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The Domain Industry According To …

February 15, 2010

Here is a consolidated recap of the 2010 Domainer Mardi Gras panel sessions according to the strongest points I took away from each of the speakers.

I highly recommend reviewing the speakers bio page to familiarize yourself with everyone on the panels. These are people at the forefront of our industry and they have a lot to say.

According to Michael and David Castello there are three basic ingredients for building a profitable website:

  1. Offer compelling enough content to drive people to want to visit your site
  2. Once there give them a reason to stay
  3. Give them reason to come back, again and again

According to Bruce Marler you can build a successful site on any TLD (top level domain) and it is not so much the domain’s extension that matters but knowing your market, having a solid business strategy, and developing and executing a proper marketing plan based on that.

According to Andrew Allemann the decisions and policies coming out of ICANN have by far the biggest impact on the business of domaining yet the majority of domainers have no real interest in following these issues nor participating at times when feedback is called for from ICAAN on new policies.

According to Sean Stafford it is still possible to do very well with reselling domains so long as you keep your price expectations realistic in order to focus on high turn-around, otherwise you risk having a lot of your inventory sitting on the shelf, collecting dust and renewal fees.

According to Gregg McNair the domain industry is in trouble and he asks what we can do to get more people involved and in support of the ICA (Internet Commerce Association) to deal with threatening issues.

According to Mike Rodenbaugh new TLDs only have a real shot at becoming successful if they begin to be put into use (developed) and not merely held by speculators, and that since no one is more vested in the success of a TLD than the registry they should be allowed the right to reserve certain domains for development.

According to Ken Hansen of Neustar a TLD is a success if it provides positive value to the consumer which he sees as reflected in the number of registrations (adoption) as well as active sites built on that extension.

According to Michael Berkens there are other ways to measure the success of a TLD and one need also look to the domain aftermarket activity and resale pricing as a guage.

According to Jeffrey Eckhaus domain registries should be allowed to operate as registrars for their own TLDs and that this would not make for an undue competitive advantage since he claims they would not seek to undercut other registrars who otherwise they would not continue to carry the TLD.

According to Donny Simonton of Parked.com, Yahoo! feeds are currently paying out 8% higher than Google, and the company will continue to align with whatever is generating the most revenue for their clients.

Note that these were just some of the participating speakers, although everyone involved made strong contributions to the discussions.

In fact, Ron Jackson of DN Journal stated the following in this year’s coverage of Domainer Mardi Gras:

The opening day panel discussions were also one of the most pleasant surprises I have had at a conference in a long time. Naturally, people are going to expect that a conference tied to the world famous Mardi Gras celebration is going to be all about the partying. However, Michael Ward and his staff put together some of the best content I have seen anywhere on the conference circuit.

If you’d like to read a full wrap up of the panel discussions, DN Journal will be publishing a comprehensive conference review article by sometime next week.

Also as a reminder the live showcase auction is still running until Fat Tuesday (February 16th)..

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