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DI launches new gTLD application tracker with built-in string similarity checker

Kevin Murphy, June 15, 2012, 19:07:13 (UTC), Domain Tech

I’m excited to announce the launch of a comprehensive new gTLD application tracking service, featuring a unique built-in string similarity checker, right here on DI.
The service will provide the foundation for all of DI’s new gTLD program analysis over the coming months and years, and is designed to bring together all the best information about each application under one roof.
DI PRO subscribers can start playing with it now here.
All 1,930 applications can currently be searched and sorted by applicant, string, back-end registry provider, and status.
New gTLD application database
Users can also cross-reference applications in contention sets and read salient extracts from each application.
The gTLD application database will shortly be linked to the existing PROfile service, meaning DI PRO subscribers will have access to a database of over 3,000 domain name industry companies.
More features and bid-by-bid analysis will be added as the program progresses, but the feature I’m most excited about today is the string similarity checker, which is already built into every application profile.
This tool checks for visual and phonetic similarity with other applications, existing gTLDs and ccTLDs, as well as strings that are specially protected by the ICANN Applicant Guidebook.
Semantic similarity functionality will be added in the next few days.
Similarity is important for two reasons:
1) the String Similarity Panel, which will create new contention sets based on similar but not identical strings in a couple of months, and
2) the String Confusion Objection, which enables applicants to force rivals into the same contention set based on visual, aural or semantic similarity.
In testing, it’s already thrown up some possible future objections and contention sets that I had not previously considered, and early beta testers — applicants themselves — tell me they think it’s fantastic.
Here’s a screenshot from one of the .sex applications, to give you a taste.
New gTLD Database
Note that, unfortunately, the string similarity feature does not currently support the relatively small number of IDN string applications.
If you’re not already a DI PRO subscriber, you can sign up instantly here using PayPal. If you have any questions about the service, please email

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Comments (5)

  1. Tim says:

    Will you throw in a Digital Archery service for free?

  2. Stuart Lawley says:

    Good work Kevin ,
    Seriously impressive.
    Thank you

  3. John Smith says:

    The published applications contain a wealth of information for all other applicants and especially future applicants. You have built a nice tool, especially the string similarity bit

  4. Sedari says:

    Excellent work Kevin
    One interesting feature will be to assess the impact of the public comments.
    For anyone who’s followed ICANN public comment periods, the legacy of pro-forma “support or deny” emails seems to be continuing, even at this early stage.
    It is critical for applicants to pay very close attention to the public comments and the beginning of the objection period.
    We are not sure how the ICANN Board, the independent evaluators and the GAC will actually treat those comments.

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