Search Archive Columns Special Reports The City Commerce Links About Us Contact

DomainFest Comes to Santa Monica  

By Ann K. Williams
Lookout Staff

February 2, 2011 – Domain speculators from around the world are converging on Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar this week – nearly 700 have registered for DomainFest, a gathering of entrepreneurs who make profits buying and selling internet domain names.

Like 19th century land speculators who bought and sold frontier land bordering the newly built railroads, these people make a business out of gambling on the value of names like and

“Our mission is to help the domain industry evolve, to help domain investors succeed by expanding beyond their comfort zone,” Mason Cole, DomainFest spokesman and Vice President of Corporate Communications for, said Tuesday.

“To accomplish this, we go out of our way to bring together not just the brightest minds in the domain industry, but also the brightest minds from outside the domain industry.”

Attendees will get the full scope of their expert opinion in an array of speeches and workshops, including:

  • The top ten prophecies for 2011 by Jeff Kupietzky, CEO and President of – not prophecies about earthquakes or endtimes, but more about technological and consumer trends;
  • A fireside chat with Ben Mezrich, Author of "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal” – the book the movie The Social Network was based on; and
  • “Interesting statistical insights on user, keyword and advertising category trends” presented by self-proclaimed Search Evangelist Eli Goodman.

And they'll get to participate in “Moniker Auctions” featuring names like, and even, and

If they get tired of learning how to make more money, they can go to a Polynesian Paradise Party at the Miramar, a Golden Age of Hollywood party at the Mondrian Hotel's famous Sky Bar and even a party at the Playboy Mansion.

Attendees are not only speculators, they're also “investors, web developers, domain name holders,

search and optimization experts, venture capitalists, search engines, domain name registries and registrars, and others,” Cole said.

“Investors have created portfolios of names and content that are valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars” Cole added, and, according to VeriSign, an industry watchdog, there were 192 million domain name registrations by the end of 2009.

Even with a registration fee of nearly $1400, attendance at this somewhat unusual convention is said to be growing, and it will finish Friday morning, February 4.


Lookout Logo footer image Copyright 1999-2011 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL