Thursday, May 4, 2017

The .CREDITUNION Sunrise Period

The Sunrise Period for the .CREDITUNION new gTLD starts today:
  • START: Thursday, 4 May, 2017 - 16:15
  • END: Saturday, 3 June, 2017 - 16:15

Mission and Purpose of ".CREDITUNION"
The intention of CUNA Performance Resources, LLC (ʺCUNA LLCʺ) in filing this application is to provide a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace for entities that have a meaningful nexus with the credit union sector. Such entities include but are not limited to, credit unions, credit union trade associations and leagues, credit union service organizations, regulatory bodies, and entities offering products and services aimed primarily at credit unions.

Potential Business Models
CUNA LLC is still analyzing potential use case options for the type of domain names that will be permitted to be registered and by whom. Specifically, CUNA LLC is relying upon CUNA Inc. and other members of the credit union sector to help develop a framework that will ensure that the credit union community is provided information and services in a safe and trusted environment. The current best thinking involves a two-stage roll-out.
  • Stage One (3 months – 12 months)
    The primary use of the .CREDITUNION gTLD will initially be primarily defensive in nature, with CUNA LLC registering a small number of second level domain names to CUNA Inc. and select members of the credit union sector. This initial use will provide select IT and security personnel within the credit union sector the ability to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access to various websites, and interoperability with various software and web-based applications. This will take at least several months, and up to one year.
  • Stage Two (Following Conclusion of Stage One)
    Once appropriate security and stability issues have been satisfactorily addressed, CUNA LLC will implement the appropriate Sunrise and Trademark Clearing House Rights Protection Mechanisms and expand the allocation of domain names within the broader credit union sector as identified above. This phased roll-out will likely take place as soon as CUNA LLC makes a business decision that it is the appropriate time to expand the registration universe and use of the new domain name, but any final decision is subject to change depending upon a range of external factors. During this same period of time CUNA LLC, in consultation with the credit union sector, will evaluate potential strategies to integrate with and⁄or migrate traffic away from the current patchwork network of second level domains registered in various TLDs, to the new .CREDITUNION gTLD. 
Check the Trademark Clearinghouse calendar.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New gTLDs: someone said "STOP"

The 2 of each month is a long day for me because I update new gTLD reports at Jovenet Consulting. These reports are a good monthly indicator on what's going on in the new gTLD industry. It also allows me to note when something is...strange.

Many already offered me to automate this but I like to do this manually so I can "see".
This morning, I "saw"
When I am done with updating a new gTLD report, I tweet about it so readers can click and check the report. Some reports are more interesting than others so, for example, I would tweet about the report on finance, but note about the report on alcohol.

The "Colors" new gTLD report is one I would not tweet the update about but this morning, while updating it I said: "Wow: someone must have said "stop" somewhere here".

Very early, I wondered why registration volumes were so high on domain names ending with a color name such as ".red", ".blue" and ".pink". Somewhere, I read that "red" was a special color in China and this explained these high registration volumes.

If you look at the ".red" domain name registrations' curve, you note that is has a hard time to maintain in 2016 and this evolves even hardly in early 2017. Then registrations drop significantly in a one month period of time (from April to May 2017) and for four TLDs in a row. Something happened.

I don't think that these TLDs, which belong to the same new gTLD applicant, lost domain name registrations because the registrant (the person to have bought the domain names) suddenly said "I am not renewing my domain names".

I think someone said - somewhere - that this strategy, which consists to increase the number of domains on the market for whatever reason, is too expensive and generates...nothing.

So...where was taken the decision to stop such strategy? At the registrant level...or at the registry?
;-)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The .IDN new gTLD (or .INTERNET)

IDN has a lot of meanings and one of them is "Internationalized Domain Names". It is the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 code for the country of Indonesia too.
The "AGB"
For anybody who went through the process of applying to a new gTLD in the first rounfd of the ICANN new gTLD program, page 67 of the new gTLD applicant guidebook (AGB) says:
"2.2.1.4.1 Treatment of Country or Territory Names: applications for strings that are country or territory names will not be approved, as they are not available under the New gTLD Program in this application round. A string shall be considered to be a country or territory name if: it is an alpha-3 code listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard".
So, someone paid $185,000 + all extra costs to apply for the .IDN new gTLD. The same happened for the .AND new gTLD and a few others I think.

Just for the note, the .IDN applications says:
"The purpose of the proposed gTLD is to offer a bridge for the Internationalized Domain Name Registrant to connect to users beyond their own language communities. This gTLD would be of help in furthering the Internet Communityʹs efforts to preserve the Internet as a unified, Global space. The proposed gTLD .IDN supports multiple cultural, linguistic and ethnic communities across the world by helping communities connect to the rest of the world across the barrier of language".
.IDN or .INTERNET ?
In a letter sent to ICANN in March 05, 2013, the applicant reported his mistake and offered to change it to .INTERNET. Probably a lot happened since 2013 but an answer to the applicant was published by the ICANN on the 24 April 2017 in regard to this change request. It says two things:
  1. "We note your commitment";
  2. "We encourage you to participate in the Policy Development Process".
After 4 years of procedure, there's still no answer.

What to think about all this?
Applying for a new domain name extension cost a lot of money and if the entry fee should be lowered in future rounds of the ICANN new gTLD program (not that nobody can tell about this today), it will still cost a lot so:
  • Do not apply  for a new gTLD if you have not read the applicant guidebook: this should be your bible when it has been updated and finalized for the next round (s);
  • Do not apply for a new gTLD "on your own" because you will forget something: in round one, I personally faced a geek who confirmed his boss that he would take care of the back-end registry process in his office to lower the costs. Talk to a pro with knowledge about new gTLDs.
  • Don't make a mistake with your application because it can then takes YEARS to be solved.
  • And again (even if this has nothing to do with this post) don't talk to backend registry providers about your project because if they don't sign you as their client, chance are high that there could be another applicant for your extension: talk to one new gTLD specialist, not all of them.

Monday, April 24, 2017

New generic Top-Level Domains: recent News

There were interesting news about new gTLDs in the online press these weeks. I strongly recommend the reading of the article about LEGO and the one on how to present a .BRAND domain name in advertising. The news:
  1. China’s Online Dominance Worry Brand Owners;
  2. New - The Mark Validation System;
  3. Events:
    1. Webinar on the Geographic Names;
    2. GDD Industry Summit;
    3. ICANN DNS Symposium;
    4. DNS-OARC.
  4. Multiple Registry pleased to report orders for approximately 90,000 standard name registrations across certain of its US and European facing top-level domains valued at approximately US$500,000;
  5. HOT - LEGO vs Cybersquatters: The burden of new gTLDs;
  6. HOT - Boston Ivy to drop premium renewals;
  7. Did New-GTLDs Start off on the Wrong Foot?
  8. DPML Upgrade for Enhanced Brand Protection;
  9. How selling cheap domains ruins your TLD for all users;
  10. .BRAND Trends and Recent Launches;
  11. HOT - How should I present .BRAND domains in advertising?
  12. Software Updates for Net Domains Could Spur $9.8B in Revenue;
  13. Are New G's INNOVATIVE?
  14. Geographic Names Webinar and ICANN59 Session;
  15. How to Get a Domain Name Transferred under the URS;
  16. This $20 billion company uses a new TLD for its website;
  17. How Brands Should Market Their .BRAND Domain Names;
  18. China’s April batch of approved TLDs has been released;
  19. WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

UPDATE: Orange is launching a Bank

Orange is the name of a fruit, but it is also a major French Trademark in telecommunication: the largest telephone operator in France and probably in many other countries in the world.

Orange is a ".BRAND" applicant
Orange is also a .BRAND new gTLD applicant who applied for the .ORANGE new gTLD. At the moment, the Trademark has two domain names indexed in Google and they are redirections:
  1. entrepreneurclub.orange
  2. startup.orange
The traditional "nic.orange" redirects to a ".com". The Whois seems to redirect to a ".orange" domain name.

Welcome to "Orange Bank"
Orange is the majority shareholder of Groupama Banque which is rebranding to "Orange Bank". The explanation is available here. One will wonder why a French company rebrands to an English name, in particular when Groupama has probably more French clients than English ones. I have a few doubts:
  • Could this change of name to an English one have something to do with the withdrawal of the ".BANQUE" new gTLD*, in which case "Orange Banque" could also have been a good name and orange.banque a fantastic domain name to use? I doubt it.
  • Could another reason be that the Orange Trademark is also managed by the UK? The .ORANGE new gTLD application was submitted by Orange Brand Services Limited, a company based in the United Kingdom, not in France. Come on...
  • Orange is the Registry for its own domain name extension: will it consider a www.banque.orange for the French version of its website and a www.bank.orange for the English one? And...has someone noticed what"s behind www.orange.bank? "Good Lord"...

Orange.bank
I had a look at the Whois to check about the owner of the "orange.bank" domain name and the Registrant is the Orange County Trust Company. The Registrant has an email ending with the orangebanktrust.com domain name and this does not look like it belongs to the telecom company that I use for my mobile. In one word: one of the most important telecom company is launching a new product named "Orange Bank" and the exact same domain name belongs to...some sort of competitor.

Considering the .ORANGE new gTLD?
I am confident that this long time project already has a person in charge of thinking about securing the right domain names upfront and just "naming" in general, but isn't this the perfect moment to demonstrate innovation and start using domain names ending in ".orange"?

UPDATE
It seems that Orange, a French Bank, will be using an english word in its second level domain...with a ".fr" extension: http://www.orangebank.fr. I will keep crying during the next two weeks.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The American Marketing Association

Nice name isn't it?

The American Marketing Association

  • According to PIR, the Registry for .ORG domain names, the domain name "ama.org" was registered in 1994 so we can say that it is an old domain name...short too;
  • According to the AMA, it is an American organisation and it is a reference about Marketing in the US.
Where is all this taking us?
I went to marketing.us and...wrong site: I am sure that you will be happy to search for ads related to Marketing. So I went to http://ama.marketing and guess what?

An association is an organization but what matters the most in a name? The fact that it is an organization or what it does?

The AMA does "Marketing"
New domain names offer precision in branding and branding is the second most important subject on the AMA front page after Advertising so I wonder: isn't it time to re-brand for the AMA, in particular when it already is the Registrant of "ama.marketing"?

Something is blocking and I foresee two reasons why changing name is not in the AMA shortlist of things to do:
  1. Why re-brand when the AMA is already an established website and an already known URL (let's say "domain name")?
  2. SEO: the AMA is already well placed in Google: why take the risk to change this?
Asking the question
I sent an email to the AMA with my question (and hope to receive an answer). I understand that many company do secure domain names to block from squatting. I also undesrtand that the AMA just won't change its name because it implies more changes then (paper documentation, etc...), but I hope that it gives them the idea to think about changing because innovation matters to marketing. And by the way, "innovation" appears 11 times in the marketing definition of Wikipedia.

Register your Trademark using an agent.