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

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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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
Guest — page howe
pragmatic??? i think you lose the concept Vinf Cerf gave .org to the Internet Society, then said we should cash out. Now we've w... Read More
07 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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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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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
Guest — Matt Wegrzyn
Domain traffic monetization is certainly not for everyone. As a a matter of fact, it's not for most people. Here's my best advice ... Read More
21 October 2019
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