Quick TRAFFIC Thoughts

I spent much of the day catching up on some things that I overlooked during the past few days, and the rest of my day was spent traveling back to New York City… I hate flying in the rain, and it was raining in FLL and at JFK.

AI am not ready (nor awake enough) to post a recap of the Traffic conference tonight, but I want to post something quickly in response to a few articles I caught just now via  Domaining.com.

The quick summary is that I had a great time at the conference and thought it was very well organized and well attended. I didn’t think the auction was very good, which I will discuss more tomorrow, but I think the auction was just a tiny part of the entire conference. I find it peculiar that people are so focused on the results and use it almost as an indictment of Traffic.

I met with a number of people and companies who are in the process of creating very large and exciting projects in the domain space. There were several deals announced during the event, which will help domain investors sell domain names. I met with a few companies that are building products and services that will help domain investors.

The mood was far more jovial than just a couple of years ago, despite the current economic uncertainty. I didn’t go to bed before 2:00am, and I found myself with dozens of attendees hanging out and talking shop each night.

I found it very disappointing to read comments in articles that seem to imply that Traffic wasn’t a good conference. This is especially concerning and frustrating because I am quite sure those commenters were not even in attendance. It’s like reading a Yelp review about a pizza place you’ve never tried and agreeing that the pizza is bad. It makes no sense.

Anyway, I just want to follow up to Mike’s post because I agree with just about everything he posted. I will post a full rundown of my conference takeaways tomorrow, but I had a very good time at the conference. I probably spent more time meeting with people than I did at any other event in the past, and I believe it’s going to lead to increased business for my company.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. The auction produced very disappointing results. There is really no way to sugarcoat it.

    – There was 240K in total sales. Nothing major sold.

    – Sex.co – $60K top bid. The reserve was not published as far as I know, so if it was $50K it would have sold there for a top 5 keyword.

    – When I looked at the live stream there were 3-4 people there out of about 40 seats in view. Other people have told me there were many more people in the room out of the camera view. There was probably a better way to frame it so the room did not look empty.

    – No online bidding was a huge mistake. There are several domains I would have bid on, and probably others would have as well.

    – The auctioneer kept messing up domain names.

    – There were garbage domains between domains with reserves of several hundred thousand.

    This is an auction dealing with internet assets.
    I think it is absolutely essential to have internet bidding.


    • @ Brad

      I am talking about the TRAFFIC conference, of which the auction is one small part. I wouldn’t rate the conference based on one party or panel, so it’s silly to pass judgment based on the auction.

  2. Brad,

    If you measure a conference simply by the results of an auction then you are missing 100% of the reasons why people attend these things.

    and Elliot, I suspect you will have to repeat your prior comment over and over again for the next 10 years. You’re a much more patient man than I am 🙂

    moving on ….


  3. @ Adi

    I agree with you. If people didn’t like it, that’s their opinion, which is cool with me. Some people like apple pie and others don’t. I just don’t like it when people call Traffic a failure or say that it wasn’t good when they didn’t go.

    Owen Frager is certainly entitled to his opinion, although I disagree with his assessment.

  4. @ Elliot

    I was not at the conference, so I can not comment on it.
    My observations are on the auction alone.

    The auction is not some minor part of TRAFFIC, it is a core heavily promoted part of it.


  5. @ Brad

    Aside from Rick’s blog, where was it heavily promoted? IMO, expectations are always high because of past results, but things have changed. The auction was a very small aspect of the conference for me.

  6. @Brad

    There were a lot of people at the auction. I didn’t see the live streaming of it, because I was there and had no reason to do so. Not sure of the view the camera provided, but I’d estimate that there were 80+ people in the ballroom where the auction was held. I can tell you for certain that there were two domains that were not in the auction that sold the next day. The sales came about because of the networking at the event. So while the auction numbers weren’t great a lot of domains were (and still are) changing hands as a result.

    Owen is entitled to say whatever he wants to. But the people jumping on board claiming the event wasn’t a success, well that’s just mob mentality.

  7. Let me clarify my own position: I speak for myself, when I said that I agreed with Owen that T.R.A.F.F.I.C sucked, I also made it clear that Rick, and the organizers were not to blame for it; I do not measure success in terms of money/auction sales; it is my opinion that domain sales in the range of $5000 to $25,000 are just as important as the big ones of $5,000,000. When selection is made for domains to offer, it should NOT depend on who owns the domains. If you take a look at the list, just like the ones at Sedo, you see domains that are just as good as yours, or worse, yet, the average domainer doesn’t get included in these auctions. How is the average guy supposed to make a living doing this? I believe we should deal with some sort of industry association where all professional domainers are given a chance to get some of their domains in the list. Secondly, if the Berkens, Elliots, Schwartzs, Neus, Schillings, and so on, of this world aren’t going there to buy domains, then who are? If the domains are so good, and such a deal such as the iWet.com deal, why didn’t they clean house and buy those domains? They are the ones making all the money? I’m not jealous; okay, maybe a little! Listen, we should expand the pool of people doing well in this thing. It will be good for everybody. When I said the event sucked, I meant it was simply the insiders partying and having a ball, with raining. Such an industry epic event should be featured on CNN, MSNBC, BLOOMBERG, ESPN, you name it… and the opportunity explained to NONDOMAINERS. It’s either that big, or don’t do it at all. Less emphasis should be placed on CATEGORY KILLING domains. There are good domains besides the killers. For example, the cat that came away with iWet.com was the Traffic Killer of a deal! He or she made the best deal of the century. So, I applaud Ricky for carrying the weight on his shoulders, but he is bringing it on himself, he should let in more people to help put this thing together. I have a background in mass communications, and networking industry. We need to take this industry to cable television. We can afford some spots late at night…. thank you.

    (By the way, a domain conference can never be successful if the auction was not successful. That is the difference between Traffic and the other ones. We need to retain every talent in the industry such as Latona, Monty, and others, while attracting more. less feuding will be helpful. People should handle their personal business outside of business).

  8. @ Uzoma

    I buy and sell lots of domain names in the aftermarket, but I don’t generally buy or sell them auction. I haven’t submitted a domain name for a live auction in a couple of years (Domain Roundtable) and I haven’t bought one since one of Rick Latona’s auctions.

    Smaller domain sales in the 5-25k range are my personal bread and butter, but auctions ending under $10k and sometimes less, seem to suck the life out of the auction. It’s not fun for most attendees to watch the auctioneer try to extract an extra few hundred dollars from bidders.

    I don’t agree about the iWet.com deal being the “Deal of the century” but if you thought the price was so good, you should have made accommodations to bid on the phone to get it.

  9. “Its funny when someone says that this auction was successful.”

    @ adam

    Who said it was successful? I just re-read all of the comments and couldn’t find it. I certainly didn’t.

    It’s funny to me when idiots comment on blogs all day and probably have just a few shitty domain names, yet they spend all sorts of time on domain name related websites. I suppose it’s more sad or pathetic than funny.

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