Monday, March 25, 2019

Follow-up with new gTLDs

There are several way to follow-up with new gTLDs. One of them is to check all known websites informing about the subject. Another one is to subscribe to a "feed" which delivers the news to you. These are the some tools you can use:
  1. The new gTLD Group on Google:
    1. To post: email to post@jovenet.consulting (group is moderated)
    2. To read: just visit the group
    3. To receive alerts: ask for an invitation
  2. The gTLD Newsletter;
  3. The new gTLD group on LinkedIn (note that LinkedIn does not send alerts anymore and requires to visit the group;
  4. More options are available here.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Owner of Bank.best explains his acquisition

A Trader just acquired BANK.best and explains his plans for this very specific domain name.

 

".BEST ORIGINAL SERIES" are episodes of the .Best team or guests, explaining who they are, what they do, what is their vision, and what are the news coming.

Subscribe here.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Bright way to inform about new extensions

I just saw that offer for Premium domain names sold "in a package" and I find that this is a bright way to offer them. If I am not so much in buying Premium domain names or participating to auctions, I believe that considering categories of TLDs is very important prior to buying a domain name at the regular price. For example, one would be interested to know that there is a dozen of domain name extensions dedicated to the business of Music. When preparing to buy a domain name to publish a content about Music...one should better know about what exists on the market.

Categories of TLDs did not exist in the past
In "the past", you would have bought a ".com", or a domain name from your country of residence ending in two letters. Today is different, when buying a new domain name within a certain business, it remains difficult to be informed that many extensions could match with the second level domain desired; even worse when the plural version of a domain name extension exists: if you are in the Real Estate business for example, you should check this list of domain name extensions before buying. I would also suggest to check that list of similar extensions too...and maybe that one too* for plurals.

What I saw
I follow a limited number of Twitter accounts and the Registry of African Geo TLDs Twitted this link on which you can read ".Africa .CapeTown .Durban and .Joburg domains from only $1.50 per slice". As a person interested in buying domain names from this region, I would certainly be interested in knowing that these domain name extensions also exist for the domain name that I am about to buy.

What about Registrars?
I know how difficult it is to create the right algorithm to suggest registrants the right domain name but unless I am wrong, and after checking at many registrars, all focus on the second level domain and none on the first level domain itself.

* These lists are frequently copied by Corporate Registrars lacking ideas ;-)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

New bTLD stands for blockchain Top-Level Domain

Isn't it exciting? A new ICANN acronym was just invented and we could hear about it while the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program prepares. Small reminder:
  • new gTLD stands for "new generic Top-Level Domain";
  • ccTLD stands for "country code Top-Level Domain";
  • bTLD now stands for blockchain Top-Level Domain".

Monday, March 11, 2019

New gTLDs: Round 2 possible timeline

Quarter one of 2022 is the possible date announced for the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program: 10 years after. This slide was extracted from the an ICANN meeting yesterday.

(click to enlarge)

To follow up with all this, check the group for new gTLD News. For questions: Jovenet Consulting.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Community new gTLD applications: wrong choice

This article was first published on CircleId.

Community new gTLD applications were one of the three options offered by version 1 one of ICANN new gTLD applicant guidebook. It was also possible submit a "generic" or a "geographic application". I dug on the ICANN website and found out that, in the end - and according to me only - it was a bed choice to submit such application.

The figures
  • The ICANN website lists 84 applications submitted to the ICANN;
  • 52 were delegated;
  • 20 were withdrawn;
  • 10 have/had objection(s);
  • 9 receive a warning from a government (at least);
  • 5 had a string contention;
  • 4 are still "on hold" (.MUSIC - .KIDS - .MERCH - .HOTEL);
  • 3 were not approved;
  • none received an applicant support from the ICANN;
  • the .BUGATTI new gTLD is a community application (...), not a .BRAND
  • Many trademarks submitted community applications;
  • some city names and territories are listed as community applications (.PARIS - .WIEN - .BZH ...);
  • ICANN sometimes forgets to update its datas so some of the 84 applications mentioned could have changed.
"Volumes", "usage" or both?
I went through the 52 delegated applications to investigate which ones have lots of domain name registrations and which ones don't. Volumes of domain name creations are important because they are a good indicator if the new gTLD is a successful project or not. Now: are volumes an indicator of usage: it is up to you to decide and don't care what you think ;-) This is what I found:
  • The .OVH new gTLD has 62,000+ domain name registrations;
  • The .BERLIN new gTLD has 54,800+
  • The .PARIS new gTLD has 20,900+
  • The .SWISS new gTLD has 17,900+
  • The .WIEN new gTLD has 15,400+
  • The .HAMBURG new gTLD has 23,400+
  • The .SCOT new gTLD has 11,500+
All other new gTLDs unlisted here have less than 10,000 registrations. This is surprising because we have very generic terms such as .ARCHI (for architecture), the .SKI and .NGO new gTLDs. The .ECO domain name extension has 3,8400+ domain names created.

Conclusion
We can easily see that none of these applications has passed the 100,000 registrations. If I perfectly understand that prices are not the same to register a domain name and "usage" matters; well, I also know how much it cost to maintain a registry and I would not want to operate a registry that has less than 10,000 registrations. In all of these cases, and no matter if a multiple registry lowers its cost operating multiple extensions, I am not sure that it is worth it to submit "another" community application in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program...just because it limits domain name registrations to that specific community and also...because figures demonstrate that on a list of 52 TLDs, 7 only have more than 10,000 domain names on the market. Note that this does not even mean that they are used with a real website. We also know that restricting registrations to a so called community is just a line on the paper, anybody can pay to register a .SKI domain name (for example), it is absolutely not "restricted" in reality.

So: worth it for the next round? No...but that's just according to me.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

.BEST : complementary to .COM ?

Announced this morning by the registry, the number of 10,000 domain name registrations was reached. The number is interesting here because it took a few months for the new operator of ".best" domain names to reach out to this number compared to other new registries which have existed...for years and were created during the first wave of the ICANN new gTLD program dated 2012 (the first TLDs were delegated in 2013).


Just for the note
It is important to mention that:
  1. the registry is not (yet?) present in China;
  2. the innovation around this specific registry is coming in the future: an entire social network based on the use of domain names ending in ".best"
.BEST is complementary to .COM
There are "descriptive keywords" and "descriptive keywords". If this sentence means nothing in English, it means something in French: the ICANN new gTLD program offers plenty of keyword possibilities; some are defined by the program itself: "generic", "community" and "geographic"; but if a geographic TLD offers precision, "generic" and "community" can mean lots of different things. For example, did you know that .BRAND new gTLDs were considered as "generic" Top-Level Domains?

If I will leave the definition of "community" TLDs apart, since defining a community is always hard, generic TLDs can deliver much more precision:
  • Simple keywords referring to an industry subject like the .REALESTATE new gTLD;
  • Niche TLDs like sports: the .TENNIS new gTLD for example or .PIZZA for a specific food;
  • Reference keywords: the .COM Top-Level Domain is one since time made of this string a reference. The .BEST new gTLD is one too.
One will not start the website of his company using a ".best" domain name because it would sound sarcastic, but if one's business did not want to be the best...then why bother creating a business? This is where ".best" domain names should also be registered and used by ".com" registrants: ".best" domain names should point to the best of a ".com" websites. For example, many heard of the French "Les Galleries Lafayette" and its famous website www.galerieslafayette.com : isn't it time to offer the best of "Les Galleries Lafayette" on www.galerieslafayette.best showing sales only for example? I'd definitely visit!

The best alternative for promotion
According to a recent Twit showing ".best" new domain name registrations, it is clear that .BEST domains are becoming the best alternative to promote a product or a service in addition to a ".com" Trademark domain. For example, Layerhost, a hosting service provider registered layerhost.com for its Trademark domain name and also webhosting.best to promote its web hosting service. This company wants to say that it offers the best web hosting.


In this type of naming strategy, we can easily imagine Marriott.com being the first to register generic domain names such as: hotels.best, nychotel.best, londonhotel.best, vegashotel.best, ...

Investors are concerned
Registration figures also demonstrate that the .BEST new gTLD as a huge potential for investors in terms of domain name availability when mixing a city name to a certain kind of business.

In the listing above, name of cities appear attached to keywords such as "lawyer" or "bankruptcy": I would certainly not be surprised that these registrants may be either investors or businesses protecting their online area of business.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Just noticed these IDN strings but...

Once a month, I track new gTLD registration volumes and decided that IDN would not be part of my reports because I am selfish, lazy and more important: I don't understand IDNs since they are in a language that I can't read. I will probably add these to my report one day when I have enough sponsors for my publications ;-)


I went through the official list of delegated new gTLD and noticed that four IDN strings are already listed in my reports - in their ASCII version - but I never heard about them...because they are IDNs.

An IDN for .WEB or .NETWORK
There is an Arabic version of a string in competition with ".web" or/and ".network" domain names; the شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) new gTLD has more than 800 domain names created. It was delegated more than five years ago.
Check the list of TLDs in competition with this IDN.

An IDN for .ONLINE
There is a Russian version of a string in competition with ".online" domain names; the онлайн (xn--80asehdb) new gTLD has 3,220 domain names created. It was delegated in 2013 and competes with the same strings from the list above.

An IDN for .SITE
There is a Russian version of a string in competition with ".site" domain names; the сайт (xn--80aswg) new gTLD has 1,160 domain names created. It was one of the first new gTLDs to be delegated in 2013.

An IDN for .GAME(S)
There is a Chinese version of a string in competition with ".game" - ".games" and ".juegos" domain names; the 游戏(xn--unup4y) new gTLD has 160 domain names created. It was also delegated in 2013 and should be added to my list of similar TLDs in the future.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The .AIRPORT new gTLD coming?

This sounds like an official announcement from a website that I just spotted: there will be an applicant for the .AIRPORT new gTLD.

If such a Top-Level Domain for Airports makes sense to me, I remember that we already have the .AERO legacy domain name extension which has existed for "centuries" and I don't remember spotting any domain name ending in ".aero" from my entire life.

Just for the note, the .AERO legacy Top-Level Domain was established on December the 19th 2001, and has 20,000 (more or less) domain names created.

I guess that's the question: why would ".airport" domain names catch the attention of all airports worldwide when the ".aero" legacy generic Top-Level Domain kind of "never saw the day"? Is it because ".aero" is a restricted extension, "reserved exclusively for aviation"? Is it because "aero" is too wide and does not offer the precision required to define an airport? Is is because the backend-registry does not contribute more to promoting the TLD of its client? (Roland, I hope you won't read this).

Check the official announcement on www.dotairport.com. The pitch is rather good and delivers the true message why new gTLDs really make sense today.

(I would personally have used the same second level domain but with a ".domains" as the extension to support the project ;-)

Friday, March 1, 2019

New gTLD reports for February 2019

It is the end of February 2019 and I spent a big part of my day updating these reports "one by one". I suggest to have a closer look at the report on Singular and Plural new gTLDs (and push to reading the list of similar new gTLDs).
  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.
To be added in these reports, contact me.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The.Best : three different channels

New owner of the .BEST Registry explains the 3 different channels of the .BEST new gTLD project.


Want to know what the 2 targets are for 2019? Watch the full video or keep a close eye to the  .BEST YouTube channel.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Houston? We lost .STAR

I am sure that the so many groups working to prepare the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program will have come with a solution for the problem after.

Applications' contacts
There are two contacts to list when submitting a new gTLD application:
  1. A primary contact;
  2. A secondary contact.
These two contacts are important; they are the two references for the entire new gTLD application. It can take time for an application to launch and many things can happen between the moment you submit your application to the ICANN and the moment the TLD is "live"; sometimes up to 10 years. In 10 years, it is not rare that the employee of a company changes job (inside or outside of the company). It is what's happened with this registry.

Knock Knock?
I found out about the .STAR new gTLD and contacted the operator:
  1. I fist went to nic.star. This second level domain is reserved to registries and often introduces the TLD. Lucky me, there was a contact page with an email but writing to it, I received an error in return with a "We're writing to let you know that the group you tried to contact (xxx) may not exist, or you may not have permission to post messages to the group..." Strange, this is the email of a group and anyway...there is a problem with the email.
  2. I went to the new gTLD application and checked the primary contact and I found...a Gmail address, so I wrote to it. I doubled checked on LinkedIn and found that the contact - not only uses an email external to the company, but also...he left the company.
  3. I checked the secondary contact and sent the same email. Guess what: this is the answer I received from the server: "Your message wasn't delivered to xxx@xxx.combecause the address couldn't be found, or is unable to receive mail" (note that I changed the email for this publication). This is bad luck because none of the two most important contacts of the application can't be reached by email and the Gmail address could be used by...anyone.
  4. I finally went to the IANA website, which lists all registries and I found an email for the administrative contact to whom I wrote to (I'll come back on this if I receive an answer).
A security hole?
You can have the best tools and the best technique to achieve your goals, but it also happens that security problems are not necessarily technical ones but human ones: who knows if these emails were not used for something else as important as a $185,000.00 new gTLD application? Using an email on which the company has no control for such projects can cause serious security breaches.

New gTLD applications require an update
I already noticed that many applications are not up-to-date. For example, some have changed hands and the contacts are not the same anymore. It also appears that question 18/A ("Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD") does not reflect the mission of the gTLD anymore.
I believe that the ICANN should ask applicants to check their new gTLD application (and if possible, without asking them to pay for this) - to update question 18/A at least, but ensure that primary and secondary contacts...are the good ones.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Google uses .LINK domain names

As a long time user of G Suite (the Google platform to operate a company), I follow up with their group entitled "G Suite Visible Changes for customers only". I receive updates about coming upgrades of the Suite. A moderator from the group publishes a URL to point to a Google Doc.

It is the first time that I notice the use of a ".link" domain name and I checked who the moderator is and it is a Google employee so I guess that must be part of a rule to publish information.

Why use a ".link" domain name?
Well, the example says it all and demonstrates exactly why new domain names from the ICANN new gTLD program are useful:
  • they are descriptive of an action, a subject or a content;
  • they mean something.
A link is "a link" and that's precisely what the capture shows below: to go to an information, you should follow this link (please click to enlarge).


Am sure Frank is going to be happy with this :-)

Acquiring a Registry (new gTLDs)

That might sound like an unfamiliar approach but many of the new gTLD industry reads this blog's publications. For this reason...they will probably read the below :-)

Hunting for a Registry
I tend to have that question coming more: "Jean, would you know someone willing to sell his extension?" Some are looking forward to buy an extension. On the other side, some are selling too but the problem with this is that you don't publish about it: you don't write that you want to drop your TLD (probably because you don't want to have to explain the reason for this).

I once contacted some targets: the .BANQUE new gTLD did not even answer my email, neither did the .WED (which appears to be in a bad position).

If I have no interest in these two anymore, this is the message that I want to send: some interested parties are looking forward to buying a Top-Level Domain BEFORE the next round starts, and I receive such questions more and more.

I will sign your NDA
Existing registries and backend registries certainly won't want a publication about a client wanting to get rid of his TLD, for this reason, I will be happy to sign whatever non-disclosure agreement you will want me to sign.

Backend registries, are you reading this?

;-)

Monday, February 18, 2019

The .MONSTER Sunrise Period starts

The Trademark Clearinghouse is starting a new Sunrise Period today and if you are Monster, this is a good day for you: these domain names are for you. The .XYZ new gTLD team acquired the .MONSTER new gTLD and is relaunching it.

When
  • START: Monday, 18 February, 2019 - 16:00;
  • END: Wednesday, 20 March, 2019 - 16:00.

What the outdated application says
Monster Worldwide, Inc., parent company of Monster, the premier global online employment solution for more than a decade, strives to inspire people to improve their lives. Monster is the worldwide leader in successfully connecting people to job opportunities. From the web, to mobile to social, we help companies find people with customized solutions and we use the worldʹs most advanced technology to match the right people to the right job. With a local presence in key markets in North America, Europe, and Asia, Monster works for everyone by connecting employers with quality job seekers at all levels and by providing personalized career advice to consumers globally.
Monster’s focus is on the needs of its customers, both employers and job seekers. Our advanced products and services are intended to improve the seeker experience while also developing deeper relationships with our employer customers. Through innovative products and features, we offer greater value to all job seekers who look to manage their careers, even those seekers who are not actively engaged in a job search. Our product offerings and services are designed to enhance seeker engagement and increase job response rate. We believe that more active seeker engagement will translate directly into higher quality candidates for our employer customers. For employers, our tools and features allow them to more efficiently and effectively attract and find the most relevant candidates for their job openings.
The proposed .monster gTLD is a restricted, single-registrant TLD that would help Monster continue as the global leader in online recruitment by enhancing and expanding Monster Worldwide’s ability to:

  • simplify Internet user navigation to Monster Worldwide products and services;
  • deliver new and innovative products and services;
  • enable marketing campaign activation;
  • facilitate secure interaction and communication with employers and job seekers;
  • improve business operations;
  • demonstrate market leadership in adopting innovative technologies; and
  • meet future client expectations and competitive market demands.
The outdated application can be read here (to be downloaded). It would be nice it the ICANN updated them: many are now outdated.

What the TLD (really) is for
Extracted from the website, this is what ".monster" domain names are for: ".Monster is a domain for creative thinkers, masters of their craft, and modern-day renegades. Customers choose .Monster domains for their scary good ideas".

Check the Trademark Clearinghouse calendar for more.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

UPDATED: Jovenet Consulting: The Group

I am launching "another" publication platform for users to follow the new gTLD News. This time, I will add publications to a Google Group.

What:
This group lists publications related to new generic Top-Level Domains (new gTLDs). Questions on new gTLD projects, dotBrand, community or geographic TLDs are welcome. This group is about sharing and learning about Registries and next rounds of the ICANN new gTLD program.

Where:
Where to read all publications:
  1. Here: https://www.jovenet.consulting/news/group and it's better if you use Chrome (since Internet Explorer bugs the page), or;
  2. Here: https://groups.google.com/a/jovenet.consulting/d/forum/post (the URL is ugly but unfortunately, Google Groups does not (yet) allow to map a domain name to it.
To post, send an email:
To post your publication(s), you should send an email to post@jovenet.consulting (content is moderated):
  1. Object of the email is your Title
  2. Content of the email is the Content to be published.
Why:
I believe that the ICANN is not as good as it could to promote new gTLDs and registries lack sales people or ambassadors to promote their string's identity. Talking to ICANN insiders only is not enough.
Also multiplying places where content can be accessed benefits to all: potential interested parties, new gTLDs, registries, potential applicants and sponsors (that is right, you can sponsor these platforms and increase your visibility).

And:
For the moment, content posted should be the same as the one posted to the new gTLD LinkedIn group (2,700 subscribers) but the idea is to migrate to a platform owned by Jovenet Consulting. I am confident that Google will allow G Suite users to personalize the URL of their groups in the future.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Before you submit your new gTLD application...

...don't forget to tread this :-)

.YELLOWPAGES new gTLD
This is the expert determination legal rights objection dated July 25, 2013:
...having reviewed the eight non-exclusive consideration factors set forth in the Applicant Guidebook section 3.2.5, the Panel finds that the Objector has failed to establish, as it alleges, that the potential use of the Applied-for gTLD by the applicant …unjustifiably impairs the distinctive character or the reputation of the objector’s mark… or creates an impermissible likelihood of confusion between the applied for gTLD and the Objector’s mark.” The Panel also finds no indications that such use takes unfair advantage of the distinctive character or the reputation of the objector’s registered or unregistered trademark or service mark.
In simple words
There was one applicant for the .YELLOWPAGEs new gTLD and an objector:
  1. The Objector’s mark is “YELLOW PAGES” (the “Objector’s Mark” or the “YELLOW PAGES Mark”);
  2. The Applicant (for the ".yellowpages" new gTLD) is internationally renowned as Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company.
In this proceeding, the Objector has made a Legal Rights Objection (LRO) which refers to an objection that the string comprising the Applied-for gTLD infringes the existing legal rights of others that are recognized and enforceable under generally accepted and internationally recognized principles of law.

The Objector cited the Procedure, Article 8 and the Applicant Guidebook Section 3.5.2 (ii) and (iii) as the bases for the LRO. The Objector acknowledged that the Applicant may be the genuine proprietor of YELLOW PAGES in Australia. However, given this territorial limitation and the number of other genuine YELLOW PAGES directory providers internationally who are not connected with the Applicant, the Objector objected to an application to secure monopoly rights in the Applied-for gTLD.

The Applicant argued that the Objector made three basic points:
  1. the Objector (or a third party) holds territorial rights in the name “YELLOW PAGES”;
  2. in some jurisdictions the name “YELLOW PAGES” is generic;
  3. the name “YELLOW PAGES” is identical to the Applied-for gTLD.
The Applicant countered the arguments made by the Objector under sections 3.5.2(ii) and (iii) of the Applicant Guidebook. The Panel reviewed each of the consideration factors discussed and concluded that the nature of the gTLD regime that those applicants who were granted gTLDs would have first level power extending throughout the Internet and across jurisdictions. The prospect of coincidence of brand names and a likelihood of confusion exists.

Conclusion
There are several Yellow Pages websites around the world in numerous countries, but one of them, whatever the kid of protection it had, could not secure the only available domain name extension.

"First-level power"
Whatever the kind of extension it is: a .BRAND, a generic, a community or a geographic one, one chair is available only. This title defines exactly what a new gTLD can be: a possibility to grab a generic term, a keyword, and sit on top of a pyramid to watch competition look up at you. I like to use the work "Monopoly" for new gTLDs: isn't it what they are?

Read the full LRO here and learn why the objection was rejected.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Action required: 5 year Proof Of Use re-validation

The Proof Of Use documents (signed declaration and sample) of the TMCH trademark records must be re-validated every 5 years. In case your documents are (almost) older than 5 years, you are required to re-verify the validity and actuality of the uploaded sample and declaration of use.

To do so, a POU revalidation page has been launched on the TMCH web interface. This page is accessible when logged in to your account, via the right hand side of the page in the Mark overview tab or Mark details page.


The possibility to re-validate your POU will only be available in case you have POU documents that are almost 5 years or older.

For further details on the different steps to re-validate your POU documents, please refer to the one pager below or the full manual.

In case you have any further questions related to the revalidation of the POU, feel free to contact the Trademark Clearinghouse directly via their hotline or via their support page.

Download the documentation

Friday, February 8, 2019

Interesting use of the .WEBER new gTLD

Many dotBrand new gTLD applicants still don't know what to do with their personalized domain name extension. I am confident that a lot of service providers have plenty of ideas on how to use such domain names but some Trademarks are starting to demonstrate interesting uses of their TLD.

Languages, not countries
I find it funny to browse on a website to find country flags pointing to language pages. When thinking twice, is this really what the web is made for and don't we already use country code Top-Level Domains for this: shouldn't a ccTLD qualify to point to the website of a company FOR its country of residence and not the language in which its content is offered?

Today, many websites use the flag of a country to point to a language but then, why use an American flag when you could use a British one to point to an English written content? The same applies to all other most spoken languages in the world: Spanish is spoken in Mexico for example, and French is spoken in Canada.

The Weber use of their .BRAND new gTLD
I went to Google and hit "site:.weber" (without quotations) in the search field and I found the list of ".weber" domain names using two letter country codes as their second level domain:
  • www.es.weber
  • www.fr.weber
  • www.ru.weber
  • www.bg.weber
  • www.hu.weber
  • www.de.weber
  • etc...
When checking each page, there is no sign of a flag or a country name, so my understanding of this strategy is that each content is dedicated to...a language and not a country of residence (but UK maybe and its www.uk.weber). I found no www.us.weber (USA) nor a www.ca.weber (Canada).

For the note, there are official codes for countries, but there are 3 letter codes for languages too. For content dedicated to languages, I would rather have chosen 3 letter codes.

DotBrand new gTLDs offer new opportunities
Country codes Top-Level Domains (two letter domain name extensions) and sub-domains (the "www" in a domain name  for example) already offered plenty of opportunities but a .BRAND new gTLD offers something that all other domain name strategies do not offer:
  • Availability: all domain names are available in a .BRAND new gTLD;
  • Innovation: using official 3 letter second level domain names could be the next trend to qualify a content in a specific language.

THE.BEST Social Network: NamesCon keynote 2

NamesCon 2019: CEO Cyril Fremont, .Best Keynote, Presenting THE.BEST Social Network:
  • Rewarded;
  • Decengtralized;
  • Responsible;
  • And Global.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

THE.BEST Social Network: NamesCon keynote 1

This is the first part of a live introduction to the The.BEST Social Network, by Cyril Fremont. This intro was done during the last NamesCon in Las Vegas.


Reminder: THE.BEST social network is an innovative social network to launch in 2019. It is based on the use of ".best" domain names and will come with plenty more surprises ;-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Will it be .SEARCH or a .BRAND search engine?

Innovating in new gTLDs is risky and has to be financed, but a strong advantage that a new domain name extension has, is that...it is alone. I like to say that it is some kind of monopoly: the owner of the extension controls...the meaning of the extension and so...all contents created using one of these domain names. If selling domain names through the network of accredited registrars "is the way" to do it today to generate an income for an registry (operator of the domain name extension) there could be a much more lucrative way to operate a new gTLD: what about selling a service based on a ".brand" new gTLD?

Controlling domains
There is a benefit in controlling who can create domain names. If anyone can register a domain name in most domain name extensions offered through the network of accredited registrars, it is impossible when using ".dotbrand" ones since the extension is controlled by the owner of the Brand (let's say a trademark in this example). For example, it avoids one to register a domain name to have a fraudulent use of it. Also, it blocks squatting from happening, phishing, homoglyphs from being created, and other infringements: the Registry "is" the Brand and does not allow third parties to register domain names.

Controlling content
In the case of a trademark selling a service through controlled domain names such as ".brand" ones, controlling content is made easy since the party to receive the benefit of using the domain name has to use it according to the trademark's rules. I like to remind that the new operator of the website is not the owner of the domain name. Controlling the use of such domain names can be done in several ways:
  • Through the use of a dedicated platform, developed by the owner of the extension (ie: the .TEL Registry in 2007). In this case, there is no other possible use but to use the domain name platform.
  • Through the use of strict written rules (domain name policy). Some Trademarks already offer a such way to proceed to their affiliated but they don't sell online.
Controlling security
The advantage of controlling the "dotBRAND" is the capacity to start a project using HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) so all websites offer SSL. Few registries are "forcing" users to use secured websites: if it has always been an option for website owners, the future now shows that having a secured websites - especially when selling online - will be important in the future.

Controlling location
One Trademark might want to have a targeted worldwide presence on specific geographical areas but not on other subjects. For example, a Trademark could look for an international presence in cities but not on product names or other generic terms. Creating city names can be industrialized on a .BRAND extension: it is just a matter of having a list of city names and creating the exact same second level domain (for example: boston.extension). The benefit is that a city acquires the capacity to operate content under its real generic city name and all of them are available. Operating a www.city.brand becomes possible and has a strong SEO benefit. It also has an advantage in terms of branding: www.city.brand looks nicer than www.citybrandwhatever.com doesn't it? Also, you do not control location over a complete TLD if anyone is allowed to register any kind of domain name for any kind of content: when operating your extension, you are in total control.

Note that city names are sometimes trademarked by the cities themselves but there are mutual benefits to find arrangements with cities.

Controlling earnings
Of course, one might wonder why - but WHY - would a trademark let a third party use its name to sell its product without controlling the message sent to customers. And why, it would let complete strangers do that, redistributing them an income (ie: The Universal Yellow Pages). Actually, it is what some Trademarks do with their affiliates: franchises for example. Operating a platform dedicated to selling an online service targeting cities allows to generate a turn over:
  • per city
  • per domain name operator
  • per region
  • per country
  • per continent
  • per product
Search Engines
Search engines all work the same way: some offer a great algorithm that they sometime sell to other search engines; some offer the exact same search field with a different message and philosophy but with less content indexed. In more simple words: they all look alike and it gets back to:
  • one front page with a search field;
  • a ".com" domain name.
Why not change this and offer one page per city to better identify content for a geographical location? Most search engines already do that but they don't say it and it is unclear. Some users don't even like that since they have not been informed about it. Some don't want their content to match with their geographical location. Isn't it time to innovate and offer an alternative to search on Internet, offering multiple points of entries with a meaning, instead of...just one...which has none?

Monday, February 4, 2019

ACTO now has pressure on .AMAZON

The .AMAZON new gTLD never ending story now looks like it is taking another direction...and dimension.

I ended thinking that the ICANN CEO was in an a bad position - feeling insulted after past letters received from the ACTO - but apparently, by reading the latest recent exchanges, I feel like the ACTO now wants to discuss a better deal...where it resides, in Brasilia.

My first thought was that they wanted to end this application at all costs to protect the Amazon identity from becoming an online giant supermarket, instead of the earth's lung; but these two letters, shared on a 24 hours period of time, look to me like a desperate move from the ACTO to find a deal, instead of nothing.

What is it that you don't understand in "No"?
In a recent letter from the ICANN to the ACTO, ICANN CEO explains that "no", the status of the .AMAZON new gTLD won't change back to its previous one: "Will Not Proceed". The actual status was changed to "Evaluation Complete" which means that the application could see the day: something that the ACTO does not want to see happen to protect countries from the Amazon region...unless a good deal is found maybe?

In this letter dated 27 January 2019, the ICANN CEO explains why the status of the .AMAZON new gTLD could not be restored to "Will Not Proceed": a special board called the BAMC denied the ACTO request. This comes after a letter sent (from ACTO) in December to the ICANN Board where one can read such (rude) things like:
  1. "the firm rejection and deep disappointment of the eight Amazon countries at the inexplicable attitude of the ICANN Organization of ignoring the clear messages";
  2. "the ICANN President and CEO never reached out to the Amazon countries to follow up on that message";
  3. "the ICANN Organization never sent – let alone discussed with – the Amazon countries any proposal";
  4. "There were never discussions “with all the concerned parties” simply because there was never a facilitation process";
  5. "it was repeatedly and clearly indicated that no country had any mandate to negotiate on behalf of the other members of ACTO";
  6. "It is inconceivable and unacceptable that these clarifying questions by the Expert Working Group are now unfaithfully presented as anything other than clarifying questions for the work of the Expert Working Group";
  7. "Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela do not and will not bear, collectively or individually, any responsibility for the failure of the ICANN President and CEO to facilitate the development of a mutually acceptable solution for the .AMAZON applications";
  8. "the failure of the ICANN President and CEO to establish a facilitation process";
  9. "the outright failure to publish previous communications on this issue did not contribute to the building of trust among the parties".
Please, don't close the door
This letter, dated 28 January 2019 (the next day), looks like a final attempt from the ACTO to negotiate something better than Kindles to grant AMAZON the use of domain names ending in ".amazon".

My understanding of ICANN politics is that you should not insult the only authorized organization to say "yes" or "no" to a new gTLD project. That's the problem with monopolies: they decide about the rules, whoever you are, no matter if you preside a country or a region...but I am happy to predict that the ICANN is probably going to travel to Brasilia to find a better deal way for Amazon to use the .AMAZON new gTLD.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The .DEV early access program starts February 19th

There are lots of domain choices these days, and now with .dev there's a space dedicated for developers. Because .dev is a brand new top-level domain, there are lots of great domains available.

Starting February 19th Google Domains will be offering early access to .dev domains. This means you can secure your .dev domain before general availability with a one-time early access fee. Create a calendar reminder to ensure you get your .dev domain before someone else does.

Learn more here.

Friday, February 1, 2019

The 2019 new gTLD reports

A new year is starting and here we go again: once a month we, shall  be updating new gTLD reports focusing on volumes of domain name registered per categories of TLDs. 20 categories are covered below and these are the first 20 reports of the year. "Roulements de tambours" for January 2019:
  1. NEW - 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).
Please contact us if you believe that an extension is missing in one of these categories.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Interview: the .BEST Brand Protection Program

This is a recent interview that I have done with Cyril Fremont, new operator of the .BEST Registry. The interview is about the new .BEST Brand Protection Program that the Registry just launched for Trademarks to secure their name.

In simple words, with the .BEST Registry, Cyril is also launching another venture named "The.Best". This innovative project is a new kind of social network, using a dedicated domain name extension for the publication of reviews: domain names ending in ".best".

Doing reviews?
You will love to learn more about how you can be granted for using "The.Best" to post them on Internet but to make it simple here, the idea behind the .BEST Brand Protection Program is to offer Trademarks to secure their name(s) prior to the launching of the social network .

The Interview was just published on CircleId.

Monday, January 21, 2019

There's no CMS for .BRAND new gTLDs

I checked the web and found no service provider offering a tool dedicated to .BRAND new gTLDs. I mean by this that a .BRAND Top-Level Domain acquires the possibility to use not one, but as many domain names as it wants; but then, how to manage contents?
If it exists dozens of very good Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Drupal, Joomla, Google Sites, Shopify, WordPress, Blogger, etc, I found none for .BRAND new gTLDs operating multiple domains. I found Drupal but it requires to code a lot and none wants to code a lot when tools such as Goggle Sites offer to operate multiple websites without having to code.

The power of uniqueness
When starting to use a .BRAND new gTLD, a Trademark acquires the capacity to create as many generic domain names as it wants. For example, when previously using a www.whatever-trademark.com, adding to this sometimes hundreds of pages with long URLs; the new operator of his .BRAND new gTLD acquires the capacity to create ultra generic domain names such as, for example, insurance.brand or shoes.brand: this offers the advantages after:
  • Segmentation of contents;
  • Ultra meaningful domain names for each content;
  • Personalized domain names in the name of a brand;
  • Very short domain names;
  • Easily memorable domain names;
  • The SEO benefit due to cross linking between multiple websites (reference to back linking);
  • Etc...
Just for the note, insurance.com was acquired for $35.6Million and if the price does not really matter for this publication, the strength of such generic term on Internet has a high value for its descriptiveness and the fact that it is easy to remember.

A ".brand" is unique, a ".com" is not
Let's be frank, operating a website using a CMS is great and the tools available online are very efficient ones, but thinking about changing to operating a .BRAND new gTLD with multiple CMS is just...not feasible and truly a gas machine ("machine à gaz" in French).

If companies often use inside developers to code, or external service providers to maintain their website, a lot - and even prestigious ones - use a simple hosted CMS.

When is this coming to .BRAND new gTLDs and which CMS will be first to come with a solution to host CMS for .BRAND new gTLDs?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

These 2 should change to a .BRAND

I believe that it is important to demonstrate why creating a .BRAND domain name extension makes sense and I found the two (good) examples below.

Group of companies often use different websites and send emails, sometimes a lot. I recently received emails from the two major companies after and, since I trust both, I always feel unsecured when reading them since it is unclear if they really come from them...or not.


The 2 emails received
  1. Facebook sent me an email entitled "Jean, connectez-vous à Facebook en un clic" (translation: "Jean connect to Facebook in one click). I certainly would not click for two reasons:
    1. Why do I receive such email from Facebook, which I don't often use?
    2. The email comes from a domain name ending in "facebookmail.com", instead of "facebook.com" and unfortunately, I am familiar with the second one, not the first one which could be sent from...anybody with the capacity to register a domain name ending in ".com".
  2. Google sent me an email ending in "withgoogle.com" instead of "google.com". Again here, I am familiar with the second one but the first one could have been registered by anybody and used for fraudulent activities, trying to make me believe that it comes from Google.
Lack of confidence
In both cases, there is a lack of confidence because the sender is not instantly recognized. Let's imagine that Google operated domain names ending in ".google" and started - for all of its activities - to send emails ending in ".google" and not using multiple different ".com" domain names: wouldn't that increase the level of trust in Google?

I'd say yes.

But wait...there is a ".google" new domain name extension :-)

The SWOT analysis
If sealing emails - and increase trust - is a strong reason to invest and change to a .BRAND new gTLD, there are other reasons: the SWOT analysis studies your personal case figure and will create scenarios of use, created "just for you".

You still have time to prepare your new gTLD application prior to the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program to begin: learning is a first step, "applying" comes second.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The .DEV Sunrise Period starts

The Trademark Clearinghouse announces the Sunrise Period for .DEV domain names. The Sunrise Period starts today.

WHEN
  • START: Wednesday, 16 January, 2019;
  • END: Tuesday, 19 February, 2019.
WHAT
The .DEV new gTLD is for developers and is the property of Google (Charleston Road Registry). The positive thing about these domain names is that they have to be secured to work properly. the official applications says:
"The proposed gTLD will provide Google with direct association to the term ʺdev,ʺ which is an abbreviation of the word, ʺdevelopment.ʺ The mission of this gTLD, .dev, is to provide a dedicated domain space in which Google can enact second-level domains specific to its projects in development. Specifically, the new gTLD will provide Google with greater ability to create a custom portal for employees to manage products and services in development."
FOR INFORMATION
For information, the .INC Sunrise Period, previously announced to start today was postponed to Wednesday, 27 March, 2019 - 16:00.

Check the Trademark Clearinghouse calendar for more.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Bank surveys and .BRAND new gTLDs

Like me, you probably receive surveys from your bank, wondering about their level of service and how satisfied you are about them (also how they could improve their service), but how do you ensure that your bank is the one asking you questions...and not a third party or a frauder?

This article published on CircleId explains how banks could (should?) improve their level of service - AND TRUST - using their personalized domain name extension.

Jovenet Consulting offers Banks and Trademarks to study the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to (not) create their personalized domain name extension.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New gTLDs and Politics: one Year in Review

There are domain name extensions dedicated to politics. Right after is a link to my recent article published on CircleId and which covers the year of 2018 with a few notes on registration volumes. The article is entitled "Political New gTLDs: One Year in Review" and this is the list of new gTLDs covered:
  1. .DEMOCRAT
  2. .EXPOSED 
  3. .FAIL 
  4. .GIVES 
  5. .GRIPE 
  6. .GURU 
  7. .GOP 
  8. .BEST 
  9. .REPUBLICAN 
  10. .VOTE 
  11. .VOTING 
  12. .VOTO ("vote" in Spanish)
And by the way: "happy new year"!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The .BEST new gTLD Execution Plan

This is the latest .BEST execution plan published by the Registry.

Timeline
  • July 2018: .BEST registry acquisition by Cyril Fremont and team of investors;
  • August 2018: transition to backend registry solution provider;
  • September 2018: strategy for quarter four;
  • October 2018: on-boarding of new ".best" accredited registrars;
  • November 2018: .BEST promotion;
  • December 2018: social media marketing;
  • January 2019: strategy FY2018.
Check the official stats on the new gTLD report dedicated to which domain name extensions companies should keep their eyes on. The ".best" domain name registration figures already speak by themselves. 

Reminder
Price of ".best" domain names is below $10 per year at certain registrars. Ensure you register your domain names before the promotion ends on January the 31st, 2019. Check the full list of registrars here.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

ICANN new gTLD Application Statistics

This is the Overview as of 30 November 2018 (last ICANN update):
  • Total Applications Submitted: 1930
  • Completed New gTLD Program and Delegated (introduced into Internet): 1232
  • Application Withdrawn: 620
  • Applications that Will Not Proceed or Not Approved: 46
  • Currently Proceeding through New gTLD Program: 32
Note that this page should be updated soon (since we are now in January 2019).


Readers will also be interested in checking:
  • Contention Resolution;
  • Contracting;
  • Pre-Delegation Testing (PDT);
  • Breakdown: Delegation Statistics;
  • gTLD Startup Statistics.
Diggers, interested in "things about the ICANN new gTLD program" will also be interested in finding all bookmarks related to it on Jovenet.link

Register your Trademark using an agent.