Thursday, August 20, 2015

No, “.xyz” domains won’t replace “.com”: “.GDN” will

We all read the story of Google buying the abc.xyz domain name: an announcement which shaked the new gTLD industry (for those who forgot already: “new gTLD” stands for “new generic Top-Level Domains”). Just in case you didn’t notice: the “.GDN” new gTLD has arrived and its website says that “.gdn” stands for “Global Domain Name”.

What is “Global Domain Name”?
The description is available on the Registry’s website and it says:
“.GDN “Global Domain Name” for all individuals and businesses domain name registrants, extension is generic, short, composed of 3 letters and easy to remember just like .com, .net .org etc. Registration is not limited to its generic category but also offer FREE innovative email marketing tools for all .GDN domain name registrants. Market your products and services with exact URL name and target your niche audience”.
Are you sure?
No, not at all. I checked the new gTLD application and here is what it says about the definition of “GDN”:
“...JSC “NIS” would like to take the opportunity of ICANN’s New Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) expansion program and intent to establish a new generic top level domain .gdn to represent “Geo Domain Network”. The .GDN new gTLD was first created to “commence a new generic top level domain name avenue for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) industry and users, that enables and improve for commercial entities to illustrate, manage, market their products, services, education and experience, which enhance visibility and makes it easy for users to recognize GNSS activity on internet”.
Not much to do with what the Registry website says.

So what’s the story behing the .GDN new gTLD?
I wrote an email to the Registry for more information and hope to receive an answer so note that what comes next is a personal opinion.

I believe the .GDN project was a great idea since it focussed on a niche market: the global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) industry and users. If the frontpage changed the meaning of this 3 letters Top-Level Domain to a more “generic” definition, it is quite possible that the applicant realized that:
  1. There were too many new gTLD applications launching at the same time in 2012 and there would be not enough visibility for his TLD or;
  2. There was a close unexpected competition: .EARTH - .SPACE - .TECH… or;
  3. The original market for which was created the TLD was not big enough to sell these domain names.
I like it anyway
Whatever the reason is for this change of definition, I like the idea of making things easier to end-user and if you will read about the mention of a “platform” in the new gTLD application, I believe it will be adapted to the product mentionned on the Registry’s frontpage. Buying a domain name will come with: “a free enterprise email account with a free enterprise email account with: unlimited email blasting, targeted audience listing tools, verify email listing, campaign statistic reports, 100’s of built-in professional templates, 1GB Secure online folder, and many more features and tools”.

The registration process for domain names is long and complex. It requires to provide a lot of information and do an important number of clicks to finalize the procedure. If a new gTLD applicant is able to minimize the number of clicks to set up an email and a website at the end of the domain name registration process, then this is an improvement.

The .TEL Registry tried to offer a simple website at the end of the domain name registration process and the .UNO Registry also has a similar approach. Is the .GDN going to surprise us?

Where can I register a .GDN domain name?
The Trademark Clearinghouse just opened the .GDN Sunrise Period and it will close on Monday, 9 November, 2015 at 16:00. It is possible to register a .GDN new domain name with one of these accredited Registrars (one at the moment).

Sources:
*JSC “Navigation Information Systems” (JSC “NIS”) is a systems integrator for major GLONASS satellite technology adoption projects in Russia. The Company was established in 2007. JSC “NIS” business is installing GLONASS satellite technology-based equipment in vehicles and supporting commercialization of modern satellite systems in Russian and international markets (source: http://www.nis-glonass.ru/en/about_eng/).

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