second time to Asia for DomainFest and once again I’ve found that it has been eminently worthwhile. With each repeat visit I can see the Chinese market beginning to blossom into a land of opportunity as the newly formed relationships grow stronger with each meeting.

In fact, I half joked with one western domain investor that I should go and learn Mandarin! English may be the language of business but it’s clear that Mandarin is definitely the language of future opportunity. It was so frustrating going through an interpreter for a number of my discussions that I lamented the fact that I didn’t know even a little bit of the language. Thank goodness that the majority of the attendees also knew at least some English!

I must admit that one of the mildly annoying things about the conference was the fact that the conference was a thirty-minute bus ride from the hotel where many of the attendees were staying. So each morning and afternoon we had to climb aboard a bus for the journey to and from the conference venue at Cyberport…..I only have one thing to say, thank goodness for Uber!

Although there were some three hundred plus registrants, many of them came for a single day and due to the multiple simultaneous sessions the conference appeared smaller than it actually was. This was initially disconcerting but once everyone was gathered in a single room it didn’t detract from the overall business opportunities found in the many hallway, lunch and meeting room discussions.

If I do say so myself, my three sessions on monetisation went really well. The last one on monetisation for registrars and registries was packed out and had standing room only. I love sharing about my passion for domains and our incredible industry I had a great time.....I hope what I had to share was also worthwhile for attendees :-)

So was DomainFest.Asia really worth it? As normal, I find conferences are only worth it if you are prepared to step outside of your comfort zone and talk to other people. I met a lot of new people to the industry, reaffirmed relationships with some old friends and said “hi” to a number of clients. This all contributed to an enormously successfully, smoothly run event. More than that, it meant that it was profitable for sponsors and attendees like myself.

So congratulations should be issued to Jothan Frakes, Edmon Chung and the entire .Asia team for hosting DomainFest.Asia and bringing together domain investors from all over the world to Hong Kong. It’s visionaries like Jothan and Edmon that make being part of the domain industry so exhilarating.

So should you attend next year? I have no idea why any serious domain investors would try to avoid the second biggest market in the world. Despite the recent downturn, the Chinese opportunity remains HUGE. My recommendation is, register early, get cheap discount air tickets well in advance and hang on for the ride of your life!

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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 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!

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