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Win $5,000 for your new gTLD idea

Kevin Murphy, October 3, 2011, 23:01:28 (UTC), Domain Registries

Afilias is offering $5,000 for the best idea about what to do with a new generic top-level domain.
The company has kicked off a competition today designed to stimulate interest in ICANN’s new gTLD program.
It said in a press release this evening:

With this contest, Afilias is looking for unique new TLD ideas, whether that domain is a “dot Brand” (for a company) or a “dot Niche” (for a concept or community) or a “dot City” domain. The goal is to discover ideas for “right of the dot” domains that cannot be done today with any of the existing domains, like .com or .net.

Basically, you send in your best new gTLD idea – not just a string, but an innovative way to use it – and you stand a chance of winning prizes of $5,000, $3,000 or $1,500.
The contest web page can be found here. The rules are here.
According to the press release, I’ve agreed to be on the judging panel, apparently as the latest stage of my ongoing campaign of utterly shameless self-promotion.
The other judges are former ICANN president Paul Twomey, Matthew Quint of the Center on Global Brand Leadership and David Rogers of BRITE, both at Columbia Business School, as well as Afilias’ CTO and CMO, Ram Mohan and Roland LaPlante.
I’m not sure what to expect, but it strikes me that if you have a halfway decent idea for a new gTLD – and you don’t actually plan to apply for it – you may not have much to lose by entering.
Afilias is accepting submissions until October 17, just two weeks from now, and the winners will be announced October 24.

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Comments (14)

  1. Tom G says:

    This is a great way to generate some buzz about the program. Kudos to all involved. I’ll be submitting some gems.

  2. Paul S says:

    Hmmm…If my idea was any good, do you think I would give it away for 5k? Please…

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      That thought had of course crossed my mind more than once.
      I don’t think this is a competition for anybody who already plans to make serious money out of new gTLDs.

  3. Paul S says:

    True, but then you have to think about the strategy behind the campaign.
    If all this competition drums up is a series of ordinary ideas generated by kids, will this positively or negatively affect the program?
    The way I see it, it’s like a McDonalds colouring-in Comp…This is serious business.

  4. Yury says:

    Thank you for blogging about this. I am currently writing up my idea and will be submitting it shortly. When will a winner be chosen?

  5. Daniel says: ring a bell? The prizes were better too 🙂

  6. theo says:

    According to the press release, I’ve agreed to be on the judging panel, apparently.
    Didn’t you know ? Or am i reading it wrong ?
    Does sending you some scotch increase my chances btw ? 😉

  7. Tom G says:

    Wow, those rules are thorough. Add some financial projections and you basically have a business plan.
    Maybe should run it past Jose at Straat Investments first.

  8. JR says:

    The “Contest Rules” ( were crafted by a really crappy lawyer. I am not a lawyer, but I think that a contract that is so one sided is not a valid contract.
    When you are ready to enter they make you read the real “Contest Rules”. A really Draconian contract whereby you have to grant them ALL your intellectual rights for your entry whether you win or not !!!!.
    By submitting, you are also making sure that anything you have entered had no intellectual property from others behind it?!?! Even if your idea is original, you cannot guarantee anyone that.
    By entering, you are also giving away your rights as author of a patent that they may create from your submission for example. Well, the removal of a true inventor is a reason to invalidate a patent.
    Not only did the lawyer make a VERY crappy contract, but also something that should not be valid… Amazing. I thought I had a good idea, BUT am not entering.
    Note:I am not a lawyer, so anything I write above is just my opinion.

  9. Jean Guillon says:

    Just submitted mine.

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