Exciting Times Ahead

Tuesday the 31st of January was my final day of being a domainer / domain investor in the Aussie market. I wrote about that in an article entitled “End Of The Road”. Back then I hinted that something was in the wind!

“Another opportunity has been presented to me, and I intend pursuing this with vigour. More on this at a later time.”

Some big news that I can at last officially share. As from later today, I start a new business life – and it’s one that I’m extremely excited about. I haven’t been able to discuss it up until now, because I only received regulatory approval three days ago.

I’m going to the “dark side” – through a new company, I’ve purchased the three Aussie registrars owned by Dark Blue Sea (in a share sale agreement). These are: Drop.com.au; Fabulous.com.au and Yexa.com.au. There are also several other domains. Fabulous.com is not included in the sale.

The purchasing process was made much easier thanks to some of the DBS crew – particularly Cam in the first instance; then Brendan and Subhash (from Enero).

I’m really pleased that Cam and Katherine are remaining on board to provide customer care at Drop. They are both the nicest (and helpful) people that I have had the pleasure of dealing with over the last 8 years +.

So for Drop customers, nothing will change operationally. You will still manage domains, payments and email support exactly as you always have.

And I am now a further point of contact. You can always email me about anything.

Legal Stuff

In Australia, you can’t be both a registrar and a domain investor (auDA policy). So I had to go through a big process of proper legal separation – particularly given that companies I formed and grew were large portfolio holders of domain names.

As I wrote back in January, my son Luke has taken over these companies, and his mission is to gradually sell down the portfolio of around 5500 domains (and not buy any more).

auDA has got a lot of “new brooms”, and so these applications for Change in Effective Control under the Registrar Agreements were thoroughly scrutinised. Suffice to say, it took a long time to get the approvals – and I had to make formal undertakings that no previous applicant in a similar situation had to. But I’m not complaining. I accept that auDA had to do this; and all interested parties can feel confident that everything has been done by the book. I’d like to extend my thanks to Rachael Falk at auDA (Director Technology, Security & Strategy) for the professional way she dealt with everything.

I also want to thank Anthony Peake from DomainShield who has been incredibly helpful along the way.

What Does The Future Hold?

I’m going to write extensively about this over the next week, but in the meantime, here are the bullet points.

  • Become a domain investor friendly registrar with excellent customer service;
  • Explore ways to return Drop.com.au to its former position of dominance in the drop-catching area;
  • Build an Aussie aftermarket that will be second to none (already in planning stage);
  • Re-introduce selected aftermarket listings into the daily drop auctions;
  • And lots more …

Having been a successful domainer / domain investor for many years, I know what is required!

This won’t all happen overnight, so please be a little patient. There are some wonderful times ahead. Enough to keep an old bloke motivated. 😉

For The Record

I don’t resile from any of the previous opinions I have expressed on this blog. Particularly in relation to direct registrations; and my belief that the registry contract should go out to tender later this year (as was previously agreed to by the auDA Board).

Obviously, as a registrar, I’m going to potentially benefit if and when direct registrations are introduced. But I am still of the belief that they are not necessary given the current size of our .au marketplace. I also still hope (and do trust) that auDA will properly consult with as many registrants as possible before they decide whether to actually implement direct registrations – and in what manner they intend to do so.

Given that I will be a registrar later today, I am limited under my registrar agreement as to what I can say and do. So please don’t expect me to go on a crusade – I need to concentrate on running my new business. Having said that, Domainer always welcomes relevant guest articles – and I extend the invitation again to anyone who wishes to express a non-defamatory point of view about anything domain name related.

Conclusion

Happy to hear what you think! And if you have any questions, please fire away.

Until tomorrow …

Ned O’Meara – 2nd February 2017

Disclaimer

53 thoughts on “Exciting Times Ahead

  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 10:52 am
    Permalink

    Super exciting news Ned!  Congratulations again on the news and I look forward to seeing where you can take Drop.

    Hopefully back to the good old days when Drop was king. 🙂

    With your knowledge and passion for the industry, you’re definitely the right person for the job.

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 7:05 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Shane. Appreciate all your wishes and goodwill. Make sure you run for the auDA Board again!

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 10:54 am
    Permalink

    Congratulations on your transition to Registrar Czar.

    It’s also good to see the future of Drop, everyone’s favourite, in good hands.

     

    Like
    3 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm
      Permalink

      Have you got my address for the Bolly?

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 11:09 am
    Permalink

    Congratulations Ned!

    I’ve long been a passionate advocate of the au market and Drop.com.au was a product that I was proud to be involved in. It has been disappointing and frustrating to see Drop.com.au and the other Australian DBS ventures whither on the vine. I’m pleased that they will now get the attention that they deserve.

    There’s a great deal of work ahead of you, but I honestly can’t think of a better guardian for Drop.com.au.

    Like
    5 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks so much Andrew. I’ve really appreciated talking with you about domains and the industry over a long period of time. Your background knowledge accumulated over many years is amazing. I’m sure we’ll be talking a lot more in weeks to come!

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 11:23 am
    Permalink

    Hey Ned

    Great news mate & congrats on the purchase and the start of a very exiting next  chapter of your career in the domain industry.

    I look forward to seeing what happens at Drop now you are the Captain ????‍✈️ especially the .com.au aftermarket.

    Good fortune to you Ned.

    speak soon.

    Like
    3 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Ed!

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 11:41 am
    Permalink

    Congratulations Ned, this is fantastic news!

    The supply side of our industry needs a good shake up, and I have no doubt you will bring loads of positivity, transparency and fresh, innovative ideas to the market in the same win/win fashion that you’ve upheld for so long.

    Many have longed for Drop to return to it’s glory days — and I’m sure they are now looking forward to seeing that come to fruition. I’m sure you will also be more receptive to ideas from the community, which will prove popular.

    Like
    3 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 6:58 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Richard. You’re one of my oldest pals in the domaining business. 🙂

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 11:53 am
    Permalink

    That’s the best news I’ve heard in ages Ned. Congrats and good fortune to you.

    Jeff

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 7:15 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Jeff – appreciated.

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 11:54 am
    Permalink

    Congratulations Ned!

    I think Drop has found a perfect home with you, I’m confident you’re exactly the right person to bring a breath of fresh air to Drop and revitalize a product everyone loves.

    For those existing customers:  Operationally for you nothing will change.  You can keep managing, renewing your domains and contacting us at support via all the same channels.

    Like
    6 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 6:58 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Cam – you’re a top bloke, and I’m privileged to call you a friend (same goes for Katherine except without the “bloke” bit!).

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Luke Summers
    February 2, 2017 at 1:42 pm
    Permalink

    Congrats Ned! Exciting times ahead indeed 🙂

    Your knowledge and experience in the industry make you the ideal custodian of these registrars. With Cam and Katherine also remaining on board, the future looks very bright for drop.com.au, fabulous.com.au and yexa.com.au.

    Like
    3 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 6:54 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Luke – you’ve been an excellent confidant along the way! 🙂

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 3:35 pm
    Permalink

    Well done. I agree with the previous comments. The best thing that could have happened to the Domain business.

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 6:56 pm
      Permalink

      Mr McD – It’s good to see someone with so much knowledge in other areas of life and marketing enter the domain business! I see great things ahead for you.

  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 4:07 pm
    Permalink

    If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! I think it’s very clever that you’ve switched sides Ned. I’m sure you’ll miss the rush of being a domainer – but it makes good business sense to receive a small portion of many names a day, seven days a week, rather than a big portion of a few good names over a long length of time..

    Like it or not, as we all know, direct ccTLD .AU is coming. My Vegas trip last week has changed my mind on direct registrations. I’m into it now. I’ll explain more soon.

    I am really excited about DROP.com.au now that you’re taking over. I think it will be healthy to give NetFleet a shake up over their Aussie drop domination. I hope you are installing new servers, as I’m sure the latest technology in the nearest data centre to the AusRegistry database will play a big factor in helping you to be quicker than Netfleet. Whilst I was in Vegas, there were two other international drop platforms who told me they would love to get into the Aussie drop market… I can see a day when we have 4 or 5 drop platforms, which could be quite healthy.

    I’ve noticed some names are easier to get now on the drops, now that you’ve bowed out, which makes me happy, haha. But there is still a lot of competition out there for good names. The market is definitely growing! I’m brokering many names for large companies at the moment, so things are looking good in our strong domain name industry!

    I wish you nothing but success in your new venture Ned! I also hope you start winning me some names from Drop!

    Like
    Ned O'Meara likes this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 6:52 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Robert. I can honestly say that I’m not going to miss the “rush” of being out on the field.

      To use a sporting analogy, I’ve had my time being a “player”; and it’s been fantastic. Now I’ve bought “the club”, and want to see the new crop of players succeed. (Particularly guys like you!). Because when they do, so will I.

      As for all the improvements / innovations that are going to be introduced, stay tuned!

  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 4:15 pm
    Permalink

    Nice work Ned, I am sure you will do great things with DROP.

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 7:18 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks James – appreciated.

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 5:32 pm
    Permalink

    Pleased to hear the Drop staff are staying, good luck with it all, it has been a bit stagnant lately …change is good, cheers!

    Like
    Ned O'Meara likes this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 7:14 pm
      Permalink

      Good on ya Rod – look forward to catching up with you sometime this year. 🙂

  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 5:43 pm
    Permalink

    Well done Ned

    Obviously Drop has been a “non-event” for a long time (reminds me of a 90 year old solicitor still trying to practice law – so much history and knowledge but without the faculties to use it properly@!)

    We both know (and have agreed over a long period) that we need an efficient, well-promoted and fully-managed aftermarket platform in Australia

    I have no doubt that your domainer experience will help create that and provide a win-win for businesses seeking to enhance their online presence and domain name investors alike

    May the force be with you@!

    Like
    3 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 6:41 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Greg! I have appreciated your thoughts and ideas.

  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 6:16 pm
    Permalink

    Great news ned , Are any of these in your new business venture hooked to domain parking would be so nice to deal with a domainer who knows the fair deal a domain parker should get rather than getting screwed as for me one day alone 1000 uniques with clicks on ads and only penny revenues offered.

    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 6:40 pm
      Permalink

      @Shane – won’t be having anything to do with parking. To me, Fabulous.com is still the best provider for the Aussie market (because of ability to do 2-click landers).

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 6:44 pm
    Permalink

    Great News Ned,

    Good to know you have moved over to the Dark Side 🙂

    Having known you for so many years and your passion to get things done the right way and on time, I am sure you will take Drop.com.au to newer heights, never achieved by them before.

    Innovation is the name of the game in this industry and having seen both sides of the coin, I am sure you will bring the best out in the game.

    Good Luck my friend

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 2, 2017 at 7:07 pm
      Permalink

      Lovely to have a comment like this from you my dear friend Deepak. You are a legend when it comes to the Indian domain name space.

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 7:21 pm
    Permalink

    Congratulations Ned, that’s great news 🙂

    It’d be great to see drop.com.au (in terms of drop catching) return to something more than just the best platform for filtering the daily drop list!

    Another aftermarket platform would be welcomed no doubt, especially one with auctions like previous rather than just catalogue listings.

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 3, 2017 at 5:15 pm
      Permalink

      Appreciate your comments Joel. Thanks.

      I hope you will be impressed with what we ultimately come up with aftermarket wise. Obviously it will need a lot of support if it’s going to be a permanent fixture.

  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 9:07 pm
    Permalink

    Awesome news Ned, congrats!!

    Looking forward to seeing Drop.com.au come back as leader of the pack!

    • Ned O'Meara
      February 3, 2017 at 5:12 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Mike – might take some time, but we will get there.

  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 9:10 pm
    Permalink

    Ned, you never cease to amaze.

    A big CONGRATULATIONS is definitely in order here. You are one of the finest men i have ever done business with, and i look forward to continuing that relationship.

    Your professionalism, ethics and candor, are exactly what the au name space is in desperate need of. Now you will have a bigger soapbox to shout from 🙂

    I haven’t been in the domain industry long, but i have been around long enough to see some downright disgusting practices. I know, in my heart of hearts that you don’t have an unethical bone in your body. I will be recommending everyone i know, to move their domains, and do drop catching through you.

    Heck, last week i bought the domain luck.com.au from you, and you already had the named transferred to me before i had a chance to transfer the funds! That, in my opinion, is the perfect litmus test of a man. If you are willing to trust at that level, then you to can be trusted to the same level.

    Exciting times indeed.

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 3, 2017 at 5:11 pm
      Permalink

      Joel – you have such a way with words! You always make me feel extra special! Thank you. 🙂

      You’re a great guy to do business with – takes one to know one. 🙂

      Best wishes to you and Angie for your forthcoming nuptials!

    • Ned O'Meara
      February 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Emil – I have appreciated our association over the years.

  • Avatar
    February 2, 2017 at 10:33 pm
    Permalink

    Well that’s much better news than I thought was happening 🙂

    Congrats mate!

  • Avatar
    February 3, 2017 at 3:00 am
    Permalink

    Would be great to see an auction and for sale platform also Ned.

    Although some names which drop are good the real goldmine to be tapped is the value of existing registered .com.au and .net.au names people want to sell and others may want to buy if they only knew a suitable Australian based platform. Maybe you can be that platform.

    Netfleet had it once but they then moved away from supporting existing registrants to sell or promote that side.

    Perhaps a Monthly .com.au Premium domain name auction with low sales commission 🙂 could bring more Australian and international qualified and eligible buyers to the Australian market who would stimulate growth in domain names and also in investment to full development. Your website could tie in with a suitable advisor or Australian Domain Name Law firm to help them complete the registrations. Win Win for Australia.

    The fact is the USA  .com market and internet is booming. People are going crazy for .com names again and those names are being developed and backed by large scale Venture Capital again.  This is what Australia needs and auDA, industry etc needs to back it and a platform that makes it happen.

    You are 100% right about the competing proposed .au extension and need for an open wholesale registry tender. Australian consumers have been ripped off for too long. When was the last time there was a wholesale price reduction or real benefits to Australian domain name registrants from what auDA and Ausregistry have been providing? This is needed for Australia to be more competitive. With many deals people can buy a .com for 99 cents USD. Where does all the $millions of annual profits auDA and Ausregistry / Neustar Inc. USA make go… not back to domain name registrant consumers who fund their existence that’s for sure.

    Many registrars, resellers, registry people etc are both Supply and demand members. They seem to feel free to speak their mind and publish materials with their wishes, opinions, requests for votes a certain way… don’t hold back or be silenced too much on those issues you have been a strong voice for! Without you many things would not have even improved to this level but as you know a lot more needs to be done so please stay involved where you can and remain that strong voice for fairness, accountability and transparency plus a just deal for Australian domain name registrant consumers.

    __________

    Best of luck Ned….. stay true to the force… beware of the dark side ( Yoda) and the temptations it may bring we have seen several others taken over by…

     

    • Ned O'Meara
      February 3, 2017 at 4:58 pm
      Permalink

      @Sean – I’m totally in agreement about the potential for overseas investors investing in .au. This is definitely something I intend pushing with our new sales platform.

  • Avatar
    February 3, 2017 at 3:27 am
    Permalink

    Maybe you can run for auDA Supply board membership this year and hopefully even out the balance of scales more with some actual domain name owner and investor experience?

    FREE COR is due to come in this year. Let’s hope auDA and the Board follows through on that. It will make things a lot easier and we have been affected by it for too long like no other country. auDA made an error when it first set up that policy and it needs changing as they have admitted it can be done now finally. That FREE COR may assist the drop.com.au platform also.

     

    • Ned O'Meara
      February 3, 2017 at 4:55 pm
      Permalink

      @Sean – if I wanted to run for the Board I would have done so years ago! Much prefer to be in the position I am now. 🙂

  • Avatar
    February 3, 2017 at 4:38 am
    Permalink

    Congrats Ned… wishing you great success with your new endeavor. With your experience, enthusiasm and good ol’ Aussie “guts and determination” attitude, I have no doubt you will do well.

    • Ned O'Meara
      February 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Mike. Good to see the old Fabulous and Drop people appearing on here. 🙂

  • Scott.L
    February 3, 2017 at 10:29 am
    Permalink

    Rise, Lord Vader.

    Image result for rise vader

    Now you have the death star what will you do?

    Congratulations Ned.

  • Avatar
    February 3, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    Permalink

    Congrats, Ned!

    I must say, after following lots of domain blogs for many years and watching them break the news of new ownership of this or that company, what I normally expect to see from domainers is cynicism, skepticism, accusatory scoffing.  Pretty much every other month.  It’s refreshing to see people expressing – wow! – support for a change.

    In fact, I’ve never seen so many expressions of optimism regarding an ownership change for any domain industry company. We see selloffs and takeovers and mergers pretty much every month.  Maybe the .AU domainer community is more tightly knit than all those scattered gTLD investors.  Maybe it’s just confidence in Ned O’Meara.  Whatever the reason, it’s a promising sign of things to come.

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • Ned O'Meara
      February 5, 2017 at 7:40 am
      Permalink

      Thanks for your thoughts Joseph.

      I think what it boils down to is that the domain investor community simply wants some choice. At the moment, Netfleet pretty much has a monopoly as a local sales platform.

      Competition is healthy!

  • Avatar
    February 5, 2017 at 11:06 am
    Permalink

    That is fantastic news Ned

    You have been a market leader in the Domain industry for a long time, as you have said before Ned a rising tide floats all boats, you have been responsible for raising the value of all of our domains with you blog and leadership, you have been responsible proactively in helping lots of domainers who have not always been going about our business the right way including me, you noticed that I had over 100 names deleted for such a minor infraction and you got in contact with me and offered your help and support, from then on you tried and succeeded in getting changed how auDA view those infractions. Now you get to be a leader as a registrar and I wish you all the best in the future, you will bring new ideas and your trademark enthusiasm into the industry, im sure you will get Drop back to where it used to be as #1 in the business.

    Good luck mate

    Al

    • Ned O'Meara
      February 5, 2017 at 11:36 am
      Permalink

      Thanks for your kind words Alan. Cheque is in the mail! 😉

Comments are closed.