Publicly traded Demand Media (DMD) announced some news in a press release this morning that I want to share with you. The company announced that a proposed spin-off of its domain name services companies will be called Rightside Group. Taryn Naidu, who has been an Executive VP at DMD, will be the CEO of this spinoff company.
Interestingly, Rightside Group will be using a .CO domain name, which I believe shows
I want to share this new gTLD infographic created by eNom. In an update earlier this week, the company reported that “eNom’s new TLD Watchlist reached 3.3 million expressions of interest,” which is a 30% increase since April. As of right now, the top three new gTLD reservations at eNom are .web, .shop, and .hotel.
1 & 1, which is in the midst of a massive mainstream marketing campaign, is showing a bit more than 3.5 million gTLD pre-reservations, and the top 3 pre registered extensions are .web, .online, and .shop. Suffice to say, the winner of the .web and .shop applications are going to sell many domain names.
I find it a bit surprising that eNom is reporting 3.3 million pre-reservations while 1&1 is reporting 3.5 million because of the huge marketing campaign by 1&1. If I had to guess before looking at the reported numbers, 1&1 would have had far more pre reservations than eNom. I would imagine eNom’s significant preservation number is due to the prominent location of its new gTLD link in the top menu as well as its marketing efforts to customers.
Unfortunately, I was not able to download the eNom graphic as a .jpg or .gif file, so if you want to check it out, you’ll need to download it from eNom’s website.
When I do business with a company, I like to know the chain of command in case I run into issues that aren’t resolved at the account management level. I don’t like to escalate issues unnecessarily, but it’s good to know who to contact when a situation requires it.
I saw a tweet from eNom this morning announcing that Demand Media named Steve Banfield Senior Vice President and General Manager of Registrar Services. In this role, Banfield is essentially the senior management staff at eNom and Name.com, the domain registrar it acquired in either December of 2012 or January of 2013. I believe Banfield was hired back in August.
Banfield is a tech industry veteran who has an MBA from Harvard. Here’s more information about his background (from his LinkedIn profile):
Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve had a few minor issues with settings on domain registrations and transfers at Enom. These issues are all correctible, and I’ve learned how to fix them by setting up some defaults and making certain selections at the time of the transaction that I want to share with you.
On new domain name registrations, make sure you uncheck the boxes of the TLDs you don’t want. It’s easy enough to remove them from the cart on the next page, but instead of accidentally registering them, you might as well just uncheck the box at first.
When doing bulk registrations, make sure you check off the box for auto renewal and domain locking. Unless you have it as an account default, your name will not auto renew, which is fine if that’s what you want, but it’s an extra step you’ll need to take in about 11 months.
For your domain transfers to Enom, on the start a transfer page, be sure to click the ” Modify Domain transfer Settings” link below the transfer box. On this page, you can lock the domain name, set it to auto renew, and most importantly (for me anyway), uncheck the “Transfer current domain WHOIS contact information” box. By unchecking, the transfered domain names will take your Whois information from your Enom account rather than from where it was transferred.
When you do an account change to push the domain name to another Enom account, you should consider not pushing the contact information with the domain name, especially if you are using escrow. If you push the contact info with the domain name, your information will be retained. If a third party escrow service does a Whois search, your name will still show up, making the push less visible. If you happen to have a dishonest buyer, it could theoretically be more difficult to confirm that you pushed the domain name. One advantage to pushing the contact info is that if you push it to the incorrect account, you may have an easier time retrieving it (although Enom says pushes are final).
You’ll probably want to set up some defaults within your account to save you time. I have set up default DNS nameservers so that new registrations automatically resolve to the parking company of my choice. I’ve also set my registrations to auto-renew and auto lock.
Most of these things are fairly obvious, but if you are trying to do something quickly, you could easily forget about these things and create more work for you (or your account rep, Bari!)
Making the general public aware of new TLDs is going to be crucial for gTLD registries to become profitable. For many of these companies, educating consumers starts at the registrar level, as small business owners may opt to register a shorter gTLD as opposed to a longer tail, hyphenated, abbreviated, or some other type of .com domain name that is available to registrants today.
eNom has been one of the more active domain registrars promoting new gTLDs to its customers. The company has taken steps to make them aware of the new TLDs that are expected to be introduced in the next year or so. The company has a prominent link to its new TLD section on the top menu in yellow.
Yesterday, eNom posted a video called “An Introduction to New TLDs,” which explains what they are and why a small business would want one. eNom’s founder, Paul Stahura, is Co-Founder and CEO of Donuts, a company that applied for 307 new TLD. My assumption is that Donuts and eNom will work together to sell gTLD domain names to eNom clients, and the first step is educating them.
It’s always interesting to see how domain industry companies market their products to clients. The introduction of gTLD domain names is going to shake things up and will be fun to follow.
When you’re in the midst of a high value deal and the buyer requests an account change / push, it’s critical to know that the domain name is pushed to the correct account. If they typo their account number, or I typo that number, there’s a risk that the name will be pushed to someone else, and many registrars state that pushes cannot be reversed.
When I push a domain name to an account at eNom, they request the login ID of the account to which I am pushing the domain name. There’s a confirmation page asking me to confirm the account number, but there’s nothing to tell me whether the account is the correct account. If the buyer typo’d the name, there’s a chance it will go to the wrong account.
One of the nicest things about Moniker is that they have an account change confirmation page that includes the name of the account owner where a domain name is being pushed. When I push the name, they request the buyer’s account number and a security authorization code. Once keyed in, it takes me to a confirmation page with the account owner’s name, reassuring me that it’s going to the right place.
Go Daddy doesn’t offer this confirmation page, but they do take an extra step to help avoid errors. To push a name to another account, they require the account number as well as the email address on file for that account. If the email and account number don’t match, the push won’t go through.
Network Solutions requires that the domain registrant clicks an approval link via email when an account change is requested, and that’s pretty easy to do and seems secure.
I am not too familiar with how other registrars operate, although I am sure others offer protection and others don’t. I hope eNom and other domain registrars consider adding a confirmation page that is more than just double checking the number I had just hand keyed. I think there is room for error, and that’s never good when it comes to high value domain pushes.