Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Some new gTLD contacts...are gone

A "new gTLD contact" is a contact that you find in any new gTLD application: there is a primary and secondary contact.

I checked new gTLD applications to investigate about a question that I have: are primary or secondary contacts still in place? This question is important to me because they are the local point of contact to operate the new domain name extension.

Method used
I proceeded as follow:
  1. I checked all new gTLD applications from a specific category from the Jovenet Consulting new gTLD reports;
  2. I searched for either primary or secondary contact (full name and email);
  3. I went to LinkedIn and checked if this contact still worked in the company (or if she is still linked to it).
In some cases, it is the Registrar or service provider in charge of operating the TLD which is used as primary and/or as secondary contact. This is a good choice when a .BRAND new gTLD doesn't want to have to take care of this. Some backend registry service providers also offer this as an option for generic TLDs, as well as other mandatory services to operate a new gTLD.

In other cases, the person's name and surname hadn't changed and had left the company or had changed position with an email still getting through to "someone". This is not so important as long as someone is in charge of reading these emails but I'd suggest to change this to the person in charge within the company.

I also found Gmails addresses used as primary contacts. That: I don't understand it. I am the first person to say that Gmail is a great and very well secured service but I'd certainly not use an email that does not match the domain of the registry's project, nor an email on which I don't have full control of.

I even  found an email using a domain names available for registration. This means that no email are going through and returning with an error. It also means that a third party registering that domain name could set up a "catch all" and receive all emails sent.

What to think about all this?
A new gTLD is a serious responsibility: like a domain name, it is not supposed to end after a website has been launched (unless maybe when your company's name is Whatever Engineering and you'd consider redirecting your ".com" to truly use your ".engineering" domain name).

Operating the emails of primary and secondary contacts have consequences : in the end, they are the same story as operating a domain name when only one person knows about the complete story. Don't forget about what can happen when it's time to pay or talk to ICANN: what if you miss that email? Same when planning to sell your TLD: this is probably where I would send my offer.

Monday, October 16, 2017

GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures (Face-to-Face meeting) : 28 October 2017

This PDP Working Group is tasked with calling upon the community’s collective experiences from the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program to determine what, if any changes may need to be made to the existing oNew gTLD policy recommendations from 8 August 2007. Those who are interested in providing their input into new gTLD policy recommendations for subsequent procedures are encouraged to attend.

More here.

(previously wanted to post this to gtld.events : apologies)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Amazon looks for a gTLD Registry Counsel

Counsel will support the Amazon Registry Services business on a broad range of commercial contracting, licensing, technology, and regulatory matters relating to gTLD registries. Counsel will work directly with business teams, providing day-to-day advice, resolving issues that arise in existing commercial relationships and addressing pre-litigation legal disputes and inquiries. Counsel’s principal duties will include structuring, drafting and negotiating complicated technology, distribution, licensing, marketing, and other commercial agreements, including agreements with third parties in the domain name space. Counsel will also provide ongoing legal counseling in a wide range of areas relating to intellectual property, including contractual relationships, data protection, and regulatory compliance. Limited travel (domestic and international) may be required. The successful candidate must be inquisitive, enthusiastic about technology, have a sense of humor, be business minded and demonstrate sound judgment even in ambiguous situations.

Basic qualifications
  • 5+ years of legal experience (with at least three years at a leading law firm or in house) as a transactional attorney, preferably with focused experience in specialized IT contracts and/or the domain name system
  • Familiarity with trademark and copyright law
  • A J.D. degree and membership in good standing in at least one state bar
  • Limited travel (domestic and international) may be required
Preferred qualifications
  • In house experience at a technology company
  • Familiarity with cross-jurisdictional contracting issues is a plus
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to manage multiple projects at once, follow through and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently while being able to contribute successfully to cross-functional teams
  • Common sense, great judgment, and a good sense of humor
Apply here.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 2017: new gTLD reports are up-to-date

The second day of each month is a long day at Jovenet Consulting as we update new gTLD reports manually. Last month, we initiated a new report which will be updated on a monthly basis: the Multiple Registries new gTLD report. This report focuses on multiple registries domain name registration volumes and allows to see if domain name registrations increase or decrease.

So: what's interesting here?
  • New gTLDs related to CATERING and RESTORATION (.restaurant - .kitchen - .bar - etc...): the .PUB new gTLD is going down but .COFFEE is doing great. The .MENU new gTLD is diving but surprise: .食品 (.food) has more registrations.
  • New gTLDs related to PHOTOGRAPHY (.photo - .film - .gallery - etc...): the .CANON .BRAND new gTLD creates more domain names and - interesting - the .PHOTOS seems to catch up on its singular version. The .PICS is diving and .ART does well.
  • New gTLDs related to CITIES : these are not geographic TLDs but city names only (.paris - .london - .tokyo - etc...). Users seem to register domains ending in ".tokyo" and surprise, there are now 2 domain names ending in ".stockholm".
  • New gTLDs related to COMPANIES : new domain name extensions that we believe a company should keep its eyes on (available in our Newsletter).
  • New gTLDs related to the LAW and LEGAL matters (.legal - .attorney - .lawyer - etc...): the .LAW new gTLD passes the 10,000 new domain name registrations. Congratulations.
  • New gTLDs related to FINANCE (.finance - .bank - .fund - etc...): the .LOAN has more than 2 million registrations (which is a lot) and one would be surprised to know how this can be possible compared to second best .BID which has 500,000 only ;-) .TRADE is diving into the red and .ACCOUNTANT passes the 100,000 registrations. Congratulations. The .BANK is not as successful as expected but I am confident that it remains the future for Banks still using a risky ".com". The .PICTET (.BRAND) new gTLD registers more names as well as .NADEX and .KFH (note that these could be tests).
  • New gTLDs related to a COLOR (.red - .pink - .green - etc...): the .RED and .BLUE suddenly have more registrations (...) and the .ORANGE (.BRAND) tries new things.
  • New gTLDs related to SPORT (.hockey - .basketball - .ski - etc...): the .CLUB new gTLD does great with 1.1 million registrations and increasing and .RACING goes down. The .GAMES new gTLD does good and congratulations to .COACH which passes the 10,000 registrations. Seems that .XBOX (from Microsoft) is working on something too.
  • New gTLDs related to ALCOHOL (.beer - .wine - .vodka - etc...): don't drink and drive.
  • New gTLDs related to REAL ESTATE (.realestate - .realtor - .villas - etc...): this is not the most interesting report but some TLDs have interesting curves: they've never been in the red since the beginning of the year: .HOUSE - .PLACE - .INSURE - .CREDIT - .BROKER and .HOMES. The .PROPERTY seems to be dying.
  • Singular VS Plural versions of a new gTLD : these are domain name extensions which exist in their singular and plural version (ie: .gift and .gifts). The .GIFT and .REVIEWS are not doing good. Interesting: the .FAN new gTLD now has 5 registrations for the first time: the beginning of a new life? I suggest to dig more with .FAN and .FANS : there's a surprise.
  • FRENCH new gTLD applications : these are applications submitted by French companies only. The .OVH (a Registrar) has less registrations while the .MAIF (a .BRAND) has more.
  • New gTLDs related to RELIGION (.catholic - .bible - .church - etc...): the .WEDDING new gTLD passes the 10,000 registrations. Congratulations.
  • GENERIC new gTLDs : new domain name extensions that we believe they could replace ".com" one day. The .INTERNATIONAL new gTLD has a little more registrations.
  • New gTLDs related to CARS (.taxi - .auto - .car - etc...): there are more .TAXI domain names and, interesting, the .SEAT new gTLD (a .BRAND) seems to have a serious strategy with more than 400 registrations.
  • New gTLDs related to HEALTH (.health - .doctor - .hospital - etc...): the .HEALTH new gTLD, as expected, has a good progression curve and .LUNDBECK (a .BRAND), registers more domains for its trademark.
  • New gTLDs FOR FRENCH : new domain name extensions which have a meaning in French (which also mean something in french). This is the longest report that I have to update and not the most interesting. I will stop updating that one next year. The .LOL new gTLD doesn't find the situation funny on that one.
  • New gTLDs related to ADULTS : domain name extensions dedicated to sex and vulgarity. Such new gTLDs are not a success but...the .SUCKS.
  • NEW - Multiple Registries : group of Registries operating five (5) and more domain name extensions. Famous Four Media is high on top with more than 5 million registrations in total and second best, Donuts, reaches 2.4 million. GMO has an interesting progression curve.
All new gTLD reports are available here.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Why I need a .PAYPAL new gTLD

I use Paypal and I am quite satisfied with how it helps me with my business: it is still a little hard to use and I don't use all functions of the tool, but it is not so expensive, it is fast and efficient and Paypal does not send so many emails. In one word, Paypal rocks.

Fraud
The only problem that I have with Paypal is the number of fake emails that I receive. Of course, I easily identify them as they come in and luckily, G Suite (Gmail) does an excellent job at blocking all spam and phishing.

Today, I received the email below: it is a survey and the link behind "Répondez à l'enquête" points to a domain name which is not the one from Paypal (paypal.com):

(apologies to my English readers)

As a person with a minimum knowledge about domain names, I always use my mouth to check the hyperlink prior to clicking on it and when I read that it is not a paypal.com domain name but a www.paypal-survey.com, I always wonder: "hey: is it an official website from Paypal or is it another trick from a squatter or a frauder?"

Brands and multiple domains
Paypal uses many different domain names; its main one (paypal.com), ccTLDs (paypal.fr) and probably some more like paypal-survey.com. These are domain names that we use to deal with Paypal and the Brand probably has a lot more registered, for the sole purpose of securing its assets.

We are in a typical case here where a Trademark can confuse its clients with too many domain names and that same question comes back again: "is this really from Paypal: how can I be sure about this?"

The .PAYPAL new gTLD
Domain names ending in ".paypal", instead of ".com" offer an incredible advantage in terms of trust: would Paypal apply and use the .PAYPAL new gTLD in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program, it would answer one problem that I have as a client: anything belonging to Paypal could be identified behind domain names ending in ".paypal".

Old ".com" domain names can be registered by anyone so it is easy - and fast - to create a fraud based on a domain name using the "paypal" sign. Domain names registered in ".paypal" offer the advantage that they would be registered by the Paypal trademark only: no possible fraud using ".paypal" domain names here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Losing auctions: the next new gTLD business model

Reading that small line, in the link below, reminds me that I never signed any NDA to participate in the Famous Four Media project: what if I had published or distributed their list of strings prior to the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program to close?

You don't understand?
Here is an explanation - and again - it focuses on the number one reason why participants in the next ICANN new gTLD program should pay attention to confidentiality.

What the text says
The link I am referring to, points to this line which says: "An additional $2.4million of cash due as a result of the private auctions for .llc and .inc in which the Company withdrew its applications".

In more simple words, it means that this participants (called a "multiple registry"), earned $2.4 million by withdrawing two of its applications in the ICANN new gTLD program: this in return of participating in an auction for a third party (the winner of the auction) to become sole operator of these two extensions.

As a reminder, it cost $185,000.00 to submit one application (in fact it cost more than this but let's focus on basic figures) and in that case, by withdrawing it because of an auction, it generated $1.2 million.

Thinking fast
Let's assume that a participant to a new gTLD project gets info prior to the next round to begin: developing competing projects for the sole purpose to participate in auctions becomes highly profitable. It is risky but much faster to reach out to profitability and much more profitable than selling domain names.

Another line below in the linked document says: "H1 2016 group losses of $1.9million reduced to $0.5million group loss H1 2017". The first new gTLD launched in 2013.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Le Louvre: time for a change?

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

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

I checked a certain number of similar ccTLD domain names to see if other extensions had been secured (and more domain names registered) and it I didn't want to dig more than the .es and it. My conclusion is that...well...not so many apparently, but who worries about this: it is "Le Louvre". I visited lelouvre.fr too and...well...no need.

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

HOT - Coming to Abu Dhabi
Le Louvre opens in Abu Dhabi in November 2017 and it is important to know that the ".abudhabi" new gTLD was launched in April 2016. Since then, one domain name was registered only and this, very recently. The only known existing domain name ending in ".abudhabi" is icann60.abudhabi. Sadly, it is a simple redirection to the next ICANN meeting in but hey...it's a start.
Le Louvre in Abu Dhabi has its own website and it is...http://louvreabudhabi.ae/ (not secured neither).

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

This is innovation.

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

Monday, September 4, 2017

New gTLDs: an interesting agenda

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

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

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

Reminder
  1. When: 2 - 3 October 2017;
  2. Where: GRAND HOTEL AMRATH KURHAUS - The Hague, Netherlands;
  3. Onlinehttp://brandsand.domains

Thursday, August 31, 2017

New gTLD Registry Fee Offset Proposal

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

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Can .WEB revive .WED ?

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


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

Read my article on DomainNameWire.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

More new gTLD case studies

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


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

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

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

All case studies can be checked here.

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.

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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.

Register your Trademark using an agent.