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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

.Info Report Says Extension Gaining Ground + .CO to Get Boost in GoDaddy Super Bowl Commercial + Warren Royal's Bobbleheads.com Gets Big Plug on TV

Afilias, the operator of the .INFO registry, has released their 2010 .INFO Annual Report .INFO was the first generic, unrestricted gTLD to be launched since .com and in the nine years since its debut in 2001, the number of registered .INFO domains has grown to nearly 

6.8 million, making it the 4th largest gTLD on the Internet and the 7th largest extension overall. 

In 2010, the number of registered .INFO domains jumped nearly 30% from the previous year.  North America remained the top market for .INFO domains accounting for 58% of registrations. Europe was next at 27%, followed by the Asia Pacific region with 12%.

Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Afilias, said, ".INFO now represents 44% of the registration market for new TLDs and is more than double the size of any other new TLD ever launched. .INFO’s success provides many lessons applicable to the launches of new TLDs to come. Afilias has been able to use our experiences with .INFO as a foundation for supporting the successful approval, launch and growth of more new TLDs than any other registry services provider.”

The .CO Registry also has something to celebrate today. They hosted a party last night in Cartegena, Colombia where the 39th international ICANN meeting is being held this week. At that party, a video message from GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons to .CO CEO Juan Calle was screened and in that message Parsons hinted that .CO would be featured in one of GoDaddy's popular Super Bowl commercials in February.  Parsons said an official announcement was coming next week (Dec. 13th) but blogger Michael Berkens, who was at the party, reported shortly after it ended that it was clear what Parsons was saying. Last year's TV audience for the Super Bowl was over 95 million people so you can see why this news is creating a lot of excitement in the .CO camp. 

Warren Royal, the founder of Bobbleheads.com, who was featured in our December 2008 Cover Story) also have some TV exposure to celebrate. Warren got a big plug from the CBS-TV affiliate in Atlanta when the hosts of their Morning Show invited him to appear on the air. They raved about his company's custom-made bobblehead dolls as the perfect Christmas gift idea. The three co-hosts were especially thrilled when Warren presented them with new bobbleheads of themselves.

Warren Royal (right) of Bobbleheads.com during his 
guest appearance on the CBS Atlanta Morning Show

Warren's story is one of the best examples you will ever find of the value and power of a generic .com domain. He bought Bobbleheads.com for just $30,000 and has since developed a thriving business on the domain - a business that was given an immeasurable boost by being built on the name that defines the entire product category.  

Initially Warren sold dolls made by other companies, then he expanded in producing custom made dolls of his own (he has even released two bobbleheads dolls depicting domain industry figures - Rick Schwartz and Ron Jackson, each of which he retails for $19.95). During his TV appearance Royal said he could produce a custom made doll of anyone for as little as $89. The customer just sends in a photo or two of the person they want made into a doll and Bobbleheads.com takes it from there. Thanks to his TV appearance you can bet his Christmas business just got a big boost. 

Warren was featured on two different segments during the show. You can see a video clip of his first segment here. The second segment, which the reporter closed by showing the Ron Jackson bobblehead doll (thankfully without sticking any pins in it!), can be seen here.

(Posted Dec. 7, 2010)

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