European Commission (the executive committee of the
European Union) has ordered .eu registrar Eurid
reported irregularities in the extension's rollout April 7 and to
revoke illegal registrations. The EC response
came after they received a flood of complaints about shell
companies, many located outside the EU, sweeping up almost
every desirable .eu domain, leaving citizens of EU countries
empty handed. Eurid continues to maintain that everything was
done above board. Eurid spokseman Patrick Linden said,
"All of the 1,500 registrars were separate companies and fulfilled
the requirements. Of course it's very well possible that a lot
of these companies have the same owner." ng ac
favorable buzz continues to build around International
Domain Names (IDNs). Though there are still a number of
technical issues to be resolved, many speakers at last week's Domain
Roundtable Conference in Seattle predicted
widespread acceptance for IDNs. DNForum.com
owner Adam Dicker (who also spoke in Seattle) said in a
recent newsletter that he had purchased more than 5,000 IDN
domains over the past six months.
now, everyone knows about the huge registration numbers
piled up by the European Union's .eu since the
extension was opened to public registration April 7.
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the rollout you
won't be surprised to know that the first official dispute
over a .eu domain has already gone to arbitration with the
decision coming down in favor of the registrant of pst.eu.
Case details are here.
very successful Domain Roundtable Conference ended
Friday (April 21) in Bellevue, Washington. 312
registrants (nearly double the number that attended last
year's inaugural conference in Seattle) were on hand
for round two. On Thursday night, a silent domain auction was
held that included the $110,000 sale of Jail.com.
The winning bidder is well-known to us so we have no doubt the
transaction will be finalized. Our complete
conference wrap-up is available here.
Cerf, a man who played a huge role in the creation
of the Internet (and is now Chief Internet Evangelist at
Google.com) gave a superb keynote speech at the Domain
Roundtable Conference in Bellevue, Washington Thursday morning
(April 20). Cerf also wandered into the audience to take
questions after his talk and many went away feeling the
session with him alone was worth the price of attending
Roundtable. Marc Ostrofsky of iREIT.com
delivered another excellent keynote in the afternoon focused
on the current state of the domain business and the future
outlook for the industry. There were also two well-received
keynote speeches on the opening day of the conference
Wednesday (April 19), delivered by ICANN President Paul
Twomey and Sedo.com
Chief Strategy Officer Matt Bentley.
advertisers are continuing to shift ad spending to the
Internet. According to tech magazine Red
Herring (3rd item down), "As the TV audience continues to fragment and in many cases abandon network TV, advertisers are beginning to question whether network TV advertising is as effective as the ratings claim.
As a result, more advertisers are cutting back on their TV ad budgets and spending more money on the web. A whopping
80% of advertisers polled by Forrester Research said recently they will spend more of their advertising budget on web advertising, and
68% percent will look more to search engine marketing."
boom in the domain business has become a frequent
topic at mainstream media outlets. A new article on the front
page of the April 14 edition of USA
Today was devoted to the
resurgence of interest in domain names. A few hours after the
article came out San Francisco talk radio
station KGO had DN Journal Editor/Publisher Ron
Jackson on their morning show to talk about the explosion
in domain sales. The dollar value of sales reported to
DNJournal.com in the first quarter of 2006 jumped 215%
over the same quarter in 2005.
is going to go public according to a report
from Marketwatch.com. The article says 3 seperate
sources confirmed that GoDaddy had retained Lehman Brothers
to manage an IPO that could raise over $100
million and value the company at more than $250 million.
GoDaddy is one of the 20 fastest growing tech companies
according to accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche who
said the registration company's revenue soared from less than $1
million in 2000 to over $75 million in 2004.
expect the .eu registry, EurID, to take any action
in response to the many complaints that the registration
process for the new European Union extension was
rigged. Hundreds of so-called "shell registrars"
were set up (most of them outside the EU) apparently
for the sole purpose of grabbing the best .eu domains
when the land rush started April 7. Though critics want names
taken by those non-EU entities cancelled, EurID
spokesman Patrik Lindn said "We don't plan to do
anything as long as there has not been a breach of the
contract each signed with us. We verified that each registrar
was an individual legal entity and each had to sign an
agreement with us and prepay €10,000 euros."
Lind did acknowledge that some may have played the system,
saying "It's definitely possible, but then anyone is
allowed to have subsidiaries. If they have ten, they have a
better chance, but it's not our concern. Our job was to make
registering fair, and we did that."
country code extension, .us, broke the 1 million mark in total registrations
April 11, making it one of only seven ccTLDs in the world
with more than 1 million domains registered. .eu
joined the club just four days earlier when it went over 1
million on the opening day of the extension's land rush. The others (with
their total number of registrations as of March 31, 2006) are
Germany's .de (9,720,156), Great Britain's .co.uk
(4,783,448), the Netherlands' .nl (1,859,732), Italy's
.it (1,112,230) and Belgium's .be (1,028,741).
the sheer number of .eu domains that have been
registered since the extension's opening day April 7 is
impressive (see item below), there is also a dark side to the
phenomenon. Many are complaining that the registration process
was rigged to favor deep-pocketed domain speculators, many of
whom are not even residents of the European Union.
Domain blogs and forums are filled with allegations that the
average EU citizen was left empty-handed in the .eu
land rush. GoDaddy.com Founder and CEO Bob Parsons
is one of the most vocal critics. In a blog
entry April 9, Parsons accused the .eu registry
(EurID) of allowing Europe's extension to be hijacked.
new .eu extension got off to an impressive start
April 7 with 300,000 new domains registered in
the first hour. By the end of the day that
number had soared well past 1 million, making .eu
the first new extension to ring up over 1
million registrations in it's first day of public
availability. The strong demand temporarily crashed the WhoIs servers
for EurID (administrators of the .eu extension) but
that wasn't surprising under the circumstances. You can keep track
of the current number of .eu registrations by visiting the EurID statistics
page which is updated every 15 minutes.
are becoming an increasingly popular subject on
radio programs delivered via live webcasts or downloadable
podcasts. Many of you are already familiar with the DomainMasters
show hosted by Moniker.com
CEO Monte Cahn and aired live every Wednesday night at
7pm U.S. Eastern Time on WebmasterRadio.fm.
CEO Bob Parsons hosts another popular live weekly show
the same night at 10pm Eastern (recently renamed from Radio
GoDaddy to Life Online With Bob Parsons).
Now the NamePros.com
domain forum has given the concept a new twist with Radio
NamePros, a series of podcasts on various domain
topics that are produced by forum members. Forum owner Ron
James says the site's podcast library will grow quickly as
new programs are being added every week.
aftermarket domain sales venues Sedo.com
continue to spread their reach through partnerships with major
registrars. In the latest pairing, Sedo hooked up with Name.com.
When that registrar's customers search for a particular name
that someone else already owns, they will be shown a link to
Sedo if the domain is available for sale. These partnerships
increase awareness of the domain aftermarket and the often
high resale value of quality domains. That in turn encourages
new registrations and higher renewal rates for the registrars
and provides an additional sales channel for the aftermarket
venues (and more sales for their customers). Afternic has many
similar agreements in place, their latest being a deal with Dotster.com.
another reason to hate spyware. Ben Edelman (a Ph.D
candidate in economics at Harvard and Harvard Law
School graduate who has done extensive research on
Internet commerce issues) said on his
site April 4 that he has documented multiple
instances of spyware generating fraudulent clicks on Yahoo!
ads to produce revenue for the spyware companies involved
in the scheme. Click fraud is widely believed to be the single
biggest threat to the PPC industry that so many domain
owners rely on for revenue. If advertisers feel they are being
ripped off by click fraud they may reduce spending on the web
and that would obviously be bad news for everyone in this
business. If Edelman's research is accurate (and he has an
excellent track record), we are hopeful that the light he has
shed on this practice will lead to quick and appropriate
punishment for the thieves involved.