• Archive for September, 2008

    .ME a success at the Traffic Conference in N.Y.

    September 25, 2008 // 2 Comments »

    .ME the ccTLD (country code Top-Level-Domain) of Montenegro, operated by DoMEn, d.o.o. a partnership between ME-NET, Afilias and GoDaddy had their first ever premium domain name auction yesterday Sept. 25th at the Traffic Conference in N.Y..   Wow what a success!

    Here are the results of the first ever .ME premium domain auction:

    • date.me sold at $70,000
    • love.me sold at $32,500
    • kiss.me sold at 20,000
    • ask.me sold at $20,000
    • buy.me sold at 17,500
    • loan.me sold at $15,000
    • marry.me sold at $12,000
    • show.me sold at $10,000
    • watch.me sold at $7,500
    • play.me sold at $7,500
    • rent.me sold at $6,000

    This has been tremendous start for .ME and the buzz in the industry is amazing.  .ME had already proven itself to become a popular TLD for the pubic, especially if you view the results of of Landrush Domains that received multiple applications and then went into auction.  The results of these can be viewed under auctions.domain.me.

    Looking at the above domains that sold, I can envision some really cool sites around “love.me” and “date.me”.  I can see these sites doing all sorts of things, selling t-shirts, hats, …etc.  These two domains allow for creative marketing.

    “Buy.me” would in my opinion have been ideal for a company like “BestBuy”, “IKEA”, “FutureShop” or an “Auction Company such as eBay” …

    I could envision “BestBuy” creating a site behind “Buy.ME” uploading all of their promotional items.  I could furthermore envision walking down the ailes of BestBuy and seeing stickers on articles that are on promotion and the stickers would read “www.Buy.ME”. It will be interesting to see how these sites actually develop in the near future.

    I am also curious to see how the renewals of .ME go in two years time.  Out of all the ccTLDs that are being used for alternative marketing such as .TV or .WS I foresee the best future for .ME.

    Posted in Domains

    Trip to New York

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    So, Tuesday I left the hotel in Tokyo at approx. 1 p.m. to take the bus to the airport.  Plane left at 5 p.m. and was I dreading the 12 hour flight to Toronto. What a flight!

    Got into Toronto on time. Damn, had to go pick up my luggage and go through US customers, meaning had to fill out all these forms.  How I hate this.  Went through US customs, same old questions, what do you do, how long are you staying, you signing any contracts,  …etc.

    So by the time I got through had to actually run to my gate to catch the connection to N.Y. Thankfully I made it on time.  Just another quick hop and I would be in N.Y.

    Hadn’t been in N.Y. since 1985 so was actually looking forward to visiting again.  When we flew in, we actually flew directly over “Ground Zero”.  It was a weird feeling after having seen 911 on TV and following reports on this tragic day, especially as the plane went absolutely quiet and everyone was looking out their windows.  What a sight!

    Quick cab ride form the airport to hotel.  Quick check in and then off to a party.  The next two nights were the worst ever.  After having traveed the world on numerous occassions I can clearly say that this has been my worst ever jet-lag!  Do NOT fly from Asia to the US East Coast.  A nightmare.  I haven’t had a decent nights sleep since arriving here in N.Y.

    Posted in Travel

    Robbie in Asia Part#4

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    So my last day in Tokyo, before I head out to N.Y. tomorrow afternoon.

    Tokyo is definitely a fascinating city.  After dinner at a Japanese BBQ yesterday we hit the night life district.  I am still amazed at all the lights, monitors with advertising and the number of people that were on the streets on a Sunday evening.  The streets were simply plastered with advertising.  The advertising was vertical, meaning every floor of most buildings were plastered with flashy lights and banners or monitors.

    This is also something I noticed about the metro in Tokyo.  The metro trains are all full of advertising.  I was thinking that the Japanese Metro must be making a killing on ad-revenue.

    So,, on my way to N.Y.

    Posted in Travel

    Robbie in Asia Part #3

    September 20, 2008 // No Comments »

    So, yesterday I arrived in Tokyo, Japan.

    Had no idea that the airport was so far from the city, but that didn’t really matter as the information provided at the airport was more than sufficient.  I easily got a bus ticket and took a Limousine Bus from the airport directly to the hotel.

    At the hotel I was a a bit disappointed with the Sheraton Miyako, until I was told that most Hotels in Tokyo are old and have small rooms. Oh well, it’ll definitely do and is more than sufficient.

    Today we went exploring a bit and used the metro which is highly efficient.  We went to see the Asakusa Shrine, a Buddhist temple in Tokyo.

    In the afternoon we had to call it the day as it starting pouring.  This was ok with me, as it gave me the chance to take an afternoon nap. ;-)

    Tomorrow it is back to business and Tuesday I head to N.Y. to attend the Traffic Conference, where .ME will be having its first ever premium domain auction.

    Posted in Travel

    Robbie in Asia Part#2

    September 19, 2008 // No Comments »

    Just about to wrap things up here in XIAMEN, China and head to the airport to catch my flight to Tokyo, Japan.

    I was very impressed with XIAMEN.  Very clean city on the East Coast of China just above Hong Kong and across from Taiwan.

    XIAMEN was not what I expected.  It lies beautifully on the coast of China and has a tropical climate.  Palm trees, nice coast line, extremely clean and organized.  Unfortunately I didn’t have time for any sightseeing, may be next time.

    My 3 days in XIAMEN were spent with business meetings with various different Chinese Domain Registrars.  After being in the domain business for many years now I am still amazed at how many different business models with respect to Domains exist.  One would think the domain business to be very straight forward, you accept registrations and then you renew them in the following year.  After being in China and visiting different registrars I am even more convinced that we have only scratched the surface of the Internet and what can be done with respect to Domains, Hosting and other internet related products.

    Ok, gotta to start packing and then off to Tokyo, a city that has always been on my “Want to see” list.

    Posted in Travel

    Robbie back to Asia Part#1

    September 18, 2008 // 2 Comments »

    Sept. 8th, I was off to Seoul Korea thankfully on a direct flight from Vancouver.

    This was my first trip to Korea and I was pretty excited, as my dad had worked in Ulsan for multiple years on a Hyundai project and had told me some stories in the past.  Also I hadn’t been back to Asia for over a year and was also therefore looking forward to this trip.

    It was about an hour drive from the airport to the Hotel.  The event was being held at the JW Marriott in Seoul.  Sept. 10th & 11th was spent with meetings at the regional ICANN Meeting in Seoul, Korea. These next two days were extremely productive in terms of business as well as networking.  It was definitely good to see known faces and friends at this event. I have been to multiple regional ICANN meetings in the past, but this in Seoul was by far one of the best attended Asian regional meetings I have seen.

    Sat. Sept. 13th we (Karim and myself) were then off to Beijing.  Ahh Beijing, after having been there multiple times I was extremely excited to go again this time around.  I hadn’t been there since February 2006 and having read so much about Beijing and the Olympics I was quite excited.

    We arrived at the new terminal 3 airport.  What a difference.  Everything was well organized and impeccably clean.  Immigration was quick and efficient and we had a car waiting at the airport for us.  Then it was off towards the hotel through which seemed an entirely new Beijing to me.  Hardly any traffic, very little honking, … simply well organized.  Only later did I find out that during the Olympic 2008 the government enforced the rule of “Odd” and “Even” Day driving, meaning if you have an Odd License Plate Number you are only permitted to drive every other day, so the traffic was flowing and we got to the China World Hotel fairly quickly.

    Saturday evening we then met up with Alex, a very close friend of mine, who I have now known for multiple years.  He founded ChinaSpringBoard in Beijing a few years back and seems to be doing well.  It is always good to see Alex, especially as he knows great places for food and partying.  As a result Karim and I didn’t get back to the hotel until early in the morning.

    Alex was able to get us into the Olympia Park on Monday so we naturally spent half of our day there.  Thanks again so much for everything Alex!  We also stopped by Coca-Cola which was pretty cool!

    Tuesday was then spent with more business meetings, which went extremely well.

    Wednesday I was off to XIAMEN, China.  It was a quick 2 h 40 min. flight and no hassle.  XIAMEN was not what I expected.  Apparently XIAMEN has the highest living standard in China.  Very clean and tropical.  Met up Leona in XIAMEN as she had the same companies to meet as I did, so why not combine them and utilize her language skills. ;-)   The meetings so far have gone extremely well and thankfully Leona was with me, otherwise they would not have been as fruitful.

    One more meeting today and then tomorrow I am off to Tokyo, Japan!

    Posted in Travel

    Hello Blog!

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    After years of working in the domain / hosting industry I have finaly decided to create my own blog!  Here it goes … ;-)

    Posted in General