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Demand Media to invest up to $75m in content

Kevin Murphy, October 12, 2010, Domain Registrars

Demand Media plans to invest between $50 million and $75 million in content in 2011, according to the company’s latest IPO filing.

The company, which owns number two registrar eNom, has also disclosed that it plans to list itself on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DMD.

Under “Use of Proceeds” in its latest amended S-1 registration form (huge HTML file), filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Demand says:

We currently anticipate that our aggregate investments in content during the year ending December 31, 2011 will range from $50 million to $75 million.

Demand Media’s main business is the advertising it sells against the thousands of freelance articles it publishes every day. It had about $102 million in current assets on its balance sheet on June 30 this year.

Previous text talking about about using the proceeds of the IPO to “acquire or invest in complementary technologies, solutions or businesses” has been dropped.

The amended S-1 spends quite a lot of time talking about a reverse stock split that it is carrying out prior to its public offering.

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4Domains customers transferred to Internet.bs

Kevin Murphy, October 7, 2010, Domain Registrars

Customers from the insolvent registrar 4Domains have had their domains transferred to Bahamas-based Internet.bs, only a few days after ICANN told 4Domains it was shutting them down.

In a notice posted last night, ICANN said that 4Domains had nominated Internet.bs as its registrar of choice for refugee customers, which likely speeded up the transaction.

ICANN’s letter telling 4Domains it was losing its accreditation, alleging multiple breaches of its contract, was sent September 30, last Thursday.

A 4Domains customer contacted me earlier this week to say she had received a renewal notice from Internet.bs (which she had never heard of) as early as Sunday, October 3.

That’s possibly the fastest turnaround between a registrar losing its accreditation and the new registrar taking over to date.

ICANN tells former 4Domains customers worried about fraud that any emails they receive from Internet.bs should link only to internet.bs or internetbs.net.

Customers should probably also be aware that their domains are now handled by a registrar subject to Bahamas law. 4Domains was US-based.

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1,500 premium domains available at reg fee

Kevin Murphy, October 6, 2010, Domain Sales

Earlier today I blogged about how dotMobi had published a list of over 5,000 “premium” domain names that are still registry-reserved.

I thought it might be interesting to see how many of these strings were still available in other top-level domains. If they’re “premium” you’d expect them to have been snapped up long ago in TLDs such as .com and .net.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case.

I ran all 5,108 strings on the dotMobi list through Go Daddy’s bulk registration tool, to see how many were still available in other TLDs, and the results were a little surprising.

More than 80 are still available in .com, although none appear to be English. I suspect some may even be typos of non-English words (pornigrifia.com, for example).

About 375 of .mobi’s premiums are currently unregistered in .org and/or .net. Most are non-English, but there are a handful of exceptions, such as wildparties.org, tooshort.org, and gas-propane.org.

(I’ve no idea why these are considered “premium” domains under .mobi or any other TLD)

Perhaps most usefully, there are well over 800 strings on the .mobi list that have yet to be registered in the new .co namespace, hundreds of which are in English and (I think) Spanish.

The English domains include two-word combos such as banquetrooms.co, bostonterriers.co, carpeltunnel.co, scarletfever.co and raplyrics.co, as well as the odd dictionary word, such as rejected.co and monologues.co.

A great many of these available .co names are adult-oriented, such as adultpics.co, celebritynudes.co, footworship.co and gayhunks.co.

As far as I can tell, Go Daddy’s tool only spits back domains that are available at the standard registration fee. I registered half a dozen .co names this afternoon at reg fee using this method.

The list’s too big to post here, but if anybody’s interested in my spreadsheet, I’d be happy to share. Drop me a line: kevin at domainincite.com

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dotMobi to sell 5,000 premium .mobi domains

Kevin Murphy, October 6, 2010, Domain Registries

Afilias-owned dotMobi is taking another crack at selling off over 5,000 “premium” .mobi domain names that it has had reserved since its launch in 2006.

The reserved list, which includes domains such as television.mobi, recipes.mobi and shopping.mobi, has been published, and the domains have been turned on.

They all (or most) now resolve to dotMobi web pages where interested parties can file an expression of interest in the domain, in order to be alerted when they become available.

The actual process by which the domains will be allocated has yet to be announced.

The biggest premium .mobi sale I’m aware of to date was flowers.mobi, which Rick Schwartz picked up for $200,000 in 2006. He plans to sell the domain, probably at a loss, later this month.

The list makes fascinating reading. To my untrained eye, many of the domains appear to be utterly bizarre inclusions.

Businesswoman? Out-of-town meeting? Need to quickly self-administer a Pap smear? Why not visit speculum.mobi for a list of nearby gynecological equipment suppliers?

The full list can be downloaded from here. The official dotMobi announcement is here.

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“Beware of Hookers”, ICANN attendees told

Kevin Murphy, October 6, 2010, Domain Policy

ICANN has published a security guide for delegates planning to attend its meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, this December, which makes quite entertaining reading.

A highlight of the report (pdf), prepared by outside consultants Control Risks, warns attendees to steer clear of bar prostitutes who plan to take advantage of them.

All travelers should avoid bars which have public touts (or “spruikers”) standing outside encouraging them to enter. Many of these bars attract high levels of local prostitutes, some who intend to rob tourists by drugging them in the bar or in their hotel rooms.

Sage advice.

The report also recommends staying off the streets after 11pm, using official taxis, keeping your wallets clean of identifying information, and not resisting muggers/abductors.

Fight for your life, but not your possessions.

I’m cherry-picking the scary stuff here, obviously. In general, the report says Cartagena is fairly safe. Last year, there were only two kidnappings in the city.

Cartagena enjoys a mostly deserved reputation as one of the safe destinations for foreign travelers in Colombia. Certainly, violent crime rarely affects foreign visitors to the city.

ICANN has said that it will commission such reports when there is a concern that security at its chosen meeting locations may not be up to scratch.

I believe the new meetings security plan was introduced in response to the vague terrorism threats that clouded the Nairobi meeting earlier this year, keeping many flighty Americans at home.

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