The highlight of the European domain name calendar is fast approaching with the Domain Pulse conference set for 18 and 19 February in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos.Best known for hosting the World Economic Forum, which will be held in late January, Davos will be cleared of world leaders and the important issues impacting on domain names can then be the focus of this annual event.Highlights of the 2013 Domain Pulse will be an analysis of the Top Level Domain landscape by presentations from new gTLD applicants for .swiss, .wien and .zuerich, cybercrime online from Team Cymru, Matthew Zook from Zooknic and a presentation on a secure internet in Switzerland. There will also be a presentation on the 2012 Registrar Atlas that looks at issues affecting registrars in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France.Domain Pulse is co-hosted by the Swiss (SWITCH), Austrian (nic.at) and German (DENIC) registries who take it in turns to host the event. While most presentations are in German, there will be simultaneous translations from German into English, or English into German.Registration and attendance at this unique event is free, with hotel and transport costs the only expense for attendees. More information, and to register, can be found at www.domainpulse.ch
Business is the main user of domain names said Marc Van Wesemael, General Manager of EURid on the first day of the annual Domain Pulse being held in Hamburg, Germany.In a survey involving eleven top level domains – with the results for most TLDs anonymous – EURid found that one quarter (26.5%) of domain names were used for business purposes. In the categories used for the survey, the second most common use was “error” with less than a quarter of domains (23.5%), which included the domain not being configured correctly or only used for email.One in five (20.6%) domains was being used for a holding page, 17.3 per cent for pay-per-click advertising and ten per cent for community groups or personal use. Somewhat surprisingly, only0.4 per cent of domains surveyed was used for hosting pornographic websites.The survey analysed 50,000 websites across 11 TLDs including the three original TLDS (.COM, .NET and .ORG), three ccTLDs among the EU’s ten largest, four new TLDs (.MOBI, .PRO, .BIZ and .INFO) as well as, naturally, .EU.There were also quite distinct differences in the use of domains registered for gTLDs and ccTLDs Wesemael noted. Domain names used for business purposes ranged from a high of 42.3 per cent for one of the ccTLDs, with the other two ccTLDs close behind, while the lowest was for the two new gTLDs, .MOBI and .PRO.Websites used for pay-per-click advertising purposes was highest among .COM (27.3%), .BIZ (27.7%) and .INFO (27.1%) while lowest for the four ccTLDs (4.5% to 12.8%) and .PRO (10.7%).And for not one of the TLDs surveyed did pornographic websites account for more than one per cent of domain names.It was interesting to know, as Wesemael explained, that the older gTLDs and ccTLDs had distinct usage profiles that when shown on charts was very distinctive, with older TLDS having a higher percentage of business websites, while ccTLDs have even more business websites than the gTLDs. And .EU had a higher than average use of domain names for business websites with 31.4 per cent of domain names used for business compared to the average of 26.5%. Wesemael says this shows .EU being used for business, and in particular cross-border business.The Domain Pulse conference continues Tuesday with live streaming coverage available here, with no translations available, so most presentations are in German.The EURid report, Website usage trends among top-level domains, is available for download here.
The 2012 Domain Pulse kicks off on Monday, this year being held in the German city of Hamburg. But don’t despair if you can’t make it. There will be a live webcast accessible from the home page. So while those attending will already have made up their minds too, for those not, you can still follow all the proceedings.The annual Domain Pulse conference rotates between Switzerland, Austria and Germany and is hosted by the registries in each country (SWITCH, nic.at and DENIC) and is one of the highlights of the domain name calendar with around 400 people attending each year.This year’s two-day conference will have presentations both dealing with domain names and also looking wider about how technology is impacting on our lives. All presentations are translated into English when in German, and into German when the presentation is in English.On the domain name front presentations will include “How Domains Are Being Used” by Marc Van Wesemael from EURid, a panel discussion looking at insights and outlooks on new top level domains, a look at the Eco Registrar Atlas (available here in German and English) by lawyer and eco member Thomas Rickert, a look at risks regarding domain names from a specialist lawyer in IT law as well as an update on news from the registries as the last discussion of the conference.There will also be presentations on internet governance, privacy, security, internet addiction while the keynote address is titled “The Internet as the Operating System of Society” by Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck, who is described as a mathematician and maverick.The agenda for the conference is online (available here in English and here in German). For additional information, check out the conference website here.
The impact of new generic Top Level Domains on the price of existing gTLDs and ccTLDs is likely to be limited, said Tim Schumacher, CEO of leading domain name marketplace Sedo, following the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna last week.”I don’t think the new gTLDs will have a major impact on pricing of existing TLDs. If you start a company or a product, you will always need to have your “dotcom” or respective ccTLD in the market you operate in,” said Schumacher in an interview with the GoldsteinReport.”A valuable one-word in a good TLD will carry value for many years to come. Some low-end TLDs and domain names might suffer a bit though, for example, if suddenly a free alternative TLD pops up so that there is no need to pay a few dollars for an inferior domain.”But the prices for individual domain names in the Sedo market are relatively flat with domain name prices not increasing markedly, however the sales numbers and revenues are continuing to increase, Schumacher said during a panel session at Domain Pulse titled “The Domain is Dead – Long Live the Domain?”.Generally though Schumacher sees .COM and the major European ccTLDs such as .CO.UK and .DE are doing better than others in terms of prices when looking at market trends. However like with .COM and the sex.com sale in the last quarter of 2010, these prices are subject to significant variation from one or two key sales.
Domain names will continue to be important in a company’s branding and image said Sedo’s Tim Schumacher on day one of the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna last Thursday. However there are alternative means of promoting a company or brand such as social networking services, said Sabine Hoffman from marketing company ambuzzador, that can be complementary to using a domain name.The panel discussion was a feature of day one of the annual Domain Pulse conference, Europe’s most important annual domain name conference. The conference was attended by 350 people (out of 480 applications for the free tickets) from around the world, but mostly Austria, Germany and Switzerland, learned from and networked among their peers.Also on the panel was Christian Kallenberg, chief editor of FHM magazine in Germany, who ditched the domain name for FHM Germany and now relies entirely on promoting the magazine through Facebook. Kallenberg says this move has been very successful, and much more successful than using a website with the magazine’s own domain name. And much cheaper.However this method was not supported by Schumacher and Hoffman. Questions were raised as there is a lack of control over how you can project your brand online. For example, Facebook, Twitter or another social networking site may introduce charges in the future that could relate to the number of friends or people ‘liking’ the page. Should this happen, the business may or may not be up for a considerable fee. Hoffman wondered what would happen if Facebook introduced a charge of $1 per friend on Facebook.Additional problems could be changes in terms and conditions, the introduction of strict regulation of sales such as proposed last week by Apple for sale through applications, the loss of popularity of the social networking site or even the collapse of the website.Hoffman believed that using Facebook was a good idea, but should be used in conjunction with a domain name and website, redirecting from your company website to Facebook through an address such as facebook.brandname.at.
The Austrian registry, nic.at, announced at the annual Domain Pulse meeting on Friday that they will introduce DNSSEC late in 2011 following its introduction 12 months ago by the Swiss registry at the 2010 Domain Pulse and its planned introduction on 31 May 2011 by the German registry. But in a survey among members of the German internet industry association eco, there was resistance among a small but significant group of companies to take it up.
Speaking on happenings among the registries, Richard Wein, General Manager of nic.at said they were currently in the planning stages for enabling DNSSEC for .AT and will make it available at the end of the year. In preparation, nic.at will be holding a training day on 19 May.
Eco, the association of the German internet industry has over 500 members, and has conducted a survey, soon to be released, that looked at whether German business was likely to support DNSSEC. The initial findings of the survey found that there is a core group that has no plans, while the largest group of respondents to the survey seem in no hurry to introduce DNSSEC saying they will do so in the next 12 months.
Presenting a summary of the findings at the Domain Pulse conference, Thomas Rickert noted that among different types of members, around 20 to 30 per cent of members had introduced DNSSEC, from ten to 33 per cent had no plans to introduce DNSSEC while 43 to 62 per cent of members planned to introduce it in the next 12 months.
Announcing its planned introduction of DNSSEC in May, DENIC described it as:
The Domain Name System (DNS) converts the domain entered by the user into an IP address that can be processed by the computer. So the DNS can be called the telephone directory of the Internet. At present, the transfer of the DNS information – i.e. the resolution of the domain into the corresponding IP address – is not encrypted. This situation provides possibilities for altering the resolving name servers en route or by cache poisoning and to redirecting the user to manipulated sites. DNSSEC applies a digital signature to the name server records and thus ensures that the information will reach the user without any alterations. In addition to that, the sender of the information can be reliably authenticated. The procedure cannot prevent, however, that false information is signed or that the user is misled on a higher level.”
The eco survey of members on a range of internet issues will be released in coming weeks and be available on their website at eco.de.
To register your .AT or .DE domain name, check out Europe Registry here.
It has been a busy 12 months for the Austrian registry nic.at and its CEO Richard Wein. In mid-2010 Wein passed his ten year anniversary with the organisation, in January the one million .AT domain name registration milestone was passed and this week nic.at hosts the annual Domain Pulse conference in Vienna – the largest and most important annual domain name conference in Europe hosted on a rotating basis by the Austrian, Swiss and German registries.Growth of the .AT ccTLD has been impressive with Wein believing this growth can easily continue as there is a lot of potential in the name space.”More and more German and European domain holders have begun start registering .AT domains,” Wein told the GoldsteinReport. Looking to the future, Wein believes “New gTLDs might be a challenge, but we believe that people will register in a new gTLD in addition to but not instead of a ccTLD like .AT. It will be an ‘Internet Revolution’, and with so many people talking about domains this will be also good for the .AT business, not only for the new gTLD.”The new gTLD landscape also offers some great opportunities and nic.at is looking to capitalise on this having developed its own “Registry In A Box” and consulting services. Registry In A Box will enable new gTLD operators, or even existing TLD operators, to have a cost effective means of running a registry without all the development costs.Registry In A Box is a modular box, where registry operators can choose three different “Registry-sizes” depending on their knowledge of and skills in registry operation – these being basic, advanced and complete.Nic.at will also be utilising their 12 years registry experience by providing consulting services to assist with start-up and ongoing operations.”New gTLDs will be a very interesting development, and with synergies between our own business and the new gTLDs, it will mean nic.at can offer cost-effective services. It is likely to also mean domain name awareness in the community will rise, and if so, existing ccTLDs and TLDs as well as the new gTLDs will all profit from it.”The Austrian registry is also looking at the broader community, recognising that security and safety online are areas that more and more require a lot of attention. It is especially important with the growing threat of cybercrime and hacking meaning a lot of attention must be given to make the registry as secure as possible. Should a ccTLD registry be brought down it could have a devastating impact for business. Any business using a TLD that is brought down may find their services unreachable and much of their communications disabled.To further develop this, nic.at has become a competence centre for domain names in Austria to support the local internet community with initiatives such as netidee and Stopline – a reporting hotline for illegal content such as child pornography. The registry also runs the Austrian CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team).To share their knowledge and learn from others, nic.at is an active participant in and supporter of organisations such as ICANN, CENTR, INHOPE and FIRST. INHOPE is largely a European organisation that brings together reporting hotlines for illegal content, while FIRST is a new body dealing with internet security with Wein’s fellow nic.at CEO Robert Schischka on the inaugural board.Wein feels confident in the future of the Austrian registry. The registry has broad support from the local internet community, including government and customers. And there is a lot of potential in a registry where registrations are open to all with no local presence requirements. .AT has achieved a very high recognition within Austria with 93 per cent of Austrians being aware of .AT. And when compared to the more than 14 million registrations in .DE (Germany) and around 90 million in .COM, there are still plenty of domain names available in many languages, a point Wein is keen to emphasise. But it is a competitive market and the registry runs marketing campaigns, including price reductions, among registries to encourage demand among registrants.But for this week Wein’s attention will be the annual Domain Pulse conference, to be held in Vienna at the Palais Ferstel. Held on 17 and 18 February, the conference will give an overview on the latest developments in the domain name industry, from internet law to security issues with top speakers, with an emphasis on Austria, Germany and Switzerland, but also from around the world.As Wein says, “it is a great occasion for the industry to meet. This is ‘THE’ event of the domain name industry in Europe.” Not only that, there are simultaneous translations from German to English, or where presentations are in English, into German, there is no registration fee, there is always a great event on the first evening and it is a great networking opportunity.More information on the Austrian registry is available from nic.at.More information on and registration for Domain Pulse is available at domainpulse.at.The writer is attending the Domain Pulse conference with limited travel support from the Austrian registry.
Internet governance is the key theme of the upcoming Domain Pulse conference to be held in Vienna from 17 to 18 February.There will be presentations on Internet Governance 2.0 and the future of domain names as well as a panel discussion on How Much Governance Does The Internet Need.They key note speech on the opening day will be given by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, a professor of internet governance regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.A panel discussion on the future of the domain name, titled “The Domain is Dead – Long Live the Domain?” will include Sedo’s Tim Schumacher and Christian Kallenberg of Mitte Editionen.The discussion on How Much Governance Does the Internet Need? will include Christian Singer from BMVIT, Hubert Schöttner from BMWI, Jonne Soininen from Siemens/Nokia and a member of the ICANN Board, Michael Niebel from the European Commission, Theresa Swinehart from Verizon and formerly ICANN and Thomas Schneider from BAKOM.Additional presentations will cover legal issues relating to internet governance with a presentation from Hans Peter Lehofer of the Austrian Supreme Administrative Court who will discuss “Internet Law between Regulation of Infrastructure and Content” while there will be a discussion with the legal experts from each of the revolving host registries, nic.at, DENIC and SWITCH.For more information on the Domain Pulse conference and to register, see www.domainpulse.at where the information is in both English and German, as will all presentations with simultaneous translations.
The eighth Domain Pulse conference is happening in February 2011 and registrations are now open.Domain Pulse is the annual domain name conference for the German-speaking countries, alternating between Austria, Germany and Switzerland. While presentations are mostly in German, others are in English and presentations are translated into German or English where required.It is also an excellent conference to meet all the players in the domain name game in the German-speaking world. So whether you just want to know more about domain names or want to do business, it is a great opportunity to meet all the essential players.Domain Pulse is a smaller more intimate conference with a maximum of 300 attendees, however there are already 170 registrations, so those interested in attending should make decisions fast! Registration and attendance at the evening event are all free. Attendees only need to pay for their travel and accommodation.The 2011 conference is held on 17 and 18 February at the Palais Ferstel in Vienna, and there is always a well organised evening event that will be held on the 17th. The 2011 host is the Austrian registry, nic.at.While the conference agenda is not yet finalised, topics to be covered include:
- trends and tendencies regarding domain names
- how much state control the Internet needs
- trend scout Nils Mueller on a journey into the future
- understanding the legal issues impacting on domain names in Austria, Germany and Switzerland
- Internet Governance, Security and new gTLDs
- essential things with Lothar Seiwert.
Free registrations are now open at www.domainpulse.org/en/registration. There are only a limited number of attendees each year and it’s a case of first-come first-served.
SWITCH, the registry for .CH and .LI domain names, enabled DNSSEC on day two of the annual Domain Pulse conference in Luzern yesterday. SWITCH became the third ccTLD registry to enable DNSSEC giving registrants of .CH domain names added security following .SE (Sweden) and .CZ (Czech Republic).The added security for internet users allows for a more secure internet, especially important for banks and other financial services providers, for example.At the Domain Pulse conference, Urs Eppenberger of SWITCH and Marc Furrer of the Swiss Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) enabled DNSSEC.Furrer said he was very pleased with the efforts of SWITCH to be playing a leading role in the implementation of more secure internet communications and commerce.”I am particularly proud of the fact that Switzerland is one of the first countries in Europe to introduce DNSSEC. This now guarantees security in the internet” said a delighted Marc Furrer, President of ComCom, in a statement.Meanwhile DENIC is on schedule to prepare a test bed for registrars and this phase will run until 2011, said Sabine Dolderer, the company’s CEO.However nic.at will not be introducing DNSSEC in 2010, said Richard Wein, CEO of nic.at. Wein believes there is not yet the demand or the market for it in Austria (.AT) at the moment, but like DENIC, nic.at will be watching developments closely in the .CH ccTLD closely. Nic.at will be preparing for DNSSEC internally to have it ready for deployment when there is a demand.Nic.at is also preparing an innovative business model to allow internet companies from registries, and in particular those planning to apply for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), registrars, banks and others demanding a high level of security, to use their infrastructure. It is planned to have this finalised in the summer of 2010.Among other presentations included Steve Gobin from ICANN who spoke of the new Registrar Accreditation Agreement while Simon Kopp of Kantonspolizei Luzern spoke about Fit4Chat