Thursday, September 12, 2019

Many new gTLDs to request their .BRAND Designation

The world is full of .BRANDs :-)

Four new gTLD applications from ALIBABA just requested their Specification 13 to become .BRANDs : the lucky applicants TO QUALIFY FOR SPECIFICATION 13 TO THE REGISTRY AGREEMENT are:
  2. .ALIPAY
  3. .TAOBAO
  4. .TMALL
At the moment I am writing these lignes, it seems that .AMAZON and many other Trademarks are doing the same!

The Request from ALIBABA:
This is what the request for .ALIPAY says (the other requests are the same):

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (“Registry Operator”), in connection with the execution of the Registry Agreement for the .ALIPAY TLD (the “Registry Agreement”), hereby applies for .ALIPAY TLD to be qualified by ICANN as a .Brand TLD.

Registry Operator confirms and represents to ICANN that the TLD meets each of the criteria for the TLD to be qualified as a .Brand TLD, as described in the .Brand TLD Application Process and Specification 13 attached thereto, and that all supplemental material accompanying this application is accurate and not misleading in any respect. Registry Operator also represents that the trademark registration attached hereto as Exhibit A, the registration policies attached hereto as Exhibit B, and the SMD file ID number attached hereto as Exhibit C are complete and accurate copies of the official trademark registration, Registry Operator’s registration policies for the TLD, and the SMD file ID for the TLD for which this application is submitted respectively.

Registry Operator agrees that if Registry Operator makes any changes to its registration policies for the TLD (whether before or after this application has been approved) that may disqualify the TLD as a .Brand TLD, it will promptly provide ICANN with a complete and accurate copy of the revised registration policies. In addition, if Registry Operator fails to maintain the trademark registration underlying its .Brand TLD application, it shall promptly notify ICANN of such failure. Registry Operator also agrees to maintain the criteria required to qualify as a .Brand TLD and to immediately notify ICANN of any changes in circumstances that could alter the statements made, and supporting materials provide with, this application.

Because this application is submitted to ICANN after the delegation of the TLD to names ervers designated by the Registry Operator into the root- zone, Registry Operator represents to ICANN that all domain names that are registered in the TLD are registered to and maintained in compliance with the requirements of the .Brand TLD definition.

Registry Operator acknowledges and agrees that this letter is binding on Registry Operator and, if any of the foregoing representations and agreements becomes untrue or not complied with, it shall be deemed a breach of the Registry Agreement by Registry Operator, and ICANN may assert its rights under the Registry Agreement, including by determining that the TLD no longer qualifies as a .Brand TLD pursuant to the terms of Specification 13.

There are exhibits of trademark registrations and an 18 pages request. To learn more from this and read the full list of applicants, click here.

Monday, September 9, 2019

It's .NEW (Sunrise Period coming)

The .NEW (pronounced "dotnew") Sunrise Period was just announced by the Trademark Clearinghouse. This extension belongs to Google.

  • START: Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 - 16:00;
  • END: Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 - 16:00.
What the application says:
Charleston Road Registry is an American company, wholly owned by Google, which was established to provide registry services to the Internet public. Google is an American multinational public corporation and global technology leader focused on improving the ways its hundreds of millions of users connect with information. Since its formation, Google has been developing technology that can improve upon existing ways of doing business on the Internet. Google provides a variety of services and tools for Internet users and advertisers of all sizes, from simple search features and local ads to enterprise-scale business applications and global advertising solutions. These tools make it easier for people to make use of the world’s information and enable entrepreneurs and publishers around the world to grow their businesses.  
In line with Google’s general mission, Charleston Road Registry’s mission is to help make information universally accessible by extending the utility of the DNS while enhancing the performance, security and stability of the Internet for users worldwide. Charleston Road Registry aspires to create unique web spaces where users can learn about products, services and information in a targeted manner and in ways never before seen on the Internet. Its business objective is to manage Google’s gTLD portfolio and Google’s registry operator business. As discussed further in the responses to questions 23 and 31, Charleston Road Registry intends to outsource all critical registry functions to Google Registry Services.  
The proposed gTLD will provide the marketplace with direct association to the term, ʺnew.ʺ The mission of this gTLD, .new, is to provide a dedicated domain space in which registrants can enact second-level domains that position content as ʺnew.ʺ This mission will enhance consumer choice by providing new availability in the second-level domain space, creating new layers of organization on the Internet, and signaling the kind of content available in the domain. Charleston Road Registry believes that registrants will find value in associating with this gTLD, which could have a vast array of purposes from enterprises, small businesses, groups or individuals seeking to associate with the term ʺnew.ʺ Charleston Road Registry expects these uses may include but are not limited to applications such as media (tv, author and marketing campaigns (, 
The proposed gTLD will also provide Charleston Road Registry with the means to meet its business objectives.
Just for the note
There is a .NEWS (for News) that exists too and you will find it in the list of similar Top-Level Domains that I created.

Learn more here.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Another 2 new gTLDs are terminated

The ICANN terminated another two 2 new gTLDs. The new domain name extensions concerned are:
  1. .MOBILY
  2. .xn--mgbb9fbpob or .موبايلي (the Arabic IDN for "mobily").
The 2 extensions are from GreenTech Consultancy W.L.L. and both are .BRAND domain name extensions but neither ".xn--mgbb9fbpob" nor ".mobily" were granted a specification 13 according to the Trademark Clearinghouse.

This is what the application said for .MOBILY
Mobily’s TLD is intended to benefit Internet users by enabling Etihad Etisalat (dba Mobily) and its affiliates (collectively “The Company”) to communicate more easily and effectively with all Internet users, and particularly with The Company’s many customers, employees and affiliates. The TLD will become a supporting branding, technology and services platform for The Company’s mission and its businesses.  
The Mobily Registry will provide an Internet space, under control of The Company, to allow the distribution and exchange of information among The Company and its stakeholders by means of, but not limited to, websites, social networks, email and other technologies that will reside within the Mobily 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. And of course, the TLD will be used to promote and deliver our telecommunications services. 
The Mobily IDN Registry will further provide a fully Arabic language alternative for Mobily. With its roots in the Middle East and vast and varied business operations throughout the region, and the ongoing expansion of the global IDN domain space, the IDN TLD will prove useful to The Company and its affiliates.
The Company intends initially to reserve all names within the TLD to itself, and to later register and use any of those domain names for promotional and navigational purposes relating to The Company’s online presence and⁄or provision of goods and services.
Eventually, The Company may allow third parties to license the use of names within the TLD. The Company intends to control content of websites and other uses of domain names within the TLD via contract with any third-party licensees, if any, and via monitoring and enforcement of those contractual provisions.
I had briefly spoken about the .MOBILY new gTLD with two other consultants...but it appears that no one had enough imagination to come out with a solution for .MOBILY.

Sunday, September 1, 2019


All new gTLD reports were updated for the month of August 2019.
  1. New gTLDs related to POLITICS (.gop - .vote - .republican - .democrat - etc...);
  2. New gTLDs related to LUXURY (.rich - .yachts - .chanel - etc...);
  3. New gTLDs related to the MUSIC community (.music - .band - .hiphop - etc...);
  4. New gTLDs related to CATERING and CULINARY (.restaurant - .kitchen - .bar - etc...);
  5. New gTLDs related to PHOTOGRAPHY (.photo - .film - .gallery - etc...);
  6. New gTLDs related to CITIES : these are city names only (.london - .tokyo - etc...);
  7. New gTLDs related to COMPANIES : companies should keep an eye on these;
  8. New gTLDs related to the LAW and LEGAL matters (.legal - .attorney - .lawyer - etc...);
  9. New gTLDs related to FINANCE (.credit - .capital - .finance - etc...).
  10. New gTLDs related to a COLOR (.orange - .pink - .green - etc...);
  11. New gTLDs related to SPORTS (.hockey - .basketball - .ski - etc...);
  12. New gTLDs related to ALCOHOL (.beer - .wine - .vodka - etc...);
  13. New gTLDs related to REAL ESTATE (.realestate - .realtor - .villas - etc...);
  14. New gTLDs related to RELIGION (.catholic - .bible - .church - etc...);
  15. New gTLDs related to CARS (.taxi - .auto - .car - etc...);
  16. New gTLDs related to HEALTH (.health - .doctor - .hospital - etc...);
  17. New gTLDs related to ADULTS (.porn - .sexy - etc...);
  18. Multiple Registries : group of Registries operating five (5) and more domain name extensions;
  19. 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);
  20. FRENCH new gTLD applications : these are applications submitted by French companies only.

The .BUZZ Explosion

This title might sound crazy but it appears that I must have missed something: the .BUZZ new gTLD added 60,000+ domain names to its one single month.

March 2019
In March 2019, the .BUZZ new gTLD hardly passed the 10,000 domain name registrations: its contract was signed in October 2013 and already passed the 10,000 registrations several times (and went below) but never went above 12,000 regs until August 2019.

August 2019
When a Registry navigates around 10,000 records and adds 5000 from a month to the other, this is to be noticed,but 60, highly noticed. Checking the outdated news from 2018 at the Registry website, nothing explains such an explosion of domain name registrations.

There is something here that I need to understand. Let's ask Bill Doshier.

Answer from Bill just received :

Hi Jean,
Thanks for noticing.

Briefly,  a one month very successful test run in Asia. Very pleased here. Looking for additional opportunities.  More to come.


Thank you Bill. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The .EVERBANK new gTLD is terminated

This is no surprise since EVERBANK changed name between the moment its application was validated by the ICANN on May the 15th 2014 (signature of its Registry agreement with the ICANN) and June 12 in 2017, when TIAA, "announced the completion of its acquisition of EverBank Financial Corp and its wholly owned subsidiary EverBank. The transaction was originally announced August 8, 2016. On June 4, 2018 TIAA announced the launch of TIAA Bank, bringing together EverBank and TIAA Direct under a new name and brand" (source Wikipedia).

Notices of Termination and Status of gTLD
  • Date of Termination Notice: 4 June 2019;
  • gTLD (Registry Operator): .everbank (EverBank);
  • Type of Termination: Termination by Registry Operator Section 4.4(b);
  • Comments on Preliminary Determination:
    • Open Date: 13 August 2019;
    • End Date: 12 September 2019.
  • Preliminary Determination by ICANN to Not Transition Operation of the gTLD (13 August 2019).
Purpose of the proposed gTLD was:
Extracted from the application: "Applicant EverBank is the banking subsidiary of EverBank Financial Corp, a diversified financial services company that provides innovative banking, lending and investing products and services to approximately 575,000 customers nationwide through scalable, low-cost distribution channels. We market and distribute our products and services primarily through our integrated online financial portal, which is augmented by our nationwide network of independent financial advisors, 14 high-volume financial centers in targeted Florida markets and other financial intermediaries. These channels are connected by technology-driven centralized platforms, which provide operating leverage throughout our business".

There is a lot more said in the application but I focused on what mattered to the end user.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The .BEST Registry: One Year After

The .BEST new gTLD registry was acquired one year ago exactly. I interviewed his CEO Cyril Fremont for an update about two important aspects of the project: adoption of “.best” domain names by the public, and THE.BEST : a new kind of social network offering its members a “.best” domain name, and to be paid for their reviews.

The Interview:
(This article was first published on LinkedIn)

Jean Guillon: Hello Cyril, we had this interview in November 2018, 3 months after the .BEST Registry was acquired by yourself, and I wanted to follow-up with you on the global project. It will now be one year so, how are things doing today?

Cyril Fremont: Hi Jean, and thanks for the invitation. Well, a lot has happened since and, like it often happens when delivering innovation, we’ve had a lot of good surprises, learnt new things, but the most important is that we have executed the .BEST Registry’s plan for this first year.

Jean Guillon: On innovation and new services, I kept an eye on your development and noticed that many Brand Protection companies are now offering the new Brands.Best protection service for their clients to secure their Trademark(s) on the entire .BEST domain name extension: how strings (second level domains) can be secured on the .BEST database?

Cyril Fremont: Well, since 1st June 2019 and following the INTA 2019 in Boston, we are now offering a comprehensive .BEST protection service for brands and Trademark holders who want to block any .BEST domain name containing their Trademark from a possible registration. It is really important for us to allow and give +6 months to brands, to protect their Trademark before the official launch of THE.BEST social network.

Clearly, THE.BEST social network is an amazing marketing and advertising opportunity for brands but also a serious threat to Trademarks. Cyber squatting is already a nightmare on existing centralized social networks so the question is not “when”, but “how much” cyber squatting can happen for a single brand within THE.BEST social network if they don’t secure their domain name(s); not to mention that our social network will also affect the reputation of all major brands revealing the user’s satisfaction score of any product or service.

Jean Guillon: You recently announced a standard price drop with an offer to renew “.best“ domain names at the best price. I registered for a certain number of domain names and I will certainly benefit from this new renewal pricing but you will find my question very straight forward: how do you earn money?

Cyril Fremont: Well, we have actually 3 different channel revenues : (the registry), (the brand protection program) and (the social network).

On the registry side (, like all TLDs, we sell domain names the standard way through our network of accredited registrars and we also sell premium names directly to big brands. We registered a huge number of amazing premium sales over the last few months.

The key with our “.best” premium names is that we don’t just sell a domain name: we sell a business plan with a target ROI to our end-users.

“Best” is part of the most typed keyword in google searches. Millions of daily searches are related to the best. This is why we are so successful selling premium domain names ending in “.best”.

The string “Best” is such a strong asset that we don’t sell names: we sell brand equity!

So, on the brand side, we also offer a subscription protection service to block any possible Trademark cyber squatting. This new brand protection service really is a critical mission: it’s not just a business for us as we want to avoid recreating a cyber squatting nightmare at the public launch of our social network the way it happened with the .TK for instance. Our last channel is THE.BEST social network. We already start generating advertising revenues on THE.BEST social media early adopters. We also offer a satisfaction monitoring service and a review sponsoring service to brands which should become our mainstream revenue for the coming years. Facebook has announced that they were doing +120$ per user in the USA on advertising in 2018. We still target an audience of 100M .BEST users on THE.BEST social network.

Globally, ( + + over the last 12 months, we have reached break-even!

On the registry side, we have executed our .BEST plan to be up to 20K live domains on the 1st year anniversary of the .BEST acquisition, and we are proud about that.

We pay very much attention to what we spend and focus on what matters. But in the next few months and following our price change on 5th August, we will now invest a lot in Marketing.

Right now, the protection service is what matters for us but the next big thing FY2020 is THE.BEST social network, please note this.

Jean Guillon: What’s that thing about “Decentralized platforms” that you keep referring to? I understand that it deals with THE.BEST social network to launch anytime soon but it is still a little unclear to me. As a future user of THE.BEST social network, what difference will it make for me?

Cyril Fremont: We are all aware about the problems related to data privacy and the use some social networks have of our personal details. A decentralized platform will allow us to ensure that the respect of your private information will correspond to what the law says in your country of residence. Furthermore, it’s not just about data ownership, it’s also about data responsibility. Coz if you are the owner of your data, then you are also responsible of then, the same way you are for a domain name.

Jean Guillon: Let’s talk about numbers now, shall we?

Cyril Fremont: well Jean, you follow us on Twitter and you probably noticed that we Tweet a lot about our registration figures: we had as an objective to develop “.best” domain names and to meet with adoption. When we acquired the extension, there were - if I remember well - something around 2,500 domain names created. We now deliver an average of 1,000 more domain names per week and we now have more than 23,000 domains registered. This is good but believe me...this is nothing compared to where we are going!

As I like to say, we are not even “day 1”. Scaling the unscalable is THE.BEST game.

Jean Guillon: Ok, so when is Day 1?

Day 1 will be the launch of THE.BEST social network!

Jean Guillon: I noticed your two YouTube channels, there is one for THE.BEST (which has not launched yet) and another for the Registry. This is something that registries don’t usually do and that they often drop once the TLD has launched: I kind of like the story telling but what happens when the TLD has launched?

Cyril Fremont: Yes, service providers tend to launch many communication tools thinking that they will contribute to their visibility. It is usually true at the beginning but then they often just leave it as it is and forget about it, not wondering about the bad effect it can have on their image then.

I am still not happy with what we have done on the video side. We can do more and we will do more.

The subject of domain names is not an exciting one for all social media users, but we are innovators with our Registry and we think that our story is a good one to tell.

Plus on THE.BEST social network, we will start a process of interviewing with all “Best” players of all major industries.

We also want to make history here and become an example to follow the way the .CLUB registry did.

For me the .CLUB is also a good example to follow. I like the string, they have an innovative marketing, start to have a strong user adoption and a great usage of their TLD, not to mention that they have a smart team that helps also for execution.

Jean Guillon: Talking about other TLDs, there was a deal signed with the AFNIC, the .FR Registry: can you tell me more about it? I understood that new registrants of a “.fr” domain name will be offered the same ending in “.best”?

Cyril Fremont: Yes, this is what the deal is about : a “.best” domain name will be registered for free for one year for each new “.fr” registration. The .FR had +600k new registrations last year so the potential for us is important in France and we already had the support of all major French registrars such as OVH, Gandi, NETIM, NameBay, Hosteur, ...

It’s historic and once again, we are the first to have made a such co-marketing partnership between a new gTLD and and a cctld (country code). I would even say that it’s not the last one, because other partnerships are coming and will be announced.

The idea here is also to prepare the launch of THE.BEST social network as every registered “.best” domain (free or not) will be able to be directly linked to THE.BEST social network beginning 2020. Usage = Value, that will be our difference.

Jean Guillon: Well, thank you Cyril for this interview. Can you remind me when THE.BEST Social Network is launching again and are there any other surprises coming?

Cyril Fremont: THE.BEST social network is coming FY2020. The next big surprise is that we have also decided to open the usage of THE.BEST social network to other TLDs, but that’s another story and I give you “rendez-vous” next year for that part. So, stay tuned, THE.BEST is yet to come!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

New gTLD Investor speaking at the Asheville Investor’s MeetUp

Legendary domain name investor Michael Berkens talks about new gTLDs at the 1st Annual Asheville Domainer Investors MeetUp. Some of the information he shares in this talk has never been discussed before.

Morgan Linton is the co-founder at Bold Metrics, a SaaS solution that is changing the way the world's most innovative brands make clothes. Learn more on LinkedIn.

Monday, August 5, 2019

New gTLD reports are Up-To-Date

All 20 new gTLD reports for July the 31 were updated. Reminder: these reports are monthly domain name registration volumes according to categories of domain name extensions:
  1. New gTLDs related to POLITICS (.gop - .vote - .republican - .democrat - etc...);
  2. New gTLDs related to LUXURY (.rich - .yachts - .chanel - etc...);
  3. New gTLDs related to the MUSIC community (.music - .band - .hiphop - etc...);
  4. Multiple Registries : group of Registries operating five (5) and more domain name extensions;
  5. 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);
  6. New gTLDs related to CATERING and CULINARY (.restaurant - .kitchen - .bar - etc...);
  7. New gTLDs related to PHOTOGRAPHY (.photo - .film - .gallery - etc...);
  8. New gTLDs related to CITIES : these are city names only (.paris - .london - .tokyo - etc...);
  9. New gTLDs related to COMPANIES : new domain name extensions that we believe a company should keep its eyes on;
  10. New gTLDs related to the LAW and LEGAL matters (.legal - .attorney - .lawyer - etc...);
  11. New gTLDs related to FINANCE (.credit - .capital - .finance - etc...);
  12. New gTLDs related to a COLOR (.orange - .pink - .green - etc...);
  13. New gTLDs related to SPORTS (.hockey - .basketball - .ski - etc...);
  14. New gTLDs related to ALCOHOL (.beer - .wine - .vodka - etc...);
  15. New gTLDs related to REAL ESTATE (.realestate - .realtor - .villas - etc...);
  16. FRENCH new gTLD applications : these are applications submitted by French companies only;
  17. New gTLDs related to RELIGION (.catholic - .bible - .church - etc...);
  18. New gTLDs related to CARS (.taxi - .auto - .car - etc...);
  19. New gTLDs related to HEALTH (.health - .doctor - .hospital - etc...);
  20. New gTLDs related to ADULTS (no comment).

Friday, July 26, 2019


I investigated a little bit and I found that no super star operates his or her own Name or Trademark as a new domain name extension. As a fan, I believe that the Rihanna string is a good case figure to take a look terms of online innovation.

The first thing that I did was to enter Rihanna on a search engine: not only I made a mistake in writing the name (mixing the “i” and the “h”) but I also forgot an “n”. I found plenty of content on the first page about my superstar. In the order: some “top stories” from various sources of information, then the Wikipedia page, the link to her twitter account, a website with an old kind of title, her Instagram account, then a YouTube channel, etc…

There is a “.com”
I notice the domain name is listed but I didn’t see the, even if it does exist. It seems that someone chose to communicate on the rather than the domain name. I sincerely hope that this same person noticed that there is a “.now” domain name extension coming anytime soon: something like could be an idea but hey...this is not the subject here.
All superstars tend to do the same

Beyoncé displays the exact same content in Google, in the exact same order. Madonna does almost the same too. I quite like Sting too and guess what: they all have their name ending in “.com” and the exact same communication channels (Yes Wikipedia is a channel, Twitter, Facebook, a website… but none uses his or her name as a new domain name extension: there is are no domain names ending in “.rihanna”, “.beyoncé” (with an accent), “.madonna” or “.sting”.

Rihanna is not just a singer
Rihann is a singer but she also “is” lingerie with Savagex and “cosmetics” like perfume trademarks and names, etc: dozens of generic strings like “perfume”, “fashion”, “bio”, “shop”, or “fragrance” that any communication specialist would want to use on the Internet to increase visibility for the super star’s products: doesn’t something like www.perfume.rihanna looks descriptive? What about www.fragrance.rihanna : not nicer than

What about : wouldn’t it be instantly recognizable when searching for her involvement into the Clara Lionel Foundation?

Music.rihanna makes sense too and there are many more to suggest when digging on her main website.

Branding but not only
There are many other advantages when focusing on one single branding for Internet (security, brand protection, positioning, U-N-I-C-I-T-Y, etc…) instead of several different domains names but if many, like Jovenet Consulting, have already discussed this, there is one thing for sure: there are no superstars to have considered taking advantage of the new gTLD tool as a Brand...yet.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The .MADRID Sunrise Perdiod

The Sunrise Period for the .MADRID new gTLD starts today.

The purpose of .MADRID
This content was extracted from the application submitted to the ICANN:

The Comunidad de Madrid (the Government of the Region of Madrid) is applying for the .madrid TLD to serve the Madrid’s community, defined as the community of individuals and legal entities with a bona fide presence, direct or indirect, in the Region of Madrid, including Madrid as the capital of Spain.

The goals of .MADRID are:
  • Facilitating digital communications from, to and within the Region of Madrid.
  • Providing a platform for the urban development in the digital space of the Region of Madrid.
  • Strengthening the image of Madrid in the online world.
This is to be achieved by:
  • Actively designing and developing the .madrid TLD name space with a focus on the needs of the Region of Madrid, involving cultural, civil society, business and public-sector stakeholders.
  • Allowing registrations of second-level domains in the .madrid TLD by individuals and organizations with a bona fide nexus with the Madrid area.
  • Operating the .madrid TLD under the stewardship of the Region of Madrid in consultation with the local public authorities of the area and the private-sector stakeholders. 
The .madrid TLD will be the new trusted domain-name space that offers a secure and global option for local institutions, companies, brands and citizens. It will allow them all to be present online by creating a multicultural space that integrates and facilitates new opportunities; a space that enables the materialization of public and private initiatives in order to promote and strengthen the brand image online driven by the solid image that Madrid already enjoys globally.

As .madrid Registry, the Region of Madrid (Comunidad de Madrid) is well aware of and fully acknowledges, the responsibility that arises from the management of the domain name ad commits to manage it in full respect of the interest of both the .madrid and the larger Internet communities.

The constant and sustained effort made during the last years, makes that the implementation of the Information Society in the Madrid area is a consolidated fact and in this sense, the Region of Madrid is the most suitable public institution to execute the management and running of the .madrid TLD.

  • START: Tuesday, 16 July, 2019 - 16:00
  • END: Thursday, 3 October, 2019 - 16:00
To learn more, check the TMCH website.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

A .PROVENCE new gTLD coming?

Dixit Wikipedia, "Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south".

Domains ending in .PROVENCE
That is what the website says and it is located here. There is a twitter account too. Checking again, the account was opened in 2015 which means that the project is not so new and actually, I remember travelling to Provence for an old meeting about that project before 2012.

My opinion on such project:
  1. There is no doubt that a .PROVENCE makes a strong sense for the identity of the French Provence: for Tourism and Culture, I am definitely buying. Actually, I am more buying for the Cultural aspect because that is an excellent opportunity to distribute knowledge about this location's culture, in the long term.
  2. For SEO, I am definitely buying too because any company connected to the subject of Provence takes the lead developing another version of its website in another language, using this domain name: 2 websites connecting one to the other is good for their positioning on search engines. Also it often happens that French tourism websites also have an English translation: drop the long URL and use a second domain name. If you have two languages already, maintaining two websites instead of one will not require so much extra work but a few changes.
  3. Sales is where I have a doubt. There are many similar projects and we've learnt that it takes time for end users to come to buy such highly identical domain names. Financing such projects often comes from taxpayers and if I agree to pay taxes to finance such TLDs, I disagree completely when operators/owners of the projects keep using ".com" or ".fr" domain names when they should show the way: shouldn't official websites massively promote such domain names and start with "using them"? What about front pages and newsletters of these official websites: shouldn't they "always" refer to the existence of such domain names and point to their registration? "Don't do what I do, just do what I say".
Tip: did you investigate your Wikipedia pages and add your TLD to them? This is about culture and history too ;-)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Now more simple to find a new gTLD

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Challenge of 20K .BEST domains

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Companies and generic gTLDs

New gTLD registration volumes from extensions that I believe Companies should keep an eye on. Most are generic Domain name extensions. Some IDNs (extensions with accents or non ASCII) were added to this list. Two legacy Top-Level Domains were added to this report.

This report is dated June the 30th 2019.

.公司 (company)42,95242,91642,90942,48042,320
.商标 (trademark)25,06925,15725,57525,85226,153
.集团 (corporate group)1,2121,8881,8661,2882,057
.世界 (world)1,4381,4381,4431,4441,446
Legacy TLDs:

In red are listed the number of domain names lost from a month to the other, in blue, when the increase is noticeable.

Monday, July 8, 2019

New gTLD Reports for June/July 2019

At the end of each month, are updated 20 new gTLD reports with a focus on the number of domain names registered in categorized domain name extensions. Are listed in red the volumes of domains which decrease from a month to the other, and in blue when the increase is noticeable.

Down each report, you can select the year of interest and check if users have shown interest...or not.
  1. New gTLDs related to LUXURY (.rich - .yachts - .chanel - etc...);
  2. New gTLDs related to the MUSIC community (.music - .band - .hiphop - etc...);
  3. Multiple Registries : group of Registries operating five (5) and more domain name extensions;
  4. 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);
  5. New gTLDs related to CATERING and CULINARY (.restaurant - .kitchen - .bar - etc...);
  6. New gTLDs related to PHOTOGRAPHY (.photo - .film - .gallery - etc...);
  7. New gTLDs related to CITIES : these are city names only (.london - .tokyo - etc...);
  8. New gTLDs related to COMPANIES : new domain name extensions that we believe a company should keep its eyes on;
  9. NEW - New gTLDs related to POLITICS (.gop - .vote - .republican - .democrat - etc...);
  10. New gTLDs related to the LAW and LEGAL matters (.legal - .attorney - .lawyer - etc...);
  11. New gTLDs related to FINANCE (.credit - .capital - .finance - etc...);
  12. New gTLDs related to a COLOR (.orange - .pink - .green - etc...);
  13. New gTLDs related to SPORTS (.hockey - .basketball - .ski - etc...);
  14. New gTLDs related to ALCOHOL (.beer - .wine - .vodka - etc...);
  15. New gTLDs related to REAL ESTATE (.realestate - .realtor - .villas - etc...);
  16. FRENCH new gTLD applications : these are applications submitted by French companies only;
  17. New gTLDs related to RELIGION (.catholic - .bible - .church - etc...);
  18. New gTLDs related to CARS (.taxi - .auto - .car - etc...);
  19. New gTLDs related to HEALTH (.health - .doctor - .hospital - etc...);
  20. New gTLDs related to ADULTS (no comment).

Friday, July 5, 2019

Official Agreement signed between .BEST and .FR

The document is available for download in French down this post.

Le .Best conclut un accord de partenariat historique avec le .fr pour favoriser l’adoption des noms de domaine en France !

Paris, le 3 Juillet 2019 – THE BEST, la première et seule entreprise Française à avoir réussi à racheter une Nouvelle Extension Générique Internet : le .Best, est heureux d’annoncer la conclusion d’un accord de partenariat historique en France avec l’Afnic, l’association en charge des noms de domaine en .fr et premier registre internet français.

Ensemble, .Best et .fr encouragent ainsi l’adoption des noms de domaine sur le marché français. C’est une alliance entre 2 entreprises Françaises, qui placent les valeurs éthiques de l’internet et l’excellence au premier plan.

Cet accord permettra notamment d’offrir gratuitement un nom de domaine en .Best à tous les utilisateurs qui enregistreront un nom de domaine en .fr chez tous les bureaux d’enregistrement Français partenaires de cette opération.

“Nous sommes très fiers d’avoir comme premier partenaire l’Afnic, qui s’est engagé depuis sa création dans une démarche éthique très forte qui contribue au quotidien à un internet plus sûr et stable en France. Il s’agit d’un accord historique puisque c’est aussi le premier partenariat entre une nouvelle extension générique internet (le .best) et une extension internet de pays (le .fr)” – affirme Cyril Frémont, le CEO du .Best

“Depuis son acquisition en 2018, le .Best se développe et se présente comme une initiative portée par une jeune entreprise Française. L'Afnic, leader français du secteur des noms de domaine, accueille avec intérêt et enthousiasme l'apparition d'un nouvel acteur français, dont nous espérons qu'il pourra devenir un champion dans le secteur des noms de domaines génériques. Cette promotion visant à permettre la découverte du .Best pour l'achat d'un nom de domaine en .fr illustre cette volonté d'accompagner les acteurs français des noms de domaine.” complète Pierre Bonis, Directeur Général de l’Afnic.

A propos de THE BEST
Fondée en 2018, THE BEST est la première et unique société française à exploiter une nouvelle extension internet générique de premier niveau : le .Best

Cyril Frémont, Président de THE BEST, est un entrepreneur Internet depuis 1996. Il a débuté sa carrière dans la Silicon Valley et participé au succès de plusieurs startups internet : ARIBA, INTERSHOP, … Il a fallu 5 ans à Cyril Frémont pour compléter l'acquisition du .Best avec l’aide d’investisseurs privés, et le soutien de BPI France.

Contact Presse:
Bernard-Xavier Spokojny +33 (0)6 03 25 28 77
Laurence Caron +33 (0)6 09 24 36 85

Download the agreement (PDF download)

Thursday, July 4, 2019

ICANN Round 2: What You Should Know

This article was first published on CircleID.

There are 2 things to know and 1 thing to do "first".

What you should know
    1. We need a date. Even the ICANN has no clue when the next round will start and if it does, you should know that the first round has to be finished prior for the next one to start. This is what the previous applicant guidebook says. Read it if you feel like entering our strange world. No exact definition of "first round has to be finished prior for the next one starts" so is really up to the ICANN to give us a date but according to what I read, some cases are not yet ended and the .AMAZON new gTLD is a good example to give. I read that the ICANN would announce a date in the Marrakesh meeting...great. Note that without an official announcement from the ICANN with a firm date of the next round...nothing happens.
    2. We need the latest applicant guidebook. This one is a long story and a long document to write. Many groups are working on it for the ICANN have to participate to them and "attend webinars" to follow-up with this. Note that once the applicant guidebook has been revealed, it is the same for all and there is no "passe droit" at the ICANN to have your application submitted first before your competitor. I would even suggest not to deal with ICANN insiders (who can also be new gTLD service providers) too much because no one knows if conflict of interests could be revealed, putting the submission of your application in danger. Without the official - and final - applicant guidebook announced and published by the ICANN...nothing happens. ICANN decides.
What you should do "first"
There is one obvious thing to do FIRST: what do you want to do with your domain name extension?
  • If you want to sell domain names becoming a registry, you have to know if there is a market and you should study numbers too: if neither a market nor numbers are there, you will waste your money and fail your project. Think that Premium domain names will save your project? Good luck to you then but it is a risky decision. Note that if your TLD is any good (.DRONE - .SEO - .TRANSLATE - .WHATEVER...)...but not so good in the end, there could be someone (a backend-registry service providers, entrepreneur, etc...) to buy it from you to help you get rid of it...or not. But is that what you want to achieve? There are failed projects and some keep failing still because...demand is not there.
    Before you take the decision to invest in a new gTLD, put some imagination in your business model and don't focus on selling domain names only, there are other things to do with a new gTLD...unless you have the right market.
  • If you want to apply for your .BRAND domain name extension, you should watch what's being done and wonder if it is worth it to do the same financially because operating your .BRAND means that you have access to all domain names in your TLD: ALL OF THEM. Isn't it interesting to be able to operate a generic domain name such as www.yourservice.brand or www.yourproduct.brand? What about when you sell pizzas? It is and that is what .BRAND new gTLDs are for. But at what price?
    A good question to have is: how much is it going to cost me to register one single domain name in my extension when any domain name from another public domain name extension would cost you $10 to 20$ per year to renew?
    Is it worth it for my image, or project, to pay a high price per personalized domain name? Many existing .BRANDs never had these questions and just secured their extension at an extremely high do nothing with it (note that securing a .BRAND TLD for no purpose can be a project).
    I personally believe that it is worth it to pay a higher price per domain name per year for a .BRAND but this calculation should be done on the global price per year to maintain your TLD at the backend registry level (and other service providers); and ensure that you understood this pricing: you don't want to find out that it cost you an average of $800 per year (and sometimes much more) for one single domain name registered, do you?
What you should do first is simple and very basic actually: don't repeat failures from the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program. Want to ask the right person on what works and what does not work? Don't hire a new gTLD service provider, talk to the operator of a registry ;-)

Follow-up with new gTLDs
Now you read "what you should know", you'll probably want to know where to go to be informed and I created a place just for this. Also, be sure that such announcements will be made on CircleId by most service providers.

Register your Trademark using an agent.