NamesCon Highlights – 1

There were so many great interviews and panel sessions at NamesCon 2016. Over the next week, I’m going to write about some that really appealed to me.

First cab off the rank was the “fireside chat” that Ron Jackson (of DN Journal fame) had with Paul Stahura (CEO of Donuts).

Paul is an incredibly smart man who has been the architect of several extremely successful enterprises in the digital world. But he actually started off as a roboticist!

To read about his background, have a quick read of Ron Jackson’s excellent article:

The Paul Stahura Story – How He Went from Building Robots to Reconstructing the Domain World

The Future According To Paul

Whilst Paul acknowleges the current and total dominance of dot com, he believes that there is a “NOT COM REVOLUTION” underway.

Obviously he isn’t going to say anything to the contrary, but when I listened in person to his logical presentation of some pertinent facts, I could not help but be a bit swayed.

This guy’s track record to date indicates that when he puts his mind to something (and plenty of his own money to boot), then he expects to succeed.

These are some of the messages on the Donut’s site:

  • The Internet has changed from black-and-white to color! There now are hundreds of new domain names available to establish a meaningful, memorable, online identity and tell the world exactly what you’re about.
  • Donuts provides hundreds of fresh and relevant new domain name options for anyone establishing a new Internet identity, or refreshing an existing one. Opportunities for creative naming are as limitless as the Internet itself.

This is a list of the current TLD’s (Not-Com’s) that Donuts controls – along with their respective stats. Interesting to note that the launch of .wine is imminent.

Below is their “Freedom of Choice” video campaign. Quite catchy.

In Conclusion

Have I been totally converted to the “dark side”? The simple answer is no.

I think .au will always be dominant in Australia – and they will always be my number one choice of domain. If a local business does not have an .au domain first and foremost, then they are asking for trouble.

However, I do believe that some of the new TLD’s will gain in popularity. Companies like Donuts have squillions in their advertising budgets, and they know how to appeal to their target markets via the internet and social media. They also have huge cheer squads in registrars (because they offer them huge new opportunites to earn fresh income).

Importantly though, Australia is a limited market place. As a domainer, I think there are some real opportunities to also have a calculated dabble on the global stage. I never used to think that way – but I do now.

Interested in your thoughts. What do you think?


8 thoughts on “NamesCon Highlights – 1

  • January 18, 2016 at 11:34 am


    Looks like lots of speculators have staked a few claims.

    Paul’s in the picks and shovels business is smart but when the gold field turns out to be barren it’ll be interesting to see how long he stays in business.




    • January 18, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Agreed. Once bitten, twice sure for many. I’m unlikely to change my mind until I see businesses using them.

      Today I saw the first TV commercial with a .melbourne domain that wasn’t backed/promoted by vested interests.

  • January 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    You tell the general person in the street which i own they have no idea what to type what it is and a recent study found that most people remembered it as when asked to type it in you will see many new tlds fumble and fail due to the high icann cost and running costs then where will people stand with the domain name

  • January 18, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Dot Com Dot Au = Local


    Dot Com = International


    Want to buy my Gtlds ……… let me know


    Cheers !

  • January 18, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    If the internet was invented in 2015, I can see how the hundreds of new gTLD’s could be seen as a better system. But with 20 years of ingrained “DOT COM means the internet” I don’t think general business is taking it seriously. I get the line when Frank says in his talk, “Your kids are going to love them” ( – and that’s an awesome Back To The Future analogy, but I’m not sold at this point. The other side to that coin is that every high school student right now is being told by internet-savvy parents that gTLD’s are not worth anything and that .com and are the only trusted domain name extensions.

    I can’t see us walking around in the future, riding hoverboards, saying to each other, “just go to the website, Perth DOT Hotels”.

    Then again, it could have been a better system, if that was how things started.

    Imagine if instead of “DOT COM” meaning the internet to the mass population for the past twenty years, just “DOT” meant you were talking about the internet. To me, this is the fundamental change that needs to mass-occur around the world for gTLD’s to become the norm. “DOT” has to mean THE INTERNET. Instead of “DOT COM” or “DOT COM DOT AU” for Australians.

    I’m not sure this can happen now. It may be too late.

    As we all know, being the BEST very early-on in the timeline of an invention of something is generally everything.

    I can’t imagine another social network beating Facebook. As much as I hate it, it is good at what it does and I’m not sure it is possible to make a better social network.

    I can’t imagine another search engine beating Google (although their power is mind-blowing at the moment and sometimes I wish some new company would beat them. I can’t believe they demoted exact match domain names!!! Doesn’t make any sense!! Argh, but that’s another story.). No one is going to start walking around saying, “Oh – you don’t know?! You should Yahoo that!” or, “You should DuckDuckGo that so no-one can spy on you as you search for a new bike for your kid!”.

    I just can’t imagine a bunch of new-world-order gTLD’s becoming more popular and mainstream than .com and and and .cn

    Then again, I could be wrong and I could miss the boat. Like I did in 1994.

    I was sitting around headbanging to death metal music, instead of fratically registering every FOR FREE – like the previous owner of did. I own it now, but he hand-regged it FOR FREE in the very early days and only sold it to me for the first time last year. Only one previous owner! (I dare you to look up the history!) (he also grabbed and and and and … FOR FREE!).

    Maybe I should be frantically registering (available) instead of trying to buy from the current owner?

    Nah, still can’t see it at this stage.

    Then again, being in Vegas could have given me a broader world-view on this subject, rather than what we’re used to in Australia…

    I need a time machine. That’s what I need.




    • January 19, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Great comment @Robert.

      New TLDs = “Your kids are gonna love them”

      .com/ = “Your kids are gonna wish they were around to secure them”

      Scarcity is what gives something value ie. the greater the demand relative to supply

      Forget about what is being traded, focus on supply and demand. VERY LITTLE demand for new TLDs and the boost in .com registrations since the inception of the new TLD program has matched the total number of new TLDs *combined*

      Wake up, dreamers

      • January 19, 2016 at 9:31 pm

        PS. Why shouldn’t Frank Schilling pedal the new TLDs??! – The new TLDs have augmented the value of Frank Schilling’s portfolio THREE TIMES OVER. His (.com) portfolio is now worth three times as much due to the new TLD program. Anyone ever think about that?!

  • January 19, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Guys, I don’t have a barrow to push as far as new gTLD’s are concerned.

    All I’m doing is giving you my impressions based on talking and listening to some of the most experienced domainers / domain brokers on the planet (for almost five days straight).

    When a guy like Andrew Rosener says he is “blown away” by some of the sales that are starting to happen, then to my mind he is worth listening to.

    I’m an old dog – but I’m also prepared to try and learn some new tricks. It might keep my longevity up.

    There is a new lollyshop in town, and I just might wander over and sample a few of their more appealing delights (without stuffing myself).

    No one is forcing any of you to come too. 😉

    (Apologies for the mixed metaphors).


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