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

20 Tips to Get the Most Out of NamesCon - Part 1

How to get the most out of NamesCon

NamesCon is the domain industry’s premier event where the industry gathers to learn and do a lot of business with one another. I’ve lost count of the number of different conferences I’ve attend over the years and I’ve found there are some techniques that I’ve found really useful in getting the most from them.

I would like to thank NamesCon for the generous offer of a 20% discount off the going rate to WhizzbangsBlog readers. All you need to do is click on the above banner to get the discounted registration rate.

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1. Have a clear objective
Don’t attend NamesCon because it’s a great event for parties (they are great!) but attend because you have a clear business objective in mind. It could be you want to achieve a certain amount of domain sales, buy a portfolio, meet specific people or take your registrar account manager out for dinner to thank them for a job well done. Whatever your objective is, write it down and hold yourself accountable to it at the end of the conference.

2. Attendee List
Download the NamesCon App and check out the attendee list. Reach out to  people you want to meet with and with any luck you’ll get a response.

3. Check out the sessions
I know that many people act like they are almost proud of not attending sessions but there’s some really good sessions that shouldn’t be missed. For instance, I’ve been asked to do one of the keynotes (shameless plug) this year and I will literally being putting days of work pulling data together to ensure that its valuable for NamesCon attendees. So always check the agenda and ensure you schedule sessions your interest you in.

4. Your Schedule
Whatever you do…..keep a schedule! Every second is precious at NamesCon and it’s regarded as really bad form if you’re late to a meeting. Everyone is busy so if you’re late then it quite often messes up the other persons schedule and they won’t be happy about that.

I’m typically up at 7am each day and after checking emails I’m at a breakfast meeting at 8am. Unless it’s the last night of the conference I don’t stay up later than midnight. I’ve found that it’s very rare that good deals are done after midnight…..especially if the person you’re speaking with has had a few drinks.

5. Time Zones
Managing time zones for a conference with people flying in from all over the world can be a little daunting. There is ONLY one time zone and that’s the time zone for the conference and in this case it’s Austin, Texas. In Outlook there’s a really good feature where you can turn on another time zone in calendar to help get over the trauma of having 2am meetings in your local time zone!

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30th Anniversary of the Australian Internet

Celebrating 30 years of the Internet

A few days ago, I had the privilege of being invited to attend a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Internet in Australia. The event was held in Sydney and was organised by Peter Coroneos, the former CEO of the Internet industry association, and was supported by the “who’s who” of the Australian Internet industry.

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As a former director of the association it was great catching up with past colleagues and journeying down memory lane together as we recounted how the Internet has transformed our lives. For the first time in Australia’s history we were no longer isolated by our geography as the Internet brought us within one hundred milliseconds of everywhere in the world.

I chatted with a director of the association who is now running a university business incubator program. He asked me what he should say to the budding entrepreneurs under his charge. I said to him, “Get them overseas as fast as possible and open their eyes to the fact that Australia is no longer geographically isolated.”

Amongst many other things, the speech made by Paul Fletcher, who is the Minister of Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, picked up on the point that Australians had embraced the global marketplace. They had done this not only as consumers but also from businesses investing in reaching overseas markets via the Internet. So watch out world, here us Aussies come!

Honourable Paul Flecter

Paul Fletcher - Ministry for Communications, CyberSafety and the Arts

During the evening, many industry luminaries were highlighted for their efforts, either as entrepreneurs, technical experts or from a policy perspective. It was also sad to hear of the passing of others who had contributed so much to not just the Australian Internet industry but played valuable roles on the global stage.

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Some Domainers are Just Dumb

Are you domaining with ancient or modern tools?

I was reading an article on TheDomains.com about domain traffic monetisation and the comment list ended up being filled with doom and gloom. I found the comments tended to spring from domainers harkening back to the “good old days” when raking in money from their traffic was easy. Many of them also showed a complete lack of understanding about how monetisation has moved on from the “good old days”.

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I will once again say upfront that I’m one of the founders of ParkLogic and we monetise domain traffic but in a very different manner from ANY other provider. We work with almost all of the traditional parking companies and many of the global advertising networks. This gives us a unique perspective on the industry, and I believe provides us with some authority to speak on the subject of monetisation.

I would first like to tackle the common misconception that parking providers are thieves. Contrary to popular belief, we find the parking providers are not fraudulent and stealing your money. They are often as in the dark as you are as to why a domain’s earnings have fallen apart or why a clawback was applied to your account. Google is pulling all of strings and they don’t share squat with their partners.

Before you go accusing your account manager of theft think twice. They are actually your best friend who represent you to their larger organisation. I’ve heard of some account managers being treated despicably and it’s about time some bad domainers act a little more professionally. Thank goodness most domain investors ARE professional in their approach.

That all being said, have some parking providers attempted nefarious behaviours in the past? Absolutely! In fact, on the whole these companies are no longer in business. They’ve either been caught out by their customers or partners for doing the wrong thing and have now been expunged from the industry. This means the companies that have survived are generally pretty good.

Now let me comment on the state of play of domain monetisation. Is it dead? Nope. Is it dead for some people? Yes. The major reason why domain investors believe that domain monetisation is dead is because they keep on doing the same thing they always have. Go figure?

Let’s think about this for a bit. Many domain investors complain about declining revenues and then do nothing about it. They may change parking providers but that’s just like changing which cabin you’re going to sleep in on the Titanic.

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Recent Comments
Jay
I notice you promote .icu I am owner of lifesavings.icu and funny enough, I was on the registry site for .promo and noticed the us... Read More
21 October 2019
mgilmour
Great point Jay!
21 October 2019
mgilmour
Matt, I couldn't agree with you more. I remember writing an article in 2008 where I said, we are in a bubble and everyone should s... Read More
21 October 2019
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Part 4 - A History or RPM

And yet another RPM variation....

Please click on the below link to view the first three parts of A History of RPM:
Part 1 - A History of RPM
Part 2 - A History of RPM
Part 3 - A History of RPM

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Some people have mistakenly thought that if another player is involved in the chain (eg. someone like ParkLogic) then the margin that they take will consume any benefits. This couldn’t be further from the truth as companies such as my own play more than just a revenue increase, we also manage downside risk.

To understand this hidden benefit, we need to return to the RPM formula from Part 1 in this series. At ParkLogic we effectively have an RPM for every domain, at every monetisation company at every point in time. In fact, many years ago I coined the term normalised RPM (nRPM) as the unit of measurement for every monetisation source.

This means we actually know who is paying the most for any domain at any point in time. We then route the traffic to those destinations so that ParkLogic customers achieve a greater yield for their traffic.

As a by-product of this process we also manage downside risk. For example, if a domain is being paid an nRPM of $10 at one provider and $9 at another we would rightly route the traffic to the $10 provider. Suddenly the $10 provider loses a key advertiser and is now paying $2. If you were leaving the traffic at a single provider, then you would get the $2 but with ParkLogic the traffic will automatically flow to the $9 provider. This dramatically smooths out these types of market disruptions and reduces the risk for the domain investor.

Now here’s the problem with all of this history and discussions about RPM. When you deal with direct advertising networks, they have another type of RPM altogether….and it’s a difficult one to crack and it highlights the difference between a spot price and an average price.

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Part 3 - A History of RPM

Two titans inadvertently impacting each other.

Please click on the below link to view the first two parts of A History of RPM:
Part 1 - A History of RPM
Part 2 - A History of RPM

The volume of domains being dropped was so high that Verisign found it was being buffeted by the Google margin grab. During this time, you could track the impact a one cent PPC drop would have on Verisign’s revenue line.

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I remember conducting an analysis that concluded it would be financially viable for Verisign to underpin the entire domain investment industry so domains weren’t dropped. From memory it showed that every domain dropped cost Verisign $73 of market capitalisation. By underpinning the PPC payouts by diverting marketing dollars directly into the monetisation companies Verisign could halt the tsunami of drops from marginally profitable domains.

Several years after the GFC Google had reached rock bottom with the margin grab. I can only surmise that if they kept on increasing their margin then the partner network would essentially collapse. This would not be a good thing to happen right in the middle of rumblings about monopolistic behaviour at the legislative levels.

What we shouldn't miss in this whole saga is that Google's behaviour has been completely economically rational. They have the interests of shareholders to consider and not the domain industry. Those domain investors that moaned about what Google was doing needed to make changes to their businesses and do something different.

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