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Vienna is the first city with its own TLD

Kevin Murphy, January 3, 2014, Domain Registries

The world’s first city gTLD, .wien, went live on the internet this morning.

It’s the TLD for what the English-speaking world calls Vienna, the Austrian capital.

While its nic.wien starter page doesn’t seem to be resolving yet, .wien itself is in the DNS root zone file.

punkt.wien, the new registry, said in its application that .wien names will be restricted to anyone who “can demonstrate that they have an economic, cultural, historical, social or any other connection” to Vienna.

The same test will apply to the use of .wien names — the registry plans to review the content of sites under the gTLD from time to time to ensure compliance.

The policy appears to be modeled somewhat on the .cat geo-gTLD.

According to the .wien application, about a quarter of the Austrian population lives in its environs, giving the gTLD a market of about 1.7 million people.

The registry is planning to launch properly in March, according to its web site.

While it’s the first city gTLD to go live, it isn’t the first geo to hit the root in this round — that honor belongs to .ruhr, which represents a German state.

(Note: Laos’ ccTLD, .la, is often marketed as a city TLD for Los Angeles, but it’s not quite the same thing.)

.email and two other new gTLDs go live

Kevin Murphy, January 2, 2014, Domain Registries

Three more new gTLDs were delegated this afternoon, including the potentially interesting .email.

The other two were TLD Registry’s .在线 (Chinese for ‘.online’) and United TLD/Rightside’s .immobilien (German for ‘.realestate’).

The reason I think .email could be interesting is that it’s very close to “.mail”, which has been highlighted in several analyses as a potentially dangerous due to the risk of name collisions.

It’s also, I think, one of the highlights of Donuts’ portfolio, despite the fact that the company was the only applicant.

.immobilien is the third delegated gTLD for United TLD. It’s going to be competing against the arguably more attractive .immo — a well-known abbreviation — which is currently contested by four applicants.

For TLD Registry, .在线 is the first delegation. It’s planning to take both .在线 and its companion .中文网 (“Chinese website”) to Sunrise on January 17, so we might expect another delegation soon.

These are the first four new gTLD domain names

Kevin Murphy, December 31, 2013, Domain Registries

Two luxury goods companies have the honor of being the first to register domain names in a new gTLD.

Today, the first four domain names registered to actual registrants popped up in the zone file for dotShabaka Registry’s Arabic “.web” — شبكة.

شبكة. exited its mandatory Sunrise period on Sunday; the four new names appear to be the first ones to get name servers after their Sunrise applications were approved.

The two registrants, according to Whois records, are Richemont International and Rolex.

Richemont is itself a new gTLD applicant. The company has taken a strong interest in the program, with head of digital IP Richard Graham even moderating a new gTLDs conference in March.

The four names (with my best guesses at a translation) are:

None appear to be resolving on the web yet, not even to placeholder pages, at least from where I’m sitting.

Because they’re Sunrise names, it’s possible that all four are defensive registrations that may never lead anywhere meaningful.

Richemont used Com Laude as its registrar while Rolex used Key-Systems.

The Sunrise was limited to Arabic-script trademarks.

dotShabaka said yesterday that it had “very few” Sunrise applications. Now we know that number was at least four.

First new gTLD Sunrise ends with “very few” registrations

Kevin Murphy, December 30, 2013, Domain Registries

The first new gTLD Sunrise period was not a success, according to dotShabaka Registry.

The 60-day Sunrise for شبكة. (.web in Arabic) ended yesterday with “very few” registrations, the company told us today, due largely to poor promotion of the Trademark Clearinhouse in Arabic-speaking regions.

The gTLD is restricted to Arabic strings, and therefore Sunrise was restricted to Arabic trademarks.

dotShabaka said in a statement:

We always knew – with the convoluted process for registration and lack of information out to the MENA [Middle-East/ North Africa] region on the Trademark Clearinghouse – that this was going to be a quiet time for us. We have seen very few applications through the Sunrise period.

We know that the managers of the TMCH and ICANN are working hard to promote the TMCH. However, as a pioneer we have unfortunately not enjoyed the fruits of this labour. At the same time it should be noted that we have been buoyed by the level of interest from trademark holders and businesses in the region and expect this interest to translate into registrations once we move into Landrush and are free of the TMCH sunrise eligibility requirements.

The company did not provide exact numbers, but my guess is that we might be looking at single figures here.

According to today’s شبكة. zone file, there are no active third-party domains in the شبكة. namespace. Zero. None. The only live sites are “nic.” and its Arabic equivalent, which both belong to the registry.

That may quickly change, of course, as registrations don’t always immediately translate into zone file entries.

.ninja springs to life as a squirrel as 19 new gTLDs get delegated

Kevin Murphy, December 29, 2013, Domain Registries

ICANN may be taking Christmas week off, but Verisign apparently isn’t — another 19 new gTLDs were delegated to the DNS root system last night.

Most belong to Donuts: .training, .builders, .coffee, .codes, .education, .florist, .farm, .glass, .house, .holiday, .international, .institute, .solar, .repair and .solutions.

United TLD, the Demand Media/Rightside business that is also providing Donuts’ back-end, had .ninja and .kaufen (German for “buy”) delegated.

PeopleBrowsr’s .ceo also went live, as did I-REGISTRY’s .onl (for “online”).

Donuts is already redirecting its latest batch of nic.[tld] domains to donuts.co.

The web site at nic.ninja currently shows this image as part of a placeholder page:

UPDATE: It occurs to me that this might actually be a prairie dog or something, rather than a squirrel.