News, views and what I choose to dos

Tag : domainfest

How much do you

Enough to pay $12,000 for it? I just got the results for the Domainfest first-day auction, described as “very strong”…

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Adam Epstein wins Domain-pitch-fest

Just an update on my previous post – Adam Epstein from AdMarketplace won the first round of the PITCHfest. The…

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How d’you like my shiny thing? – Domainfest 2010

Whenever you hear editors decrying the death of newsprint – and the Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger did exactly that this week…

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Domainfest 2010 begins

I’m off to Domainfest 2010 in Santa Monica this morning, hampered slightly by a dreadful cold. Should be interesting –…

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Google gets rough ride at Domainfest

Dangerous degree of arrogance backfires

You know it’s bad when you start to feel sorry for the person on stage. Hal Bailey must have wondered what the hell happened. Coming to DOMAINfest Hollywood as the man in charge of AdSense for Domains, Hal was here to tell the assembled masses that Google was going to allow them to make money while sitting on their arses.

This incredible gift was going to come with some rules though: domainers would have to clean up their game. They would have to post original – i.e. not stolen – content on all the domains they owned, and they would have to provide a valuable informational service to their fellow Netizens. If they did that, they would find Google warm in their embrace; if they did not then Google would not help them and they would be out in the cold.

You can imagine Hal planning out this gentle lecture in his head before taking the stage with fellow Google employee Matt Parry: tough love but they would thank him for it later. It didn’t quite pan out like that.

Instead, the one-hour “Google Perspective: Winning over the Advertiser and Optimizing Site Performance through Analytics” was a lesson that Google executives would do well to learn from. Customers are customers and not just grateful users of services – no matter how much market share you have.

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DOMAINfest auction a wash-out

We first learned that the domain name market was far from stable around eight years ago when the dotcom crash turned a booming market into dust in just a few months.

Over the years, that market has grown in strength: its stability saw people invest in advanced systems for buying and selling domains, and the never-ending demand for Internet sites, coupled with the fact the the number of top-level domains stayed the same and so the domain space became smaller, meant that prices increased steadily to the point where tens of thousands of domains became worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Well, the DOMAINfest domain auction has just demonstrated that the domain name space may be more stable but it ranks alongside art, rather than houses, when it comes to property.

In short, the auction was a bit of a wash-out, with none of the 200+ domains available exceeding expectations; most hitting the bottom-end of their estimated value; and a very large number meeting no bidders and being pulled off the floor.

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203 domains; four worth more than $1 million

The big event at domaining conferences is the auction – almost like an online cattle show – where proud owners get to show off their biggest beasts and wait in silent anticipation about the huge pay-off.

I’m at DOMAINfest in Hollywood and it being Hollywood, there is some glitz and glamour to proceedings. The auctions people are dressed in tuxedos, swirling lights, a booming PA piping music and MCs, bars in the corners and excited chatter.

For an economy in the doldrums, the online auction market looks healthy (we shall see in a minute I suppose). There are 203 domains up for auction. No less than 18 of them are going for between $100,000 and $250,000; 4 for between $250,000 and $750,000; and no less than four domains with an “opening bid range” of over $1 million.

So what are those domains?

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DOMAINfest pictures

I’ll be taking pictures at DOMAINfest today and sticking them on Flickr – and possibly here – with a CreativeCommons license (free non-commercial use; accreditation required). The stream is below:

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Here at DOMAINfest, Hollywood

Today I’m at DOMAINfest in Hollywood. It’s the last day of a two-day conference all about the domaining side of the domain name industry – the sale and resale of domain names and associated websites.

Doug Brent, ICANN COO, is here to talk about policy issues and the work ICANN is doing this year – some of which is likely to impinge quite heavily on this fresh industry. But I wanted to come and learn about this aspect of the DNS and hopefully encourage people to get involved in ICANN.

So, if you are here and you see me, come over and chat. I’ll be here and writing blog posts throughout the day.

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