In hindsight it seems a little silly. Michael Berkens even said it “I think the lack of online bidding hurt the overall sales figures“. Yesterday’s auction never had a chance. Our domains’ value is built on people using the Internet to visit them. The scope and the range of the Internet is what makes them so valuable. The ability of billions of people to easily access our assets from anywhere in the world. But then we hold a closed door auction and say, “If you are a real player you’ll be here and bid on these names”
I fell for it. I had been talked into believing that I wasn’t a real domainer because I wasn’t at the TRAFFIC auction. I felt guilty not being there and wanted to see what all the hype was about. I thought for sure there would be enough money in person at the show to drive a good auction. There wasn’t. For all the fraud and problems involved with having an online auction there is also the positive of giving everyone a chance to join in. The same security that the Net gives to the fraudsters is the security that lets people sit at home and spend big money on domains. Yes I realize people could easily have easily called in so maybe my whole idea is thrown out the window and the quality of the names or the pricing was wrong. I don’t have the answer, but I learned yesterday that even the King of Domains doesn’t either. And for some reason that makes me feel better. Not because bringing people down makes me feel better. It’s because it shows that everyone has challenges that take several tries to overcome. Even Rick Schwartz. He did everything possible to have a good auction. It wasn’t for lack of knowledge, planning, or hard work. He did it all right. Yet our industry has had yet another auctions with less than success.
What has been successful is the conference itself. Everyone I’ve talked to has said it’s been great. Bad weather aside, the sessions have been entertaining and informative and overall first class. It’s as professionally run and organized as any conference in the world. Take out the auction and the bad luck of bad weather and there aren’t any problems. So it’s a shame that any negative light has to be shined. BUT when someone tells you they are going to amaze then they better amaze.
Speaking of amazing. These statements were amazing
The main buzz at the show is to distinguish ourselves between professional domainsers that take this business seriously and all the clowns and time wasters that don’t. PERIOD! So a $600 price point allows those that want to JOIN pros and become PROS to access the program.
The final roll out will be in late December. We will be adding all types of goodies to what is already a powerful way for PROFESSIONAL domainers to stay in touch, buy and sell domains and interact in ways they were not able to do before.
Here’s another thing I learned at TRAFFIC yesterday. I’ve met many of the people in this industry and $600 isn’t going to weed out the unprofessional. As a matter of fact some of the scum in our industry have plenty of money. While I’m not saying that the app is not a great app nor am I saying that the $600 isn’t well worth the price. What I’m saying is that most of our industry makes money by selling stuff to others in our industry. I get tired of people saying if I don’t pay my memberships to this I am not a real domainer. You don’t need to be listed on a website or have access to the pros to be successful. If you achieve success those things they will be given to you. Successful people don’t pay others. They pay you.
So kudos to Rick and everyone that put on the show. They did what they thought was necessary to put on a good conference. I think the only flaw of the entire production was assuming that a show catering to the top of the industry is the way to go. I think this is the wrong approach. The enthusiasm that we see on a daily basis is built on the average domain investor dreaming of becoming those top domainers. We make money by selling that dream. By excluding them and pricing them out of a conference you don’t make it more prestigious, you are taking the fire and passion away. I think this is why DomainFest continues to be a success. They do a good job making big and small feel welcome. TRAFFIC on the other hand promotes exclusivity. While there is nothing wrong with branding something as “the best of the best”, I think the better strategy for our industry is promoting the blending of types of domainers. The success of “dining with a celebrity domainer” at DomainFest was defining. The lunches and breakfasts filled up quickly. People absolutely loved having dinner with Berkens and Frank. A few people were even giddy. Small and big domainers were encouraged to talk and share and it worked. Our industry is small, a tight circle, and can be intimidating. The more we can do to encourage more people to attend the better. It doesn’t have to be a charity to the small domain investor, make them pay for the privilege of sharing information. Just make sure they feel comfortable as they blow their hard earned money. Make them have the time of their life. Ammar Kubba doesn’t even know it but one of my favorite moments of my first conference was having him take me out to a club on my first night. He didn’t know me from a hill of beans (and still may not) but I had new respect and support for him and all his companies, just for treating me like the rest of the “big” domainers.
In short, TRAFFIC was a great try with many successes and many opportunities. I’m sure Rick would welcome any positive recommendations from those that attended and a “kiss my ass” to those that bash after the fact.