After signing ICANN contract, .buzz is readying its rollout plans.
Yesterday I sat down with Bill Doshier, applicant for the .buzz top level domain, while he was in Austin. Doshier was all smiles as he had just finished signing his registry contract with ICANN.
Signing the contract is a big milestone for all new top level domain name applicants. It’s been a lot harder to get to this point than most expected.
“I say ignorance is bliss,” said Doshier, in response to the many delays he and other applicants have faced. He admits that had he known all the roadblocks ahead he probably wouldn’t have gotten involved.
“But I’m very pleased with where we are on .buzz.”
.Buzz is designed for organizations that want to create buzz and notify the world about what’s going on right now. Registrants could be public relations firms, event organizers, social networks, and companies seeking to spread company news. Doshier believes the name will compete with strings such as .new, .today, .now, .cool, and perhaps even .blog.
Doshier expects at least 20,000-30,000 registrations in the first year. The domain will be priced at a premium level of about $40-$50 retail.
In addition to selling through the retail channel, .buzz will be sold direct through an online store that offers a reseller program.
As for marketing, Doshier has done something unique amongst TLD hopefuls: he has created a college class around building .buzz.
He teamed up with The College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas and its Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. 25 students are working on plans on how to roll .buzz out to the masses.
If that sounds like an ingenious way to build a marketing plan, that’s because it is.
“I basically have 25 interns for three months,” Doshier told me with a big smile.
It’s the kind of creative idea that’s especially advantageous for a self-funded new TLD bid. He’s hoping that tapping into students will help him develop the right strategy to go after the young target audience for his top level domain.
While Doshier is squarely focused on .buzz, he also applied for .fun. That one isn’t turning out to be as much fun as he hoped. While .buzz is uncontested, he’s facing both Google and Oriental Trading Company, Inc for .fun. Although that’s some stiff competition, he’s hopeful that he can participate in .fun in some way.
If not, he’ll just have to have “fun” with .buzz.