Several hundred domainers, investors, service providers, and other domain name industry professionals met in New York Wednesday for the first full day of the TRAFFIC conference.
Wednesday was the first full day of the TRAFFIC conference in New York City, and reviews from attendees were mostly positive.
The day started with Monte Cahn of Moniker providing instructions for Thursday’s live domain name auction. The auction will start at 3PM EDT today. This auction has the potential to approach $10M in sales if a couple things happen. First, Moniker needs to sell a couple of the $1M+ domains. Second, it will need to sell a higher percentage of its silent domain auction lots than in previous auctions. There are a number of quality domains in the silent auction. Domain Name Wire will provide an update with key sales during the auction.
The afternoon sessions started with a panel of domain investors led by Jordan Rohan of RBC Capital Markets. Stuart Rabin of Jacobson Family Investments, an investor in iREIT, had a spirited debate with Miles Arnone of American Capital Strategies, an investor in GeoSign. To summarize: Rabin said non .com domains will have little value for the foreseeable future and he compared .com to real estate locations. A store in Manhattan on prime real estate is valuable (a dot.com). As you go further out in distance to Brooklyn it’s less valuable (another extension). As you go further still to farmland in Iowa it’s even less valuable. But Arnone pointed out that, if there were teleporting, you could go directly to that property in Iowa and its value would be comparable with the property in Manhattan. The internet allows us to teleport to any extension. Both agreed that .com is king for now, but disagreed on how long it may be before there’s some parity between extensions.
GeoSign owns good domains like Hockey.com. Arnone said a good domains is a great starting point, but if you create a better hockey web site on a lower quality hockey domain, it will still do better than Hockey.com in the long run. That seemed to be a running theme in conversations yesterday. There’s a lot of hubris amongst domainers about how it’s necessary to have a good domain to have a successful web site. That’s simply not true. (I’ll provide some examples and my thoughts on this in a later article.)
The team from Dark Blue Sea (Fabulous) proved once again that it is a thought leader in the domain space. Dan Warner presented his vision for the domain aftermarket of the future. A number of registrars are teaming up to make inter-registrar transfers easier as part of this vision. Bravo to Warner for pushing this forward, and more on this later.
After a couple more sessions, attendees were treated to dinner and then shuttled to Hawaiian Tropic Zone on Broadway for a party hosted by TrafficZ.
Other show tidbits:
It appears that show promoter Rick Schwartz and DomainSponsors’ Ron Sheridan have buried the hatchet. The two were in a spat after DomainSponsor co-sponsored a party in New York Tuesday evening. The two were seen at the TrafficZ party sharing pats on the back and smiling…
…Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has been spotted at the show, but I haven’t seen any other Fortune 500 companies. It’s unclear if Microsoft is here from a defensive standpoint (working to squash trademark infringers) or offensive (working to get parking companies to use its new advertising platform)…