The Real Story on “The Internet Give-away”

The story of the Internet becoming a bit more independent is not a bad one. The United States isn’t really losing anything here. I’ll try to explain and will post a press release that  the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN), put out on Saturday.

ICANN released the news this weekend with links, that if anyone takes the time to read, will understand, that not much is changing. The United States always planned to get out of the management of the domain name system (DNS). There is a long history of the process. It just takes time to understand. I think their press release has information enough to help someone understand it a little better.

The same people as before are in charge. It is important to understand that ANYONE with a little time and money can be part of ICANN. There is no admission fee to go to and to participate in their meetings. Anyone who cares is invited. You do have to pay for travel and accommodations but the meetings are open. So if things go wrong, there is no one to blame except those who do not get involved. I’ve been to 25 or so ICANN meetings over the past 18 years. I see nothing sinister going on and it is mostly public. Yes, there are constituents from China, Russia, and other countries that America may be suspicious of. But they are just a part. There is beauty in the multi-cultural nature that comes together at an ICANN meeting, cooperating to make the Internet better. This transition is designed to be a part of that and many well-meaning, smart people have been working on independence and a more world-inclusive model for a long time. A lot of them volunteer. Although many may compare them to the United Nations and suggest that they are too slow, real work does get done at ICANN.  In the past five years, they have introduced over 1000 new domain name endings.  Love them or hate them, a lot of work went into it and the industry is expanding.

ICANN Attendees Mexico City - March, 2009 (just a few)

ICANN Attendees Mexico City – March, 2009 (just a few)

The main goal of ICANN is to keep the world a part of the Internet. That’s why they do meetings all over the world each year. The idea is to keep countries involved. It doesn’t work everywhere. China still has a virtual great wall and many countries put blocks on the Internet to protect their ideals. But ICANN does invite everyone and, again, has the stated goal to keep the Internet open and free. A country can control what happens within their borders but they can’t control free speech around the world.

Anyway, nothing big is changing. A contract that was never meant to be permanent is just now being allowed to expire and the Internet will always be designed to be inclusive and open. Below is the press release that ICANN put out today. There are also links for a more historic understanding.

Stewardship of IANA Functions Transitions to Global Internet Community as Contract with U.S. Government Ends

Today, 1 October 2016, the contract between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the United States Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to perform the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, has officially expired. This historic moment marks the transition of the coordination and management of the Internet’s unique identifiers to the private-sector, a process that has been committed to and underway since 1998.

“This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality,” said ICANN Board Chair Stephen D. Crocker. “This community validated the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today.”

Internet users will see no change or difference in their experience online as a result of the stewardship transition.

In managing the coordination of the Internet’s unique identifiers, ICANN plays a small but significant role in the Internet’s ecosystem. For more than 15 years, ICANN has worked in concert with other technical bodies such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Regional Internet Registries, top-level domain registries and registrars, and many others.

The final chapter of the privatization process began in 2014, when NTIA asked ICANN to convene the global multistakeholder community, which is made up of private-sector representatives, technical experts, academics, civil society, governments and individual Internet end users, to come together and formulate proposals to both replace NTIA’s historic stewardship role and enhance ICANN’s accountability mechanisms.

The package of proposals developed by the global community met the strict criteria established by NTIA in its March 2014 announcement. Since their submission to NTIA, ICANN and its various stakeholder groups have worked tirelessly to ensure that all the necessary implementation tasks have been completed, so the IANA functions contract could expire on 30 September 2016.

The proposals reinforce ICANN’s existing multistakeholder model and are also aimed at enhancing ICANN’s accountability. The improvements include empowering the global Internet community to have direct recourse if they disagree with decisions made by ICANN the organization or the Board.

The IANA stewardship transition is a testament to the tireless work of the global community, and a validation of the multistakeholder model that frames that community.

To learn more about the IANA Stewardship Transition, go here:

Akram Atallah’s blog: “Final Implementation Update

Stephen D. Crocker’s blog: “Cheers to the Multistakeholder Community

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Microsoft to Buy Linkedin for $26B

Linkedin has always been one of my favorite social networks. I’m hoping that they don’t change much. But today, Microsoft announced they are buying them for $26 billion dollars!  Below is the official press release:

Microsoft and Linkedin

REDMOND, Wash., and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — June 13, 2016 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD) on Monday announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most valuable professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business. Over the past year, the company has launched a new version of its mobile app that has led to increased member engagement; enhanced the LinkedIn newsfeed to deliver better business insights; acquired a leading online learning platform called to enter a new market; and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers. These innovations have resulted in increased membership, engagement and financial results, specifically:

19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide
9 percent growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month
49 percent growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage
34 percent growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views
101 percent growth YOY to more than 7 million active job listings

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”

“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” Weiner said. “For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft. The deal is expected to close this calendar year and is subject to approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders, the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business,” said Hoffman. “I fully support this transaction and the Board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.”

Microsoft will finance the transaction primarily through the issuance of new indebtedness. Upon closing, Microsoft expects LinkedIn’s financials to be reported as part of Microsoft’s Productivity and Business Processes segment. Microsoft expects the acquisition to have minimal dilution of ~1 percent to non-GAAP earnings per share for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 post-closing and for fiscal year 2018 based on the expected close date, and become accretive to Microsoft’s non-GAAP earnings per share in Microsoft’s fiscal year 2019 or less than two years post-closing. Non-GAAP includes stock-based compensation expense consistent with Microsoft’s reporting practice, and excludes expected impact of purchase accounting adjustments as well as integration and transaction-related expenses. In addition, Microsoft also reiterated its intention to complete its existing $40 billion share repurchase authorization by Dec. 31, 2016, the same timeframe as previously committed.

mumbai-london-media-FINAL (1)

Microsoft and LinkedIn will host a joint conference call with investors on June 13, 2016, at 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time/11:45 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss this transaction. The call will be available via webcast at and will be hosted by Nadella and Weiner, as well as Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood and Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith. The presentation for the call is available on the Microsoft News Center.

Morgan Stanley is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Microsoft, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal advisor to Microsoft. Qatalyst Partners and Allen & Company LLC are acting as financial advisors to LinkedIn, while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation, is acting as legal advisor.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the way companies hire, market, and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has more than 400 million members and has offices around the globe.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Read the story… | Source: Microsoft

More insight:

Read the story… | Source:

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Local Sites With Revenue Over $1M Annually

statecollegecom covers State College, PA. Built by City Portals, they claim that they have helped local newspapers to grow revenues by 6x.

I just ran across an interesting PDF that lists local / niche news sites, listing their annual revenue.  Revenue for local news / feature sites has been a challenge for the news industry as well as for domain name investors.  Some have succeeded; mostly, people like Fred Mercaldo, and the Castello brothers who all own great city or regional domain names like and

But big revenues don’t come easy for these kinds of sites.  This may be changing.  I have followed the online news / media business for many years and recently run across Michelle’s List.  This site, produced in collaboration with the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism tracks the success of online media.  They just added eight new local news / niche sites with annual revenues of over $1 million dollars each.  That’s nice to see.

The newest list includes sites like 30A celebrates small-town beach life along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30-A and started as a local beach guide but  is fast becoming an international brand. Others include Soo Today and the NJ Spotlight which are local news sites.

The entire list is available online here:

or here:

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Hats for Cats

Godaddy is our competitor but you have to give them credit for a really funny commercial…

I’ll say nothing more except, LOL.

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