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gTLD – Dawn of a New Era

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I am writing this post wondering if gTLD will change the way we think of domains. However, it’s no strange thing to happen, you develop a product, and then people use it entirely differently. It happened so many times, why not expect this to happen with the gTLD? Offcourse some gTLD’s will be more popular (.pop), some will be more secure (.secure), some will be just… .ego And some will be juuuust premium (.rich). You can check the full list of current new tld proposals.

The way I see it, ICANN changed their model to selling to resellers, creating various registrars, and now opening hundreds of possibilities to gold rushes. Most recent gold rushes like .me and .xxx had some ups and down. DotMe got some cool services like about.me, but in regards to .xxx lets be honest. Most of the registers advertised this as “protect your brand”. What did we think was going to happen? I mean, Go Daddy has some strong sexy ads, but this would be way too much even for them. Especially with the SOPA fiasco going on.

Reuters hails the new Internet revolution

When it comes to gTLD’s, my opinion is biased. In one view you have previous attempts (sort of a warm up for gTLD if you will), that haven’t exactly caught on fire (.jobs, .travel). Maybe Steve.jobs would be cool, but I can’t think of anything else. And even if you are interested in certain gTLD, like .hotel (so you could sell domain registration to hotels) who knows what the price is going to be, and who will handle the registration. It’s one thing when a respectable, experienced registrar like Go Daddy, Network Solutions, Enom, Tucows handles registrations, and it’s different when someone who cashed out 5000$ + 185.000$ (or even more) handles the registration proces (customer services, marketing, security, pricing, etc). More about this from Michael Salazar new gTLD program director at ICANN.

Is .secure going to be secure enough?

Will new gTLD .secure be secure enough?

Will new gTLD .secure be secure enough?

What would happen if somehow the “system” forgot who is the owner of every .com in the world? Ergo, security is important. Although ICANN will not consider applications from anything other than established corporations, institutions or other organizations in good standing, this bug doesn’t get out of my mind easily. When it comes to marketing a TLD, one is popular to that extent to which someone advertises it! I have asked Muamer Mujević Founder and CEO at Iconis agency to write his point of view on branding with gTLD’s.

Whats the Marketing value of your new gTLD?

Back in 1989 when world wide web was launched we had com, edu, gov, mil and net. We used .com to say that the website had some commercial intent. It did not mean the web site was commercial, or a big business, it was just a way to categorize it.
The Internet registration authorities intended other „descriptions“ of a web site like .biz, .org and .net to be used for other types of websites to describe them better. With the idea that organisation would register .org, and businesses would register .biz.

Sounds like a good plan. What happened?

You see, big brands started registering .com domains as soon as they could and when they started promoting their web sites .com suffix was everywhere, and i mean everywhere! Tv ads, billboards, flayers, radio, and so on. Back then, there was no internet marketing and this was the only way you could promote your domain! You had www.mcdonalds.com, and www.cocacola.com screaming the .com at you. The power of these promotion made .com the most wanted suffix for new websites. Sure, some registered .biz, .org, but the marketing value was not there.

It was a great idea, sure. Just imagine www.apple.biz. I know what you are thinking. It sounds amazing, right? Today, businesses, organisations, schools, military or networking sites mostly use .com. It just sounds right.

Muamer Mujevic - Iconis brand agency - Domain name .com has star power.

Muamer Mujevic - Iconis brand agency - Domain name .com has star power.

Lets be real. If you have a .com domain people view you as a worldwide business, no matter where you are. For example, Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessories retailer. They are big and spreading like wildfire. They have stores all over the world, Spain, France, Egypt, Monaco you name it. And yes, they use .com. What would you have them use? Zara.spain, Zara.Monaco, or better yet Zara.store? Why? Zara.com has star power, and is shorter. Much easier to remember.

So what marketing value can new gTLDs ad to your brand?

Will new gTLD have great impact on domain name registration? They might, but it might be a negative one. They just might register these domains to protect the brands.
Sure i understand the cool factor behind Hilton.hotel. It may help people only looking for hotels find just hotels. But they already have Hilton.com. Starpower. Shorter.


Short bio:  Muamer Mujević has over 12 years of experience in branding, graphic design, marketing management, sales, web design and 3d design. Last 6 years he specialized in business consulting, education, marketing strategy and branding for small and medium companies. His main focus now is building big brands from businesses with potential, supporting entrepreneurship and startups.
Iconis agency - Twitter

Sound farmiliar? Are we making the same mistake twice? .mil? What the heck were they thinking? What I am trying to say is that this has some huge opportunities, but risks as well. At one point you could create so powerfull gTLD that spawns hole new breed of web startups and web sites. Something like Facebook games (.fbgames), I am not sure. But also you could have disputes. Afterall these are words that are being bought.

I remember when someone sued Google by questioning them about who gave them the right to sell keywords (via Google Adwords). And who gave their clients the right to advertise on a certain word. Same is happening here. If a corporation decides to buy .apple, what happens to the fruit, or the worlds apple makers, or apple juice, etc. Please, have in mind I am not saying this has any logic, I am just stating out facts. Although, I do embrace change, and freedom, so I welcome the gTLD’s (as I did with Adwords).

Confusion?
Will this confuse less technically educated people? If they read hilton.hotel, are we going to bring back deprecated “www” are they going to write in the address bar hilton.hotel.com, adding the .com because they are not technically sophisticated to know what is the .gTLD. Sure, if you are still reading this post, you know what’s a gTLD (and I wrote this post specifically for you, which is precisely why I haven’t explained in the beginning what is a gTLD). But what about your cousin who always asks you to fix his computer?

More segmentation for domainers, more work for WhoAPI

How will the whois on new gTLD's work?

How will the whois on new gTLD's work?

Some domainers heard about the problem when you want to find whois information about a domain that is registered through Go Daddy, and all you get is a link to Go Daddy’s whois. Well, chances are, you could be getting those messages for some new gTLD’s. Hopefully, WhoAPI will find a way to solve that problem, and we are working hard on it.

Preordering gTLD’s
Huh not sure. Although some companies have already started selling and promoting certain gTLD’s I wouldn’t be so sure to jump to the ball and preregister them. I was going to point you in the direction of the dotappapp.com (they announced that preregistration’s of .app are opened) but their website is down, which proves my theory. Also, Blacknight (Irish leader in hosting) warns consumers against new gTLD pre-registration.

I constantly hear people whining – I wish I could go back to the nineties, and register some great domains. I wish I had some short domains. I wish, I wish, I wish. Well people, instead of wishing, will yourselves today! Instead of saying: “I wish I had a great domain.”, say: “I will have a great domain!” just choose the tld. Change brings opportunities, and with the gTLD, lots of tremendous opportunities awaits domainers. Sharpen your skills and prepare for the golden age. :)

Author: Goran Duskic

Goran Duskic co-founded a game development team Generation Stars when he was a teenager, and he co-founded hosting and web develpoment company GEM Studio (which was sold in 2011). He co-founded tech startup WhoAPI and has 10+ experience in business development, online marketing strategy and PR.

WhoAPI became a member of Croatian Independent Software Exporters [CISEx]

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WhoAPI - CISEx member

WhoAPI - CISEx member

As of the today, WhoAPI is a member of Croatian Independent Software Exporters, CISEx for short. Unfortunately, the english version of the site is still being developed. They have formed the association just 9 months ago, but already they have 90 members!

CISEx is comprised of IT companies, developers, IT experts, engineers and other individuals that strive to export their goods and knowledge. Most of the members are “wannabe exporters” (so I’ve heard from other members) but some are gaining profits strictly from exporting.

Why is this important for WhoAPI?

Since domaining in Croatia is non existent, and I wrote about that issue previously, WhoAPI will focus internationally. This is why we would like to connect with any company in Croatia that resembles our company in any way. Among CISEx members there are some companies that you may have heard of. I have hand picked some under these rules, and please don’t call me a rasist because it took me 45 minutes to hand pick them. I looked for 10 employees and works internationally or has international offices. English oriented web, VC funding and gooood looking website are a plus.

  • Fiveminutes.eu – Their mission is developing mobile applications for all platforms and advanced web solutions. (Hint, Shoutem.com is their service).
  • GoHome.hr – Real estate search engine currently present in Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia, Czech republic and Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Inchoo.net – They specialize in creation of eCommerce solutions using Magento as a platform
  • Infinumdigital.com – They are focused in software development in two main areas: Mobile iWeb
  • Salespod.net – Salespod is a business mobile software developed by Mobilna informatika Ltd.
  • Trikoder.net - They create high-performance web applications and sites using Trikoder framework

WhoAPI will strive to become like those companies, and better.

Oh, and one more thing!
WhoAPI is the first CISEx member to come from Rijeka (which I believe is shameful because our hometown is the 3rd largest town in Croatia). So, to help promote export, startups and entrepreneurship; we will organize an event on 24th of February in a city hall on Korzo. There is still more than a month till then, so you can expect more news in detail in the following couple of weeks. But if you are interested in attending or speaking/presenting at the event, please contact WhoAPI.

Author: Goran Duskic

Goran Duskic co-founded a game development team Generation Stars when he was a teenager, and he co-founded hosting and web develpoment company GEM Studio (which was sold in 2011). He co-founded tech startup WhoAPI and has 10+ experience in business development, online marketing strategy and PR.

WhoAPI hackathon WhoHack #01

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We decided to organize a different Christmas gathering than other companies. We wanted to:

  • Meet with our friends
  • Create something productive so we can feel fulfilled
  • Make everyone comfortable and happy
  • Organize a closed hackathon (so it would be easier to organize our first event)
  • Get feedback from friends, and see how the environment responds

The only thing that broke the silence and sounds of key strokes was a joke, a laugh or perhaps someone seeking opinion or help. Some of the things we managed to generate in approximately 10 hours were phenomenal! Yes, we were distracted by a delicious meal and later pizza, but nevertheless we managed to stay on track. I mean, just look what we managed to accomplish!

Only Sasha had just a little part of the code pre-written, but the rest of us came with nothing but good will. :) Also Goran Peretin had the difficulty of working on something that is still in very early stage beta (WhoAPI) so he didn’t quite managed to do something extraordinary as planned. But that didn’t defeat us, and he still managed to put some great work. This will also motivate us to be even better next time.

Projects done in a single day: LazyType by Sasha Matijasic, Concepturon by Goran Duškić, Kindlefy.me by Dino Budimilić, BrainMem by Edi Budimilic, Win-Control by Damir Sarcevic, Kinect hack by Dorde Pozega, Mask-my-text by Marko Moguš, WhoAPI hack by Goran Peretin. For a little more details on the projects (if you don’t want to try them out) visit official WhoHack website.

It would be great if someone finds something useful, but nevertheless, I believe our focus, productivity, passion and persistence showed how much can be achieved in a single “working” day! As they say, we should do this more often! :)

Author: Goran Duskic

Goran Duskic co-founded a game development team Generation Stars when he was a teenager, and he co-founded hosting and web develpoment company GEM Studio (which was sold in 2011). He co-founded tech startup WhoAPI and has 10+ experience in business development, online marketing strategy and PR.

Hackathon at WhoAPI – WhoHack

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Instead of a Christmas party, we thought we should organize a hackathon. We are sorry we couldn’t invite more people, but stay close, you never know what we might pull off next. :)

Basically, oportunity to eat something like this is to come and work for/with us, or come to an event like this! So the first WhoAPI hackathon (who knows, perhaps a first one in Rijeka and if someone knows of a similar event, please let us know) attendees are pretty special.

Goran Peretin, Dino Budimilic, Dorde Pozega, Damir Sarcevic, Sasha Matijasic, Marko Mogus and WhoAPI founders Edi Budimilic and Goran Duskic. We plan to rock the house :) Since Goran is the only non dev guy, he hopes others don’t throw him out :) But, he has something interesting to show. Each and every one will have a single day to create something worth tweeting about.

WhoAPI office

WhoAPI office

Each of us will take anything we can to build in 10 hours or less using any skill we have. It can be a new mini web service, public research, windows application, ebook, iphone or android app.. anything! All the mini-projects will be published on whohack.com and promoted here.

Read more about this in a week. There will be photos and videos.

Author: Goran Duskic

Goran Duskic co-founded a game development team Generation Stars when he was a teenager, and he co-founded hosting and web develpoment company GEM Studio (which was sold in 2011). He co-founded tech startup WhoAPI and has 10+ experience in business development, online marketing strategy and PR.