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New Domain Names For Sale: 4 Facts

First seven new generic top-level domains rolled out for public purchase Wednesday; hundreds more coming. Get prepared.

Top 10 Retail CIO Priorities For 2014
Top 10 Retail CIO Priorities For 2014
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Take note, Joe Plumber. You're now able to hang your shingle online at www.joe.plumbing, provided some other Joe doesn't beat you to the punch.

The first seven of what will eventually be hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) on the Internet began rolling out for public purchase on Wednesday, including .bike, .clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles, and .ventures. They're the first gTLDs that use the Latin alphabet to be released, following a multi-year effort led by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN) to dramatically increase the number of available Internet addresses.

Until now, there were 22 gTLDs, such as .com and .org, available to the general public. Much of the desirable Internet real estate -- especially on the standard-bearing .com domain -- was snapped up long ago. Joeplumber.com isn't available, for example; old Joe would have to settle for a less sought-after domain like joeplumber.biz.

Proponents of the new gTLDs say the expansion will make it easier for businesses and individuals to acquire compelling, memorable web addresses, among other benefits. Meanwhile, critics have bemoaned the expansion process as expensive and exclusionary, among other gripes.

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Richard Tindal, COO and co-founder of domain wholesaler Donuts, said he was happy with initial sales on Wednesday, although it was too soon to share specifics.

"We're about 48 minutes into day one [after] a five-year journey to get to here, so we're just starting," Tindal said in an interview. "But we're pleased. We're already receiving orders that are exceeding what we expected to get in the first few hours of business."

Donuts alone will release more than 100 new gTLDs this year via retail customers such as GoDaddy and business-oriented registrars such as Mark Monitor. The firm soon will be joined by other successful applicants who will begin making their own gTLDs available this year, too. Let's look at four important facts to understand about the Internet's ongoing expansion.

1. New domain names will be cheaper if you wait a week
Although general availability of domains such as .ventures and .clothing indeed kicked off Wednesday, your budget might be better served by waiting until next Wednesday before buying new URLs. That's thanks to a "declining price" feature baked into the process in which wholesalers such as Donuts add an additional fee to orders placed during the first week of availability. Because retailers will likely add their own markup, new domains will be considerably more expensive when they first hit the market, declining in price each day until settling at normal retail pricing on day eight. Tindal said the markups vary so it's unclear just how much of a premium you'll pay, though he noted it's a one-time cost, not an annual one.

"These first seven days are really for the highly motivated buyer who's prepared to spend more money to acquire a name that they really want," Tindal said, adding that some retailers don't have that kind of customer in their market profile. Indeed, as of early afternoon Wednesday, domains such as .plumbing weren't readily available for purchase on websites like GoDaddy.com.

Rather, those willing to pay premiums are most likely big brands, trademark owners, and those with deep pockets keen on being first in line for certain names. Budget-constrained buyers are more likely to wait until prices fall, but they stand to miss out as a result. Ultimately, retail registrars determine when to make new web addresses available for general sale. Tindal said he expects all of Donuts' accredited retailers to make the new gTLDs widely available by day eight of their release.

2. New gTLDs will hit the market weekly for much of 2014
Donuts is a venture-backed startup that applied for some 300 new gTLDs during ICANN's application window -- at $185,000 apiece. Donuts alone will roll out new domains weekly for the next 30 weeks or so, Tindal said, as will other successful applicants. A watchful eye is in order for anyone hoping to buy up new URLs. Next up: .camera, .equipment, .estate, .gallery, .graphics, .lighting, and .photography will be released on Feb. 5 and will follow the same declining-price process.

There's no real logic behind which domains will hit the market when. "It's a consequence of the various moving parts of the ICANN approval process," Tindal said. New gTLDs that were uncontested -- meaning only one organization applied for them, which was the case with around half of Donuts' applications -- will lead the way, however. Tindal expects it to take another four to six months for all of the contested gTLDs to be resolved.

3. IT's concern: name collisions
Potential security problems became one of the most prominent issues during the slow-moving expansion process, particularly after certificate authorities such as Symantec and Trend Micro, as well as businesses like PayPal, raised concerns about the potential for name collisions as new gTLDs hit the Internet. In short, such collisions could occur if the namespaces that IT administrators use on their private networks, such as .corp or .home, were to "leak" as a query to the public DNS, creating potentially serious security holes. Name collisions aren't new, but they could pose increasing risks as the number of public domains increases.

According to Tindal, much of the initial security concerns have been mitigated, although not entirely eliminated, as a result of strict controls. ICANN recently published the "Guide to Name Collision Identification and Mitigation for IT Professionals" to support efforts to minimize risks and resolve known conflicts.

"We're not concerned," Tindal said. "It's just something we'll sort out over the next few months, put it to bed, and it won't be something that I think people will be talking about [in the future]."

4. Marketing's concern: brand and trademark infringement
On the marketing side of the house, the new gTLDs sparked a wave of concerns about brand and trademark infringement, domain squatting, and similar issues. ICANN created a Trademark Clearinghouse to help prevent problems, though it favors larger companies that register trademarks -- and hires lawyers to protect them -- and offers less protection for smaller businesses that don't.

The new gTLDs released Wednesday, as well as those in future releases, have already been through the clearinghouse process and are fair for anyone to purchase as a result. "Trademark owners have already had their opportunity to get their trademark names," Tindal said. He added that the new gTLDs offer protections for brand and trademark owners that have never been available for .com names.

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vircdfr
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vircdfr,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2014 | 7:14:21 AM
Information about gTLDs for Website Development
These new gTLDS will give new opportunities to purchase same domain name and will reduce the problem of domains. But there is not a benefit to promote as brand by cause of same domain name dispute. Yes domain owners can also avail offshore software development services to build a website on these domains. 
Rick Vidallon
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Rick Vidallon,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2014 | 8:53:14 AM
Custom Top Level Domain names
While this is a great idea to generate cash; but the application process is inherently flawed. If Joe the plumber ever dreams of owning 'dot.plumber' for his online business name, then he needs to get in line with the 1000 pound gorilla's; ServPro, Roto-Rooter and so on. Same goes for every small business in the US.

So you want to be 'name'.realestate? HA! Forget it. And I can think of 500,000 other small business TLDs' that will be swallowed up by huge companies, large franchises and national chains.

Thinking of owning a custom (Top Level Domain names) TLD's for your business? You have better chances winning the Power Ball.  
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/30/2014 | 10:38:26 AM
Re: Custom Top Level Domain names
I remember having a debate with a colleague years ago about the practice of squatters jumping in and buying .com names that they forsaw as possibly valuable down the road, and just sitting on them, paying the yearly fees. I don't see how that's any different from a real estate speculator buying up property hoping to make a profit. She saw the practice as shady and harmful to the growth of ecommerce. How do you think this expansion plays into that?

Seems like by increasing the volume of desirable names, squatters will need to buy more. And, I guess, in that way, it's now NOT like real estate. They're not making more land, but they can make more tlds!
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2014 | 10:57:33 AM
Re: Information about gTLDs for Website Development
It was inevitable that this expansion of domain naming would have to happen. But yes, now I can see what kind of problems there will be as a result of this.

It's no wonder it took so long for these to come to market. They are needed, but problematic issues will end up arising. 
KevinRCasey
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KevinRCasey,
User Rank: Moderator
1/30/2014 | 8:42:48 PM
Re: Custom Top Level Domain names
Rick, this has been the leading criticism I've heard of the gTLD expansion -- that it's exclusionary and favors deep pockets -- dating back to 2011 when I first started writing about it. It's not baseless, either. It cost $185,000 to apply to own and manage one of these gTLDs. ICANN brought in upwards of $350 million just in application fees during the initial application window.

The less-reported element is the "declining price" feature, which by design favors those willing and able to spend (potentially much) more on the domain names they want. A commonly listed benefit of the expansion is that small businesses, individuals, etc. will have more choice, but this declining-price process means those with deep pockets will have first choice.
Rick Vidallon
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Rick Vidallon,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2014 | 9:02:47 PM
Re: Custom Top Level Domain names
Ditto That Kevin!! On that same note circa 2001 I had applied to become a limited domain registrar per the reqirement of a web application we were developing. The processing fee for simply 'submitting' the application for 'consideration' was $25,000. -- LOL- NO WAY! --

Needless to say; I passed, but did picked up an interesting tid-bit. If I had became a certified registrar our internal cost for a domain name registration would have been 25 cents per name. It's probably closer to 37 cents today. Now we all know why Go Daddy can buy those million dollar Super Bowl commercials every year!   
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2014 | 11:56:04 PM
Domains
I saw that .io was coming out (or came out recently, I forget which). Is it wrong that I went straight away to a registrar and checked for availability of "eie.io"? Or "scorch.io"? 

 

Just me? Ok then. ;)
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2014 | 11:59:26 PM
Impossible Domain Names
My biggest fear is that this whole thing just becomes unmanageable. Want to go to Target's web site?

 

target.com?

target.shop?

target.retail?

target.discount?

target.store?

etc.

 

Where does it stop? At least now, you can have a stab at "company.com"... Selfishly I kind of like that. The whole thing just ends up sounding like a massive scam to make money for registrars, not to really make it easier for end users.
Chris3B
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Chris3B,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/27/2014 | 2:15:35 PM
Re: Impossible Domain Names
more extensions more trash

I dont think any extension can have the same value once compared with .com

 
jeepsjeeps
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jeepsjeeps,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/4/2014 | 8:25:41 PM
Re: Custom Top Level Domain names
Unfortunately, you're misinformed as to the actual definition of "squatting" or "cybersquatting" on a domain. Let me help clarify...

"Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price."

Good day.
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