CATEGORY: New Domains

ICANN Reveals the New gTLDs

Call it what you want, a giant boondoggle or the greatest thing to happen to commerce since money, but the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has revealed the applications for the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD). These aren’t your COMs and NETs from way back in 2011, but the .COKE and .FATBABY or whatever you can conjure and afford.

There were some surprises, like the multitude of companies going after .APP does not include Apple, Inc., and Google went bonkers, applying for more than 100 new domain extensions.

google's new gtld bid

Graphic via Informationweek.com

For anyone whose like, “What?” The new gTLD came about when ICANN opened up the door to any word in all kinds of languages to live on the right of the dot. If Google gets .LOL, for example, they’ll sell it like a traditional registry, just as Verisign does COM/NET/TV.

It’s a pricey venture. ICANN will take in about $357,000,000 for the $185,000 per application. So, yes, Google has dropped a small country’s GDP applying for new gTLDs.

Now it gets exciting. With some domain extensions like .GROCERY a hot item, you’ll probably see bidding wars between the likes of Wal-mart and Safeway. Although it’s not just the big boys who get to offer input. ICANN has opened up a 60-day comment period where the public can submit comments on the newly revealed applications.

ICANN also offers these stats:

Of the 1,930 applications received:

  • 66 are geographic name applications.
  • 116 applications are for Internationalized Domain Names, or IDNs, for strings in scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, and Cyrillic.

Applications were received from 60 countries and territories, broken down by ICANN’s geographic regions;

  • 911 from North America.
  • 675 from Europe.
  • 303 are from Asia-Pacific.
  • 24 from Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • 17 from Africa.

As for Name.com, we need to wait for the domains to be approved, and then we’ll offer as many as we can get. There will be a lot that goes into this process, like an entire new infrastructure for domain registries and registrars (like us.) With that kind of excitement (read: fevered work) we’ll be keeping you posted on all the new updates as the come in.

Sometimes Innovation Precedes the Need: A Take on the New gTLDs

As many of you know, Brad White the Director of Global Media Affairs for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) flew out last week to help spread awareness around the new gTLD program. Here’s a quick background in case you’re not familiar with the new program: gTLD stands for generic top-level domain such as com, net, org (to the right of the dot). The new program will allow anyone to apply to own and operate their own extension (more info here.) I’ll try to be casual here but this is undoubtedly the largest change to the Internet since its inception’85! If you don’t know, now you knowww (Biggie reference there, anyone?) Anyway, introducing new gTLDs to the Internet landscape has been a hot topic with much controversy and debate as many have asked, “Why are you doing this? What is the need?”

When faced with this question last week Mr. White responded, “Sometimes innovation precedes the need.” This turned the conversation to Twitter, iPads and iPhones. Did you know you needed any of those before they existed?

I’ll be the first to admit that change can be scary. You can greet it by kicking and screaming or you can embrace it, the choice is yours. I’m not arguing that every big brand out there should necessarily embrace new gTLDs, but what I am wondering is what happened to the dreamers? The go-getters who are totally bent and psyched on creating a completely new experience for customers that’s never been seen or experienced before. Where’s the excitement?

A great article by Adrian Kinderis hit my inbox this morning that strikes the same chord, “Remember, all great differentiators are unproven before they are accepted as the norm. Even American industrialist Henry Ford understood this valuable lesson: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Let me be clear, new gTLDs are not for everyone. The application fee alone is $185k, maintenance and renewal fees run around minimum $25k yearly, it’s an extremely technical endeavor and a lot of capital and knowhow are needed up front. Even Name.com, a company that could potentially benefit from new gTLDs, has had its own internal debate about implementing such a massive change. My only question is of what are we so scared? Why isn’t there more enthusiasm around opening up and unleashing the Internet? It is a wide-open playing field where the opportunity to be an innovator could not be any more clearly presented.

So will you ask for more horses? Or take on the challenge and start dreaming?

The Business Case for Your Own Top-Level Domain Name

Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership brought us a free webinar: “Who Should Invest in a dotBRAND?” Now here’s the deal: Beginning on January 12, 2012, you can apply for any kind of new dot–not only the dotCOMs or dotORGs, but a whole new world of generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Coke might buy .Coke and Pepsi .Pepsi. You could even buy .Happiness.

I should that mention that while some of the brand domains won’t be available to the public, as many as possible will be found at Name.com. That covered, we hoped to find out something else: Is this right for you?

Evaluate Business case of your own dotBrand

In the beginning, it was weird. The presentation was stilted and filled with nervous trepidation, like they were being held hostage by a gun-toting naysayer. I pinged that to Ashley, our marketing coordinator, and she said that maybe they were trying to weed out the bad applicants. The awkwardness highlighted the very real debate about the necessity of these new domains. Our hosts were wrestling with the negative aspects of owning one. However, if you stayed long enough, you would be comforted by benefits of paying $185,000 to apply for your own top-level domain. First, let’s take a look at the downside of ponying up for your own TLD.

Downside to your own gTLD:

1. Cost. Yah, you’re looking at $185 grand to get started, and there’s ongoing annual costs that could run at about $250,000.
2. From start to finish it seems like a lot of work. Think about all that comes with migrating to a new site let alone a whole new gTLD. You’ll have to reignite your SEO, spend on a new awareness campaign and get your already overworked IT to segue your old dot into your new dot.
3. There is some vagueness in the application process. It opens up January 12, 2012, and just how they’re going to process the influx of requests was not answered very clearly.
4. The application sounds intense. This is where they’re going to weed out the bad apps; with 50 questions, many of them very technical, and some of them requiring multiple pages for answers.
And now some benefits:
1. It was mentioned by panelist Paul Twomey that if you’re worried about costs, then think of how much you might spend on a major advertising buy, and see the “costs” as an important investment.
2. Places that don’t have trademark can get one with their shiny, new dotBRAND.
3. You can control your brand and who can have a second-level domain in your gTLD. For example, Toyota can control traffic, inviting only those they want in their realm. Denverdealer.Toyota = Yes! Priusnearlykilledme.Toyota = Probably not.
Another example is that a premium brand like .ROLEX could let customers know who their authorized dealers are, and Rolex saves on fraud an abuse.
4. You can control what is acceptable use of your branded distributors and better define your online franchise agreements.
5. You have a built-in business model of reselling your domain (assuming anyone else wants to be on .BP.)
6. Your domains will be simplified. Imagine much of what you see now, like product.com/newyork shortened to newyork.product. That’s a user-friendly promotional bonanza.
Good or bad, there’s a little known industry that’s about to boom: The new gTLD Migration Consultant. It’s going to be a big deal to move Pepsi from a .COM to .PEPSI. If you’re someone with some knowledge on domains and the behind-the-scenes DNS magic, then moving these branded behemoths could be your new and lucrative gig. Call if you need a pool boy.

.XXX ’96 The Virtual Red Light District

 

 

 

 

So what is .XXX? How will it work? How do you protect your brand? And how much will it cost? Here’s the low down’85

Benefits of .XXX:

.XXX is the new voluntary extension for pornographic websites – yes you read that right. It’s Great for both pornographic providers as well as searchers/visitors. Here’s why:

  • .XXX is a recognizable, globally promoted brand
  • Registrants will benefit from global marketing campaigns resulting in greater awareness
  • This extension is unique in that it can help you brand your site like no other extension currently available
  • Content on .XXX sites will be regularly scanned by McAfee malware so visitors can feel safe and secure knowing they are in a trusted environment. This will result in greater traffic and repeat traffic leading to more conversions (paying customers)
  • .XXX is a new sTLD with great availability, thousands of short, keyword rich domains ripe for the picking

Protecting your brand

Not into the whole porn thing? Register .XXX to protect your brand. Trademark owners and brand holders can register their brandname.xxx and set the site to not resolve to ensure no inappropriate content is associated with your brand. Give yourself peace of mind and protect your trademark before it’s too late.

When, where, & how to register .XXX:

Find which category you qualify for:

Members of the adult sponsored community with trademark rights that match the .XXX string being applied for – Sunrise AT, September 7th -October 28th. $199.00 includes $115.00 non-refundable fee

Members of the adult sponsored community who have a domain that matches the .XXX string bring applied for – Sunrise AD, September 7th – October 28th. $159.99, includes $75.00 non-refundable fee

Non-members of the adult sponsored community with trademark rights that wish to block their domain in the .XXX TLD – Sunrise B, September 7th – October 28th. $199.00 non refundable.

Members of the adult sponsored community who don’t qualify for Sunrise A but want to avoid first come, first served general availability risks – Landrush application November 8th – November 25th, $149.99, includes $69.99 non-refundable fee.

Members of the adult sponsored community who wish to apply for an available domain on a first come, first served basis. General availability pre-registration, December 6th, $84.99 FULLY REFUNDABLE

Click here for more information on who qualifies for the sponsored community.

.XXX is a hot new domain with lots of benefits, pre-order your .XXX now before it’s too late!

Do .SO today!

We are .SO excited to let you guys know that .SO domains are officially available for registration starting tonight at 6pm MST (3/31/11)! .SO is the ccTLD (country code top level domain) for Somalia, Africa! It will be available at Name.com at the very affordable price of just $23.99. This extension is open to everyone for registration (you do not need to be a resident of Somalia). Since this is such a new extension there is still great availability, .SO don’t delay in nailing down the exact name you want.

Wondering what the .SO extension can do for you? Well for starters .SO is short and memorable. It’s al.so a great opportunity for fun and clever domain hacks. It’s always a good idea to safeguard you assets; protect your online and personal identity by registering your name/business name across ccTLDs – before your competition beats you to the punch! Another great use of .SO is registering short, keyword rich domains.

The possibilities are endless, it’s up to you to get creative and aggressive in securing the exact name you want! .SO get to it!

REGISTER .SO NOW!