I saw that Mike made a few nominations for the 2009 TRAFFIC Awards, which will be given out at the New York TRAFFIC conference, and I want to share a few of my nominees. This year has proven to be the most difficult one I have faced in the domain industry, and there are several individuals who stand out in my opinion and deserve recognition and praise.
BEST DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR:
Shaun Pilfold – Kelowna.com: Shaun has spent much of this year building a business on the geodomain, Kelowna.com. Instead of a standard geodomain name (like mine) with tourism information, event updates and a bit of news, Shaun has taken Kelowna.com to the next level. Shaun’s company has sunk significant resources into the business, hiring journalists, editors, and sales staff, while marketing the heck out of the business. During the Kelowna forest fires, Kelowna.com provided the best local coverage and won a lot of praise from the local people. Shaun’s company owns a plethora of great domain names, including Jobs.ca and more.
Richard Douglas – Oakville.com: Richard is one of the smartest people I know, and he has privately provided a tremendous amount of advice to me about development, SEO, marketing, hosting and more. Richard’s Oakville.com, which launched in the past year, was built on a great platform that will allow the company to scale. From geocoded directory listings to a great news distribution service, Oakville.com is quickly becoming recognized in the community. Oakville.com was also a partner of the RBC Canadian Open, a PGA event held in Oakville, and the site received recognition from the Oakville city government and local business leaders. Richard also runs the domain blog, TooManySecrets.com, which has great development insights.
DOMAIN HALL OF FAME
Mike Berkens: There is no doubt in my mind that Mike Berkens deserves to be in the Domainer Hall of Fame. Without question, Most Wanted Domains, the company Mike founded, has one of the top generic domain portfolios in the world. In addition to this, Mike’s blog, TheDomains.com, is one of the best sources of information about the domain industry, and Mike breaks down how outside factors will impact our domain investments and developed websites. Mike attends most of the domain conferences, and he is very approachable, always willing to give advice and offer honest feedback.
THE “WE GET IT” AWARD
Candy.com: This one was pretty easy. A small candy company bought Candy.com for $3,000,000 and have greatly increased their brand recognition and traffic. They went from being somewhat unknown to owning one of the best generic domain names that money could buy – and arguably the best in their industry. At every tradeshow, the Candy.com team will be instantly recognizable whether other vendors and buyers actually know them. This was a very smart strategic move.