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June 10, 2014

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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.

New TLDs Need Active Websites to Gain Recognition - How .ME is Getting it Done  

Before ICANN launched its new gTLD program, re-purposed ccTLDs like Colombia's .CO and Montenegro's .ME managed to remodel themselves from country code domains into globally available extensions that were re-positioned with new meanings (.CO primarily for company and .ME for clever corporate branding branding as well as personal sites).

.CO and .ME weren't the first to go down that road (.CC, .WS and .TV were among those that did it years earlier) but they have been among the most successful to make 

the transition. They realized that credible live websites on their domains were critical to gaining widespread recognition on the web which in turn would spur more registrations and further development. Both launched with programs to encourage development by awarding premium reserved domains to those who submitted the most impressive business/development plans for a specific domain. 

The .ME Registry just announced one of their biggest wins to date on that front with the operators of Hide.io, a privacy-focused VPN service with more than 350,000 users across the globe, agreeing to rebrand on the domain Hide.me, a move made in conjunction with the company's new user interface design and enhanced features. Customers use Hide.me to encrypt and anonymize their Internet activity - so the name is obviously a perfect match for the business.

Predrag Lesic, the CEO of the ME Registry, said, “We are very pleased that hide.io has chosen to rebrand as hide.me with a .ME premium domain. This is an incredibly personal service and when their application came in to the Premium Domain Program we knew that their service was a perfect fit for the domain. Awarding hide.me to them was a very easy choice.”

A spokesman for Hide.me added, "Our service is very personal and when we began our rebranding efforts, we knew we needed a domain that would reflect our mission. We couldn’t get more personal than .ME to let our users to know that our service is for and about 

them. We believe in the Internet's founding vision—to let people explore information from around the world in a free, decentralized way. Rebranding with a .ME domain helps us to articulate our vision in the URL.”

The hundreds of new gTLDs now coming online are trying to clear new land on the Internet and are employing a variety of ways to establish settlements that will take root. For some the business model seems to be stick high prices on the merchandise, open the doors and hope buyers magically appear. Some of their predecessors have already been down the road they are traveling now. Many of those never got their head above water so it would make sense to look at the tactics used by the few that have not only survived but thrived - so much so that the .CO Registry was able to get itself acquired for a cool $109 million last month. You know the old saying - "those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."

(Posted May 1, 2014)

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