Friday, 27 June 2008

Welcome to the dot anything world

A paradigm change in WWW navigation is coming (though different from what I had imagined) - ICANN will soon start selling rights to new top level domains (TLDs). The potential ramifications are massive - for surfers, marketers, SEOs.

What's a better domain to market BMWs:
a. or

How about the .club or .air to market clubs and airlines respectively? Personally, I would love to get my hands on a good .video site, for example.

The pricing has not yet been announced although there is speculation that setting up a new .something could cost between $100,000 and $500,000. Obviously a modest sum for large brands, which can then use TLDs to create sexier URLs for individual business divisions (us.coke, diet.coke...). Imaginable for larger cities and regions, which can recoup the cost by reselling domain names (think or and of course for attractive generics (.casino, .mortgage, .hospital).

Depending on how liberal ICANN will be this could hurt the value of existing domain real estate ( vs but possibly also help it through drawing broader attention to domaining. I expect users to warm to the new URLs fast as they actually may be easier to remember and make more sense.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Veoh's got guts show me this screen:

Apparently, Veoh has ended service in my country (and about 165+ others) due to a low concentration of users (!?). These users are now crying out - witness the 500+ posts on the Veoh forum thread.

Who gets blocked? Most of the world including populous places (Malaysia, Brazil), influential places (current holder of rotating EU presidency Slovenia) and rich places (Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates).

Users reported they received no advance warning and were unable to move their videos hosted at Veoh elsewhere.

Since Veoh seem to maintain official silence about the move beyond repeating the low concentration of users non-explanation we can only speculate. Are we talking bandwith problems? Copyright issues (non-US distribution of content Veoh has from CBS, Viacom's MTV Networks, FEARNet, Billboard, Ford Models, NCAA Football, US Weekly, TV Guide according to Wikipedia)? Something else?

Whatever it is it seems like a desperate move. Obviously it is going to hurt and anger many innocent users - including users from the "chosen" 33 countries traveling abroad and living abroad. This undoubtedly carries a cost in loyalty and the people who view and post videos on Veoh do have a choice when it comes to sharing videos.

I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Veoh go down completely if they are doing badly enough to mishandle this sensitive issue (via Newteevee).

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Competitive Webmastering in the 21st Century - How much is your domain worth?

Do you own any internet domain names? How much do you reckon they are worth? How do you figure out? Who do you ask?

The market is becoming more liquid but perhaps the overall economy matters a lot. Especially in the US. And perhaps we are living the age when the petrodollars migrate online. Bypassing us, going straight to web 2.0.

Perhaps you own a website. Perhaps your registrar owns it.

Perhaps you could own a website, still get a decent address. Maybe the same type of area as where you live - a little run down, perhaps, but a lot of cool people around. Perhaps not.

Website valuation is not a science, it's an art. There are markets and you can sell to them. Some of the smart people do.

Anyway, this rant must end now.