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Fashion of the Moment: The "Pioneer Program"

Jean Guillon

I have had the question recently with several new gTLD applicants.

I think this is a good subject for applicants with the intention to sell domain names AND who are alone to apply for their string.

A Pioneer program allows to:

Find good partners to developp a TLD: once the program is signed, it is an insurance they will have a good use of the requested domain name;

• Start the promotion of the new TLD "today" and at no risk: this is the perfect opportunity for a registry to launch his web site with something to offer (more than FAQs);

Earn cash NOW: launching a Pioneer program today allows to offer generic domain names only, not anything branded or protected which will have to go through the Trademark Clearinghouse process. Paying for a domain name is a privilege if you want to be the first one to use it: an insurance too for the registry that the Registrant (the one who participates in the program) won't be tempted to just...resell it.

• Ensure many web sites using the domain name are online as soon as the registry is launched: this is an excellent promotion for a new TLD;

• Start to generate traffic on the registry's web site and inform potential future Registrants about Sunrise periods and other announcements related to the TLD.

I had developed a small Pioneer program for Project dotVinum and price was low to acquire a good domain name but other applicants may be tempted to launch very complex programs at very high prices. Past has shown that… it does not work. The more complex it is, the more it scares potential partners to participate… and buy.

By Jean Guillon, New generic Top-Level Domain specialist. More blog posts from Jean Guillon can also be read here.

Related topics: Top-Level Domains

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