Almost 10 years ago, before the first ever T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Conference, there was no Domain Industry - just a bunch of guys, and a few gals, hunched over their computers, trying to make some money buying, selling and monetizing domain names. But the first T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and all that came after created and sustained an industry that has given charities like Waterschool an opportunity to raise funds for good causes.

This didn't come easy. Howard, I and our families have worked very hard and have put our necks out to hotels and suppliers for millions of dollars over the years with nothing to sell except the furtherance and development of the domain name industry.

During these years, there have been those who sought to do business with the Attendees at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. without paying a dime to attend or sponsor including GOOGLE, YAHOO and OTHER SCABS. Companies and domainers that can afford to pay their fair share but feel entitled and superior to others and can't seem to see what they are doing is not ethical. Stealing our efforts for their own benefits.

We have always taken the position if these individuals and companies take advantage of us at T.R.A.F.F.I.C., then they will do the same to the domainers that they are trying to get to put their money with THEM. We have publicly pointed them out when they do unethical things.

We have nothing against the Water School, and, in fact, have supported it over the years both financially and giving it a platform at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. to raise funds. We applaud Richard Lau for taking this worthy charity and running with it to benefit those who do not have clean water.

The purpose is to raise funds for the Water School by using T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees as a base. That is fine. Where it goes off the rails is inviting ANY other domainers or companies who wish to network with domainers to the party with the express intention of not purchasing a ticket to T.R.A.F.F.I.C. If there was no T.R.A.F.F.I.C. there would be no Water School, no GlobalFest or any of the other domain gatherings that have come and gone like Mardi Gras and Roundtable.

When the organizers state 'the event is an open one as it is for charity and limiting it would take away funds from the WaterSchool charity” – but what would that be compared to the funds taken away from the Water School if TRAFFIC was not holding the event that will provide – most likely – at least 90% of their ticket buyers? So it is ok to undermine T.R.A.F.F.I.C.??

Therefore, it is our position that we encourage the Water School to have its fundraising event at the time and place in Las Vegas, but the price of admission for domainers and domain companies should include a badge showing that they registered to attend T.R.A.F.F.I.C. at the Bellagio Hotel. Howard and I are tired of the offenders (and they know who they are and we will remind you again OFTEN) of stealing from us to benefit themselves.

Travel hundreds or thousands of miles to take advantage of the hard work we do, the risk we take and then expect us to remain silent?? While folks undermine our efforts?? NO WAY! We just ask folks to HONOR the integrity of the show and the way you do that is coming in the front door and paying their fair share instead of LEECHING off others and PAYING attendees!

Shane Cultra asked if his mother, who has no interest in domains, could attend a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. party, and we said that there would be no charge, because there is no benefit. However, if KNOWN DOMAINERS or KNOWN SPONSORS etc. should happen to show up, they MUST pay as they are receiving a benefit from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. or they would not be there to begin with. So WHY should THEY get a FREE RIDE while others pay? What makes THEM special? Certainly does not show much character.

Rick Schwartz
Howard Neu