Google is giving away free .みんな domains.
According to a company spokesperson, the first 5,000 people to submit a .みんな web site idea via a campaign web site will receive a coupon for a free one-year registration in the new namespace.
The offer expires April 5.
The regular retail price at registrars appears to be about $13 a year.
.みんな means “everyone” in Japanese and is apparently pronounced “.minna”. It’s the second IDN gTLD to go to general availability so far, and currently has roughly 2,500 registered names.
The web site appears to show examples of domains that are being registered under the program, as well as commentary from something called Google+, which appears to be some kind of social network.
The internet has its first IDN versions of legacy gTLDs.
Public Interest Registry had three new gTLDs delegated over the weekend, all non-Latin versions of its flagship .org.
The gTLDs were .संगठन, which means “organization” in Hindi, and the Chinese .机构 and .组织机构, which seem to be two ways of saying “organization” too.
They’re not strictly speaking transliterations, as they represent whole dictionary words conceptually related to .org, rather than trying to approximate the spoken sound of “org”.
The .com equivalents Verisign has applied for in other scripts are actually meant to sound the same as “com” without actually meaning “commercial” or “company” in their language.
Because PIR has taken a different approach, there’s no grandfathering for existing .org registrants.
These three new gTLDs will be unrestricted, according to PIR’s applications, but will have slightly stricter rules on abuse — no porn will be allowed, for example.
Yahoo has reportedly hired a new chief information security officer in the form of Alex Stamos, outspoken CTO of .secure new gTLD applicant Artemis Internet.
The news of Stamos’ departure was first reported by Re/code, citing unnamed sources, a week ago.
Stamos did not respond to a DI request for comment but I gather he’s been flagging up his departure from Artemis on ICANN mailing lists.
According to Re/code, he’s going to be Yahoo’s first CISO for a year.
Stamos’ departure will be a blow for Artemis, which is owned by escrow provide NCC Group. He has been, I think, I pretty good front man for the company over the last couple of years.
I also wonder whether he sensed which way the wind is blowing in the .secure contention set, in which Artemis is in a two-horse race with the much wealthier Amazon.
NCC also recently bought the .trust application from Deutsche Post, which looked a bit to me like a backup plan.
Planet Dot Eco has finally passed its ICANN evaluation, meaning the four-way contention set for one of the oldest public new gTLD ideas, .eco, can move forward a little.
In its Initial Evaluation last August, the company scored a miserable 1 point on its financial evaluation, failing to hit the target of 8 points, and scored a 0 on one of its technical criteria.
But with the Extended Evaluation results published today (pdf), Planet Dot Eco managed to scrape passing scores on both parts of the evaluation.
This means that the .eco contention set, which also includes Donuts, Minds + Machines and Big Room, is no longer being held up by evaluations.
However, Big Room’s is a Community application and the company has indicated that it will go for a Community Priority Evaluation.
Unless Big Room wins the CPE (which strikes me as unlikely), that will also delay any possibility of contention resolution.
Google’s Charleston Road Registry reached 2,300 .みんな domain names on the new gTLD’s first day of general availability, immediately making it the biggest IDN gTLD by volume so far.
The string is Japanese for “everyone”. As you might expect, it’s an unrestricted space.
About 230 names — 10% of the TLD — are non-IDNs. I believe the number also includes some sunrise registrations.
It actually went into GA on Tuesday, but data was not available yesterday.
While it’s not in the same ballpark as the likes of .guru, it nevertheless overtook the only other IDN gTLD to launch so far, dotShabaka’s شبكة. (Arabic for “web”), which has 1,643 names.
Google sold the names via 17 accredited registrars, only one of which appears to be Japanese. The list excludes most of the biggest registrars.
.みんな is unusual in that Google intends to run its Trademark Claims service forever, rather than turning it off after the 90 days required by its Registry Agreement with ICANN.