.CLUB Domains has selected RightOfTheDot to manage its premium and founders program domains strategy.
The company named “a.club, 888.club, chess.club, poker.club, insurance.club, golf.club country.club, car.club” as examples of “category killer” names that RightOfTheDot will try to find homes for.
.CLUB signed its Registry Agreement with ICANN late last week and plans to go to Sunrise in January.
It’s among the top 30 most popular new gTLDs being pre-registered at 1&1 right now, and recently said it’s hoping to have five million domains under management within five years, an ambitious target.
RightOfTheDot is the new gTLD consultancy founded by domainers Mike Berkens and Monte Cahn.
.CLUB Domains has come up with a simple workaround for its applied-for .club gTLD being categorized as risky by ICANN.
The company wants to reserve the top 50 .club domains that currently see DNS root traffic, so that if and when .club goes live the impact on organizations that use .club internally will be greatly reduced.
It’s not a wholly original idea, but .CLUB seems to be unique at the moment in that it actually knows what those 50 strings are, having commissioned an Interisle Consulting report of its proposed gTLD.
You’ll recall that Interisle is the company that ICANN commissioned to quantify the name collisions problem in the first place.
Its report is what ICANN used to categorize all applied-for gTLD strings into low, high and “uncalculated” risks, putting .club into the uncalculated category, delaying it by months.
(Interisle was at pains to point out in its report for .CLUB that it is not making any recommendations, interpreting the data, or advocating any solutions. Still, nice work if you can get it.)
By reserving the top 50 clashes — presumably in such a way that they will continue to return error responses after .club is delegated — .CLUB says .club would slip into ICANN’s definition of a low-risk string.
In a letter to ICANN (pdf) sent today, .CLUB chief technology officer Dirk Bhagat wrote:
blocking the 50 SLD strings from registration would prevent 52,647 out of the 89,533 queries from a potential collision (58.88%). After blocking the top 50 strings as SLD strings, only 36,886 (41.12%) queries remain, which is 12,114 fewer invalid queries at the root than .engineering, which ICANN classified as a low risk gTLD.
He adds that a further chunk of remaining SLDs are random strings that appear to have been created by Google’s Chrome browser and, many say, pose no risk of name collisions, reducing the risk further.
It’s hard to argue with the logic there, other than to say that ICANN’s categorization system itself has already come in for heavy criticism for drawing unjustified, arbitrary lines.
The list of domains .CLUB proposes to block is pretty interesting, including some strings that appear to be trademarks, the names of likely .club registrants, or potentially premium names.
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:
- .club — .CLUB Domains.
- .college — XYZ.COM.
- .luxury — Luxury Partners.
- .photography — Donuts.
- .red — Afilias.
- .vote — Monolith Registry
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.
As we reported earlier in the week, .CLUB Domains was one of the first companies to win its new gTLD auction and now the company has published a short video of the moment the auction closed.
The first reaction of CEO Colin Campbell is to put out a press release announcing the win, followed by calling the lawyers, which I think we can all agree is the Natural Order for all things.
Sadly, because winning bids are supposed to be confidential, the company has bleeped out references to the amount it paid and blurred a laptop screen in shot, lest CSI:Miami’s cyberpunks are watching.
We now know (roughly) how much a new gTLD is worth.
The new gTLD contention sets for .club, .college, .luxury, .photography, .red, and .vote have been settled in a series of auctions this week that raised over $9 million.
That’s an average price of $1.5 million per string.
Writing on CircleID, Innovative Auctions project director Sheel Mohnot confirmed that the withdrawal of Donuts’ application for .vote was a result of losing the auction.
We also already know that .CLUB Domains won its auction.
But Mohnot did not reveal the winners of the other four auctions, each of which was a two-way fight between Donuts and one rival. ICANN’s web site does not yet reflect any other withdrawals.
His article does, however, quote Top Level Design and Luxury Holdings, which applied for .photography and .luxury respectively, as saying they were happy with the outcome.
Assuming they won too (which is of course not certain) that would mean Donuts lost at least four of the six auctions.
Donuts had originally submitted 63 strings to auction, but they could of course only go ahead if all of its competitors agreed to participate.
One wonders if the company submitted its lowest-value strings first in order to build up its war chest for future auctions. A good chunk of the $9 million raised will have flowed straight into its coffers.