Saturday, September 16, 2017

Le Louvre: time for a change?

Le Louvre is one of the most popular museum in the world, at least in real life, but can we say the same in terms on naming?

Le Louvre is French
Le Louvre is French so it uses a ".fr" domain name. Normal isn't it? The website is available in multiple languages and it occupies most of the results in the front page of Google when I hit "Le Louvre". Good, but let's hope that this does not change since it has no SSL certificate (Google announced recently that SSL certificates help rank better). Yes...the most prestigious museum in the world is not secured on Internet.

I checked a certain number of similar ccTLD domain names to see if other extensions had been secured (and more domain names registered) and it I didn't want to dig more than the .es and it. My conclusion is that...well...not so many apparently, but who worries about this: it is "Le Louvre". I visited too need.

Interesting, the domain name has been registered but points to an error. I would have redirected it to the official domain name. What about Paris? The domain name was registered and redirects to good point but since Le Louvre is located in Paris, isn't it time for innovation?

HOT - Coming to Abu Dhabi
Le Louvre opens in Abu Dhabi in November 2017 and it is important to know that the ".abudhabi" new gTLD was launched in April 2016. Since then, one domain name was registered only and this, very recently. The only known existing domain name ending in ".abudhabi" is Sadly, it is a simple redirection to the next ICANN meeting in but's a start.
Le Louvre in Abu Dhabi has its own website and it is... (not secured neither).

Hundreds of people are working in in communication and intellectual property for Le Louvre, and I am confident that one, at least, has had the same thought as I have: isn't it the opportunity to consider changing domain names for these two fantastic museums and go for a ".paris" and a ".abudhabi" domain name? It implies changes and I already hear SEO specialists but hey: what's the most important when you are Le Louvre?

This is innovation.

The ".museum" new gTLD
Just for the note, ".museum" domain names are only available to museums and individual members of the museum profession but it appears that this is about to change (how surprising). The .MUSEUM new gTLD will open to all in the future: "Eligibility requirements have been expanded such that registrations will be granted to museums, professional associations of museums, individuals with an interest or a link with museum profession and /or activity, or bona fide museum users." This is a common move at closed Registries to "expand" the number of domain name registrations. In more simple words, "Individuals with an interest" also includes cybersquatters, domainers but also, bona fide Trademark owners who would be interested in securing their domain name in the ".museum" extension.

Monday, September 4, 2017

New gTLDs: an interesting agenda

The .BRAND & Domains conference is coming and I went through the agenda to check "what more" one will find that other conferences are not offering yet. First, it is interesting to note that the conference is not one offered by a single service provider (ie: a Corporate Registrar) demonstrating its long expertise. Second, it appears that some .BRAND applicants, service providers and many insiders from the ICANN new gTLD program will attend.

What's of interest?
I discussed with some of the speakers to learn a little more about what their plan is. One stayed "vague" and some are taking their venue very seriously. For example, I was informed that this conference will be the right to hear the following answer: why did L'Oréal withdrew its application for the .LOREAL new gTLD. Some participants will be coming from "far away": the United States (an old European colony), from Australia and Canada. Even the ICANN is sending its officers. Funny: the people from ".com" will be there too. I went through the agenda and I stopped on some conferences:

On Monday
  • There is a conference with the new gTLD guy from ICANN. It will be explained - with precision and no ICANN acronyms - where we are in terms of reviews and how applying for a .BRAND will be made easier for applicants (Martin Sutton). Look for "Panel: Dot Brand Landscape" in the agenda. In simple words, this panel will help potential applicants to estimate when they can submit their application.
  • "How does a dotBrand provide better customer protection and fights against counterfeit": you want to learn the real benefit of applying to a .BRAND and what an homograph attack is? That's the place to be.
  • There are 9 panels in total on Monday.
On Tuesday
  • Interesting: "Howto: Leveraging Keywords in dotBrands". If "what to do with a .BRAND domain name extension" is a question, this panel should help and Ramon Raudenbrauch will explain in 30 minutes. You don't now who Ramon is? :-)
  • SEO: "How do you migrate to a dotBrand without effecting SEO? How can you improve SEO? Find out as we explore the effect on search": an expert will answer questions adding to the advantage of operating a .BRAND new gTLD.
  • Real Life: "Launching of dot brand". Some Brands will explain how they launched and what they learnt from this.
  • There are 9 panels in total on Tuesday.

  1. When: 2 - 3 October 2017;
  2. Where: GRAND HOTEL AMRATH KURHAUS - The Hague, Netherlands;
  3. Online

Thursday, August 31, 2017

New gTLD Registry Fee Offset Proposal

This is the ICANN answer to Chairman of the Registries Stakeholder Group in regard to a proposal to offset new gTLD Registry Fees.

In simple words:
  1. Registries: "ICANN: it is too expensive for us! With all that money that you have, why don't you lower costs?"
  2. ICANN: "hey, we've been talking about this for years: where the hell were you in 2011? As for now, it is No."
The answer
Thank you for your proposal of 14 March 2017, regarding new gTLD registry fees. Your letter has been published to the ICANN correspondence page. 
We sympathize with the financial challenges that some new gTLD registry operators may be facing in the early periods of these new businesses. New gTLD Operators face a challenging task of building consumer awareness and this can and may take significant time and effort. ICANN remains committed to supporting the evolution of the robust, stable and trusted domain name marketplace, and new gTLDs are part of this evolution. ICANN recognizes the challenge you cited related to universal acceptance of TLDs, in particular IDN TLDs. ICANN has established the Universal Acceptance Steering Group to help address some of these challenges. This effort is being funded from the New gTLD program application fees. By the end of FY18 ICANN will have committed several million dollars to this effort.
We appreciate that the gTLD Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG) has developed a proposal to offset New gTLD Operator fees for ICANN’s consideration. Your proposal requests ICANN to provide a one-time credit to new gTLD registry operators of 75% of the annual fixed registry fee ($25,000 USD) using a portion of what your proposal characterizes as $96 million of projected remaining funds from the New gTLD Program applications fees. In your letter you assert a fiduciary duty on ICANN to refund the excess funds from the New gTLD program to the registry operators, to be clear, ICANN does not agree with this assertion. 
Your letter cites obstacles related to competing in the domain name market place due to the fixed registry fee structure of the New gTLD Registry Agreement. The current registry fee structure, comprising fixed and registration-based fees, was outlined in the Section 6.1 of the Base Registry Agreement and published as part of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook (AGB). It was subject to several rounds of public comment from the wider ICANN community as part of the AGB development process, and the fee structure and amount have not changed since the ICANN Board approved the AGB in 2011
As you are aware, the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program is still underway, and a portion of the remaining funds are required for the ongoing operation of the program.
As noted in ICANN’s FY18 Operating Plan and Budget, ICANN expects to have spent approximately $214 million on the Program, including “hard-to-predict” costs incurred in FY18 and in the future3 . To date, ICANN has spent Program funds on a range of previously unforeseen expenses including the formation and coordination of the Universal Acceptance Steering Group, Emergency BackEnd Registry Operator Program operations, studies and mitigation plans relating to Name Collision, implementation of the Trademark Clearinghouse, support for the administration of ICANN Accountability Mechanisms, and legal fees and costs relating to the New gTLD Program. The remaining Program funds are intended to cover operating expenses and future unanticipated costs such as those listed above, which continue to occur on an ongoing basis. We do not yet know how much of the New gTLD Program remaining funds will be required to address future unanticipated expenses, and by when. As such, at this time, ICANN is not in a position to commit to the dispensation of any potential remaining funds from the New gTLD Program applications fees. Thank you for your thoughtful proposal and for your understanding.
Download the updated proposal from the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) here (PDF document).

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Can .WEB revive .WED ?

The .WED new gTLD (for Wedding) is in danger of...never, ever launching. By "launching", I mean to sell domain names. To "launch", a Registry must sell more - much more - than 100 domain names.

I wrote an article about this subject on DomainNameWire and I believe that it is a good read for any coming new gTLD applicant who wants to throw himself in the next ICANN new gTLD round.

Read my article on DomainNameWire.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

More new gTLD case studies

The ICANN just published three more case studies. The domain name extensions concerned are:
  1. The .KRED new gTLD;
  2. The .CEO new gTLD;
  3. The .手机 (xn--kput3i) IDN new gTLD.
Purpose of each proposed gTLD
This content was extracted from each new gTLD application submitted to the ICANN during the submission process: "18(a). Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD".

The .手机 new gTLD (.CELL)
Beijing RITT in this application is applying for the Chinese IDN string of .CELL only. This is not an application for .CELL (ASCII). The true IDN string will be referred to throughout this application as .CELL (Chinese IDN) for simplicity of review by ICANN. .CELL (Chinese IDN) is intended to become one of the most common and easily accessible TLDs on the internet, especially targeted to Chinese speakers. It will vastly expand options for creating domains, developing mobile applications, and giving new opportunities to those who have been unable to obtain a desired domain name in Chinese in existing TLDs. Most importantly, it provides the opportunity for the full domain name to be represented in their native language. The .CELL (Chinese IDN) TLD will help facilitate the expansion of those opportunities for Chinese-speaking Internet users. While we expect long-term growth as Internet penetration increases, we expect that awareness and early adoption will ramp up gradually and the first few years will experience a modest adoption rate. Therefore, we anticipate that we will have 30,000 domains under management (DUMs) after three years. 

The .KRED new gTLD
The mission⁄purpose of the .kred TLD is to establish a cohesive, clear, dedicated, immediately identifiable online identity, experience, and sales channel for KredTLD Pty Ltd. Kred, launched by social analytics leader PeopleBrowsr in 2011, measures influence in online communities connected by affinities. Kred values audience quality and engagement over audience size by assessing anyone’s ability to inspire action (Influence) and propensity to engage with others (Outreach). As a market leader in social media engagement and analytic services, Kred is excited to have the opportunity to take a lead in this new, expanded Internet environment as one of the first brand TLDs. The .kred TLD leverages the influential Kred brand, to enable us to offer our cutting edge technology products and services to individuals, brands, and industries in a clearer way than is currently possible. It will bring Kred’s online presence together into one clear channel of communication and experience, thus clearly distinguishing the company and its products from competitors.

The .CEO new gTLD
CEOTLD Pty Ltd. will combine PeopleBrowsr’s Kred’s influence and outreach measurement, real world rankings and other information feeds to provide comprehensive information for, by and about the CEO community and its members. The .ceo TLD enables us to offer our cutting edge technology products to individuals, brands, locations and industries in a clearer way than is currently possible. It will bring CEOTLD Pty Ltd.’s online presence together into one clear channel of communication and experience, thus clearly distinguishing the company and its products from competitors

All case studies can be checked here.

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