A few more interesting details about Automattic running .blog.
There was big news in the top level domain world yesterday: Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, announced it will be running the .blog top level domain name.
This will be a shot in the arm for new TLDs as it should expand awareness significantly.
I reached out to Automattic (which runs WordPress.com) yesterday after the company announced that it now owns the rights to the .blog top level domain name.
A company spokesperson confirmed that Automattic went to auction with Primer Nivel, the original .blog applicant. It wasn’t an after-the-auction acquisition, even though the contract was assigned to Automattic’s Knock Knock WHOIS There company just last month.
This isn’t a huge surprise since many wondered how Primer Nivel got the money to fend of the likes of Google in the auction.
Also, Matt Mullenweg revealed yesterday that bidding for .blog in a private auction was about $19 million. He subsequently deleted that number, perhaps realizing that publishing it violated the auction NDA.
It’s possible Automattic paid more for its partner’s involvement.
Automattic will offer the domain names through WordPress.com and other registrars. It will be priced in line with other new top level domains (presumably meaning it will be priced higher than .com), and registrars will get incentives if they sell more domains above a certain threshold.
Sunrise should begin in August with general availability in November.
Another interesting part is that Nominet will run the backend registry services. Nominet, known for operating .uk, is making a big push here. It is going to take over Minds + Machines’ (MMX) registry services, and is one of many companies bidding to take over the registry services for .org.