Since 2003, DNJournal has been at the heart of the domain name industry, providing verified facts and figures pertaining to domain sales on a weekly basis. Some of those sales figures have broken into the mainstream, as DNJournal has been cited as a source in the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and even BBC News.
The driving force behind DNJournal is Ron Jackson, who created the site after seeing the need for the domain industry to have its own “trade publication”. Thanks to his background in media and broadcast journalism, Ron was able to succinctly present the facts to a growing industry.
As others have come and gone, Ron Jackson’s DNJournal has stayed as the linchpin of the domain name industry. This year marks DNJournal’s 17th year in operation, and I spoke briefly to Ron about his experiences in the industry in my first interview for my James/Names blog.
DNJournal is most well known for providing a database of domain sales, a highly useful resource for thousands of people. Over the years, Ron has charted some groundbreaking notable sales including Voice.com for $30 million, Tesla.com for $11 million, and WE.com for $8 million. I asked Ron whether or not he had a favorite, or most memorable sale, to which he said, “After having 100,000 or so sales come through here the past 17 years they have all kind of melted into one incomprehensible brew!”
Since 2003, a lot of changes have occurred. Ron has been in a unique position to document changes both industry-wide and globally. Here’s what Ron had to say on the changes the industry has seen.
“There certainly have been a lot of changes over the years with COVID-19 being the latest massive curveball. Almost all of the major changes were surprising because most of us didn’t see them coming – the .COM bust (which happened right before I came in), it’s resurgence in the mid-2000s (thanks largely to parking), the collapse of parking revenue, the Great Recession, the big comeback with the China Boom, and the end of the China boom. The encouraging thing is that after all of those ups and downs the domain business is still here. ”
If you go back through the DNJournal archives, you’ll see countless articles chronicling these events, but no world event has perhaps changed the course of recent history like COVID-19. In a recent cover story, Ron asked twelve experts to weigh in on the impact of this pandemic, but I wanted to ask Ron about the effect he sees Coronavirus having on domains, “The domain industry is better positioned than most others to get through the pandemic mess as more business scramble to establish an online presence.”
That’s certainly true as several industry leaders have reported record-breaking sales recently.
Finally, I was curious to know Ron’s favorite part of the industry. The thing that keeps him in the industry after so many years. His answer is the perfect close for this brief interview: “As interesting as the business has been, my favorite part of it has been the people and many friends I’ve made along the way – a lot of really great, creative people found their way into this field.”