Monday, December 29, 2014

Night Clubs have joined the .CLUB

“New generic Top-Level Domains”, “new gTLDs”, “new G’s” or just call them “new domain name extensions”, are one of the hot subjects of the moment on Internet. They are these new identifiers it has become possible to give a domain name for a better recognition. New domain names ending in “.club” now cover night life and Night Clubs seem to have adopted this new identifier.


New domain names for everyone
Specific industries like the building one are concerned with domain names ending in “.build”. Major cities and locations also have their specific domain names: residents and companies located in London can register a domain name ending in “.london”, the French Brittany has its domains ending “.bzh” and New Zealand created “.kiwi” domain names. Endorsed communities and Brands also have participated in these projects: AXA, the insurance company, has acquired the right to create its own domain names ending in .”axa”.

What are Registries?
Nic.club is the domain name of the company in charge of allowing the creation of domain names ending in “.club”, instead of “.com”. To understand well how these new domain names work, let’s imagine a pyramid on top of which is the ICANN: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is the actual authority for domain names and there is one worldwide to allow the creation of new domain name extensions.
Then right below is the list of “Registries”, there is one per domain name extension: there is one for “.com” domain names as well as one for “.club”.
Below the Registries you find the “Registrars”: they are the companies where end-users buy domain names. Registrars need to be “accredited” to selling domain names and they are more than a thousand.
Down the pyramid, you find end users: those who buy domain names: it is you and I and we are called “Registrants”.

If the “Trademark Clearinghouse (tmch)” is not part of that pyramid, it remains in an important hierarchical position because of its uniqueness: the TMCH is the only official procedure for Registrants to submit their Trademark datas in the process of registering a domain name.

A high level of interest for new domain names
On the list of new Registries launched in 2012, more than 450 have been launched already and this equals to more than 3.5 million domain names. On that list of 450 new extensions, the “.CLUB Registry” is the second most popular one in terms of registrations and the most popular in terms of use, since it does not give domain names away: people pay to acquire them.

Clubs have adopted .club domain names
If most new domain names can already be found in search engine results, they are still difficult to find. The case of Night Clubs is an interesting one: most night clubs - to have an online presence - seemed to be using old fashion domain names until recently but taken as an example, a search for a night club located in Boston will also show results using .club domain names: it is the case for the “Machine Night Club” when searching for “night club boston” (without inverted comas).
Google offers to list domain names according to their extension of reference: digging in the life of Night Clubs...there are thousands of them already!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

French want to .VOTE but they won't

We also use the word "vote" in French: it means the same as in English and we write it the exact same way.

French don't vote
France has a problem because people don't vote anymore, and of course, the actuel economical crisis does not help. A few figures extracted from Wikipedia:
  • European Elections:
    • In 2009, the level of abstention reached 60% (almost),
    • 56,5% in 2012.
  • Presidential Elections:
    • 20,52% in 2012 (first round);
    • I already imagine what it is going to be in 2017 after François Hollande celebrates the success of his first mandate and tries to be re-elected.
The .VOTE new gTLD
Prior to the launching of the ICANN new gTLD program, the .VOTE Top-Level Domain was an idea that I heard about many times (around 2010-11). A few friends and I agreed that it made sense to launch such a TLD for the reason explained above but also because it could be useful, it makes sense if it offers non-voters to vote from home, regulated domain names ending in .VOTE could increase the level of trust voting online. A domain name ending in ".vote" offers precision.

Reducing the level of abstention
Voting from home on a secured .VOTE domain name could allow more voters to participate and reduce the level of abstention. It is the number one reason that I see for such domain names.

The .VOTE new gTLD application
There is a certain buzz at the moment around this domain name: the sunrise Period will open from January 13, 2015 through February 12, 2015. As usual, interested Registrants, will be able to register in the Trademark Clearinghouse and the .VOTE will also be available in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with a second extension: the .VOTO. Also: ".VOTE will be not be open to the general public, but rather is intended for political candidates, political action committees (PACs), political committees, and other verifiable registrants". More details about the application can be found here.

The bad news
If I find that .VOTE is a very good idea, I find it sad that French and other countries won't be able to have access to these domain names. Unfortunately, ".VOTE domains are restricted and available to be registered only in the United States by verified political campaigns".

I believe the reason of this is the one written in the application ("Due to the complexity of accommodating election laws around the world, initially .VOTE will be rolled out only in the U. S.") I believe another reason could be this one (I love this article): The applicant's jurisdiction is in the United States of America.

This could change in the future because an new gTLD application can be modified and in the sentence in parenthesis above it says "initially".

Would I vote from home if the French Government allowed/offered me to? I sure would.

Nicolas: are you reading this ;-)

Friday, November 28, 2014

New .VIN domain names: what about accents?

What exactly is that "reserved list of names" Fadi Chehadé refers to in his letter dated October the 22nd? If we already have an idea, we wonder if they considered protecting more than just "accents". The name of Hogan Lovells was mentionned in the last Safebrands "RINDD" and their input on this question is welcome if they are the company to be working on that list.


What about accents?
One could think that English website owners would register their domain name ending in .WINE and those in French in .VIN. In a world where things would be black or white I would agree, but we live in a world where everything is grey so potential Registrants will probably register their domain name in the two extensions.

We use accents in French and for this reason, you won't see a French bottle of wine sold in an English speaking country where accents would be taken away from the sticker, in particular when the name of a wine Geographical Indication adds to promoting the Trademark on the bottle.

If accents are a strong added value when it comes to selling wine, we believe - for sure - that combination of signs including accents are part of that list of reserved names. An example for "Béarn": will the "Bearn" (with no accent) Geographical Indication be protected as well as "Béarn" with an accent? If bearn.wine and bearn.vin are reserved, what about béarn.wine and béarn.vin?
In this case, that is two names reserved in two fifferent extensions.

Spaces do not exist in domain names...
The same case figure applies to Geographical Indications using multiple keywords. What about protecting "Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet" and "Banyuls grand cru"? You noticed that hyphens and spaces were added to the problem and if "Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet.wine" is offered to be reserved in the .Wine  and .Vin extensions, what about:
  1. BienvenuesBâtard-Montrachet.wine;
  2. BienvenuesBâtardMontrachet.wine;
  3. BienvenuesBatardMontrachet.wine;
  4. Bienvenues-BâtardMontrachet.wine;
  5. BienvenuesBatard-Montrachet.wine;
  6. ...
This is a long list, even longer if spaces between letters need to be replaced by "something". Is the "hyphen" to replace spaces? In this case a GI such as "Banyuls grand cru" should require to reserve:
  1. Banyulsgrandcru.wine;
  2. Banyuls-grandcru.wine;
  3. Banyulsgrand-cru.wine;
  4. Banyuls-grand-cru.wine;
  5. The same name in the .VIN Top-Level Domain.
For this last example, this means reserving eight names for two extensions: eight domain names for one single wine Geographical Indication...

What about plurals?
One Wine Geographical Indication wouldn't want to see reserved all of these combinations and take the risk to have someone register a "BienvenueBâtard-Montrachet.wine", getting rid of the "s" in "Bienvenues") or adding one to a "Banyulsgrandcrus.wine" when it does not take any.

If these examples look like paranoia...they remain real ones: plural is a factor to consider in the protection of Wine Geographical Indications and if it wasn't, why then champagnes.fr (with an "s") is redirected to champagne.fr (with no "s")?

What about a GI using accents, spaces, hyphens and an apostrophy in the same name?
I will let readers play with the "Chambertin-Clos de Bèze", "Côtes de Bordeaux-Saint-Macaire" and "Duché d’Uzès" examples.

:-)

The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)
The TMCH could be an alternative to these coming problems. For any Brand interested in .WINE and .VIN Sunrise Periods, I would suggest to register: "abused labels in which the trademark is simply included could be submitted to the Clearinghouse as long as they meet all the eligibility requirements".

Is everyone satisfied?
The more domains will be reserved, the more it will probably cost to use them since they will require to be "unlocked" (taken out of the reserved list of names to be registered). If we agree that protection has a cost, it is possible that I am wrong and that such mechanism to register these domain names is a smooth and cheap process.
In this case I believe both parties are satisfied: wine Geographical Indications are protected from bad behaviors and .WINE and .VIN Registries have an existing list of domain name already promoted with potential buyers coming.

But...where is that list?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A "version 2" of the Internet ?

A week ago I was discussing the alternative of an European Internet root with an ex-ICANN Board member. The idea that I like to develop in these discussions is to offer end-users a modern and cheaper naming system. Note that it does not mean the ICANN root is a bad one, it means that a new and better one could cohabit with the (now old) existing one.

One will wonder what this article has to do with new gTLDs but considering the creation of an Internet "version 2", offers website and brand owners many advantages. Starting from scratch allows to avoid all mistakes made with domain names. Brands and domain name owners already know what they would like to get rid of with .COM domains and new gTLDs: an alternative root would allow that.


Alternative Roots do not make sense...unless...
As usual, discussing this subject often ends with a "come on, it is a non-sense" (in particular when you discuss this with a member of the actual Internet Governing body) or "many initiatives exist already, none works" or again: "users won't understand and they will see more costs first".

If I agree that an alternative root governed by a private company is not the good way to do it or has no chance to work, I believe a new alternative root Governed by an "International Body" starts to make sense. Here is why.

What exactly is an Alternative Root?
To make it simple, what we call an "alternative root" is the same as what ICANN does, unless it could be governed by someone else with different rules: it is the network on which ICANN works. If this network already makes Internet to function properly, thank to ICANN, a body such as the European Commission could build its own network (with servers hosted in every member state) and create its own naming system (instead of "www.brand.com", we could reasonably imagine that a Brand would want to use a simple "brand" as its name and get rid of what is not necessary around it: "www" for example). A classification created by the INTA could replace Top-Level Domains.
This Internet "version 2" would be Governed differently with its own rules (instead of ICANN's). Protection mechanisms and the equivalent of new gTLDs would be studied seriously, Singular VS Plurals of a TLD (its equivalent) would not be allowed... anyway: who wants .HOTEL and .HOTELS domain names?

Why does it make sense now?
Such opportunity does not only make sense because Angela Merkel says so (also read here), but because there are many more advantages to start again with a blank copy and learn from mistakes of the ICANN new gTLD program.

The ICANN new gTLD program
The ICANN new gTLD program is a good idea and took long to launch. Now it is launched, some mistakes will remain and cannot be modified anymore. The problem with many of these issues is that they will keep bothering end-users for long...and they cost a lot. The more new domain name extensions launch, the more the level of infringement increases and as a brand, I cannot afford to protect myself from infringement registering all domain names or blocking someone to register my name in a different extension. Who can afford to be protected anyway?

It is easy to criticize the ICANN new gTLD program but could these mistakes have been avoided?
The list is long and one will wonder if the actual situations would have been different if these questions below had been asked to end-users and new gTLD applicants:

  • OK if ICANN allows to launch similar domain name extensions in different languages with different rules and with different launch dates and at different prices?
  • OK to pay each time for the same domain name in each of these extensions to block a third party from doing it?
  • Does it matter if your risk of infringement increases the more new domain name extensions are launched: do you mind paying for this?
  • OK to pay for the Trademark Clearinghouse?
  • OK to allow singular and plural versions of a domain name extension?
  • Do you see a problem if a Registry becomes a Registrar?
  • Do you agree for the domain name you are interested in to go to an auction if someone else is interested in it?
  • OK if it cost you to pay up to $1,000 a year for one single domain name?
  • OK with .SUCKS new gTLD?
  • OK with .SEX, .PORN and .ADULT if porn websites remain on .COM domain names?
  • OK if ICANN changes the accreditation procedure after you have applied for your domain name extension (and paid for it)?
  • OK if persons involved in ICANN operations have personal interests in certain TLDs?
  • OK to protect "Olympics games" and a few other lucky ones at the root level? What about other brands?
  • OK to protect wine Geographical Indications on all new TLDs and prior to launching the ICANN new gTLD program?
To all of these questions, I believe the answer would have been a "NO", except for the last one.

Wine Geographical Indications

The example of protecting wine Geographical Indications is a good one: shouldn't such issue have been solved prior to launching the ICANN new gTLD program and not after?

A new Internet root allows to start from scratch and learn from these errors
Of course launching a new European Root has a technical cost. There is one too for listening to end-users (and avoid service providers to "think it all" according to their interest). Building a new naming system requires to involve the INTA but end-users must be listened to first.
Copying the ICANN root and think that it will be enough to block a country from spying on another one is not true but if the security aspect of an Internet root is important, the real opportunity in Angela Merkel's suggestion is to give Brands and Website owners an alternative which is not based on...paying.

What would you choose?
If you had the choice between using a version of the Internet:

  1. where pornography was uncontrolled, where receiving daily spam was natural, where the risk for brands to be squatted existed, where infringement was accepted, where parked domains for sale with useless content was a business, where it took weeks to take down a website showing child pornography, where the governing body didn't listen to end-users ... and;
  2. where access to the network was controlled, where brands paid once to be protected, where the naming system allowed to enter a keyword to find a results, where pornography was located at a specific place, where spam did not exist and the sender of an email could be identified, where the governing body had legal power to act, where end-users were asked the question on how to improve the Internet ...
Does option two look like it is wonderland? Not necessarily if it required to log-in to a version 2 of the Internet prior to surfing: I personally see no problem with this.


How do you make this happen and what do you get in return?
Two versions of the Internet can cohabit: one on the old ICANN Root, the other on a new European Root. As a brand, I would want to exist on a controlled version of the Internet for many reasons:

  • Credibility is important. When a website is identified, the consumers' level of trust increases;
  • If the price to exist on an European Internet allows anyone worldwide to come visit my website, I see no reason not to use such new address on my visit cards;
  • I see an advantage to create content on a version of Internet where I know there won't be confusion with a similar website using my domain name with a mistype "to generate traffic";
  • No spam? I take it;
  • One place to pay for my name? I take it. Even better if it is a way for our broke Governments to earn money;
  • One single directory? I want to be there and pay for this;
  • As a parent...I am able to offer my kids a safe place to surf;
  • ...

Search Engines now control the Internet: wouldn't that be a problem for a second root?
Let's say they are two (three?) American one to control browsing on the Internet. I am confident that they would adapt to a new root, this is just a matter of an upgrade. Wouldn't they want to, I would download a browser promoted by a strong governing body if it were to develop one in exchange of guarantees that:

  1. it worked;
  2. it was strongly governed and able to take fast action against bad behaviors.
I am sure there are many Geeks in Europe able to develop such a browser for a strong governing body. A a brand and website owner, I would agree to change "for better" if this "Internet version 2" allowed anyone to visit my website and share electronic messages with me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Everyone can participate in ICANN decisions ? Come on...

I participated in the French RINDD today in Paris: RINDD stands for "Rencontres Internationales des Noms de Domaine". The translation would be "The International Domain Name Conference". This event is organized once a year by SafeBrands, an International French Registrar. Many participants were there: the ICANN, Law Firms, Donuts, other new gTLD applicants, back-end Registries and many experts of all kinds...

Round Tables and debates
There were round tables on several subjects and it was particularly appreciated to hear Donuts, applicant for hundreds of new gTLDs, to answer questions in French, and sometimes, direct ones. I was kind enough not to ask publicly how much they paid for the .WINE new gTLD.

If I am always interested in hearing participants like Mathieu Weill and listen to his figures about the new gTLD market, the potential of new gTLDs, his open questions on the possible success and failures of new gTLD initiatives, new business models...there is one subject which really pisses me off, it is when I hear someone say that "everybody can participate in ICANN decisions". 

"Everybody can participate in ICANN decisions"
I have the chance to belong to one of the ICANN group named the NCUC, which has a "real voting power in ICANN’s policy making and Board selection, the NCUC develops and supports positions that favor noncommercial communication and activity on the Internet". NCUC stands for "Noncommercial Users Constituency": a group anyone can join to represent ... non-commercial end users (the only "real" end users to me).
I joined that group because I believed it could block things like Plural and Singular domain name extensions to coexist. I admit I failed in participating enough to block this from happening: domain names ending in .hotel and .hotels (with an "s") will always be confusing for end users.

No: you can't participate in ICANN decisions
...but you can try...

A good example to give is this letter sent by the ICANN CEO to French Ministry Axelle Lemaire regarding protecting wine Geographical Indications and which says: "The parties involved are now working on devising a mechanism which would offer protections to a reserved list of names, which would be contractually protected through ICANN’s registry agreement".

Come on...you're not going to talk about Project dotVinum again?
We tried to "participate" in ICANN decisions in April 2013 the 3rd, providing solutions to protect wine Geographical Indications. We wrote to ICANN, who published our letter, and its subject was "Hints and Solution for the Protection of Wine Geographical Indications in the ICANN New gTLD Program". Guess what we offered as a solution in this letter: we offered to protect lists of names...

So what?
Not only ICANN never answered us, which probably shows that we are not as honorable as Axelle Lemaire, but we are pretty much surprised that it is our solution that the ICANN CEO now uses as one to unlock the situation for both .WINE and .VIN new gTLDs.

It is a pity that so many years were wasted and that ICANN never called us: Project dotVinum for wine Registries was launched in 2011, introduced to the French Ministère de l'Agriculture and a few of other wine institutions.
We also find funny that the Law Firm in charge of "finding solutions" has come to that conclusion and we are happy to have "shown the way".

So, can you participate in ICANN decisions? Check by yourself. Note that we are not naive neither...we know how it works...and on .WINE, it works behind the scene: end users are not welcome to play.

More coming on ethic? ;-)

Monday, November 17, 2014

gTLD.club moves to the Blogger platform (authors: read this)

From Wordpress to Blogger

Almost a year ago I launched gTLD.club: a club for authors interested in new gTLDs to write about the subject of their choice. I started this project on the already very popular Wordpress.com platform but I am more familiar with the Blogger platform which I find easier to use and more efficient for what I do.

Reason for this move
  • Blogging requires to be able to post fast and minimize the number of clicks for the post to be published. I find Blogger faster.
  • Wordpress does not allow to play much, at least on the .COM platform, and it is expensive too. The .ORG platform allows to download Wordpress and install it on a hosted account at any registrar but again, it requires far too many clicks, a Registrar, a minimum technical knowledge and more passwords. Blogger is free and requires to write a post, and that's it.
  • Many authors did not write on gTLD.club because the process required to create...a blog on Wordpress: on Blogger, the author's email is needed, and that's it.
Authors: please read this
Changing from a platform to another means that authors have to register again to be granted access to gTLD.club. This is the bad thing about migrating to another platform. Dear Authors, you are welcome to request a new invitation to be able to post again.

Your design is ugly
I know that but since I am no web designer, it will remain like this. I focus on content when I read, not on design...and anyway: gTLD.club was ugly on the Worpress platform too ;-)

Translate please
Everybody does not read English nor French and even if no one likes automatic translation tools, it can be interesting to be able to understand an article when it is not in your own language so I added "Google Traduction" to this Blog because I write in both languages.

Old articles
Old articles will remain on the old platform.

New .WINE and .VIN are now Political Tools


The more I follow the .WINE & .VIN opera, the more I start to believe that the idea is either to kill both new gTLD applications to free space in Round 2 of the ICANN new gTLD program or make this subject a political tool “only” to increase Europe’s presence in ICANN decisions.

Flying high above the sky

If there still is a wish from the European Commission to help .WINE and .VIN to become the strongest identity European wines could ever have on Internet, I would like to understand why the situation is still blocked:
  1. There is a list of protected domains the ICANN CEO is trying to offer for protection: I have few doubts this one won’t go through;
  2. There is a protection mechanism that the EU is trying to have set-up but which seems to be part of the reason why the situation is blocked. The strange thing about this new measure is that there is one existing already and it is called the Trademark Clearinghouse: if a wine Geographical Indication is registered into this database AND the corresponding domain name(s) registered, then there is no lack of protection;
  3. …the recent communication from Philippe Armand Martin, at the French Assemblée Nationale, says one thing: the fact that a possible decision relies on the next European Council dated November the 27th 2014 is a clear proof that the French Government understands nothing (or very few) about new gTLD procedures (and by the way, .COFFEE new gTLD was launched already). If the idea is to block .WINE and .VIN because, we – European (French ?) – “missed the train”, then I would suggest to consider: not building a new root but a complete new Internet Governed and by us with European rules, because thinking this council will change anything is a mistake. It is like thinking the WTO can affect this situation. This ever lasting situation shows again how inefficient and slow, we, European, can be. In his speech, I particularly like Jean-Louis Roumegas’s offer “to open a global discussion on this issue”.
    As it is built, the ICANN new gTLD program offers no solution but to slow down the process. What the ICANN is doing participating in slowing down this process is already against its own rules: according to my understanding of the ICANN new gTLD applicant Guidebook (also called the “AGB”), this problem should have been solved a long time ago.
Whatever decision is taken in November the 27th, the ICANN Board does not have to approve it just to please European Member States and a few American Organizations who think wine GIs and/or their equivalent should be protected.

Someone will cry

There is still zero reason why both applications should not proceed: my understanding of the the ICANN CEO’s personal contribution to this issue is that ICANN will then have to face the reaction of both parties if it approves .WINE & .VIN or not. In both cases, someone will cry so who should that be: Donuts for investing so much time and money to find out that ICANN changes the rules again for the benefit of the European Commission (EC), or the European Commission for wasting so much time in trying to protect wine GIs and finding out in the end that very few was changed?

So what really is the problem then?

The real actual problem is that ICANN needs to find a solution to demonstrate that its methodology to apply for a domain name extension is finalized and can face a situation such as the .WINE one; AND it needs to please the party which thinks that it is being fooled. If I could almost agree that the methodology is finalized, I believe there is no solution to please the EC with its requests.

Note that it would help quite a lot if it was clear about what the EC wants and as for now, the negotiation between parties involved has not been made public.

What happens next

.WINE and .VIN are a GO “as they are

If the ICANN Board says OK to .WINE and .VIN, no matter what the European Commission thinks, then the ICANN confirms its position as an American organization who does not really care about the rest of the world, no matter what Axelle Lemaire thinks.

.WINE and .VIN are no GO

ICANN confirms that its methodology to apply for a new gTLD has a breach and I believe it then should have to answer Donuts on the reason why it blocked the company from succeeding after following the ICANN new gTLD applicant guidebook procedure.

A deadline please?

If no one, even ICANN, can give a dead line, the next step comes after the 27th and it is quite possible that the ICANN Board, sole entity to be able to say “yes” or “no”, says: “let’s give parties involved a little more time to find a solution. I personally hope this is not the answer but according to me, the ICANN wants to please the European Commission and avoid…a lawsuit.

My fear here is that the “no dead line situation” has been accepted by all parties and it looks like it is easier for ICANN to remain this way instead of taking the risk to act. Unfortunately and according the the AGB, there can’t be a Round 2 if this situation is not solved so let’s expect something to happen…someday.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Qu'il est bon ce .VIN californien


Les extensions du Vin seront Californiennes

Les nouvelles extensions Internet apparaissent peu à peu sur Internet et de nombreux nouveaux sites Web voient le jour. Terminé les noms de domaine qui se terminent en .COM, c’est à présent au tour des .BERLIN, des .CLUB et des .INTERNATIONAL de se faire un nom.

Pourtant, si ces noms tardent à se faire connaître, il existe deux nouvelles extensions, en instance de validation, dont on parle beaucoup. Il s’agit des deux candidatures déposées à l’ICANN - l’organisme de gouvernance des noms de domaine - pour le vin: des noms de domaine qui se termineront en .VIN et en .WINE. Le site Web de Nicolas changera probablement, nous l’espérons, pour un .VIN.

Lire cet article sur le Journal Du Net.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A profitable Registry (the .LUXURY new gTLD)


Do new Registries need to sell a lot of domain names to be profitable?

They do but in very specific cases, they don’t need to. Read about the .LUXURY example.

Most of the new Registries sell at a low price to encourage Registrars (the reselling network) to promote the Registry’s new domain names. Then accredited Registrars sell these domains at a higher price to their clients: the end users (or Registrants).

I like to dig and noticed that the .LUXURY new gTLD is already very profitable with only 1,216 registered domain names. Yes…you read well: there are 1,216 .luxury domain names registered. It is very few compared to the successful .CLUB Registry who has reached 127,725 registrations.

I did not even check if there were Premium domain names or a Pioneer Program but the asked price at the Registrar level gives enough information to know about the Registry’s revenue.

Are expensive domain names the key to success?

GoDaddy sells .LUXURY domain names at the price of $799.99 and Uniregistry at even a lower price than this at $688.88. An average price for a new domain name is between $20 and $30 a year, sometimes more and sometimes it is even less than $10. Paying $700 a year is just…very different!

Looking at the presentation of the one page Registry’s official website, one thing is learnt: it looks like a family business and it is possible that most of the Registry’s activity is sub-contracted to an external service provider so costs are reduced. But whatever it costs, I made a simple calculation.

The calculation

Let’s imagine that every Registrant interested in a .LUXURY domain name bought it at the cheapest price on the market ($688 with Uniregistry), it means this would already have generated $836.608 for 1,216 domain names. How do other new Registries selling their domain names below $30 feel about this when it requires $100.000 per year to run a Registry and $25.000 in ICANN fees (when below 50,000 registrations)?

The conclusion

New .LUXURY domain names are open to all, just like the majority of all other new domains. Selling domain names is difficult, in particular when there are so many new domain name extensions launching at the same time. A good idea to make a Registry profitable in Round two of the ICANN new gTLD program could be to:
  1. Get the best community endorsement for a targeted group who is already waiting to buy these domain names, or;
  2. Follow the .CLUB example with a generic and multilingual string to submit your application and sell at a low price with a communication budget, or;
  3. Follow the .LUXURY example and sell at a high price.
To submit an application in round two of the ICANN new gTLD program (with a cheap back-end Registry who already has references), you can contact me at Jovenet Consulting.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The .Club TLD is becoming a “community of communities”


Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell has been an internet pioneer since 1993.

Our team recently dotClub leads the new Top Level Domain Revolution – in my view, it is by far the most successful. Eat.Club was recently sold for $20,000! I expect over the next 3 years, there will be over 1 million Clubs signed up to dotClub. Colin recently joined the CEO Registry and the Florida.CEO Community. Colin’s Identity page details his considerable achievements.

ColinCampbell.CEO

Colin’s work on .Club has seen the growth of a new Top Level Domain that features collaboration. The .Club TLD is becoming a “community of communities”, with broad application, from Soccer.Club, to the SFEntrepreneurs.Club.

MyDomains.Club

To learn more about .Club, visit ColinCampbell.CEO and watch his video. You can register a Club Domain at MyDomains.Club

I have also tweeted and posted about Colin’s success on Linkedin.

*If you are a CEO Registry Member involved in something inspiring let us know and we will share your good work with the global CEO network.

And finally, if you are not already a member of the CEO Registry – you can Sign Up here

Best,
Jodee Rich

The CEO Registry
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Un .LAGUIOLE au second cycle d’appel à candidatures?


Sauvez Laguiole!

C’est avec un certain amusement que je relis cet article intitulé “Laguiole, à couteaux tirés” (source: http://www.lepoint.fr/art-de-vivre/laguiole-a-couteaux-tires-23-04-2014-1815318_4.php)

Pourtant, si je fais entièrement confiance à tous les Conseils en PI de la planète pour tenter de récupérer la marque “Laguiole”, il est une solution que le village n’a peut être pas encore envisagée.

Le .LAGUIOLE : un TLD Géographique?

Je vous l’accorde, la solution à $185.000 plus les frais de préparation de dossier (de procédures de contestation aussi probablement) sont les premiers contre-arguments. Pourtant le dossier est défendable et permettrait au village de reconquérir l’intégralité de son territoire sur Internet…et notamment, celui des autres produits que la coutellerie estampillés “LAGUIOLE”.

Déposer un dossier de candidature pour un .LAGUIOLE au second cycle d’appel à candidatures en, disons, 2017, permettrait au village de devenir propriétaire de l’extension Internet .LAGUIOLE et de décider de la commercialisation des noms de domaine se terminant en .LAGUIOLE (au lieu de .COM)…ou non.

Ainsi, c’est le village qui déciderait:
  1. de l’utilisation qui peut être faite de couteau.laguiole, de paris.laguiole, etc…
  2. de qui pourrait être les titulaires de ces noms de domaine.
A bon entendeur?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why use a new domain name ?


The same question 

I am often asked the question: “why would I use a new domain name?” or “why would I change my domain name? And I keep answering the same thing:
  • …because there is a lot more precision in using a new domain name;
  • …it is new and novelty attracts the eye;
  • …there is a very strong identity advantage in showing your clients that they are at the right place when visiting your website;
  • …the business you are related to appears in your domain name;
  • …Google shows the domain name extension in the result of a search;
  • etc, etc.
Recently I found a new argument.

Kari Södö is a Virtual Artist

I am not Finish but I believe Södö must be the family name of Kari and I also believe that it is a good idea to register the family name as a domain name. I registered guillon.name a long time ago. Kari decided to register sodo.info.

Oh…you noticed ?

I did a few checks, starting with the .com domain name, the .net and a few others and I confirm that changing domain name can be a good idea, in particular in these early stages of the ICANN new gTLD program: it is possible to register a great – and short – domain name.

A new argument

When the domain name means something different or when it is the diminutive of something else in a different language, it can get confusing. In our case, changing domain name can be the opportunity to start from scratch and get rid of the confusing domain. Then this one will be redirected to the new one: sodo.info could be redirected to a new domain name and keep a good SERP (Search Engine Results Page). There are many ways to do this in an efficient way.

No matter whether the search engine positioning was good or not because what matters first is what the domain name means when you read it for the fist time. In the case of sodo.info, I understand it is the introduction of M. Södö, a Virtual Artist.

.DESIGN is a new gTLD to be launched “soon”

There are many new domain names but the one to come to my mind first for a Virtual Artist would be .ART or .DESIGN. If these two are not available yet, I would suggest to look at any Accredited Registrars for a new one. I personally find that kari.design would be a good match.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“Requiescat in pace” (.RIP new gTLD)


What does “RIP” stand for?

I thought “RIP” stood for “Rest In Peace”. I thought it was an acronym used in English only and a TLD that would be understood by the next generation; because no one would ever register such a domain name ending in .RIP today.

When you say “RIP”, it makes you think of death…

I have also said that such a TLD was something…typically American and that no other culture would consider buying such domain names because promoting death online is something a bit odd.

“RIP” is not an English acronym … it is Latin and it is not used only in the United Kingdom or in the USA; it is used worldwide in all cemeteries. Once I went to a French cemetery and I found a tombstone on which “R.I.P” was written. I learnt something on that day: “RIP” means “Requiescat in pace”.

Bright idea in fact

Multilingual

The RIP acronym reminds me the problems we face with new gTLDs in multiple languages: what happens if you have a .WINE and a .VIN but no .VINO? Isn’t it unfair for the Spaniards and the Italians? Actually it is the reason why I chose the Latin word for Project dotVinum to have all the major wine extensions under the same domain name.

.RIP is a direct answer to that multilangual problem because Latin is a universal TLD here and addresses all those interested: not only the English speakers.

The idea

I downloaded all three applications but I did not even read them. I don’t mind what is written inside. What does matter is how I feel about registering a .RIP new domain name as a “user”.

Why would you have a grave in a cemetery when you know that few people will visit in a lifespan? Much better to have one on Internet: people will be able to keep on hearing about you, after you have died. They could read about your life and, why not, find a set of pictures from that very person who died. It is much nicer than standing in front of a grave that has plastic flowers on it.

I even started believing that .RIP domain names and a vast range of other dedicated online services are something you may start finding when organizing funerals. What if undertakers from different countries started to offer this as a service? Isn’t this a great idea?

The French “Confédération des Professionnels du Funéraire et de la Marbrerie” is going to be happy when reading about this.

Who is behind the .RIP ?

Who is crazy enough to have considered applying for the .RIP new generic Top-Level Domain?

There were three aplicants and only one is left now; the two other applications have been withdrawn from the ICANN new gTLD process:
  1. One is from United TLD Holdco Ltd (now RightSide) and was won in an auction; 
  2. dotRIP LIMITED (application was withdrawn); 
  3. Nevaeh Ventures Inc (application was withdrawn). 
Interested in reading about the applicant’s plan for .RIP? Download the public portion of the application here.

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