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Now you can outsource your whole gTLD

Kevin Murphy, August 26, 2011, Domain Services

It’s already common practice for domain name registries to outsource their technical operations to a back-end provider such as VeriSign or Afilias, but a new company hopes that new gTLD registries will want to go one step further.

Sedari, which appears to have soft-launched at the .nxt conference today, wants successful new gTLD applicants to outsource their back-office functions too.

The company, headed by former ICANN policy advisor Liz Williams, “helps string owners outsource the risk and responsibility of running a registry in compliance with ICANN’s contracts”, according to its site.

I understand this means functions such as billing, support, compliance, and liaising with the back-end registry and the front-end registrars.

I guess it’s going to be possible for a successful gTLD applicant to sign a registry contract with ICANN and then do very little to actually manage its day-to-day operation.

A registry that outsources its technical infrastructure to the likes of Neustar and its back office to Sedari will presumably be free to focus on nothing but marketing.

Sedari is staffed by a number of familiar faces.

Its CFO is Kevin Wilson, who had the same role at ICANN until January, and former ICANN director Dennis Jennings is on the board.

Its CTO is Wayne MacLaurin, who was previously CTO of Momentous. Jothan Frakes, formerly with Minds + Machines, is senior VP of channel management.

New gTLD conference planned for Bulgaria

Kevin Murphy, August 15, 2011, Domain Services

Bulgaria is to get its own conference on the new generic top-level domains opportunity.

Set for the Grand Hotel Sofia in the nation’s capital, November 7 (and possibly November 8, according to the schedule), Domain Forum is being organized by Uninet.bg and Register.bg.

Uninet is the organization that’s been pushing ICANN, so far unsuccessfully, for a Cyrillic version of Bulgaria’s ccTLD, .bg.

The program looks like a mix of local-interest talk and general gTLD discussion, and I’m told it will be conducted in a mix of English and Bulgarian. Two-way translation will be provided.

The organizers expect about 100 attendees. ICANN staff will be there, but names have not been confirmed. I’m also planning to attend.

Oh, and registration is free.

The new gTLD conference diary is certainly filling up.

We have Kieren McCarthy’s .nxt coming up next week in San Francisco. I attended the first one in February and thought they did a great job. I wrote about it here.

And next month there’s United-Domains’ two-day newdomains.org meeting in Munich, Germany, which I believe will be Europe’s first new gTLD show. I’m on a couple of panels at this event.

Last chance to win newdomains.org tickets

Kevin Murphy, August 11, 2011, Domain Services

Congratulations to Jim Davies, you’ve just won a free conference pass for newdomains.org worth $1,000 for entering the latest DomainIncite competition.

Random.org’s random number sequence generator selected the winning order of tweets qualifying for the draw, and Twitter handle @PerthPom came top of the list.

That’s a second Australia-based winner, by the looks of things, after Michael’s win on Monday. I hope you guys can both afford the airfare.

Competition Day Three

I have two final tickets to give away.

To reiterate, they’re Full Conference passes for the newdomains.org conference in Munich, Germany, on September 26 and 27. Flights, hotels and Oktoberfest not included. Details here.

If you want a pass, just leave a comment here before 2359 UTC Sunday August 14, saying why you think you should get one. Make something up.

I’ll use Random.org again to pick the two lucky winners and announce the names on Monday.

All winners will be contacted by somebody from the conference organizer, United-Domains, next week.

UPDATE: Proving just how random Random.org is, the winning order it selected was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The winners are TAG and Daniel. I’ll be in touch.

Your second chance to win a $1,000 conference pass

Kevin Murphy, August 8, 2011, Domain Services

Congratulations to “Michael”, you’ve just won a free conference pass for newdomains.org worth $1,000 just for leaving a comment on DomainIncite.

Random.org’s random number sequence generator selected the winning order of comments earlier today, and Michael came top of the list.

His winning answer to the question of “What new gTLD(s) do you think will be successful, and why?” was:

If success is defined by the value it offers the Internet community and not by the number of registrations then I think that a cause based TLD like .Eco or .HIV will be the most successful as they will revolutionize the way we interest with charities online and show our support, ushering in a new era.

I’ve hooked the winner up with conference organizer United-Domains.

And now on to…

Competition Day Two

To be in with a chance at winning the second Full Conference pass to newdomains.org, simply:

1) Follow me on Twitter (if you’re not already doing so).

2) Send a tweet mentioning @domainincite and including the hashtag #conferencecompo

Tweets must be sent by 2359 UTC, Tuesday August 9. I’ll announce the randomly-selected winner here on Wednesday.

Again, the prize does not include transportation or accommodation, but it does include a certain amount of food and drink, along with access to all the panels and exhibits.

The show runs September 26-27 in Munich, Germany.

These Full Conference passes are currently selling for €699 ($1,000) each, so if you’re currently wondering whether or not to attend, a free ticket may help make your mind up.

Win $4,000 of newdomains.org conference tickets

Kevin Murphy, August 3, 2011, Domain Services

I have four free passes for the upcoming newdomains.org conference, a total value of $4,000, which I will be giving away to lucky DomainIncite readers over the coming week.

The conference, the first in Europe to focus purely on the opportunities and challenges in ICANN’s new generic top-level domains program, is due to run September 26-27 in Munich, Germany.

The organizer, United-Domains, has generously offered to give four free “Full Conference” passes to DI readers. These are currently selling for €699 ($1,000) each.

The passes include full access to the panels (which will all be conducted in English) and the exhibits, as well as dinner, lunches and ample networking opportunities.

The prizes do not include transport to or accommodation in Munich. The passes also do not include the social event at the Oktoberfest beer festival scheduled for the second night.

See the newdomains.org site for ticket details.

I’ve agreed to participate in two of the conference panel discussions, but don’t let that put you off.

Competition Day One

There will be four random draws conducted over the coming week, with one ticket for each winner.

To be in with a chance to win the first pass, simply leave a comment on this post answering the following questions:

1) Which new gTLD(s) do you think will be successful?

2) Why?

You can define “successful” in any way you want. I will use the random number sequence generator at Random.org to select the winning order of comments, so there’s no “correct” or “best” answer.

It doesn’t have to be an already-announced gTLD bid. Any string(s) you think will be successful as a gTLD is acceptable. If you want to plug your own application, that’s okay too.

But anybody who answers “1) .com, 2) because it’s king” will be automatically disqualified.

The closing time for entries is 1159 UTC, Sunday August 7, judged by the time-stamp on the comment. The winner will be announced here on Monday. One entry per person.

Make sure to leave your comment using a genuine email address, as that is the method I’ll use to hook the winner up with the conference organizers.

The draw will be completely fair, so no asking for favors. In true ICANN spirit, if I suspect “gaming” is going on I reserve the right to unilaterally change the rules.

Okay, let’s see how this goes…