I attended the DOMAINfest Global conference this week in Hollywood, California. There were a great number of learning sessions on domain name acquisition, and value-driving strategies including build-out and monetization. Keynote speaker Steve Wozniak shared notable stories of the early days of Apple Computer and its enduring culture of innovation.
I was part of a discussion panel on “Buying and selling domain names” during the Domainer Bootcamp sessions on Day 1. The other panelists included Chris Sivertsen of Oversee.net (moderator), Anthos Chrysanthou of Lease Domains, Ron Jackson of DNJournal.com, Monte Cahn of Moniker.com/SnapNames.com, and Kathy Nielsen of SEDO.
DOMAINfest Panel - "The Art of Buying & Selling Domain Names"
The panelists’ perspective of how to navigate through difficult economic conditions was of particular interest to the attendees. I had some good news to share in that regard. While the world was on recession watch for most of 2008, .ORG domain counts have grown through the 7 million mark, continuing its steady climb over a number of years. As notable were the specific results for .ORG in the secondary market, which reinforce and confirm the strong brand of .ORG. According to the DNJournal.com list of 2008 Global Contenders sales (non .com gTLDs), .ORG had 28 notable sales in the top 100, and a greater number of six-figure sales than .net domain names.
The discussion panel also explored and identified opportunities that exist in a crowded domain name space. The guidance that I can provide is to consider .ORG from two angles. First, .ORG’s domain count of over 7 million names versus the .com count at over 70 million tells you that there is a great inventory of available names on .ORG. Secondly, when considering a TLD, observe the overall diversity of names that have a track record of doing well on the secondary market. With .ORG, it is not just the simple one-word generic names that are drawing the attention of domain name investments. There are a variety of two-word names, Geo-based names, as well as French and Spanish names that have commanded a high value in the Top 100 list. .ORG is a strong and an up-and-coming TLD in the secondary market. It is increasingly attracting investment, valued content, and high traffic.
I’d like to thank Monte Cahn for his recommendation in participating in the panel discussion and to the entire DOMAINfest team for a very well-run and engaging conference.