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You thought TLD meant Top Level Domain? Well not on this page! This is Domain Name Journal's version of TLD - The Lowdown -  filling you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry!
September - October 2004 Archive 

Here is an update to our note on the .PW registry below. The Boston-based registrar has decided to let individuals compete for exclusive sponsorships to second level .PW domains. The sponsorships are being sold in a round of auctions currently underway. If you acquired, for example, Smith.pw, you would receive a share of the revenue from every 3rd level Smith.pw domain registered (John.Smith.pw for example) no matter what registrar sells the domain. More information on the auction process is available at http://auctions.pwregistry.pw...BulkRegister.com is offering domain transfers into their system at below cost through Nov. 24. The Baltimore-based registrar is marking their 5th anniversary by offering $5.99 per transfer if you move a minimum of 5 domains in at once. After Nov. 24 a higher, but still reduced price price of $7.77 will be offered through Dec. 31. BulkRegister, which targets business customers, has more than 1.3 million domains under management in over 27,000 accounts. They have added 3,000 new members so far in 2004...The PW Registry Corporation, administrators of the .pw extension, is marketing the globally available TLD (Palau's country code) as one that has been designed to protect individual privacy. They claim that .pw email addresses are virtually spam-free due to registry level controls and to prove that they are offering free 30-day trial accounts until the end of October. All second-level .pw domains (for example, smith.pw) are reserved by the registry so multiple users can share the same name. To sign up for the free trial just enter any name or word you want in your browser as a web address (for example www.smith.pw or www.travel.pw). That will take you to a page that will allow you to confirm availability of the email address you want and sign up for it. If you want more information on .pw domains visit their web site at www.pwregistry.pw...In one fell swoop  SnapNames.com may have put themselves back on top of the drop catching game. SnapNames has announced a new arrangement with Network Solutions, effective immediately, that guarantees that SnapNames customers will get ALL Net Sol expired domains that have been backordered through SnapNames. If only one person has ordered a domain it will immediately go to that person when it drops. If more than one person has ordered a domain, an auction will determine which SnapNames customer gets the domain. Network Solutions is the world’s largest registrar and more premium expiring names come from them than any other registrar. With exclusive rights to those domains, SnapNames should end up with the lion’s share of high dollar auctions. SnapNames has already set up a page listing Net Sol names  that are nearing expiration (including a downloadable .csv file) here. Now the question is how will SnapName's drop catching competitors react to this dramatic move that cuts them out of the race for many of the best names?. ICANN will likely have something to say too as there is now less value in the registrar credentials they sell (that are often used primarily to chase expiring domains)... Registrar problems? Complaints to ICANN may help. We have written at length about an epidemic of problems with ICANN-accredited registrars who make it impossible for registrants to access or manage their domains, or to transfer out to a better registrar. It appears ICANN may be starting to act on the situation. We had three separate registrars who had failed to deliver management information for domains we bought 4 months ago, despite repeated messages sent to them. All communications were ignored until this week when we finally wrote the registrars again and copied the complaint emails to ICANN at registrar-info@icann.org. In every case, the registrars answered almost instantly this time! Two immediately completed the transfer out requests we demanded and the third is working on resolving our complaint. Moral of the story; use that ICANN email address if you are having trouble with your registrar... The drop catching game is about to get a new heavyweight contender. Tucows has announced that they will roll out a new expiring domains auction service before the end of the year. The big twist in the Tucows plan is that the original owners of the domains will share in money derived from the auctions. No one has ever done that before and if it is successful it could completely change the drop-catching landscape (again). Full details of the Tucows announcement can be read here...  Afilias is holding a .info fire sale. In fact prices have dropped all the way to zero at some registrars. The operator of the .info registry has decided to give registrars free registrations for the rest of 2004. A few, including DomainSite.com, DomainDisount24.com and NameSecure.com are passing the entire savings along to their customers, letting them register up to 25 .info domains each at no charge. Many other registrars are reducing their normal .info prices but haven't resorted to a complete giveaway yet. Though the move will undoubtedly give the total number of .info registrations a large boost, it remains to be seen if it will have the desired effect of promoting .info development, recognition and long term growth... .Com and .Net WhoIs updates will start appearing in near real-time September 8. VeriSign Naming and Directory Services (VNDS) have been generating new versions of the .com /.net zones files twice a day but the new system will reportedly provide updates in an average of less than 5 minutes. .Org, .Info, .Biz and .US already have fast updates that show changes in the WhoIs record within minutes...Fans of Great Britain's .co.uk country code will want to read Daniel Law's special report on the extension. Law is Sedo.com's Director of English Operations. For the past few months we have noticed more interest among domainers in .co.uk (both in reported sales and requests for information). Law's article details  the pros and cons involved in .co.uk investment. Germany's .de is the world's most popular country code but .co.uk is a solid second and total registrations are rising rapidly...Web publishers who use Google AdSense will be happy to know that they are now allowing you to place more than one ad on a page. Google will automatically detect when you have placed multiple ads on a page (maximum of three allowed) and will serve unique ads in each box...Where did the rest of the Lowdown go? Every other month we archive items in the Lowdown and start a new round of industry items so we can keep the freshest business briefs on this page. At the start of each new period this section will be relatively short. By the end of the 60 day cycle it will be a long scroll and time to move it and make way for new blood again.  


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