Big Upcoming TLDs: .web

I was buying a domain the other day and had a thought. With so much competition in the new generic TLD space, how many will become “household names” and turn a profit in the next 10-15 years? 10? 20? Any?

For a company looking to run a TLD, the obvious goal is to make a profit in a reasonable amount of time. “Reasonable amount of time” is relative though, and some are surely playing a very (verrry) long game in terms of making real money. But what if I told you that the auction to run the .web TLD closed at $135 million? When do you make a profit on that?

For reference, Domain Name Wire mentioned that “Neustar paid about $100 million to acquire the .co top level domain name, which already had over 1.5 million registrations and an annual revenue run rate of $21 million.” Comparing the two is hard though. At the time, .co was a known entity making real money, and the field of TLDs to choose from was pretty thin. Today, .web is a complete Moonshot – a TLD that seems generic enough to become popular, but has quite a bit of competition.

The bid price may seem outrageous, but if you’re going to be in the market for a new domain (but don’t need it immediately), .web may signal a good option. If a company is willing to put in $135 million for a TLD, it stands to reason that they’ll also put in the money to advertise its existence – meaning your alt TLD has a good chance of becoming a household name. It’s not as safe as .com, but .web is safer than .pizza and .diamonds, and generic enough to work for any industry.


There’s no set .web launch day yet, but pre-orders are open. Do it!

Everything is Hacked, Always

If you’re here reading this blog, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve already heard about the big Yahoo hack. If not, here’s the rundown (from the Yahoo press release):

A recent investigation by Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) has confirmed that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014 by what it believes is a state-sponsored actor. The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

It goes on.

Based on the ongoing investigation, Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network.

So, 500 million Yahoo accounts were hacked by a state-sponsored actor. Yes, you should change your passwords, and yes, you should change your security questions.

But here’s the real deal. We’re in an era now where hackers (especially the state-sponsored ones) are sophisticated enough to hack just about anything. Companies do their best to plug leaks when they’re found, but if you really care about your information, you need to go beyond standard passwords to protect yourself. When 2FA is offered, use it. Yes, it adds a few more seconds to your login time, but it really is the smart thing to do.

If 2FA just isn’t for you, I’m almost to a point where I’d recommend changing your passwords daily. Just assume the password you used yesterday was hacked, because at this rate, it probably was. (This is what, the millionth massive data breach this year?)

50 Light Years of Star Trek Villainy

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When Captain James T Kirk spoke the immortal words, “… a dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars”, he was referring to the founding of the Federation, that idealistic assembly of assorted races from across the galaxy. He may well have also been referring to the highly successful Star Trek entertainment franchise that celebrates a venerable half century birthday this month.

Star Trek burst on to our television screens at a time of great change in society, but also at a time when media censorship was still the norm. Writers of the original weekly TV series often tread a fine line during the late 1960s, as they explored controversial issues such as equality, racism, war, love and social justice through the thinly veiled fantasy lens of interstellar exploration.

By the 24th Century we find that humans are engaged in philosophical self-improvement and that struggles of class and economics have been largely eliminated. But counterpoint to the “enlightened” modernism of the Federation, there was inevitably an evil doer lurking with a dystopian view of the future and a long held grudge. The villains of Star Trek have become iconic in so much as they not only constantly challenge our heroes, but they darkly represent our own internal struggles and weaknesses on many levels.

From the salt sucking M113 creature of the very first television episode, to the cynical but wisely interventionist shapeshifter “Q” who appeared regularly in the TV series re-boot from the late 80s onwards, fans are both amused and at the same time terrified by the parade of baddies that inhabit the Star Trek universe. The conformist and militaristic Borg appear to be the ultimate hive weapon, but are they simply a reflection of the worst aspects of humanity? The warped super-human Khan, who arises within two of the most popular Star Trek movies, is often credited as Capt. Kirk’s greatest nemesis and sits atop the pile of mutated and degenerate creatures that we love to hate.

Whether you are a fan or not, there’s no question that Star Trek has made an impact on modern popular culture after thirteen films and countless television episodes. My Dad and my teenage son are devout followers. Now there is a new television series in production, Star Trek: Discovery. Staged as a prequel to the original series, the new show will no doubt host an assortment of heinous space criminals and demented scaly-skinned aliens. Something for the “next generation” to look forward to.

Picture credit: @KevinLayshock

Big Upcoming TLDs: .blog

Finding a great domain name for a blog is tough for a number of reasons. Do you go with something short? Long? Descriptive? Funny? Then there’s the real problem – what TLD should you use? There’s .com, but blogs aren’t really commercial. Daring Fireball, John Gruber’s mega-popular tech/Apple blog, uses .net, but a single blog as a network is a bit of a stretch. .Me? Maybe.

What the world needs is .blog, and it’s finally on its way. Back in May, Automattic, the company behind Wordpress, announced that: “We’ll be offering (.blog) to all websites — you won’t need to have a WordPress or WordPress.com site to purchase one.” So on November 21, 2016, .blog will be live on iwantmyname, just waiting to find a home on your  blog.

If you have a .blog domain name in mind, be sure to get it on the pre-order list before November 21st. It’s likely to be one of the 2-3 most popular new TLDs, so we expect a lot of the more obvious domains to be registered in short order.

Big Upcoming TLDs: .shop

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I tend to think of the internet primarily as a great content disruptor, but shopping has completely been revolutionized by the web. You can shop for literally anything online – dog food, baby clothes, dinner, your next car.

But unlike pizza, limos, and diamonds, shopping still doesn’t have a dedicated TLD. (Sure, .com stands for commercial and .store is related, but neither hit the mark directly.) Enter .shop, the TLD for your online shopping needs.

As far as new gTLDs go, .shop is definitely one of the 2-3 most anticipated. Domain Name Wire reported back in January that an “auction to determine which company will control the .shop top level domain name has concluded with a record price of $41,501,000” – with auction losers including Amazon and Google. Who knows how the public will respond, but big players in tech are expecting the .shop TLD to become a big part of our lives.

So you could wait for businesses around the world to snap up the good names, or you could get your name on the pre-order list before the .shop launch date, which is coming on September 26th. That’s one week from now, so get those brain cells churning.

The Best Hacks and Some Advice

These are some of the best domain hacks I’ve been able to find out in the wild web:

  • ma.tt: Founder of Wordpress, Matt uses his awesome domain to blog about the industry, and it’s well worth checking out.
  • ro.me: You can probably guess what this one will be about, right? …Well, you’d be completely wrong! Go check it out. Honestly it’s amazing! It’s an experimental interactive film made in combination with Google Chrome. (tip: move your mouse, and wait for the end it’s worth it).
  • trib.al: Some link sharing thing, not too exciting.
  • blo.gs: Lets you keep watch of some of your favorite blogs. Despite being transferred from Yahoo! to Automattic (Wordpress), it’s quite a plain and ugly site to be honest.
  • mi.lk: Some music site
  • love.ly: Nothing but a welcome sign - but I believe Facebook acquired it so maybe they’ll do something cool with it.
  • surpri.se: Some artwork. Looks…interesting.

The Advice

I would suggest staying away from trademarks for a couple reasons. 1. Bigger companies have people taking care of “maintaining the brand,” so it’s usually a waste of time trying to find domains attached to known trademarks. 2. If you do score a trademarked domain, they’re likely to try to UDRP it from you.

That said, there’s nothing stopping you from registering generic names or brandable domains. You never know when you’ll need a great domain hack!