Getting the Most from NamesCon

NamesCon 27-30 Jan 2019

NamesCon has become the domain industry’s premier conference and without a doubt the place to be if you want to do business in the domain industry. A conference like NamesCon can be a little daunting at first and getting the most out of the event is often the result of good planning rather than luck.

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I thought I’d share with you how I approach NamesCon and get the most bang for effort.

  1. Have a clear objective in mind. Sometimes this can be to collect information, meet certain people or make a particular deal. Whatever it is make sure that it’s top of your mind.
     
  2. Check out the agenda and lock in all sessions that you want to attend. With the calibre of speakers at this years NamesCon, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are quite a number that will add value to your business.
     
  3. Check the attendee list on the NamesCon App. Make appointments with people you’re wanting to catch-up with well beforehand. Don’t just “wing it” as everyone is busy at NamesCon and you may discover that the person whom you are wanting to meet has a full diary. They aren’t blowing you off….it’s the reality of a conference.
     
  4. I typically get up at around 7am for a breakfast meeting at 8am. I then schedule meetings every hour in the time zone of the conference….this is REALLY IMPORTANT! Since people are flying in from all over the world there is only one time zone that matters…the conference time zone. So get familiar with scheduling meetings outside of your local time zone.
     
  5. Typically speaking the registration desk is the only place that is fixed and always present at a conference. Logically, it becomes the default meeting point. I recently had someone say, “Let’s meet at the Tropicana”. Awesome! Where???? It’s a big hotel. Don’t mess up meetings by not being clear where you should meet.
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Saturday Musings - Business Training...

Training for a hike is just like business.

The other day I was out training with my wife and a couple of friends as we hiked through the Silvan forest in the Dandenong ranges. It's all a part of the training for a 5-day hike of the Milford Track on the South Island of New Zealand at the end of February.

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Our friends had selected this day’s hike, and all was going well. Sure, we had some gentle ups and downs but even with a 5Kg pack on my back I thought it was more like a walk in the park. After about an hour of tramping through the wilderness we came to the base of a hill where the track effectively went straight up…..gulp!

When I say straight up, I mean at about a 50% angle. After about 100 meters I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t seem to get enough oxygen into my lungs and I would have been quite happy to sit down and “look at the view” for about ten minutes or so.

Up until this point I’d been going to the gym on a regular basis and Roselyn and I had been doing regular walks on relatively level ground. Being tested with the hill was quite a shock to the system as I realised that there was a new level of fitness that I needed to achieve. It was at this point that it started drizzling.

There was only one thing to it…..put up with the drizzle and just press on. But like they say, what goes up must come down. The other side of the hill was the equivalent downward stretch that tested my knees and proved to me that the tear in the meniscus in my left knee was either healed or about to rip again. I decided it was better to find out on this walk then on the one in New Zealand.

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Tobias Flaitz Leaves Sedo – A Gentleman and a Scholar

Tobias Flaitz moves on from Sedo.

It was announced on the 4th January that CEO, Tobias Flaitz, was leaving Sedo and that Matthias Conrad was to replace him. For the past 7 years Tobias has steered Sedo through some tumultuous waters and in my opinion, he now leaves the company in a stronger state than when he arrived.

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Rather than report the facts of his leaving and trying to dig into the reasons for the change I thought that I’d share a few personal words about one of the captains of the domain industry.

When I first met Tobias at DomainFest in Los Angeles, he was both new to his position and the domain industry. I initially found him a little reserved as he took in the various industry players and formulated his own opinion of the domain industry and the role Sedo was playing in it.

When I reflect upon that conference, I imagine that at the time he was bombarded with a huge number of domain investors hoping this “new blood” would listen to their demands so I’m not surprised he was a “little reserved”.

Since he was new to the domain industry, Tobias provided a unique fresh perspective in how Sedo needed to move forward. One of his initial challenging tasks was to manage the transition from the Sedo founders. Many people underestimate whats involved in transitioning from visionaries like the founding team and I looked on in admiration as he managed the various stakeholders while building a dynamic new team to step up and take Sedo on the next stage of its journey.

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2018 - The Year That Was...

The year that was and the year ahead!

At this time of year, I like to spend some time reflecting on the state of the domain industry and in particular what I’ve been up to the past twelve months. Let me say from the outset that I’ve seen a LOT of changes take place and from my perspective most of them have been good.

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Development
At the end of 2017 I wrote about a project that I was working on that took domain development to a whole new level. Internally we now refer to this project as “Sites” and it’s now integrated into the main ParkLogic core systems.

Along the developmental journey there were a number of critical factors that needed to be resolved. Without revealing too much, amongst many other things, “Sites” now contains:

  1. A flexible templating system to display landers that is very different compared to any of the currently available platforms (eg. Word Press, Joomla etc.). Widgets can be placed anywhere on the page and they both display information to the user AND also pass data back to the traffic quality system.
  2. A quality system that used both web and behavioural analytics to determine the quality of the traffic being received by a domain. Each and every piece of traffic is scored appropriately, and this score is aggregated at the domain and account levels.
  3. A reporting system that produces actionable reports based upon analytics at a dashboard, domain and traffic level.
  4. A fully configurable API so that any data can be pulled from any “Sites” server and then analysed by either “Sites” customers or the ParkLogic team.
  5. A back-end administrative interface that provides the necessary data for managing massive numbers of instances of “Sites” as well as assisting in determining more optimal monetisation solutions.

At the moment “Sites” processes around five million queries per day and in 2019 we see it continuing to grow as we focus our analytical skills upon it. It’s been quite a journey since its inception and it’s definitely not over yet….not by a long shot. When you control the page there’s a HUGE amount that is possible and this innovation will flow on as a direct benefit to ParkLogic clients.

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Saturday Musings - Putting the Christ Back into Christmas

Christmas - love, compassion and sacrifice.

I do apologise if I offend anyone in this post….it is not my intention. Over the years I’ve noticed that Christmas has become more about commercialism and political correctness than it is about the true spirit of Christmas and the reason for it’s being.

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Christmas is a derivation of two words, “Christ’s mass”. According to etymology, Christmas is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038 followed by the word Cristes-messe in 1131.

Christmas is all about Christ and the spirit of love, compassion and the ultimate sacrificial gift that he brought to the world. When I say, “Merry Christmas” to someone I’m wishing all of these Christ-like blessings upon them.

Whether you are a Christian, of some other faith or of no faith at all, you would have to acknowledge the fact that there was an extremely influential man about 2,000 years ago that walked the earth. Our whole dating system has been based upon him. BC is Before Christ and AD anno-domini or “in the year of our Lord”. In fact, many historians now acknowledge there is more historical evidence for Christ than there is for Julius Caesar.

If someone wishes you “Merry Christmas” they aren’t trying to force their faith upon you but rather wish you rich blessings. Likewise, if a person of Islamic faith says, “The peace of the prophet be upon you,” then I wouldn’t get upset either. They are wishing blessings upon you from their perspective and we should respect the giver and the gift appropriately.

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