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Nominet to run .blog’s back-end

Kevin Murphy, May 13, 2016, Domain Services

Nominet is to run the back-end registry systems for .blog, the company announced this evening.

We reported earlier today that .blog has a surprise new owner — Knock Knock, Whois There, which belongs to Automattic, owner of WordPress.com — and it seems the change of ownership comes with a change of back-end.

Primer Nivel, the company that applied for .blog and just transferred the ICANN contract to Automattic, had named Malaysian also-ran Qinetics as its original back-end.

“Nominet will provide the registry services, as well as technical support to the registrar channel,” Nominet said tonight. The deal includes EPP and DNS.

Nominet’s press release confirms that registrants will not need a WordPress.com account to buy a .blog domain name.

It’s the second big back-end deal for Nominet in recent weeks. The company recently revealed it will be taking over technical services for all 28 of Minds + Machines new gTLDs.

Automattic/KKWT is predicting 250,000 .blog registrations in 2016, and general availability is not expected until the fourth quarter.

First .blog new gTLD applicant revealed

Colombian domain name registrar My.co has become the first company to reveal that it will apply to ICANN for the .blog generic top-level domain.

Manager Gerardo Aristizabal told DI today that the application will be made through a company called Primer Nivel (“First Level” in Spanish).

My.co (officially Central Comercializadora de Internet) is the main partner in the bid. Other unspecified investors are also on board.

Qinetics, the Malaysian registry services provider that does business as RegistryASP, has been contracted to run the registry back-end.

My.co already uses Qinetics for its .co registrar gateway, which provides .co registration services to 20 other registrars, according to Aristizabal.

UK-based CommunityDNS has signed up to provide the DNS, while NCC Group has been named data escrow provider, he added.

“We believe .blog will provide a great address for establishing blogs online, and will become the Internet space for freedom of speech and information,” Aristizabal said.

It goes without saying that .blog will be a heavily contested – I would say probably the most heavily contested – gTLD.

Whenever anyone asks me what gTLD string I think stands the best chance of success, I always point to .blog.

It’s a no-brainer.

Media analysts NM Incite (great name) tracked 181 million blogs in 2011, up by about 25 million from 2010. A gTLD that could grab just 1% of that business would still be a nice little earner.

Not only is there an enormous potential market, but .blog doesn’t (as far as I know) have any of the legal baggage that will scare away potential applicants for strings such as .web or .music.

If .blog goes to auction, expect it to fetch eight figures.