TRAFFIC Award Nominations Are Opened: Here Are Our Picks

The TRAFFIC show organizers announced this morning that nominations are opened for its annual awards:

Here is the official announcement:

“””It’s that time of the year!  Time to sharpen your pens, so to speak, and give us your nominations for the Sixth Annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Awards to be presented at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. NEW YORK 2009!  The oldest and most coveted awards in the Domain Industry. We have added a new category this year – Best Domain News Blog (but don’t nominate RicksBlog.com as I have taken myself out of the running).  The other categories with last year’s winners are listed here:

SPONSOR OF THE YEAR – 2008 winner – TRAFFIC Z

DOMAINER OF THE YEAR – 2008 winner – Rick Latona

BEST OVERALL DOMAIN SOLUTION – 2008 winner – FABULOUS.COM

DOMAIN HALL OF FAME – Previous Electees – Rick Schwartz, Sahar Sarid, Kevin Ham, Frank Schilling, Yun Ye, Dr. Christopher Hartnett, Scott Day, Ron Jackson

BEST NEW CLICK PROGRAM – 2008 winner – SENDORI

WADND REGISTRAR SEAL OF APPROVAL –  seals presently awarded to MONIKER, DIRECTNIC AND FABULOUS

THE “WE GET IT” AWARD – 2008 winner – FORECLOSURE.COM

BEST DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR – 2008 winner – Kevin Ham

BEST DOMAIN NEWS BLOG – Brand new award

It is your votes and only your votes that will decide.

Nominations close this Friday at 5PM EDT. Voting will follow soon after. “””

So now that nominations are opened I would like to give you our picks as to whom should be nominated for the TRAFFIC Domainer Hall of Fame and Domainer of The Year.

As someone who has been nominated for both awards over the past couple of years, I have given considerable thought to both of these awards for this year and believe the following deserve to be nominated for these awards.

Domainer Hall of Fame.

This award is given for a body or lifetime of work.  This award is not meant to reward someone who had a good year or couple of years, but those who made a long and lasting impact on the industry.

For me there are three people that stand out as being deserving of this award and actually can’t believe they haven’t received it yet.

Michael Mann:  Founded BuyDomains.com and arguably thereby, the domain aftermarket.  Certainly no company has sold the number of domains, measured by either number of domains sold or total dollar volume of transactions,  that BuyDomains has over the years.

Although he sold BuyDomains.com a while back, Michael continues to be very active in the domain community through his Washington VC, continues to develop outstanding web properties including phone.com, happybirthday.com and grassroots.org, his non-profit organization to provide Internet services to other non-profit’s.

Without a doubt Michael should have been one of the first 5 people voted into the Hall of Fame and the time has come for that omission to be corrected.

Mike “Zappy” Zapolin: Mike has accomplished what all Domainers talk about doing, acquiring great domains and developing them into valuable properties. Mike’s done this time and time again. He’s co-founded Music.com, and created such Internet brands as Beer.com, Computer.com, Debt.com, Creditcards.com, Diamond.com, and Chocolate.com, just to name a few.  Mike is a Harvard Business School grad, and founder of direct marketing firms Marketvision and Z.T.V. (whose clients included Time Warner and VH-1).  Long overdue, Mike deserves to be in the Domainer Hall of Fame.

National A-1: An owner of some of the best one word domains on the net, these guys have been around since the beginning, putting together one of the best collections of domains.  Free.com, Pizza.com, Fun.com, Antiques.com, Girls.com, Divorce.com, the list goes on and on, you can see more here.  Just this year, they were one of the three bidders that pushed toys.com up to over $5M (although they didn’t get that one) bought pizza.com for $1.7M, grabbed the Yahoo owned Contests.com domain up for $380K, regarded by non-domainers to be the “steal” of the year.

National A-1, Richard Cohen and Sandra Gordon deserve the nomination into the Hall and they also deserve your nomination for Domainer of the Year (see below)

Brian Gilbert.  Many have never heard his name, but as head of . Innovation HQ, Inc, they have acquired over 12,000 of the best domains on earth, including earth.com (bought for $800k)  lunch.com ($100K) , grants.com (30K, talk about a bargain), unemployment.com, creditcardprocessing.com, Robots.com, Sharks.com ($140K) WhatIsMyIP.com, (purhcase for $385K) (all figures from DNJournal.com).

The Castello Brothers, Michael and David, besides having one of the best domain portfolios in the world including palmsprings.com, Kennel.com, Nashville.com,  Bullion.com, Manicure.com, Daycare.com, GolfClub.com, Whisky.com, Rate.com, Cost.com & Traveler.com, just to name a few, are frequent speakers on the industry and a great representative for domainers.

There are a couple of other domainers deserving nomination.  Larry Fischer,  and Rob Grant both of whom were previously nominated,  are extremely deserving of the award.  They are both very close friends and not only great domainers, but more importantly great people.  As they have been nominated before, there qualifications for the award as well known to all.


Domainer of the Year:

Awarded to the person who had the biggest impact on the domain industry this year.

We start off again with the National A-1 folks.  As we said they had quite a year, buying pizza.com for $1.7M, bidding up to $5M on Toys.com,  acquired contests.com, grabbed stripclubs.com for $75K off of eBay after a defaulting bidder at Rick Latona’s adult auction failed to follow through for the $102K bid,  and those are just the acquisitions that we know about. Ask anyone in the industry and they will tell you, if there is a great name in play, these guys are in the hunt.  I know typically domainers reward sellers with this award but its time some serial buyers are rewarded.

Very private, brilliant people, they shun the spotlight and probably will turn down the nomination, yet they are the logical choice.

Here are a couple of other people you should consider for Domainer of The Year.

We’ve said it before, but it still rings true, you could nominate Rick Schwartz every year for this award.  This year with the sale of Candy.com for $3M plus a percentage of profits, ChinaTours.com for $200K and the sale of another domain subject to a NDA.

Divyank Turakhia stepped up to the plate, during the worst economy in 80 years,  and spent $1.4 Million to buy ad.com,  which accounted for 70% of the sales volume of the Live TRAFFIC Silicon Valley auction held by Moniker.com.  (although the sale may not go through for ancillary issues). Moreover one of his companies, Skenzo.com sponsored the TRAFFIC show furthering his commitment to the industry.

Rick Latona.  Yes Rick won this award last year, but I would argue he is more deserving of the award this year.  Rick’s held several domain auctions, including the seven figure sale of Webcam.com.  Rick also was the licensee and put on a successful TRAFFIC show in Amsterdam.  Rick also made a deal to become the exclusive auction house for the six TRAFFIC shows to be held next year and will once again put on several TRAFFIC shows as a licensee of TRAFFIC.  Rick’s had quite a year.

Comments

  1. Domain Investor says

    MHB quote –
    “Rick Latona. Yes Rick won this award last year, but I would argue he is more deserving of the award this year”

    Rick has been more successful than others for the past 6 months.
    I’m not sure his success is sustainable.
    I give him a lot of credit. He has done well. Better than me.

    Up to now, he has been blazing along the trails created by others.
    But, for the next 12 months, he has to create his own path.
    Maybe, we will know better this time next year.

    If I had to pick the “domainer of the year”, I would pick Rick Schwartz. For the reasons you listed plus many others.

  2. Cartoonz says

    I think a Mike Berkens deserves a spot on one of those lists but he’s a little shy to list his accomplishments… and, no, I’m not kissing ass – I just know what I know.

  3. says

    WOW! Thanks MHB! I’m definitely just the pretty face that represents the company and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the foresight of others within Innovation HQ.

    I read your blog on a regular basis and agree with others that you should be in the list as well!

    Cheers to the domain industry as many of us wouldn’t be where we are today without it!

    Brian

  4. Domain Investor says

    Holy crap. I can’t believe I overlooked Michael.

    I agree. Michael should be nominated.
    He has my vote.

    “A vote for Michael is a vote for one of the good guys !!! “

  5. MHB says

    Domain Investor

    “Rick has been more successful than others for the past 6 months.
    I’m not sure his success is sustainable.”

    With all due respect, I’m not sure anyone success is sustainable, including mine.

    We are voting on the current year accomplishments, not the next year.

  6. MHB says

    Cartoonz

    Hey stop that crap right now I would hate to bar you from this blog.

    Besides not wanting to be the Susan Lucci of the domain world, I might have to do a Marlon Brando if I got any of these awards ahead of the people I have nominated & I know your old enough to know what I mean.

  7. MHB says

    Brian

    You have done exceptionally well, especially considering getting into the game late, and should be recognized for kicking the old guys asses, including myself.

  8. Cartoonz says

    Mike, I saw Susan in a cute little strapless dress the other day… have Judi call me and I’ll see if we can get one like it for you to wear at your acceptance ceremony… haha

    Toonz ducks down, runs for cover.

  9. MHB says

    Bruce

    Sure a “Rookie of the Year” type award, I have NP with it, but that person could also be domainer of the year.

    You should vote a domainer of the year just a guy whose been around for a while, but someone who had the biggest impact on the domain industry for that one year

  10. MHB says

    UPDATE

    The Nominations have been released and voting is now opened until Friday:

    Your nominations are in and now it is time for you to decide who will get the oldest and most coveted awards in the Domain Industry. Since 2004 the winners and nominees are a virtual who’s who of the most dynamic, most progressive industry on earth. Congratulations to all the nominees!

    Please have your ballots in by return email no later than 5PM Eastern Time on Friday. Votes cast after that time will not count. Winners will receive the awards at the New York TRAFFIC show in October. Again, congratulations to all.

    SPONSOR OF THE YEAR
    PARKED
    HITFARM
    DDC
    SKENZO

    DOMAINER OF THE YEAR
    MIKE BERKENS
    LONNIE BORCK
    DAVID AND MICHAEL CASTELLO
    ALAN HACK
    RICK LATONA
    JERRY NOLTE
    SHAUN PILFOLD
    RICK SCHWARTZ (Declined)

    BEST OVERALL DOMAIN SOLUTION
    DEVHUB
    FABULOUS
    HAYNEEDLE
    NETSHOPS
    SKENZO
    SEDO

    DOMAIN HALL OF FAME (VOTE FOR 2)
    MIKE BERKENS
    MICHAEL AND DAVID CASTELLO (counts as 1 vote)
    LARRY FISCHER
    BRIAN GILBERT
    ROB GRANT
    MICHAEL MANN
    HOWARD NEU
    JERRY NOLTE
    SHAWN STAFFORD
    DIVYANK TURAKHIA
    MIKE “ZAPPY” ZAPOLIN

    BEST NEW MONETIZING SOLUTION
    ABOVE.COM (TRELLIAN)
    DEVHUB

    THE “WE GET IT” AWARD
    BOBBLEHEADS.COM
    MELVILLE CANDY / CANDY.COM
    STEVE SCHAFFER
    TOYS-R-US

    BEST DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR
    RICHARD DOUGLAS
    SHAUN PILFOLD
    WARREN ROYAL
    VERTIVE. INC.
    NAT COHEN

    BEST DOMAIN NEWS BLOG
    RON JACKSON / DNJOURNAL.COM
    MIKE BERKENS / THEDOMAINS.COM
    JERRY NOLTE / DOMAINERSMAGAZINE.COM
    ELLIOT’S BLOG / ELLIOTSBLOG.COM
    MICHAELGILMOUR / WHIZZBANGSBLOG.COM
    OWEN FRAGER / FRAGERFACTOR.COM
    RICK SCHWARTZ / RICKSBLOG.COM (Declined)

    APPRAISER OF THE YEAR
    ANDREA MIGNOLO

    VOTE NOW!

    WORLD ASSOCIATION OF DOMAIN NAME DEVELOPERS, INC.

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