The history of Verisign’s Internet Official contest winners

Verisign contest hits its goal in first round.

Verisign Internet Official

Verisign’s first five winners fit its message perfectly.

Verisign has announced the first five winners in its Internet Official contest, a promotion designed to show that good .com domain names are still available. The domain names selected have interesting histories.

The first five winners, who will each pick up $5,000, are:

1. Registered by Tom H. of Niles, Mich.
2. Registered by Adam Y. H. of Pine Bluffs, Wyo.
3. Registered by Zvi A. of Rego Park, N.Y.
4. Registered by Nancy K. of Port Charlotte, Fla.
5. Registered by Jeffrey H. of Baton Rouge, La. Click here to continue reading…

Donuts’ first new domain names are starting to drop…

Donuts’ first domain name registrations are starting to drop. Here are initial numbers.

DonutsDonuts is releasing renewal numbers for its new TLDs daily as the first batch of names exit the auto-renew grace period.

Yesterday, Donuts COO and Co-Founder Richard Tindal blogged results for the 6,352 Donuts domains that exited the grace period as of Saturday. Of these, 85.3% were renewed.

About one third of these domain names were sunrise registrations, which should have a higher-than-normal renewal rate. That means the others were bought in Early Access at premium prices. I’m actually a bit surprised that these don’t have a higher renewal rate, but we’re looking at a small sample size. Early Access domains had a higher first year price, and second year prices revert to normal. Click here to continue reading…

.Uno domain launches Uno Social Site

Site gives .uno domains away for free, but ensures free domain names will be used.

Uno Social Site

An example Uno Social Site

The company behind the .uno top level domain name has launched a new social media aggregator called Uno Social Site.

Uno Social Site aggregates your data from various social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter) in one place. It also allows you to add additional media.

Notably, the free service comes with a free .uno domain name.

Registries have been working hard to get people to register and use their domain names. Use begets use, but getting people to use these new domain names takes time. That’s why I think Uno Social Site, although not completely unique, is a clever idea for a registry.

Think about it: if people use the service, they’ll share it with their friends. After all, it’s social sharing. Friends who visit someone’s Uno Social Site will be exposed to .uno domain names.

By tying the free domain names to a service, it ensures that the domain name will be put to use.

It will be interesting to see if this drives adoption of the .uno domain, which is targeted to Spanish speakers.

2 character domain names become available today

Short domain names to be released today.

Top level domain name company Rightside is releasing 20,000 two character domain names across its TLDs today at noon EDT.

The two character domains to be released include at least one number in them, taking the form of NL.tld, LN.tld or NN.tld.

That obviously limits the appeal compared to two letter domains, but two letter domains are still in limbo at ICANN.

I would think the better domains are ones typically used as brands (e.g. A1) and ones with specific meaning to a particular industry. I could also understand domains having appeal if they match a uniform number.

The domain names are priced from $200 to $50,000. Rightside is particularly good at finding and pricing the best domains, so I wouldn’t count on many spectacular bargains from an investment standpoint.

As a point of reference, you can pick up a number of single letter domain names in Donuts’ domains for an annual fee of about $1,000.

Donuts launches ad campaign to boost awareness of new TLDs

Company starts campaign to build awareness of the availability of alternatives to .com domain names.

Donuts launched its first major, web-based advertising campaign to raise awareness of new top level domain choices yesterday evening.

The “Freedom of Choice” campaign involves display and video advertising targeted to small and medium business owners, entrepreneurs and tech-savvy early adopters. Ads will show on Forbes, Mashable and Fast Company, as well as more general sites such as YouTube and news sites.

Donuts CMO Jeff Davidoff told Domain Name Wire that, because Donuts is the biggest new TLD company, “We definitely feel like we have a responsibility and role in accelerating adoption in this new category.” Click here to continue reading…