.com Goes Global – Big News for IDN Investors!

Yesterday IDNBlog.com broke the news that VeriSign has just submitted a request to GNSO for “multiple IDN version of .com and .net…”

So what the heck does this mean and why is it a big deal?

This means that in Russia, owning a .com doesn’t mean owning a .com, instead it means owning a .kom (using the Russian Alphabet). In Israel owning a .com also doesn’t mean owning a .com, it means owning the .קום. That’s right folks .com is going global!

Now I can already predict the backlash I’ll get from this post – I’m expecting the #1 critique here to be, “But .com already is a global TLD.”

I don’t believe this is true. In Australia .com.au is king, in Germany .de is King. Yes – this means that if you go to Australia you’ll see more businesses using .com.au for their brand rather than .com! .com has developed mostly as a US-centric TLD and there is no question it is the leader in the US.

Now that other countries will have their own IDN version of .com I think that .com (as it stands right now) remains the dominant TLD in the US…but globally I think we’ll see a shift towards the IDN version of .com.

Just think – if you’re in Russia and you are using your keyboard in Russian (makes sense right?) wouldn’t you just want to type .kom (in Russian) rather than going to the system settings and changing back to English just so you can type .com?

The entire concept of IDN.IDN changes the game, and now that it looks like .com is really going global I think there is a new opportunity for investors, just like the opportunity that existed for the first .com investors back in the 90’s. That’s right – we’re still in the wild wild west and I wouldn’t be surprised if ten years from now people are saying, “I wish I was able to buy .com’s when they went global.”

Now I’m opening myself up to a backlash from .com owners and I welcome all opinions. Be as harsh as you want, insult me, go nuts – on my blog I want everyone to feel totally open to express their opinions. What I’m writing about here is my own opinion, there is no right or wrong here, but when I see an opportunity like this – I can’t help but share my enthusiasm with all of you.

So comment, share your opinion, and let your voice be heard!

Extra-special thanks to IDNBlog.com for breaking this story – you can read the entire story here – The Gold Rush Has Begun: GNSO Formally Requests IDN Unlocking of .Com

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Jeff July 16, 2010, 10:55 am

    Post some of your idn names 🙂

    Reply
  • James July 16, 2010, 11:10 am

    Hey Morgan,

    I can’t say I agree that this is a good thing. There is an over emphasis on country specific traffic (ie. you can target a country in google webmaster tools). This is great and all, but it also is completely unfounded in some cases. For example, I have a travel site .com that is great for people heading to Romania, it contains the best possible information (in a perfect world) for people going to Romania. Why should .uk rank higher just because the searcher is in the UK rather than the US? It’s a bias that is sometimes providing the customer with the best product, but often doesn’t.

    I’m all for local search, but even if you step back from domaining, to me this is taking one highly flawed system and replacing it with another from a consumer perspective.

    I enjoyed your post and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Reply
    • Morgan July 18, 2010, 1:56 pm

      Thanks for the comment @James – I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

      If you site did indeed contain the best possible information, it would show-up at the top of Google UK and Google US. While Google will give preference to geographic location – content is still king. That is why Wikipedia shows-up at the top of Google search results all over the world along with tons of other sites that Google has deemed to be the global authority.

      Having an industry that is centered around 1 TLD has seen limited growth – I think each of these markets will now have incredible potential. This really could represent the future of Domaining!

      Reply
  • Steve Epstein July 16, 2010, 11:28 am

    Morgan,

    Thanks for posting.
    Aaron / Gary’s posting at idnblog.com is a classic. Great news for old and new IDN investors alike.

    My opinion is that Russian / Arabic and Hebrew domains are the first big winners for
    idn.com with idn.idn for ‘com’ .

    KOM for ‘com’ is a great Verisign win.

    dot ru is not the idn. RF is the IDN with PO in cyrillic.

    Chinese, Japanese, and Korean will follow quickly.

    I think your readers will find information, interesting auctions, and sales offers at
    http://www.idnforums.com

    I am one of the co-owners there.
    We are at over 6000 members now.

    best regards,

    Steve

    Reply
  • Steve July 16, 2010, 11:50 am

    Hi Morgan,
    Huge deal. This is what I was hoping for. The big bonus is that the .com now is a true idn.idn in your preferred language and it is way more secure owning the .com than owning the idn.countrycode. As we have seen with some countries idn domains can be a risky investment. While the country code idn domains will still be very valuable, the idn.com just went up,up,up and away! 🙂 imho.
    Best.

    Reply
  • Jonathan Castello July 16, 2010, 2:46 pm

    Hullo, Morgan,

    So you’re saying that google.com and google.קום would both be valid ways to reach Google? That .com and .קום are simply aliases for the same gTLD? If I have it right, that’s definitely impressive! However I think your terminology is a little misleading.

    I think you may mean “localized” [1]. .com is absolutely “global”, because it has a presence that’s world-wide. .de may reign king in Germany, but I think it would be fair to say it -only- reigns king in Germany. Localization (or l10n), on the other hand, is definitely a very cool thing, because if I have it right, we’re simply aliasing the gTLDs, translating their words into other languages.

    Localization of .com is definitely a major shift. .com and the other generic gTLDs like .org and .net represent concepts rather than cultures or language, and that makes them truly great targets for localization.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_localisation

    Reply
  • Steve Clarke July 16, 2010, 3:38 pm

    Great Article.
    I agree with Steve, The .com, and native script equivalent, are particularly valuable in the case of Geographical names, as the respective Governments will not have total control of these names, as they probably will with the cctld IDNs.

    Reply
  • Aaron Krawitz July 16, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Thanks Morgan for the fantastic IDN coverage of VeriSign’s statement and the GNSO’s recent motion.

    Reply
  • Morgan July 16, 2010, 5:32 pm

    @Jonathan – you are absolutely right. In Russia if you wanted to go to Google.com you would have to go to system setting, change your keyboard layout from Russian to American and then type-in Google.com – which nobody will do so Google.kom will be king there 🙂

    Reply
  • Morgan July 16, 2010, 5:32 pm

    Thanks @Aaron for breaking the news!!

    Reply
  • Jonathan Castello July 16, 2010, 6:03 pm

    Hmm. There’s two other things I noticed about this development. First, as was noted in the blog post you link to, you can use the TLD for localization, instead of a subdomain. So you’d have foo.ком for the Russian version instead of ru.foo.com, which I think is just awesome.

    Second, but a bit more unfortunately, the actual domains themselves aren’t localized unless you register a new name and point it to the same website. So if “MorganLinton” contains any characters that aren’t easily found on a Russian keyboard, you’d need to use a workaround even if you used MorganLinton.ком. I think most of the Cyrillic alphabet is different from the Latin alphabet anyways, unlike say Spanish which just has a few extra diacritic marks.

    Reply
  • Morgan July 16, 2010, 6:29 pm

    Absolutely true @Jonathan and both excellent points! For people’s names I don’t think it will be as useful, but now owning домe.kom (House in Russian) or בית.קום (House in Hebrew) could mean owning a super-premium domain that could receive a significant amount of type-in traffic.

    I think this definitely represents a unique opportunity…and I think it’s all going to happen very quickly once it starts. However predicting the future is pretty hard so for now I’m just making my best guess 🙂

    Reply
  • Steve July 17, 2010, 8:23 am

    Not only is the idn.com a safer bet than idn.countrycode but renewal fees for the .com’s will be cheaper than country code renewals. I think idn.cn’s are $30/yr where idn.com’s are only $10 average. I still have and like many idn.countrycodes but the idn.com’s should be purchased to cover your bets whenever possible.
    Cheers!

    Reply
  • Nadia July 17, 2010, 8:07 pm

    There’s one thing I’m still not sure I’m understanding correctly. Aside from the differences in the extensions themselves, if you own the IDN version of a (non-trademarked) word .com and someone else owns the non-IDN version (both of which are viable in multiple countries), is there any infringement there?

    In other words, can someone sue you for the translation of that word, if it’s in the same extension? No, right? Thank you.

    Reply
  • Phio July 18, 2010, 12:19 am

    Great post Morgan! It is an interesting time for those with the foresight many years ago to opt in registering IDN.com and IDN.net domains.
    For clarification sake, IDN domains are language specific, whether Chinese, Arabic or Thai etc. and within those languages there are (just like in English) ‘words’ that can be registered. Someone owning pictures.com in Russian: картинки.com has the full rights to the domain. ‘картинки’ is a generic Russian word and the owner of the English version — pictures.com has no rights to the word in Russian because it is a generic Russian word.
    On the other hand. the owner of картинки.com will have the rights to картинки.ком in the near future, when Verisign’s applications are approved and .ком is moved to the root. Thus, making картинки.ком a fully Russian domain, and the url can be accessed purely with the Russian keyboard. As far as I understand it. pictures.ком will not be allowed for registration because the script is mixed and disallowed.

    I hope this clarifies the situation a little for those who haven’t delved into the IDN world yet.

    Once again, thanks for the great post Morgan!
    Phio

    Reply
  • roddy July 21, 2010, 2:02 am

    i have a few idn/jp and i am wondering if the idn/jp will change first or idn/com ???
    (in japan)

    Reply
    • Morgan July 21, 2010, 9:10 am

      @roddy – good question, does anyone know?

      Reply
  • roddy August 11, 2010, 11:41 pm

    hey Morgan i gave you a plug in the .tv section at namepros , please do join the community to have your say about .tv , …… regards evirtual1

    Reply

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