Twas the day after Christmas

Morning folks!!

For everyone else it is the day after Christmas. For me it is the day my
life changed. The day I entered into an unknown space of empty. In those days,
just surfing and finding a site was exciting. The day I registered my first domain name and waited 24 hours before Netsol responded that I had gotten the domain. $100 and 24 hours. Today $7 dollars and a split second.

People still laugh when they hear about my '20 year plan'

TODAY, marks 14 years in the business for me. 14 years into a 20 year plan.
14 years. How mature is the domain industry really? How mature were you at 14?

Just look what has occurred in that 14 year span. At that time only 10% of
businesses had an Internet connection and home use was even lower. Most folks
had never been on the net yet. They heard about it. They knew it existed. Not
all. Most. But it was a mystery of exactly what it was. That was 1995.

We are in the process of developing something more awesome than the Great
Wall of China. More intense than Rome. More important than all the buildings in
New York City. When history 100 years from now looks back at this period they
will talk about it in glowing terms. Think of all the structures humans have
built throughout the ages. Not a one of them or all of them combined will equal
what the net will become. Not a one of them will compare to what the net has
provided. Not a one of them will measure up to the incredible spirit of man to
create something so limitless and boundless. They will be in awe because in 100
years they will have tools that make so much of this so primitive. The Internet
is years and years away from the full potential it has. Much more than 20 years.
It will just take folks 20 years to fully understand and exploit the Internet.
20 years before takeoff BEGINS not ends. 20 years to glue everything together
and more than that. 20 years to get to the most basic reality of what will come
in the next 20 years after that.

The seeds of frustration in the domain business is the lack of patience and
understanding just how big a ship this is and how long it takes to turn a ship
like this. To change the habits of 6 Billion people takes 20 years. But the most
important bi-product the Internet will bring is opportunity for anyone on any
corner in the universe to tap in and find and build their dream. When you stand
back and look at the potential of what is coming it is something that brings me
to speechless.

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

The collapse of 2009. Happy New Year’s!!

Morning folks!!

I started this post as just a Happy Holidays post and then it just kind of evolved.

I almost feel guilty for having such a great 2008. While I am watching so
many sectors suffering and thousands of businesses on the verge of going broke,
I feel a little guilty.

At TRAFFIC in New York City we feasted on delicacies with unlimited lobster, shrimp, sushi, drinks and a spread more grand than anything we have ever done while on the other
side of the river they were in full panic mode. The contrast to the old and new
economy was never more vivid. Ask anyone that was there. It was quite a moment
that night. One I will never forget. One they could write about in the history

2008 for the domain industry was damn good!! Not so good if you chase
registration fees for a living. But if you have a solid portfolio of domains
names, damn good!

I always said 2008 would be challenging and it was. Survival in 2009 is
going to be less about domains and more about lifestyle. If your bills are low
and your income good, you will survive. On the other hand there will be many on
the margins that will be washed away.

I have long said that 2008 will be a breeze to get through even though the news would be very bad but 2009 would prove to be the
most difficult year in several generations. It's going to be ugly. Very ugly.
The foundation of the world's economic system is in crisis. 2008 is like the day
before the hurricane strikes. Some prepare and do what they can to protect
themselves. Yet others say the sun is shining and they doubt it will be as bad
as they say. My take on the hurricane coming known as 2009, it has the potential
to be much worse than they say. We all hope for the best, but the best can't hurt us. The worst is definitely something to be afraid of. The worst has the upper hand.

In the summer there was a glut of goods on the shelves and in the pipeline.
The panic has made many retailers sell for cost and below cost to try to
liquidate as much inventory as possible. The first thing you will see and it has
already begun is shortages. First you have a glut. Then that episode is followed
by shortages. You are seeing factories shut down. Distribution is being
disrupted. Folks and businesses are hoarding cash and afraid to order goods. Their
shelves are about to be empty and it may be some time for those shelves to be
replenished. That becomes the fatal blow. No money, no goods, bye bye.

We are about to see a rash of retailers go under. Some very big ones. I
think one of the the biggest will be Sears. They are already hanging on for dear
life from what it looks like to me. Same with restaurants, jewelry stores, spas etc. Main St and the malls are
about to look a lot different. Malls going out of business? Yup!

The beneficiary to all this will be the Internet in general and domains in
particular. Especially income producing domains as banks and TBills start paying
0% interest.

A domain making $10,000 a year is like having $1 Million in the bank at 1%,
$500k at 2%, $250k at 4%. The safest places to put your money are likely paying
close to 0%! So a domain making just $27.40 a day with a history really is an
attractive investment today and one that should be exploited. Domains ARE a
great long term investment. Something we as an industry have known for many
years. Now others are going to be looking for safety and domain names are in
their direct path.

But no matter how well any of us do, we too will feel the pinch. Our lives
will be affected by this. Your favorite restaurant is going broke. Maybe. But it
will be things like this that will happen and the quality of life may go down no
matter how much money you have or make.

They are throwing trillions and trillions on the fire trying to get it
under control. Not a single expert in the world knows if it will work. Obviously
if it does not work we have created an even bigger problem and that is something
almost too scary to even discuss. When you hear Warren Buffet say it is an
'Economic Pearl Harbor' it is time to pay attention. Time to prepare. Time to
realize this is no drill. 2009 is going to be a year I can't even write what I
believe is about to happen.

Whatever has happened in 2008 really won't even begin to manifest itself
until 2009. The fallout of all this has not hit yet. It will. It is. There is no
hiding from it. Be prepared for as flurry of collapses right after Christmas and
into the first half of next year. An avalanche. Like nothing any of us have
ever seen. Things are tough on Main St. They are fighting for survival. It's all
about buying time and the 1st of each month gives birth to another group that
can't meet their obligations and collapse.

Meanwhile domainers are busy building, expanding, testing and breaking new
ground. Parking is going thru a transformation. The traffic that domainers hold
is moving around at a pace never seen before. The testing has never been more
important. Optimizing each domains has never been more important. The race is
on. Parking companies in a rush to improve their interface and click thrus while
at the same time having to deal with traffic swings and losses that they just
are not accustomed to and some may not be prepared to absorb. Downsizing is
coming. Consolidation is coming. Opportunity is also coming. Those that are
strong may seize opportunity. Those that are weak ARE the opportunity.

No question about it. We live in interesting times and I think 2009 is
going to be a little too interesting. The numbers paint a picture that scares
the hell out folks that understand those numbers. On my check I have my favorite
self made quote. 'Trust numbers, not people.' which is from the saying I have,
'Numbers I trust, people I don't' or in more blunt terms, 'People lie, Numbers
don't.' In 2009 it will be all about the numbers. No talking will change the

Have a very Merry Christmas. A Happy Hanukkah. And the best of New Year's!
Most importantly, I hope you and your families get thru 2009 healthy and

Rick Schwartz

It’s the SALES, Stupid!

Morning folks!
The Internet is about sales socializing, news, information etc. But it is SALES that
drives everything. Sales!
Sales. Nothing matters more than sales. Not a worker works. Not an assembly line moves. Not a truck rolls down the highway. The world as you can see comes to a grinding halt when sales stop.
So when we go through
economic downturns like this, folks realize it is SALES that drives the world
NOT BRANDING! Branding is a bi-product of sales. Madison Ave FAILED to get that.
Now they are forced to learn or be washed away.
GM won't have a Superbowl ad. Lots of people
won't make the $$$ they were expecting. No commissions. No bonuses. No nothing.
Branding DIED this year. Not all branding. Just the stupid branding that never
led to any additional sales!
Sales, sales, sales. Nothing else matters. THAT is
why this Google change has the potential to be so significant. When sales are
the measuring stick you will see 10 cent visitors turn into $10 visitors and
even $100 visitors. When they pay for sales and not smoke and mirrors the rush
will take a turn and type in traffic will be the biggest beneficiaries of the
next phase of all this. When the universe sees that pure natural traffic can
close at higher rates, big changes will
happen. Google may provide the tools to make those changes a reality.

My favorite example is my Can you imagine how much
general traffic has to be filtered out to get 10 buyers? 10 actual people looking to buy
a cubic zirconia right now? We are talking millions. Maybe tens of millions. Filtering millions to have
10 or 20 buyers. That could get to be an expensive and difficult task if you don't target well or buy worthless traffic.
Sales is the measuring stick. Branding comes with more sales. You don't grow 'Orange Juice' you grow ORANGES! You don't go out to 'Brand' you just sell more product and the JUICE is branding. Madison Ave has it ass backwards and they are too smart to learn.
All I can say is the Internet is littered with the caucuses of great branding strategies that drove THOUSANDS of companies out of business. Way to go Madison Avenue! Just realize that the next guy that hires you is looking to increase sales or he would not be talking to you to begin with.
Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

The Look of Priceless and a Chance to Seize Opportunity






The Look of PRICELESS is absolutely FREE when you register for TRAFFIC today.

We are offering 7 of our keynote speakers including Steve
Forbes, Terry Jones, Barbara Corcoran, Jim McCann, John Reese plus Andrew Miller
and Zappy Zapolin all LIVE as they speak to the domain industry at previous
TRAFFIC shows. This is the first time we are even offering this as we have
filmed and/or recorded their speeches for historical reference. BUT, if you
register by December 31st we will give you a set FREE. Absolutely free and what
we have is priceless. Absolutely priceless.

Howard and I really feel this is the best type perk we can offer folks. If
it was not for us continuously investing back in the industry we would have
never had a reason to invest in these DVD's. We just wanted an historical record
of an emerging industry and at the same time have the TRAFFIC show pay dividends
even after the shows are long over. If you have never been to a TRAFFIC show,
these recordings are so valuable that you can pay for a ticket, not come to the
show and still be ahead of the game. PRICELESS is the value. There is absolutely
no question that when you have the likes of a Steve Forbes talking to one of his
smallest audiences and focusing on a TINY industry, it is going to be jammed up
with more info than any one human could possibly comprehend just being there.
Having this for reference is nothing less than priceless. Especially when you
hear what Forbes says in 2007 and the relation it has to where we are now. He
called it. I could go on to write about John Reese who blew the audience away
back in 2006 and just a few weeks back Barbara Corcoran hit it out of the park.

We literally have hundreds of
thousands of dollars in expenses in bringing these folks to engage the domain
industry and hundreds of thousands more to make these recordings over the years.
So plan early and get rewarded many times over. We have made 100 sets so only
the first 100 registrations are eligible. Some may express interest in buying
these, however we have decided not to make these available for sale at any price making this 7 DVD
set even more valuable. A reason to make a decision now. Everyone wins when good
decisions are made.

Our dates for our 2 domestic T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows for 2009 have been posted on our brand
new website. Silicon Valley April 27-30 (Just 15 minutes from the Google campus
and directly across the street from Yahoo) and New York City October 26 - 29. In 2009.

Our early bird special of $1495 for Silicon Valley runs thru January 15th.
But if you are in a position to plan ahead we reward you by offering you
something that we feel will has real value and may be worth the price of
admission itself.

We had just 10 weeks to plan the Silicon Valley show in 2006. It changed the course
of the domain industry. The show in 2009 will be much more important as current
events unfold. We have been working on it for months already and hope to have a
major announcement very soon. With all the changes the industry faces this is one TRAFFIC you can't afford to miss
. There are times for parties and there are times to do business. 2009 will be the single most challenging year many will have lived through and 2010 can go either way. So make sure if you leave the comfort of your home and family next year that you come back with something to show for it that makes the storm we are about to go through a little easier to survive.

As you know we offer certain incentives when you plan early. I want to make
it clear that the incentives we offer never get better. They may be different,
but the overall price rises and the best deals are offered early.
Our incentives may be in different forms, but the lowest prices and best
perks are based on how early you register. Register now and get the $1495 Early
bird plus these collector DVD's to enjoy over and over again! Anyone that has
already registered and paid for the Silicon Valley show (other than transfers)
will automatically receive these DVD's. I can't think of anything we can give back with more meaning and long term benefits than this. I hope you think so too.
That's it for now folks. Have a Safe
and Joyous Holiday Season.
Note: Date on Disc One is actually 2005 not 2006 and will be updated accordingly.

Morning folks!!

The move by Google is potentially the most sweeping change to come to
domainers since the inception of the industry. Earlier this year I believed and
was told directly that there would be a major shakeup by Google. Abuses in the
industry were so bad and our 'Partners' were putting the entire industry at
risk. I was told directly that if the domain industry did not clean things up,
Google would. Of course I had no idea in what form that 'Clean up' would come in
but it was clear that the industry was not focused on cleaning it up

We may have the economy to thank for saving us because Google did what I
believed they would do, just did it to the parking companies which they too must
have believed was a big part of the problem. They did this in spite of the
relationships with the ppc companies. (Maybe some of those relationships were strained) This showed that business trumps those
relationships with the parking companies. That was an overwhelming move.

The real reality is the MOTIVE behind Google's move. If besides cleaning things up it is to have a
more direct relationship with domain owners? Than we are big winners. If it is
to stop the abuses going on by some parking companies, then domainers are the
big winners. If it is to get rid of the TM traffic, domainers are the big
winners. If it is to get rid of the CRAP traffic that parking companies have
mixed in with our PURE traffic then domainers are the big winners.

Now if you are a conspiracy type guy than there is a host of issues where
domainers could be losers. That would take quite some time to fully explore. I
have yet to even go down that road in my mind yet. I am still wrapping my head around what this move means. There are so many facets on so many fronts. It will take all of 2009 to see the full impact.

Right now the big losers seem to be the parking companies IF they continue
their present formula. Parking companies provide a service. I am willing to pay
for that service and continue using it, but transparency comes in many forms and the curtain on this
has been pulled, exposed and all are about to see things they never saw before.

People LIE......NUMBERS don't. Parking companies have long thought of
themselves as our 'Partners' and they got their 'Partner' share. Today the
equation changed and now they are folks that provide a SERVICE. How much is
their service worth? 50%?? NO! 35%? NO! 25%? NO! We all know what a reasonable
number is and the parking companies that choose the right number will survive
and maybe even thrive while the others are SURE to collapse. Here is what I said
in a interview in August:

'Here is the bottom line. There is going to
be a new solution come to domainers that will knock PPC out of the box
unless things change. I am going to do everything I can to make that
happen until our “Partners” act like partners. Until then, they have REAL REASON
to be concerned. PPC companies provide a service, but without our traffic
they have nothing
. Is that service really worth 50% of our revenue?
35%? Until now we have seen huge growth in the PPC companies. It is the
domainer fueling their growth while sacrificing our

Parking will survive, many of the players won't. See there is
only one way for parking companies to survive and that
is to assume their proper role in all this. The
companies that do not embrace the new reality are doomed. Not because I say so,
doomed because no company can make the wrong choice on this one and survive.
Parking companies provide a 'Service.' How much is that Service worth? Today,
less than yesterday and those parking companies that don't figure this out I
believe will collapse.

I think Google may have realized that it may be easier to deal with 20
parking companies, but in the long run they have little or no control and no
real relationship with their 'Clients' that are the ones they are actually doing
business with that provide the TRAFFIC. If they don't develop and nurture that
relationship it leaves the door wide open for a challenge. This takes the domain
channel out of play to a large extent or at least strengthens their position against any upcoming challenge. This prevents a parking company from
jumping ship and moving millions of daily visitors from going to a potential
competitor. This move is so big and so bold that it may be months before we know
the full extent of the impact. This has the potential to be the single biggest
game changer in the history of the domain industry. Never been a better time to
shake things up.

Google has changed the game and in a dramatic way with this bold move. It
was long overdue. I really never thought they would do something so drastic and
domainer friendly. I won't deny I was concerned about Google cutting off the
entire domain channel given the depth of the abuses. I think they have been
wrestling with how to handle this all year. Google sent enough warnings that if
the domain industry would not clean house, they would. Well, they did just that.
But the change they made is so sweeping I really never thought it would
happen. They have embraced good domain traffic in a very big and dramatic way
while planting the seeds of cleaning up the unproductive traffic that hurts
everyone. For now, domainers have gotten a great Christmas gift. I think this
may be just one step in a series of steps to shake out the crap and reward the
gold. That said, I still think parking companies have their role and we will
just have to see what exactly this shake up leaves in its' wake.

One thing for sure, the entire impact of this can not be articulated in one
post or even a series of posts. This opens things up in a way that creates
competition and competition will create opportunity. But it will take a long
time to get our heads around this and to see the impact it will have. As I
stated in the DNJournal article last week, 'I think the numbers will tell
the real story.'

Have a GREAT day!