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

The Domain Conference

The Domain Conference

The overwhelming success of the recent Domain Conference is testament to the resilience and strength of the domain industry. Well over 200 domain investors and service providers gathered in Florida for an outstanding time of networking and learning about the abundant opportunities in the domain industry.

I do apologise but this article will have to be quick as I'm writing it in Sydney just before my next flight to Melbourne.....nothing like a 30 hour journey home!

So what made it such a success? The Neu family, together with their team, made all of the attendees feel welcome while at the same time ensuring that the event went off without a hitch. Congratulations should be offered to all those behind the scenes who made it such an enjoyable event.

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As a conference venue, the Hyatt Regency, was exceptional. The rooms were at the right price, the conference facilities were world class and everyone just seemed to hang around. This was evident by the number of people talking and doing business in the large bar area each night.

I had an interesting conversation with Jeff Saas from .club in the hotel bar one night about how to make a conference success for your own business. To paraphrase the conversation, “The repeated attending of conferences and industry events will grow your business as people get to know you and the fact that you’ll hang around.” In other words, the more you attend the more likely you’ll be successful.

I’ve made the journey across the Pacific innumerable times now and I heartily agree with Jeff. A large reason why my own company, ParkLogic, is so successful is that I’ve put in the effort and the resources to associate with my peers. There is nothing like breaking bread with someone to really learn about their business needs and to see if you can meet them.

I should also mention that ParkLogic released a sneak preview of the dashboard for our new platform at the conference. After listening to what domainers really want from a domain management platform we spent the last year in developing everything from the ground up. I will be regularly posting videos of ParkLogic Next that will feature some new and exciting features. Check out next.parklogic.com

As many of you are aware, I have recently published my debut science fiction book Battleframe. The domain industry has given me so much and as a thank-you I gave out over 100 free signed copies to conference attendees. The level of encouragement for writing the novel from the domain community was really inspiring….thank you everyone!

For those people that didn’t receive a copy of Battleframe, I’ve decided to give out a free copy of the e-book via Amazon to 50 people. All you need to do is go to battleframe.club and register for your e-book and then send me an email with the number that you receive after filling in the brief form.

The conference sessions were also excellent with some refreshing content shared by experts in their respective fields. Despite my own hectic meeting schedule, I made sure I attended a number of the sessions.

As you may have guessed the conference was so successful that it will be held again next year. If you didn’t attend this year then whatever you do, don’t miss out next year! See you then.

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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.

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.

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mgilmour
Joe, Thank you for your kind words. It was great catching up with you as well!
05 October 2015
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Guest Blog - Colin Campbell - CEO of .club

Guest Blog - Colin Campbell - CEO of .club

Colin Campbell, CEO of .club, asked if I would post this guest blog and after reading it I immediately agreed. Two great things about Colin is his insightfulness about the domain industry but also his willingness to admit it when he gets things wrong. This combination makes him one of the people in the domain industry that I would highly recommend that you pay attention to.

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Guest Blog
Why I was Wrong about Domain Investors!

by Colin Campbell

Wow. What a ride.

Started a new company in 1993 called Internet Direct, eventually launched Tucows, Domain Direct, EasyHosting, Hostopia, GeeksForLess and then finally .CLUB.

Here is my confession: I am a product of the 90’s. Yes a dinosaur. A short period of time when we all thought we were coasting on the Star Ship Enterprise….where it all made sense. Money did not matter but coming together was the greater purpose. We were reinventing the world and starting a revolution of collectivism. Some entrepreneurs, my brother and myself included saw making money as a second purpose. It was a rare moment. The internet was, is, and will always be owned by the people of this small little speck of a planet called earth. It was the greatest innovation of our time, and maybe of all time. The 90’s was in fact, a small window in to humanity at its greatest moment. So many geeks, entrepreneurs, journalists, students, and entrepreneurs coming together to make the planet smaller.

Today as CEO  of .CLUB a new domain extension, competing with .COM, I reflect back on my years but also recognize it is a different time. Capitalism has taken hold. It’s become survival of the fittest. Do whatever it takes to survive. I do yearn for the days of the past.

I did a press conference in the late 90’s revealing the identity of Mafia Boy which hit every news channel including CNN calling all spammers internet terrorists. I had the same opinion of domain speculators, domain squatters, domain kidnappers at that time. I grouped them all into the same bucket. I even restricted all employees from domain investing. Here is where I went wrong and thankfully the Rick Swartz, Micheal Berkins, and later the infamous Frank Shilling created a market between those who wanted names for specific reasons and those who sold those names. Today domain investors really play a pivotal role from China to America. They connect with a confused and for good reason out of touch end user. They are thebackbone of the internet, the true brokers and entrepreneurs who work tirelessly to simplify the internet world we live in today. I was wrong. Maybe not so about spammers, phishers, DDOS’ers and the rest. But I was wrong about domain investors.

We recently announced a somewhat controversial decision to offer all expired names on SnapNames dropping auction. Internally, we had a great debate as to why we should not just reclaim the names and resell them through our registrar channel. Why would we let great names go for as low as $69. See I have come full circle now. Today domain investors are the glue that brings it all together for a new domain extensions. We will leave money on the table, but those domain extensions that have an army of domain investors working to get the names in right hands will be successful. It’s time the media, the industry and users recognize what domainers really do. They help connect people and make the internet a simpler place.

 

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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.

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.

Recent Comments
joezeppy
Great article Colin / Michael, This is what many registries still don't understand. Domainers (Domain Investors) are the first t... Read More
30 September 2015
mgilmour
Couldn't agree with you more Joe!
02 October 2015
mgilmour
After speaking with Colin I can reassure you that the apology is absolutely sincere.
02 October 2015
3377 Hits
4 Comments

On My Way to Fort Lauderdale

On My Way to Fort Lauderdale

Do you ever feel that domains have a tendency to get into your blood. Your calmly watching the television with your wife and before you know it, you're reaching for your phone to register a domain that was inspired by some character in an episode of "Big Bang".

Like me, you've probably been denying your secret (or not so) addiction to domains for quite some time. When I believe that I've finally freed myself of their clutches, they reach out from the most surprising of places to get me to register just one more.

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For example, this week I was reading the newspaper (I do this a couple of times a year) and found that my Aussie rules football team was playing at none other than "Domain Stadium" this week. For those that don't believe me I took a snap shot of the paper for you below. Just for the record.....Hawthorn is going to win by a huge margin :-)

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Seeing the fact that my team was playing at "Domain Stadium" I was sorely tempted to registered domainstadium.com only to discover that some other domainer had beat me to the punch. This is probably a good thing given that fact that it's likely to be trademarked.

This morning I've started my journey to The Domain Conference in Fort Lauderdale....nothing like 26+ hours door to door to remind you that you were once alive. My wife kindly got up at 5:30am and we headed out to the airport. That was when I noticed the following:

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Seriously! Domains and domaining is EVERYWHERE! I secretly wondered whether ICANN was getting a fee per car as they passed through the "Domain tunnel".....I would think that this is not just likely but given. Afterall, ICANN is the expert at clipping a few cents off millions of transactions each year.....why not broaden the catchment to cars?

So despite my best efforts to go cold turkey and be free of my secret addiction I'm finding that I'm inadvertently sucked back into the vortex that make us all domainers. One of the great things that I do love about domains is that unlike the "white powder" addictive substances my bank balance seems to increase rather than decrease.

So while I sit in the Qantas Club in Melbourne waiting for QF93 to be called I want to ask you....are you as addicted to this industry as much as me? If you are then upload some photos of you being hounded or show them to me on your phone when I arrive in Fort Lauderdale. I'll need to see something after going 26+ hours without Internet access......right now......I've just got to get my fix and register one before I board.

See you at the Domain Conference!

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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.

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.

 

 

 

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The Domain Conference

The Domain Conference

I can’t believe that “The Domain Conference” is kicking off this coming week! It won’t be long before; I board a plane, put my noise cancelling headphones on and assume the foetal position for the 15 hour journey to LA followed by the 5 hour flight to Fort Lauderdale. Sounds like fun....not!

Overall the trip is around 26 hours door to door. At the end the journey the flight attendant pours me out of my seat and I typically stagger into the blazing Florida sun while wondering why it isn’t night time.

A few years ago I arrived at a TRAFFIC conference and an attendee I hadn’t met before came up to me. They were complained about the length of their flight and how terrible it was. I asked them where they had travelled from and they replied, “Boston”. It was at this point that I explained that they were probably talking to the wrong person to get some sympathy. LOL!

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So why am I sharing all of this? The only reason why I wave goodbye to my family and regularly travel across the Pacific to attend a conference is because it’s worth it. Sure, I hate the flights but meeting up with other domain investors, clients and partners is worth much more the than the temporary pain of the journey.

From all reports, “The Domain Conference” is going to be really well attended with people flying in from all over the world. The majority are geared up to do business and are looking to make deals….I know that I am! So if you don’t plan on attending then sadly, it’s likely you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.

So what am I doing at the conference? I’m really looking forward to the two sessions that I’m involved in and I hope to share some of my own experiences in domaining with those that attend. My colleague from ParkLogic, Joe Politzer, is flying in from San Diego and I know that he would love to talk to you about how we may be able to help you better monetise your domains. Feel free to reach out to him or me to arrange a meeting.

What’s really exciting for me personally is that ParkLogic is providing a free copy of my debut book, “Battleframe”, for the majority of the attendees. There are a limited number of copies so make sure that if you are attending that you sign-up to secure your copy (more details to follow). For those that are interested, I’ll also be available for signing copies.....which is really humbling as I've never done anything like this before!

ParkLogic will also be providing a sneak preview at our new interface and platform. So if you would like a demo just let me know. I’ll post a link out to a video early next week that highlights some of the great new features.

The best part about a conference is that it’s a chance to catch up with a lot of friends that I’ve made over many years. Howard, Barbara and Ray Neu are hosting the event and they’ve all become great friends to both myself and my wife. Sure, there is a lot of business to be done but it’s the reaffirmation of friendship combined with business that will make “The Domain Conference” so special.

If you have been thinking about whether you should attend or not then can I encourage you that it will be worth the journey. Whether you’ve been investing in domains for a long time or are new to the industry “The Domain Conference” will be an outstanding opportunity to learn and do business. It costs me around $4,000 for my airfares and I typically make that money back plus more within a few hours of landing.

For those of you that are wondering, I’m arriving on the 24th Sept and leaving the 30th. If you would like to catch-up then please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Safe travels to everyone that is attending.

Michael

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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.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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.

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