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New gTLD

Being First to Announce gTLD Intentions May Be Critical

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I’ve read about a number of companies and organizations that have already announced plans to apply for a new gTLD. Several of the potential new gTLDs have more than one applicant at this point. From my perspective, it may be best for companies to announce their gTLD application intentions early to dissuade others from applying for the same extension.

Some keywords are more likely to be contested than others. I believe there have been two or more companies announcing their intention to apply for extensions like .nyc, .eco, .gay and a few others. I would imagine there were be multiple applicants for gTLDs like .insure, .hotel, .eat….etc.

However, there are probably plenty of keyword extensions where competition won’t be as fierce. I received a press release from a company that plans to launch .Jewelers, and by being first to announce this, it might dissuade others from applying. With so many available keyword gTLDs, why choose one that someone already claimed, when that will likely mean a lot more money to win the bid?

In my opinion, those who announce intentions earlier are less likely to face competition from others. If I had plans to apply for a particular gTLD and I heard that another company was going to apply as well, I would probably shift my focus elsewhere. The application process should be focusing on how to sell domain names and monetize the gTLD rather than on how to win the bid.

I Don’t Understand Brand gTLDs

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I am personally not opposed to new gTLD domain extensions at all. In fact, I am more in favor of them than anything, and like any free enterprise, I encourage entrepreneurial companies to try and make money with them. My bet is there will be some great successes and some pretty big failures.

One thing I can’t seem to understand is why a company like IBM, Canon, or any other well known brands for that matter would choose to spend close to $200,000 on a gTLD application and then whatever the ongoing annual cost is for ¬†maintenance. I especially don’t understand it when a brand like Canon doesn’t really have other companies that share the same name and may cause confusion.

From my perspective, a brand .com domain name works just fine. For instance, consumers can easily type-in Canon.com or find it by searching “canon” in Google. The company can use subdomain names or folders for internal pages. For instance, a company like Marriott, with its various locations around the world, might use subdomain names or folders to give each property an individual “website” within the corporate umbrella.

Again in my perspective, Canon.com sounds much better than Canon.canon or Home.canon or anything else that Canon would choose to use for its home page. Of course, they control the entire extension so it can really be whatever they want, but from a marketing perspective, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense and may cause confusion.

I do really like the idea of geographic gTLD domain names for large cities. I would think .nyc and will gain some serious traction here in the city, especially if the city government uses the extension for some of its departments. Further, I think generic names like hotels.nyc or restaurants.nyc will be great names to own, and I imagine the registry will be able to build a solid business selling .nyc domain names locally.

That being said, I don’t understand why an established brand, especially those which don’t have other large corporations with the same name, would want to spend so much money applying for and maintaining a gTLD. Can anyone offer some insight?

New gTLDs: Increasing Lowball Offers

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As you know by now, ICANN voted to approve the new gTLD program in Singapore, and this will allow for the creation of new domain extensions like .nyc, .eco, .law, and likely hundreds of others. I received a few emails asking me for my opinion on the gTLD impact on the domain investment space, and I am sure I will write a post about it at some point soon.

It seems that some people may be using the new gTLD approval as an excuse to send lowball offers on .com domain names. Cataclysmic emails talking about the demise of .com domain domination and valuation, which include lowball offers to take them off the hands of the owners are amusing to me. Thank you, but I will take my chances with my .com domain names!

The short of it is that I do think consumers will adopt the usage of gTLD domain names in time, but over the next few years, I believe .com domain names will continue to be the “go to” domain extension of big and small business alike. While companies like Canon appear to be interested in applying for branded gTLD extensions, I can’t imagine that will be the case for the vast majority of companies.

Similarly, I can’t foresee a company that doesn’t apply for and get a gTLD moving to a different gTLD. For instance, I can’t imagine a company like Staples using something like Staples.shop or Honda moving to Honda.cars. I do believe some companies will opt for gTLD usage, but I still see it as a limited opportunity for established brands.

I will flesh out my thoughts later, but for now, the “sky is falling” emails complete with lowball offers are amusing.

What gTLD Would You Want to Own?

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Talks about the new gTLD domain extensions appear to be ongoing in Singapore, and I would expect that we’ll soon know whether they are going to be approved at this ICANN meeting. When the approval is eventually given, I believe there are going to be dozens of applications for gTLDs such as .nyc, .insure, .eco, .vegas, and many others.

Whether many or most of the new gTLD domain names will be available for sale to the general public or simply used by the companies that operate them is something that is an unknown. Companies awarded gTLDs after the expensive application process will likely have that choice and can make their own business decision about how to sell, market, and use their new domain extensions.

We do know that the .CO Registry is having considerable success selling .CO domain names. That can be attributed to strong marketing efforts undertaken by the registry. Some applicants will surely try to emulate this, while others may decide to keep and utilize the domain names for themselves or their company.

All that being said, if you could own and operate a gTLD, which extension would you choose? I would probably choose something like .insure or possibly a .geographic extension. The .insure would be a choice if search engines are kind to new gTLD and .geographic for consumer adoption since businesses in that city would likely purchase their domain names if they had the opportunity.

So… which gTLD would you want to own?

Network Solutions Promoting .XXX

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.XXX on Network Solutions

Although the launch date and pricing for .XXX domain names have not been officially announced yet, that isn’t stopping Network Solutions from promoting .XXX domain names. On the bottom of its home page under Promotions & Free Offers, there’s a link to “.XXX Coming Soon.”

This internal promotional page touts the .XXX extension and how Network Solutions will be working with the ICM Registry, the organization that will manage the .XXX domain registry. According to Network Solutions:

I Have to Admit, DomainFest.MOBI Was Helpful

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I don’t own a single .mobi domain name and I have absolutely no plans to register or purchase any now or that I can see in the future (just want to avoid an avalanche of emails with domain names for sale).

With that being said, I must say that I found DomainFest.mobi to be very useful when I was at the DomainFest conference. Oversee.net set up its mobile site on DomainFest.mobi, and it allowed me to quickly access the DFG agenda and get other information from my Blackberry very quickly.

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