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.XXX Could Change Browsing Habits

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It is my understanding that the adult industry has been at the forefront of various industry changes. I have heard that the adult video business spurred the quicker adoption of in-home VCRs, and I also understand that online adult businesses helped to bring credit card processing online more quickly.

I am wondering if .XXX domain names could change browsing habits in the future and pave the way for the public adoption of gTLD domain names. Hear me out for a minute.

At the moment, adult websites can be found on a wide variety of extensions… com, net, org, info…etc. There really are no rules in place for where people can find adult websites. As far as I am aware, that will not change with .XXX domain names. People will still be able to visit adult sites on the same extensions as they can now.

As some websites migrate to .XXX domain names, and other new adult websites are developed on .XXX domain names, it’s likely more people will directly navigate to .XXX domain names for their adult pleasure. Frank Schilling has said that people already directly navigate to .XXX, so this isn’t a surprise. With increasing traffic patterns, I would not be surprised to see additional adult sites using .XXX domain names, despite the initial objection of some in the adult business.

Theoretically, I would think that when people become accustomed to visiting .XXX domain names, a “vanity” extension if you will (coined by David Castello), they will be more amenable to visiting other vanity gTLD in the future. If they want a restaurant, they might visit OliveGarden.Restaurant, if they want to make a hotel reservation, they may visit Marriott.Hotel or Philadelphia.Hotel.

I certainly don’t think this change will happen over night, and I am not sure how long it will take. However, I would not be surprised in the least if .XXX helps to usher in the public adoption and awareness of new gTLDs.

What do you think?

.XXX Sunrise Period Extended – Over 70,000 Applications Received

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Last night, I posted a reminder to people that the Sunrise period to reserve .XXX domain names was going to end on October 28, 2011. According to an email I just received from Moniker, the Sunrise period has been extended to October 31, 2011.  The email stated:

Great News! ICM Registry, responsible for the Dot Triple X sTLD (sponsored Top Level Domain), has extended Sunrise A and Sunrise B registration periods for an additional three days to conclude on Monday, October 31, 2011 at 16:00 UTC (Noon ET). This extension provides prospective registrants valuable time to secure their domains and protect their brands.”

Although the ICM Registry website still says the end date of the Sunrise period is October 28, I have confirmed this information with them. According to Vaughn Liley, Sales Director for the ICM Registry, the  extension is “due to incredible last week demand and at the request of several Registrars who wanted the weekend to process their backlogs of applications.”

In addition to this confirmation, Liley also informed me that they have received over 70,000 applications for .XXX domain names. Earlier this week, that number was around 42,000  applications. I am not surprised at how many sunrise applications they’ve received, but the figure is stunning. At around $200/each, that’s over $14 million up front cash. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they surpass 100,000 applications by Monday afternoon.

If you do wish to have your trademarks opted out of triple x domain names, now is the time to reserve them before the sunrise period ends.

.XXX Purchases “All Cash”

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One thing is for sure with regards to this year’s Traffic conference – a lot of people are talking about .XXX domain names. You really can’t help but notice the presence of .XXX and the ICM Registry, and that has people talking.

In public and private, I have heard a number of people asking if the publicly announced deals have been all cash.  Gay.XXX was reportedly sold for $500,000, Frank Schilling bought a small batch of .XXX domain names for seven figures, and Mike Berkens bought three .XXX domain names.

Of course, there is a BIG difference between someone writing a check for (or wiring) $500,000 USD vs. someone providing in-kind services like public relations or having some type of rebate in lieu of actual cash.

I saw ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley this afternoon and I asked him about the deals. I was told that the deals have been entirely cash, with no refunds, rebates, or anything else. That should settle that question many people have been asking.

Free Columbia B-School Webinar: “Who Should Invest in a dotBRAND?”

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Columbia University Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership will be holding a webinar on October 19th, and it might be of interest to you. The free webinar is entitled, Who Should Invest in a dotBRAND? Evaluating the Business Case for a Top-Level Domain Name, and it will be held from 10am to noon.

The webinar will bring together experts in the fields of marketing, Internet governance, and general business, including Paul Twomey (former ICANN CEO), William Barrett (Global Brand & Communications at Deloitte), Karl Isaac (Executive Director for Digital Branding at Landor), and Roland LaPlante (Chief Marketing Officer at Afilias).

Here are a list of the topics that are expected to be discussed:

  • What types of brands and organizations will most benefit from investing in a gTLD?
  • If I am a .BRAND owner what are some of the use cases to best leverage my .BRAND for marketing and brand building purposes?
  • How are consumers likely to react to these new gTLDs? Will they provide clarity or confusion to their internet experience?
  • How will search engines, social media sites, and other internet properties respond to new .BRANDs?
  • What options are there for defensive action to protect my trademarks?
  • What are the full costs and processes behind applying for and owning a gTLD?

Personally, I think gTLD domain names are going to impact the domain investment market in a pretty big way. Companies and individuals will be talking about gTLD domain names, and while I won’t predict the impact on current domain values, I do expect there will be an impact.

If you make money from domain investing or online marketing, I recommend listening in on this webinar. It doesn’t cost anything and it’s just a couple of hours.  From my perspective, the smart money is already making moves, some behind the scenes and others with more public endeavors.

Thanks to Name.com for letting me know about this.

Using .CO & .ME Locally

I saw this newspaper dispenser in Portland, Maine this morning and thought of you so I snapped a photo and want to share it. A number of companies in Maine (state abbreviation is ME) are using .ME as if it were its own local ccTLD.

This afternoon, I saw the Name.com video I embedded below, and it makes a similar point, but with a focus on Colorado (state abbreviation is CO).

Because Google allows domain owners who own .CO and .ME domain names to target visitors in the US, it makes sense to some companies in Maine and Colorado to use their states’ respective abbreviations. I won’t be surprised to see New York City businesses using .NYC in the near future.

BTW, one of the things I like about Name.com is their videos. It’s a small company and their weekly videos are great for building the brand and allowing customers to get to know the company. I feel like I know many of the people, even though I haven’t met all of them.

Did Warner Bros. Buy Anderson.TV for Anderson Cooper TV Show?

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I read an article this morning that discussed a new television show featuring Anderson Cooper, which will be aptly called Anderson.  I did a bit of research to see if there would be a unique website for the show, and I think I may have found one that could be used: Anderson.TV.

Cooper’s management company already appears to own  AndersonCooper.com, which is a fully developed website.  According to a Whois lookup, Anderson.TV is registered to Warner Bros. The company appears to have acquired/taken possession of  the domain name in February of 2011 from a company in Tawain.

According to a September 2010 article appearing on the website, Deadline.com, “Anderson Cooper has signed a deal to host a new one-hour NYC-based daily daytime strip for Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution, set for national syndication launch in Fall 2011.

Cooper is known to interact with his television audience online, and it would make sense to me that Warner Bros. may have  acquired  the domain name for the television show.  At the present time, Anderson.TV does not resolve.

If the domain name is used and marketed, it bodes well for .TV investors who look at market usage of domain names to help bolster the aftermarket values of other .TV domain names.

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