Start: Virtual Conferences, Volunteering and More

At long last, an update.

I don’t update this blog very frequently, as I find myself quite busy with advisory and mentoring activities, but wanted to give a mega-update.

With the world in the ‘new normal’ of virtual meetings, webinars and zoom galore, a traveler like me has to slow down for a bit. I will be focusing on the continued interest in the MERGE conference (re-formatted to the new 2020 normal of virtual events), and my ICANN accredited registrar, and my new elected role within the ICANN Stakeholder Group executive committee, and co-chairing the Contracted Parties House (CPH – basically an acronym for Registries and Registrars) CPH Techops group with Marc Anderson from Verisign. I continue to do a lot of activity towards Universal Acceptance of TLDs and domain name advocacy.

I no longer hold the role of Executive Director with the Domain Name Association, where I had the privilege of working part time for the group of registries and registrars that shared my passion for elevating the domain name industry, DNS and top-level domain names. I was able to put it on an upward trajectory, but we opted to not renew my contract and instead migrate the association into the Internet Infrastructure Coalition where there are ample resources and a team of bright and well-connected technology thought leaders available to let the association continue in its important work.

I continue to contribute and work on GitHub to help maintain the Public Suffix List project, having helped ICANN’s SSAC with SAC070 and the ICANN OCTO with their documentation for TLD administrators on keeping their records up to date and understanding the benefits and drawbacks of how their listings are configured.

I have also been working with had the opportunity to help Page Howe launch https://thedomainshow.com and have been working with Arif from https://thedomainsocial.com to continue gatherings of like-minded technical enthusiasts that are developing domain names and capitalizing on the

Pause: Stepping up to lead the Domain Name Association

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.

The MERGE Conference

The MERGE Conference

Been hard at work with the team at The Domain Conference making great things happen for MERGE in Orlando.

This is a great opportunity to work with the Neu family, Barbara is the heart of the conference industry, Howard who everyone in the industry loves and respects as one of the most amazing subject matter experts on domains, finance and legal matters, and Ray who is a visionary in emerging technology with strong security and innovation focus.

Check it out, we’re bringing together amazing speakers and a multitude of content and shows under a single ticket price, in lovely Orlando, Florida.

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 waterschool.org 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 http://merge.show 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!

Waternight 2017 Mix Set from Waternight at NamesCon Las Vegas

Waternight 2017 Mix Set from Waternight at NamesCon Las Vegas

One of the coolest things about NamesCon is the fundraising event called “Waternight” that my co-founder hosts to aid with clean resource and education in Kenya, Dominican Republic and other parts of the world.

I have a background in the Music business, having DJ’d since the 80s and touring with top 40 artists and festival events in the late 80s and early 90s, and appreciate the opportunity to flex those less used skills for a good cause.

I had the privlege of performing a DJ Set at the very last NamesCon after it sold to GoDaddy and the WHD/Cloudfest teams, and posted it to Mixcloud.

Here’s a link to the mix:

(Update: June 2017: Mix has >10k Listens)