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On Saturday, you were probably enjoying a quiet morning, sipping your coffee as you consumed headlines about news from New York to New Delhi. The headlines related to Internet business were probably much different than what you would have seen 10 years ago.
New top-level domains will quickly be upon us, and if you are ramping up to get your application ready, part of your launch plan should address what you will do with valuable keyword or generic names – what we often refer to as “premium names.” Reserving premium domain names for either auctions or a Request for Proposal (RFP) process is a great way to publicize your new TLD, increase the domain community’s awareness, and achieve initial bursts of revenue to support your business.
Almost exactly nine years ago, the .INFO domain first started accepting registrations. This was an historic event as it was the first time a new generic top level domain (TLD) was launched to an existing domain marketplace and, in fact, was the first new TLD to be added since .com. We’ve seen (and provided technology to power) many other TLD launches since then, with many business models.
The board resolved on Friday to dedicate its two-day retreat in September entirely to working on the issues that remain outstanding in the Draft Applicant Guidebook. The current version of the DAG, the fourth, is expected to be the final draft before applications become open to potentially hundreds of prospective new TLD registry operators.
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If you are a new TLD applicant, one of the key pieces of your plan is how you intend to go to market. Many applicants will be required by ICANN to use registrars, and there are many good reasons for this. Registrars understand the domain business, they are experienced domain marketers and most importantly, they have existing business relationships with many of the same registrants you will need to make your TLD successful.