CATEGORY: New Domains

ICANN’s Priority Release Draw, and What’s Next For nTLDs in 2013

On December 17, 2012, ICANN published its priority release list – the result of a prioritization lottery draw determining the order of nTLD (new gTLD) releases in the upcoming year. According to ICANN,  1,766 lottery tickets were purchased for the draw, out of 1,917 possible tickets – meaning 92% of nTLD applications had a purchased ticket for the prioritization draw (check out the results, here).

But, how important is the drawing? The priority number helps the ICANN gTLD team complete work according to a specific order, but despite popular opinion, the position of an application does not necessarily indicate the order of launch – each entity will have to make it through an initial evaluation and pre-delegation phase, to make sure they are ready to go live. The progress of a gTLD is not just determined by the draw position, but also how ready the registry is to launch their nTLD in the coming year.

So what’s next for the nTLD process? Here’s a short timeline of upcoming events, and what to look out for as the year progresses and nTLDs start to launch.

Early January, 2013 – Releasing clarifying questions for applications, based on priority numbers

In November 2012, ICANN released formal “Early Warnings” from the GAC (Government Advisory Committee) to nTLD applicants. The objections cited reasons for the warning, and ways in which applicants could alter their applications for a better chance of being approved. ICANN will also publish more clarifying questions for each applicant, starting with the first applicants on the priority draw and working down the list, to allow each applicant a better opportunity to respond to any possible hang-ups.

January, 2013 – Publishing contention sets, based on priority number

At the end of Janurary, ICANN will publish contention sets – or which nTLD strings have the capability of clashing or contending with other gTLD strings. The list will allow applicants the chance to modify what they need to in order to progress through the initial approval.

March 13, 2013 – The last day to file an objection

Anyone who has a standing objection to one of the nTLD strings pushing through the application process still has time to formally object to ICANN. The objection period was initially set to expire, but the objection date has been pushed back to March 13, to allow all parties the chance to identify possible problems with nTLD launches.

March 23, 2013 – Publication of initial evaluation results for the first several applications

By March 23, most applicants who are at the beginning of the priority release list will know the results of their initial evaluations – and either have the green light to go ahead with the process, or know what they need to do to reshape their application. This initial results publication is one of the dates most looked to in the nTLD process.

The big question, and one ICANN isn’t answering (yet), is when nTLDs will start to launch. Because there are so many steps to go through before an application is approved, and more steps to complete before a nTLD can go live, we don’t know when we’ll start seeing the first nTLDs starting to launch, although many believe we’ll see at least some nTLDs by the summer. To keep a watch on the process, sign up for our watcher, or subscribe to our blog.

The gTLD Land Grab Controversy: Google, Amazon, and the GAC Part II

Here is Part I of Tiffany’s series on the gTLD Land Grab Controversy.

Just one of the reasons Amazon and Google are garnering so much attention as new gTLDs (nTLDs) make their way through ICANN’s application process is the sheer number of their applications (read about the other reason, here). Google applied for the administration rights to 98 different nTLDs (after withdrawing three applications), while Amazon applied for the rights to 77 nTLDs. Early Warnings were issued late last month by the GAC, and some issued by Australia to Amazon, touch on the controversy surrounding the notable “land grab” that both Google and Amazon are participating in.

What is a ‘Land Grab’?

“Land grabbing” used to refer to a large-scale acquisition of land by a single entity. That definition doesn’t change, when referring to gTLDs, except that the land is the new gtlds land grab controversyvirtual. Many argue that nTLDs represent “new frontier” in Internet real estate. And while no one really knows what effect nTLDs will have on how users interface with the Web, many who keep watch on the application process seem concerned that Google and Amazon are applying for such a large amount of nTLDs, citing the common repercussions of a land grab – pricing smaller organizations, communities, and entities out of the market, thereby creating a monopoly.

Who’s Objecting?

Australia may be the only country to issue a GAC Early Warning concerning Amazon’s land grab, but bloggers and tech magazines have been discussing the implications of Amazon and Google obtaining so much nTLD land since the applications were filed. For anyone connected to the online world of writing, music, apps, cloud storage, or any other market represented by the gTLDs Amazon and Google are applying for, the amount of applications coupled with restrictions to third party access may affect the way you’re able to connect with nTLDs as a register.

Most contention centers on the fact that both Amazon and Google plan to use many nTLDs exclusively, without allowing third party registrars to open independent registrations, or without allowing single entities to register domains and obtain full ownership, boxing competitors and other potential registers out of their gTLD space.

What’s the Solution?

Right now, the solution is fuzzy. While the GAC has issued their Early Warnings  and heeding the Early Warnings is strongly recommended, Amazon and Google don’t have to comply with all GAC warnings, since the GAC will not be making the final calls on applications – ICANN will. Amazon and Google can also change their exclusivity policies to make them more transparent, and to allow third party purchases of their gTLD domains. Keeping the market open on their end may help squelch the land grab controversy, since others will be able to register common term gTLDs for their own use.

And, not everyone agrees that Amazon’s and Google’s move to purchase administration rights to dozens of nTLDs is in the wrong – some believe that gTLDs are an open market, and therefore the power of purchase dictates who gets administration rights. Twitter and Facebook chose not to apply for any gTLDs, while other large corporations, like Yahoo! only applied for gTLDs related to their brands and trademarks. It may be too early to tell if Google and Amazon actually pose a risk to healthy nTLD development, and the inconsistency of how big corporations are interacting with nTLDs complicates putting forth an accurate prediction.

What’s Your Take?

What do you think of Google and Amazon applying for the rights to so many nTLDs? Is this a move that might affect the industry you’re a part of, or do you feel comfortable getting your piece of the pie, even if Google and Amazon are successful in their bids for multiple nTLDs? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

For more information on nTLDs, check out our handy dandy nTLD guide. To read more about Amazon and Google, and the controversy surrounding their applications for “generic term gTLDs,” click here.

The Internet is Not Going to Break and 4 Other gTLD Myths Refuted

The internet’s abuzz with hype and gossip about the future of top-level domains and we’re here to help. Whether you’re worried about trademark infringement, administrative rights, search engine recognition, squatters or getting a gTLD of your own, don’t let the hype get you down. Here’s 5 gTLD myths debunked

1. A registrar has unlimited control over the release of their gTLDs.

Many people in the ever-watching internet community believe that businesses or organizations that get the rights to administer nTLDs will have the control to keep all of the extensions for their own use. But, it wouldn’t be that simple. To get that exemption, because the ICANN guidebook explicitly states that an administrator can’t keep all extensions without due cause, the GAC (Government Advisory Committee) and ICANN would have to rule that the exclusivity wouldn’t harm another organization or community. So if authors everywhere feel being excluded from .author would hurt their community, they could raise objections. Even though companies will have certain rights as administrators, including how exclusive or inclusive their registration process will be, the guideline have to be approved by ICANN first to make sure they are fair and encourage competition.

2. Squatters will prosper with nTLDs.

A lot of people think that the addition of nTLDs will increase the amount of cyber-squatting, but one of the reasons ICANN decided to expand gTLDs in the first New gTLDs mythsplace was to help eliminate squatting. More options (hundreds, in some cases) for domain names mean that the chances of your name being unavailable, or costing tens of thousands of dollars to purchase, is low. Some also worry that squatters could become administrators themselves, but ICANN has taken advanced measures to make sure that doesn’t happen, including looking into whether or not the organization or person applying for administration rights has a history of internet squatting, making the application detailed and the process intensive, and keeping the cost of application high.

3. gTLDs are a big business game.

Many small business owners express feeling as though nTLDs are out-of-reach, because of the cost to apply ($185,000 an application, plus $25,000 in annual costs). That’s a lot of money, because it costs a lot of money to run a domain, and register extensions to purchasers. But the sticker price on administrative rights doesn’t translate to the bottom-level, where most small organizations and businesses purchase their gTLDs. Administering .pet may be expensive, but buying a .pet domain extension for your business probably won’t be.

4. Trademark protection will be harder to enforce.

Trademark infringement have been a worry for internet users since day one, but the nTLDs have brought many of those concerns back to the forefront. ICANN operates within U.S. regulations, and reviews all applications with objections and GAC recommendations. Still concerns around how brand protection, global trademarks and restricted use abound. To counter these concerns,  ICANN, registries, registrars and the intellectual property community are working on setting up a Trademark Clearing House (TMCH) to add an extra layer of protection for trademark holders. All of the nTLDs will be subject to the TMCH, which is currently undergoing extensive development and review before implementation. The point is, the community is doing everything possible to make sure that the nTLDs won’t make it easier to infringe trademark protection because the oversight and regulation will be tighter.

5. nTLDs are going to make the internet difficult to navigate.

One of the greatest concerns out there is that nTLDs are going to mess up the web by adding confusion. Some think that nTLDs will lose traffic to more traditional domains. If you own won’t you lose traffic to, because the internet public won’t be used to nTLDs and just type in “”? Won’t the internet be harder to navigate with all these new domains? Rest assured that nothing will fundamentally change about the way we use the net, because nothing will change about how the net fundamentally operates — it’s just going to get bigger. The consumer base will adjust, as they have in the past (this is not the first time gTLDs have been added for public use), and while search engines haven’t stated explicitly how they’ll deal with nTLDs, most experts believe that the new extensions should help search engine recognition, by adding more keywords right into the domain name.

Hopefully we’ve helped squash some fears about the new gTLDs. Follow your favorite nTLD using our watcher and keep an eye on our blog to see how the application process pans out.

Sunrise, Landrush for the New TLDs


I’m Scott McBreen, Domains Operations Manager at With all the excitement regarding the New Top Level Domains (nTLDs) there are many people wondering how the new domains will be made available.  Others may be curious if it is worth the money to register an nTLD for use as a personal/professional website, or even for investment purposes.  Follow along below for responses to both those questions.

Registry operators, those that manage databases for Top Level Domains (TLDs) such as .com, utilize multiple strategies when making domains available to the new TLDs domain name operation managerpublic. Some registries will restrict who can register domains under their TLD, while others will make domains available to general public. Registries that open their TLD to the general public will typically make domain names available in stages when they are first released. These stages typically fall into the three categories: sunrise, land rush, and general availability.

The sunrise period allows applicants to apply for domains through accredited registrars, such as, if the domains meet certain criteria.  Sunrise applications typically require a registered trademark on the string for which the applicant applies. In the caseof the nTLD, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will offer a Trademark Clearinghouse, which will allow trademark holders to protect their trademark. Registries may also offer an additional sunrise period which allows owners of strings under an alternate TLD to apply for the same string in the nTLD they manage. For example, if your accounting firm owns you may be eligible for during the sunrise period.

Sunrise period registrations typically cost more than general availability registrations. However, the sunrise period is the ideal time to secure a valuable domain.The sunrise periods is followed by the landrush period. This is the period during which domain names become available without trademark or alternate TLD restriction. will offer pre-orders for the landrush period.  If you have placed a pre-order with, we will attempt to register your domain the moment the land rush begins. has had tremendous success capturing pre-ordered domains during both the .Tel and .XXX landrush periods, making many great domains available to our customers.

After the landrush period the nTLDs will enter the general availability period. This is the period when domains do not have any additional restrictions, and the registry charges their standard rate to registrars such as Some registries will hold onto what they consider to be premium domain names, and will auction them off to the highest bidder.  This can result in names being sold for huge sums of money.  According to Sedo Holding AG. who managed auctions for the .mobi registry, domains such as sold for $101,000 and sold for $75,111 at auction. Other registries will accept petitions for use of their premium domain names from parties that agree to develop the domains into active websites.  This can help build an nTLD’s brand, and result in excellent websites.

If you have made it this far, I am sure some of you are asking the big question “Is it worth it?”  Not unlike higher education or a chicken burrito, the answer depends on what you put into it.  However, I think we can agree that domains such as and are far more brandable than many of the currently available .com alternatives.

As far as the investment worth of the nTLDs, it can be difficult to speculate. However, reports sales of .Org domains such as for $440,000, for $198,000, and for $120,000.  One would imagine the individuals that registered these domains found them to be a sound investments.

We look forward to helping you with similar opportunities with the new TLDs and, as always, bringing you the same legendary customer support that comes with all our domains.

American as Apple Pie: .US Domain Names (for a bigger piece of the pie)

We’re not going to lie to you. America rocks. There’s no better way to let your customers and website visitors know your pro.

There’s no better way to communicate to visitors that you’re proudly made in the USA than with a .US domain extension, and right now your .US domain names are only $3.99! Now it’s more affordable than ever to be part of the growing “buy local” movement. As in both the United States and abroad, an established American presence online will help  instill consumer confidence in your brand.

Benefits of .US domain names:

  • Appeal to Americans and compete successfully globally
  • Use our Domain Search tool for .US domains
  • Protect your trademark – If you’ve got the .com get the .US before someone else does
  • SEO – Google can rank your site higher for .US searches
  • World’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural country

Restrictions on .US domain registrations

  • Any United States citizen or resident
  • Any United States entity, such as organizations or corporations
  • Any foreign entity or organization with a bona fide presence in the US


Start your .US search

New Dots Going In New Directions

Looking through the list of new gTLDs (nTLDs), there are many that have very practical uses for a lot of people. A .bank domain makes a lot of sense from the bank and the customer’s perspective to ensure security and market effectively. Being environmentally friendly is popular, important and covered by .eco or .green. No matter what your profession or interest, chances are that there is a nTLD for you. It easy to see why most of the nTLDs were applied for.

On top of the nTLDs you would probably expect, there are a few you might be surprised to learn about. These nTLDs boldly defy common convention and in some cases even reality. As a company that values breaking the mold, we love these nTLDs are excited to offer them. Here are a look at some of our office favorites and what we hope they will be used for.


As a mythical beast that represents pure badassery, the unicorn is as close as anything to an official mascot. Anyone who has not tried the konami code on our website should definitely check it out. Although the last reliable unicorn sighting hasn’t been for several years (my brother’s wife’s cousin’s friend swears…) unicorns remain as captivating as ever.

What we are imaging

The .unicorn nTLD will allow people to finally own this mythical best. Flying.unicorn, fast.unicorn, purple.unicorn – pick your favorite! No matter what kind of unicorn you want, the .unicorn space will make your dream a reality.

What’s closer to the truth

.Unicorn is being applied for a European technology company so that they can more easily communicate with their customers. It appears that while they offer a wide range of technology services, they do not sell legendary animals.


Stealthy warriors who live in the shadows, the ninja is never there and always there. Even the non teenage-mutant kinds are still pretty awesome.

What we are imaging

Upon purchase of a .Ninja domain, you do in fact become a ninja. Skilled in martial arts and deception, owning a .ninja domain allows you to fight for truth, justice and honor from the shadows. Also throwing stars. Lots of throwing stars.

What’s closer to the truth

Our Sys Admin has been signing all of his emails “Sr. System Administrator (IT Ninja)” since long before this nTLD came around. Used as a synonym for “expert” in the tech industry, .ninja has a lot of great potential for online experts looking to standout in the crowd. Also owning a katana may be slightly more justified.


There is a heavy office debate over who would win a fight between a viking or ninja. It’s hard to discount the whole life of fighting and plundering thing even against throwing stars.

What we are imaging

The viking nTLD will finally create a space for vikings on the go to connect with each other.  After a long row or difficult raid, find the maiden you always hoped for on or download your favorite epic poem from Finally a place on the Internet for vikings from vikings.

What’s closer to the truth

.Viking is being applied for by a cruise operator headquarter in Los Angeles. Their application states that domain is not available for public registration. So while our dreams of owning may be dashed, at least we don’t have to worry about the whole being sacked and looted thing.

and finally the office favorite…


Of all the nTLDs on this list, what we are thinking and what the nTLD is are actually the same thing. This is a nTLD for everything horse. How cool is that?! Although does not own a horse (yet) .horse has become a constant in email threads and office conversations. Expect a disproportionate amount of .horse domains to be registered at if only because every employee here wants one.

Come to think of it, the only two types of nTLDs on this list are equestrian animals and ancient lifestyles. I guess we all want to be horse riding ninjas or unicorn riding vikings. We’ll probably stick to being a kick ass domain registrar for now, but if you need a horse riding viking or unicorn riding ninja– send our support team an email and we will see what we can do.

Which ones are we missing? What are your favorites?

Halloween Costumes 2012: The Namers Dress as the nTLDs (New TLDs)

With anything we do we need focus, so Nic and Nick, in compliance and web dev, respectively, came up with the theme for our 2012 Halloween Contest: Dress up Halloween, costumes, "new TLDs", ntlds, "the new dots", domains, office, contestlike the nTLDs, or the New Dots as we call them here in the office. Turns out with as many as the new domain extensions that have been made public, there’s a lot of opportunity for creativity. Yes, we would have someone honor .WANG and .PORN. But we’ll only show you his backside, as even though it’s Halloween, we still don’t thing you deserved to be that frightened.

In no particular order, but with the greatest pride, we bring you our nTLD costumes.

Representing .MONSTER, heres Dave McBreen…rawr!

halloween with the ntlds

Not to be outdone, here’s his brother, Scott, as .WINES…

halloween with the ntlds

And always creative and popular with the boys, Shannon goes for the trifecta with .VIDEO, .GAME and .BOX

halloween with the ntlds

Pat “P-Mo” Moroney blossoms with .FLOWERS

halloween with the ntlds

Ashley is selfless as usual, dressed up as .YOU (also .YOGA) (with the reflection on my head you can see infinity)

halloween with the ntlds

Sean reminds people everywhere what .HIP is

halloween with the ntlds

Nic sets the bar as .LEGO

halloween with the ntlds

Chani looks like heaven but she’s actually .RUN because you do NOT want to mess with a Weeping Angel on Dr. Who…

halloween with the ntlds

Nick instills in us .FAITH and .LDS

halloween with the ntlds

Pat “P-Fro” Ramsey is a .DOCTOR and recommends at least a beer a day…

halloween with the ntlds

Cedar graces us with .PINK

halloween with the ntlds

John scores major points for wearing the least appropriate (dude, there’s a front on this too) costume in a workplace by being .SKI, .PORN, .MINI, .WANG, .BEER and awesome all in one.

halloween with the ntlds

Parker serves up his Colorado Buffaloes Ralphie mascot, while highlighting the importance of .PET and .UNIVERSITY

halloween with the ntlds

Dave “Fitz” Fitzgerald is a .RODEO .STAR (his rope reportedly borrowed by .LEGO and not returned)

halloween with the ntlds


halloween with the ntlds

Little Delia Rose rocks the Ladybug. AND THE WINNER IS…

New TLDs Story Time Competition comes to Climactic Finish

It began as an internal office contest, and our Name peeps poured their hearts out. Paul, the VP of Everything, reminisced about the days BC (Before Children)…

I’m the .dad of three amazing boys. .Life can be funny, one minute you’re riding .motorcycles, drinking .beer and heading to the big .party, and the .next minute you’re running after .kids and picking up .toys.

And Ashley, our Marketing Something or Other, laid bare her soul…

Not to get all .blue on you but let it .beknown that rather than dreaming about being .rich I’d probably be happier if I could just .meet a .hot .gent.

And then we took our little show on the road, asking all of you to send in your stories written using the New TLDs. Now we have a winner. Nic, who presides over all things New TLDs, is here to make the announcement.

“The New TLD Storytime competition officially drew to an end last Friday. We are stoked to announce that the best story has been chosen. Painting a vivid tale of hope, intrigue and perhaps the very meaning of life – David was able to finish on top and win both $30.00 in account credit and some delicious baked goods. Without further ado, the masterpiece that carried him to victory:

“.ONE .DAY I was .PLAY.ING .XBOX at my .UNIVERSITY. I saw another .MAN spectating my .GAME from across the hall. I asked his name but he only ran away. I .CHASEd this .MAN across the campus until I caught up to him. “.BINGO!” he yelled. I then realized he was my favorite .CEO from .APPLE. I tried to ask him why he was .WATCH.ING me .PLAY . XBOX then ran when I approached him. He only looked at me .AND told me to .BUY more .APPs.”

Congrats David, and thanks to all those who played! Check out all the submissions here. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, you can also still submit your own to be featured alongside David’s tour de force.”

new gTLD story time winner contest

As documented on his Facebook page, our winner was made to win this contest.

Allison Pill, Kate Middleton, Britney Spears, iphone 5 on trenD

Domains and Trends in one! In this episode…

It’s something that really should be a major part of this year’s elections: Why is it so awful to see a naked breast? Princess Kate Middleton shed her royal garb and a French tabloid posted the pics. Now the palace is ticked and all the world in a fury. Why? It’s the Puritans isn’t it? Those skin-covering sin police who dressed beautiful natives in Big Dog t-shirts. Dang it. It’s wrong. And then there’s the iPhone 5. People say they are disappointed, but analysts say there should still be about 6,000,000 pre-orders.

Finally, the Innocence of Muslims is a really bad video that no one should get excited about.

Rated PG, for reals.

A show about what’s trending across the internets and the domain names that love them.
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Read about Allison Pill and her topless photos:

Read about Kate Middleton and her topless photos:

Read about Britney Spears showing her curves on X-Factor

Then buy the domain: (available as of 9/14/12)

Watch the iphone 5 reaction on Live with Jimmy Kimmel.,2817,2409665,00.asp#

But then you have to buy:

Haven’t heard about Innocence of Muslims?
Read about it here:

Then buy the domain and tell them to:

Going to the Chapel…The New gTLDs A Boon for Weddings

I’m going to a .wedding.
The global wedding industry is a $298 billion/year business and growing. Even with the average wedding cost dropping in 2011 from its high of $28,730 in 2007, the average cost of a wedding today is $25,630. Adding a .wedding website isn’t going to break the bank, and if you’re a wedding vendor, could be as good as money in it.
The new top level domain .wedding, which should become available for registration in the near future, has the potential to become very popular with brides and grooms wanting to create a dedicated website for their wedding and the events leading up to the big day. Wedding websites are becoming ever more popular and provide a way for couples to share important information with their family and guests about their important day.
New gTLDs are hereWedding websites frequently include information about the couple, highlighting how they met or how he/she proposed, as well as more logistical information like how to get to the ceremony if the wedding is being held abroad. The .wedding extension is a perfect canvas for everything informative and entertaining, and can be a keepsake of the bride and groom’s most cherished memories.
If you’re a wedding vendor — florist, wedding planning, wedding photographer, deejay, etc.–a .wedding extension can help reinforce your brand and let your customers know about the wedding specific services your company offers. Smart wedding vendors can use a .wedding domain as either their primary website or a companion site to the main domain, but with more information geared toward what brides and grooms are looking for. It’s unclear how the new extensions will impact search engine results, but it’s likely that if you have a .wedding domain with wedding content on it – it’s not going to hurt you and will most likely help.
If you’re planning a wedding in the near future, make sure to sign up for our New gTLD Watch List for when this new extension becomes available, and add this as the ‘something new’ to your list.
Contributed by Paul Carter, who is happily married and the VP of Operations, aka Chief Tugboat Operator, at