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. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battl...eframe. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments. More

Saturday Musings - Serious Thinking

Is it time for some serious thinking?

For just over a week I’ve been laid up sick and had just enough energy to press the buttons on the TV remote control. Last weekend I found sleep virtually non-existent as the pain my throat from coughing kept me awake….but there was a silver lining to my incapacitation.

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Being ill gave me a lot of time to do some serious thinking. This can be quite a dangerous activity when you’re wondering whether your lungs are about to shoot out of your mouth in yet another coughing fit but being a brave sort, I persisted with my mental dalliance.

Unlike Douglas Adams who wrote The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy I didn’t come to an epiphany that the answer to the ultimate question was 42 but I did realise a few things.

The first is that I’ve allowed myself to become a bit slack. This has nothing to do with work ethic (I work really hard) but more about being slack about how I've been thinking. It’s the old adage of working smarter rather than harder.

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mgilmour
Yes we do monetise .au domains....although given the changes with auda I'm not sure how long we will be able to. In terms of perfo... Read More
12 April 2019
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auDA is Creating Yet Another Mess

AUDA is creating yet another mess....

I just had a read of the changes that the Australian governing authority (AUDA) is looking to introduce to the .AU namespace. I must admit that I found myself quite perplexed that they have no idea what is going on in the domain space.

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The single biggest problem with AUDA is they are the police, judge, jury and executioner of the .AU namespace. What do I mean by this?

AUDA actively trawls the .AU namespace looking for domains that may fall foul of one of their policies. When they find one, they demand the registrant justify why they should keep the domain and if AUDA is not satisfied with the response they turn the domain off.

Let me share with you my experience with this process. A number of years ago I used to own around 2,000 .AU domains, I dropped the lot of them and would now encourage anyone that owns a .au domain to do the same.

Even though I owned generic domains (ie. no TM violations) AUDA in their infinite wisdom decided to take a domain off me because they had researched the fact that a New Zealand company with a similar name to my domain may want to come to Australia. Completely ridiculous.

The fact that the New Zealand company didn’t exist prior to me registering the domain is beside the point. After complaining (and the domain turned off) AUDA then threatened to investigate each and every one of my .AU domains by using Google (a dynamic search engine) as the arbitrator of whether I could keep my domains. Like I said, I dropped the lot and invested my money in other namespaces where I had security over my assets.

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mgilmour
I'm not sure why the registry feels the need to be policing the TLD....and in such an arbitrary manner. There is a great amount of... Read More
05 April 2019
Wolftalker
Right on Michael. Good piece
07 April 2019
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Making the BIG Money!

Is the world using the credit card too much?

I just read a newspaper article that suggested the “R” word is starting to be used in financial circles around the world. What’s the “R” word you may ask? Recession. If the world heads into a recession, then is this going to have a significant impact on domain investors earnings? You bet it will!

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I remember reading an article posted by an industry blogger (not me) just post the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 that outlined that it was great being a domain investor because we were immune to the global meltdown. I must admit that I scratched my head and posted my own article that rebuffed this position.

The domain industry IS part of the global business community and in fact, in many respects we underpin much of it. When businesses are suffering then guess what! They spend less on advertising which depresses earnings per click rates and spend less (or not at all) as much on acquiring domains as they protect their cash.

Just this past week the German 10-year bond rate went negative. What this means is that you have to pay the government to look after your money. This sounds crazy until you realise that the recent issue was oversubscribed by 2.6 times. This suggests there is a flight of cash away from riskier higher yield paying countries (eg. Italy and Greece) as investors are more concerned about keeping their money rather than receiving earnings.

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Saturday Musings - Seek First to Understand

Looking at a bottle of wine from a different perspective.

Understanding another person, whether they are a family member, work colleague or even a close friend is the first stage in developing the relationship further. It’s easy to gloss over issues when everything is going well but much harder when the rubber really hits the road.

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I’ve found that in a tense situation the first stage in trying to understand someone is to really listen. Don’t just hear the words a person is conveying but try and listen to their intent. Is it to build up or to tear down? Even if the other person is yelling at you, they may be doing so because they really care.

The main reason why people try and engage in any sort of discussion is because they care enough about the situation or person and are willing to put themselves on the line. If you’re having a clash over an issue with someone at work then ask yourself the simple question, “Why?” It’s the rare individual that is just destructive and more often than not the other person just perceives the issues from a different angle.

For example, if you put a bottle of wine in the middle of the table and ask two people on opposite sides to describe what they are seeing you will get completely different answers. While both may agree on the shape of the bottle one will describe the beautiful artistic front label and the other the detailed legal notes on the back label.

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Rawgi
I swear you should be a philosopher. It is rare indeed to take the time to see what the other party is really trying to convey. Is... Read More
12 April 2019
mgilmour
Thank you Rawgi for your kind comment. BTW - have you seen em8er? Mark Kern from FF is developing it and it looks almost identical... Read More
15 April 2019
Rawgi
Yes I have seen and have been a backer for Em8er for some time. I registered there right before FireFall took it's last dive. It ... Read More
15 April 2019
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The Challenge of Development

One of the dashboards of my new development.

About ten years ago I wrote an article that the holy grail of domain monetisation is the ability to manage mass developments and for management to be able to have a meaningful impact on them. In this article I hope to share some of my own thoughts and experiences on developing a platform to achieve this goal.

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I should say from the outset that one of the great things about traffic monetisation is that it’s very scalable and requires comparatively little work to manage. I also don't believe in development for developments sake but rather I view development as less about a technological build and more about building sustainable businesses.

Domain investors often have thousands, if not tens of thousands of domain names so any viable solution needs to be able to tick a two high level boxes:
1.    Scalability
2.    Management Impact


Scalability

Obviously, any solution needs to be able to handle the traffic demand on the servers but what I’m talking about here is less about Internet traffic (ie. depth) and more about numbers of domains (breadth).

Platforms such as Joomla and Wordpress are ideal for building a single website but domain investors are looking at potentially building all of their assets into valuable properties. This change in mindset forced me to evaluate and ultimately build a new type of platform that could overcome the challenges of less scalable systems.

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