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Poll: How much will 1 and 2 letter .org domains sell for?

October 12, 2012.org, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, eNom, go daddy, public interest registryComments Off on Poll: How much will 1 and 2 letter .org domains sell for?

What will domains sell for at auction?

This week Public Interest Registry, the non-profit that runs .org, announced auctions for 85 one and two character .org domain names. The domains will be auctioned through Go Daddy and eNom in what the company dubs “Project94″.

Although basically anyone can bid on the domains, PIR’s pitch to ICANN to release the short domains said that bidders will have to be “committed to building out the domain name with a sound marketing and branding strategy, including a strong focus on quality, creativity and the desire to launch the site in a timely manner.”

(It’s worth noting that in all auctions I’m aware of with this sort of restriction, the rules were never strongly enforced.)

A domain industry colleague just emailed me asking how much I expect these domains to sell for. It’s a good question. I think there will be a wide range based on the character combinations.

But why not tap the wisdom of the domain crowd? Please answer the two questions below: what will the typical price be for a 1 letter .org? 2 letter .org? For the purpose of these polls, consider only one and two letter .org domains, not ones with digits in them.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.


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Shorter .Org Domain Names May Be On The Way

September 28, 2011.org, Domaining, Domainnamewire, public interest registry, UncategorizedComments Off on Shorter .Org Domain Names May Be On The Way

Public Interest Registry asks for permission to allocate one and two character .org domain names.

.Org domain name registry Public Interest Registry is asking (pdf) ICANN to allow it to allocate certain one and two character .org domain names.

PIR’s contract with ICANN currently prohibits registering these short .org domain names. PIR wants to allocate any such domains excluding ones that correspond to a country code.

There’s a model for releasing these domains as ICANN has approved every request to date from other registries for similar plans. However, VeriSign abandoned its plan to do this for .net. .Org generally falls into the same category as .net and .com when it comes to being considered “sacred”. Should PIR’s allocation process be successful then we can expect VeriSign to consider restarting its plans.

Public Interest Registry wants to take a different approach to allocating these domain names than many other registries. It plans to auction them off using one or more domain name auction services. It will require bidders to be “committed to building out the domain name with a sound marketing and branding strategy, including a strong focus on quality, creativity and the desire to launch the site in a timely manner.”

Other registries have followed a three step process: allocate via an RFP process to entities willing to develop the domains, then auction of remaining domains, and finally release unsold domains on a first come, first served basis.

The PIR proposal strikes me as a bit odd. Instead of giving the first option to whomever has the best plan to develop the domains, it appears the company will sell the domains to whomever meets minimum criteria but is willing to pay the most.


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  3. .Org Eyes Leadership Role in IDN Top Level Domain Names

.Org Prices to Increase in April

September 8, 2010.org, Domaining, Domainnamewire, public interest registry, UncategorizedComments Off on .Org Prices to Increase in April

Wholesale cost for .org domain registrations increases next year.

The wholesale price for registering a .org domain name will increase in April 2011.

In a short letter to ICANN dated yesterday, .org registry Public Interest Registry said it will increase the annual price to $7.21 beginning April 1. This does not include ICANN fees.

As a point of reference, GoDaddy‘s retail price for .org is $14.99 plus the 18 cent ICANN fee each year. So a registrar with a healthy margin already baked in may not pass the cost along to consumers.

VeriSign has already increased .com and .net prices this year and is likely to do so again next year. Last time VeriSign increased prices we saw several other registries issue their own price hikes, often times citing other registries’ moves as justification for increasing their own.


© DomainNameWire.com 2010.

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.Org Eyes Leadership Role in IDN Top Level Domain Names

March 9, 2010.org, Domaining, Domainnamewire, new tlds, Policy & Law, public interest registryComments Off on .Org Eyes Leadership Role in IDN Top Level Domain Names

.Org registry PIR wants to bring best practices to IDN top level domain names.

dotorgOne of the big questions facing registries of existing top level domain names is how they should pursue Internationalized Domain Name “equivalents” of their domain names when they become available. These so-called IDN.IDN domain names will be available once new gTLDs — such as .nyc and .music — come out.

Last month we learned more about VeriSign’s plans for .com and .net; today I reached out to Lance Wolak, Director of Marketing & Product Management for Public Interest Registry (PIR), which manages .org.

PIR hopes to take a leading role in IDN top level domain names, as it has in other initiatives such as DNSSEC.

“We’re not primarily commercially driven in what we do,” explained Wolak. “We’re really driven to do what helps and protects the domain name registrant.”

When it comes to IDN top level domain names, PIR wants to show support for various communities.

“We’re doing this in the public interest and to show our support and respect for the different language communities,” said Wolak. “Idn.idn is a technology that we want to see move forward.”

IDN.org domain names, with the standard .org at the end, have been available in many languages since the middle of the last decade. Wolak said that many of these have been registered for search engine optimization purposes (i.e., exact match to what the searcher types in his or her language/script).

Wolak said it would be premature for PIR to give definite plans for .org-as-IDN domains, given that new TLD guidelines aren’t finalized yet.

“Right now we are watching the information that’s coming out of ICANN, and looking over the Draft Applicant Guidebook,” said Wolak. “Until that is finalized, we won’t have a hundred percent picture of the requirements to launch a new gTLD, which would include IDN TLDs. So we don’t have anything to announce on how many scripts we’ll go after, which ones, etc.”

Wolak noted that, in addition to Chinese script, Cyrillic and Arabic, PIR is looking at other popular scripts that have large populations behind them. Script tables are currently being developed for some scripts sets, including Arabic. PIR has been working with the community as it develops the tables. In addition to settling the tables, there are other issues for IDN TLDs that need to be worked out, such as current getting them to work with email systems.

There are still a number of open issues for IDN TLDs. But regardless of how they develop, PIR wants to be a thought leader.

“We want to take the approach that we can bring the best practices with what we’re doing in the .org space to a new IDN TLD,” said Wolak.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Domain Registries Clarify Stance on Registry-Registrar Separation

October 16, 2009afilias, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Neustar, public interest registryComments Off on Domain Registries Clarify Stance on Registry-Registrar Separation

Afilias, PIR, and Neustar explain their position on a critical change to the domain name sales channel.

Domain registries have a lot to lose if registry/registrar separation ends with the introduction of new top level domain names. Representatives of several registries, including Afilias, Public Interest Registry, and Neustar, have sent a letter (pdf) to ICANN’s board and CEO that says ICANN is misstating the registry constituency’s position on registry/registrar separation.

The three registries say they have no problem with registrars entering the registry market, provided that they don’t sell second level domains for the TLDs they offer registry services for. In explaining the problems of integrated registries and registrars, the companies wrote:

If allowed to go forward, this proposed deregulation will facilitate “insider trading” that will open the door to abusive domain registration practices and higher domain name prices for some registrants. It will provide the affiliated registrar access to sensitive registry data that includes the entire universe of data for potential and existing domain names from all registrars that sell the TLD. A registry has the unique power to see DNS traffic in its domain; with access to this data, an affiliated registrar would be in a unique position to identify potentially high value names and monetize them through auctions, traffic sites or secondary market sales.

Here’s one point that isn’t covered in the letter: a combined registry/registrar can severely undercut other registrar’s pricing. If I run the registry for .web, I can offer .web domains through my own registrar for little more than the fees I pay ICANN on the registry side. That makes it hard for other registrars to compete.

[Update: I was just forwarded a link to a web site the registries have set up to explain registry/registrar separation and what they believe is at stake.]


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