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CEO Responds to .mobi Rumors

The following comments are provided by Neil Edwards, CEO of dotMobi, where he personally addresses popular myths regarding the .mobi top-level domain.

There are three rumors floating around the blogosphere about dotMobi right now. I feel compelled to give you the CEO view on them. You may choose to ignore what I say, but I have no problem answering the mail in a public forum.

1. dotMobi investors are doing nothing with .mobi and created the company as a money making scam.

dotMobi's investors are building new products and services utilizing the .mobi domain name, the new tools available at dev.mobi, and using dotMobi to push out new industry services like our upcoming mobile phone database and our content directory. You have to remember that we are talking about the biggest mobility companies in the world whose product life cycles are long… and confidential. The investors behind dotMobi are no more going to publicly pre-announce their competitive services using dotMobi than Apple did with the iPhone.

I do know one thing for sure: dotMobi's investors are very active building their own .mobi services which range from using the domain or developer tools to launching mobile hosting services. The mobility industry is quickly going "open Internet" and they have chosen .mobi to be one of the anchor points for their work. The signs are publicly available through dotMobi's press releases, the Membership Advisory Group which now has more than 100 companies in its membership, and the visible use of dotMobi by the investors.

For example, 3 (Hutchinson) had more traffic to their .mobi mobile site than they did to their PC-based web site last month. Telecom Italia sells a complete package to their small business customers in Italy based on .mobi. The list of examples go on and on. And that's not to mention the industry requirements for .mobi being mandatory in browsers: it will happen; it is not a matter of if, but when.

Like anything, making a new domain name for mobility integrated into the glue of the mobile web takes time, and it is occuring month by month. The signs are visible everywhere and there will be no big bang announcements. But everyone will wake up one day and either have caught the dotMobi wave or been left behind.

On to rumors number 2 and 3 ...

2. dotMobi will never release its premium names.

I blogged last week that sex.mobi will go on sale very soon. It is not a joke. We will be releasing approximately 500 high value names for sale in the coming months. These names will be sold through three to four of the well know online and live auction venues from September to next January. You will see more public announcements about the sale of the dotMobi premium names in the coming weeks.

There are many blog posts that we waited too long and killed the market need for dotMobi. I make no apology that dotMobi waited one year to start selling premium names. We are a well funded company who has a long term view on dotMobi. The content publishing tools were not available last year to build good mobile content sites. It was not in the best interest of the consumer or the company to release names for sale when buyers would have had no good way to produce content. The tools are now readily available for building good mobile sites through site.mobi, dev.mobi, and many of dotMobi's 100+ resellers such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions, HiChina, Beijing Innovative, KeySystems, and Schlund, to name a few.

In fact, dotMobi has a standing offer. If you ever buy a dotMobi name and have a problem building conent, contact us. We will either help you directly, provide you with a tool or connect you with firm who can help you.

3. dotMobi put too much emphasis on live sites.

The facts are that the industry needs proof points to see that dotMobi does work. When dotMobi launched, the industry naysayers said that we would split the web into mobile versus wired. dotMobi, in fact, has provided some of the best free tools to encourage the growth of a device independent web through products like ready.mobi and site.mobi. Companies choosing to put up content behind a dotMobi name are proof points that the device independent web is a reality and growing.

Three months ago, there were about one million pages indexed on Google behind .mobi. Today, there are more than five million pages indexed behind .mobi names. While parking pages exist, there are many deep sites and we see the parking pages converting daily to real sites. I was at dotCom from the late 90s and saw the same trend… and it is happening much quicker on the mobi platform than it ever happened on dotCom. You have seen several blogs and press releases in the last month showing content examples going live.

Live sites are important because they show proof points that dotMobi is a booming success.

About Afilias - Mobile & Web Services

Afilias - Mobile & Web Services

Afilias Technologies Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias plc, is an expert provider of mobile and web technologies that help companies to reach their customers, regardless of device, content, or context. Products include the DeviceAtlas device intelligence solution, the goMobi mobile website publishing solution and Developer tools such as mobiReady. Learn More

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