Tag Archives: dotShabaka

Registration numbers not the only success measure for new TLDs, by Adrian Kinderis, ARI Registry Services

Like many, I’ve been watching the rollout of the first 150+ new Top-Level Domains (TLD) with interest.Since the delegation of شبكة. back in October, we’ve seen all sorts of TLDs launched – from brands like .monash to generics like .build.There has been intense scrutiny within our industry on the zone file registration numbers of these delegated TLDs to measure whether or not they are successful.To be fair, this is not a surprise. We’ve been conditioned by past generic TLD launches to focus on registration numbers. Whether it was .mobi, .travel, .info or.co, all previous TLDs have been measured on registration volume – and more worryingly against the benchmark of .com.Despite being the new TLD program, many in our industry are still persisting with their old TLD ways of thinking.How will these same people measure the success of .brands and .geos? Remember, it’s a whole new ball game which requires a different way of thinking because the goal posts have moved.Early numbers mean nothingThe fact that .guru has 40,000 domain name registrations and .graphics only has 4000 means nothing. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.Outlandish claims like those seen by .CLUB Domains CEO Colin Campbell that .club will overtake .guru in week one are symptomatic of our industry’s naive focus on raw numbers over qualitative results.Even my own marketing team is guilty of getting caught up in the hype of zone file number reporting. I had to remind them via Twitter recently that there are many ways of determining a top performing new TLD.The fact of the matter is, raw numbers mean nothing and a focus on use, engagement, purpose and sustainable revenues are far better measures of success.What is success?New TLD operators should be judged on their whole-of-business operational performance to take account of stakeholder engagement, customer satisfaction, strategy planning and financial modeling.Don’t get me wrong, domain name registration numbers matter. It’s just that you can’t determine the success or failure of a new TLD by comparing it to other TLDs. You can only judge a TLD against its intended purpose and strategy.Think about .brand TLDs for a second. Registration numbers mean nothing and their entire model is based on how their TLD is integrated into the organisation’s digital strategy. Geographics and IDNs also have a very different proposition than traditional generics.In attempting to measure success, I’d suggest onlookers focus on:1. Use: Is the namespace being used in a meaningful way and is there evidence of usage and development with the domain names? Are registrants building businesses and content within the namespace?
2. Sustainable revenues: Who is registering domain names and what is the prospect for renewals? Will the TLD retain registrations or do registrants see it as a fad?
3. Trust: Will end users come to trust the namespace and the content hosted within it? Are these registrants helping to establish trust in the namespace?
4. Purpose: What’s the mission and purpose of the namespace (question 18) and are the registration numbers and content living up to these aspirations?
5. Audience: Is the registry operator targeting a clearly defined audience? Is that audience responsive to the product being offered?Ask yourself, in the first month of general availability for a generic TLD, would you rather have 10,000 parked domain names registered by domainers with little likelihood of long-term renewal, or would you opt for 100 domain name registrations by major global brands in your target audience who use your namespace to host their entire website?A strategy reliant on defensive registrations and parked domains is doomed to fail – and is completely ignorant of the new market dynamics within the industry.In any case, it’s still far too early to accurately measure the long-term viability of any new TLD. But a focus away from registration numbers and an emphasis on use and purpose would be more appropriate.TLDs like شبكة. haven’t even started their marketing and awareness campaigns yet and the impact of name collisions is holding back many operators from fully implementing their strategic plan to deliver their mission and purpose.Remember, the game has changed and so have the goal posts.This article by Adrian Kinderis, CEO, ARI Registry Services, was sourced with permission from:

Arabic gTLD .SHABAKA General Availability Commences

dotShabaka Registry logoWhat is likely to be one of the more successful of the new gTLDs has gone online this week with websites using the Arabic .shabaka going online a day ahead of schedule, reported the BBC. General availability commenced Tuesday.

“The DotShabaka Registry – the Dubai-based business running the شبكة. gTLD – announced that both its own homepage and that of the United Arab Emirates telecoms provider Etisalat had started using its new suffix, at a conference in Dubai.”

“It’s monumental, in my opinion, because it means the internet finally speaks in Arabic,” Yasmin Omer, general manager of the DotShabaka Registry told the BBC.

“For a long time we’ve had Arabic-language content online but you needed to speak English to directly navigate to the sites.

“Now, if I’m an internet user that speaks only Arabic, I don’t need to rely on search engines or other pools to get to where I want.”

In another report, Omar told Gulf News “two hundred and fifty companies have registered for the “.Shabaka”.

Its not the first Arabic TLD, but it is the first Arabic gTLD. Country code TLDs  including .الاردن for Jordan and .السعودية for Saudi Arabia, which went live in 2010.

“Other non-Latin script gTLDs expected to launch over the coming days include 游戏, Mandarin for game; сайт, Russian for site; and онлайн, Russian for online,” the BBC reported.

ICANN: Dubai Forum to examine business opportunities in Domain Name Sector

ICANN logo[ICANN news release] On the 3rd and 4th of February the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) of UAE, ICANN and ISOC will host the Middle East DNS forum in Dubai. The forum will examine business opportunities within the Domain Name Sector and provide participants from governments, ccTLD and gTLD Registries, Registrars, and the broader business community an opportunity to share experiences and best practices.

“We are very excited to witness the birth of the Middle East DNS Forum this year. The DNS Forum is the place for all interested parties in the Middle East to come together, share ideas and confer about how to further advance the domain name industry in the region,” said Baher Esmat, ICANN’s Regional Vice President, Middle East. “Developing the domain name industry is one of ICANN’s strategic objectives in the Middle East and we are committed to working with all stakeholders towards achieving this objective,”

The forum will cover topics including new gTLDs, registry strategies for domain name growth, the role of ccTLDs in strengthening the domain name industry at national and international level, registrar accreditation in a borderless environment and registrar strategies in a competitive environment.

ICANN’s Generic Domains Division recently announced that the number of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) delegated into the Internet’s Root Zone has topped 100. Delegation is one of the final steps before the registries that control the domains may begin accepting registrations for names that will use the new gTLDs.

“For the first time, Internet users across the world will be able to use generic Top-Level Domain names entirely in their native languages,” said Akram Atallah, President of Global Domain’s Division. “This change will promote closer connections between people, brands and organizations and will in turn provide new routes for businesses to reach their customers.”

The first new gTLD to be placed into the root, under the new program, was dot-shabaka (شبكة.).

“We are now entering a significant phase in the development of the Middle East domain name industry with the introduction of Top-Level Domains such as شبكة. set to totally transform the dynamics of existing structures,” said Yasmin Omer, General Manager of dotShabaka Registry and a Platinum Sponsor of the Middle East DNS Forum. “Events such as the Middle East DNS Forum are crucial to encourage the necessary collaboration and policy debate needed to ensure we can tackle the challenges of building a more robust industry.”

Some other examples of Middle East applied-for strings that have been delegated include:

  • League of Arab States  – عرب
  • Dubai eGovernment Department
  • STC (Saudi Telecom Company)
  • Qtel (Qatar Telecom)  –  كيوتل, موزايك,
  • TEVA Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

For more information on the forum, please visit: www.mednsf.org/en/

For more information about the new gTLD program, go to: newgtlds.icann.org/en

.SHABAKA To Revolutionise (Arabic) Internet

The Arabic language internet is set to be revolutionised in coming months with the launch of شبكة. (.shabaka, which translates to .web in English). To users of the internet who use a language with Latin characters, they never experience the difficulties someone whose native language is Arabic or one of the Asian languages.Trying to type a web address in itself is difficult. And if you know no English or other Latin-based languages, the characters themselves may be meaningless. For example, seeing an advertisement in Arabic, the accompanying domain name might be meaningless if the internet user is not familiar with a Latin-based language.Not only will a fully Arabic TLD allow Arabic speaking users access to email addresses and websites entirely in their own language, .shabaka will be a TLD that speaks for the entire Arabic-speaking world. More or less the equivalent of an Arabic .com.”Arabic language internet users have been second class internet users for a long time,” said Yasmin Omer, General Manager of the dotShabaka Registry. “We now believe .shabaka gives Arabic internet users what they need to facilitate easier internet access. The huge growth in Arabic internet content has been sadly held back due to the lack of Arabic language domain names. Any question we wait any longer is insulting. Why should they wait any longer?”The launch of .shabaka also comes at an opportune time where the Arabic world is growing in size and importance. Further, countries such as the United Arab Emirates are pushing to reinstate Arabic as the dominant language.Arabic is the fifth most spoken language across the globe with 380 million speakers across the Middle East and North Africa and is one of only three languages that cut across many countries – the others being English and Spanish. It is also the fastest growing language online, growing 2,500 percent in the ten years to 2011.So the potential for .shabaka is enormous. It is “almost the perfect time to launch” said Omer. And the “reception has been fantastic” from within Arabic countries. “Owning a .shabaka domain name is investing into an Arabic internet and we would expect to see the proudest Arabic brands take the first step, those that really want to make a difference.”And this potential has the support of the world’s largest registrar GoDaddy. Earlier this year GoDaddy partnered with dotShabaka and they will be a key partner in helping to promote the TLD. GoDaddy’s support is also important as registrars have expressed reservations about selling domains for the hundreds of new TLDs that are expected to become available for business and people over the next couple of years.The registry has commenced the Sunrise period for the TLD on 31 October for 60 days, however there are only around two dozen Arabic labels that have registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse, meaning there will be few Sunrise registrations.Following on from the Sunrise, dotShabaka has engaged partners and ambassadors from across the region to help with promotion, and they are keen to recruit more. Launch partners and ambassadors will be given priority during the launch phase and become pioneers of the cause. General availability is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2013.