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i.CO Auction Canceled by Registry


.CO RegistryMoniker/Snapnames was scheduled to hold an auction for i.CO from Februrary 3-10, and I expected the sale to be significant, especially with a reported minimum bid of $100,000. I still expect i.CO to sell for a lot of money, but it looks like that is not going to happen in the very near future.

According to Lori Anne Wardi's  post on the .CO Registry blog, the i.CO auction has been canceled. Apparently, the demand has been significant, with "well over a hundred businesses expressing different level of interest in the domain name." As a result,  the .CO Registry has decided to scrap the auction format and work with Moniker/Snapnames to find a buyer for this domain name.

I think this was probably a very good strategic move. If the .CO Registry and Moniker/Snapnames think they can hammer out a better deal in private - or without the confines of an auction, then that's what they need to do.

As a domain investor, I am a bit disappointment. I had hoped to really see what the market would yield for this domain name, as I believe → Read More

Who I Don’t Think the Go Daddy .CO Girl Is


GoDaddy's .CO GirlEarlier today, Kevin Murphy posted the teaser photo released by Go Daddy with the back side of the new Go Daddy .CO girl who will be revealed in the Super Bowl commercial.

A couple weeks back, Mike Berkens speculated that it could be the very sexy Colombia-native Sofia Vergara, who stars in one of my wife's favorite shows, Modern Family. This would seem like a good tie in since .CO is the Colombia ccTLD.

I have spent a lot of time reviewing this picture and inspecting similar pictures of Vergara. Anatomically, it looks like it could be her or perhaps even Shakira.

I am going to speculate that it won't be Vergara or even Shakira, another famous Colombia-bred beauty. In my opinion, Go Daddy and the .CO Registry will not want to emphasize the Colombia connection to .CO and if anything, they may wish to de-emphasize it when selling it to the US public.

Colombia is a beautiful country with very welcoming people. But I don't think the general US population will necessarily want to buy "Colombia domain names." Much like the .TV → Read More

Why I Believe Overstock Has “Become O.CO”


In a pretty surprising  announcement today in a press release, Overstock.com Chairman and CEO  Patrick Byrne commented, "We have become O.CO." Byrnes went on to say, "As a lifestyle destination, consumers can find absolutely anything on O.CO whether they are shopping for furniture, bedding, clothing, and jewelry, buying a car or home, and, soon, looking for their next vacation spot."

It's not often that a large retailer announces a re-branding effort like this, and it looks like the company may be ahead of the curve, as .CO will go more mainstream during the Super Bowl. The press release mixed Overstock.com and O.CO, and I think we will probably see a lot more O.CO and less Overstock.com in the near future, as using both would probably be harmful to the brand as that would be confusing.

In my opinion, Overstock has become much more than a company that sells overstocked items cheaply, as the brand name suggests. By transitioning to O.CO, the company that has done it's best to become known as the big O, will now become the big → Read More

Should Poker Companies Shift .NET to .CO?


If you watched the World Series of Poker (or any professional poker tournament on television for that matter), you've probably seen all the big poker companies imploring wannabe poker players to visit their .NET websites instead of the flagship .COM sites.

I believe it's due to US law regarding poker and gaming websites, where American citizens aren't allowed to play poker online with real money. As a result, they aren't allowed to market/advertise this "illegal" activity (this is all my thought and not necessarily fact). As a result, the poker companies promote the a .NET version of its brand which offers practice poker for fake money as well as tips and educational material.

The hope is that the players will realize the real action is found at the corresponding .COM and they'll visit that website in the future. I would imagine they probably also don't mind that some people only really pay attention to what comes before the extension, like Poker Stars or Full Tilt Poker, and they will directly navigate to the .COM instead.
→ Read More

.CO Domains Subject to UDRP


I read an "Open Letter to .CO Registrants" posted on the .CO Registry website by Eduardo Santoyo, Vice President & ccTLD Manager for the Registry. I think any domain owner who bought .CO domain names should have a look at the letter to know where the Registry stands when it comes to trademark infringement.

Some of the key points discussed in this letter include:

  • .CO domain names are subject to UDRP

  • When you buy a .CO domain name, you must represent and warrant that you aren't doing so to infringe on the rights of another company (whether you are bidding on a domain name or hand registering it)

  • .CO Registry will not give any refunds if a name is taken via UDRP or other legal action

  • Domain owners are responsible for doing their own due diligence

Most domain investors know the ramifications pertaining to registering trademark infringing domain names, but some people don't. I received an email last week from someone who told me she registered several .CO domain names of Fortune 500 companies that didn't think to register → Read More

Calle Strikes Gold with .CO & Hotels.com Domain Name Portfolio


Many people in the domain investment community have come to know Juan Calle primarily as the CEO of the .CO Registry. He regularly attends various domain conferences and events, and he is the ambassador for the new .CO domain extension, which as already seen over 380,000 registrations in under 2 weeks of being live.

Prior to his involvement with the .CO Registry, Juan was the founder of Straat Investments where he currently serves as the company Chairman (Jose Rasco is STRAAT's Executive Director and Juan Palacio is the CEO for FederatedTravel.com).   The company is invested in real estate, technology, and private equity. According to the Straat Investments website,

STRAAT Investments, along with its affiliates, is a private investment firm with interests around the globe. Through its team of investment and operations professionals, STRAAT creates and invests in companies and entrepreneurial opportunities by leveraging its experience in multiple industries to build long term value. We primarily focus our investments in → Read More

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