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Old 7th October 2011, 11:56 AM
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long but worthy read

By Cornelius Rahn
Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Rod Beckstrom, the former coordinator of Web security programs for the Obama administration, is jetting around the world to market Web suffixes he says will revolutionize the Internet. It’s a tough sell.
The expansion of the 22 generic top-level domain names such as .com and .org to anything from .porsche, .nfl to .bank has gained little traction months before applications begin. Porsche AG, Vodafone Group Plc and Puma SE say the high costs of the exclusive addresses -- starting at about $1 million for five years -- outweigh the benefits of marketing opportunities.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the group managing the Web’s naming system that Beckstrom has headed since 2009, said the new domains will better protect trademark holders and reduce user-data abuse, highlighted in recent security breaches involving DigiNotar BV’s safety certificates. Companies are more concerned that the proliferation of websites may lead to customer confusion.
“I’d tell most companies to spend their money elsewhere,”
said Florian Haller, chief executive officer of Munich-based Serviceplan Group, a marketing firm whose clients include Yum!
Brands Inc.’s KFC restaurant chain, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. “The lion’s share of big brands have found a solution which customers are used to, so there’s absolutely no pressure on them.”

Legal Risks

About 15 percent of global marketing spending annually is online, said Stephan Loerke, managing director at the World Federation of Advertisers, whose clients account for $700 billion, or 90 percent of all annual spending on marketing communications. The Brussels-based group wrote to Icann in August expressing members’ concerns about the legal and financial risks tied to possible domain-name abuse.
Canon Inc. and Deloitte LLP are the only two companies among the 143 groups that have declared in favor of new domains via their Internet sites, Facebook or Twitter accounts compiled on a website Icann refers to. Most are related to localities, ethnic groups or general themes such as .dubai, .zulu or .sport.
London said last month it plans to apply, joining New York, Paris, Sydney, Rome and Berlin.
Icann declined to estimate the number of potential applicants before registration starts Jan. 12, 2012. It plans to publish the list after the April 12 deadline and the first domain will go live as early as end of next year.

Right People?

The group has to quickly convince leading companies in industries such as Coca-Cola Co., Apple Inc. or Facebook Inc. to generate pressure on competitors if it wants to attract businesses, said Martin Lindstrom, author of the New York Times best-selling book ‘Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy.’
“Funny enough, the marketing people aren’t aware of it”
because Icann focuses on communicating with technologists, said Lindstrom, who said he has advised McDonald’s Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Walt Disney Co. “If this doesn’t take off within the next two to three years, then it’s never going to take off. Why should people suddenly step up and spend another $2 million?”
“I’ve never thought about that,” Hennes & Mauritz AB Chief Executive Officer Karl-Johan Persson said in an interview last week when asked whether he would register a domain for Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer.
The lukewarm interest has put Beckstrom, the 50-year-old former head of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center, on a two-month tour of five continents including countries like Brazil, Kenya and Bulgaria to address decision makers in governments as well as the corporate world. The group also started a website to help applicants work through the 352-page guidebook.

$185,000 Application Fee

Icann, which charges a non-refundable $185,000 just to process the application, said it’s not seeking to make money from the initiative. Domain owners must also pay an annual fee and costs to registry operators they use to manage the domains.
“Some people are surprised by how expensive it is, because they’re used to pay $7 or $20 a year for second-level domains,”
Beckstrom said in a Sept. 22 interview in Berlin. “The technology level is completely different.”
Owners of a top-level domain will have direct control over the server system that directs visitors to the correct website by linking addresses typed in to the numeric address of the site’s server. The mandatory use of the so-called DNSSEC technology featuring digital signatures also helps prevent users from being directed to fraudulent websites. Icann said it will also run background checks on any registry operators.

Rogue Certificates

Hackers attacked DigiNotar in June and July, using the Dutch Internet-safety company to issue rogue safety certificates for websites run by companies including Microsoft, Google Inc.
and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Enhanced security may prove a convincing argument for banks to adopt industry-specific top-level domains. The European Banking Federation and its U.S. counterparts are working to set up rules that would guarantee that only organizations with a banking license may acquire domains under a .bank, .credit and other bank-related website name, spokeswoman Florence Ranson said. It’s undecided whether the EBF will join in applying for a top-level domain, she said.
Miyuki Watanabe, a spokeswoman for Tokyo-based Canon, declined to give details on how it plans to use .canon to improve communication with customers. Gucci, the luxury goods maker owned by Paris-based PPR SA, is “definitely” considering to apply, said a company spokesman. Coca-Cola Co. is evaluating any new opportunities the new domains provide while assessing “how best to protect our trademarks,” spokesman Kent Landers said.

Added Costs

“Customers have grown accustomed to .com domains and it is doubtful whether they are willing to learn new top level domains,” said Stefan Buescher, general manager for marketing communications at Porsche AG, the German maker of the 911 sports car. “We struggle to justify the added cost.”
Companies may be unwilling to speak out in favor of the domains because they don’t want to share their plans with competitors, said Frank Schulz, head of central Europe for MarkMonitor, a domain management and brand-protection firm based in San Francisco, whose customers include UBS AG, Nokia Oyj and FedEx Corp. “It’s a big competitive advantage to leave rivals in the dark.”
Even if the new domains gain traction among big brands, their success will ultimately be up to the consumers and transition won’t be instant, Lindstrom said.
“The current generation is so used to the current navigation,” he said. “This is almost like learning how to drive on the left side of the street after always driving on the right side.”
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Old 7th October 2011, 12:13 PM
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Re: long but worthy read

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“Customers have grown accustomed to .com domains and it is doubtful whether they are willing to learn new top level domains,” said Stefan Buescher, general manager for marketing communications at Porsche AG, the German maker of the 911 sports car.
the long read just got shorter
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Old 7th October 2011, 04:14 PM
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Re: long but worthy read

I wonder if some, and how many, applicants will withdraw their applications after finding out none of their competitors applied
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Old 7th October 2011, 04:19 PM
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Re: long but worthy read

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I wonder if some, and how many, applicants will withdraw their applications after finding out none of their competitors applied
Icann, which charges a non-refundable $185,000 just to process the application
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Old 7th October 2011, 04:39 PM
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Re: long but worthy read

My understanding of the guidebook is that you can get a 130 K refund if you withdraw your application after the posting of applications but before the posting of "Initial Evaluation results".

Even if an applicant doesn't get his application fee (and related expenses) back, there's still a few $$ in operating costs and annual fees that can be saved by withdrawing.

Personally, I think anybody who applies for defensive reasons should consider withdrawing early if they see no issues with the other applications. To me, it's like poker, sometime you pay to see the flop and if you don't like it you fold and wait for the next hand to be dealt.
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Old 7th October 2011, 04:50 PM
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Re: long but worthy read

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Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
My understanding of the guidebook is that you can get a 130 K refund if you withdraw your application after the posting of applications but before the posting of "Initial Evaluation results".

Even if an applicant doesn't get his application fee (and related expenses) back, there's still a few $$ in operating costs and annual fees that can be saved by withdrawing.

Personally, I think anybody who applies for defensive reasons should consider withdrawing early if they see no issues with the other applications. To me, it's like poker, sometime you pay to see the flop and if you don't like it you fold and wait for the next hand to be dealt.
yea makes sense, i am sure there is a lot of poker going on right now.
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Old 7th October 2011, 05:07 PM
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Re: long but worthy read

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emil View Post
“The current generation is so used to the current navigation,” he said. “This is almost like learning how to drive on the left side of the street after always driving on the right side.”
Beckstrom could have saved himself from travelling around the world, had he and his crew fast tracked the aliasing of .com IDN into various languages as it doesn't really need much convincing. Instead, ICANN under his leadership chose to delay giving what people want yesterday (IDN.IDN) and bundle it with "dot anything" that is not much of interest to the world.

Last edited by TrafficDomainer; 7th October 2011 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 7th October 2011, 05:30 PM
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Re: long but worthy read

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Originally Posted by chrisofmel View Post
yea makes sense, i am sure there is a lot of poker going on right now.
Yes, but they are not publising the list until the window is closed.

Apply blind. Withdraw blind.
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