Japan and ICANN Kobe

Shinkansen (bullet train) at Tokyo station

I’ve been in Japan for the past eight days and it’s been a tiring and yet great time. I’m writing this blog in a few spare minutes between meetings while sitting at a table in the ICANN registration area. Please excuse me if there are any typos or grammatical errors.

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I was in Tokyo for the first four days of my journey to the land of the rising sun. I’ve visited Tokyo many times and find it’s one of the most vibrant cities in the world…..besides that, it’s just a lot of fun! After a lot of great meetings, I had a chance to get out and explore the city with a few other friends that happened to be in Tokyo at the time.

There’s nothing quite like trying to work out how to buy a ticket on a Shinkansen (bullet train) to sort you out….so our first stop was Shinjuku train station. Shinjuku is a MAJOR station where trying to find out how to get out of it is an amazing feat of intellectual prowess, let alone get some bullet train tickets. Think of it as a massive escape room where the signs are designed to confuse the heck out of you.

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Heading to ICANN Kobe

As is my custom, I’m writing to you from the Melbourne Qantas Club as I wait for my flight to Tokyo, Japan. Yes….you would also be right in saying, “Weren’t you just in New Zealand?”

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Sounds like a bit of jetsetting but it’s actually more of a tyranny of timing. Last week I was hiking through the pristine wilderness of the New Zealand south island. I must admit, that the experience has really changed me and caused me to fall in love with tramping around trails while looking at spectacular scenery.

I’m now headed to one of the biggest cities in the world…..so I wouldn’t be surprised if I go through a little culture shock. Not from the amazing Japanese people but being surrounded by buildings and concrete. In New Zealand I could gaze 20 plus kilometres into the distance while in Tokyo it’s going to be to the next office building.

So what draws me to Japan? I could say the food…..and the culture…..and the many things Japanese and they would all be correct. In reality I’m headed to ICANN.

If you’re attending ICANN in Kobe then please reach out to me. I’d love to catchup…..but right now I’ve got to go as my flight just got called!

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fmichlick
Are you coming to ICANN Montreal in November? Would be good to see you here. Just too bad it's that late in the year, it's going t... Read More
16 March 2019
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Domain Sales is Overdue for a Shake-up – Part 2

The brokerage model needs to change.

In the previous article in this serious I took aim at the two major marketplaces of Sedo and Godaddy/Afternic. I then proposed a business model that solved the problem of the marketplaces being full of bad domains that must reduce the likelihood of sales transactions for potential buyers. You can read more about this hear: Part 1

I now want to propose a business model to help unclog the domain brokerage arm of the aftermarket.

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From a high-level perspective, the state of the domain aftermarket is as follows:
1.    Massive over-supply of domains – courtesy of the new gTLDs.
2.    Same demand.
3.    Anyone can put a shingle out and say they are a broker.

The vast majority of “brokers” aren’t brokers at all but are really “order takers”. What they do is take on lots of domains and then respond to inbound queries. These “order takers” just do what every serious domain investor does, with one exception, they didn’t pay for the domain they’re selling. So who do you think is more likely to sell the domain? The investor or the “order taker”? I’ll leave this up to you to work out.

On the flip-side of the coin there are the REALLY good brokers that know how to sell and pitch domains to prospective sellers and these people get the job done. They are worth their weight in gold and on the whole do an outstanding job for their clients.

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Saturday Musings - There and Back Again...

Once again I find myself at Melbourne airport waiting for my flight…..but this time there’s a big difference. This time I’m heading to New Zealand to hike for five days with Roselyn and a couple of friends…..it’s going to be awesome!

While “walking” through the airport Roselyn constantly admonished me to slow down. I don’t know what it about airports but my legs seem to operate faster than normal as I weave my way past families and travellers that view walking to the gate as a part of their holiday.

I should say that traveling with other people is an educational experience for me. I’m used to doing whatever I can to speed my way through security and immigration but with others who are in holiday mode it can be a little bit of a challenge.

For example, my wonderful wife (whom I deeply love) forgot she had a bottle of water in her bag so she experienced the joys of a security officer rifling through her personals. The officer then forgot to return her boarding pass and so she had to go to the gate early to get another one.

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Domain Sales is Overdue for a Shake-up – Part 1

Marketplaces need an overhaul.

In this article I’m going to propose an idea that could be very unpopular amongst domain speculators but wildly popular amongst domain investors. Yes, there is a difference between those two camps and it’s this difference that needs to be highlighted.

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If we are to look at the domain aftermarket, there are really two major and a host of second tier (not second rate) marketplaces. If I was running either Afternic/Godaddy or Sedo I would look at two things:
1.    How I could remove the garbage domains from my marketplace.
2.    How I could make more money from brokerage.

The garbage domain problem is a real issue. When a person searches for a domain they are often presented a host a trash that covers the real gems that should be highlighted. How would I solve this problem? Easy, tax the domains.

I would charge some nominal fee per month per domain (eg. $0.10 per domain) with a minimum subscription of say, $50/month, to have your domains in the marketplace. All those with good domains will happily pay the fee and the speculated trash gets washed out. There could be a sliding scale depending upon volume, but I don’t think this is even necessary.

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