Monday, October 12, 2015

New gTLDs according to Registrants

New gTLDs are understood in many different ways: the understanding from end users, and the understanding of domain name professionals is often not the same. As an actor of the ICANN new gTLD program, a true user of these new domains, and a consultant on these questions, find below a mix of things I heard, and things I believe are right about new gTLDs.

A Registrant?
I call a "Registrant", the person to own a domain name and who's had to pay interest in new gTLDs at some point: website owner, law firm, webmaster, IP department...

Feedback received from Registrants
  1. I have a ".com": why would I change my domain name?
  2. It is expensive (...)
  3. You said a domain name ending in ".consulting": do you mean ""?
  4. Domain names ending in ".sucks"? Come on: no one would allow that (and certainly not the people who govern the Internet*)!
  5. There are too many: I would like to secure them all to protect my name but it is too expensive.
  6. I noticed some domain name extensions exist with an "s": this is confusing and irritating.
  7. Some extensions are really interesting, some ... I ,just don't understand.
  8. My Registrar keeps me informed about new domain names, this is fortunate because I don't have time for this.
  9. My Registrar sends me too many emails about new gTLDs, this is annoying.
  10. Why is there such a difference of price between Registrars?
  11. I hate don't like domainers;
  12. .BRAND new gTLDs are a good idea for those who can afford it;
  13. The Trademark Clearing what?
  14. It is sad that the Trademark Clearinghouse mechanism did not allow to block a domain name from being registered;
  15. Why should I pay more to protect my name? In the past I had a domain name and if was fine: now so many are related to my business, the risk of infringement has increased and I am forced to act.
  16. .CITY new gTLDs are a good idea;
  17. Now I have a new domain name, should I stop renewing my ".com" or should I keep it?
  18. More coming (send us your feedback).
Coming next:
  1. "New gTLDs according to Registrars";
  2. "New gTLDs according to Registries";
  3. "New gTLDs according to ICANN" .
* Ok, this one was from me ;-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Single And Double Letter Domains Launch .CLUB’s First China Auction

High Value ".club" Domain Names

A Strong Appeal in Asia and the West for,, and

C.Club and twenty-four 2-character .CLUB domain names are set to hit the auction block on October 29, 2015 in a series of five fast-moving auctions with each auction lasting three days. The popularity and value of one and two-character domains is well documented as witnessed through their global sales and usage by major corporations across verticals such as:
  • (Yellow Pages),
  • (Hewlett Packard),
  • (Sports Illustrated),
  • (Electronic Arts),
  • (Tencent QQ),
  • (WordPress),
  • and more. In fact, many companies’ brand identity has naturally morphed to be more prevalent in their two-character abbreviated form rather than full name.
This auction, to be held on the Chinese platform, marks the first time .CLUB Domains, the Registry behind one of the world’s most popular new domain extensions, is offering this set of domains in a public auction format. The domain inventory included in this auction has been hand-selected by the team to specifically appeal to Eastern and Western businesses and investors alike. Auction bidding starts as low as $5,000USD for the majority of two-character domains, making them accessible for businesses of all sizes and budgets.

.CLUB Domains has already sold reserved domains at considerable auction prices, including the sale of for $140,000 in 2015 at the NamesCon Auction, which set the worldwide auction record for all new domain extension sales to date. This was their first and only auction, showing the demand for .CLUB domain sales. Likewise, interest in the first Eastern and Western auction of .CLUB names is expected to attract strong participation, especially with .CLUB’s active focus on buyers worldwide.

The auction platform will be available in both Chinese and English, and .CLUB will be offering a Concierge Service to assist Western buyers, thus allowing two ways to bid:
  • Bid online from the auction platform. Once the auction begins, create an account and bid as frequently as you like. You can also enter a proxy bid for each auction for automated bidding. 
  • Use the free Concierge Service and work with a professional bi-lingual domain specialist to guide you through’s registration and bidding process on your behalf and under your directions. This provides you the freedom to set your limits anonymously before the auction ends. To learn more, contact us at
Payments will be made through the familiar website for non-Chinese investors and through Union Pay for Chinese investors. To accommodate investors everywhere, teams of bilingual speakers will be available throughout the auction in U.S. and China time zones.

Be sure to frequently check for the latest news and bidding links for this coveted set of 25 valuable domains. Auction inventory, reserves and dates can be found below.

Each auction will end promptly at 10:30 pm Eastern (7:30 pm Pacific) on the indicated End date.

List of domain names:
  1. HJ.CLUB
    • $5,000 USD
    • 29-Oct-2015 (start date)
    • 1-Nov-2015 (end date)
  2. JC.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 29-Oct-2015
    3. 1-Nov-2015 
  3. YM.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 29-Oct-2015
    3. 1-Nov-2015 
  4. JS.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 29-Oct-2015
    3. 1-Nov-2015 
  5. GZ.CLUB
    1. $5,000
    2. USD 29-Oct-2015
    3. 1-Nov-2015 
  6. PC.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 30-Oct-2015
    3. 2-Nov-2015 
  7. YX.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 30-Oct-2015
    3. 2-Nov-2015 
  8. QC.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 30-Oct-2015
    3. 2-Nov-2015 
  9. DK.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 30-Oct-2015
    3. 2-Nov-2015 
  10. PK.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 30-Oct-2015
    3. 2-Nov-2015 
  11. ZS.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 31-Oct-2015
    3. 3-Nov-2015 
  12. CG.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 31-Oct-2015
    3. 3-Nov-2015 
  13. SQ.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 31-Oct-2015
    3. 3-Nov-2015 
  14. KF.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 31-Oct-2015
    3. 3-Nov-2015 
  15. ZI.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 31-Oct-2015
    3. 3-Nov-2015 
  16. YC.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 1-Nov-2015
    3. 4-Nov-2015 
  17. DS.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 1-Nov-2015
    3. 4-Nov-2015 
  18. YQ.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 1-Nov-2015
    3. 4-Nov-2015 
  19. ZQ.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 1-Nov-2015
    3. 4-Nov-2015 
  20. TB.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 1-Nov-2015
    3. 4-Nov-2015 
  21. C.CLUB
    1. $50,000 USD
    2. 2-Nov-2015
    3. 5-Nov-2015 
  22. JD.CLUB
    1. $10,000 USD
    2. 2-Nov-2015
    3. 5-Nov-2015 
  23. PJ.CLUB
    1. $10,000 USD
    2. 2-Nov-2015
    3. 5-Nov-2015 
  24. LY.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 2-Nov-2015
    3. 5-Nov-2015 
  25. GW.CLUB
    1. $5,000 USD
    2. 2-Nov-2015
    3. 5-Nov-2015
About .Club Domains, LLC
Led by Internet entrepreneur Colin Campbell, whose prior successes include Tucows Interactive and, .Club Domains, LLC is the award-winning registry behind the .CLUB top level domain name. The company recently launched to support entrepreneurs building businesses around a .CLUB domain name. With more than 290,000 domain names sold to date .CLUB leads the pack of new domain extensions in sales and usage and was recognized at the 2015 Domain Industry Awards for Best Registry and Company of the Year. More information and links to register .CLUB domains are available now at

EachNic is China’s first professional domain trading and investing website. With over 400,000 registered members, and certified by both ICANN and CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center). Its services include domain registration, aftermarket trading, brokerage, auction, reservation cancellation and parking and other relevant value adding services. Established in 2000, EachNic is one of China’s oldest and most trusted auction platforms for global domain name auctions. Built on powerful, robust bidding software and more than a decade of experience, EachNic is the only choice for internationally-minded domain investors and for new gTLDs in China.

EachNic was founded by one of the best-known Chinese Internet industry leaders, Mr. YAO Jinbo (current CEO of on August 18, 2000, and was acquired in 2008 and ran independently since then by EJEE Group, one of China’s largest registrar service providers headquartered in Zhongguancun, Beijing, the Silicon Valley of China.

Monday, October 5, 2015

.VIN & .WINE new gTLDs are here, Thanks to Politicians

It is no news that the .WINE and .VIN new gTLDs are to be announced soon by Donuts and if the month of November is the very month everybody has been waiting for, at the beginning of the Sunrise Periods, many questions arise regarding the protection of wine geographical indications.

Axelle Lemaire
There is a lot to say regarding the length of time it took to launch .wine and .vin new gTLDs and, most of all, how difficult it has been to protect its wine Geographical Indications (also called "wine GIs"). The "French way" has been very efficient in facing such a threat to our culture. That is to be demonstrated when these two new gTLD launch. France has had French experts working on how to protect wine GIs but we've also had politicians handling the problem and help find solutions.

Read the end of this article here on CircleId and prepare your .WINE and .VIN Sunrise Periods with Nameshield.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New .NEWS domain names start to be adopted

The .NEWS new gTLD
Just for those who still do not understand what "gTLD" means, it stands for "generic Top-Level Domain". And for those who do not know what a generic Top-Level Domain is, it is a domain name extension: what comes in the end of a domain name. In, the domain name extension is ".news".

Domain names ending in ".news" can be a good match for journalists but not only. If professionals from the paper and online press publish news, they are not alone: a news can be written by anyone, any business with a relation to posting up-to-date information online. Bloggers are concerned here.

Domain names which meet adoption
There are exercises I often do to see if a specific domain name extension meets adoption or not:
  1. I check (weekly) new gTLD registration volumes so I can see which extension has increasing domain name registrations and which extension hasn't. My latest report was published (in French) here. You will note in blue the extensions which registration volumes increase in a significant way and .NEWS is one of them in my latest report.
  2. I use the Google's "advanced search" to check how many websites really use this domain name extension. To find how many websites use a ".news" domain name you must first do a search on Google (whatever you like), then you should click on top-right on the little wheel and select "Advanced search". Remove what you searched for in the field entitled "all these words" and add "news" in the field entitled "site or domain". See below how to proceed:
Last time I proceed for .NEWS I found "about 716,000 results (0.24 seconds)".

.NEWS beats competitors

The .NEWS new gTLD has competitors and the biggest one is not .PRESS, it is .BLOG but .NEWS has many advantages:
  1. it is multilingual;
  2. it is cheap: $10 at the moment at some Registrars;
  3. we do not know how much a ".blog" will cost since it has not launched yet;
  4. ".press" is more for the press specifically rather than news in general.
  5. registration volumes don't lie:
    1. there are 24,936 ".news" domain names registered;
    2. there are 7,239 ".press" doamins registered.
A problem I foresee with the .NEWS Registry
Anyone interested in following new about new gTLDs reads and you probably noticed that this website still uses an old ".com" domain name. Isn't it a pity to read news about new gTLDs on a website which uses an old domain name? The reason of this is that this website was launched long prior the launching of the ICANN new gTLD program but isn't it time for a change?

The problem I face here is that is a Premium domain name and guess how much I would have to pay to change my old ".com" to ""?



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Which new gTLD would I apply for in Round 2?

I have the chance to study new domain name registration figures every week and I can note the progress of every extensions: some keep progressing, some don't and probably won't anymore and some behave in a very strange way.

An unexpected Round One
One would have expected the ICANN process to apply to be simple, efficient and fast but it was not and one would have expected to be alone to apply for a generic string...but it was not. Low registration volumes are the result of ICANN's first try to allow anyone interested to acquire his own domain name extension. Lesson is now learnt for coming Round two.

When numbers look like they are wrong
Once a week - each Wednesday - I publish registration volumes of new domain names on (in French). I do this for domain name extensions which mean something in French and ".city" new gTLDs. I use three colors:
  1. Black is used to write each domain name extension and its number of registered domain names that week;
  2. Blue is when the increase should be noticed;
  3. Red is when the number of registrations decreases from previous week.
Doing this once a week allows me to see when something changes at a Registry and I noticed a few things:
  1. Some new registries to have been the first to launch had good registration figures but not anymore: some can stay in red for several weeks (which means registration volumes decrease);
  2. Some had an impressive launch (giving away domain names maybe) and clearly dived in the red after year one. They are now stagnating. Some keep giving domain names;
  3. Some have very low registration figures but they increase slowly, even after year one of registration;
  4. Many dotCITY domain name extensions are constant: even after year one, I don't remember them ever changing to red;
  5. Some had a very good launch, are constant, and keep developing like the .CLUB registry.

What I call "normal" and what I call ".crap"
When domain name extensions "mean" something, when Registrars talk about them to their customers and when the Registry is active promoting them, I believe we have a key to success and registration volumes clearly demonstrate that. On the other hand, some very descriptive domain name extensions have a poor communication but their registration volumes increase slowly but they keep increasing.
Here is an example of what I call "normal": registration volumes increase at the end of a Sunrise Period because domain name "open to all"; most of the time they decrease after one year of existence when it comes to renewing a domain name by the owner (the Registrant) but they stabilize again. During holidays, I noticed there are less registrations. When a major Registrar promotes a domain name extensions on its front page, registrations volumes slightly increase.

Of course, no one wants to read what I call ".crap" but I like to write that all new Registries are not cheaters: and by the way, what is cheating? Is it registering domains names for yourself or through a third party to demonstrate that your domain name registration volumes increase (and so, show your domain names are installing)? Is it giving domain names?
From one week to another, I sometimes notice that the volume of domain names doubles, triples or sometimes multiplies by...much more for one single TLD (Top-Level Domains). I once wrote to a Registry to ask about this sudden change...but he never answered my email. Actually, this does not bother me if it brings end users to notice that these new domain names exist: it is still very early for adopters to consider new domain names.

Does it matter if new Registries cheat?
Does it matter to the end user if a new gTLD Registry gives Registrants domain names without their consent? Does it matter if Registries own their own Registrar to offer Registrants the best price on earth to register a domain name? Does it matter if a TLD is sold like it is the most secured extension on earth? Does it matter if the ICANN forgot to include specific protection mechanisms for special TLDs? Is there a rule to promote a domain name to a worldwide market? There is I guess this is not called cheating: let's call it marketing.
The funny thing about this is that the Registrant - the only one NOT represented at ICANN meetings - is king: he is the one to decide. Whatever imagination new Registries have to install their domain name doesn't really matter because end-users don't care: what matters to them is to be satisfied. If the meaning offered by new domain name extensions matches their need or if it matches what they want to express through the name of their website, then I call it a success.

The surprise of September 2015
One will wonder why Google decided to use a ".xyz" domain name: was it because the name of its company was "Alphabet" or just because ".xyz" domains are new and cool? Or was it because ".xyz" is the best string to define a company named "Alphabet"? My personal choice goes to that last answer but whatever my choice is, what matters is that ".xyz" domains are starting to be adopted.

In which new gTLDs I believe:
There are news gTLD strings in which I believe more than others. The problem is that there are so many! I check registration volumes every week and I can tell one thing for sure: I am not wrong with my choices and here is my short list:
  • ".SURF" is really cool: surfers have passion and would I be so passionated for a sport/lifestyle, I'd definitely adopt a ".surf" domain name for my website and more than this: for my email. Also: "a surf is a surf".
  • ".EMAIL": an email ending in ".email" offers information about the writer:  the reader will notice precision. Using a ".email" domain name is also an opportunity to terminate years of spam received by the domain name originally used and change to something new. Note here that migrating emails and doing the transition should be organized. Note also that not all servers and forms accept new domain names so when the email is bounced back, you definitely need an "option 2".
  • ".CLUB" is the best identity any club on earth could have: it covers many languages (almost all of them), it is short and open enough to be used by fans, by discotheques and by many sports. And guess what: "a club is a club".
  • ".PARIS". Come on: how better can you introduce a website when your business focusses on the city of lights? By the way, did you know that "paris" means "bets"?
  • ".BUZZ" rocks: the word is international and allows to introduce an information in multiple languages. We use the word quite a lot in French too.
  • ".SHOP": I wondered if ".boutique" would do the same job as ".shop" but "shop" not only is a short word but it introduces the acceptance to spend money: you know you will spend money if you navigate on a website for shopping.
  • ".CASINO": the "casino" sign does not match real casinos only; the word is known by anybody, it is international and is a perfect match for online casinos too.
  • ".COACH": a coach with no ".coach" is no real Coach anymore. 
  • Any TLD related to sports is the only match to describe the Sport, isn't it? I like ".GOLF" a lot.
  • ".BLOG": a blogger will understand why I like that one, it is short and worldwide: perfectly adapted to multiple subjects.
  • ".VOTE" and ".VOTO": if these two can help voters to identify where to vote online, not only it could encourage governments to develop voting websites but it could encourage voters to go voting: I want a "pré" (with an accent please).
  • ".GLOBAL" is nice, it is an alternative to ".com" for any company who wants to show innovation and change to something new (keeping and redirecting its ".com");
  • ".PHOTO": the singular version of the TLD covers the photography universe: it is simple and easily understandable, even if not written the same way in some Latin languages. the string "photo" can also be an alternative to photo blogs.
  • ".PIZZA": I don't know what to write here but I like that one. I'd buy if I was in that business. If pizzaiolos needed websites, this TLD would be the perfect match. Let's hope domain names can make pizzaiolos to use Internet: I want to receive an email ending in ".pizza".
  • ".RESTAURANT": it does not cover all languages and it is long but it is very descriptive and it covers French; and French is a sign of quality. You can't miss such a long domain name when finding the result on Google: it is an eye catcher. 
  • ".RIP": it is negative but ".rip" domain names are the only descriptive alternative for a grave online. The concept is far too new to be adopted by end-users but this is the future of 
  • ".VIN":  I really wonder why some American Company applied for ".WINE" too ;-)
  • I like ".SITE" and ".WEBSITE" but one kills the precision of the other and ".ONLNE" does not help which one to choose...
  • I like ".TAXI" for independent taxis and ".SOCIAL" for online communities. If I was to change the domain name for Facebook, I'd use
  • ".FORUM" and ".GAME" are coming, I think these will be adopted too.
  • ".AFRICA": I don't know anybody using a ".ASIA" domain name and I know very few using a ".EU" but ".AFRICA" is a domain name I would want to adopt to show my belonging to this continent.  
  • ".TRANSLATIONS": I would have bought as a translator. Every translator (more or less) speaks English and it was the only domain name extension dedicated to translation. I see a similar project coming in Round two of the ICANN new gTLD program.
Now Round one is finished, I guess a word should be said about those strings I wouldn't buy a domain name from: plural TLDs, and generic TLDs which could mean more than one thing. I wouldn't buy a ".sale" domain name: it means "dirty" in French. I don't read IDNs so I am not buying neither but if I was a (International?) Trademark, I'd definitely consider registering a ".商标" domain name: it means "trademark" in Chinese. I would register in the Trademark Clearinghouse too.

Which new gTLDs would I apply for in Round Two?
Last time I spoke about .WINE, it (probably) gave ideas to other applicants so I am not answering that one and my list will be kept safe until a reasonable player wants to discuss it. I believe in :
  1. niche TLDs with a strong meaning;
  2. city TLDs;
  3. short TLDs but not necessarily: a TLD like the ".accountant" offers a lot of precision;
  4. niche TLDs whose industry is connected to (or relies on) the Internet and there are still many to submit an application for in the second round of the ICANN new gTLD program;
  5. sports TLDs which not yet have been applied for at ICANN... 

Singer 50Cent to choose a .CLUB domain name for his Fan Club.