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DI launches new gTLD application tracker with built-in string similarity checker

Kevin Murphy, June 15, 2012, Domain Tech

I’m excited to announce the launch of a comprehensive new gTLD application tracking service, featuring a unique built-in string similarity checker, right here on DI.

The service will provide the foundation for all of DI’s new gTLD program analysis over the coming months and years, and is designed to bring together all the best information about each application under one roof.

DI PRO subscribers can start playing with it now here.

All 1,930 applications can currently be searched and sorted by applicant, string, back-end registry provider, and status.

New gTLD application database

Users can also cross-reference applications in contention sets and read salient extracts from each application.

The gTLD application database will shortly be linked to the existing PROfile service, meaning DI PRO subscribers will have access to a database of over 3,000 domain name industry companies.

More features and bid-by-bid analysis will be added as the program progresses, but the feature I’m most excited about today is the string similarity checker, which is already built into every application profile.

This tool checks for visual and phonetic similarity with other applications, existing gTLDs and ccTLDs, as well as strings that are specially protected by the ICANN Applicant Guidebook.

Semantic similarity functionality will be added in the next few days.

Similarity is important for two reasons:

1) the String Similarity Panel, which will create new contention sets based on similar but not identical strings in a couple of months, and

2) the String Confusion Objection, which enables applicants to force rivals into the same contention set based on visual, aural or semantic similarity.

In testing, it’s already thrown up some possible future objections and contention sets that I had not previously considered, and early beta testers — applicants themselves — tell me they think it’s fantastic.

Here’s a screenshot from one of the .sex applications, to give you a taste.

New gTLD Database

Note that, unfortunately, the string similarity feature does not currently support the relatively small number of IDN string applications.

If you’re not already a DI PRO subscriber, you can sign up instantly here using PayPal. If you have any questions about the service, please email subs@domainincite.com.

Post your job opening on DI for $1 a day

Kevin Murphy, March 28, 2012, Domain Services

I’d like to introduce a new jobs feature for DomainIncite readers.

As you’ll be able to see in the sidebar to the left, and in the header above, DI Jobs is now live on the site.

If you’re in the domain name industry you probably already know that most of your colleagues and competitors read DI, so I think this might be a great way for you to find new talent.

I’m using SimplyHired, a third-party service, for the listings. The jobs you can see right now — which may vary based on your IP address — are likely to be what it calls “backfill”.

It’s a bit like Google Adsense, and I’ve been made aware that one or two of the listings might therefore appear to be a bit distasteful to begin with (Whois email address scraping? Really?) but these will be bumped from view once a small number of DI reader jobs are posted.

For now, the top five most recently posted jobs will be listed in the sidebar, and the rest will be accessible via jobs.domainincite.com.

The introductory price for a listing is $90 for 90 days, just a buck a day.

DomainIncite turns two

Kevin Murphy, February 28, 2012, Gossip

I almost forgot. Actually, I did forget.

Yesterday was DomainIncite’s second birthday.

It was an eventful year for the site, reflecting an eventful year for the industry. We broke a metric ton of domain name news and our page view and unique reader counts more than doubled.

And of course we launched DomainIncite PRO, our subscription-supported analysis service. For PRO, we’ve brought on board two new contributing analysts already, with a third hopefully coming soon.

As this is the one day of the year I let the Chinese wall in my head crumble, I’d like to give my annual shout-out to all of DI’s advertisers, past and present. Your support is very much appreciated.

As readers with young children in their families will know, two is the age at which kids start becoming aggressive, pain-in-the-ass monsters that will stop at nothing when it comes to seeing what they can get away with.

Just sayin’.

Anyway, it’s all good. Happy birthday me.

DomainIncite’s top posts of 2011

Kevin Murphy, December 29, 2011, Gossip

It’s been an eventful year in the domain name industry, and also for DomainIncite.

Pages views and unique visitors to DI more than tripled in 2011. We welcomed on board several new advertisers and will post our 1,000th article at some point over the next few days.

The year’s biggest rolling stories have been the slow creep towards the launch of ICANN’s new gTLD program, the depletion of the free IPv4 pool, the launch of the controversial .xxx gTLD, and the ongoing tensions between civil liberties advocates and intellectual property interests.

These trends are reflected in the top ten DI posts, by traffic, for 2011.

1. Bit-squatting – the latest risk to domain name owners

This curious security twist on the well-known typosquatting problem came to light during the Black Hat security conference in July. While the risk posed by bit-squatting is tiny, it was still the most-read story of the year.

2. The first .xxx porn site has gone live

This year saw the final approval and delegation of the long-anticipated .xxx top-level domain. Casting.xxx was the first .xxx domain not owned by ICM Registry to start resolving, and we scooped the story in August.

3. Facebok.com given to Facebook despite “theft” claim

The fact that this story about a dispute over the domain facebok.com receives so much search traffic is a testament to the fact that many people continue to a) type domain names into search boxes and b) misspell them.

4. Gratuitous Go Daddy girl butt photo

The headline is self-explanatory. I’d like to think its position in the year’s most-popular posts says a lot more about you than it does about me, but frankly I think we both should hang our heads in shame.

5. Microsoft spends $7.5 million on IP addresses

ICANN finally ran out of IPv4 this year, leading to the emergence of a secondary market in IP addresses. Microsoft’s purchase of a big batch from Nortel in March kicked off this continuing story.

6. Google ranks new .xxx site higher than its .com

For a brief period in August, Google was ranking ifriends.xxx, newly purchased by the adults-only dating site iFriends, higher than its usual .net and .com addresses, under certain circumstances.

While that may no longer be the case, it was an interesting indication of how search engines may experiment with ranking new gTLDs in future.

7. YouPorn challenges new gTLDs with review demand

In October, YouPorn operator Manwin became only the second company ever to file an Independent Review request with ICANN. While its focus was .xxx, its arguments were broad enough to encompass the entire new gTLD concept. One to watch in 2012.

8. Pirates set up domain seizure workaround

The SOPA and PIPA bills in the US were hot topics in the second half of 2011. In October, we broke the story of how pirate-operated DNS services were already springing up to help internet users circumnavigate domain seizures and DNS interception.

9. Facebok.com had 250 million hits a year

Again, it’s a sad fact that when you write about typo domains, you sometimes inherit traffic for those typos. That’s at least partially responsible for another Facebok.com story in our top ten.

10. .xxx domains go live

Back in April, icmregistry.xxx became the first .xxx domain name to start resolving on the internet. DI broke the story, and it got a bunch of traffic.

DomainIncite is one year old today

Kevin Murphy, February 27, 2011, Gossip

It was one year ago today that I registered the domain name domainincite.com and made my first blog post here.

Since that day, I’ve published well over 500 articles, approved over 1,300 comments, and currently receive roughly 10,000 unique readers per month, growing all the time.

Not bad for a part-time gig, but I hope to do much better in year two.

My goal in the first year of running DI was not to reach vast numbers of readers, but to reach the right readers with timely, useful information.

Judging from the feedback I’ve received from the industry’s movers and shakers over the last several months, both in person and online, I think I have achieved that goal.

I’d like to thank you all for reading. I hope you continue to do so.

I’d also like to thank my advertisers past and present for making DI feel like less of a money-sucking time vampire and for generously indulging my psychological Chinese wall.

I’ve got some potentially cool announcements to make in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned.