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

Namescon - There and Back Again

After the short flight from Vegas, I once again find myself in the Qantas club at LAX dreading the 15 hour flight home. I must admit that I couldn't resist going to qantas.club......it's owned by a domainer. If you happen to be the person that currenly owns the domain then I would highly recommend tha that you get rid of it....but onto Namescon.

In one word, Namescon was brilliant. The entire Namescon team should be congratulated for putting on an event that was incredibly well run. I'm sure that there were a number of mad scrambles behind the scenes but from an attendee and speaker's perspective everything appeared to be calm and controlled.

For example, I had to have a few things changed in the setup of the room for my session and nothing was too much trouble for the support staff.

What really struck me about Namescon was the energy. It was buzzing! I felt like I'd been transported back to 2007 and the heyday of the domain industry. The numbers of deals, buying and selling was incredible. I loved rubbing shoulders with a heap of really smart domain investors who seemed to be inspired with a fresh sense of purpose and excitement.

While I was there it was great to see Barbara and Ray from TRAFFIC (Howard couldn't make it) and here about some of there plans for their own conference. What really struck me was that there seemed to be some sort of coopitition (co-operative competition) between them and Namescon. I wouldn't be surprised if TRAFFIC becomes a very different conference now that Rick's has retired.

Just before my flight is called.....I would like to say that it was really good to see so many of the old domaining crowd make the effort to attend Namescon. Each one of them have an amazing amount of experience and to hear what they are up to is truly inspirational.

Anyway......there will be more when I land in Australia......cheers!

 

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mdafni
Sounds like it was a great show. Really wish I could've been there again this year!
16 January 2015
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Namescon - The Place To Be!

It takes me a lot to journey across the Pacific Ocean and even more when it’s in the middle of my summer in Australia. It just so happens that Namescon ticks both of those boxes but I’m still making the journey….so why would I do that?

The first Namescon really took advantage of a gap between TRAFFIC in October and an overly delayed DomainFest. This opportunity, combined with a fantastic team of industry luminaries has powered Namescon from strength to strength.

To date there are over 800 registrants from all over the world attending this year’s conference. The sessions topics look incredible with speakers who are real experts in their fields sharing their incite and knowledge.

I was kindly invited to speak on a session which will involve building an online business from concept through to a 12 month cashflow and final implementation within 60 minutes! I’ll be inviting a person from the audience to share their business idea and then we’ll build the domain out in front of everyone. It’s going to be fast, furious and a LOT of fun!

What I’m really looking forward at Namescon is the fact that the who’s who of the industry will be in attendance. I’ve already found my diary filling up with appointments with people from all over the world. I’ve found that there’s just nothing like sitting across the table from someone to get business really happening.

So despite the beautiful Australian summer I couldn’t resist jumping on another 24 hour plane journey to attend Namescon. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to catch up for a few drinks :-)

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moranmatthewp
Looking forward to attending your presentation Michael.
31 December 2014
mgilmour
It's going to be great to catch up with you again Matt!
31 December 2014
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End of Year Recap

A video reflecting on a number of projects, conferences and domain events in the last few months of the years. Topics covered include ICANN, managing domains and even the upcoming release of my new scifi novel!

I hope that you enjoy it and feel free to add your comments!

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Interview on Domain Name Wire

I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Andrew Allemann of Domain Name Wire and this Podcast is now available via the link below. I really enjoyed discussing the domain industry with Andrew as we explored a wide range of topics.

Some of the topics include:

  • The domain industry
  • Why Google is taking more
  • How to increase the earnings from your domain traffic
  • Doing something different with your domains
  • Why you will lose money by sending all of your traffic to a single parking company
  • The difference between parking companies

It was great being interviewed by Andrew as he asked some really inciteful question. He's been blogging and running Domain Name Wire for many, many years and has an incredible level of knowledge across the whole industry.

Click here to go and listen to the Podcast

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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. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.
Click here to arrange time with Michael
Click here to advertising on whizzbangsblog.com

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mgilmour
Good question Peter. I've been in a variety of businesses, everything from: - The music industry - Riding the Desktop Publishing r... Read More
02 December 2014
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The Evolution of Domain Parking

Domain parking is dead and should have been buried a long, long time ago. This is what I see written in domain forums over and over again. I’m left with two questions, “Why hasn’t it died?” and “What’s next?”

There are a number of reasons why domain parking hasn’t died and the first being that domain investors continue to support the business model. Let’s face it, all you have to do is change your nameservers and voila! Money starts pouring into your bank account…..that’s the theory anyway.

The reality is that I end up spending a huge amount of my time ensuring that ParkLogic clients have their nameservers set correctly and that the domains are actually still in the right parking accounts. When was the last time you audited all of your domains? Trust me when I say that about 10% of your revenue is being lost by not doing this.

Escrow.com

There is one thing for sure about domain parking is that it’s scalable. There are very few barriers to the number of domains that you can park but there are barriers to managing your domain portfolio. For example, at about 5,000 domains you will probably discover that vlookup in Excel becomes your best friend.....even if your domains are successfully parked.

Given the alternatives for domains with more than 1 unique visitor per day domain parking is actually incredibly profitable. Sure, you could build out a domain into a business but given the cost of development you better make sure that you choose the right one that will go gang busters and make a bucket of money to offset the development cost.

This conversation is all very interesting but what I’m really interested in is what’s next?

One option would be that all domainers suddenly decided to invest in development and take all of their domains out of parking and somehow build thousands of profitable sites.

I see a couple of barriers to this business model. The cost (as mentioned above) but more importantly the management time. Let’s imagine that you have a thousand sites, how do you manage them all so that you can effectively impact each one? This is a really tough ask and one that bears a lot of thinking about.

This causes me to think about the other side of the equation, the parking companies themselves. If you really think about it, all of them have roughly the same Google contracts (ignoring Yahoo companies) so they’re really competing on their technology….I like that!

So let's picture what a parking company does for business. They work really hard at securing a client for a trial with a great revenue share, guarantees or a stack of other inducements. Essentially the parking company is using their balance sheet to try and fund their sales process into traffic opportunities. Sounds good except that ultimately it's not very sustainable.

Let's continue this scenario. The domain investor moves their domains for the trial and due to differing time frames the parking company rolls the dice to find out if they perform as well as the provided baseline where the domains were previously parked. I can almost guarantee that the new parking company will perform better on some domains but for the vast majority there will be lower revenue…..which means overall the portfolio doesn’t perform as well.

Just as an aside, some unscrupulous parking providers may artificially inflate the numbers and hope the domain owner hangs around long enough that they can “take” some of the revenue back later on. This means that they are playing around with the revenue share AFTER the revenue share has been agreed.

Have you ever fallen in love with a parking company, taken your eye off the numbers and then discover that the revenue has declined considerably? What’s really not good is that the domainer typically doesn’t have any way of proving that this is actually happening.....this is the result of a non-transparent industry.

So now that the test is a bust what does the domainer do? They look for the greener grass and move again. This isn’t a good outcome for the parking company because they really have to wait about eighteen months before they can convince the domain owner to try them out again……and so the cycle begins.

Let me propose something really radical here…..and a little bit self-interested. The domain owners place all of their domains with an intelligent switching company like ParkLogic (remember I’m a founder) or they can spend about 8 years building their own. The traffic will then flow to the winning parking solution on a continuous basis and also sample to ensure that the winning solution is actually still the winner.

This is great news for the domainer! They no longer have to move their domains around from one company to another as it automatically happens.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of the parking company. Any new clients should be directed to use a system like this…..why you may ask? It’s really simple. Where they win, they get the traffic. Where they lose, they get regularly resampled. There is no longer an 18 month sales cycle, fancy deals etc. It just automatically happens.

What it also means is that the parking providers are now competing on their technology rather than sales muscle. So this means that more resources are migrated into being innovative through development and away from sales efforts.

The ultimate outcome is that the parking providers become wholesalers to companies that intelligently switch, optimise and add value to the traffic. The parking providers have maybe half a dozen customers and the rest are routed through these other companies.

Parking providers can continue with the status quo. This will mean a race to lower margins and spending the cash in their balance sheets on fancy deals…..only to find the client vanishes. I actually wouldn't recommend this approach.

The wholesaling model is the best solution for both parking companies AND domain owners because it gets to the true value added provided by the parking solutions and closer to the true value of the traffic. In my opinion, this is exactly the type of innovation that the domain parking industry requires.

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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. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.
Click here to arrange time with Michael
Click here to advertising on whizzbangsblog.com

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