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Alagna leaves CentralNic

Kevin Murphy, February 7, 2013, Gossip

CentralNic’s North American manager, Joe Alagna, has left the company.

Alagna said in a blog post today that he’s leaving the new gTLD back-end hopeful after 13 years there, but did not give his reasons for leaving or state his destination.

CentralNic is the named back-end provider for 60 new gTLD applications and currently runs several pseudo-TLDs, selling subdomains of domains such as gb.com, us.com and uk.com.

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Sunrise for .pw extended by a week

Kevin Murphy, February 6, 2013, Domain Registries

The sunrise period for the liberalizing ccTLD .pw has been extended by a week until February 15.

.PW Registry said that the extension comes due to demand; it will allow further time for trademark owners to defensively register their brands.

The company, owned by the Directi, has about 80 accredited registrars listed on its web site, many of them specialists in brand protection.

It also recently signed up some big mass-market registrars, including volume number two eNom. Market leader Go Daddy has yet to accredit, judging by the .PW web site.

While .pw is the ccTLD for Palau, the registry is positioning it as a competitor to .pro, meaning “Professional Web”. Unlike .pro, however, there are no registration restrictions.

Directi is an applicant for over 30 new gTLDs, almost all contested, so the .pw launch could in some respects be seen as a test run for its bigger TLDs, should it win any of its contention sets.

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Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry gets accredited as a registrar

Kevin Murphy, February 5, 2013, Domain Registrars

Portfolio new gTLD applicant Uniregistry has taken the first step towards bringing its proposed new gTLDs to market by getting accredited as a registrar by ICANN.

Uniregistrar Corp shares its Cayman Islands address with Uniregistry.

The company’s web site states:

Uniregistrar is a new ICANN accredited registrar designed to let you create domain names in the new top level domain extensions offered by Uniregistry.

Beginning in 2014 anyone will be able to create and manage their domain names using the simple site we plan to create here. The names offered by Uniregistrar will be shorter, clearer, easier to use and manage than the .com .net or .org names you know from the past.

Given that its IANA number does not yet appear on the official list, the accreditation must have been granted pretty recently.

Uniregistrar is already accredited to sell .asia, .biz, .com, .info, .jobs, .mobi, .name, .net, .org, .pro, .travel and .xxx names, suggesting that the company plans to sell more than just its own TLDs.

Schilling’s existing accredited registrar, iRegistry, which is used primarily (or exclusively) to manage Name Administration’s massive portfolio of domains, is only accredited in .com, .net, .org and .xxx.

Uniregistry is an applicant for 54 new gTLDs, including .auction, .sexy, .christmas and .blackfriday.

Unlike the current regime, under ICANN’s rules for new gTLDs, “vertical integration” — where a registry can own a registrar that sells domains in its TLDs — is permitted.

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Verisign raises .name prices

Kevin Murphy, February 4, 2013, Domain Registries

Verisign plans to add 10% to the price of a .name domain name, judging by published correspondence.

In a price list sent to ICANN last week, the maximum registry fee for a one-year registration at the second level in .name will be set at $6.60 from August 1, 2013.

It appears to be the first such price increase in .name since the current registry contract was signed back in 2007. That contract set the fee at $6, with maximum hikes of 10% a year.

The new price list (pdf) is rather extensive, also covering products such as email forwarding and .name’s rather expensive wildcard-based defensive registrations.

Links to Verisign’s current pricing for these services are currently broken, so I can’t tell right now whether they’re going up, down, or staying the same.

It’s the second price increase Verisign has announced since it lost the right to hike the registry fee for .com last year. It is also raising .net prices later this year.

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Go Daddy claims half-boobed Super Bowl ads success

Kevin Murphy, February 4, 2013, Domain Registrars

Go Daddy reckons its two commercials broadcast in the US during the Super Bowl last night were the most successful in the company’s history, according to two key metrics.

The company said in a press release:

Last night’s ads delivered more new customers and more overall sales, as compared to any other Super Bowl campaign in the company’s history.

Go Daddy has been advertising during the game for nine years. This year was the third in which is has partnered with .CO Internet, the .co registry, on one of the ads.

One of the ads was shameless, vintage, attention-grabbing Go Daddy — primarily comprising a lingering shot of a passionate kiss between an attractive female model and a male geek archetype.

The other, which advertised .co, largely eschewed mammary glands in favor of the “Underpants Gnomes” theory of domain name advertising, in which registering a domain somehow leads to fabulous wealth.

ICM Registry used a similar tactic in its launch advertising late 2011.

The Super Bowl is the season finale of a little-played fringe sport known as “American Football”.

Viewers of the annual US broadcast traditionally pay special attention to the regular commercial interludes because the brief, fleeting moments of actual sport are so soul-sappingly tedious.

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