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The Empire Strikes Back: "New" Verisign Hums a Familiar Tune

Losing your monopoly must be hard. True, few companies ever experience that particular breed of angst, but if Verisign's reply to even modest success in the new gTLD marketplace is any indication, it must be very hard to say goodbye. We understand why they're worried... The quality of newly registered .COM names is dropping and has been for years. And there is nothing Verisign can do about it. So welcome to the fire sale. more»

Thirty-Three Million and Counting

Two weeks ago I blogged about ICANN's astonishingly lucrative domain auctions. At that time, they'd raised $26.7 million. Now, two auctions later, they're up to about $33 million. Yesterday's two auctions were for .MLS and .BABY. The former, for those who aren't deep into the real estate biz, stands for Multiple Listing Service, the system that lets you list a house with one broker, and all the other brokers can sell it. more»

The Real Facts About New gTLDs

Many with financial interests in new gTLDs, such as Donuts, have painted a rosy picture of how new gTLDs create greater availability of meaningful domain name options that the global masses have been waiting for. Their message seems to be: FINALLY, there is an alternative to .com in new domain extensions like .guru, .photography, .blackfriday and .tips. But, the reality is that we have always had options other than .com to choose from when registering a domain name. The challenge isn't choice, its relevance and credibility. more»

Early Data Suggests New gTLDs Perform Well in Search Environment

Internet addresses registered in new gTLDs are holding their own against -- and in some cases outperforming -- comparable addresses registered in legacy domains like .COM, according to new data that provides the best window yet into the operational functionality of new gTLD addresses. A question on everyone's mind in the run up to new gTLDs was: how would new domains perform in the wild against legacy domains on the key criteria of search? more»

Is the ICANN New gTLD Program a Draft for a V2 of the Internet?

A week ago I was discussing the alternative of a European Internet root with an ex-ICANN Board member. The idea that I like to develop in these discussions is to offer end-users a modern and cheaper naming system. Note that it does not mean that the ICANN root is a bad one, it means that a new and upgraded one could cohabit with the existing one. One will wonder what this article has to do with new gTLDs but considering the creation of an Internet "version 2", offers website and brand owners many advantages. more»

Which Domains Stand the Strongest Against Phishing Attacks?

The latest Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) Global Phishing Survey, which analyzed over 100,000 phishing attacks in the first half of 2014, examines the progress that top level domains (TLDs) are making in responding to phishing attacks that use their TLDs. The report finds the .INFO domain has the lowest average phishing uptimes as compared to other TLDs, such as .COM and .NET. more»

ICANN New gTLD Auction Proceeds Approaching $30 Million

While the debate continues as to whether most new gTLDs are a sound long-term investment for their registry operators, there's no disputing that the program has been an economic boom for ICANN. The 1,930 first round applications each required an application fee of $185,000, which added up to a tidy $357 million. Even after refunds for withdrawn applications ICANN still cleared about a third of a billion dollars from the first round before a single string was delegated. more»

Experience and Evidence Point to Strong Renewal Rates for New TLDs

In the tenth month of the revolutionary expansion of generic top-level Internet domains, global registrations in new gTLDs reached more than three million addresses, providing the clearest illustration yet of the strong international appetite for new, relevant addressing options. As we near the first full year of new gTLD availability, focus now shifts to another critical metric -- renewals -- which we expect to show similar strength based on history and data analysis. more»

Government of Quebec Ends Its Participation in .Quebec TLD Days Before Launch

According to ici.radio-canada.ca, the Government of Quebec has decided to end its participation in the new gTLD .Quebec, just days before .Quebec launches. According to the story the Government has decided not to change Government websites to .Quebec and will instead retain all of its Website to end in .gouv.qc.ca... "The news will no doubt be received as a cold shower by PointQu├ębec organization, which is the company that is operating .Quebec registry. more»

Domain Name Abuse Is a 4 Letter Word

There has been a lot of back and forth recently in the ICANN world on what constitutes domain abuse; how it should be identified and reported AND how it should be addressed. On one side of the camp, we have people advocating for taking down a domain that has any hint of misbehaviour about it, and on the other side we have those that still feel Registries and Registrars have no responsibility towards a clean domain space. (Although that side of the camp is in steady decline and moving toward the middle ground). more»

ICANN (TBD): Why is ICANN Always to Blame and What to Do About It

With great anticipation I waited for the most recent Applicant Guidebook version 4 aka DAG4. I was looking forward to seeing gTLD program timeline. Was it possible that ICANN would give us another timeline and be firm with it? And then I saw it. Those 3 letters next to the new October 2010 launch date: tbd. So the date is October 2010 but it is "To Be Determined"? On one hand we have a set date but on the other hand it is yet to be determined. more»

Afnic Reporting About Impact of New TLDs on Traditional TLDs

The October 2014 edition of the Afnic Industry Report on Domain Names is out with focus on the impact of the hundreds of new TLDs on "traditional" players. The October 2014 issue shows that gTLDs (.com, .biz., etc.) are impacted by the massive influx of new TLDs on the market whereas ccTLDs (.fr, .re, ...) are better resisting the newcomers. more»

Towards More Efficient Registry-Registrar Relations

On the morning of Wednesday 15th October, the The Domain Name Association (the DNA) held an important working group meeting during ICANN 51 Los Angeles. The topic was to discuss several operational issues between registries and registrars. The meeting's unofficial ongoing name is the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group. The meeting was a continuation of an inaugural meeting that was held back in June of this year, and covered in a Industry Association: An Implementation Model circulated by the DNA from September 17, by Executive Director Kurt Pritz. more»

New gTLDs' Sales Force a Bottleneck?

A number of the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) have not fared well, as reflected in the dismal domain registrations. Most often we're told the problem is that end users don't know about the gTLDs, or that they don't understand or fully believe in the gTLDs' benefits, or that they demand a tremendous amount of benefits before giving up the familiar for something new (so-called .com-stickiness). My point: Behind all these explanations there may be another, the lack of decent sales force strategies. more»

5 Common Misconceptions New Registries Have About Domain Revenue

It is wonderful to see the floodgates open and see so many new gTLDs launch -- 417 delegated as of October 4th. As registry senior management's focus switches to operational matters post launch, it is now time to consider how the new registries will deal with revenue recognition and its impact on financial reporting. This is primarily the CFO's responsibility, but senior management must be mindful that improper domain revenue accounting will lead to corporate reputational damage. more»