New gTLD Sites Advertising in the LA Times

I’m happy to see an ad in the LA Times Calendar Section today featuring four new gTLDs (in one ad).  The headline of the ad was the website, Vegas.buzz. It has a really nice logo and is memorable.  I looked up who owned the domain name.  It is Howard Lefkowitz, who is the former CEO of Vegas.com, now the founder of 1 Degree World, an entertainment and travel booking engine.  That’s encouraging.  I love seeing people with expertise in travel and entertainment using new gTLDs like this.  It appears that his company will be using their booking engine on a number of sites such as www.vegas.buzz and vegas.ninja.

vegas-buzzI suppose that the .vegas registry partnered or cooperated with them on the ad offering content at nightclubs.vegas and shows.vegas. The domains appear in the ad but seem to still be owned by the registry (probably awaiting an auction or premium buyer).

All of the sites use the 1 Degree World booking engine with various color themes.  There are some subtle differences.  Vegas.buzz focuses mostly on several shows while vegas.ninja solicits “Ninjas” to offer their content and ideas to the site; seems like a good idea to me.

I’m not sure if I should think of this ad as an ad for a Las Vegas travel website or as an ad for new gTLDs.  Any layperson will obviously think of it as an ad for a Vegas website but the question of which website to visit is certainly there.  I suppose people will visit the one that stands out to them the most.  If they are interested in nightclubs, they’ll probably have a bias to visit nightclubs.vegas first.  If they just want the latest news, I suppose they’ll be drawn to vegas.buzz.  Note that Buzz.vegas is still held by the registry and forwards to vegas.com; that seems a little self-defeating considering they’ve spent some money on this ad and it’s likely that at least some will remember buzz.vegas instead of vegas.buzz.  I suppose we will need a few years to fully understand all of the ways that new gTLDs will pan out and how to cover ourselves for traffic leakage.

In any event, I’m happy to begin seeing some new gTLDs sites doing advertising in the wild. I’m also very excited about the new variety of choices people have in domain names.  I don’t think we’ve even seen the beginning of how these will end up being used.  Creativity should be in abundance over time.

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Joeservations

I love to read and run across ideas worth remembering almost every day.  Almost every day I want to blog and post something thoughtful about what I’ve read.  The problem is that I rarely have time.  But today I’m doing it.  I have a little time and I read two articles that I found interesting and thought compelling.  I’m going to post these more often; I’m going to call them “Joeservations“, short for “Joe’s Observations.”  It happens to me all the time and is worthy of naming as an incentive to keep it up.  Here are today’s…

The Wall Street Journal had an opinion post written by Jim Hake, who is a Los Angeles-based venture capitalist.  It’s an intriguing essay telling the story of Spirit of America, his NGO providing civilian support to U.S. military personnel who are trying to win over private sector players in other countries. He explained how when he got the idea to support military personnel, his first move was to meet with an Officer profiled in the  story he saw. This officer was trying  to win over the hearts and minds of some local Afghan villagers. His story was profiled in a National Geographic special. Mr. Hake wanted to help.  I am now a fan of Jim Hake but that’s not the point I wanted to share.  In one part of the article, Mr. Hake stated something that we all need to remember.   Here is the point; this is my Joeservation:

In the article, Mr. Hake stated:

“Here’s the guy closest to the problem.  Let’s ask him what makes sense, then do it.  You have to get to the point where the transaction really happens.  In business, if you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything, no matter how bright your idea may be.”  (Joeservation #1)

How valuable is that?  I’ve seen this over and over.  Some of the best ideas in the world go nowhere and good businesses fail because no one understands how to convert a prospect into a buyer.  They never get to and don’t understand “the point where the transaction really happens.”  I loved this quote.

I have one more Joeservation I ran across today.  Also from today’s Wall Street Journal, another opinion article written by Holman Jenkins, Jr., he quoted a memory-worthy statement that apparently is a Google mantra:

“Competition is only a click away”   (Joeservation #2)

We all need to remember that. Nothing more needs to be said.

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Pledges to Protect a Free and Open Internet

I got to see Secretary Pritzker’s speech and I liked what I heard.  I know there are other free countries in the world but ICANN has always listened as best they could.  There are countries that are limiting Internet access and I would hate to see them gain control over the IANA root and the ICANN process.

Below is ICANN’s press release…

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, addressing attendees at the opening ceremony of ICANN’s 51st public meeting in Los Angeles, declared unwavering support for the United States government’s decision to transfer stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community and not to any one single organization.

“Let me be clear about this. The United States will not allow the global Internet to be co-opted by any person, entity or nation seeking to substitute their parochial world view for the collective wisdom of this community,” said Pritzker.

More than 2,300 members of the global multistakeholder community have come together in Los Angeles, California, for ICANN’s 51st public meeting to discuss the future of the organization.

“If we don’t strive to improve our governance and accountability at all times, and especially this time, we will not gain and maintain the confidence of the world,” said Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN. “ICANN’s leadership, the ICANN board and the ICANN community are committed to the best possible governance and accountability mechanisms there are.”

 

ICANN Board Chair Dr. Stephen Crocker spoke about ICANN’s priorities, saying, “Throughout the organization we are sincerely concerned about transparency, about accountability, and we work assiduously trying to improve.”

 

The IANA Stewardship Coordination Group (ICG) will be meeting during the week to continue their discussion on how the NTIA will go about transitioning its stewardship of the IANA functions to the Internet community.

 

“We have to get this transition right,” said Pritzker. “Make no mistake: I stand by ICANN. I am all in when it comes to the global debate over Internet governance. And we will preserve and protect a free and open Internet.”

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The Case for Brandables

I just had a dialogue with a friend who is involved in BrandBucket.com so I checked out their site. Working for 101domain.com, I have seen a lot of great brandables come to life. I often have to explain the pros and cons of generic domain names vs. brandable domain names. I like the video they made that makes the case for unique, brandable, website names.

Many startups and companies use ccTLDs to form brandable domain names. I don’t know when this trend began but suspect it started with Bit.ly (even though now they own the bitly.com version as well). Enjoy the video, it’s pretty cool and helpful to a new business trying to decide on a unique name.

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