Good Evening Folks,
A year ago I decided to
write a book. 75 posts later, that book is done. It resides right here. 75
posts (Chapters) most of which are aimed at the corporate and investment world
along with the domain industry as well as other trailblazers. Free for the reading. I hope someday it is read by folks on Main
Street to Wall Street who can TRANSFORM their businesses if they can figure out just how EASY
it is to harness the power of the Internet. The posts are aimed at folks at
every level. As I have said for many years, there are countless ways to
climb this mountain, this was my path and this is my vision based on my
path. A 20 year plan. A plan based on timing. That success or failure has
a lot to do with timing. Sometimes timing is everything. So with that in mind,
it is TIME to do other things. Whatever I can say has been said. It is here. It
is on eRealEstate.com and it is on TargetedTraffic.com. Now the time that I
have always shared has to be devoted to other challenges and other projects.
The first of which opens today at Property.com. Widgets.com and others will soon follow. Time
to allocate my time in a new way. The industry is maturing and splintering and
becoming more serious and becoming more desperate. So the dynamics of the
cottage industry that gave birth to what we do is no more. The orbit has gone
to higher levels. Those in other orbits have to work hard to escape the gravity
of whatever orbit they are currently in to move to the next level. The safety
of mediocrity has to be overcome by the challenge of what the future promises.
Have a GREAT spring and
hope to see everyone in Orlando at the next TRAFFIC this May and in New York City in September. For any further thoughts, just read my previous post..
Good Afternoon folks,
Many of you have wondered why I have
remained so silent on the Snowe Bill. What am I supposed to say at this point?
It isn't like I did not see this coming and I stated so very publicly back long before the Snowe Bill even emerged. I really can't say any more so all I can do
is wait for events to unfold and reprint my words from the DNJournal article I contributed to at the
beginning of the year that says it all. Pretty frustrating when you see this stuff
coming years away and then few pay attention until crisis is on the
doorstep and even then most say they will just leave it to others to take care of.
“Everyone knows I am about the most optimistic
person you will ever meet. But my optimism is never divorced from reality. Reality is what IS whether we like it or not. I will probably take some heat for what I have said and even more for what I am about to say, but so be it. The following was a blog post I was going to make this week. I think it would have more value here first.
The enemy within
There is no question that 2008 will be the most challenging year ever for domain owners and investors. While domainers are having a grand old time their livelihoods are in peril
and few really even want to know about it. Combine that with the abuse that domainers themselves are guilty of and I will tell you that the biggest threat lays within the industry. Apathy, greed, wrong doing will surely put us all in jeopardy. While we do these things, our enemy is organizing and they will change rules and laws that will take YOUR domains and the earnings they currently make for you and
your families and are actively trying to shift those dollars to their pockets for them and their families.
But party on like a ship of fools my
friends. My gift is seeing things before they materialize. But hey, don't pay
attention. Don't believe it. Don't do anything. But I promise you that some day
in the next 3-5 years (Maybe much sooner) I will point to THIS POST and
let you know that there was an opportunity to avoid it but you were too busy
laughing at what I suggest. The laughter no different than the day I
'Wasted' my first $100 and bought a domain name. So I am quite
used to it.
The forces are gathering. You have a choice to ignore
this. But when you do, ask yourself how you are going to feel when your domains are in jeopardy? When it is too late? When your domains are gone and
the income along with them?
Like I said, the biggest threat may be from within. Let's face it - many registrars and others are just outright
whores and their practices are not only raising eyebrows, but rules and laws will be put in place to try and control them and their abuses. While doing so we may get smothered in the process. Some domainers are no better.They
focus on Trademarked domain names and that does not help us either. Some think the problem is small. I will respond to that once I stop laughing. It is out of control and makes everyone look bad.
I see what is going on daily when I
get emails from the Internet Commerce Association (ICA). The threats are everywhere.
Forces against us are joining together. If the domain industry does not get ahead of this we will all see the day in which some unfair ruling will be
used to take your assets away from you. Those assets are worth a fortune. No matter what silly appraisal you have had, GREAT domains are worth much more than what they say.
The proof will be obvious when you see the millions they will spend to get what you have at a FRACTION of the fair market value.
There are storm clouds gathering and it is serious. Choose to ignore and you have only yourself to blame. The choice is easy, start educating yourself now. Get the ICA newsletter. Pay attention to the decisions and why domainers are losing domains. Do whatever you can to prevent what is IN PROGRESS. Or do nothing and start looking for your next
career and how to replace your incomes.
Some will view this as doom and
gloom. Some will view as the sky is falling. My email will go bonkers. It is quite the opposite. The value of domains are going up faster than you or I even know and THAT is the reason we are a target. If the values
were not there, if the importance were not there, these folks would not
care about our assets. They validate the FACT that some of the
assets we own are PRICELESS. Unique assets, investments, collectables, virtual real estate, storefronts, that have gone up in value faster than
any other investment in history. Assets worth fighting for.
Worth changing laws for. They will spend MILLIONS to get what we own. They will spend tens of millions. Just ask yourself one question. “Why would they spend so much to get what we have?”
We have insurance for everything we
own. The house, the boat, the car, the life, the health, the toys, etc. etc. etc. Yet for some unexplainable reason domainers won’t insure their futures. Won’t insure the very thing that pays for everything else. Won’t insure that they are insulated from predators that want what you own. You folks own “Mona Lisa’s” and these PRICKS want it and they don’t want to buy it. They want to legislate it away from you. Tax it away from you.STEAL your assets through legal means and I am telling everyone in the industry that they will WIN if you don’t step up and pay attention and support efforts to insure our futures.
Steve Forbes related much of the same message at TRAFFIC as this has been done throughout history. Ask any of the top domain lawyers. Ask the top domainers. They all know what is coming. You will all live to see the day that billions of assets changed hands because some of the smartest folks on the planet failed themselves and their families. This is the one predication I don’t want to be right on. My job is to ring the bell as loud as I can and get the industry to take this seriously. Consider the bell rung.'
The only thing I can add to this is a public thanks
to Phil Corwin. For folks that don’t know, Phil is the guy standing between you and the screwing of your lives. The industry has a fire department. It has one fire fighter. Phil Corwin. If this industry does not support Phil and his efforts with the Internet Commerce Association, there will be no industry to support. And when this bill goes down to defeat, there will be another right behind it. And another. And another. Then one day in the DEAD OF NIGHT, they will attach some provision somewhere that will change your lives in the most profound way. Please don’t anyone say they did not see it coming. Just say you pissed your futures away because: (Just fill in the BS here)
Update: Read this and it will explain my decision below.
I am not going to blog anymore. People are not paying attention to what is coming. They expect somebody else to take care of it for them. The parking companies have the most to lose so I am
confused as my priority and a lot of other domainers I know priority is
now moving domains away from PPC. They are doing it as quick as
possible and starting with the most valuable domains with the most
traffic. I am going back to taking care of my business. Nothing further
I can or will say publicly. I wonder which PPC company will be the
first to do a Bear Stearns?
In our recent survey one
of the things you told us is that you want the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show open to more domainers. We
always hear if you drop the price it will open the show up to more people. The
balancing act is doing that while keeping the quality of the attendee high as
well as the service and food we provide. Howard and I decided to find out if this is
actually true or not and will run this experiment because of a one time circumstance at the Orlando show.
In order to get the
entire convention center at the Grand Floridian hotel, we were
required to reserve more hotel rooms than we were actually going to use. The facility was so good and would allow us to do so many types of new things, we decided we would bite the bullet on those rooms to get that venue. Instead of having those rooms sit empty while we are still paying for them we decided to try this offer based on your feedback.
Here is the deal:
If you are a domainer that has never been to a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show because of
the expense, Howard and I will pay your hotel room in Orlando to prove what a
value TRAFFIC is. We are so sure you will find it to be a turning point in your
careers and your business that Howard and I will pay the $269/night exclusive
of all taxes and fees and associated room charges at the Grand Floridian for up
to 3 nights. That's an incredible offer. This is limited to the first 25 people
that reply by midnight Friday, March 14th. This is only available to first time
TRAFFIC attendees and is not valid for new personnel of companies, groups or
associations that have been to TRAFFIC. If, when you leave TRAFFIC, you agree that
TRAFFIC was a real value and good investment of your time, then we request that
you join the ICA at the $295 level. This is completely voluntary on your part,
but that is what we ask in return to helping you get to TRAFFIC if, and only
if, you find it to have been a great value.
If you have been previously invited, just go register on the website as usual and then send Howard and email telling
him you are a first time attendee. He will send you instructions once we
coordinate with the hotel. If you need an invite, there is a link right here.
Hope that can make the difference for some. See you all in Orlando!
Have a GREAT Day!
Transparency has emerged
as the key issue for 2008. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. tackled the problem in session after
session. Change won't come easy but it will come. A set of standards are now in
play and has wide support.
What does transparency
do? It educates. Education creates a bigger market with wider and deeper demand
because they have a clear understanding and that is something to build on. But
the way the system is set up, it rewards mediocre traffic while ignoring very
potent traffic and not filtering out the crappy traffic. So as long as you mix
those 3 groups together, the entire online advertising community is not capable
of taking advantage of this golden opportunity to steal market share from
traditional media. They are stuck with mediocre traffic no matter what. Blind
buying will choke online advertising. And I have yet to even mention a word about separating social traffic from commercial traffic which is a huge factor. Scratching your head? What am I talking
Let's reverse things. Imagine
buying time on TV and not knowing if you are getting Super Bowl time or 3AM
bible music ads. IMAGINE how absolulutely INSANE that system would be!! How could you possibly build on that. There is no recipe. It's Russian Roulette. Well
welcome to OUR world of insanity. THAT is exactly what WE do on the online
advertising and why so much of the $$$ don't make it to the pockets of the
domain owners who supply that traffic and why the demand is not as high as it
could or should be for Google and Yahoo on top of the equation. That also suppresses
payouts because it is all about supply and demand and the demand has never been
what it should be because without knowing what you are getting it is impossible
to increase your buys for most businesses. It's basic stuff not rocket science. The result is easy to see when there is a flaw in the construction.
I URGE folks to start
thinking about grading traffic. Having transparency. Having Google and Yahoo
and PPC providers cooperating because as I illustrated above, the current
system is insane. It makes little sense. It is world's better than impression
based advertising but it is not good enough to compete with traditional media
for the long term and actually get those dollars that can be won over sooner
rather than later.
We have mediocre traffic
for a mediocre system because we mix all the laundry together and have yet
to learn to separate the colors from the whites, from the stuff covered in
Sh*t. The space will never evolve to its full potential until things like this
are understood and addressed. Not all traffic is created equal. Not all TV ads
are created equal. Not all magazine ads are created equal. The blueprint is
already in place from traditional media. Some of that blueprint may be
obsolete, but much of that blueprint for magazine circulation and TV ratings is
waiting to be deployed in what we do. Buyers need to know the 'Source' of the traffic they are getting and the system should be transparent enough for them to see. So when we talk about 'Transparency', we are talking about it on many levels. Domainers have a responsibility. Monetizers have a responsibility. Google and Yahoo and whoever shows up next, have a responsibility.
Have a GREAT day!
At each T.R.A.F.F.I.C. show Ron
Jackson sits in on about every seminar and event that is held at TRAFFIC. I
have no idea where he gets the energy to do that. Then what is more incredible
is his talent to give a play by play and unbiased review of each and every
event and give you a true flavor of what has transpired. It is a vivid
description that only folks like Phil Rizzuto or Ralph Kiner could give. But
somehow Ron has a gift that few truly have. It brings me back to each event and
each moment and I am sure others will testify to that.
As a side note, when I read the story Ron wrote today, I noticed he had some Superbowls in his history. I wrote the comparison with 2 baseball announcers before I knew that. So pretty interesting of the unintended overlap. Wrong sport, but you all get the idea.
Below are links to
several other reviews. Independent thoughts and conclusions of what they saw
and how they participated I'll just end the way I ended my own blog post last week and then some other thoughts.
'I will let others review the success and
accomplishments of TRAFFIC X, but Howard and I walk away knowing we gave it
everything we had and hope we added value to everyone's business and the
industry in general. Like I have said since day one.....'When you bring
GREAT people together, GREAT things will happen.'
The only thing I can add is that TRAFFIC is filled with opportunity. Some folks seize opportunity, some folks ignore opportunity, some folks would not know opportunity if it smacked them upside the head. The magic of TRAFFIC is the opportunity that is flying thru the air in an invisible manner. But folks that recognize opportunity also create opportunity. It is the one thing that is so hard to capture. Howard and I supply those conditions because that is our goal and then it is up to the attendee to make it into something life changing. That is why so many come back each and every show and so many travel from outside the USA to attend. TRAFFIC provides something that money can't buy. The magic is in the quality of those that attend. They provide the energy and the ingredients. What Howard and I do is funnel that energy and refine it into conditions that bring and nurture opportunity. Together that moves everyone in the industry forward. Friend or foe, everyone has benefited.
Traffic Stories and
Conceptualist.com Sahar's take on 'Value'
Conceptualist.com Observations by a first time attendee that won a ticket from Bido.com
Whizzbangsblog.com Learn why Michael Gilmour flys half way around the world to come to TRAFFIC
Have a GREAT Day!