Greetings and welcome to my first blog post here at DNSimple. As Anthony mentioned in a prior post I recently joined the DNSimple team to assist with sales and marketing pursuits. One of core activities of the sales and marketing is attending industry events. Conferences, industry events, meetings, and trade shows can easily fill the calendar if one lets them. The crafty sales team picks and chooses each event with care with specific goals in mind. For my first event, it was the GDD Industry Summit held in Vancouver, British Columbia in May of 2018. My goals were clear, to meet industry leaders, attend sessions on a variety of topics, and learn from my co-workers. In addition to the GDD Industry Summit I had the opportunity to meet with prospects with one of our valued partners.
Tony Kirsch kicked things off for me at the Success Stories of New gTLDs: From Brands to Generics to Citiespanel. The session was packed full of examples of how new gTLDs can be used to focus a person/organization/company’s internet presence. When talking about brands and brand TLDs the primary advantage is brand image. That said, brand TLDs allow companies to create lots of second-level domains for campaigns and products. Take BMW for example, who use the .bmw TLD in their marketing (used next100.bmw to promote the next 100 years of BMW – it currently points to their .com home page). From a brand marketing point of view, brand TLDs allow for shorter and more memorable URLs. While not as popular as .com some generic new gTLDs are gaining acceptance including .blog, .cloud, .io, .shop, and .works.Perhaps the most important of the new gTLDs are those focused on cities. The .vegas TLD and .nyc TLD have worked in favor of both Las Vegas and New York City.Overall it was a very informative session. As more and more people and companies adopt the use of gTLDs their acceptance will grow. I envision a future where .blog, .works, .shop, and more (link to TLDs Page) are just as respected, or more-so as .com.
The next panel discussion I attended, Industry Led Initiatives to Improve Domain Name Adoption & Use: DomainConnect.org, id4me.org, and more, highlighted some of the things key players in the industry are doing to help end users seamlessly interact with their domains. Many of the services discussed are currently offered by DNSimple – our one-click-services (link to services) allow users to instantly connect popular services to their domains so they can be up and running quickly without having to manually create domain records. One of the things that I thought was interesting was an authentication scheme still in development, id4me. This is is an open, public, user-friendly Internet identity system that provides authorization of a user for access to any third party accepting ID4me identifiers and controlled communication of the user’s personal information to said third parties accessed by the user. (Link to graphic from slide at http://id4me.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/did-techbrief-concept.png.)
After lunch I attended a compliance session. Entire blog posts can be written about that hour and fifteen minutes – by someone not me.
My final round table discussion of the day was by far the most informative. Lead by Frédéric Guillemaut, the Marketing Premium Namessession went over the pitfalls and benefits of premium and reserved domain names.
Premium domain names are those that are already owned by a person or registry but are available for sale at an increased cost or those domain names held back from general registration by the registry due to their perceived higher value. Held back premiums are those that make the domain appear more valuable – such as fast.car, sports.car, double and triple letter names, and single character names for that TLD. Secondary market domains of high value are considered premiums due to the costs involved and the often need of a broker to handle the exchange between the current owner and the prospective owner. One of the issues discussed was the radically different pricing structure for these higher value names. Some charge a higher registration fee and then a lower annual renewal fee, others charge a higher than standard domain registration fee and then the same amount annually…others have multiple pricing tiers that have their own renewal fees. I guess the simplest way to talk about these special names is to say it’s complicated.
Other topics in the round table included early access periods for new TLDs, post payment vs pre-payments for registrars, and harmonization of the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP).
While I’m not a real fan of early access periods or domain name auctions, I do understand that these are components of the industry. I also understand that trademarks need to be honored and that the Trademark Clearinghouse is a vital component in the creation of new gTLDs. The Trademark Clearinghouse is the repository for validated trademarks for the purpose of protecting brands in ICANN’s new gTLD program (http://www.trademark-clearinghouse.com).
After the last session I met up with the rest of the DNSimple Team at the event and we shared what we had learned. Overall it was a very educational summit for me.