IPhone a hands down winner!!

Yesterday I predicted that there would be plenty of iphones to go around. I said there is no way that Apple is that stupid that they would allow folks to make more than them on the black market. There were 100 people in line at noon yesterday at the local mall. But I believed that by midnight you would have no problem. To hedge my bet I paid someone $100 to get in line.Iphone6:40 I get the call. "I got it" and a few minutes later the iphone was in my hand.



As I watched the "Hit job" on the iphone over the airwaves during the last 2 days I wondered how much was reality and how much was desperation. By 9PM I knew the answer. DESPERATION at its' most desperate. The first edition of the iphone renders all others in catch up mode.


My review of the iPhone.......


BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!!


All other devices are now obsolete.


And another heads up. I am no fan of Cingular/Att but when I went to several other countries in the spring, I carried a Verizon phone, a Sprint PCS phone and my wife's Cingular phone. Cingular was the ONLY one that worked in all countries. I did not have to call anyone to activate, it just worked! Both others NEVER worked regardless of their promises.


The net just got a little more mobile. Email just got easier and I am still counting how many devices are actually in the iphone and what is to come in the 2nd generation. Summer surfing just got a little better.


WELL DONE!! The bar has not only been raised, it has been moved and it will take years for anyone to catch up.


Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York 2007, one for the history books!

Today will be the last day of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York as the silent auction atMoniker.com closes at 6PM. On top of the nearly $11 million in domain names we sold at the live auction, estimates and buzz around the silent auction expect that to go many millions higher. It will bust all previous records and sets the stage for an even bigger more important auction at the Florida show in October. A poll of industry regulars yesterday seems to think that about another $4.5 million in sales could be achieved. We will see how close they are. $15 million in domain sales would be impressive. That would bust the doors off the old record by nearly 300%!! Many think that future auctions may bring in as much as $50 million. I see some shrugs. I think what is really the story here is that folks are trading assets that are more expensive than most folks home and there is no 30 year mortgage. What there is, is a checkout stand and nearly all these deals are paid cash. CASH! I think many overlook such an important piece of this puzzle. Rewind 5-10 years. This tiny "Cottage industry" was largely made up for 20 and 30 something's sitting in a 1 bedroom apartments in their underwear. Today they bring their own attorneys with them. Their staff's. Their wallets. And they make multi million dollar deals on a handshake. They are sharp, intuitive and they have created great lives. They still sit around in their underwear in the morning, (Actually most have upgraded to a bathrobe. Like the one I am wearing right now) but the 1 bedroom apartments have turned into 6 bedroom estates. They have young kids running around and births of new domainers is a common trend. Many of them are very charitable and are always looking for ways to "Give back.Grassroots.org would be a good example of that. But just as they have matured, so has the domain business. It has come of age. There IS gold in them thar hills. They can no longer close their eyes to buying power that is off the charts. The type-in traffic that our domains get are the gold they all search for but are just discovering. When they look at the stats, they think their spreadsheet is messed up. While other's talk about click thru rates of 2%, we talk 70%. How do you expect them to get their heads around THAT? Those that do figure it out have been rewarded well.

Sorry, sometimes I just drift off. But don't ever think it is not all related. We have a story to tell and we have stats as the artist that draws a picture that not everyone can see.

Looks like the attendees that showed up in New York were happy with the results. The seminars were the best we ever had according to many of the folks we are hearing from and the panelists all did a superb job in representing our industry. An overwhelming majority of nearly 75% of attendees polled want to go back to New York. That's a number that is hard to ignore. An even larger majority (92%) gave T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York a big thumbs up on a poll we conducted immediately after the show.

There were lots of new faces and you can see the foundational expansion of the industry in real time and I must say it is about time! New York was THE defining moment and as an industry we proved we were up for the challenge.

The board of advisors met last Friday and those minutes will be posted later this week on wadnd.com We addressed ways to make the show more affordable and have a free night where attendees can plan their own get together's and parties without hurting the overall chemistry of the show. Eliminating a dinner and cocktail party will help reduce some price levels and open TRAFFIC up to more attendees which sponsors and attendees always seem to like. The only thing we ask to get the reduced rates, is commit early.

There will be a lot written and said about the New York T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show in the coming days and weeks. The importance of what transpired in New York City cannot be minimized. It was a water shed moment as promised and we will look back for many years to come on what was accomplished and the course it has set us on. There was definitely a sense in the air that we have all done well in furthering the industry and begin to get the recognition we deserve. The domain industry is not represented by cyber squatters and infringers and opportunists. They get the ink, they get the headlines, they are the stereotype. But we have an industry outside that world that is run much cleaner and made up of seasoned businessmen that have a track record of success. We do have business ethics. Most know where the line is. We don't want to be lumped in to a group that takes advantage of other peoples intellectual property and worse. We are professionals. We follow the rules, we pay our taxes and there is a vast difference between us and them. A difference few have ever articulated. And keep in mind that the rules have largely been written on the fly. Many times with no rhyme, reason or precedent and no consistency whatsoever.

Again, I have drifted off. But these things need to be said and they need to be said strongly. There IS a difference and it is up to us to make sure that difference is known. We hope the ICA will assist in getting the message out.

We are already working on the October show. We will focus on "Verticals" and as always the theme will be making more revenue from your domains and raising the value of your assets. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. once again has set the standard and the bar are higher than many would have believed just a short time ago. The secret of TRAFFIC is no secret at all. It's the attendees. THEY CREATE their own MAGIC and their own OPPORTUNITY. Then they rise to the occasion by recognizing the opportunities that they CREATED. Talk about making something from nothing. Lock these folks up in a room for a day with nothing but a computer. By 5 pm they will have a thriving and profitable business.

As we enter the summer and all the distractions associated with this season, I look forward to some relaxing time as I am sure many of you are and then a very important fall season that will see a HUGE growth in online advertising. A growth like we have never seen before and it will turn traditional advertising outlets on their ear. It may hit so hard, so fast that they are simply stunned in what is about to unfold this Christmas.

Have a GREAT day!!
Rick Schwartz

Sometimes you have to burn an old bridge to build a new bridge.

This is directed at some specific friends from my private chatboard and as a general statement to others following the developments of late. They know who they are. We've all known each other for many years and spent many intimate moments together and have all met face to face. This has appeared privately and I decided to make it public as a way to have it come unfiltered directly from me.

Sometimes you have to burn an old bridge to build a new bridge. A better and stronger bridge. Sometimes you have to clear the land to build a new structure and relationships.

As many of you have heard, we have buried the hatchet with Domain Sponsor. Ron Sheridan and I have kissed and made up. We hugged in public, shook hands and I feel it was genuine all the way around.

Howard and I had two constructive meetings with Lawrence, Josh and Jeff. I want to take a moment to publicly thank Chis Siverten (whose name I never spell right). But I want to thank Chris because I believe he was an important factor in having us come together.

So we move forward in a new spirit and hopefully this new bridge will be stronger and out last the old one. It brings the industry together instead of dividing it. So that brings me to what I would like from folks that if they choose, may come and go freely from my private board again.

This (my private chatboard not my blog) IS my LIVING ROOM. It will REMAIN my living room. That is something that I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to compromise on. If that is not acceptable. If that rubs you the wrong way. If you are going to hold a grudge against me. If you are going to challenge that in your mind or in your heart, let's just be friends. We don't have to interact with each other HERE. We can all communicate via many methods. Just this is my SANCTUARY. This is my home for invited guests. But please, those ARE my keys. Treat me and conduct yourselves like you were a GUEST in MY HOME. If you can't do that, I can say no more.

So if we can get to a meeting of the minds there, then I can say what I need to say and hopefully good people with good hearts and find a way forward.

In my living room, I do not expect folks to promote competing events. You can do it on an infinite amount of websites and lots of other INDUSTRY boards, but PLEASE, not here. It's just not right. Do it anywhere you like, just not here. Let ME take the lead in that department. If we are all cooperating it may not even be an issue.

It's not a place to take pot shots at me. I don't need that. I don't want that. My TIME becomes wrapped up in "Just curious" stuff. I don't like to ignore things, and feel compelled to respond when I just don't have the TIME or energy to do it. It drains me and I don't want that anymore. I don't need to justify everything I do.

I am a sensitive person. I feel things deeply. I just want to be treated nice HERE. I am a pinnata out there. But this is my HOME and I want to be surrounded by people looking out for each others back as opposed to walking around with a target on MY back. I have just always tried to do my best. Take all sides into account. And believe me folks, there are a lot of folks pulling or tugging me in one direction or another. My JOB is to take it all in. Consider it all. Make the best decision I can.

If T.R.A.F.F.I.C. is just another "Trade show" and anyone is going to run around and saying things that are not positive and have under tones of negativity, then we can still be friends. We can interact. Just not HERE. Don't use my resources to undermine my hard work and that of Howard and our wives.

I don't think I am asking much in return for devoting my TIME to what I believe has benefited everyone in the business. If you don't think I have done good. Have done things that you have such venom in your heart for me, then please, you just don't belong here and those folks are the ones I just want no part of. You see how they behave. That behavior would not be welcome in any of our homes. I don't think that is unreasonable. That is MY TOS.

It's OK if you don't accept the terms. Just don't say you do when you really don't and you are out to undermine me, Howard, TRAFFIC at every turn. If THAT is who you are and SOME of you ARE in that camp, then I ask you to pause a moment and decide how YOU want to move forward. The burden is on you at THIS juncture. I have my heart open. It's a tender heart. If you expect to poke that heart, or worse, let's just agree to disagree and go our own ways. If you want to open your heart, then we can all move forward. It is your decisions and choice. I have only good will. If you fool me, that is on you.

But if we can get thru these TINY hurdles, we can all do great things.

So that is my olive branch. Maybe you like it maybe you don't. The board has been focused on business much more than personalities of late. Like Lawrence told me....we need to take the "DRAMA" out and communicate more. The personality nonsense out for there is no place for that. Can we do that? My hand is extended. My heart is open. I will do my part as well. That is my proposal. I can't do more. I REFUSE to do less. If we can come to common ground, GREAT! If we can't then that is just how it is and I guess we will all deal with it. Either way, I hope we can mend things, If not, it is ok.

Right now I am exhausted and I can't wait to get home and reflect on what we all accomplished this week at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and where we go from here. I hope we did what we promised at the show. I think we pulled it off. The folks seemed to be happy with things. They were THRILLED that DS and us were able to fix things and agree to work closer and cooperate and still remain competitors without trying to injure us.

And before I sign off, want to thank the folks at Sedo for the pre event. It showed there is a way to have functions that help each other. I hope it is a model we can use in the future that allows more of us to make it EASIER for those coming from Australia and other distant countries from flying back and forth more than necessary.

Oh well better shut up before I get in trouble. I hope the folks reading this know me well enough to know the spirit of what I have written. It is not a sign of weakness and I have never felt stronger. It is just doing my part to fix things and get on the right course. I can do no more than that. Hand extended. Heart opened. But ZERO tolerance from my beliefs and TOS.

Have a GREAT day.
Rick Schwartz

 

800 Domain owners and sponsors coming to New York City.

Morning folks!!


Beginning on Tuesday there will be as many as 800 domain
owners and sponsors around the world converging on New York City. They come from many points
including more than 15 countries. It will be THE defining moment in the domain
industry and this week will be talked about for years to come.


Of the nearly 500 coming to TRAFFIC they all paid a great
deal of money to be here. THEY deserve to be protected from the other parts of
the industry that refuse to pay but still want to benefit. So they come hawking
me, HUNDREDS of them, hawking me for FREE TICKETS! Like THEY are better than
those that pay? That they have some divine reason for them to come for free??!
Many times we are talking about BILLION dollar companies and many domainers
making millions but can’t seem to pay like everyone else. So then I become the
BAD GUY and I am sick of being the bad guy.


Let’s turn the tables on those in the industry too CHEAP to
pay but want to take advantage of the show and make money off the backs of
domain owners. They come to me and tell me how they want to do business with
the domain industry. They tell me all the business that can be done and how
their company can help. They will make millions and domainers will make
millions. THEN we get to the point that they just don’t want to pay. Let me see
if I got this right. They can do MILLIONS of dollars in business but too CHEAP
to pay the $1995 admission?? GIVE ME A BREAK!! Sorry folks, but the same people
that can’t pull a lousy $2k out of their wallet are NOT going to pay you millions
or even give you a fair count. Those type people will CHEAT you at EVERY
opportunity. Those people NEVER play by the rules and that is just not the RIGHT WAY to do
business.


So come to New York. Enjoy the city. Take advantage of our efforts
and pay nothing! But don’t expect ME to remain silent. NEVER gonna happen. To
me CHEAP is a disease. Everyone in the domain business should do their share
and put an oar in the water. ALL oars on THIS SHIP are created equal.


See where I come from, if you cheat on one thing, I think
you will cheat on many things. I refuse to close my eyes to the folks doing
this and as long as they already decided I was a bad guy for not letting them
in for FREE, it is my right to defend myself and T.R.A.F.F.I.C.  letting folks know who the
leaches are that don’t support this industry at the single most important moment.


Feathers ruffled? GREAT! Mission accomplished!


Have a GREAT day!


Terry Jones and Steve Forbes to speak at T.R.A.F.F.I.C.

I am happy
to announce that  T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
will be having some great guest speakers lined up during the next 2 shows. Next
week Terry Jones will be the
keynote speaker at our New York City Show at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan.
Terry is the Founder and former CEO of Travelocity.com. He will share his
stories of frustration and success. His road traveled may seem very familiar to
those attending.


Then
on October 10th in Miami, Steve Forbes will
take the stage at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. EAST. Mr. Forbes is President and CEO of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine.
You will find that he has a great
interest in what we do. I think you will find his words more than insightful
and we are lucky to have someone of his stature coming to speak.


Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz



Don’t swallow it just cuz it tastes good.

This week there has been a lot of talk about some recent research showing that domain traffic converting 2x that of search......to that I say NONSENSE!!

After 12 YEARS they finally figured out domain traffic is better and then everyone swallows THEIR numbers. Are you guys NUTS? Have you lost your minds? Targeted traffic on items that can be sold online and is matched up to a website that can actually close that sale run at the rate of 3X-5X at a MINIMUM.

So just because they finally realize that the numbers are “SURPRISING” does not mean they fully get it. They are underestimating but at LEAST after 12 YEARS they recognized what others recognized over a decade ago. So save your applause until they REALLY get it. But it is a FIRST STEP to understanding the POWER of a domain name with type in traffic. Read more about it at the the blogs below.

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

 

Frank Schilling

Frank Michlick

Sahar Sarid

 

The domain Industries most important event ever!

Shameless Plug but important nonetheless!


There is a lot of news coming out of the domain industry
lately and I am sure more is to come. Today an interview with me conducted by
Ron Jackson of DNJournal.com is up on their website. Besides answering
questions about what we will be doing at our show in New York City later this
month, it also has links to the stories of all the previous T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
events. It chronicles each show with a step by step and up to the minute summary
of events and accomplishments. It’s like you were there and if you need to get
up to speed on things in a quick amount of time, this is a good place to invest
some energy and get an immediate dividend.


http://www.dnjournal.com/articles/events/traffic-newyork-2007-preview.htm


Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz


The invisible cost of website sales being lost

 'The single
biggest cost website owners incur is the invisible cost of sales being
lost.' Since it is invisible, you have to look HARD and DEEP to see it.
Are you willing to do that? Do you have a website? Would making 10x-100x more
than you are now be important to you? The next few paragraphs can help you
accomplish that and it is free for the reading. You are even entitled to disagree with me but you would be 100% wrong. Don't get those feathers ruffled yet. I am gonna make anyone who reads the following and has the NERVE to understand it, a LOT of money.


This is the 3rd
time I have pointed this out during this short blog. But I have never devoted
the time to dissect this ONE piece of the puzzle. This KEY piece.


Let's start like
this. The last thing I will tell you why this is so important to me.
But I WILL tell you. But before I do this let's look at this the right way. If
you have a store on
Main Street or in the mall and 1000 people walked in and NOBODY bought anything, would you
continue to do business as usual or would you make some adjustments? Well if
you do nothing, you will soon be out of business. On the net, MANY think there
is a different equation. Are they kidding? If you make no sales, you will soon
be out of business.


So let's say you
sell widgets. 1000 customers come to your website and nobody buys your widgets.
You think that is OK??? You close 1 in 1000 and you think THAT is OK??? You
accept that? Are you nuts? You would not accept this in the REAL world and you
should not accept that in the VIRTUAL world.


Assuming you
have good widgets and there is a market for your widgets then there are
techniques to close more sales by improving your website and your customer
service. Why do so few even talk about this? Well how many people in the
universe even know about this subject? Then from there you have to separate the
ones that actually know what the hell they are talking about from the ones
that are full of crap.


All I can tell
you for a FACT (assuming you have a good product or service) it does not take a
lot of effort to take 0 in 1000 or 1 in 1000 to 10 in 1000 and maybe 100 in
1000.


And NOW the
REASON why I am so hung up on this single BOTTLENECK. When I send traffic to
folks that are only closing 1 in 1000 I am making a fraction of what I could be
making if they closed more sales. So for every million I make TODAY, that same
traffic could easily earn 10x that. 100x that. THAT is the reason. Selfish as
it is from where I sit, it's not selfish to tell merchants that they are aiming
LOW when they should be aiming HIGH. Merchandising a website is no different
than your physical store. Your traffic flow is no different than your physical
store. But to be blunt, it takes a different set of talents to close a sale on
your website than it does in your store on
Main Street  or in the mall. Wine is wine
until you find a connoisseur to explain the difference between a $5 bottle of
wine and a $500 bottle. Art is art until you find an expert to show you the
difference between a $10 print and a $10 million original. So if you want to
see what is not visible to YOUR EYE you need to find folks that have the talent
so you can use THEIR EYE!


The problem is
probably only a few hundred people on the planet have such a talent, maybe
less. So you either have to find them (And they are likely not available) or
learn to see this for yourselves. The best I can do is introduce you to this
line of thinking. How did I learn? Lots of experimenting over many years
with hundreds of millions of unique visitors to my domain names. I had to learn
to make lemonade from lemons from the ground up and using virtual lemons.


'The single
biggest cost website owners incur is the invisible cost of sales being
lost.' I cannot repeat this enough. Not visible to the naked eye. At least
an UNTRAINED naked eye. I see it like I see the screen in front of me. It is
THAT clear. I hope you can see what I see. If you don't see it....it's not
because it is not there.


Have a GREAT Day!



The purpose of RicksBlog.com

I have been making daily posts for more than a decade. Long
before the 'Blog' came to be. So I have no deep passion to continue
to do that. However I do want to get some of what I have shared privately
with other domain owners out to a larger and more general audience. It was hard
enough to convince domain owners that 'Type in'' traffic was a
very valuable commodity and it had direct connection with the value of a domain
name. I think I have done a good job here comparing that traffic to
'Mineral rights' like an oil well. I am trying to melt things down to
some simple foundations. The first being to have folks understand how bad they
screwed up by missing this multi billion dollar business that is STILL under
the radar.


If I encounter folks that STILL can't grasp how valuable and
important that a domain like Hotels.com is and still sees no value in having
thousands of NEW customers lined up each and every day at their business, well,
do you think I am going to waste my TIME with THEM?? At least come to the point
where you smack your palm on your head and say 'OH!!!' If you can't
do that......don't waste time here. Follow the plan of etoys.com. They spent
tens of millions in advertising and their GENIUSES in their IT department
FAILED to have the traffic folks were typing in directly to the browser bar get to their site. It was
Thanksgiving Day 1999 I think. Commercial after commercial. etoys.com all day
long. So I typed 'Etoys.com' into the browser bar. Guess what?? I get
a 404 error!!!! Why?? Because the GENIUSES in IT could not get into the minds
of a customer watching a commercial and figure out that they won't type in http://www.etoys.com.
So they lost a HUGE amount of the customers and to this MOMENT, they don't even
know. Why do I bring this up? Well besides losing hundreds of thousands in the
stock, it illustrates why Internet ONE collapsed. Tech guys ran marketing
because marketing guys were clueless and they had to depend on folks that had
no clue about marketing. Add that to the flawed impression based ads and you
had the makings of a collapse.


So now I rambled a bit. But it connects to something I said
last week that needs to be understood. 'The single biggest cost website
owners incur is the invisible cost of sales being lost.' I often say, and
I truly believe, that more sales are being lost on the net than actually being
made on the net. Read more about it on my April 17th post 'Truth to
power.'


So now that I have defined a couple things let me get back
to the purpose of this blog post. This is a blog that I know domain owners will
appreciate. But as much as I like you guys, it isn't for you directly. It is
for the masses in the corporate world that don't get it. It is for the masses
in the investment community that are missing one of the easiest way to grow
money with the lowest entry fees of any commodity ever. It is for the guy on
Main Street that
has 5 customers a day walking thru his doors that can easily be transformed to
thousands if they knew the path. It is for domain owners to point to so that
others may have a quick understanding of what a GREAT domain name represents.
Then taking it a step further.


I hope folks will use these limited posts to help folks
grasp the power of domain names. It can be overwhelming and complex at times.
My job is to simplify how folks look at domains and the importance they have.
Besides the outright business of a domain name it is also becoming
a status symbol, a collectible and a statement.


What once was a game played by a few dozen people is now a
thriving industry that is supported worldwide and now has a dozen or more trade
shows each year. The premiere event is T.R.A.F.F.I.C. which is the largest and
is by invitation only. This just illustrates why domain names are in such
demand and why prices of this commodity has gone up faster than ANY other
commodity EVER KNOWN to mankind. Besides .com there are some 330 country codes
plus other extensions and new ones coming. So the opportunity is not over. On
the other hand each day that passes makes entry more difficult unless you come
with a thick wallet. It is not uncommon for a domain purchased for $100 in 1996
to sell for $100,000 just a few years later.


People will be leaving comments on posts here for many years
to come. The debate may be heated at times, but the blog today with 15
posts in April 2007 will be more active a year from now with limited posts.
Consider this ground zero for the great domain debate. The debate is really
over. The story has been written, but there are about 6 billion folks that
still need to understand and embrace.


Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz


Assumptions in business

In business
every decision I make is based on a set of assumptions. Some assumptions prove
right, some prove wrong and some prove not to even matter. But you have to base
an improvement or a change on an assumption. If the assumption proves wrong,
your job is to step back and start again. DO NOT just continue on. MOVE BACK
because that is your benchmark and you don't want to abandon that benchmark
until you reach a new plateau and can sustain that plateau. Without a “Working
assumption” I would be lost. I would rather be wrong, make a mistake and correcting
the mistake than being “Lost.”


Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz