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Big Coup for .ME Registry with AOL’s About.ME Acquisition


Back in October, I wrote about a new website that offered splash landing pages for personal profiles. About.me offers neat customization options for people to create cool looking landing pages.

About.me was in beta until about a week ago when they went live across the board, and according to reports, there were about 400,000 people who signed up for the beta round. Credit blogs like TechCrunch and sites like Twitter for helping to rapidly spread the word about the startup.

According to a new blog post and video interview on TechCrunch this afternoon, About.me just announced that it was acquired by AOL. That sure was fast. The company apparently signed a letter of intent back in November, but the deal was just announced today. Terms of the deal were not released, but TC guessed that “it’s in the tens of millions of dollars.”


This is pretty big news for the .ME domain registry because it puts a .ME domain name in the spotlight. I don’t think I own a .ME domain name, but I would think domain names terms like Love.ME, Find.ME, or Meet.ME would be in higher demand now.  Love.ME and Find.ME are domain names owned by the registry, so perhaps news like this will encourage them to auction some of the premium reserved names more quickly.

I certainly don’t think this announcement means all .ME domain names are worth more, but it does put .ME more on the map. I know of a few other pretty big deals but don’t think they’re public. If a name makes sense as a .ME, then perhaps this sale will increase interest.

Leverage the .CO Godaddy Super Bowl Commercial to Sell Domain Names


Godaddy Super Bowl CommercialAccording to a post on the .CO Registry’s blog, Godaddy will use at least one of its Super Bowl commercials to inform consumers about .CO on the massive stage that is the Super Bowl. Each year, millions of people across the world watch the Super Bowl, and advertising on it was one of the primary ways Godaddy first became a household name.

One can assume that when the Godaddy Super Bowl commercial mentioning (or featuring) .CO domain names airs, a lot of people will be interested in learning more about .CO domain names. They will visit Godaddy.com, and they will search for their favorite .CO domain names, hoping to register them.

Since there are now over 600,000 .CO domain names registered, I would imagine most people will find their coveted .CO domain names previously registered by others. Many of these domain names are probably owned by domain investors, and some of those names may actually be for sale, although consumers most likely wouldn’t know that or wouldn’t know to look.

It might be a very smart idea for you to list your .CO domain names for sale on Godaddy’s sales platform, where your name may be seen if a visitor searches for it or for something similar. The sales commission rate is very high at 30%, but when you consider the potential exposure, it’s not so bad.

Many Trademark Holders Don’t Protect Their Brand in Today’s TLDs

There have been a whole lot of complaints from trademark owners that new TLDs could potentially cause massive amounts of cybersquatting.

Similarly, it could cost them tens of thousands of dollars or maybe much more to protect their brands in a variety of new TLDs when ICANN releases them. This whole debate sounds pretty interesting and the trademark owner contingent makes a good point about this.

Well, it would be a better point if they actually owned all of their brand names in existing TLDs, or if the ones they didn’t own were being cybersquatted in different TLDs.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some leading brands to see if their brand names were sitting unregistered, which I believe is what will happen for many new gTLD domain names. For instance, Xerox.sport hardly seems to be a domain name that would be coveted by cybersquatters.

Here are some unregistered brand names in various ccTLD and TLD extensions:

  • HewlettPackard.tv
  • NewYorkTimes.travel
  • McDonalds.aero
  • Intel.ac
  • MercedesBenz.sc
  • Gucci.jobs
  • MorganStanley.im
  • Xerox.fm
  • Danone.la
  • Motorola.name
  • Disney.mn
  • Budweiser.vc
  • Accenture.bz
  • Hyatt.ac

gTLD Applicants Should Keep Eye on .LA & Other ccTLD Marketing


Did you know there is a .LA domain extension? Similar to .TV being for Tuvalu, .CO being for Colombia, and .ME being for  Montenegro, .LA is the country code for the southeast Asian country of Laos.

If you’ve heard of .LA or seen .LA domain names advertised, it’s most likely by a domain registrar marketing it as the Los Angeles extension (like the Register.com email that spurred my post). It is probably being marketed in a similar fashion to how the .NYC, .Paris, and other geographic areas intend to market their own gTLDs once ICANN approves them.

Anyone who intends to bid on and win a gTLD should look at the efforts ccTLD registries are making to sell their domain names. They should analyze what is working and what isn’t working. They can monitor the amount of domain registrations along with the ups and downs in registration cycle to see how marketing efforts are paying off.

gTLD registries are going to have to pay a lot of money to manage a registry. I’ve seen a number of extensions that I think will be successful with a strong marketing effort (such as the geos mentioned above), but I’ve also seen a number of head scratchers that just don’t seem to make sense, no matter what the marketing effort will be.

I do think there’s a place for gTLD domain names, and I also think anyone who is pining to manage a registry should pay close attention to what’s working and what isn’t working.

Korea News Service Uses Japan ccTLD


I noticed something interesting this afternoon while reading some world news. The North Korean government oversees the Korea News Service, which is operated by the Korean Central News Agency of DPRK (North Korea). This organization is responsible for the news in that country.

This organization posts its news on the KCNA.co.jp website, where .CO.JP is the Japanese ccTLD. It’s interesting to me that they are operating the state news website on the Japanese ccTLD.

KCNA.co.kr is owned by the KC&A Corporation, and KCNA.com is owned by what appears to be a private individual. It would be interesting to find out why they use the .CO.JP domain name, but I doubt they would give an interview on domain selection.

Overstock Buys Another “O” Domain Name

OverstockI just received word that Overstock has acquired another single letter “O” domain name. The company purchased O.co.za via Sedo for $9,000. The .co.za extension is South Africa’s ccTLD.

Overstock also made two other public “O” domain name acquisitions within the past year: O.biz and O.co.

Some people believe the company may be making these efforts in order to be in a better position for when O.com comes available. That would make sense, especially in light of their US trademark for O.com.

It will be interesting to see if Overstock continues to acquire “O” ccTLD domain names. It would seem that these public sales could impact their negotiation ability.

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