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 – What’s Happened to Christmas?

The reason for the season....

My wife, Roselyn and I were chatting yesterday, and she mentioned in passing that there seemed to be an effort by some people to remove Christmas out of Christmas. Since "Merry Xmas" didn't appear to catch-on “Merry Christmas” is now being supplant it with “Happy Holidays”.

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Although there isn’t anything inherently wrong with wishing someone a “happy holiday” I do believe that we need to take a step back and consider what is happening here. In order to do this, we need to reflect upon what this season is all about.

Christmas isn’t just about presents, eating copious amounts of food and holidays. At its roots, Christmas is a Christian religious celebration that centres upon the birth of Jesus. It’s about God reaching down to man, not as a judge but out of love by sending his son as the saviour for the world. Whether you believe the above or not is irrelevant to the millions of people that have this conviction in their heart.

If we are to be respectful towards Christians then I believe we need to call this period what it is, Christmas. Similarly, to be respectful to Muslims we should not try and rename Ramadan to something else or the Hindu festival, Diwali, as the “Happy Light Show”.

This would suggest that to make the least offense the politically correct lobby should insist that everyone says, “Merry Christmas”. The question I began to ponder is why don’t they? I could almost guarantee that if we renamed Hannukkah to something else then the Jewish community would be appalled and there would rightly be a voice of protest.

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Saturday Musings - How to Become a Success

How to become successful.

The “success” industry is worth billions of dollars a year selling seminars, videos, books and the like. They peddle guaranteed instant success formulas that for some reason first require you to fork out your hard-earned cash. Most truly successful people don’t apply any of this snake-oil, so what is it that they’ve discovered?

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Several years ago, I found myself on the platform at a conference being interviewed about what it takes to create a successful blog. It was at the height of the SEO (search engine optimisation) hysteria and as I looked across the audience, I could see they were hoping for some formula that would guarantee they would become successful.

Maybe I would say that I incorporated a particular number of hot keywords into articles or ensured that each one was of a particular length. This would provide them what they needed to become successful!

I turned to the moderator and asked, “Are you sure you want to know?”

“Yes,” came the reply.

I looked across the audience and said, “It’s incredibly easy to create a successful blog.”

By this time the moderator was getting a little impatient and asked, “Well, what’s the secret?”

“Write two to three articles a week for ten years.”

A groan could be heard across the auditorium and the moderator looked at me with a particular level of disappointment. This isn’t what anyone wanted to hear. They wanted to hear that with a wave of my hand I could turn them all into successful bloggers.

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Ategy.com
In 1999 through early 2000s I had a huge Club Music / DJ community. I grew it to 35,000 members in 2-3 years. People tossed arou... Read More
16 December 2019
mgilmour
Hi there, Let me first thank you for the kind comments about my blog. Secondly, I'd be happy for you to publish the list of domain... Read More
17 December 2019
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Saturday Musings - Building a Strong Relationship

A great marriage is like a slice of heaven on earth.

I was at a Christmas party the other night and was having a chat with a person when the conversation moved from the weather to, how have I maintained my strong marriage. The questions caused me to reflect upon what I’ve learned over the last 32 years and how simple decisions have contributed to my own wonderful relationship.

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Learn about your spouse
Roselyn and I had been married for a few years and one night we decided to have a movie and munchies night at home. I rented  a video (remember doing that!) and picked up some chips and chocolate to enjoy together.

Upon arriving home, my wife looked downcast and said, “You know I don’t like Salt and Vinegar chips.”

I must admit that I was completely stunned at this comment but not for the reasons you may initially assume. You see, I was stunned because after all the time of dating, being engaged and now married for several years I had not paid attention to this simplest of thing about the most important person in the world to me.

It was then and there that I decided to learn everything I could about this incredible woman that had decided to live her life with me. In fact, we both decided to learn about each other and what we discovered was that our love grew exponentially in the process.

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Rawgi
After divorcing about 35 years ago, my ex and I remained friends, always helping each other in times of need. Now 45 years to the... Read More
23 December 2019
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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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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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Saturday Musings - Taking Responsibility

There is meaning in taking responsibility.

Taking responsibility for your own life rather than blame everyone else for your circumstances is quite a novel concept for some individuals. After all, why make sensible decisions when you can blame it on your employer, the government or family members?

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My wife and I were watching the news the other day and “You’ve got to kidding me!” escaped from our lips several times. It seemed there was one article after another where people blamed everyone else for their situation.

The first was an automotive worker that was complaining because two years earlier the company he worked for had to close down production. He was complaining because since getting his generous pay-out he hadn’t been able to find a job with comparable conditions.

The reporter took the tack that the government should be doing something for this hard done by auto-worker. They even had a union official giving the guy a hug outside the closed down factory.

Let’s think about that for a minute. His previous company had CLOSED because it was unprofitable to do manufacturing in Australia due to the ridiculous benefits the workers received. Any company that offered comparable benefits would soon be out of business as well!

Essentially the auto-worker unions kept on demanding more and more until the car companies (they have all exited manufacturing from Australia) couldn't pay.....and you guessed it, they closed down. If the reporter was half decent they would have suggested the auto-workder demand reparations from the union rather than the government.

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Rawgi
This blaming attitude goes all the way to children blaming the parents for the way they turned out. Not changing the subject, b... Read More
01 December 2019
mgilmour
All great points!
03 December 2019
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