September 30 2022. Online

Domain industry: Love, jealousy and a tinge of the thrill of battle

12.09.2019

Day two at TLDCON 2019: Marketing and domain name auctions

The second day of the TLDCON 2019 conference opened with the session Domain marketing: Face to face with end user. Moderator Dana Ludviga (NIC.LV) invited participants to think together about whether registries should try to work with the end user directly and whether it would lead to a conflict with the registrars. And the conversation suddenly focused on… love.

Maria Kolesnikova from the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ began her presentation by asking a provocative question: who should love the end user more – registrars or the registry? In her remarks, she thoroughly described what registries do for the users, and what registrars do, and how the registry can help in case of conflict.

“The registry draws up official documents: rules, regulations, etc., develops educational resources for users, exercises quality control of registration services and an authority to which users can turn in case of a conflict with the registrar. We all work for the same goal – the development of domain zones, and registries and registrars need to be friendly, and should negotiate agreements and love our users together,” she concluded.

The coordination center attracts end users to its social projects such as the short socially themed movie, Internet for Everyone, which is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of ccTLD .RU. The main characters are internet users whom the internet has helped in their daily lives. TLDCON 2019 participants saw the trailer. Internet for Everyone will premiere on September 19 in Moscow at the Cinema House.

Kolesnikova’s colleagues from registries in Lithuania, Ukraine, Armenia and other countries also spoke about their experiences, methods and tools for working with end users. Michaela Cruden from Afilias, one of the largest registries in the world, talked on how the registry manages so many top-level domains. “Often we promote entire clusters of domain zones with similar ideas. For example, the .BIO/.ORGANIC/.GREEN cluster of TLDs can be used by companies engaged in organic farming, but each can choose a domain depending on its specific focus,” Michaela Cruden said.

Vaidotas Jakuska (Domreg.lt) talked about direct marketing. “Direct marketing interaction with the end user reduces the likelihood of errors in delivering key information on the brand and product,” the speaker said. He talked about how the .LT domain registry not only promotes domain names in ccTLD, but also helps users understand the intricacies of operating in a virtual space.

Svetlana Tkachenko (Hostmaster UA) talked about an interesting practice applied by the Ukrainian registry. Registrants can open personal accounts on the registry website, where they can get information and ask questions. Anna Karakhanyan (ISOC Armenia) presented a detailed picture of the relationship between the registry, registrars and users in the .AM national domain.

The final session of the conference, Secondary Market of Domain Registration, focused on domain name auctions. Raedene McGarry (Centralnic), Alyona Belskaya (ccTLD.by) and Andrei Kuzmichev (RU-CENTER) spoke about their experience in conducting auctions and participating in them, as well as about working in the secondary domain market. Moderator Andrei Saveliev from Domeny RF proposed discussing the pros and cons of auctions to figure out who ultimately benefits from them.

As a representative of one of Russia’s two largest registrars, Andrei Kuzmichev gave a detailed review of the secondary market for domain names in Russia. He talked about the various formats of conducting auctions and the platforms on which secondary market deals are made. He cited interesting data on backordered domain names. Of the 150,000 domain names in the .RU zone that expire each month, an average of 10,000 or 7% get taken in 8-15ms; the value of this market is 5.8 million rubles a month. He also discussed problems with the further development of the secondary domain market. Andrei Savelyev closed the session by presenting a “perfect picture of the world” and showing how the secondary market for domain names can grow.

This closed the TLDCON 2019 conference. The next one, TLDCON 2020, will be held in September 2020 in Tallinn. Sign up now!

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