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August 27, 2012

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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.

Ex-ICANN Chairman Jumps to New gTLD Job, Google Adopts .CO & Doors Open in Domainsville 

Peter Dengate Thrush, who was ICANN's Chairman of the Board until stepping down from that position after last month's ICANN international meeting in Singapore, has already stepped into a new position, one that will keep him closely tied to the domain industry. 

Top Level Domain Holdings Limited, the only publicly traded company focused exclusively on acquiring and operating new generic top-level domains, today announced that Thrush has joined the company as its Executive Chairman, effective immediately. Thurush is joining a company that, through its wholly owned subsidiary Minds+Machines,is working on plans to operate a variety of new gTLDs, including .nyc, .eco and .radio.

At the ICANN meeting in Singapore, Thrush led the ICANN Board to approve the organization's controversial roll out of an unlimited number of new gTLDs. His shift, less than a month later, to a leadership position in a new business that ICANN created and has regulatory control over, is already drawing criticism from those who view it as a conflict of interest. None the less, there are no regulations in place that bar such a move and Thrush's expertise and connections in the area of new TLDs obviously make him a very valuable addition to any company operating in that space.

Peter Dengate Thrush
Executive Chairman
Top Level Domain Holdings

Photo source: ICANNPhotos 

TLDH CEO Antony Van Couvering acknowleded that, noting, “Peter will be an outstanding asset to TLDH. Peter and I have worked together as ICANN participants since its inception, and I am very pleased to welcome him as our Executive Chairman. Peter championed successfully the approval of the new gTLD programme at the highest levels and with Peter on board I have every confidence we will achieve the same success at TLDH. I can’t think of a better addition to our team - Peter is a superstar in our field, and we are delighted to have him at the helm.”

Thrush added, “I am delighted to be welcomed to this first-class team, which has had an extensive and productive involvement with the new gTLD programme and which has stood out as innovative, bold, and effective. New gTLDs represent a major opportunity for the Company and its investors, for TLD applicants and for the Internet community, and I welcome the chance to make a contribution.”  

Elsewhere today, yet another internet giant - Google this time - has bought a one-letter .CO domain, G.CO (for an undisclosed price),  to use as a URL shortener (following in the footsteps of Amazon, GoDaddy and Twitter among others). The official announcement came from .CO registry operator .CO Internet S.A.S. this afternoon.

The registry's CEO, Juan Diego Calle, said, “We are thrilled to have Google join the select group of premium Internet brands that are using the .CO domain to innovate online. By featuring G.CO in its product and service marketing efforts worldwide, we are confident that Google will help to drive massive awareness and adoption of the .CO domain extension in the years ahead.”

.CO Internet S.A.S. has certainly scored an unparalleled string of marketing coups in a roll out that has made it the gold standard when it comes to launching a new TLD (in this case, actually re-launching an existing TLD, Colombia's country code, as a global extension).

One other note - a new domain information portal just opened its doors today at Domainsville.com. The free site is the brainchild of Abdu Tarabichi, a long time domainer who is based in Charlotte, North Carolina

Among the site's many features are a home page  headline feed from various industry 

blogs and news services (as well as a direct connection to Domainsville's own blog), another section on the home page that gives you currently active promo codes that can be used to get discounts from registrars and other service providers, as well as a directory of companies and individuals that provide professional products and services.  

There is also a calendar of events on the home page that will help you keep track of domain conferences, meet-ups, webinars, and live auctions. Users who are signed in can also  customize, edit, or remove information widgets as they desire. For example, if you do business with select domain registrars, you can eliminate the clutter by hiding promo codes from all other companies. 

The site, still listed as being Beta, looks to be off to an excellent start with a ton of useful features all under one roof.

(Posted July 18, 2011) 

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