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Tickets on sale for newdomains.org conference

Kevin Murphy, June 19, 2013, Domain Services

After a year’s hiatus, the newdomains.org conference organized by United-Domains is back this October.

Registration has now opened for the two-day event, which is entirely focused on the new gTLD market. The agenda is still forming and United is looking for speakers.

The conference will take place in Munich at the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost hotel from October 28 to 29. Unlike the 2011 event, I believe this time the official Oktoberfest jollities will be over.

Early bird registration comes to €583 ($780) when you include VAT. Prices go up to €821 July 15.

Afilias, Verisign, Donuts, PIR, InternetX, Sedo, Nic.at have already signed up to sponsor.

While in 2011 newdomains had to compete with .nxt for your new gTLD conference dollar, this time it’s competing with Momentum’s gTLD Strategy Congress, coming to London in September.

Like .nxt, the first newdomains.org suffered from coming before the Big Reveal and became a bit of a vendor echo chamber as a result, but was nevertheless a breath of fresh air compared to ICANN meetings.

By October we might have seen the first new gTLDs go live, so this year it will likely be a different story. DI will be in attendance.

Get live new gTLD program stats

Kevin Murphy, June 14, 2013, Domain Services

Today DI PRO is launching a new live dashboard for new gTLD program statistics.

The idea is to give users quick and easy access to key program metrics.

Want to know the maximum number of gTLDs that can be delegated in the current round? It’s 1,365.

Want to know how many contention sets remain? It’s 222.

Want to know how many how many applications have failed Initial Evaluation? It’s 4.

Here’s a partial screenshot:

Live gTLD Stats

While almost all of this data has been easily accessible via the DI PRO New gTLD Application Tracker for months, the new Live Stats interface provides a quicker, at-a-glance view.

All the stats are generated live from the DI PRO database, which is updated at least once a day with the current status of all 1,930 new gTLD applications. New IE results are added Fridays at 8pm UTC.

What’s more, users can drill down into detailed search results by clicking the stat they’re interested in.

User previews have been positive, but we’re always open to suggestions if there’s a stat you’d like to see included.

Subscribers can check it out here: Live New gTLD Stats.

Donuts loses five of the first six new gTLD auctions

Kevin Murphy, June 13, 2013, Domain Services

The full results of the first six new gTLD auctions are now known. Donuts lost five of them, raising millions of dollars in the process.

Here are the winners of last week’s auctions, which were managed by Innovative Auctions:

Five of the six were a two-way battles between Donuts, which has applied for 307 gTLDs, and one other applicant. Each of the losing applicants has now withdrawn its application with ICANN.

The exception is .club, a three-way fight that included Merchant Law Group. Neither losing application has been withdrawn with ICANN yet, but the result it well-known.

Innovative revealed last week that the round raised $9.01 million in total. The winning bids for each auction were not disclosed.

Given that Donuts managed to lose five out of the six, it’s a fairly safe assumption that most of that money will have gone into its war chest, which can be used in future auctions.

Of the five applications it has now withdrawn, only .red had already passed its Initial Evaluation, so the company will have also clawed back a $130,000 ICANN refund on each of the other four.

The auctions mean that we now know with a high degree of certainty which companies are going to be running these six gTLDs.

Most of them have not yet passed IE, but with the success rate so high to date I wouldn’t expect to see any failures. None of them are subject to objections or direct GAC Advice.

A little iCal tool that might make your ICANN life a little easier

Kevin Murphy, May 27, 2013, Domain Services

Yo Dawg!I’ve created a little free service that might make it a little easier for regular participants in ICANN public comment periods to keep track of deadlines.

It’s basically an iCal feed that should automatically update your online calendar whenever a new comment period is created or extended by ICANN.

This is the link: http://domainincite.com/pro/publiccommentcalendar.php

If you click it you’ll see it attempts to download a .ics (iCal) file to your computer. The contents are automatically created, daily, based on whatever deadlines ICANN has published on its web site.

If you use Google Calendar (as I do) you can add the calendar to your existing calendars by clicking the “Other calendars” drop-down in the Google Calendar sidebar, then “Add by URL”.

My Apple-using guinea pigs tell me that the same functionality is possible with the Mac’s built in Calendar software, by clicking on “File” and “New Calendar Subscription”.

It seems to work with Yahoo! Calendar too.

Subscribing should immediately add the 30-odd current public comment deadlines to your calendar, automatically adjusted to your time zone.

Google Calendar screenshotWith Google Calendar, the entries are easy enough to remove if you don’t like what you see. I expect the same is true in other software.

If it’s working properly, updates should be automatically reflected in your calendar on a daily basis.

It hasn’t been tested on any other platforms yet, but iCal seems to be a widely-embraced technical standard so I can’t see why it won’t work everywhere.

As you may be able to tell, I’m providing this service for free very much “as is”. If ICANN changes the layout of it its web site or my code is dodgy, it will stop working properly.

In other words, if it breaks and you miss a deadline, don’t blame me.

But if it does work and it makes keeping track of things a little simpler, feel free to buy me a pint.

Bug reports, suggestions and grovelling thanks to the usual address.

Bill Sweetman goes “ninja” with new consulting firm

Kevin Murphy, May 23, 2013, Domain Services

Bill Sweetman, who recently resigned as head of Tucows’ domain portfolio business, has reemerged with his own “boutique” consulting firm, Name Ninja.

Sweetman said in a press release that the new company “will focus on domain name acquisition (buyer broker), domain name rescue, domain name protection, corporate domain name strategy, and domain name portfolio management.”

He also hopes to help new gTLD registries with their premium name allocation strategies.

You can find the new firm at NameNinja.com.