• Archive for March, 2009

    .ME Auctions are on a roll

    March 24, 2009 // No Comments »

    As announced in a previous newsletter of HEXONET, the official registry for .ME, DoMEn d.o.o., will soon be auctioning off .ME Domains previously unsuccessfully allocated during the Sunrise and Landrush auctions in 2008.

    HEXONET is offering customers a simple way of submitting their applications for any of these .ME domains. All a customer has to do is proceed to HEXONET and create a FREE reseller account. That only takes a few seconds and you are ready to go! Submission for these highly valuable .ME Domains must go through a registrar in order for successful bids to be allocated to the winner.

    The auction is split into two parts:

    • Part I. (172 names) will get auctioned between 23 April – 29 April 2009
    • Part II. (542 names) will get auctioned between 14 May -20 May 2009

    HEXONET will be submitting the applications for the “Part I.” auction between April 6th and 20th 2009. The “Part II.” auction, the applications will be submitted from April 27th to 11th of May.

    Bidding and the actual bidding process will get conducted through the .ME Registry Auction Platform. The Registry will also send all applicants a notice with detailed instructions on how to bid, as well as, how to sign-up with the .ME Auction Platform. HEXONET will process any applications entirely free-of-charge as a service for its clients. In the event that you win the auction and the desired domains get successfully allocated to you, HEXONET will simply charge you the regular annual registration fee.

    Sample Domains up for Auction:

    “Part I.” Auctions include favorable call-to-action domains, such as “credit4.me”, “discount4.me”, “heloves.me”, “homesfor.me”, “livewith.me”, “stocksfor.me”, “assure.me”, “dig.me”, “lawyers.me” and many more.

    “Part II.” Auctions includes favorable .ME domains such as “airport.me”, “annoy.me”, “bestof.me”, “bid4.me”, “buyfrom.me”, “configure.me”, “giftfrom.me”, “preview.me”, “sharewith.me”, and many more.

    These auctions are bound to be exciting, especially in light of the recent .ME premium auctions that have taken place over the past year. “Call-to-action” domains sold as high as 70,000 USD! Examples of previous .ME aftermarket sales include date.me – 70,000 USD, love.me – 32,500 USD, buy.me – 17,500 USD, contact.me – 10,000 USD, …etc. For more info, please visit the registry website.

    .ME domains are gaining in popularity. On Feb. 10th 2009, the registry announced that they had already surpassed 200,000 .ME Domains Under Management. This is a tremendous success, especially considering that .ME went ‘live” only in July 2008.

    If you are interesting in bidding for .ME Domains, then you may also want to check out the Registry Announcement on March 13th 2009, where they announced the release of 35 highly desirable .ME Domains through an online auction with SEDO starting March 26, 2009! Good luck .ME!

    Posted in Domains, General

    Landscape has changed at ICANN Meetings

    March 21, 2009 // No Comments »

    After returning from the ICANN Meeting in Mexico, I must admit that I am walking away from the conference with mixed emotions. As many of you know, I’ve been going to ICANN conferences for years now, this last one being my 19th (wow, time definitely flies by), to mainly touch base with people I know, to connect with new key players, and also to strike up conversations about sales and business development.

    This time around it felt strange. On the one hand, it was fantastic to be representing HEXONET Services Inc. and having some excellent meetings there (and returning with a lot of work as luggage), but on the other hand, I was disappointed with the atmosphere and tone of this ICANN conference in comparison with past meetings. This ICANN meeting was a strange mix of excitement (over the nTLDs – new Top-Level-Domains), skepticism (concerning the actual start of the application process), anxiety (of what will happen next) and whole lot of secrecy.

    This ICANN Meeting in Mexico was also very sales and marketing oriented. Spread over two different floors, there were definitely more companies attending with actual booths promoting their products than ever before. I also had the sense that everyone was offering registry based or nTLD consulting services.

    The fact that our industry is now on the verge of having nTLDs, I got the sense people were fishing for information on what to do next. The frenzy of questions really centered around the influx of new faces investigating or wanting to submit an application for a nTLD, as well as, individuals/organizations who were looking to service such applicants with consulting.

    This consulting part really interested me, as I am sure many organizations would welcome some guidance through the process of submitting a nTLD. Most importantly, many such applicants will likely need heavy support for developing and building the operational infrastructure of their respective TLD. The question is who makes a good consultant in our industry, especially for applicants to the nTLD process? The right consultant to me has solid experienced based answers to the following questions:

    a.) Does your consultant have a solid background in terms of policy development in the Internet industry?

    b.) Does your consultant have solid contacts in this industry? Does he have a good reputation?

    c.) Does your consultant possibly have a solid background in actually running a registrar? Does your consultant understand the various different business models of a registrar, respectively the two major ones retail vs. reseller?

    d.) Has your consultant ever been involved in a registry before?

    e.) Does your consultant have strong relationships with the many ICANN Accredited registrars?

    My advise to new nTLD applicants is to start right and start best. The first step will set the path of success or failure. You would definitely want someone who has a proven history of success and an extensive network of contacts in this very unique industry. Also, keep in mind, that the major pillar of any registry is the “registrar-pillar”, as they will be your main revenue stream, as well as, your gateway to the end-user.

    Registrar feedback is critical, as it is based on “real-life” and day to day experiences that provide insight on how your product is perceived by the general public. Registries should not be picky and should be interested in serving any and all registrars, meaning sign-up as many registrars as possible, even though your top 20 registrars will likely generate 80% of your revenue. Nonetheless, based on my experience, widening your revenue channel and lowering your risk by having a vast diversity of clients (small registrars to the large ones) has shown to be the best way to success for registries.

    Beyond signing up registrars, which should be easy to do (assuming the RRA – Registry-Registrar-Agreement is fairly straight forward), the key to success is getting registrars operational and supported with your registry as quickly as possible. The sooner they are ready the sooner sales start happening. My point here is to choose your registry back-end provider wisely. The easier it is for a registrar to integrate, the quicker you as a registry will see your customers going operational.

    Posted in Domains, General, New TLDs

    Taking on New Challenges with HEXONET.NET

    March 2, 2009 // No Comments »

    As many of you know, I ended my tenure with DoMEn at the end of January. Overall, my experience and time at DoMEn was more than outstanding, especially having the opportunity to work with the great team there. Though I may be a little biased, I think DotME will likely be one of the hottest ccTLDs for the foreseeable future. I’ve been in this industry a long time and I can say DotME has really opened the door on catchy, call to action domains – date.me for example. The number of new registrations and growth of the TLD since its inception bear witness to its success and future. I wish everyone at DoMEn much success.

    Working for a new registry was a great opportunity. Registrars are the heart of our business and their passion for domains has always inspired me. It is this passion that I was looking for in my next endaevor. So when the opportunity came up for me to work with a former colleague and friend, Jens Wagner, I had to jump at the opportunity.

    Back when I was at Key-Systems, I had the pleasure of working with Jens, where we jointly built from scratch and managed highly profitably two of the three divisions of Key-Systems. During those days, Jens and I became good friends and even with my departure from the company in May of 2006, I knew we would stay in regular contact as we both went our separate ways.

    My path took me to Canada and eventually to DoMEn. Jens’ path lead him to concentrate on his own successful domain company HEXONET GmbH. And as of March 1, 2009, our paths crossed again with my appointment as Chief Strategy Officer of HEXONET and 1API (the house registrar of HEXONET). Remarkably, HEXONET in a few short years has grown into a very successful domain services company, serving thousands of resellers, startups and service providers worldwide. Already they manage over 400K domains for thier clients. For me, HEXONET’s success is a result of their top notch engineers, who have developed one of the finest, most powerful, and highly reliable domain reseller platforms in the industry. I am overly excited to be working with such a talented group, many of which are former colleagues at Key-Systems, as well as, some respected industry contacts I have know for years.

    Combined with my appointment as CSO is the opening of HEXONET’s first international subsidiary, HEXONET Services Inc. in Vancouver, Canada. HEXONET has thousands of resellers in the Americas and these resellers have been demanding a regional office. North American resellers and businesses are some of the most aggressive companies in the world when it comes to innovation and developing new business models. The Vancouver office will serve to channel the company’s most innovative technologies to resellers across Canada and the United States. One such technology I can mention is HEXONET’s EPP 1.0 Gateway platform, which makes it possible for any reseller or ISP to quickly offer hundreds of Top-Level-Domains (gTLDs like .COM, .NET, .ASIA, .INFO or country code Top-Level-Domains like .UK, .BE, .CN, .US, etc.) from one provider. Though ccTLDs are in high demand, many such TLDs have not been available to the public since resellers don’t have the time or energy to implement hundreds of proprietary connections for each and every ccTLD. HEXONET and EPP 1.0 gives resellers access to hundreds of ccTLDs with a single connection, which is exactly the kind of innovation they have been longing for.

    I remember the day I left Key-Systems, Jens pulled me aside and said, “Robbie, our paths will cross again and we will do something great together.” Little did I know back then that this would hold true so soon. Though is took us awhile to get back on the same track, the road ahead looks very bright and I am very excited about the future.

    Posted in Domains, General, Technology