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It seems inevitable: the world of the Internet of Things has arrived. All kinds of devices and wearables will be connected to the cloud. The new .cloud domain is a key factor in this trend!

When the new domain extension .cloud was announced, it immediately was clear that many big names in the tech industry were eager to operate this interesting new domain. Obviously Amazon and Google, the biggest providers of cloud services, were among the prospective operators.

Great, however, was the surprise when neither of them made it during a private auction in October 2014. And as the saying goes in dutch “when two dogs fight over a bone, the third one runs away with it“, it was a hitherto unknown third party, the Italian hosting company ARUBA SpA, that won the auction.

Cloud Pioneers

Meanwhile, we are one year later, and the procedure for the launch of this new domain extension nears its completion. The Sunrise period, reserved for trademark owners, runs until 15 January 2016. From January 25 till February 5 follows the Landrush, with the General Availability starting on February 16, 2016.

Several companies already have registered their .cloud domain, as can be seen at the special “Cloud Pioneers” website. Among others Canonical Ltd., the British company behind the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, but also Nerdalize, a Dutch start-up that is getting a lot of attention for its project to convert the heat, generated by servers, to a source of free hot water for home owners – a solution which was recognized as Europe’s Best Climate Venture 2015.

And you? Could a .cloud domain name  become the ideal home for your cloud service or start-up? Maybe your project is better served with one of the dozens of other new domain extensions? Check out the extensive list, and be inspired!

 

 

The citizen-led sustainability initiative CO2.org gives the right signal and switches to the new domain extension .earth. It should become a hub for all initiatives to improve life on this planet.

After difficult negotiations the climate conference in Paris has come to binding agreements to combat global warming. President Barack Obama called it “the best chance to save our only planet”. This concern for the environment, and the will to take measures against global warming, can now easier be found on the internet thanks to this new gTLD.

From now on organizations and institutions that strive for our planet will find their virtual home on .earth. This gTLD should become a platform that enables global citizens to share their voices for the betterment of society and to enrich life on the earth. Each registrant must pledge to be an ambassador of our planet, and to do away with actions that can harm our planet and its inhabitants.

CO2.org becomes CO2.earth

CO2.org for example, a citizens’ initiative that measures the “vital signs” of earth, has made the transition to the new domain extension. On CO2.earth you will find all the key data about our planet,  measurements, comparisons with previous years. The project also wants to process these data in applications, which anyone can place on his own website in order to further spread the message. Figures on the daily CO2 emissions don’t lie: 402.04 ppm on December 11, 2015, against 398.65 ppm on December 11, 2014; the same for the monthly CO2 emissions: 400.16 ppm in November 2015 against 397.27 ppm in November 2014.

Democracy.earth: a new governance

The very first .earth domain was democracy.earth. An initiative that works towards a new form of democracy, with a decentralized, global government of peers. “The Internet has changed the way we share culture, work together, and even fall in love. But governance has remained unchanged for 200 years,” thus can be read on the site. “With the emergence of open source software and peer to peer networks, political mediation is no longer necessary. We are working on a protocol with smart contracts, which allows for decentralized governance for any kind of organization.”

An intriguing concept. We are curious what other initiatives will find their virtual home on .earth! Are you looking for an original domain extension which perfectly fits the business plan or the goals of your organization? Have a look at the extensive list of new domain extensions!

 

The registration of .club domain extensions continues at blazing speed. More than 110.000 new .club domains have been registered in 2 weeks of time, bringing the total to >430.000. The domain extension is also doing well at several auctions. Some figures…

On November 29, there were a total of 10.373.491 domains registered with one of the new domain extensions according to ntldstats.com. .xyz is still leading (1.662.429 domains), followed by .top (907.704 domains), .wang (594.511 domains) and .win (502.612 domains). .club, which is 5th in the top 10 with 431.794 domains, is going very strong. On November 14 the counter showed in fact 320.000 registered domain names, which means an increase of more than 110.000 domains in just 2 weeks of time.

Dynamic promotion

Behind the .club gTLD stands a clever promotor, who knows how to sell his goods. Domain names that are not renewed for example are not put back in circulation, but are auctioned. Rather ingenious, because not only does this draw the attention to interesting .club domains, but those domains also fetch a much higher price than a simple registration could muster.

Furthermore, auctions are held on specific themes. For example, there is an auction based on the number of letters in the .club domain. At the auction of two-letter .club domains for example all offered domains reached their reserve of $5.000. At a special numeric .club auction 666.club received during the preceding phase 59 bids, with $3.200 as highest bid. It is remarkable that this number is a lucky number in China, while elsewhere in the world it is known as “the mark of the devil”. 333.club received 23 bids, 111.club 14, and 555.club 17 bids.

Wine.club sold for $140 000

And then there are the stars among the .club domains: Night.club, Strip.club, Athletic.club, Breakfast.club, Bottle.club, Running.club. Those can be bought during the RightoftheDot.com auction, organized during the Namescon conference. Pre-bids have been opened. How the bids evolve, you can follow at the .club auction site

Meanwhile we are wondering whether the record of Wine.club will be matched. That domain was sold at auction last year, during the Namescon conference, for $140.000, which is still the highest reported sale for a new gTLD.

Do you have a business or other idea for which a .club domain name would be ideal? Or any of the many other domain extensions? View our selection of the new domain extensions and be inspired!

 

In no time .science has become the sixth most popular gTLD. Are we all becoming geeks, or does the .xyz effect play a role?

In recent months we have reported here about the many beautiful, interesting new domain extensions that have been launched. Some of them are an immediate success with the general public, such as .guru, .club, .party. Others have yet to win the hearts of the public. And some others enter straight away into the top 10 of the most popular domain extensions. Sometimes it is not immediately clear why that happens, which raises questions.

Such was the case for the domain extension .xyz, which, at the time of its launching, was offered free of charge by a particular hosting company to all of its clients. One year later however, it shows that most of these domain names were renewed at their expiry date – a confirmation that the owners really appreciate the value of this domain name and want to hang on to it.

.science straight into the top 10

Now there is again a domain extension that is scoring high: .science. Within two weeks after its launch, the extension had climbed to the 3rd place in the top 10 of the most popular domain names. A few weeks later, the popularity dropped somewhat, but .science still is 6th most popular domain name.

Have we then all become geeks who want to showcase our interest and our knowledge of science with a .science domain? Again, the answer is mixed. Several providers had in fact set a very low price for the registration of such domain, probably encouraged by the registry of the domain. Of course the registrations of .science domains rose sky-high.

Meanwhile, the situation has calmed down. The exceptionally low registration rates for .science no longer apply. The normal rate, valid for most other new extensions, is now in effect.

Ideal to show scientific knowledge

Yet it remains undeniable that .science is the ideal domain extension for a scientist to present his work online. Whether it is a chemistry teacher who wants to present his lessons graphically, or an expert scientist who wants to explain Einstein’s theory in a simple way: .science is the appropriate domain to do so. For businesses, the .science domain is also the opportunity to showcase their advanced technological developments.

Is a .science domain name something for your organization or company? Or is one of the hundreds of new domain extensions better suited for you? Have a look at our wide range and be inspired!

 

 

The new domain extensions go fast. .xyz has overtaken .biz and is now the 5th largest domain extension. An overview of some impressive numbers…

Record number of domain registrations in one day

The number of domains worldwide keeps growing, at an ever faster pace. The registration of domains, with an ‘old’ or ‘new’ domain extension, reached a new record. On February 18, more than 750,000 domains net in one day have been registered. To be clear, this ‘net’ means the number of registered minus the number of deleted domains (expired and not renewed).

On December 31, 2015 there were 158,7 million domains in the ‘classic’ gTLDs, and 10,9 million with the ‘new’ domain extensions, all combined 169,6 million. According to RegistrarStats.com, on February 18 there were 175,5 million domain names, classic and new combined, so 6 million more in six weeks’ time.

.xyz still biggest champion

It also seems that the general public finally is getting aware of the existence of the new domain extensions. On February 20, 2016 there were, according to ntldstats.com, slightly more than 14 million domains with one of the new domain extensions. Leader is still .xyz, accounting for 2,5 million domains (18,11%). There seems to be a strong demand from China for this domain extension. All combinations of three-letter domains have been registered already, and now all four-letter domains or LLLL.xyz domains also have been registered.

This means that .xyz in less than two years has surpassed .biz, the domain extension which was launched in 2001 and until now it was 5th largest gTLD. Only when .xyz has more than 5.5 million registrations, it will defeat the current number 4, .info.

The competition is gaining ground

But other domain extensions are gaining popularity too.

There is .top, with its 1,577 million domains, that accounts now for 11.24%. After that we have .win, which has a market share of 5,37%, followed by the 5,09% market share of .club.

Moreover, several promising domain extensions will be launching in the weeks and months to come. For example .store will be launched in April, with a Sunrise on April 6 and General Availability on June 14. The alternative extension .shop undoubtedly will also score high, but its launch date has not been advised yet.

And you? Have you thought about the opportunities a domain name with one of the new extensions could mean for you, in terms of SEO and brand recognition? Check out our list of available extensions and be inspired!

Dark clouds loom over the domain landscape, now that the registry xyz.com has proposed to ICANN to have some domain extensions censored… What’s going on?

Dark clouds for .xyz

Last week we wrote that the domain extension .xyz currently is the most popular gTLD, because of its appeal to both the X-, Y- and Z-generation. However, dark clouds begin to loom over the future of this domain extension.

Domain registry XYZ.com, which among others operates the .xyz domain extension, has in fact recently submitted a proposal to ICANN. This proposal worries the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as the registry wants that certain words, mentioned on a blacklist of the Chinese government, cannot be registered as a domain with the domain extensions operated by XYZ.com. This would apply to .xyz, but also for .college and .rent, which are already in the General Availability phase. Same goes for .security, .theatre and .protection (sunrise end of this year).

Forbidden words

That list contains almost 12,000 ‘forbidden’ words and terms, including the Chinese words for ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’.  According to the EFF a censored domain name is admittedly not the same as censoring the content hosted on that domain. But the “complicity of XYZ.com to promote Internet censorship by the Chinese government would be entirely inappropriate and in contradiction to its role as a provider of domain names to the world.”

The ban would not apply to already registered domain names belonging to companies / individuals outside China. ICANN has now opened a public comment on the proposal. Hopefully there will be enough protest so that it can be prevented that XYZ.com would bend over backwards in order to play a significant role on the Chinese market…

 

Quite a remarkable incident involving the Google.com domain name. It once again shows the importance of the domain-lock, which Register.be offers you for free!

One day, Sanmay Ved, a former Google employee and a big fan of its products, was surfing the internet. When he typed the Google.com domain name into his Google Search panel, he couldn’t believe his own eyes. Instead of the gray sad smiley which normally indicates that a domain is sold already, he got a green happy smiley: the domain was available!

Sanmay did not hesitate for a moment and bought the domain – for just $ 12. He immediately received messages for the Google.com domain owner and mails with internal information. He even got access to the webmaster controls! Fortunately, the man immediately took some screenshots to document this incredible experience. Because after a minute or so, Google Domains canceled the purchase. They mentioned that someone else had registered the domain before him. The 12 dollars were neatly returned.

Registry Lock at the rescue!

What exactly has happened remains a mystery. Was Google Domains plagued by a bug? Or had the company simply forgotten to renew its domain name on time? In any case it would not be the first large company that made such a mistake. In 2003 Microsoft had forgotten to renew his hotmail.co.uk domain. And in March 2014 the domain of the US First Lady, MichelleObama.com, suddenly was for sale on the Internet.

The incident emphasizes once more the importance of the registry lock. Register offers it at no additional cost, to all organizations, companies and individuals who register a domain name through our company. Your domain name is automatically locked, when possible. That way you don’t have to worry about losing your domain name via a fraudulent transfer out. If required, you can always request to unlock your domain.

And our Sanmay Ved? He will go down in history as “the man who was for one minute the owner of Google.com!”

 

The new generic Top Level Domains have strict rules for the registration of domains with such domain extension. Several gTLD’s give additional protection to vulnerable professions and raise confidence in their website. The .bank domain extension is a good example.

.bank domain extension for reputable and reliable bank institutions

The launch of .bank had one main objective: to make a clear distinction between trusted bank sites and imposters. It should indicate to users that reputable, reliable bank institutions will only use a website with this extension. Any company that wants to register a .bank domain name, therefore has to meet 30 requirements in terms of security.

One of them is DMAR, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. This should ensure that fraudulent mails, originating from spoofed .bank addresses, would be blocked before they can reach the intended victim.

Because the user no longer receives false messages, this will increase his trust in communications from his bank.  This is a win-win situation for both the bank and the consumers. The user now knows that mail, coming from a .bank domain, indeed originates from his bank. And the banks can finally go back to using the classic communication method that still remains the most effective: mail, to deliver their (marketing) message to the consumer.

Banks have understood the message

More and more banks meanwhile have realized the great potential of a uniform domain extension for the entire sector. One of the most important registrars for the .bank gTLD, the American company Encirca, is collaborating with Return Path in order to enable the required e-mail authentication.

At the moment 2.362 .bank domains have been registered already. Another proof that the new domain extensions lead to a clearer identity on the internet, which in turn inspires more confidence!

Do you want to know if there is a new domain extension that fits your profession, your business model, which allows you to make clear what you can offer your customers? Check out our special module that can inspire you!