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Name.com Wins Rightside Hackathon (Video)

The first company-wide Rightside Hackathon was held last month, and I was sent a link to a video of the winning team. A team from Name.com created the nBox, which helps a user create an “instant branded email.” The email address can be used for free for one month, at which point the user would need to pay for the email service in order to continue. There are also upgrades available to help them start a website.

This offering seems to be aimed at job seekers and others who may be using a less than professional email address to communicate with others for business purposes. nBox would give users a more professional-looking email, using an available new gTLD domain name offered for sale at Name.com.

Obviously, nBox is in

Listen to Rightside Earnings Call

Shortly after the stock market closed today, Rightside issued its first-ever earnings report as an independent company. The earnings report covered the second quarter of 2014.

I will let the financial gurus discuss some of the numbers and how the results compared to what was expected, but here are a few highlights of Rightside’s results for the most recent quarter, as published by the company:

Name.com Celebrates Rightside’s Going Public

As I wrote yesterday, Rightside had its first full day of public trading on the Nasdaq stock market on Monday under the NAME stock ticker. In celebration of this achievement, Name.com shared this funny video that I want to share with you.

Looks like everyone is happy about the company’s spin off. I agree with Ashley’s sentiment at the end of the video – the customer should always come first. The spinoff is a nice achievement but not an end point!

Who is Responsible for New gTLD Marketing?

It is my opinion that in order for the new gTLD domain names to have investment value for domain investors, there need to be companies who use these domain names for their websites. In order for this to happen, end users need to know what the new domain extensions are and why they should choose them over existing TLDs. These end users also need to be convinced that their domain names will be recognized and trusted by their clients and prospective customers.  Educating these end user buyers will require significant marketing efforts.

This leads me to the question: who is responsible for new gTLD marketing?

On one hand, the domain registrars have direct contact with the prospective end user buyers, and they are responsible for suggesting specific new gTLD domain names to potential buyers. On the other hand, the domain registries operate individual gTLD extensions, and to a large extent, each TLD is its own brand that needs to be marketed to prospective buyers and end users.

I reached out to representatives from several domain registrars and new gTLD registries, and I asked them who they think is responsible for the marketing that needs to be done to make consumers aware of the new gTLD domain names. Below, you will find the responses from those who were kind enough to take the time to share their thoughts:

Steve Banfield Interviewed on SocalTECH

Rightside GroupSteve Banfield is the SVP and GM of Registrar Services at Rightside, and in that role, he works closely with eNom and Name.com, as well as resellers such as Namecheap. Although Rightside is a new company, it was created with the domain name services arm of Demand Media, and it is in the process of being completely  spun off from DMD.

Steve Banfield is in a fairly unique position within the domain industry, as he is intimately familiar with new gTLD registry operations as well as registrar operations. Rightside has applied for and will be managing several new gTLD extensions via its Rightside Registry arm, and it owns domain name registrars and manages domain name resellers. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one other person (Frank Schilling) that is as intimately involved with both registry and registrar operations.

With all that said, I think an interview with Steve Banfield that was posted today on SocalTECH.com is well worth a read, specifically for people who are involved in the business of domain investing.  Some of the topics Banfield discusses in the interview include:

Super Bowl Bet: Name.com vs. Enom

As I predicted last week when the Broncos and Seahawks won their respective conference championships to earn the right to play in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Name.com and Enom have been sharing some fun banter before the game. They also have a Super Bowl bet that seems like a lot of fun for both companies, and they are sharing special offers and discounts for customers.

If the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl (Name.com is located in Denver), Name.com’s  Jared Ewy will visit Enom’s Seattle area headquarters and run the office for the day. In his words, “I’ll have their management bring me coffee and snacks, and occasionally— like every 10 minutes, I’ll shout OMAHA and everyone will have to switch desks. If you don’t know who I am, then here’s a sneak peak at  my leadership style.”

If the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl,

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