Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 20, 2013 12:08 PM
After 16 years, Microsoft is kissing Hotmail goodbye and putting its Internet-mail energy behind the brand-new Outlook.com.
The 300 million folks who use Hotmail—which Microsoft acquired back in 1997 when it was just a year old—will be able to keep their current email addresses, but the brand is disappearing and all of those users will be switched over to the new site by summer’s end.
CNN reports that Microsoft plans to put some big advertising dollars into the new site. That push began Tuesday with the release of two commercials that both highlight how sweet a consumer’s life can be if he or she is using Outlook. This is a shift from Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign, which has aimed to get the 425 million Gmail users around the globe to feel irritated at Google and make the switch to Outlook. Scroogled worked effectively for Microsoft when it initially used it to help expose consumers to the plusses of its Bing search engine compared to Google’s. Continue reading...
masters of their domains
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 16, 2012 03:57 PM
ICANN’s plan to open up the Internet to a new level of addressing in the form of custom top level domains is delayed… due to technical difficulties. The already besieged initiative, as we reported last month, is under scrutiny for a systemic glitch as explained in a statement last Thursday from ICANN chief operating officer Akram Atallah:
ICANN constantly monitors the performance of the TLD Application System (TAS). Recently, we received a report of unusual behavior with the operation of the TAS system. We then identified a technical issue with the TAS system software.
ICANN is taking the most conservative approach possible to protect all applicants and allow adequate time to resolve the issue. Therefore, TAS will be shut down until Tuesday at 23:59 UTC - unless otherwise notified before that time.
In order to ensure all applicants have sufficient time to complete their applications during the disruption, the application window will remain open until 23:59 UTC on Friday, 20 April 2012.
We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. If you have any questions, please contact the gTLD Customer Service Center (CSC) via the CSC portal.
So far, 839 companies have paid $185,000 to submit vanity domains in response to ICANN’s approval last June of an increase in gTLDs (generic top-level domains) from the current 22. The plan is to offer new benefits to Internet users such as the ability to create new TLDs in non-Latin, non-English scripts. Continue reading...
search and destroy
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 19, 2012 03:16 PM
When Matt Cutts speaks, people listen. So when Google’s software engineer and webspam guru recently posted (on his Google+ page, of course) that ICANN's looming dotbrands — the generic (vanity, customized, branded) top level domains or TLDs that are fast approaching — won't boost search engine results, the SEO and domain name worlds sat upright.
Cutts was responding to ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis, who penned an op-ed column that argued: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will,” wrote Kinderis, basing his argument on Google’s ranking algorithms that search for domain name keywords thus enabling business and brands to create commanding "clean name spaces."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 16, 2012 03:37 PM
ICANN 43, the other digital conference of note this week, wraps up today in Costa Rica with a piece of the Internet’s future in hand, as the April 12th deadline for domain name applications draws near.
As of March 10th, an estimated 254 applicants had registered their intent to apply for generic top-level domain names or so-called dot-brands, each one having up to 50 new gTLDs, although "the actual number of new gTLDs for which application will be made is still unknown," according to an official advisory.
The expectation is the number will be relatively low as major companies including Coca-Cola and General Electric plus 50 or so other big brands remain opposed, citing reasons of increased costs, customer confusion and potential for Internet fraud.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 19, 2012 05:44 PM
Opponents of SOPA and PIPA cheered yesterday’s web blackouts as a critical juncture in the escalating debate over copyright protection.
“The Web blackout Wednesday may be remembered as one of the first successful online uprisings in the U.S., but leaders in the U.S. Senate still planned to begin voting on PIPA next Tuesday.”
California Representative Anna Eshoo, Dem., tweeted "I do not support #SOPA! It is overly broad, threatens the Internet, will hinder new jobs & hurt economic opportunities" with a link to her statement: “History is being made by the more than 10,000 websites that have chosen to boycott SOPA by participating in today’s blackout,” and she followed suit by blacking out her own website.
A key factor in the turn was the education made quickly available to the public about the complex issues and alliances involved as shown in the following two videos:Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 12, 2012 05:26 PM
More than seven years in the making, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is now accepting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
As ICANN puts it, "The world of .com, .gov, .org and 19 other gTLDs will soon be expanded to include all types of words in many different languages. For the first time generic TLDs can include words in non-Latin languages, such as Cyrillic, Chinese or Arabic." And, as brand marketers and lawyers are well aware, .brand URL extensions are now possible for company names, too.
Click here for more on what brands need to do in this new TLD era.
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2012 11:22 AM
Plenty of brands (not to mention lawmakers and regulators) are not happy that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (aka ICANN) is going right ahead — despite 11th hour hearings — and opening the doors Thursday for a possible barrage of applications for new generic top-level domain names (.brandchannel, anyone?)
There are currently about 20 such domains (.mil, .edu, .gov, etc.), while so-called gTLDs will add the likes of .canon as companies can snap up their brand names as domain suffixes. It’s taken more than six years of hemming and hawing, but even on the eve of dotbranding, the move is still creating controversy among brand holders.
The fear is that those doors will turn into floodgates, and brands will find cybersquatters registering for their trademarks or similar words to their trademarks. The $185,000 registration fee should scare some off, but it also is a hefty price for corporations to pay to make defensive registrations. Reuters reports that Lawrence Strickling, administrator of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, sent a letter to ICANN last Tuesday asking the organization to find ways to make it so such registrations aren’t needed.
"In meetings we have held with industry over the past weeks, we have learned that there is tremendous concern about the specifics of the program that may lead to a number of unintended and unforeseen consequences and could jeopardize its success," Strickling wrote, according to Reuters.
Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's president, told Adweek that the U.S. government has a seat on ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee and has been able to address its qualms directly. He also noted that applications won’t just be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 15, 2011 10:58 AM
Yesterday's hearing by the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the House Energy and Commerce Committee added to the push-back in Washington to ICANN’s imminent plan to introduce generic top-level domains (gTLDs) ushering in the likes of .nike, .ford and other potential branded URLs.
In rare bipartisan unity these days, Republicans and Democrats reiterated concerns articulated last week in a similar hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee.
"I don't think it's ready for prime time," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the subcommittee. “The more we do our role, the more ICANN may take a second look at it. Based on what I heard today, they should delay.” (Walden also cited an Apple example that hinted at his own confusion on the issue.)
Advertisers have been lobbying hard against the ICANN initiative and Dan Jaffe, EVP of the Association of National Advertisers, (ANA), testifying on behalf of its Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO), said the plan is a “reckless experiment” that threatens business and consumers.
"The ICANN program would pile billions of dollars of cost onto a challenging global economy," Jaffe testified. "These are resources that could be much better spent on job creation. This is not merely a bad policy choice but a serious threat to the legitimate interests of both companies and consumers on the Internet. We believe that both the decision and the process ICANN followed are fundamentally flawed and that the roll-out should be delayed.”Continue reading...