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10,000 Domain Names Pre-Ordered Daily for Likely New Top-Level Domains

John Berard

Last month Pool.com and Quintaris started a joint project to let consumers pre-order — without cost — domain names in new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) for which ICANN will likely get an application (see ICANN Board Approves Sweeping Overhaul of Top-level Domains). Latest stats released by the group is showing strong demand — about 10,000 per day in the first month of the program.

While not yet ready to offer a list of the top ten potential extensions, it is interesting that the market is trending toward the generic, say .golf rather than .nike. But while this may be interesting, what is surprising is that no city gTLD makes that top ten even though the city advocates have been vocal and competition (e.g., .nyc) had given rise to a fair bit of media attention.

The pre-order program was born out of frustration that the debate over the gTLDs has become rooted more in opinion that data. Even the two economic studies offered by ICANN were enough flawed that they did not solve the problem. And the ICANN Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) was seen as captive to specific interests.

What, though, if the market had a chance to speak for itself? While the pre-order program is a blunt instrument, it is measuring intent. And, as marketing people know, intent is the key to trial and purchase.

With another month or two under its belt (with, perhaps, a million names pre-ordered) it will make sense to report on the numbers at a more granular level. That is the intent, but only when the numbers will stand on their own and not be blown one way or the other by the wind blowing around gTLDs.

In the case of the program and its implications for new gTLDs, the more the merrier.

By John Berard, Founder, Credible Context & CEO, Vox Populi Registry
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Wow, what a surprise, the domain grabbing jeroen  –  May 22, 2009 9:04 AM PDT

Wow, what a surprise, the domain grabbing companies are willing to pay nothing for loads of domains!!!

Now if this 'study' was one where the companies had to pay say 50 US/year for the domain AND had to prove that that they where actually going to use it properly instead of just hijacking it (and filling it with autogenerated content) before the person/org who really would be putting something useful up there, then it would maybe have been useful, but this kind of thing doesn't state a thing, well it does: that there are enough companies who earn quite some money with domain sitting.

Sigh John Berard  –  May 22, 2009 11:03 AM PDT

Jeroen,

The pre-order program is not promoted as a "study" because it is not a study.  But it is a way — more than the back-and-forth between critics and advocates of new gTLDs to put a frame around the picture they present.

If there is no interest in the gTLDs, then there is no reason to negotiate the important solutions that still must come.  If there is demand (I cannot read the motivation in the people who have participated), then it ought to add a bit of urgency to the process.

We are trying to establish a datapoint in a sea of opinion.

> We are trying to establish a jeroen  –  May 22, 2009 11:09 AM PDT

> We are trying to establish a datapoint

You are trying to come up with false data by gathering it through the wrong way. Great! :)

There really is no reason for more gTLDs except for domain sellers to be able to generate more cash from some virtual bits.

The only semi-valid argument that "all the good domains" are already gone can be resolved easily by not allowing domain squatting to happen.

What about Google? Jean Guillon  –  May 28, 2009 6:41 AM PDT

"There really is no reason for more gTLDs except for domain sellers to be able to generate more cash from some virtual bits."

Once Google start to take into account the top level domain in its algorithm, I see a high interest in these new extensions.

Regards,
Jean

See, it's working already John Berard  –  May 22, 2009 11:23 AM PDT

As you say, interest in domain names in new gTLDs ought to be accompanied by tighter oversight of domain squatting.  This is a legitimate outcome of the pre-order effort.  If no one wanted the names, there might be less interest in getting it right.

As for "'all the good domains' are already gone," well, I cannot judge motivation, only that there is a lively market emerging that we would all be wrong to ignore.

> there is a lively market emerging jeroen  –  May 22, 2009 11:34 AM PDT

> there is a lively market emerging that we would all be wrong to ignore.

Thank you for confirming that it is all about the money.

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