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Free .shop domains until Christmas

Kevin Murphy, December 13, 2016, Domain Registrars

The new .shop gTLD is likely to see growth over the coming week or so, as registrars begin to offer them for free.

Two retail registrars in the Key-Systems stable — Moniker and domaindiscount24 — said today they will offer a free .shop to each of their customers until December 23.

The offer is limited to one domain per account, so we’re unlikely to see the same level of growth, speculation and abuse we’ve seen in other TLDs that have offered free registrations.

Other popular registrars are currently selling first-year .shop names for $8 to $10, a discount on the usual retail price of between $25 and $30.

Interestingly and perhaps surprisingly, Key-Systems’ native Germany already has the most .shop registrations to date, with over a quarter of the 100,000 or so names registered so far to registrants in that country.

You have to go to number four in its geographic breakdown league to even get to the first Anglophone nation (the US).

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Trump trends in .com, while stoners hit .net

Kevin Murphy, December 13, 2016, Domain Registries

The US elections last month seem to be responsible for almost all of Verisign’s “top trending keywords” for November.

Donald Trump topped the company’s monthly list of fastest-growing strings in both .com and .net registries.

The four words of his idiotic campaign slogan “Make America great again” also appear individually in the .com top ten.

The votes to legalize medical and recreational marijuana use in several US states also seems to have inspired speculation in “pot”, “weed” and “cannabis” names, though more noticeably in .net.

In fact, the only string in the .com list not related to the US polls appears to be “near” (at least, I cannot find a connection).

The Verisign report includes words that achieve a certain level of growth month-to-month, factoring out strings that are commonly registered every month.

Here are the November lists.

.com.net
TrumpTrump
makecannabis
greatmarijuana
weedweed
againAmerica
Americaagain
DonaldDonald
nearpresident
presidentowner
potmatter

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Three millionth .it name registered

Kevin Murphy, December 13, 2016, Domain Registries

Italian ccTLD .it has topped three million domains for the first time, according to registry Registro.it.

The milestone name was abbigliamentoludica.it, seemingly a clothes shop. It appears to have been registered November 25.

The registry announced the news in English last week.

It appears that growth is slowing somewhat over the long term. The ccTLD hit one million in 2005 and two million in 2010, but it’s taken six years to get to the next big landmark.

.it seems to have started the year with 2,869,010 domains under management, according to its stats page.

It currently has 3,002,135 domains under management, according to the web site.

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Survey says most Whois records “accurate”

Kevin Murphy, December 13, 2016, Domain Policy

Ninety-seven percent of Whois records contain working email addresses and/or phone numbers, according to the results of an ongoing ICANN survey.

The organization yesterday published the second of its now-biannual WHOIS Accuracy Reporting System reports, a weighty document stuffed with facts and figures about the reliability of Whois records.

It found, not for the first time, that the vast majority of Whois records are not overtly fake.

Email addresses and phone numbers found there almost always work, the survey found, and postal addresses for the most part appear to be real postal addresses.

The survey used a sample of 12,000 domains over 664 gTLDs. It tested for two types of accuracy: “syntactical” and “operability”.

Syntactical testing just checks, for example, whether the email address has an @ symbol in it and whether phone numbers have the correct number of digits.

Operability testing goes further, actually phoning and emailing the Whois contacts to see if the calls connect and emails don’t bounce back.

For postal addresses, the survey uses third-party software to see whether the address actually exists. No letters are sent.

The latest survey found that 97% of Whois records contain at least one working phone number or email address, “which implies that nearly all records contain information that can be used to establish immediate contact.”

If you’re being more strict about how accurate you want your records, the number plummets dramatically.

Only 65% of records had operable phone, email and postal contact info in each of the registrant, administrative and technical contact fields.

Regionally, fully accurate Whois was up to 77% in North America but as low as 49.5% in Africa.

So it’s not great news if Whois accuracy is your bugbear.

Also, the survey does not purport to verify that the owners of the contact information are in fact the true registrants, only that the information is not missing, fake or terminally out-of-date.

A Whois record containing somebody else’s address and phone number and a throwaway webmail address would be considered “accurate” for the survey’s purposes.

The 54-page survey can be found over here.

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Buy a $10k .club, get a free T-shirt

Kevin Murphy, December 13, 2016, Domain Registries

.CLUB Domains will today release 9,200 previously reserved .club names into the channel at premium prices.

Club T-ShirtThe registry is also offering free T-shirts to the first 500 people to purchase a premium name for $59.99 and more, personalized with said name.

While the names will become available at 1500 UTC today, the full list is not expected to be published until midnight UTC at landrush.club

CMO Jeff Sass gave the following list of examples of names to be released: watches.club, vino.club, ocean.club, elite.club, driving.club, comicbook.club, Chinese.club and gambling.club.

A thousand of the names are three-character strings.

The first-year prices are suggest at between $100 and $10,000 at the retail level, Sass said.

All premium names renew at standard-name pricing, he said.

The T-shirt offer requires the user to tweet using promotional hashtags and expires December 31.

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