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Come to the First Ever Dedicated New gTLD Conference: .nxt

Kieren McCarthy

Sometimes the heavens align. With the release of a number of resolutions from the ICANN Board on Sunday, we learnt two things:

One, that there is a determined drive to get the rules for new Internet extensions, gTLDs, finalized in December at a meeting in Cartagena. And two, that the meeting immediately after that — in March 2011 — will be held in San Francisco.

And so it is with considerable excitement that I'd like to announce the first ever dedicated conference for new gTLDs: .nxt, planned for this coming February in San Francisco.

We have a dedicated website at http://dot-nxt.com and encourage anyone that is interested to register their interest online today. Among other things, you will find the initial conference agenda, and a database of those who plan to apply for a new top-level domain.

We are looking to make the site a useful space for sharing ideas and information, so if you register you will be able to start interacting with others today. And if you are a gTLD applicant, you will be able to provide information about your plans and application.

But what of the conference itself? Well, it was born from the belief that new Internet extensions represent the most exciting change to the Internet's make-up since dot-com was opened up to competition back in 1999. It is easy to forget that while in the middle of policy and implementation decisions.

While the rules were being decided, most of the discussion about what it will mean when the top-level of the Internet is opened up to market forces has focused on fears and concerns.

But with the end in sight, it's time to look at the opportunities and dramatic possibilities that exist in these new arms of the Internet. And the .nxt conference is perfectly placed to be of most use to everyone.

The next Internet revolution

With geo-location making the Internet increasingly personal, will city TLDs represent a new wave of how we use the Internet for finding information and doing business?

With the Internet gathering like minds together as never before, will new extensions provide a global town hall for issues such as protecting the environment or combating climate change?

Will we begin to use the domain name system to reflect our natures, our cultures, our languages, our identities?

These are questions that .nxt will ask — and you are invited to come and share your thoughts.

Implementation

But of course, that is only one side of the equation. Running a piece of the Internet's infrastructure is neither easy nor cheap. It requires technical expertise, a global footprint, the ability to handle hundreds of thousands of look-ups every hour every day, and much else besides. That's the back-end. At the front end, you have to allow people to register domains under your name quickly and easily and securely.

There are companies that have been doing just these jobs for years so if you are serious about wanting to be there at the start of the next Internet revolution you need to know what they know and understand just how this global network actually works.

Models

And then there are the business models. For the past decade we have all grown used to the dot-com model but with the expansion of names comes the expansion of minds: how can the process of providing addresses on the Internet be improved? What new styles and approaches will strike a chord with online users for whom the Internet is no longer a novelty but an every day part of life?

Are there new ways to reach out to people and sell space under your name? Can you offer a sense of greater security? Can you build new services onto a domain that make it more attractive? Will your domains be permanent — or disposable? When you see your name, will everyone know immediately what will appear underneath it?

Marketing

With every market you need to differentiate and provide a unique selling point. And once you have that, you then need to make sure people know about it. Without marketing your ideas and striking a chord with people, even the most brilliant plans will amount to little.

The .nxt conference will cover all these issues:

  • Policy: The agreed rules and procedures behind applications
  • Implementation: The practicalities of running a piece of the domain name system
  • Models: The new approaches and ideas that we can expect with new Internet extensions
  • Marketing: How to reach the billions of online users

It will present expert views and analysis, keynotes from leading lights of the Internet, panel sessions, workshops and an exhibition area.

It will be in downtown San Francisco in mid-February (we are finalizing dates and venue). It is being hosted by the SF Bay chapter of ISOC. There will be an attendance fee with profits going to the non-profit SF Bay ISOC and used to promote its causes. And it will be the most interesting and exciting conference you will attend in 2011.

So please register online today at http://dot-nxt.com.

By Kieren McCarthy, Executive Director at IFFOR; CEO at .Nxt
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Share your comments

Well done!Best Alex Tajirian  –  Sep 29, 2010 5:17 PM PDT

Well done!

Best

dotGay LLC (www.dotgay.com) will attend Alexander Schubert  –  Sep 30, 2010 9:58 AM PDT

Dear Kieren,

this is very important, and dotGay LLC (www.dotgay.com) will attend this unique conference.

I think that introduction methods for new TLD's are one of the core issues: How do I avoid to be a another ".biz"? How do I create awareness among internet users and potential registrants while avoiding that "domain investors" are grabbing away the entire generic space of my new TLD?

If you have any panel on that issue: I am happy to talk.

Alexander Schubert
Founder .gay
Co-Founder .berlin

Great - and noted Kieren McCarthy  –  Sep 30, 2010 12:19 PM PDT

Very pleased to hear you're coming Alexander, especially when I think you'll find a pretty big market for dot-gay addresses in San Francisco :-)

Also if you register with the site, and then send me an email with your username, I will give you applicant status and also connect you to your extension's webpage so you can edit and add to its contents. (In your case, it is here: http://dot-nxt.com/applicant/dot-gay).

Re: your query about differentiation. Yes, in fact one of the main sessions (first session on Thursday - see: http://dot-nxt.com/agenda) is specifically set aside to cover this aspect of new gTLDs.

What lessons can be learnt from previous gTLDs? And will the market be the same - or has the general public changed in the past five years?

What's the best way to stand out for your potential new customers? And what are the benefits and risks attached to the domaining market? What can be done to work with inevitable domain investing, and what can be done to mitigate its worst effects?

These are the questions - among many more - that .nxt will seek answers to. It should be fun, interesting and extremely valuable to all those looking to expand the Internet.

Kieren

A successful conference brings in different worldviews.Your Alex Tajirian  –  Sep 30, 2010 3:44 PM PDT

A successful conference brings in different worldviews.

Your success with a new TLD depends to a large extent on how much homework you do after the conference. Otherwise, you will have the same information as everyone that attends, ie, no competitive advantage.

And don’t forget that you must differentiate your marketing campaign.

Nice to see the name Christopher Parente  –  Oct 05, 2010 12:50 PM PDT

Kieren McCarthy — I used to love your scathing, hilarious coverage of ICANN meetings in The Register. You had no equal.

Good to see you're all over this big issue. Should be a wild ride with a lot of twists and turns.

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