I’m a Director of Business Development at Afilias, offering registry services and secondary DNS to the domain name industry. Prior to this I was the Vice President of Channel Development at 101Domain.com. I’ve been involved in the domain name business now for over 17 years and am still very excited about the industry. I’ve recently joined the Executive Board of the Domain Name Association.
I became interested in the Internet and domain names while working as a National Accounts Manager at AT&T Wireless and have made it my full time profession since 1999.
At that time, there were several “worlds” that existed in the domain name industry and they were very much separate.
There were registries and registrars. These were the people who managed policy and sold domain names to the public. They were mostly interested in the business end of things and policy issues at ICANN. They attended ICANN meetings and at that time, I don’t think most of them had any idea of how valuable domain names really were.
Then there were “domainers” (That’s how I started.). Domainers viewed domain names as Internet real estate and bought them and sold them and tried to make money with them. The domain parking business grew from this niche and this niche was also quite valuable to the growth of Google and Yahoo. It’s still important to them today and still represents a reasonable share of how they make money today.
Finally, there were the hosting guys. These people were generally very technical in nature; many of them were system administrators who understood how to manage and secure hosting. A lot of these have become very large businesses so they must have known a good bit about business as well.
Today, all of these disciplines have converged. Registrars are often domainers. Domainers are often registrars. And many of them offer email and hosting as well or do it themselves.
Most importantly, it’s exciting to be in an industry where there is still considerable growth and opportunity around the world.
What do I Write About Here?
I like to blog about interesting things (and hopefully, a few things that interest you). Since I’ve been in the domain name industry for so many years, expect to see articles on “Domain News and Views,” but I also like to add personal anecdotes and articles related to the Internet, Sales, Marketing, and eCommerce in general. Other things that interest me include:
- Books and News Publishing
- Brand Management
- Search Engine Optimization and Local Search
- Small Business Success
- Payment Technologies
- Emerging Voice Technologies
- Network Mobility
- Social Networking (The good, the bad, and the ugly)
- The Evolution of Retail
- Online Security
- Internet Governance
- Robotics and Drones
- Defense Technologies
- Philosophy and Success
- Funny or Just Plain Interesting Stuff
I follow a lot of topics in the news and try to share new ideas as I find them. Sometimes I like to write about the taboo subjects of religion and politics but I try to keep it subtle. Many of my friends have opposing views.
I love living in Chino Hills in Southern California. I’ve been married for 38 years to a wonderful gal who I love very much. I have two grown sons (two amazing daughter-in-laws) and six grand-daughters. I am conservative in politics and Christian in my faith.
I enjoy studying and sharing information about the Internet, marketing, sales, and human nature. I’m fortunate to see my work as a passion and I enjoy it more than any game. I also enjoy political discussion, high level business strategy, the blues, Jimi Hendrix, & Stevie Ray Vaughn. I have a few hobbies, collecting classic sales books and tapes, photography, skiing when I can, chess, genealogy, working out, and playing a little guitar. I read like crazy; probably too much if one can read too much.
Little Known Facts About Joe
I’m kind of proud of two websites that I put up in the earlier days of the Internet. They weren’t Yahoo or Google but they both mean a lot to me.
- In 1996, I put up one of the first Cellular-Telephone-related websites in the world. At the time, I worked for LA Cellular ( a 50/50 partnership of Bell South and AT&T that eventually became AT&T Wireless). I heard about “the Internet” while attending a class at the University of Phoenix. Our company was approaching 1 billion dollars in annual sales and still had no web presence. So I approached my boss and asked him if I could get his OK to put one up. Me and another Direct Sales colleague of mine, split the cost and put up what I think is the first cellular telephone related website in the world. At that time I couldn’t find any other! We put it up in February of 1996. It was captured by the Internet Archive in December of that same year (shown in the link below). It was certainly archaic by today’s standards but it is an early accomplishment that I’m very proud of today:
(Click on “Business Pages” and then on “lacelldirect” in the list to actually view the site.)
- In September of 2001, I felt helpless in the face of the destruction of 9/11/2001. I was heartbroken by the sight of people posting pictures of their missing loved ones on fences and walls all over New York City. I wanted to help. Then one day, it occurred to me that I could build an online place where people could post pictures of some of those loved ones. So I put up a site and invited people to send me those pictures. I also made a list of all those who were missing.The site didn’t amount to much, but I took comfort in helping at least one family from the United Kingdom, to reach and find their nephew, who worked in the World Trade Center; he was safe. This small success gave me a great deal of satisfaction. I was able to do something! That site is also memorialized on the Internet Archive here. I’m very proud of this. Speaking of which…
Charities I Support
Generally, I support charities that my friends and relatives ask me too. I try to be the first to give when someone is racing or walking for this or that. Let me know! But recently, I’ve been moved to mention a few charities that I care about here, so I’m going to list them below:
The Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine are invaluable resources and provide an archive of websites and television programs for many years back. These are things that could easily be lost forever if no one does what they do. I am so happy that I can look back to websites and projects I’ve worked on from many years ago. I wholly support the Internet Archive and hope you will consider a donation to them as well.
My family and some friends that I know have been touched by Lyme Disease. It’s no fun and there are still a lot of people affected by this awful disease that don’t even know it exists. It mimics other health problems. If you care, ask me about it some time. I hope you will consider supporting the Global Lyme Alliance. They are doing some good work.
Although I’ve never been in the service, I’ve always admired my father, who served in the Army during WWII. Lucky for me and my family, he came home OK; but many don’t. We should always support our wounded veterans.
Love Mali is a ministry from our church that educates and ministers to over 600 children in Mali. It’s good work and definitely needs support. If you want to help you can get contribution information by writing to the church and ask how.
Alagna.com is my business blog. I eventually plan to develop a private family web site here as well. I’m really proud to be an Alagna. Our family came to America in the early 1900s from the region of Marsala, Sicily and settled in New York and Chicago. I often hear from distant relatives and love making distant family connections. Both my mom’s and dad’s families lived near a small town called Strasatti. Other nearby cities and regions are: Petrosino, Magghiu, Tortorelle, Bonafede, Campobello di Mazara, and Mazara del Vallo. My dad’s family made wine (unfortunately I never learned the art). My mom’s family had a ceramics business that is still in operation today although different than when my grandfather ran it. They also still own several businesses in the town of Strasatti, including a clothing store.
- Roberto is a famous opera singer (his web site)
- Alagna is a city in northern Italy famous for off-piste skiing (One of my goals is to visit there)
Disclaimer: Opinions offered here are my own and may or may not be the same of the company I work for or of the registrars we work with. I work for a registry and work with several registrars. I’m also a private domain name investor and although not very active, I do buy and sell domains from time to time.