Pause: Stepping up to lead the Domain Name Association


Across a span of 15 years of establishing and running events, I have now launched many successful conference brands – MERGE, NamesCon, DomainFest, DotNXT and The Domain Roundtable – and NamesCon rapidly grew to become the leading conference in the Domain Name Industry, now operating in the very capable hands of GoDaddy’s Cloudfest team.

My focus will now be towards leading the Domain Name Association as the executive director of that important trade association for the great industry of Domain Names.  In addition, and in compliment to that activity, I will continue as a volunteer with the Public Suffix List (and related efforts) helping developers better interact with domain names.

I also contribute to the Universal Acceptance efforts, where Internationalized Domain Names and EAI (Email that works in more native languages), and helping countries with their ccTLDs.

I continue to provide expert witness services, consult registries, registrars, and related parties interested in the industry of Domain Names, and also own and operate a small ICANN-Accredited Registrar.  The focus is high quality registration of domain names, and working within the new regulations on GDPR or other such regulations, and efforts on “Know Your Customer” (KYC) and quality registrant experience.

You’ll see more activity in those areas and less activity here on my personal blog.

The Public Suffix List

The Public Suffix List (PSL) is a large, detailed list of Top Level Domains and their descendants or self-designated work-alikes, designed to aid programmers, integrators, sysadmins, security experts, email administrators, browsers, search engines, data scientists and other developers more elegant and detailed domain boundary resources.

The Domain Name Association

The Domain Name Association works to engage, educate and evangelize about the benefits, utility and innovation potential of domain names, the DNS and Top Level Domains as crucial Internet resources.

MERGE Orlando 2017

Hello and Happy Summertime 2017!

I hope to see you at MERGE in October for an amazing group of shows all at one event. We have been planning and working hard to have an exceptional conference.

Those of you who have known me over the past 25+ years in the Domain Name business know me as someone who is a founder amazing conferences, such as the NamesCon conference, DOMAINfest Asia, DOMAINfest(s), Domain Roundtable, DotNXT, ICANN Marketplace Panels, and in-firm technology summits.

After the great folks at WHD acquired NamesCon/DOMAINfest, this conference guy wanted to keep founding, developing and producing award winning shows. It was a privilege to have founded NamesCon with industry veteran Richard Lau, and working with Jodi Chamberlain at the start (and later Terri Potratz and Shalom Johnson) was delightful.

Richard’s selfless work towards the important charity was something that I really have to express was a big catalyst for us starting the NamesCon, and I am grateful for the opportunity for us to have co-founded NamesCon. He and I had each built up a great balance of goodwill within our industry relationships, and it made a big difference with the way NamesCon was embraced. WaterNight (I was the opening DJ for here’s a link to my DJ Set, including a Prince tribute) Jothan Frakes DJ Set from h2oPM2017.

The great team(s) at WHD (and their parent company HEG, now GoDaddy) are all fantastic, and will continue to produce exceptional, large conferences with general topics and content, they have an ability and interest in now manifesting my ideas for international expansion of the NamesCon brand, and let me not ignore the amazing band formed of industry and entertainment titans called “The Lords of Uptime”. Berthil and Soeren are fantastic, professional people, and they have a content advisory group to help them navigate intricacies and nuances of content for the shows, and with Terri and Shalom’s help and the great team in Europe those conferences will thrive and hopefully grow in size.

One thing that I know, is that I do conferences. I will continue to do conferences, participate in the Domain Name Association, ICANN’s Universal Acceptance Steering Group, Mozilla’s Public Suffix List, and continue to be a consultant for registries and registrars, marketplaces, and security firms.

So… as it relates to conferences, one thing that I have discovered is that people who have like minds and take the time, cost and effort to participate at conferences WANT to have discussions about specific topics, and are open to listening to general sessions but really crave to meet birds of a feather and network with them.

Instead of attempting for the nTh time to create an industry focused event, I opted for something entirely different while “getting my conference on”. I think you will be delighted, and I invite you to join us while we build something special.

Over 33 years in the technology, entertainment, internet and development sectors, being careful to minimize screwing people over and maximize being emotionally intelligent about how I do my thing, I have built up great relationships within and outside of the domain name industry, legal community, ICANN, the entertainment idustry, and the developer community.

The team behind THE Domain Conference were among the many different conference organizers that have been after me to bring the midas touch and content curation to their event. After 14+ years of THE Domain Conference (and previously T.R.A.F.F.I.C.) across the globe,

Bringing all of these things together, ( MERGE! was conceived. It is a group of conferences all under one roof, including (absorbing) THE Domain Conference, CMS Summit, McGrady Domain Academy, Blockchain Roadshow, Allegravita’s China Bootcamp, and other events that will be under the same roof in October. There will be lots of networking opportunities and a chance to learn new things and meet new people.

The concept of “MERGE” is that all of these carefully curated and related technology gatherings have domain names within the venn diagram of the overlapping areas – so one will meet people that they have not met before, with some reasonable expectation that they have more in common than they would initially suspect.

The plan is you will meet new people and grow your skills, knowledge, and contact list – in a meaningful manner.

Please take time to register and join us for the event! The conference website is and the event once again is in Orlando Florida from October 14-18, 2017. Make certain to be there, and I hope to see you there!

Looking back at 2015 and NamesCon2016

I have produced dozens of popular and well attended domain name conferences over the past 11 years, but most noteworthy to me is that within the past year, I have had the privilege to assemble content and produce the largest Domain Name industry conference, NamesCon – where we broke records with 1200+ attendees for a Domain Name industry conference.  I also had the chance to bring DOMAINfest out to Eastern Europe and Asia with conferences in Sofia, Bulgaria and Macau.

Another big and important accomplishment was producing a day of DOMAINfest content in Fort Lauderdale at the beginning of THEDomainConference’s inaugural show in September.

Getting the attendance requires a compelling and attractive proposition.  Good content, good networking, and clear value and opportunity.

NamesCon and DomainFest are the most recent domain name conferences that I have co-founded or produced, and it was an exceptional year.

Check out the infographic on the 2016 NamesCon.

For 2016, we changed and had a new, energetic, and different team producing the event while I managed content.

As co-founder I can say that the DOMAINfest Asia conference in Hong Kong will be fantastic (September 19-22, Hong Kong and if I manage the content for the (January 22-25, 2017, Las Vegas “NC17” show we will create something even better, now that the production team has put on their first conference and has a little more experience with it.

I hope you will join us and look forward to seeing you there!

NamesCon 2016 – Already past 350 attendees and climbing!

NamesCon 2016 is already at 350+ attendees, and Jodi Chamberlain, Richard Lau and I are already working on NamesCon’s third year schedule and events.

The agenda is filling up, and we’re accepting speaker and session submissions at speakers2016 _at_ – so submit your ideas, pitches, and session concepts.

Register today for NamesCon 2016 to view the agenda as it fills up!