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Is .xyz’s marketing wrong, smart or both?

Inflated numbers will result in more mainstream press mentions.

.xyzA lot has been written over the past couple weeks about .xyz and its so-called “sham” registrations.

Network Solutions is giving away free .xyz domain names and is not even requiring account holders to affirm that they want the domain names. This is drastically inflating the number of registered .xyz domain names.

As a result, .xyz is at the top of the new TLD charts. It has over 100,000 registrations.

.XYZ founder Daniel Negari is definitely taking heat within the domain name industry for his approach. Isn’t it disingenuous to claim you’re the top TLD when most of the “registrations” have been given away in this manner?

Yeah, probably. It rubs me the wrong way.

But how many times in the coming weeks or months will .xyz be mentioned in the mainstream press because it’s #1? Do you think the mainstream press and its readers will know the difference between a paid registration and a free one? Will they even care?

Michael Berkens linked to this post on ITProPortal.com earlier this week. It states:

“[.uk] registrations have outpaced the likes of .london, .guru and .xyz in the current batch of gTLDs…”

.XYZ was mentioned in this article because it’s showing up at the top of lists. Even if it’s only there because of the free registrations.

What about this Gizmodo story? Yes, it’s about cybersquatting – something .xyz probably doesn’t want to be associated with. But this article was written because World Trademark Review wrote another article about .xyz. That article starts by saying “Based on the numbers recorded over the past week, the pitch is working,” referring to .xyz’s sales pitch.

That article mentioned the free domains, but only later in the article. The free domains issue didn’t make it into the Gizmodo article.

Anyone reading the Gizmodo article might say “Hey, I need to check out this popular .xyz domain”.

So I ask you to consider: is what .xyz is doing wrong, smart or both?

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  1. onlinedomain says

    If marketing is directed to a bunch of morons then hell yes it is smart!
    If these morons read someone that doesn’t know that .london has not launched yet then even better!

    • Andrew Allemann says

      As Michael pointed out in his post, that whole .uk article was basically wrong to pull the comparisons it did. That’s kind of the point…most of the mainstream press coverage is wrong.

  2. onlinedomain says

    If it is directed to people that understand that .xyz is a bullshit New gTLD then marketing is irrelevant.

  3. Philip says

    The salient point is that its getting more MAINSTREAM press coverage then other top level domains, even though its obvious to those in the industry that the actual figures aren’t a reflection of its popularity.

    I don’t believe Negari’s overly concerned about the opinions of industry insiders, but is courting wider coverage building towards legitimate uptake.

    From that perspective, it looks like he’s achieving his aims by establishing a ground roots awareness of .XYZ above & beyond much of the competition.

    In the same way, I doubt he’ll lose sleep over any negative comments targeted towards him by the ‘domain community’.

    Maybe he should, but he won’t.

  4. Adam says

    And you wrote about them and then I replied and so it goes. Smart short term. Dumb long but there may only be a short term plan before an exit. Smart

  5. Joseph Peterson says

    It’s important that the inflated .XYZ numbers do NOT get extra visibility at reference sites like NameStat.org. And it’s equally important that references to .XYZ within the domain industry will mention the fabricated registrations.

    When some lazy tech or business journalist out there is handed a number from .XYZ publicists, they may quote the figure without spending 30 seconds to check it. But some writers do still look into a few of their facts before signing off on them. And they’ll find out quickly that .XYZ is tainted.

    Sure, .XYZ will be mentioned. But less. And often with a caveat.

  6. Domenclature.com says

    The total lack of respect, actually contempt, that these Registries hold “Domainers”, especially Domain Bloggers, is utterly mind-boggling.

    It’s overwhelming; startling.

    These Registries, when or before they were ‘applicants’ to the ICANN scheme to grab money from everybody, fomented a scheme that is absolutely disrespectful to domainers. Yet, all of us fall for it. Especially Bloggers.

    These Registries have NO respect for us. Why not instigate, incite, provoke, agitate, instead of writing useless articles about individual registries? ICANN is sitting there laughing their asses off at us.

  7. Jason says

    Smart? Better word is sad. ICANN may still investigate the practice or upset registrants may complain. Perhaps he will doge the bullet, but it still looks like a risky play. As for the “publicity,” it seems like it’s just “industry” discussions of the negative aspects of the alleged scheme. I don’t see the WSJ or “mainstream press” talking about .xyz today. Gizmodo looks like they ran with the #1 rank angle and didn’t do their homework. The feel good stories from pre-launch aren’t likely to continue, so the fact that industry folks are “recycling” this story won’t help him gain registrations. If anything, the continual industry coverage will influence the discussion in future “mainstream” articles. We will see how this plays out in the long run, but either way it’s a sad story for xyz and new gTLD Program.

  8. Domenclature.com says

    This industry has to be redone from top down. To where two things become apparent:

    1. When Registrants (including domain investors) complain, ICANN will swing into action, at least hold these Registries accountable for any wrong doing. It it stands now, ICANN belongs to them. That was not the original intent of their role.

    2. Domainers have to be inducted into the food chain. Everything is done to deal with domainers.

    When are we going to swing into action to bring this about? I say NOW!

    (I have a post pending that supersedes this one).

  9. Domainer Extraordinaire says

    I think smart. A couple of cliches come to mind. “You can’t give ’em away”. In this case he had to force them on NSI customers to pull that off. “You deal with the cards you’re dealt”. Turns out smart domainers aren’t buying the new .crap tlds. Time to look appealing to non-domainers by looking like you’re the best alternative because of perceived popularity.

  10. Ronald says

    I think the gtlds are all retarded and will never take root. Of them, .xyz is among the worst. That said, I am ok with the nsi bundling and actually think it was rather smart of them. I see nothing wrong here and wish them luck. In a .com world, they are wasting their time and are going to need it.

  11. Slavik says

    Brilliant marketing by Nigari !!
    Primary reason most domainers are in the state of arrested development and are sucking dick these days, bcuz they dont understand Internet MARKETING 101.

    • Joseph Peterson says

      Where in the marketing textbook does it say

      (1) Force your unwanted product on everyone regardless of whether they want it, can use it, or even know it’s being foisted on them;

      (2) Base your sales pitch on a bald-faced lie

      ???

      Marketing does make use of emotions and illusions. But Negari is no genius.

      He has spent — what — about half a million dollars to put his product in 100,000 people’s trash cans. Even if he points to that and says, “Look! .XYZ’s in every home!”, he’s just made it that much less likely that he’ll ever make enough legitimate sales to compensate for the waste.

      Branding is about reputation, primarily. It’s NOT smart marketing to start off by ruining your reputation with your primary customer base. And, yes, domainers are the primary customer base right now for nTLDs.

  12. chad folk says

    its how bubbles are formed, false information or a base foundation build on sand… good luck as it might work in the beginning but until is has scale or main stream users, it will not get any renewals, etc.. Putting assets others didnt registered is illegal, giving it away and one accepting is ok so either way, if your getting the stupid buyers, your asset will be a stupid purchase now or down the road, whever your foundation drops…

  13. John Berryhill says

    The primary marketing campaign seems to be to get the domain blogs to run articles about .xyz every couple of days. Other TLD operators would kill for this publicity.

      • shane says

        I’m going to say it’s blowing East but I will change my mind if a sponsor wants it say say West. Then again I could open up a stereo store, steal from people, and go to jail but that’s a whole other wind direction

    • Kevin says

      The interesting thing yet to see, is how, and which, domainers react and interact with him at the next domaining function/conference he attends.

  14. Rich says

    This extension it’s not credible therefore no credible business will build on this extension.
    The foundation on which it stands it’s cracked big time.

    Andrew to answer your question, it’s wrong any way you turn it but again who knows? maybe some of us could be wrong…
    Paulson got a 700 Billion check and he got away.
    Maybe that’s how things are done this days.

  15. domainmart says

    They should be punished by forcing them to pay a heavy fine. The fine is to compensate for the negative impact (negative externality) on the entire industry. If the industry cannot muster such action, then we would need outside policing.

  16. Jonathan says

    @John Berryhill
    “Other TLD operators would kill for this publicity.”

    Lot of dumb things being posted in this thread, that’s one of them. So a lot of TLD operators would kill for bad press? These live and die on domainers. This isn’t helping the reg numbers.

    There is nothing brilliant about this marketing, when everybody knows these numbers are inflated.

    I know if somebody thru a name into my account that I didn’t ask for, and using that number for promotion, I would be contacting the FTC.

  17. Slavster says

    you guys are making assumptions that nigari spent anything.
    The only spending here is NSI and paying Nigari $2 per domain.

    NSI gave these domains away for free. THe only way they make money is if more than 10% of these free domains get renewed by the registrarnts. All domains are set to not auto renew.

    It’s an identical promotion .INFO pulled few years ago.

    And thanks to all the domainer bloggers, mainstream bloggers have picked up on the attention and running with it.
    That’s how Nigari wins thanks to all the domainers.

  18. sharma says

    Putting assets others didnt registered is illegal, giving it away and one accepting is ok so either way, if your getting the stupid buyers, your asset will be a stupid purchase now or down the road, whever your foundation drops…

  19. HowieCrosby says

    For all you the .xyz haters if you have any free good short keyword or premiums that are not required, please kindly transfer, thanks 🙂

    For what it’s worth, the .xyz hater will dislike this marketing, whatever they want to call it, from the start. End of the day, the client buyer won’t be interested in these negative comments; as their in the subterranean levels of their business world.

    My thoughts are if the .xyz domains were entered into the accounts with NO renewal, then there in no ethical issue to discuss here people, it’s pure entrepreneurial marketing at it’s finest!

    If the opposite were contrasting, then it’s different story, I don’t know the full details.

    What I do know is that, I am very happy with my few short keyword .xyz domains and will be wearing my t-shirts with pride!!!

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