When you try to explain new TLDs to non-domain people it’s often best to choose a clear example of a domain extension that illustrates the concept of the domain extension itself holding meaning. One of the examples that I and others have used more than once is .blog and the reaction has nearly always been of instant understanding and enlightenment. People “get it”. If you’re running a blog of some kind using a .blog domain name made sense.
Earlier this evening it was revealed that Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, had acquired the .blog registry. According to Andrew they were involved with Primer Nivel SA who won the string at auction since before the auction was held last year. The .blog extension was one of the more heavily contested strings, with 9 applicants including Donuts, Minds & Machines, Google and Afilias. When the dust settled and Primer Nivel S.A., who are also behind My.co, was revealed as the overall winner many industry observers were surprised. Today’s revelations go a long way to filling some of the gaps.
WordPress became a registrar some time ago, so they’ll obviously be selling the domains directly. However the domain will not be “closed” and it’s definitely one that other registrars will want to offer.
There isn’t a huge amount of information on pricing or anything else yet, but if you’re a registrar you can sign up for updates via the .blog registry’s site.
They’re also expecting to do large volumes of registrations, with the registry site proclaiming that they’ll hit 250 thousand names in 2016. That’s bold, but depending on pricing and policies, it might be feasible.
What is known so far is a tentative release schedule:
- Sunrise: August 2016
- Landrush: October 2016
- General Availability: November 2016
They’ve also chosen to use Nominet as their backend provider, which is an interesting move.