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.