Archive for February, 2012

Protect Your Brand – .XXX
by Clint on February 29th, 2012

The Telegraph reported in March 2010 that the domain Sex.com was up for auction at a staggering $1 million dollars. In 2006 the domain had been purchased for a whopping $14 million.

But, this obvious domain money spinner is runner up to the revenue that may be generated by the new round of .XXX domain extensions which are entirely devoted to products, movies and services that gravitate around the sex and porn industry.

This extension that is geared towards sexually explicit material could see revenues over $200 million per year arising from 3-5 million new domain registrations. Most of this cash goes to ICM Registry, based in Florida, charged with overseeing the domain.

The new domain is already embarrassing a few high net-worth individuals including Sir Richard Branson, who recently released his new book Screw Business as Usual.

The usually far-sighted British entrepreneur failed to see the value in early registration of the domain, richardbranson.xxx, which was pounced upon by an Australian man who registered it as a “souvenir”, said The Telegraph.

Caught flat-footed, Branson recognized the potential danger of leaving this registration go unchecked and took the man to court.

“Registering and holding a .xxx domain name identical to [Sir Richard’s] mark without having any rights or interests therein is evidence of bad faith registration and use,” said a Judge in ruling against the man.

There have been other similar low-key incidents, too, including an unsavory use of the domain UniversityofHawaii.xxx that appeared for sale on eBay.

“The domain came to life earlier this month with photos of nude couples having sex at tropical-like locations.  You won’t find an official schedule of courses here, just tropical porn,” said The State of the News.

Meanwhile, ICM markets the next extension as the World’s Coolest New Domain.

One little known fact is that 3,500 .XXX domain names were initially held in reserve to protect the individual name interests of performers and personalities within the adult entertainment industry.  Adult performers could visit this link to do a quick check to see if their name qualified under the program.

Google has no plans – officially that it is – of treating the domain differently when displaying results.  It will thus be treated as any other top-level domain.

As with the cases mentioned, .XXX is quickly being registered by non-members of the adult community to protect their brand. While Resell.biz does not support hosting adult content (see terms of service) you may choose to protect your brand by registering the .XXX domain before someone else does.

Protect your brand/domain today by purchasing an .XXX domain from resell.biz, a registrar actively involved in helping resellers generate revenues from domain registrations.

All arrows up for 2011 .Com & .Net domain registrations
by Clint on February 28th, 2012

It sometimes worth wondering why we don’t treat the index of domain name registrations in the same vein as we do the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ composite when evaluating the economic health of the United States.

For instance, if GDP growth is indicative of small business activity then should not the aggregate growth of domain name registrations, including .com and .net TLDs be a sub-set worth considering?

At the end of December, Verisign confirmed that both of the extensions had grown by 8.2% over 2010 levels for the third quarter of 2011.

Nearly 112 million names had been registered towards the end of December, 2011.

The domain name industry brief put together by Verisign also shows us the rising interest in the .tk (Tokelau) domain that entered the rankings as the seventh largest TLD, dropping .NL (Netherlands) from seventh to eighth. Very surprisingly China has exited the top 10 after holding the number 8 position for several years.

The top ccTLD registries by international domain base in the third quarter of 2011 belonged to German, UK, Tokelau, Netherlands and the Russian Federation.

Renewal rates were also up for .com and .net by about 73%.

Verisign estimates that 88 percent of .com and .net domain names resolve to a website, meaning that an end-user visiting that domain name would find a website. These websites can be further described as those having multiple pages or as one-page websites.

During 2011, domain queries directed at the Verisign site sometimes exceeded 78 billion.

The Verisign report also showed eager anticipation for the new gTLD process that allows companies to purchase .brand and .community domain names.

“An example of an existing community-based domain is .cat, a sponsored TLD introduced in 2006 to serve the whole Catalan linguistic and cultural community, whether or not a site is based in the territories where the Catalan language is spoken,” said Verisign.

Other interesting community variations include .Geo, .IDN, .Industry, .travel, .Interest, and .Service.

I wish she would marry ME!
by Clint on February 27th, 2012

And she will! If you purchase the domain name willshemarry.me, which in fact Mat Mansell did around the beginning of 2010 and used the site as a way of informing guests how to get to the wedding.

“It even allowed them to vote for songs to be played at the disco,” reported the BBC.

The .ME domain has become one of the most popular selling domains of all time, with over 300,000 sold in 2010 alone. By the middle of 2011 this figure had risen to 530,000 domain registrations.

Just like the .co domain, it offers big companies like WordPress the ability to reduce link length by up to 70%, as part of their growing Tiny URL shorteners, including WP.me

This happens to be, by the way, the only two-letter .me domain on the planet and every single blog or post on the WordPress.com site has a WP.me URL.

“WP.me is spam-free, because we are constantly monitoring and removing spam from WP.com,” said WordPress.

About.me is another famous brand using this extension, which loved the idea of simplifying the URL address and launching what they thought was a unique business idea.

“The central idea wasn’t just to build a simple personal website builder, but also a place where you could manage your identity,” said the .me registrar blog.

“The About.me team felt that LinkedIn was one-dimensional, while Facebook had grown from being a service where you could manage your online identity.”

And, in May 2011, Google secured the Ro.Me for a new web project spinning around a music experience called “3 Dreams of Black” by director, Chris Milk

Unfortunately, Ro.Me seems to be used to tacitly push downloads for Google Chrome if you read the welcome message that greets you on Firefox!

More than 52% of .ME registrations originate in the United States. The UK contributes about 7%, with about 4% registered in Germany. Canada and Japan hover around the 3% mark.

The domain extension is growing by about 20-30% annually and has even attracted Facebook’s attention that used it to deploy FB.Me as part of its URL shortener and mobile apps platform.

.CO – A shortcut to success: Part II
by Clint on February 17th, 2012

The .CO began life in 1999 under the direction of Colombia’s Universidad de los Andes who quickly understood that the shortened extension might have some commercial value.

It soon found it self in the cross-hairs of the Colombian government who rejected their bid to treat the domain like a .COM extension.  The government viewed the domain as a public asset and exerted extreme pressure on the University to relinquish its control or at the very least refrain from commercializing the domain.

The University had intended sub-contracting the domain out to an independent registrar via an international bidding process. To do this it had to get the permission from ICANN, the international body controlling all domain names.

Meetings took place between the University, Government and ICANN, resulting in a mixed outcome. At one point it looked like the Colombian government had decided not to override the University’s control.

However unbeknownst to the University, the Colombian government passed a resolution to put the domain under its partial regulatory control and gave notice to ICANN about the law and it’s new parental guidance. The University was still allowed to administer the domain, but the Government basically had final say over any domain action, including commercialization.

This resulted in more disagreements between the University and the Government, until a defining moment in 2006 when Colombia issued Law 1065, which ordered that full administration control be placed under the Ministry of Communications.

ICANN initially attempted to influence the Colombian government as to how re-delegation of the domain should proceed, including a bottom-up rather than top-down selection process. However, the government held firm in its wish to exclusively administer the domain under the Ministry of Education, despite objections from ICANN throughout much of 2007.

ICANN then issued the statement in 2008 that “that unless there was a proposed operator for .CO the “due diligence [for redelegation process] could not be made”.

Eventually a bidding procurement process took place between .CO Internet SAS and VeriSign Switzerland SA for the right to delegate the domain on behalf of the Government. The Government elected the former due to VeriSign’s apparently lacking “specific experience”.

By 2010, the administration of the .CO domain was transferred from the University to .CO Internet SAS, under the regulatory and policy supervision of the  Ministry of Communications of Colombia.

In July, 2010, the .CO domain was open for worldwide business. By 2012, nearly 1 million .CO domains had been registered and this number is expected to reach 5 million by around 2017.

By contrast the .COM domain now stands at around 84 million, probably more.

Thus, .CO domain registrations looks set to exponentially surge upwards which is why registrars like Go Daddy are spent upwards of $3 million for a 30 second commercial spot on Super Bowl Sunday.