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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.

.CO Celebrates a Happy Birthday While Skeptics Predict a New TLD Flood Will Leave Befuddled Consumers Seeking .Com Shelter

.CO is celebrating its 2nd birthday today. The  re-launched extension (originally designated as Colombia's ccTLD before being re-purposed for general use worldwide) opened to the public on July 20, 2010. Since then more than 1.3 million .CO domains have been registered in more than 200 countries. Much of the credit for that goes to a masterful marketing job that set high water marks future new registry operators will be hard pressed to match.

.CO's success has extended beyond new registrations to the domain aftermarket according to a press release issued by domain sales giant Sedo today. Sedo reported selling over $1.6 million worth of .CO domains since the extension was re-launched. The company said the average .CO sale price of $1,800 was higher than any extension other than .com on their platform. 

.CO Internet CEO Juan Diego Calle said, "The numbers say it all. Sedo's report confirms that in just two short years, the .CO domain has become a major force to be reckoned with on the global domain market. It's exciting to imagine how these numbers will grow in the next five to ten years as the .CO TLD becomes even more widely adopted, developed, monetized and marketed by end users worldwide."

Sedo's Chief Sales Officer, Liesbeth Mack-de Boer, added "Sedo is in a unique position to monitor how any new TLD performs on the secondary market, and this performance is often a good indicator of its future success. With .CO's second anniversary and the pending approval of hundreds of new extensions

this was the perfect time to examine .CO's performance, and to offer our insights for new gTLD applicants. We look forward to partnering with many new gTLD applicants to help them build successful new extensions that can compete with the historic heavyweights like .com."

Speaking of new gTLDs, those who believe the impending arrival of hundreds (and eventually thousands) of new extensions will create mass confusion among web surfers are buzzing about a clever new YouTube video (below) that illustrates their point better than most have been able to articulate. At 8 minutes, I think the video runs about twice as long as was necessary to get the message across, but even if you sample just the first 3-4 minutes you can see why skepticism about the new gTLD program remains widespread.  


Domain industry pioneer Rob Grant (who was the subject of our April 2008 Cover Story) also had a lot to say about new gTLDS (and many other topics) in a new interview that Goran Duskic  published on his WhoAPI.com blog. Grant told Duskic, "Only one extension will emerge as the winner. Its the same extension that has always emerged on top, through countless disruptions and changes in the domain space. Itís Dot Com. It doesnít matter how many horses enter the race." 

Grant said, "Itís important to remember that this is the one extension that all companies (Fortune 500 companies on down to small businesses everywhere) have all built massive brands around Ė both online and offline (print, TV, radio, etc) over the last 15 years. All other extensions have basically played a defensive role. This means that billions of dollars in advertising and marketing have been spent on the Dot Com brand itself. Itís what consumers are familiar with and understand."

Rob Grant

Grant continued, "The introduction of thousands of new extensions will only confuse the consumer, and serve to strengthen the Dot Com brand. What people forget is that we have already been through a similar test case with the introduction of new TLDs like . Biz, . Info, . Travel, .Mobi, etc."

You can read the rest of Rob's comments on new gTLDs and other topics in the full interview here.

(Posted July 20, 2012)  

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