Displaying posts under "Domain Services"
DomainSponsor’s annual domain name conference is just a few weeks away.
This year’s date-shifted DomainFest conference is less than a month away, kicking off on March 31.
I just booked my travel for the event, which is one of many domain conferences I plan to go to this year.
With a very busy conference circuit, I’m being selective about which events I attend. Ultimately I included DomainFest as one of them for five reasons:
1. The show has a long history of putting on a professionally run event.
2. Given the long list of sponsors, I think the event will be well attended (even if smaller than in previous years).
3. The agenda includes a number of sessions and speakers I’d like to see, including Akram Atallah.
4. It’s in L.A., which is an easy (and cheap) trip for me.
5. With everything going on in the industry as new TLDs launch, I feel like waiting for the next conference is just too long.
Between name collisions, registry reserved domains, and premium pricing, the best new TLD opportunities are difficult to find.
I think there are some opportunities for domainers to make money with new top level domain names, but they are limited.
My thinking is that some domain names that can be obtained for under $100 with low renewal fees can be sold within 1-5 years for low $1,000s to the right buyer. It’s very risky, and with typical sell through rates I’ll be selective about what I pick up.
You might disagree. But that’s not the point of this post, anyway.
The point is how difficult it is to get any of these good names in new TLDs. Even when you can get them, expect to pay more than regular prices.
This week four of Donuts’ domain names revert to non-Early Access pricing: .careers, .photos, .recipes, and .shoes. I came up with a list of what I think are 17 of the better domain names for these extensions and then set about to pre-register them…
7 of the 17 are on name collision lists and 5 others are registry reserved. That leaves only 5 to go after.
All five of the “available” domains are premium domains. Depending on which register I choose, the annual renewal fees will be $200-$400 on some of these domains.
That’s a high carrying cost. It means the registry is basically taking the profit I might be able to make as a domain investor. It makes sense for the registry. I don’t blame them. But it also means it doesn’t make sense for me to register the domains.
Here’s what I checked:
healthcare.careers – premium
nursing.careers – premium
banking.careers – collision
hotel.careers – premium
finance.careers – collision
download.photos – collision
stock.photos – registry reserved
buy.photos – collision
healthy.recipes – registry reserved
vegetarian.recipes – registry reserved
lowcarb.recipes – registry reserved
find.recipes – premium
running.shoes – collision
walking.shoes – collision
basketball.shoes – collision
buy.shoes – registry reserved
find.shoes – premium
.CO creates its own home on the road for SXSW Interactive.
.CO went small the first time it came to SXSW Interactive in Austin. It was more of a scouting trip than a marketing one. I remember catching up with the company at the W Hotel that year. .CO Internet CEO Juan Diego Calle said “Wow, this is big”.
.CO has had a major presence at SXSW ever since then. It’s the perfect event for a company that targets startups.
This year it’s going bigger and better with its own “pop-up HQ” right next to the W Hotel.
The .CO HQ will be open at 317 W 3rd St March 7-9. On March 7 and 9 the headquarters will offer coffee in the morning, Torchy’s Tacos at lunch, and locally-distilled Tito’s Vodka in the afternoon for happy hour. On Saturday afternoon the .CO HQ will “go mobile” to Startup Oasis at Old School Bar & Grill.
Each day also features panels and speakers. For example, John Battelle and Gary Vaynerchuk will hold a session at the .CO HQ Friday. .CO promises a surprise announcement during the session.
To get in the door you need to (at minimum) join .CO’s VIP program.
This is a smart idea for .CO. SXSW Interactive is an overwhelming event. With over 30,000 official attendees and 14 venues, sometimes you just need a place to kick your feet up, recharge your phone, and take a break.
Lots of competition creates a dilemma for attendees.
The domain name conference circuit is undergoing a big shakeup in 2014 because there are a lot more options.
A lot of the new(er) options are directly related to the rollout of new top level domain names. Money is flowing because of the rollout, and a lot of new faces in the industry are seeking to learn, meet people, and strike deals.
The huge number of conferences means that prospective attendees will have to pick and choose. Few will go to all of them, whether it be for financial or scheduling reasons. Conferences will have to work harder than ever to attract registrants.
In my opinion, NamesCon made the biggest impact on this year’s circuit, directly affecting other shows that attract domainers (i.e. TRAFFIC and DomainFest).
The January show snagged close to 600 registrants, mostly made up of domainers and new TLD applicants. The timing was perfect and the low price was a huge draw.
I assume there will be a show around the same time next year. Will there be another one later this year? That could make things even more interesting.
DomainSponsors’ DomainFest has gone through a transition. Last year it changed its name to WebFest. And due to layoffs at Oversee.net, some of the people that were involved in the show in previous years weren’t around last February. Then, after last year’s conference, one of the big faces behind the conference, Aaron Kvitek, left.
I assume that’s a big reason this year’s show was postponed, as lack of continuity makes things harder.
It’s back on for this year under the name DomainFest, but the date has shifted to March 31. How much will the date change, relatively short notice, and the “NamesCon effect” affect attendance? Will taking place right after the ICANN meeting in Singapore also dent attendance?
The key for DomainSponsor is not that it attract the most attendees, but that it connect with its core clients. I think it will achieve this, even if the show doesn’t attract as many people as before.
Traffic is scheduled in Las Vegas in May and in Miami in October.
The biggest question right now is what effect NamesCon will have on another show happening in the same city just four months later. Traffic is a much more expensive show, too.
An elephant in the room is Rick Schwartz’s attitude toward new top level domain names. On the one hand, Rick speaks his mind, which is why some people like him. On the other hand, he’s alienated many potential sponsors and attendees of his show.
I’m sure Rick and his business partner Howard Neu know that Rick’s writing about new TLDs means hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost attendance and sponsorships. Some attendees will like that and go just for that reason, but it will also push away many others.
The shows are also (again) close to ICANN meetings, which might affect attendance.
ICANN shows are also becoming a big draw for domain investors, and the locations are pretty good this year.
A meeting in Singapore takes place in March, it goes to London in June, and then comes home to Los Angeles in October.
ICANN shows are free. All attendees pay for is transportation, lodging, and food. They also attract over 1,000 people. Domain investors are sure to weigh these factors in their decision on which shows to attend this year.
On top of this Momentum events has already scheduled two Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress events. These are geared to new TLD players. But other conferences are also vying for these attendees, which means attendees will have to make tough decisions.
I was contemplating going to the early March event in New York. But I probably don’t want to do both that event and DomainFest in the same month. In my case, I also have to add SXSW to my March Calendar. Many registries will be there.
Then there’s the new DomainsCon show, although I believe that’s targeted to yet another audience.
The point is there are a lot of shows vying for a select audience. I’m not here to pick winners and losers in the conference business, as I truly believe that each show is right for a certain audience.
In my case, I weigh both money and my time (primarily the latter) in choosing which conferences to attend.
Whichever conferences you select, I hope to see you there.
Service for blocking trademark domain names is very similar to Donuts’.
Rightside Registry announced its own version of the Domain Protected Marks List (DPML) service last week.
With the service, trademark owners can block their marks from being registered as a second level domain name in any of the top level domain names Rightside runs.
If the name and the concept sound very familiar to Donuts’ DPML, that’s because Rightside Registry also runs the backend technical services for all of Donuts domain names.
And this relationship between Rightside and Donuts is one of the key reasons trademark owners should consider using Rightside’s DPML. Rightside has rights to essentially “acquire” a number of the domain names Donuts originally applied for. So far it has done this with .futbol and .reviews.
Once a domain is transferred form Donuts to Rightside, it is no longer protected by Donuts’ DPML service. So it makes sense for brand owners to purchase both services – both from a cost standpoint and not having to keep track of these TLD transfers.
Although wholesale pricing hasn’t been disclosed, domain name registrar Encirca is offering the service for $500/year. (Currently the service is only available for one year, but Rightside promises to extend that later.)
Donuts’ service retails for around $3,000 for a five year block and it covers many more domains. But again, many of the domains Donuts’ applied for will later be shifted to Rightside.
Both services allow trademark owners to activate any of the blocked domain names for an additional fee.