I’m not going to NamesCon this year. Scheduling conflicts, personal life, blah blah blah. You don’t need to know.
It’s a shame, as I’ve enjoyed the show in previous years and there’s usually plenty to be learned even if, like me, you’re not a domain investor.
So while I won’t be there, I thought I’d put together a list of sessions that I’d be likely to attend in my capacity as a non-domainer, if I were attending. Which I’m not.
Don’t get me wrong, I usually find the domainer-focused stuff interesting. It’s just less interesting to me because DI is not an investment tip sheet and I personally have no pony in the race.
In agenda order…
The Evolution of Domaining
This is Frank Schilling’s seemingly annual keynote, this year subtitled “A vision for the future of domaining and how we’re going to get there. The next wave of passive income generation for the savvy domainer.”
While it’s certainly got a domainer-leaning theme, the Uniregistry CEO’s speeches are often must-listen events. Schilling is usually a candid and amiable speaker.
Plus, he’s made a shedload of cash out of domains so many people hang on his every word. That’s why he’s been on the Domain Name Wire podcast 86 times.
It’s on at 10am on Monday.
Dominate the Drop: Best Practices for Successfully Acquiring Deleting Domains
Michael White from SnapNames and Jonathan Tenenbaum from Namejet promise to spill the beans about the crazy competitive drop-catching market.
I find this aspect of the industry fascinating, especially given the arms race going on between SnapNames/Namejet and its rivals at the moment.
Over half of all ICANN-accredited registrars are currently shell companies created to bulk up the dropnets of the two aforementioned companies, as well as TurnCommerce and Pheenix.
There’s clearly money in it, so I regret I’ll be missing this session.
It’s on at 11am on Monday.
Domain Monetization for Registries and Registrars
As somebody who writes a blog largely looking at the sell-side of the industry, this session title speaks to me.
It’s being held by Michael Gilmour, CEO of ParkLogic, a company I’m not particularly familiar with.
Even if it just turns out to be a sales pitch for ParkLogic, it might be interesting anyway, due to the promise to “unlock hidden value from data that is readily accessible to you”, which intrigues me as a data nerd.
It’s on at 11am on Monday too, so it clashes with the dropcatching session.
The Most Shocking UDRP Decisions of 2016
This one sounds like fun. There are few things more amusing in the domain industry than listening to domainers moan about crappy UDRP decisions.
In this session, three industry names who are no strangers to UDRP will compete to have a decision of their choice crowned the “most shocking” of the last year.
This is on at noon on Monday.
Investing in New TLDs – Making Money in the Short and Long Term
A panel of experts discuss how to make money out of new gTLDs. I think that is going to be a hard sell to a typically skeptical domainer crowd, so I’d be curious to hear what they have to say at 2pm on Monday.
NamesCon Domain Auction 2017
Live domain auctions are sometimes entertaining, but depending on the auctioneer you may need to bring ear-protectors. It’s on at 3pm.
Uniregistry After Hours Party
If you haven’t fested enough sausage yet, now’s your chance to top up, from 9pm until “late” (which in Vegas could mean midnight, 2am, 6am, or mid-February).
Christian Domainers Breakfast Buffet
I’m slightly flabbergasted that this is a thing. What is a Christian domainer, and how do they differ from non-Christian domainers?
A special prize goes to the first person to send me a photo of themselves at this event reading a hardback copy of “The God Delusion” whilst eating a free Christian pastry.
Building a Business to Last Decades
Despite the dry title, this is Matt Muellenweg, founder of WordPress/Automattic, and I’m interested to hear what he has to say. Plus, it’s the only thing going on at 10am on Tuesday.
Few things have influenced the domain name industry over the last couple of years than China. In this session, four guys who understand the market over there discuss the trends they’re seeing and expecting.
Will Branded TLDs Impact the Marketplace in 2017 and Beyond?
Events promising to spill the beans about how big companies plan to use the dot-brands are rarely very informative in my experience — speakers play their cards far too close to their chests — but I keep going to them anyway.
Let’s hope the Microsoft and MarkMonitor speakers have something new to add to the conversation at 2pm.
Dollars and Sense of .net
Verisign’s Pat Kane pitches .net, which has been stagnating since the launch of new gTLDs. 3pm.
DNS Industry SWOT Analysis, 2017 Edition
The “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats” for the industry according to… ICANN?
Global Domains Division head and occasional CEO Akram Atallah is the only big ICANN name speaking at this year’s NamesCon, so it’s worth checking this session out for that reason alone.
It’s on at 9.30am on Wednesday.
A Look Ahead at New TLDs
Three registries and one registrar discuss the future of new gTLDs at 11am on Wednesday.
Bloggers Broadcast: Dispatches from NamesCon 2017
An opportunity to throw things at my competitors at 12pm on Wednesday.
The Pragmatic Rebel: a Fireside Chat with Elliot Noss
Noss is one of the most engaging speakers in the industry in my view, even if the subject matter of this session is not quite up my alley. 1pm Weds.
Privacy and Your Domains
This review of domain privacy developments is right up my alley, but it also clashes with the Noss interview.
Executive Roundtable: Industry Trends Forecast for 2017
A conference roundup from four registry/registrar bigwigs closes down the conference.
NCC Group, registry for the .trust gTLD and domain data escrow provider, provided several of the supporting stars for a UK reality TV game show that started a few weeks ago.
Hunted is a Channel 4 show in which 10 members of the public turn “fugitive” for a month.
The contestants are pursued on foot and electronically by a team of military, law enforcement and security experts.
Contestants have to keep on the move and are not allowed to leave the UK. Each fugitive team has a covert cameraman recording their escapades.
It’s basically a big televised game of hide-and-seek.
Whoever makes it 28 days without being physically captured by the “hunters” wins a share of £100,000.
NCC provides four of members of the hunter team, all from the firm’s security division.
Here’s the pre-launch trailer.
Two episodes in to the six-episode series, I’d have to say it’s a fun watch, even if you have to take the “cyber” elements slightly with a pinch of salt.
Because the “hunters” don’t actually have legal access to CCTV cameras, phone records, car registration databases and the like, that element is simulated by the show’s makers, overseen by an ex-cop independent adjudicator.
It airs on Channel 4 on Thursday nights in the UK. The first two episodes are currently available on-demand.
US President Barack Obama today formally signed over control of the internet to the United Nations.
At a ceremony in Washington DC this morning, Obama officially granted the UN, which is controlled by China, Russia and Iran, the ability to censor any web site that does not conform to strict standards of speech.
UN Secretary-General Banksey Moon, who is a foreigner, said that the first order of business under the new regime is to permanently delete the following web sites:
A longer list, banning a further 8,102,671 domains, will be published later this week, Moon said.
In addition to the web site deletions, the following new rules have come into immediate international effect:
- all new web sites will be subject to monthly reviews by the Grand Mufti of Oman for compliance with Sharia law.
- a proposal to force migration of all .com web sites to .ke will be considered by a panel comprised entirely of coastal liberal elites, many of whom may be lesbians.
- registered Republicans only get 139 characters on Twitter.
- pornographic content will be subject to Japanese-style genital pixelation, which nobody likes.
- the emoji of the hanged black man has been banned.
- all browsers will have their home pages hard-coded to hillaryclinton.com, with no opt-out.
- everyone has to have the new U2 album on their phones.
- all YouTube cat videos will be preceded by a three-minute infomercial from PETA.
- “They” are coming to take away your guns.
Members of the Grand Unified Jewish Conspiracy can request an exemption from any of the new rules by showing the appropriate credentials at time of registration.
The new regime was warmly welcomed by all those still legally permitted to express an opinion.
“Today is a great day for freedom,” Senator Bernie Sanders, the new UN Special Envoy for Thought Compliance, said at a press conference.
“No longer will right-thinking internet users run the risk of coming across dangerous ideas as they go about their daily business online,” he said.
* * *
For avoidance of doubt: this article is satire. None of this stuff is going to happen. I’m merely gently trolling some of the coverage the IANA transition has received in certain media outlets and on the fringes of Twitter over the last several weeks.
Former GoDaddy general counsel and apparent glutton for punishment Christine Jones is to run for political office for a second time.
She’s looking for the Republican nomination in Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District, she said in an email circular yesterday.
In a video announcing the candidacy, it seems pretty clear she’s taking a leaf out of the Donald Trump playbook by playing the “outsider” card.
“She’s one of us, not a politician,” a talking head says in a totally unrehearsed, unscripted and utterly convincing soundbite.
Much like Trump, she’s also touting the fact that she’s “independently wealthy” and therefore not as reliant on big donors to fund her campaign.
According to Jones’ web site, the most important issues facing Arizonians are border security, Islamic State, abortion (she’s anti-), an overly complex tax system and gun ownership (she’s pro-).
It sounds ridiculous, but this is what passes for mainstream politics in the US nowadays.
The incumbent in the Congressional seat she wants, considered safely Republican, recently announced his retirement, but Jones will face at least three established local politicians in the contest for the nomination.
Jones stood for the Republican nomination for Arizona Governor in 2014, but came third in the seven-strong field, with 16.6% of the vote.
ICANN has announced that sandwiches have been banned from the forthcoming ICANN 56 public meeting in Helsinki.
The move has been made in response to recent controversies over the availability of “inappropriate” foodstuffs during coffee and lunch breaks at the thrice-yearly policy meetings.
“The board has listened, and the board has acted decisively in response to community concerns,” ICANN chair Steve Crocker said at a packed press conference today.
“Starting with ICANN 56, our meeting venues will be sandwich-free zones,” he said.
ICANN has had to take on new caterers to supply non-sandwich-based refreshments and will incur a one-time early termination fee of $242,000, according to its contract with its former supplier.
“It’s a small price to pay to make sure we only provide appropriate snacks for our valued stakeholders,” he said.
DI has obtained a copy of the proposed Helsinki menu, which has been approved as “100% fine” by ICANN’s board and Ombudsman, as well as the legal and compliance departments and external auditors.
You can read it here (pdf).
The unexpected sandwich ban surprised many community leaders.
“The ICANN board is totally missing the point here,” said GNSO chair James Bladel. “The PBJ-WG clearly and unanimously recommended that the prohibition should only apply to cheese sandwiches.”
“It’s just another example of top-down, unilateral regulation,” he said.
Critics noted that, due to pressure from the French government, the ban does not apply to filled baguettes.
But Crocker denied government meddling had created a loophole, noting that all baked goods containing fillings comprising over 32% dairy-based solids would still be captured by the ban.
“Naturally, we couldn’t ban all baguettes,” he said. “That would be a ludicrous thing to do.”
He advised all ICANN 56 delegates to show up early to sessions in order to speed up the new mandatory sandwich-screening bag checks.