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10|30|2007 04:32 pm EDT

NameMedia announces partnership with NetworkSolutions

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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According to this press release visitors to the Network Solutions website will now also be able to purchase premium names from the NameMedia network of domains, including AfternicDLS.

10|28|2007 09:00 pm EDT

ICANN meeting in LA begins, 1/4 to 1/3 of the meetings closed to the public

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Events, ICANN / Policy

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Today the ICANN meeting in Los Angeles begins. With Vincent Cerf stepping down as ICANN chairman, will this also be the continuation of change? While many additional members of the domain industry are attending this year’s conference, it still looks like ICANN would like to keep many things under cover as Karl Auerbach notices on his CaveBear Blog:

Wow, somewhere between one quarter and one third of all of the meetings are closed to the public! Well, we have long known that ICANN takes its responsibility to be open and transparent with more than a few grains of salt. But this seems far more secrecy than is normal, even for ICANN.

But look at this this: The meeting of the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) is closed to the public! The meeting of the ICANN’s company union is closed to its own membership. One would hope that this is a misprint. (Not that it matters much – I consider the ALAC to be a fraud upon the public and merely a means for ICANN to have a story, plausible to those who don’t dig deeper, that ICANN has a means for the public to have a say in what ICANN does.)

The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) and several of it’s members will be attending the ICANN meeting as well.

The author expects changes coming out of this meeting. One of these changes will most likely be related to purchasing companies that own existing registrars. These changes are based upon the Registerfly disaster, a registrar that went out of business and left it’s registrants without the ability to renew or manage their names. Registerfly had also purchased an existing registrar, Unified Names, in order to become ICANN accredited. The contract modifications will most likely mean that a company that buys an existing registrar will also have to meet certain ICANN requirements.

10|26|2007 03:02 pm EDT

Marchex Names Nicolas J. Hanauer Vice Chairman of its Board of Directors

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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SEATTLE (Business Wire EON) October 25, 2007 — Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHX) (NASDAQ:MCHXP), a local advertising company and leading publisher of local content, today announced that it has named Nicolas J. Hanauer vice chairman of its Board of Directors. A pioneer in the online industry, Hanauer was the founder and chairman of aQuantive (formerly Avenue A Media, Inc.), a leading global digital marketing company, which was acquired by Microsoft in July 2007. He also previously served as its CEO.

Hanauer has extensive experience building and investing in leading companies. In 1995, he became a founding investor in Amazon.com and served as a board advisor until 2000. He founded aQuantive in 1996 and served as its CEO from June 1998 to September 1999 and chairman of the board from June 1998 until its acquisition by Microsoft in July 2007. In 1998, he co-founded Gear.com, which was later purchased by Overstock.com. Hanauer is currently a partner at Second Avenue Partners, a Seattle-based venture capital firm he co-founded in 2000.

A Seattle resident, Hanauer received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Washington. He currently serves as a director or board advisor to HouseValues.com, Pacific Coast Feather Company, the Initu group, and Qliance.

[Press Release]

10|24|2007 04:41 pm EDT

Godaddy Signature Domain Auction List Announced

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Aftermarket, Domain Auction, Registrars

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GodaddyGodaddy.com has released the final list of domain names to be auctioned off in their new Signature Domain Auctions beginning November 6th. The list of 30 domains was compiled from submissions from the Godaddy website. Godaddy put up a page about the Signature Domain Auctions earlier this year and have been vetting submissions and preparing for the release since the announcement.

The auction list includes several one-word .com domain names and one 2-letter .com domain, YB.com . There are also six .mobi domains included in the auction. The addition of the .mobi domains comes as no surprise with the release of the Signature Auction being on the heels of 13 .mobi domains selling for high prices at the TRAFFIC auction in Florida.

Godaddy is typically known as a low-cost retail domain name registrar. Godaddy currently runs an after-market auction selling expiring domains at TDNAM.com and has partnered with Fabulous.com to sell domains through the Domain Distribution Network. The addition of the premium domain auction to the Godaddy offerings shows a concerted effort to aggressively enter the domain name after-market.

In a previous press release on the Godaddy website, Bob Parsons, founder and chief executive of the domain name registrar talked about the auctions

“We’ve said it many times – domain names are real estate of the 21st century,” said Bob Parsons, Founder & CEO of GoDaddy.com. “We wanted to give people a chance to secure some prime Internet space through a fast-paced, easy to use auction.”

and in the recent release about the aucitons he says

“We have some impressive domain names in this auction. We were inundated with submissions for listings, but selected only the most memorable and coveted. We also worked to provide a good variety of names for a wide range of price points.�

The format to these auctions seems to be different than most domain auctions. According to the press relase “The domain names will be auctioned one at a time. There is no time limit to each auction. Once the bidding stops, the auction ends. A moderator will be on hand in a live-chat setting to answer questions potential bidders may have. ”

It’s never been a problem for the domain auction sites and events to get domain submissions for auctions, as Parsons found out, but sorting through and finding good domains at good prices is a daunting task. A great list of domains with good reserve prices and an efficient, trustworthy auction platform is a sure fire way to get professional domain investors interested. Looks like the Godaddy team has a good list which makes for a good start in that area, hopefully the reserves are reasonable to increase the interest level.

One interesting advantage Godaddy has in entering the premium domain auction space is their scale. The most important job for an auctioneer is to market the auctions in order to get as many bidders as possible. As the #1 domain registrar, Godaddy has a huge end-user customer base to market these domains to, which might provide an interest level not seen at other domain auction sites or events. It will be interesting to see how these auctions turn out with the different format, potentially larger pool of bidders and currently unknown reserve prices.

Here is the list of domains to be auctioned :
1x.com
Apartments.mobi
BargainBuy.com
BeautyCounter.com
BestPhone.com
BestService.com
Bob.com
Campaign2008.com
CollegeFootball.mobi
Dentists.mobi
DietAids.com
Earl.com
Even.com
ForeignTravel.com
Grapes.com
HDTVShop.com
Homes.mobi
HowToInvest.com
Maillist.com
Media.mobi
MobileSecurity.com
Moving.mobi
RoadWork.com
Smoked.com
SportUtility.com
TopBeaches.com
TravelUpdate.com
VirtualServer.com
WhyHybrid.com
YB.com

10|23|2007 01:36 pm EDT

Verisign to Profit from Rootserver Data?

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Editorial, Featured, News, Registries

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Traffic WatchAccording to sources, Verisign, the operator of the generic TLDs .COM & .NET registry, is considering selling access to selected root dns server lookup data to registrars. The root servers are what make domain names work on the Internet, meaning that many domain queries hit these servers on their way to a site or an email recipient.

Why is this data so interesting? It contains the majority of failed lookups, meaning the Verisign nameservers will be hit and log the query, when someone enters a domain name that does not exist. While many domain-tasters have obtained this information directly from ISPs, getting this directly from Verisign would be a step up the chain, since Verisign manages two of the 13 root name servers. (more…)

10|19|2007 10:33 pm EDT

“The Next Great American Band’s” Domainer Connection

by Adam Strong in Categories: Miscellaneous

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the likes of youIf you are a DomainSponsor.com publisher partner, you might know Joe Higgins (far right of pic). He’s an account rep for the domain monetization company. Joe also is the drummer for a band, The Likes of You. The Los Angeles-based band made it through the Fox reality show “The Next Great American Band”. The show debuted on Fox this evening with a variety of bands competing in a competition modeled after the popular Fox show American Idol. The show featured a short clip of the band making it through to the next round of the competition. Congrats guys! I hope to hear more of the music in future episodes. I learned about Joe and his shot at stardom at TRAFFIC last week. Joe is my account rep at DomainSponsor and a very cool guy. Best of luck Joe and The Likes of You. You guys have the my vote.

Photo courtesy Next Great American Band

10|19|2007 06:12 pm EDT

DOC renews .US contract with Neustar

by Adam Strong in Categories: Alternate Extensions

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neustarThe Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced the renewal of Neustar’s contract to manage the .US registry. The .US domain is the country code top-level domain for the United States (usTLD), but has always played second-fiddle to the more popular .com extension.

The contract involves a three-year agreement with two one-year options. The NTIA is part of the Department of Commerce and is responsible for the development of domestic and international telecommunications policy for the Executive Branch.

“Neustar’s bid met our selection criteria and we are confident of its abilities to manage the .us domain space. NTIA takes seriously its responsibility to ensure the stability and security of the .us domain for the benefit of the nation’s Internet community,� said NTIA Assistant Secretary John Kneuer. “Therefore, we will continue supervising administration of the usTLD to achieve those goals, and will work closely with Neustar to support the domain’s growth, particularly in the second-level kids.us space.�

[Press Release]

10|18|2007 11:10 pm EDT

Unofficial Moniker Silent Auction Results

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Auction, Domain Sales

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The Moniker.com TRAFFIC silent domain auction ended earlier today with 437 domains priced at over $2m sold. A list of all domains and prices published on the next page. The silent auction follows the live domain auction event held last week where $7.8 million dollars of domains were sold. The top 3 names sold were Cowboys.com at $370,000 , Xmas.com at $294,200 and FastMortgages.com for $70,600. (more…)

10|18|2007 07:42 pm EDT

Group of Internet Mavericks Lasso Domain Cowboys.com

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Auction, Domain Sales

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A group of internet domain name investors led by Eric Rice apparently has banded together to make the winning bid to acquire the domain name Cowboys.com . The domain name was placed back up for auction in the Moniker.com silent auction after the representatives from the Dallas Cowboys football team reportedly backed out of their winning bid of $275,000 from the live domain auction held the week before.

The auction which ended today had a total of 6 bids and an ending price of $370,000, a final sale price well above the final bid price from the live auction.

Update:  When Rice was asked in an email about the purchase he said his team has “been studying the thriving country and western market for over 6 months and are glad to finally have the domain needed to proceed in the category”.

10|18|2007 02:05 pm EDT

Snapnames to provide themed live auction at DomainFest Global

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Auction, News

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Auction ImageSnapnames, recently acquired by Oversee.net, will become a live domain auction player. As per today’s press release, they will debut SnapNames Live, a live auction system for premium domains, at DOMAINfest Global’s Hollywood, California event in January 2008. The Domainfest event is organized by Domainsponsor, which also is owned by Oversee.net. (more…)