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

Around the World to NamesCon

Around the world in 15 days.

A few months ago, I had a stroke of genius. Rather than head from Melbourne across the Pacific to NamesCon I would prove all the "flat earthers" wrong and travel to Austin via the Atlantic Ocean. This would mean that I could then drop into Europe and the east coast of the USA prior to NamesCon and then exit out the west afterwards.

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On paper this was all made perfectly logical sense but that was before I started putting the itinerary together. To give you an idea, the around the world journey will mean flying in seven different planes for fifty-six hours and this doesn’t include waiting times at airports etc. Oh, the joys of international travel….not!

Just of special note is the fact that I’m away for fifteen days but with only eleven days of accommodation booked. What does this mean? Pretty much that I’ll be the bleary-eyed guy in seat 74D that’s twisted into a pretzel as he tries and sleep in whatever airplane seat, he finds himself in.

So where am I headed?
Melbourne - > Frankfurt -> Cologne -> London -> Washington - > Austin -> San Francisco - > Melbourne

If you happen to be in any of those cities and would like to catch-up then don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You never know, we may be able to grab a drink together!

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2019 - The Year That Was...

A lot happened in 2019!

At this time of year, I like to take a few minutes to think about the state of the domain industry and what I personally managed to accomplish over the past year. In many respects, I’m finding that 2019 was tremendously positive for the different business domain business models this has setup 2020 to be a boom year.

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Traffic Monetisation
At ParkLogic (I’m the co-founder), we are continuing to see good steady growth with one record month following another. This seems to be in contrast to what many investors have been experiencing with monetising their own domain traffic. I can only surmise that the technology that we’ve developed over the last decade is really paying big dividends.

One of the major projects we completed was the rolling out of a new DNS infrastructure that is not only faster and more flexible but will support the growth of ParkLogic in 2020 and beyond. In addition, we've expanded the team and if you’re attending NamesCon you will get a chance to meet Matt Herbert who is assisting with account management and development.

I keep on saying this…..like a broken record…..but if you leave all of your domains with a single monetisation company then you are leaving money on the table. We have over a decade of data to prove this is true so if you’re earning at least $250/month in traffic revenue then reach out to me if you’re interested in further information.

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A Pragmatic View on the .org Sale

Ethos Capital purchases .org

I’ve been reading with interest about the sale of the .org registry by the Public Interest Registry (PIR) to Ethos Capital. The value of the deal is just shy over $1.1 billion and if you are to believe some people, the deal was done in a cesspool of corruption and scandal.

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What's in it for PIR? They are now funded to do good for the Internet in the long,long,long-term future without having to worry about running a registry. Could you imagine being on the board of PIR, facing the prospect of another round of extensions being released by ICANN and then having a billion-dollar opportunity fall out of the sky and into your lap? You would be crazy not to seriously look at it!

Now let’s think about the numbers for a second. A typical .org domain sells for $10 (to make the maths easy) and since they have roughly 10 million domains in the registry then .org generates a top line revenue of $100 million per year. Of course, this is shared with the registrar in a variety of different agreement structures but let’s imagine that it wasn’t.

By paying $1.1 billion for the business either Ethos Capital is possibly going to be looking for a long-term hold (ie. north of 11 years) of the business, plan on growing the number of domains or there is some other reason they purchased it.

Growing the registry is a long, hard road. The entire domain space grows by about 5% per year and .org is a small percentage of that. If they managed to grow by 200,000 domains (ie. 2% per year) it would be a miracle. This would only add $2 million to the top line revenue and doesn’t really change the ROI economics that much for Ethos Capital.

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Recent Comments
bmugford
"The one tangible fear that domain investors have is that .org will suddenly increase their prices. If your business depends entir... Read More
07 December 2019
mgilmour
I tried to write this article with a very pragmatic perspective. I didn't say whether I liked the outcome or not....only that I wa... Read More
08 December 2019
mgilmour
The question is whether the Internet Society should run any registry....or whether they should use a war chest to promote the Inte... Read More
08 December 2019
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20 Tips to Get the Most Out of NamesCon - Part 2

Getting the most out of NamesCon

 

In this short series of articles I'm sharing some of the things that I consider prior and during NamesCon so that from a business perspective I can get the most out of the event. This is the second part in a two part series on "Getting the Most Out of NamesCon". The first part can be read by clicking here.

I would like to remind readers that if you haven't registered for NamesCon as yet then you can click on the above banner and receive a 20% discount. Full disclosure, I don't make anything from this and it was a generous offer from NamesCon to help the users of WhizzbangsBlog.

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11. Organise meetings before NamesCon
Don’t wait until NamesCon starts to organise a meeting with someone. More than likely the person you are wanting to catch-up with will have a full agenda and you won’t get any time with them. To avoid disappointment, reach out to them before the event and be sure you clearly state your objectives for the meeting.

12. Keep some time clear
Don’t completely block out your entire schedule with meetings. Keep some time open for that interesting opportunity that comes along that warrant’s further discussion. In many respects these types of meetings are the icing on the NamesCon cake.

13. Smile
There’s nothing quite like seeing someone at a conference that looks like their having a good time. A simple smile transforms the face and your demeanour. It also tells all those people around you that you’re open for business! It doesn’t cost a thing to smile…..so give it a go.

14. Take meeting notes
Let me assure you that by meeting ten you won’t be able to remember what happened in meeting one. Take LOTS of notes WITH action items. If I’m in a meeting with someone that doesn’t take notes then sadly, it’s likely the meeting won’t result in any business.

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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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