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Potential gTLD Cash Cow: .3D

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I think it’s pretty clear that domain investors will be highly coveted by gTLD operators, who would likely expect thousands of sales for investment purposes. If the number of speculators alone were an indication of a potential money pit for a particular gTLD, I would imagine .3D would do very well.

As we witnessed in the Future Trend Domain Auction â„¢ that ended yesterday, there are a lot of people who own (and are looking to sell) 3D related domain names. On Sedo alone, there nearly 25,000 listings that have 3D in the domain name. At BuyDomains, there are over 4,000 3D domain names for sale.

Just from those two venues, assuming a $25 annual fee, that would be close to $750,000 in annual registrations. I know that some of these are duplicate strings, but it’s an interesting figure to consider. With trademark holders, private auctions, and further sales, it’s would likely be a cash cow.

Personally, I don’t think many names would make sense as a dot 3d. I can think of a few, but I wouldn’t advocate buying them unless a person had a specific plan in mind. As domain investors, one should be aware of all the ways one can make money in this space. This is something prospective registry operators will consider.

dot3d.com was created in 2oo2. Interestingly, it lists an expiration date of 2008 at DomainTools, so there’s something funky happening there. The domain name does not resolve.

Why Are They Coming Out Now Against gTLDs?

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Over the past couple of weeks, a number of organizations have issued strongly worded press releases condemning ICANN and the gTLD program. Among those who have criticized ICANN was the CEO of the International Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

According to Randall Rothenberg, CEO and President of the IAB, “There appears to have been no economic impact research, no full and open stakeholder discussions, and little concern for the delicate balance of the Internet ecosystem.”

Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA stated that, “Brand confusion, dilution and other abuses also pose risks of cyber predator harms, consumer privacy violations, identity theft and cyber security breaches. The decision to go forward with the program also violates sound public policy and contravenes ICANN’s Code of Conduct and its undertakings with the United States Department of Commerce.”

While Rothenberg and Liodice are of course entitled to their opinions, I am surprised they were not more vocal about their beliefs during the gTLD approval and discussion process that went on for a number of years. Many companies and organizations provided commentary, and there were plenty who opposed the gTLD program.

I am sure one opinion would be that it’s better to oppose this late than never, but it’s strange to see. What were some organizations waiting for to comment? I can’t believe they didn’t know about the program or know how to participate. That just wouldn’t make sense that such large organizations didn’t realize this was taking place.

“India’s Sex Forum” Launched on Masala.XXX

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In the coming days, I expect to see quite a few notices like this one I received today (I won’t be posting any/many). A new website billed as “India’s sex forum” was launched on the domain name, Masala.XXX. According to a few sources, “masala” means spice in Indian, so I suppose this is an appropriate place for the adult forum.

Interestingly, Masala.com is popular website about Bollywood, and the site is essentially news about India’s movie industry and celebrities. The site has an Alexa ranking in the 5,000s in India and in the 30,000s overall.

As more of these sites go online, it will be interesting to see how owners of the .com domain names react to their .XXX counterparts.

Press release follows:

(Delhi, India) MASALA.XXX is the first website designed for India on the adult domain extension .XXX. MASALA.XXX, a free infotainment forum that offers adult visitors a safe environment to openly discuss sex, went live today.

“At MASALA.XXX, we believe that sex is a beautiful thing, not a dirty secret,” said the website spokesperson. “MASALA.XXX will not only entertain adult visitors, but also provide them with helpful information about sex.”

Upon launch, the site features discussions on multiple topics including: sex advice, sex scandals, safe sex, women’s issues, and homosexuality. New topics and discussions will be introduced by site members and moderators.

The privacy of site members and participants is of serious concern to MASALA.XXX, therefore names and email addresses are kept in the strictest confidence. To offer visitors more security, MASALA.XXX features daily virus scans provided through an agreement between ICM Registry, the operator of .XXX, and McAfee.

The website was allocated as part of the ICM Registry Founders Program, an innovative strategy by the new registry to get quality sites immediately developed on .XXX.

“We are thrilled to be the first .XXX website live for India,” said the spokesperson. “MASALA.XXX is proud to be the first site to showcase .XXX as a diverse top level domain that can be used for adult infotainment in addition to pornography.”

MASALA.XXX’s sister site, DESI.XXX will be launching next week.

Frank Schilling Spends Seven Figures on .XXX Domain Names

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For over ten years, the ICM Registry tried to get approval for the .XXX TLD. They first proposed it in 2000, resubmitted an application to ICANN in 2004, was approved in 2005, and then rejected in 2006. The ICM Registry persevered and continued its efforts to get .XXX approved, and it finally was approved in March of 2011.

Wired has a pretty comprehensive history of the .XXX tld if you’re interested in learning more about the trials and tribulations.

As I mentioned a few days ago, some of the first .XXX domain names have come online in recent days. Many of these were part of the Founders Program, which awarded .XXX domain names to companies and publishers who agreed to build and promote websites on their domain names.

I just learned that an additional batch of .XXX domain names recently went online, and they are owned by Frank Schilling’s Name Administration. These include some of the best .XXX domain names, and the back story is interesting. According to Schilling, “they were actually purchased in January (at Domainfest) before the contract was awarded. It was a huge risk buying names that didn’t exist.” (The list of .XXX names Schilling acquired is listed below).

Although the exact purchase price was not disclosed, I understand it was seven figures and it was an all cash deal.

This shrewd business decision made by Schilling is another example of his foresight in the domain space. By taking a risk on .XXX, he could have ended up owning non-existent domain names had the extension not been approved. Now, he owns a chunk of significantly valued domain names, since these are some of the best possible .XXX domain names.

Name Administration’s .XXX investment:

  • amateur.xxx
  • amateurs.xxx
  • anal.xxx
  • asian.xxx
  • asians.xxx
  • bollywood.xxx
  • book.xxx
  • celeb.xxx
  • celebs.xxx
  • chat.xxx
  • dating.xxx
  • free.xxx
  • gratis.xxx
  • hardcore.xxx
  • hot.xxx
  • indian.xxx
  • latin.xxx
  • lesbian.xxx
  • lesbians.xxx
  • live.xxx
  • milf.xxx
  • milfs.xxx
  • oral.xxx
  • porno.xxx
  • pornos.xxx
  • pussies.xxx
  • pussy.xxx
  • sexe.xxx
  • sexo.xxx
  • sexy.xxx
  • video.xxx
  • videos.xxx
  • webcam.xxx

Will You Invest in .XXX Domain Names

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Yesterday afternoon, I posted some information about the upcoming launch of .XXX domain names with insight provided by ICM Registry Chairman and CEO Stuart Lawley. I am curious if you plan to purchase any .XXX domain names for development or investment purposes.

As with many other gTLDs that are anticipated, I will likely purchase a few as investments.


.XXX Gearing Up for Launch: An Inside Peak at the ICM Registry

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ICM RegistryYesterday afternoon, I had the chance to speak with Stuart Lawley, Chairman and CEO of the ICM Registry, the company that manages the .XXX domain registry. I wanted to see where the company is at with regards to the upcoming launch, and he was kind enough to provide some information and insight.

The company is currently counting down until the Sunrise A and B period, which begin on September 7 and runs through the end of October. Sunrise A will give trademark holders in the adult community the opportunity to secure their trademark .XXX domain names. They can also attempt to secure their .XXX names if they own a corresponding domain name in another tld. For instance, the owner of FootFetish.com can claim FootFetish.XXX during this period.

Sunrise B is similar and takes place at the same time as Sunrise A, but it is the period for non-adult companies to claim trademark names for the Registry to not give out to others. For instance, Disney can put a claim onto Disney trademarks so nobody can purchase Disney.XXX or other disney trademarks. The interesting thing will be if an unrelated entity, such as someone with the last name Disney, claims Disney.XXX in Sunrise A. That could pose a predicament.

If there are multiple parties interested in particular domain names, they will be auctioned to the highest bidder, with all auctions going through Pool.

From November 8 – 25, there will be the landrush period, where people can place their orders for .XXX domain names that haven’t been claimed or that aren’t reserved by the ICM Registry. If names have multiple bidders, they will be auctioned via Pool.

According to Lawley,  635,000 unique names had been requested when there was the opportunity to request them via non-binding means. I know this isn’t entirely accurate, but it’s  indicative  of the demand. Lawley went out on a limb to predict that  300-500,000 .XXX domain names will be registered in the first year.

Similar to the .CO Registry’s Founders Program, ICM Registry has done the same for .XXX. The period for requests has since passed, and the Registry awarded a number of domain names to publishers who get the name(s) for free but must put up a website ASAP. Some of these (likely not safe for work) include the following:

  • casting.xxx
  • dating.xxx
  • kiss.xxx
  • latin.xxx
  • book.xxx
  • muscle.xxx

The Registry is taking some unique measures with their domain registrations. All domain names will have the McAfee Secure Service enabled, protecting visitors from viruses and other malware. Ordinarily, this tool costs over $300, but it’s being given away for free to all registrants for all .XXX domain names.

In addition to this, Lawley explained that search engines like Google and Yahoo don’t do a fantastic job of helping searchers find adult websites. The Registry is going to set up a unique adult search engine with some of its reserved domain names like Porn.XXX and Sex.XXX and will use those as search portals searching through the .XXX websites. Since all .XXX names will have the McAfee protection, they are saying it’s now a safe way to search for adult content online.

Lawley mentioned that the few .XXX names that they put on the root (like Sex.XXX) generated hundreds of thousands of unique visits when they were tested for 48 hours in April. It’s interesting that people were already exploring .XXX via type-in before the extension had even been fully launched.

The ICM Registry team has an experienced management team running the registry, and it will be interesting to see how they market .XXX domain names. I am told they are a key sponsor of the upcoming TRAFFIC conference, and I am sure the party they plan will be noteworthy. The Registry also plans to exhibit at adult shows and conferences as well.

If you have an interest in learning more about Lawley and hearing more about the launch, you should tune in to Webmaster Radio this afternoon at 5pm EST for Victor Pitts’ interview.

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