Friday, August 18, 2017

Are new gTLDs profitable?

A Registry to operate its own Registrar (or a Registrar to operate its own Registry) is a good solution to lower down the price to maintain a domain name and the reason for this is simple: tech costs are split and most of the money stays in...
Who's who
It is even better when the Registry owns its own Backend Registry and its Registrar.

In simple words: a Registry makes more money when the money paid to mandatory service providers are the same people.

The example that I like to give here is based on Afilias: a Backend Registry provider, also applicant (Registry) for five of the six existing colors. Afilias is not a Registrar.

What when registration volumes drop?
Since 2016, Jovenet Consulting tracked weekly, then monthly, domain name registration volumes from various groups and industries and this post will focus on new gTLDs that have the name of a color.

There are six of them and one is a Trademark so we won't pay much attention to it since it does not sell domain names to end users:
  1. .RED (€11/year)
  2. .BLUE (€11/year)
  3. .PINK (€11/year)
  4. .BLACK (€31/year)
  5. .GREEN (€54/year)
  6. .ORANGE (a dotBrand new gTLD = no price)
(there's .GOLD too but does it count as a color?)

I went to retail registrar Uniregistry and extracted prices that you can see above. The first three are acceptable prices but I find .BLACK and .GREEN quite expensive and since Uniregistry is a cheap Registrar, you can easily expect that these domain names will probably cost much more at other service providers.

When looking at the new gTLD report entitled "New gTLDs related to COLORS", you will note that almost ALL registration volumes continue to drop starting January 2017 and if you look at May 2017, something strange even happens.

So: profitable?
Does it mean that such extensions are not profitable? I don't think so.

I heard a story which said that "red" was a special color in some countries in Asia and this was the reason why ".red" domain names were so successful...until May 2017 apparently. I won't count .GREEN here because this TLD was acquired lately by Afilias and you will note that registration figures are quite different from the first four TLDs.

The .RED new gTLD is now below the 50,000 registrations so it does not pay ICANN the $0.25 fee per domain anymore. Even if the curve is dramatically going down, it still has 48,000 domains with a probable majority being paid by Registrants. Since Afilias is Registry and Backend Registry for its TLDs, it pays the minimum to maintain its own domain names: below $5 per year? Less than $1 maybe?

Let's imagine that these 48,000 domains are paid by Registrars at the price of less than $10. It still means quite a lot of money for the Registry in the end. A lot less for .PINK and .BLACK.

What about "strategy"?
In 2016, and during a period of 7 months, the .RED Registry had between 308,000 and 318,000 domains on the market. I have no idea how nor why these numbers were so high but I believe that the only question to have today is: "was it worth it?"

If it takes so much domains to end up with so few: it is still 48,000 domain names on the market. Let's assume that these domains are paid, and hopefully renewed, I consider that such strategy is a good one because all Registries want to have 48,000 domains names renewed on the market. Should Afilias have adopted the same strategy for it other "colored TLDs"? The question remains.

Monday, August 7, 2017

How to choose the right "new" domain?

One could think that this post is going to be about why it is better to choose a new domain name instead of a ".com". Actually it is not because we like ".com" domain names at Jovenet Consulting: they are very useful to be used as redirections.

This article is about the factors that one should consider when selecting the right domain name for a new business (because you often need a new domain name for a new business). Of course, thinking about buying a new domain or a ".com" matters; but there are other factors to consider...
Years ago things were different
Years ago, one extension launched, not hundreds at the same time so choosing was easier and made a new extension very attractive (I remember trying hard to register ".asia" an ".eu" domain names). There are now so many domain name extensions that one does not necessary have the time to search for all of them and would be tempted to think: "hey...why bother searching when everybody knows what a ".com" is". This is a problem for new gTLDs: still, people don't necessary know that they exist...but for those who do, there a certain factors to consider prior to buying.

Which other factors to consider?
I sometimes help trademarks to look for the right domain names and also buy some for myself from time to time so there are things that I do prior to registering a new domain name

Singular VS Plural
I am always very careful with singular and plural versions of the same domain name extension: I would not buy one and not the other or just would not use one of these unless it is absolutely necessary. I believe that a good example can be the ".photo" and ".photos" new gTLDs: I would buy the two of them...but not only.

I created a list of these new gTLDs which exist in two versions: Singular and Plural. If I a pay a lot of attention to check that list prior to suggesting a client to buy a domain name, I am also very cautious with similarity. When considering to buy a domain name related to photography, one should know that the ".photography" new gTLD also exists. With new gTLDs, similar domain name extensions can cause to choose the wrong domain name very easily.

Similarity
Similar domain name extensions are to me the worst trap that one can fall into. Some domain names can be very similar due to the extension ("first level domain" for the geeks). For example, if a domain name ending in ".new" will probably not have the same content as the same domain name in ".news" (ie: www.whatever.new and www.whatever.news), confusion could be total for two similar websites: one ending in ".photo" and the other ending in ".photography", same for ".build, ".builders" and ".construction" or ".taxi" and ".cab".

I often update my list of similar new gTLDs because it is to me the number one tool to use to avoid choosing the wrong domain name extension when searching for a name.

There is another factor to consider in similarity: if it is rather unlikely that the plural version of an extension will exist, it is more likely that...the .BRAND extension of a generic TLD will exist. I mean that a Trademark might have applied for a new domain name extension that a third party will not be able to register: it is the case for .AUDI and .AUDIO domain names. The .AUDI new gTLD is a Trademark and available for registration to the AUDI Trademark...only. Another example: ".CITI" and ".CITY"

".com"
The ".com" domain name is also to consider when looking for a domain name because the risk remains high to start a communication when a third party already uses the same ".com" domain. When not available, I'd just suggest to consider changing name and not waste time trying to negotiate with an existing owner who wants to sell a ".com" at a high price. New gTLDs offer more precision today and I consider that ".com" can start to be used as redirections. When creating the name of a project, a trademark or a company, the domain name should be part of that search and not come second.

Actually, confusion now also exists with ".com": did you know that there is a .CAM and a .BOM new gTLD?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Which Registry will succeed in...

...selling domain names in supermarkets?
When it comes to paying in a supermarket, you're often offered to buy that “little thing more”: chewing-gums, sweets, alcohol, but it is now also possible to buy “online things” such as Apple and Google music: why not offer domain names too?


Domains names are no BtoC consumer products
Let’s be serious: can you imagine a Registry pushing a Registrar to “do the job”, trying to offer domain names in supermarkets? This just would not work for several reasons:
  • Approaching a supermarket chain is a tough job that requires time and the job of a Registrar is to sell domain names and offer services dedicated to domain names;
  • What about marketing and packaging: who pays? Certainly not the supermarket chain! Which Registrar has the capacity to pay for all this but one which has a close link to a supermarket chain?
  • What about pricing? Is a Registrar ready to drop its price or accept to earn money in year two, when the domain name is renewed?
  • What about support...
A blog offered with a domain name is BtoC
Many people want to have their blog: to post their holidays’ photos or just to write the story of their life but they won’t necessary search for this on Internet because it is so difficult to understand and there is so much info to provide, it can even become technical!

The truth is that very few people know what a domain name is so you can imagine when it comes to talking about a “Registrar” :-)

Added to more services, a supermarket has the capacity to address end users and evangelize the process of registering a domain name a complete different way, make things more simple and go straight to the point: deliver what is offered on the packaging and nothing more that what the price says. It does not work the same online when you can offer “options”, simply by clicking on a button. The more clicks...

A supermarket also has the capacity to offer “trust” in the purchase: the seller is already an authority, can Registrars says the same: nationwide?

Why not add the email to this package?
Another truth is that very few people know that an email can be different from gMail or Hotmail so offering the option to personalize an email with a domain name seriously adds to the quality of the offer.

Let’s be honest, what looks nicer: jguillon@hotmail.com or jean@guillon.email ? What about this one for "Jovenet Consulting": www.jovenetconsulting.com or www.jovenet.consulting ?

Added to the domain name, a personalized email is typically what Google and many other Registrars are trying to achieve in their offers but a supermarket could demonstrate that it is even a better place to bring consumers to buy such products: it is faster and does not require to read it all.

So what is the solution then?
I studied various possibilities but I strongly believe that the best approach is with a Registry which operates its own Registrar. The reason for this? A better price and reduced costs to take care of all operations with a limited number of subsidiaries. Note that I will not explain about “a better price”.

A Registrar with the capacity to offer a complete solution and a dedicated path for such consumers:
  1. The Blog (without ever mentioning the word “hosting”);
  2. The Domain name;
  3. The Email;
  4. One yearly payment.
A coupon, such as the one offered to buy music, will offer:
  • To pay for year one;
  • A 3 lines explanation of what the consumer buys;
  • A short URL where to:
    • Create the domain name which will activate and point to the Blog;
    • Create the email;
    • Explain and point to the interface to Blog;
    • Renew the domain name (renewing should be explained on the coupon).
The entire process should fit in one single page.

Who can do that?
Come on: don’t you see?
;-)


*BtoC stands for “Business to Consumer”, different from BtoB which stands for “Business to Business”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New gTLDs: how they incite innovation

We thought new gTLDs would bring innovation to the world of domain names, but has it been the case? Clearly not...and this for two reasons:
  1. It took too long for many projects to be validated by the ICANN and launched;
  2. It cost too much Registries to wait and money dedicated to innovation went to...you know...when you have to pay your staff while waiting, etc...                     :-)
We also thought that innovation would be sudden but it appears that it is taking longer.


Is innovation coming now?

Clearly yes.

I see new kind of projects coming which did not exist because of the non existence of new gTLDs. All use and/or focus on new domain names:
  • Tools to operate large portfolios of domain names with a minimum number of clicks: some Trademarks now want to find a use for all of these new domains they have to secure*;
  • Tools dedicated to the meaning of specific TLDs (.email - .club - ...);
  • Directories dedicated to specific domain name extensions: the interesting thing about new gTLDs is that some extensions now clearly mean something and help identify the content of a website directly when reading the domain name;
  • Search engines for specific TLD meanings: why not search an info about a Contractor in a search engine dedicated to ".contractors" domain names?
  • "Gain sharing" focussing on specific TLDs: a method to help Registries Registrants generate an income from a specific domain name extension;
  • Mad scientists projects**.
Some registries are still having a hard time to make their project profitable but this is what is driving creativity today. There are failures with, for example, attempts to flood the market creating new domain names with no content; but little by little, we see that registries are not necessary - as we imagined it - the one to deliver creativity: registrants and entrepreneurs are now the one to take the lead. 

Rebranding is innovation
According to Verisign, it appears that ".com" was originally created to represent the “commercial” intent of a website so now there is a ".search" domain name extension, does it mean that it is time for Google to change its extension to perfectly match with what it is really doing?
What about The Time: isn't it time to change to a ".news" or ".press" to clearly express what it is about, or does it have to stick to that old speech about ".com" domain names and SEO?
Some Trademarks are showing initiatives:
By the way, what sounds best here: "innovation is branding" or "branding is innovation"? Don't both sound good thank to new gTLDs?

We are interested in talking about your new gTLD innovation, contact us if interested. 

* conceived by Jovenet Consulting
** some are clearly imagined at Jovenet Consulting ;-)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sad day for new gTLDs or...wrong move?

McDonald's is withdrawing its new gTLD applications. For whatever reason, someone at McDonald's took the decision to terminate the two applications for its domain names ending in ".mcdonalds" and ".mcd".


What the notice says
  • McDonald's Corporation, in its function as the Registry Operator has represented to ICANN that it does not sell, distribute or transfer control or use of any registrations in the .mcdonalds TLD to third parties.
  • Transitioning operation of the TLD is not necessary to protect the public interest.
  • .mcdonalds qualifies as a .Brand TLD.
  • Only one domain name is registered in the .mcdonalds TLD and it is mandated by the Registry Agreement (nic.mcdonalds).

McDonald's is good at Marketing
One thing that is for sure is that McDonald's is good at Marketing: they have been able to sell Hamburgers to French and make them addicted. They've also been able to have millions of American to eat their Hamburgers using "Bread", "Cheese" and "French fries". No doubt: they are excellent at selling hamburgers ;-)

With so many people working on the best ways to market its products, the giant seems have taken the decision to capitalize on using country code Top-Level domains (such as ".fr" for example)* instead of its own domain name extension.

*Oh...and ".com" too.

$40,000 a year to operate...so why?
There are such offers to operate a TLD and this includes the prohibitive ICANN fee of $25,000 a year so...when you're McDonald's: why would you withdraw your application when you don't know about the future? It is even possible that these fee will lower - for .BRAND new gTLD applicants - in the future round of the ICANN new gTLD program: isn't this another good reason to keep a .BRAND new gTLD?

"What if"
What if Papa John's, Jack in the Box, Arby's, Dairy Queen, Little Caesars, Big Fernand (and its "hamburgés"), Carl's Jr./Hardee's, Chipotle, Sonic Drive-In, Domino's, KFC, Panera Bread, Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin' Donuts, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Burger King, Subway or Starbucks submit an application in the next round and decide to create one domain name per restaurant opened or city covered? That could add a lot of visibility for these restaurants and make a difference when it comes to entering "hamburger" on Google (or Bing).

I am not even trying to contact McDonald's to understand such move but as a marketer myself, let's just say that if there are more, or as many, .BRAND new gTLD applications in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program, I will consider that this choice was...not a good one: it is to me far to early for a Trademark like McDonald's to withdraw its new gTLD applications.

Friday, June 30, 2017

.SEARCH new gTLD coming...from Google

Charleston Road Registry, the legal entity belonging to Google in charge to create/launch its TLDs, has three extensions coming to the market:
  1. The .SEARCH new gTLD;
  2. .MAP
  3. .PHD
(Amazon also applied for .MAP and .SEARCH but applications were withdrawn in the end).


Google is about "search": isn't it?
This domain name extension comes late in the ICANN new gTLD program and there is a reason for this but what matters is what use is Google to have of ".search" domain names.

What the application says
Extracted from the application submitted to the ICANN:
The mission of the proposed gTLD, .search, is to provide a domain name space that makes it easier for Internet users to locate and make use of the search functionality of their choice. The proposed gTLD will open possibilities for new, more convenient ways for Internet users to navigate to the services they like and use.
Most of the time, the purpose of the extension is explained in question 18 A from the application ("Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD") but it is in the following question (18 B) of that Google explains in one line how ".search" domains will be used:
The goal of the proposed gTLD is to provide a space dedicated to Internet search offerings, and to make it easier for users to access the search functionality of their choice. The proposed gTLD will signal to the general population of Internet users that .search websites are indeed websites that offer search functionality, and adhere to basic technical standards.
Shoot in the feet?
When you are the number one search engine worldwide, do you want to offer a tool to incite others to start building search engines? I seriously doubt it and maybe this sentences extracted from the application gives more info about the real use ".search" registrants will be able to have of their domain name:
Charleston Road Registry plans to develop and publish eligibility criteria for all registrants in the proposed gTLD and will work with its registrars to execute the eligibility verification process. This process will imbue additional meaning to all second-level domains in the gTLD and enhance the gTLD’s reputation by establishing an authoritative community of websites that offer search functionality. When Internet users visit a website in the proposed gTLD environment, they will be able to reliably expect services relevant to the proposed gTLD.
Will this be a restriction? It is a little unclear to me but
Innovation
Again, some sentences are unclear but innovation seems to be around the corner:
The .search gTLD will provide a new mechanism whereby websites with search functionality can enact second-level domains that offer search-related services. This signification is not currently available in the gTLD space.

...it provides a simple technical standard describing how users and other software can interact with search functionality within the TLD.

Even more importantly, a consistent query interface across all search websites in the TLD makes it easier for third-party developers to create new and innovative services that will allow users to interact with search functionality in new and creative ways.
Trademarks
Charleston Road Registry will also develop policies to limit registrations within the domain to the names that registrants commonly use in trade related to their provision of search-related services, possibly including restricting registrations to exact matches of trademarks.
Technical requirements
Here we are, it appears that registering a ".search" domain name will not be as simple as registering a ".club":
Charleston Road Registry will implement a validation service to verify compliance with these technical requirements.
Check 18.b.iv. Registration Policies from the application "TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION WITHIN THE .SEARCH GTLD" for details.

Interesting too:
Supplying Google account information will be optional for registrants.
I understand from this sentence that it will be possible to connect a ".search" domain names to Google' services.

(My) conclusion
I am a fan of Google's products and I use them everyday. I like this last idea to be able to supply my Google account information to a ".search" domain name because it will probably help one develop his business: few know much about coding so if connecting a Google account to a ".search" domain can save time developing a search engine, it adds credibility to this Registry's project. I don't think Google is selling ".search" domains for money and even if the application does not say it explicitly, the ".search" Registry looks like it is a restricted one so I expect content to be found on ".search" websites...not to be crap. A candidate to the Verified Top-Level Domains (vTLD) Consortium maybe?

Google.search coming? Probably...but I don't expect Google.com to change to Google.search :-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New gTLDs: what was said recently

Extracted from our Newsletter, below are the latest NEWS related to new gTLDs from previous days:
  1. Follow-up: ICANN and new gTLDs (slides);
  2. Domain registrars hate registry exceptions;
  3. Phishing: the Worst of Times in the DNS;
  4. .BRANDs : a solution to face Phishing;
  5. Boots becomes latest company to terminate new gTLD;
  6. 3 Keys to the Right Domain Name for Building a Brand;
  7. Which New gTLD Is Winning The Website Development War?
  8. New website for .GLOBAL Registry;
  9. Greatest Benefits of New gTLDs is PR;
  10. Backend Registries: who are they?
  11. Heading to South Africa for ICANN 59: A Quick Preview;
  12. New gTLD to be delegated soon: .MERCKMSD;
  13. .BNPPARIBAS went down;
  14. Draft Framework for the Registry Operator to Respond to Security Threats;
  15. Navigating the World of New gTLDs – Read the Latest Trends;
  16. .BOOTS self-terminates;
  17. .NYC’s most trafficked websites are actually legit;
  18. HOT - Announced today and started: the .BASKETBALL Sunrise Period (...);
  19. Domain Names Looks Kind of Random;
  20. Analyzing Donuts’ deal to acquire Rightside;
  21. Dot .BAWSTON : gTLD application denied by ICANN (joke of the day);
  22. What is Happening with ICANN Reviews?
  23. Changing to a .INTERNET new gTLD?
Subscribe (for free) to receive latest News directly in your email.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Backend Registries: who are they?

A "Backend Registry" is the necessary technical service to apply for a new domain name extension. Without one, the new gTLD application will be rejected by the ICANN since without it, a new gTLD cannot technically work. In one word, the "backend" is the technical platform that makes everything work together. When an accredited Registrar wants to sell domain names from a specific Registry (.club - .fr - .whatever - etc...), it is the backend registry which takes care of everything technically.

There is a list of service providers which future new gTLD applicants will need to visit when they want to submit their application. They will either need to:
  1. Contact them and discuss their project to learn about prices and services wanted/required to apply or;
  2. Build their own backend registry solution (good luck with that).
A backend registry solution provider does not necessarily offer its solution as a service for future applicants, so from the list below, I got rid of some names. For example, some old providers of certain country code Top-Level domains (existing ccTLD extensions) don't have an offer. Also, some of the new registries have their own internal solution: the many new gTLD projects from Google or Uniregistry use their own solution but are not offered to the public: such solutions won't be listed here.

The list:
  1. ZDNS is also offering the MIIT solution to develop a TLD for the Chinese market (China);
  2. Nominet (UK);
  3. GMO (Japan);
  4. Canadian Internet Registration Authority (Canada);
  5. Verisign (USA);
  6. TLD-BOX Registrydienstleistungen (Austria);
  7. AFNIC (France)
  8. China Internet Network Information Center (China);
  9. CORE (Switzerland);
  10. Knipp Medien und Kommunikation GmbH (Germany);
  11. Flexireg (Russia);
  12. SIDN (The Netherlands);
  13. Updated: DNS Africa Ltd (Mauritius): http://dns.business/;
  14. KSregistry (Germany);
  15. Afilias (Ireland);
  16. CentralNic (UK);
  17. Technical Center of Internet (Russia);
  18. Neustar (USA);
  19. JPRS (Japan).
Contact me if you believe that some service providers are missing. I will be happy to add them (don't forget to add the link to their offer).

To learn more about who to work with to submit your application in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program , contact Jovenet Consulting.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A ".dash" new gTLD coming?

About.com just announced: "Hi. We're Dotdash. We were About.com".

I don't know the reason for this change but it reminds me that a lot of people secured domain names starting with "dot" before round one of the ICANN new gTLD program to start. This was a way to secure a good domain name before the activation of the extension's first domains. It was a way to use the corresponding name of the extension to start publishing after "reveal day" in July 2012.


There was no application submitted for a .DASH new domain name extension in the first round and the design of this new name added to this new domain name could be a sign that a .DASH new gTLD project is coming... or not.

The .BOND Sunrise Period starts

As published on the Trademark Clearinghouse's calendar, today starts the .BOND Sunrise Period.

WHEN
  • START: Friday, 23 June, 2017 - 16:00;
  • END: Sunday, 23 July, 2017 - 16:00.
OK, so what first comes to your mind when you read this? "James Bond"? Well no: this is the new gTLD application for the Bond University.

I went through the application to learn a little more about what the plan is for this TLD and you will find it below; but while I am here, it is my pleasure to say "hello" to the Bond University's Digital Marketing Manager whose first name is "James" ;-)

WHAT
This is an extract of the new gTLD application submitted to the ICANN:
The .bond gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative Internet space where information, services and resources regarding Bond University’s degrees, courses and events will be closely controlled by Bond University Limited (Bond University). The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .bond gTLD will be used to provide easier access to information for students and staff. A subset of domain names has the potential to be created and used for communicating and marketing the Bond University brand internationally, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
The .bond gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with Bond University online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
Bond University’s mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. Bond University is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
  • consumer trust: the .bond gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to Bond University and its affiliate entities, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .bond domain names are trustworthy. As .bond domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under Bond University’s control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .bond domain space;
  • competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .bond gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
  • consumer choice: the proposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting Bond University’s marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with Bond University. As Bond University has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .bond domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.

    Given the restricted nature of the .bond gTLD, the projected number of registrations are likely to be limited. It is anticipated that about 40 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to around 100 domain names as Bond University develops and implements new degrees and courses, services and marketing campaigns.

    Bond University does not intend to utilise Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level initially. However, as the use of the .bond gTLD evolves, Bond University may wish to utilise IDNs to allow its current and future students to engage with .bond in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Trust in the next new gTLD round

Potential new gTLD applicants are exposed prior to submitting their application, below is a suggestion to protect them from potential bad behaviors.

This is an email that I sent to an ICANN insider. I am myself a member of several working groups but I was not able to locate the right one to submit this suggestion. I received an answer with the right directions and it appears that this issue is already taken into account, which is a good thing for future applicants...if lobbyists and other ICANN insiders can't block this from being taken into account.

Email sent
Dear "Whoever", 
There is a suggestion that I would like to do for the next AGB* but I have no idea where I should submit it and if there is still time for this.
I faced this problem in round one and I strongly believe that it makes sense to consider it.
I think that new gTLD applicants should be able to submit their application before they have to choose a back-end registry provider. The reason for this is to avoid an idea of a TLD project to go in the ears of another applicant with deeper pockets.
New gTLD applicants are obliged to select a backend registry provider for their application to enter the ICANN validation process. Allowing them to submit without a backend registry (how: I don't know), would increase chances of the applicant to be able to finalize his project.
Trust/Confidentiality is an issue and an application that a backend registry provider will lose to another is just a word pronounced to other potential applicants. Whatever NDA is signed, an applicant is at risk when having to meet several backend registry providers to discuss his project.
It makes sense, for an applicant, to be able to meet with a backend registry, after ICANN has accepted his application. Before that is a high risk.


What is the idea?
The idea is to protect potential new gTLD applicants from speaking too loud and too early; an obligation when consulting potential partners to submit a new gTLD application. Of course, everyone is honest - we all know this - and I am not targeting back-end registry providers here but putting such a solution in place would:
  1. Limit the number of multiple new gTLD applications in the next round (unless it is decided that applications are validated on the basis of first come first served);
  2. Fasten the process to validate applications at ICANN.
If a new gTLD applicant can demonstrate upfront that his intention is to work with one "already ICANN accredited back-end Registry", can't he then contract with him after his application was validated by the ICANN?

Brokers: get prepared!


* "AGB" stands for Applicant Guidebook: the bible to submit a new gTLD application to ICANN.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunrise Period for .BASKETBALL has begun

Just announced by the Trademark Clearinghouse, the .BASKETBALL Sunrise Period begins.
WHEN
  • SUNRISE PERIOD START: Monday, 19 June, 2017 - 16:00;
  • SUNRISE PERIOD END: Monday, 21 August, 2017 - 16:00.
WHAT
This is an extract of the .BASKETBALL new gTLD application submitted to the ICANN:
Basketball is one of the most popular team sports in the world with millions of registered players and fans, made up of men and women, boys and girls, in more than 200 countries across five continents. The Fédération Internationale de Basketball (“FIBA”) is the global governing body for the sport, charged with the responsibility of the laws of the game, the organisation and governance of international championships, the international structure of the game, and specification of equipment and facility guidelines FIBA membership currently totals 213 Member Federations – spread across 5 regional zones (Africa, Asia, Asia, Europe and Oceania). FIBA was founded in 1932 as an amateur organization but become representative also of professional basketball in 1989 with NBA players being admitted to the 1992 Olympics for the first time. FIBA is recognized as the representative for the sport of basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). FIBA is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its motto “We Are Basketball” reflects the global relevance and power of the organisation.
Basketball was created in the late 1800s in the United States and has been transformed into a global network around which vast stadia having been built coupled with high profile league competitions, a global administrative structure and complex marketing strategies devised. Basketball, in common with any activity which attracts the interest and enthusiasm of all kinds of people, has many sides and faces.
Apart from the playing of the game and its ancillary support, basketball embraces a number of social and emotional concepts such as courage, loyalty, sportsmanship, discipline and teamwork.

The .basketball TLD will be an Internet space, under control of the FIBA, to allow the distribution and exchange of information and entertainment relevant to basketball, by means of, but not limited to, websites, social networks, email and other technologies that will reside within the .basketball domain name space. In addition, ancillary services may be provided in relation to registration of domains within the TLD, including but not limited to website hosting, SEO, marketing and consulting services.

The FIBA intends for .basketball names to be registered and used by persons and entities who maintain an affinity towards the sport of basketball. However, .basketball domain registrations will not be restricted to such persons and entities – anyone can register a .basketball domain name.
For details, check the TMCH calendar.

Recording webinar Rightside DPML Upgrade

Rightside DPML is a convenient, cost-effective solution to protect your client’s trademark against cybersquatting. DPML provides protection across all 40 of Rightside's Top-Level Domains (TLDs), with subscriptions terms ranging from 1–10 years. The covered TLDs include some of the best domains for brands in the industry such as .NEWS, .LIVE, .GAMES, .REVIEWS and .GIVES to name a few.


New Customer Benefits Include:
  • Expanded Protection – Brands can now use DPML Variants to block up to 10 phrases that are confusingly similar to their trademarks in over 200 supported IDN languages;
  • Enhanced Coverage – DPML from Rightside now provides coverage for over 1 million Premium domains including exact matches and Variants of trademarks;
  • Domain Activation – It’s now easier than ever to activate one or more domains covered by DPML without additional override fees.
For more information on registering your mark in the TMCH, contact one of the Agents.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

FIBA.basketball is here

Did you visit FIBA.com recently and did you check what is written on the top of the website?

Welcome to FIBA.basketball
The most important Basketball organization worldwide seems to be changing to a new domain name. The FIBA is about Basketball, nothing else, so it came naturally to changing its domain name to one with more precision.


Showing the way
Many other sports have their own domain name extension: ".rugby", ".tennis", ".baseball", ".football" and many more. Is the FIBA showing the way...to other sports?

Oh...and excellent promotion for new gTLDs :-)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I don't understand GOOGLE for new gTLDs

Google now offers a simple way to have a website (a sort of presentation page) in its My Business offer so I went through the procedure, clicked on "Website" and I ended with this: http://jovenet.business.site/


A good start?
If course, I won't be using this as a website since it is pretty ugly (apologies for the ugly photos but I cannot even decide to remove them) but, this is not what it is made for. This free "website" offer is there to help those who don't know how to create a website and who just need to be able to be listed somewhere...in Google. A simple webpage can sometimes make it.

What I misunderstand
Google submitted plenty of new gTLD applications and offers a service using the domain name it registered from...another Registry. Yes, the .SITE new gTLD does not belong to Google but to someone else: why not use the .NEW, the .HERE or the .PAGE new gTLDs which belong to Google??? It could even have found a use for the .GOOG Top-Level Domain!
Also note that Google applied for the .SITE new gTLD but then withdrew its application after it lost it in an auction. Wrong move?

Come on Google: show some innovation here
Unless I am wrong, using sub-domains to introduce a website is "the old fashion way": no one does this anymore so:
  1. Why not offer to register a domain name and point it to this "My Business" website offer? Note that Google Registrar only offers to register domain names when in...the United States and a very few other countries.
  2. Why not offer to map an existing domain name? I searched for it this but the option does not exist...
The G-Suite offer from Google really helps me to operate my small company: I found such a complete offer "to do it all" in no other place and I am happy to pay for this. This is what I called innovation when I took the decision to use "Google Apps" (at the time) instead of the Microsoft Office suite or the extremely complex Amazon offer but today, I need more. I want to be able to buy a SSL certificate for my domain name with G-Suite, I want to be able to buy domain names from Google Registrar to centralize everything but nothing comes and there is still no visibility after so many years: why?

Google entered the domain name business thank to new gTLDs and I believe that this was a great move because...it is useful to me: a small company. What I still misunderstand is what is blocking Google from delivering more innovation using the new gTLDs it applied for?

In need of ideas?

Sunrise Period for .STOCKHOLM new gTLD starts

The Trademark Clearinghouse launches the Sunrise Period for domain names ending in ".stockholm".

WHEN
  • START: Thursday, 15 June, 2017 - 16:00;
  • END: Saturday, 15 July, 2017 - 16:00.

To learn more about what the .STOCKHOLM new gTLD applications says, see here. For full details, check the TMCH official announcement.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New gTLDs: String Similarity Review

This is an extract of a document discussing how to changes things for the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program. There are a lot of subjects discussed (Begin work on new guidebook - Independent Objector - Fees/Cost Issues  - String Confusion Objections - Sword Tool  - Reserved Names - Communities - Community Objections - Community Priority Evaluation) but String Similarity is one that I think is causing a lot of confusion. A problem that I hope will be solved prior to launch the next round.


String Similarity Review
Consolidate single-plural pairs into a contention set through the String Similarity Review.

Issue
The String Similarity Review played a limited role in the 2012 Round. Of the 1,400 unique applications submitted and the 232 contention sets formed, only two contention sets were identified by way of this review: .hotels and .hoteis and .unicorn and .unicom. Many applicants and community members expected the String Similarity Review to identify a broader set of contentions and weed out potential instances of user confusion, particularly with respect to applications for single and plural string pairs. This is evidenced in the fact that no applicant applied for both the single and plural variant of a particular string, as well as in the number of String Confusion Objections filed to address single and plural string pairs.

Recommendation
The scope of the String Similarity Review should be broadened to encompass single/plurals of TLDs on a per-language basis in addition to the existing visual similarity standard. Contention sets would be formed on a per-language basis. A dictionary should be the tool used to determine the singular and/or plural version of the string for the specific language. In this expanded process, applications for single/plural variations of each string would be placed in a contention set and applications for a single/plural variations of an existing string would not be permitted. By way of example, if applications were submitted for the strings .gâteau, .gâteaux, .cake, and .cakes, then the strings .gâteau and .gâteux (French) would be placed in contention with one another, but not with the corresponding translations .cake and .cakes (English), which would comprise a separate contention set. Additional contention sets could continue to be formed through the String Confusion Objection Process.

Download the complete document.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Registries: the crossroads of an industry

Registries sell domain names through the network of accredited Registrars: that is how domain names are sold to end users, the "Registrants". The registry - sole legal entity authorized to create domain names - sits on top of the pyramid with an already existing distribution channel which takes care of reaching out to customers...and do the job. I personally love the idea that puts the registry in a monopolistic situation but is this enough to sell domain names?

The crossroads of an industry
In the past, registries used a "nic.extension" domain name to point to their website. Some now use this as a redirection to another website (www.nic.bzh) and some have not activated it. Such domain names were a good way to recognize the official website of a registry ("nic" means "network information center").

If a registry is in a monopolistic situation, why isn't this taken as an advantage to do the promotion of an extension: isn't the role of the registry to participate actively in selling its own domain names and contribute to showing how to use them?
  • Give free added value to end-users;
  • Explain how to proceed with a domain name:
    • How to created a simple website and where to go to;
    • How to create an email: step-by-step and where to go to.
  • Explain industries concerned by the extension how to benefit from it:
    • What are the deals they can have with registries;
    • How it can make sense to offer domain names;
  • Explain what affiliation is: some businesses want to offer domain names without having to go through the registrar accreditation process;
  • Explain how to earn money from a domain name;
  • ...
Registries have the opportunity to do more than offer their clients to become registrars or buy Premium domain names. Isn't it time to have ideas and create content?

Some registries do more: the .BZH example
I am not concerned by .BZH domain names because I was born in Toulouse (south of France) - where there is sun and no rain most of the time ;-) - but I noticed this great initiative from the Registry.

The .BZH Registry is offering its future and existing 6,690 owners of a ".bzh" domain name to register in a directory dedicated to them. Web.bzh offers:
  • Added value to ".bzh" domain name owners for their SEO: this means one quality link back to their website;
  • Exclusivity: only members of the ".bzh" community are granted access (".com" owners: go away);
  • A new selling point for accredited Registrars: you don't just buy a descriptive domain name: you receive something more with your purchase.
Oh, and I forgot: it is free to register.

Dedicated directories to the extensions they promote are the typical added value that registries have the capacity to offer:
  • They're easy to set up;
  • They contribute greatly to promoting a domain name extension:
    • registrants like free added value;
    • it is exclusive to owners of their domain names.
  • Its neutral since the service offered comes from a registry: Registrars are not in competition;
  • It is an advantage Registrars can use in their communication to their customers.
The role of the Registry is changing and can become a serious tool...to sell more.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The .BOT Sunrise Period starts

The Trademark Clearinghouse announced the launching of the .BOT Sunrise Period.

WHEN
  • SUNRISE PERIOD START: Wednesday, 31 May, 2017 - 16:45;
  • SUNRISE PERIOD END: Friday, 14 July, 2017 - 16:45.
WHAT
Here is the extract of the application submitted to the ICANN:
Founded in 1994, Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.
The mission of the .BOT registry is:
  • To provide a unique and dedicated platform while simultaneously protecting the integrity of Amazon’s brand and reputation.
  • A .BOT registry will:
    • Offer a stable and secure foundation for online communication and interaction.
    • Provide a platform for innovation.
Check the TMCH Calendar for details.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

.FORUM in test with Google?

We like to speculate on new gTLDs, don't we? The .FORUM new gTLD is brought to market by Top Level Spectrum, the registry operator behind .forum, .realty, and a suite of industry-specific domains. It is what the front page of the Registry says.

Was it acquired by Google?
The reason why I publish this post is that ".forum" domain names are not yet available for registration and the list of Registrars, on the Registry's website, is empty.


The .FORUM new gTLD is, like .CONTACT or .EMAIL, an extension in which we believe, will be successful.

In Test
Two pages (different from the "nic") are indexed in Google:

  1. A Google page: http://domaintest.forum/
  2. And a redirection pointing to a page with no content: smarterinternet.forum.
The question is: why is the only proper indexed page on Google one belonging to Google?

Milestone: 3,000+ new gTLD readers

I just hit "new gTLD" in the search field to check what was said on LinkedIn about new gTLDs and noticed that there are several words used to inform about this subject. There are several groups too.

It the word "new gTLDs" is often used by professionals, we tend more to talk about "branding" or "brand protection" today. Subjects to which is added the subject of new gTLDs.

Milestone
Surprisingly, I also noticed that a milestone was reached: there are now more than 3,000 members to have subscribed to the "New gTLDs (New generic Top-Level Domains)" group.

Note to the members of this group
I was asked why I post about certain events, certain companies and no others:
  • I try to post about everything that covers the subject of new gTLDs but domaining because this is of no interest for real users and there is another group to post about this.
  • Please post: I can't catch everything;
  • 1/5 of the content that I collect is published in this group. This is not a lot compared to what the free Newsletter offers. To get it all, you should subscribe to the New gTLD Newsletter.
3,000 people are interested!
Posting to this group takes a few seconds: you just need to do two things:
  1. paste your link in the text field (it will link to your website online);
  2. add a Title in the object field and click on "Post". You're done.

New gTLDs: New Domain Research & Tactics

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What does "oui.sncf" mean

One might have noticed the recent announcement of the SNCF to start using "oui.sncf" as a domain name in a close future.

The SNCF is not only changing domain name, it is changing one of its major brands so, as you can expect, "we're in France" and very few seem positive about this for the moment. I read a lot of critics in regard to this change of name so if such announcement does not mean much for train travellers - at least for today - it means a lot for the promotion of new gTLDs, here is why.

What does it mean for end users?
People don't like change so one can imagine what's happening when the number one train company, which has existed for generations, changes its name. If I strongly believe that the French company will be sanctioned by train travellers when the new website is announced, I also imagine the kind of question the SNCF online support will receive: "I don't understand, the website does not work anymore, I cannot order my ticket". Clients will need to adapt, and they will.

"oui.sncf" instead of "voyages.sncf"?
There is a change of Brand and "Oui.sncf" seems to be coming with an offer entitled "inOui" I see two changes here when the previous website was named www.voyages-sncf.com. Was a new name absolutely necessary? Wasn't it less confusing to innovate with a name clients could understand? I fear that there will be a little confusion but let's be optimistic: innovation remains here.

Security is highly increased for clients
Unfortunately, the SNCF clients won't be able to see it but their security, navigating on the new https://oui.sncf website (not live yet) will be highly increased. With the complete ownership of the ".sncf" domain name extension, the SNCF controls every registered domain name. When a domain name extension is open for registrations "to all", it means that anyone can register an homoglyph...

What does it mean for "new gTLDs"?
Who worries about what it means for our industry? :-)

".com" Domainers
".com" Domainers don't like new gTLDs and they like to make it known. We read a lot about how negative ".com" domainers can be about the ICANN new gTLD program. After so many months trying to understand why, there's two things that I noticed:
  1. Domainers are professionals of the domain name industry: they buy and resell domain names. It is important to understand that new gTLDs have flooded the market so when the offer of domain names becomes so high in such a short period of time, it means a lot more domain names available on the market. This can kill the ".com" demand: ".com" domainers' benefits.
  2. Domainers are not representative of users: live website owners are.
The reason why I refer to the domaining community here is that, combined to the annoyance of a change, the message sent to end users is bad to our business: our industry has a hard time promoting new domain name extensions. There is a new market where those affected by this change are the one to talk loud because they reside online all day long. When reading between the lines, this is just a matter of time. New gTLDs need time to become popular and used and not to forget that the young generation is growing up with new gTLDs.

Communication
There are plenty of methods to promote (and sell) new domain names: press releases, advertising online, on TV, paper ads, affiliation, price reductions at the Registrar, direct deals with major institutions, and I won't certainly talk about those that are not made public.

The number one communication that our industry needs is "use" and it is exactly what the SNCF is about to contribute to. The advantage that I see in the SNCF announcement is that it is going to communicate loud and this will go right into the ears of BtoB and BtoC consumers (future Registrants).

In one word; the SNCF is about to do the best "new domain names" promotion job that our industry needs. Whatever end-users say or write then, what matters is that they are trained to see new domain names.

Who's next?
SNCF is a major French player to help us develop our business but we need more. If the SNCF sends a strong sign to other French .BRAND new gTLD applicants, I believe that McDonald's and its .MCDONALDS and MCD new gTLDs would contribute to educate consumers too.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

“.brand” new gTLDs and Homograph attacks

Homograph attacks are a good reason to definitely get rid of “.com” and move to a “.brand” new gTLD. Here is why.
Most domain name extensions accept IDNs (Internationalized second level domains = non ASCII characters) and all browsers read them. The problem with IDNs is that they can be used to fake a domain name and if most browsers would detect homoglyphs and “translate” them, it is not the case for old browsers. On a “.brand” domain name extension, the Brand has the hand on domain name registrations and can control which domain is registered: not the case with “.com”. This article is the third update of an article written on the 18 of May 2017 and previously entitled “.brands" & Homograph attacks“.

Why protecting consumers matters
The reason why it matters for Trademarks to protect their consumers online is that their clients won’t complain to them nor they will ask their money back if they face an homograph attack. Image is important too...of course.

Restricted access to registering “.brand” domain names makes a huge difference in terms of security: attackers won’t have access to creating an homoglyph. They will on a “.com”.

What are we talking about?

Homograph attack free
An attacker will be able to launch an homograph attack using any open extension that accepts IDNs, but if he will be able to cheat, hiding inside the second level domain name using homoglyphs (when the registry allows them) or mistypes, he won’t be able to do it with a “.brand” domain name because he is not allowed to register such domain names. Only the owner of the “.brand” Registry is.

Recognition: the extension is the seal
With a client being trained by the Trademark to visit hyperlinks ending in a “.brand” domain name extension, he becomes used to it so the ending of an email received or a website visited certifies that the content is from the Trademark.

Beware of browsers
Some browsers, like previous version 57.0.2987.146 of Chrome (in Chromium) still translates homoglyphs. It means that examples below will still show in a browser!!!

Phishing and homograph attacks
In a phishing attack, you would receive an email asking you to click on hyperlink - which title would be “clicke here” - clicking would take you to a fake website (asking money or information). Such links can be double checked, passing the mouse on the hyperlink, so it becomes possible to see the real hyperlink prior to clicking. Some more sophisticated phishing attacks even offer mistyped domain names such as GuiІІon.com (fake site) for Guillon.com (real site). Note that the two letters “l” in the fake site are in fact two decimal “i”, a letter of the cyrillic script (it also works with “0” replacing “o”). When you pass your mouse on the hyperlink, you will note that the domain name shows two “i” (instead of two “l”). Phishing attacks are in fact spam campaigns asking you to click on a hyperlink to take you to a fake website.

Homograph attacks are the same but the problem is that the link you are asked to click onto...is the exact same “visually speaking” so you cannot double check if the link you are about to click onto is the good one or not. Homoglyphs are used here: they are words which letters’ shapes appear identical or very similar one to the other: International Domain Names (IDNs) are used here. A recent example given in the press was “epic.com” (real site), which is also “xn--e1awd7f.com” and “epic.com” (fake site). Try the two of them in version 57.0.2987.146 of Chrome’s address bar and you will note that both read to “epic.com”. The problem? They are two different websites under the exact same “.com” domain name. Imagine such an attack using your domain name: scary isn’t it?

Why change now?
If .BRAND new gTLD applicants still don’t know what to do with their own domain name extension, changing now allows:
  • To start training and informing their consumers to visit a new website: “this takes time”;
  • To homogenize their domain name portfolio and stop registering more domain names they will probably never use: there will be more domain name extensions created in the future and unless I am wrong, this means more domain names to register for any Trademark who wants to secure its assets.
  • To enhance their client’s level of security: chances are high that attacks’ level of sophistication won’t lower in the future and “.brand” domain names are a barrier to these.
Banks should consider
Banks who did not (yet) apply for their own domain name extension should consider using a .BANK domain name for the same reasons. Attackers cannot have access to “.bank” domain names since these are restricted to banks. In one word, it means that a bank can drastically increase its existing and future clients’ level of online security by using an extension which is not open to the public.

Making sense
Migrating to a single .BRAND new domain name extension makes sense if:
  1. All other domain names are redirected to new “.brand” domains so existing users are trained to visiting the new .BRAND domain name;
  2. Existing and new clients are informed about this change early in advance so it does not cause confusion;
  3. Existing and new clients are explained that all other information coming from other domain name extensions (emails or websites) are not certified coming from the Trademark.
The objective of such move is to:
  • Guarantee existing and future clients the highest level of security;
  • Lower the level of confusion due to the important number of new domain name extensions created;
  • Increase the level of trust with one single source of information.

The .STOCKHOLM new gTLD

The Trademark Clearinghouse just announced the Sunrise Period for .STOCKHOLM new domain names.

WHEN
  • START: Thursday, 15 June, 2017 - 16:00;
  • END: Saturday, 15 July, 2017 - 16:00.
Check the TMCH calendar for details.

WHAT
Here are interesting extracts of what the application submitted to ICANN says:

The purpose of the City of Stockholm’s own gTLD .stockholm is twofold:
  1. First, .stockholm will be a strong marketing tool, being part of a greater strategy for the City of Stockholm, aimed at the international business public. The purpose is that the City of Stockholm once more states its strong position as a highly modern and innovative city, using cutting edge technology to deliver the infrastructure needed in order to enable its business community to be successful in their area of expertise and to continue to attract international companies for investment.
  2. Secondly, .stockholm shall be used as reliable and trusted communication tool for the citizens of Stockholm in their contacts with the city and its service providers. It will be the official channel for communication from its own institutions like municipal offices, schools, hospitals, events etc. to the citizens of Stockholm. .stockholm will be used as a strong communication tool aimed at Stockholm’s citizens, ensuring the origin of message, communicated either by email or web, leading to enhanced consumer trust in the field of online communication and marketing. .stockholm is part of a greater plan to enable the citizens of Stockholm the ultramodern lifestyle they expect from their city. 
There are more than 1400 ICT companies in the area – employing approximately 25 000 people. In order to continue this positive development, the City of Stockholm has to keep up the pace, taking advantage of new possibilities such as controlling its own gTLD .stockholm in order to remain the top city of innovative forerunners.

Digital technology is not only important in order to improve service, but also from a sustainability perspective. Having a well developed service sector and a wide use of broadband services among citizens, schools and companies gives the opportunity for a sustainable life style. Thus Stockholm was appointed Europe’s first Environmental Capital by the EU in 2010. Stockholm sees its own gTLD .stockholm as natural further development of the digital services already offered to the local business community as of today.

However, with more and more services available online, the city’s need for a high control and security level increases. The demand is for 100% reassurance when using e-services with private data. Communicating with the City’s inhabitants via .stockholm websites and email addresses, will have the possibility to enhance citizens trust that can increase the citizen´s use of city e-services.

Objectives of the gTLD .stockholm
Stockholm is growing and sustainability and smart services are used to attract citizens, investors, business people and visitors. The City of Stockholm wants to take an active part in shaping the Internet of the future, and contribute to the digital development. Therefore, the City of Stockholm is investing in creating its own gTLD for all city services and activities.

In conclusion, the objective of .stockholm is to:
  • Increase the visibility of the City of Stockholm, as well as the accessibility and usability of e-services for its citizens.
  • Attract companies and coveted business people to the Stockholm region and to enable them a smooth and successful business entry by facilitating information transparency and increasing service availability."
Check the complete application here.

Friday, May 26, 2017

New gTLDs: "last week"

Each week, there is an important cover about new generic Top-Level Domains: events, delegations, launchings, innovations, etc...and a lot is said. This post covers what was said yesterday. I strongly suggest to subscribe to this Newsletter to receive all NEWS directly in your email.
  1. Two new gTLDs were just delegated:
    1. .ARAB
    2. .xn--ngbrx (عرب, "Arab", /arab/)
  2. New Gtlds, the series: Read chapter 1;
  3. Event coming: http://brandsand.domains/ ("the only event dedicated to .brands");
  4. Approval of the Global Amendment to the Base New gTLD Registry Agreement;
  5. Successful Domain Investor Hates New GTLD Domains!
  6. A .com Domain is No Longer Necessary;
  7. “The Domain Sector is Simply Fascinating";
  8. Richemont kills off two more dot-brands;
  9. Interesting move: https://www.sixt.global/
  10. INTA cover:
    1. Don’t read too much into the lack of ‘.brand’ registrations;
    2. Dot Brand Domains: A Work In Progress (download the PDF).
  11. What the New gTLDs Mean for Higher Education Institutions;
  12. Just dropped 198 New gTLD domains and saved $45,000;
  13. Event coming: The NDD.camp (June 26, 2017, from 11 am to 18 pm);
  14. The DomainTools Report Spring 2017;
  15. The CSC new Brand (read the short story).
Read more NEWS  (much more)

Monday, May 22, 2017

French students soon equipped with new domains

Some French business schools will soon equip their students with new domain names from the ICANN new gTLD program.

The idea is simple: have a email (or a website) that catches the eye of a recruiter on your résumé.

Article is available in French:
La majorité des étudiants ont déjà un email avant de commencer leurs études, c’est un email qu’ils garderont probablement...toute leur vie. Quand bien même leur employeur leur en fournira un pour travailler, des écoles de commerce prennent les devants pour préparer leurs étudiants en Finance à se différencier en abordant le marché du travail avec un email plus “pro”.
Read my article on the Journal Du Net (in French)

Monday, May 15, 2017

New gTLD Subsequent Procedures

Below are the action items and discussion notes captured by staff from the meeting on 15 May.

GDD Summit Recap
  • Held last week, Jeff Neuman and others were there;
  • GDD Summit is intended for contracted parties:
    • registries;
    • registrars;
    • consultants.
  • Many of the people are not members of this PDP WG (Working Group);
  • Some don't pay attention to policy processes and may not be aware of the work we are doing;
  • There are a number of contracted parties that would like to see a subsequent gTLD procedures sooner rather than later and wanted ICANN staff to set a date;
  • Not sure how realistic it is to set a date;
  • Comment by Akram Atallah: "There are a number of items that are gating items before we write any procedures, including whether it will be first come, first served";
  • Don't want to wait until the policy process is completely over before ICANN org starts to work on implementation processes;
  • Asked Akram if he could produce a list of the gating items could be so that we could consider them and in theory prioritize them;
  • Other subjects: application fees and whether there should be a refund of excess application fees; transitioning backend registries or assigning from one entity to another. Did not pertain to the RSP Program but there are some parallels;
  • GNSO Council could set a target date if they wanted to;
  • No policy decisions were made; it was just a forum for contracted parties to express their views. Everything will come back to the policy process. Nothing will happen without bringing it back to this WG;
  • From ICANN staff: Developing a list of items, but don't view them as gating items, just those that would be very helpful for implementation planning as to what the policy direction may be. For example, if it is first come, first served it could fundamentally affect how implementation is structured;
  • GDD Summit can provide an insight into the practical operational issues and concerns for contracted parties;
  • Of the 2 1/2 days of meetings there were maybe just a couple of hours on subsequent gTLD issues. Most time was spent discussing operational issues.
Participation is welcome and Community comments are available here.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Free ".broker" & ".forex" domains

Boston Ivy is what I call a "Multiple Registry", it means that it is one company which applied for several new domain name extensions.


6 new domain name extensions
Highly specialized in financial domain names, it applied for six new gTLDs:
  1. The .FOREX new gTLD for Forex service providers, brokers or individuals providing information on the forex markets;
  2. The .TRADING new gTLD for Traders and Trading companies;
  3. The .BROKER new gTLD for - guess what - Brokers;
  4. The .MARKETS new gTLD for financial markets;
  5. The .SPREADBETTING new gTLD for spread betting providers;
  6. The .CFD domain name extension, a highly specialized financial extension, which requires to hold a regulatory permission granted by a financial regulatory authority in respect of the CFD space.
Free domain names
Got an idea for a website using a .forex or .broker web address? Join Boston Ivy's Innovator Programme to have the opportunity of securing a free ".broker" or ".forex" domain name for two years. Being part of the programme, will help you to:
  • Expand your reach with co-marketing initiatives;
  • Promote your business through Boston Ivy’s publishing network;
  • Be at the forefront of the new Top Level Domain revolution and showcase your business online.
For more details, please contact innovators@bostonivy.co

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New gTLDs: what said the press recently

Everyday, the online press, bloggers and new gTLD service providers talk about new gTLDs. Some TLDs were acquired recently, some .BRAND new gTLD applicants launched more new domain names and some community TLDs are still pending activation for some obscure reasons. Note that, added to the Newsletter, we launched www.gtld.events to announce new gTLD events.
  1. The .HEALTH Sunrise Period;
  2. New gTLD event: the GDS (Xiamen, China during 7th -9th July,2017);
  3. Applicants in limbo as ICANN probes itself (.MUSIC - .GAY - ...);
  4. Jovenet Consulting turns Five;
  5. Another Cool $25 Million Bet on New gTLDs (.ART);
  6. The .CLUB Registry turns Three;
  7. How should I present .BRAND domains in advertising? (Part 2);
  8. The .CREDITUNION Sunrise Period;
  9. .PRESS Supports Press Freedom Day;
  10. MansfieldBankOnline.com is now MansfieldBank.Bank
  11. Event: the NDD.camp (June 26, 2017 - Paris);
  12. Countries with Weird TLD Habits;
  13. Can a New Domain Finally Bring the Art World Into the 21st Century?
  14. Brand Control: The Next Stage for Digital (.NIKE - .BMW - ...);
  15. Μόλις κυκλοφόρησε το νέο gtld .SUCKS
  16. Buy Rightside: A Fast Growing Digital Toll Road;
  17. The .STORAGE new gTLD was acquired;
  18. The future of gTLDs (second round of applications just ahead?);
  19. .XYZ domains can’t be registered in China;
  20. MarkMonitor severs relationship with .FEEDBACK TLD;
  21. The .CLOUD case study (Publication Date: 28 April 2017);
  22. French: questionnements autour des modèles des nTLDs;
  23. .NYC tech domain name auction kicks off at SnapNames;
  24. HOT: the May 2017 update. All new gTLD reports have been updated;
  25. .ART – the new digital dress code for the art world;
  26. .AMAZON Final Hearing scheduled for 1-2 May 2017;
  27. New gTLDs: someone said "STOP" (.RED - .BLUE - .PINK ...);
  28. A silly premium strategy at .ART;
  29. Domain Names to Become Insignificant within 20 Years or Less;
  30. Oh, Those Wild and Crazy New TLDs;
  31. Happening in May 2017 (.MARKETS and .TRADING): release of 35,000 ".markets" and ".trading" names at Registrars;
  32. Domain Names Are Fading From User View;
  33. Another forum post full of "new gTLD haters";
  34. .ART will have 3.5 million premium domain names;
  35. Dot-Com is Still King - of Domain Name Disputes;
  36. More live .BRAND Websites: .STATEFARM / .MINI / .ABBOTT / .SBI / .SONY / .LIXIL / .SWATCH and many more...
  37. HOT - The .ETH new gTLD;
  38. 50K Domains Registered on The New gTLD .REALTY
  39. Local Popularity & Global Influence: Nations and nTLDs;
  40. ICANN - Shape the future of the New gTLD marketplace;
  41. .AFRICA : La Chine très friande de la nouvelle extension africaine.
Find all these news in our Archives. Note that, due to the important volume of info published everyday, all titles cannot be added to the list above.

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