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gTLD Applicants Should Keep Eye on .LA & Other ccTLD Marketing


Did you know there is a .LA domain extension? Similar to .TV being for Tuvalu, .CO being for Colombia, and .ME being for  Montenegro, .LA is the country code for the southeast Asian country of Laos.

If you've heard of .LA or seen .LA domain names advertised, it's most likely by a domain registrar marketing it as the Los Angeles extension (like the email that spurred my post). It is probably being marketed in a similar fashion to how the .NYC, .Paris, and other geographic areas intend to market their own gTLDs once ICANN approves them.

Anyone who intends to bid on and win a gTLD should look at the efforts ccTLD registries are making to sell their domain names. They should analyze what is working and what isn't working. They can monitor the amount of domain registrations along with the ups and downs in registration cycle to see how marketing efforts are paying off.

gTLD registries are going to have to pay a lot of money to manage a registry. I've seen a number of extensions that I think will be successful with a → Read More

Antony Van Couvering Named CEO of Top Level Domain Holdings


Top Level Domain Holdings CEOI just read a news release announcing that Top Level Domain Holdings has named Antony Van Couvering its CEO. Van Couvering previously served as the company's Chief Operating Officer, and he is also CEO of Minds + Machines, a company operated by TLDH.

Van Couvering is one of the most intelligent and well spoken individuals in the domain space. He is an expert in the workings of ICANN, and his appointment to CEO has to do with this expertise. He is also one of the most well-versed individuals when it comes to the new gTLD domain names that are expected to be rolled out in the not so distant future.

Top Level Domain Holdings is a public company, and its stock is traded on the London Stock Exchange, under the symbol TLDH. Congrats to Antony on this well-deserved promotion. → Read More

Could .Jobs Get a Boost and Help Future gTLDs?


I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald today about the former President of, Bill Warren, who is now working as the Executive Director of DirectEmployers Association, an organization that intends to utilize a network of domain names across the .Jobs domain extension. The effort could give a boost to the .Jobs domain extension, which has been around for a while but hasn't made inroads in consumer awareness.

According to its website, DirectEmployers Association is a nonprofit HR consortium of leading global employers formed to improve labor market efficiency through the sharing of best practices, research and the development of technology. In total, over 500 large companies such as AT&T, IBM, American Express, and Johnson & Johnson are involved with this organization.

DirectEmployers Association plans to combine its software with regional and career-related .jobs domain names. The article used as an example, and that domain name was registered on February 4, 2010. The domain name currently resides → Read More Backed by County for .Vegas gTLD While City Backs Other Entity


Vegas.comAccording to an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the operators of the famous website won a key endorsement from Nevada's Clark County board of commissioners to run the .Vegas gTLD if and when ICANN approves the introduction of these domain name.

The county vote was unanimous, but it doesn't necessarily mean that's operators will actually be able to manage the .Vegas suffix. The city of Las Vegas previously endorsed Dot Vegas, Inc., another organization that would like to run the .Vegas gTLD. I personally find it a bit odd that another entity won considering the strength of the brand outside of Las Vegas... but what do I know.

Of course, the big winner in this will be ICANN. I presume both entities are going to have to pay ICANN a LOT of money to apply for the gTLD, and then ICANN can decide whether Clark County or the City of Las Vegas has the greater right to select an organization to manage the registry. This is another big issue that ICANN will need to sort through before they make their → Read More

Why I Didn’t Bid on .CM Domains


The first day of the .CM auctions on Namejet closed yesterday, and the auction cleared $500,000. I was not surprised by this number, but I am surprised about how many people seem to be bidding on .CM domain names. My company did not bid on a single .cm domain auction, despite the perceived need to protect a few of my brands.

There is one overarching reason why I did not bid on the auctions. For the past couple of years, Kevin Ham's company Reinvent Technology has controlled the traffic for .CM domain names via wildcarding after striking a deal with the Cameroonian government. While the domain names were unregistered for the most part, they forwarded to parking pages where visitors could click to other sites, earning money for the company.

With one entity controlling many of the domain names that are now up for auction, it wouldn't make sense for me to bid on them, as the deck would be stacked against me. If a particular domain name generates revenue from significant traffic, I would imagine Kevin's company could bid on it up to → Read More

Message from ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom


ICANN LogoNewly appointed ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom posted a message today on the ICANN website with updates on a few key topics. Beckstrom discusses IDNs, DNSSEC, New gTLDs, and the future of ICANN and the Internet (albeit briefly).

Regarding the new gTLDs, Beckstrom notes the original memorandum of understanding with the US Government from 1998, which stated, "Oversight of the policy for determining the circumstances under which new top level domains would be added to the root system." New gTLDs are definitely going to be introduced, and I hope ICANN is prepared to handle everything associated with new companies entering the registry business.

In the message, Beckstrom cites a letter from the chief of the Zulu tribe who intends to move forward with the .Zulu extension. It's great that this could open the Internet to groups who want to manage gTLDs, but I can't   imagine enough companies wanting .Zulu domain names to run a viable business on .Zulu. Hopefully there will be plenty of measures in place in the event that a registry fails. I → Read More

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