Purchased some .MEN Domain Names

This is a new TLD that I have never really touched or thought of investing in. I have always doubted its potential although it seems to be quite popular with many end users. There are more than 300,000 domain names registered under .MEN and as usual China accounts for the largest share of registrations. Funnily enough, Armenia is the second biggest registrant of .MEN domain names. I would honestly like to know why .MEN is so popular in Armenia. Does the name “MEN” have a special meaning or connotation in Armenia that would drive such an unusually high number of registrants?

Initially, I thought the high number of registrations could be due to the registry being situated in Armenia but, alas, the .MEN domain name registry called Famous Four Media is based in Gibraltar! The registry also manages the 16 other gTLDs including .loan, .trade, .win and .party among others. So that Armenia puzzle stays.

That aside, I registered a couple of .MEN domain names for the first time. These include the following:-

  • subscriptions.men
  • medication.men
  • sexting.men
  • interviews.men
  • sextips.men

I noticed the registry is quite greedy and they reserved almost all the words in the dictionary as premium domain names. Hopefully, when I get time and if the offers are still available, I can research and register more names in the .MEN namespace.

Oh, I also grabbed a .today domain name: glam.today.

If you are into .SHOP domain names, NameCheap is running some promos this week with a single domain name going for $2.88. I will let this pass. There are 200,000 .SHOP domain names registered so far and I doubt they are likely to hit 500,000 by December like I had projected. So the uptake has not been as enthusiastic as I had expected. Many GMO Registry can up their game to snap up more users.

.AFRICA Beginning Second Week of Landrush

Well, it is only 22 days to the much awaited .AFRICA general availability and I can see some of the best names have already been snapped already! Probably, I will be grabbing a few names later this week instead of waiting for general availability in July otherwise I might end up losing many of my preferred .africa names. Nice to see that there is strong interest from the domain investor community in the .africa names.

This week also marks the second phase of the landrush which will run until the 17th of June.

.AFRICA Begins Second Phase of Landrush

The first phase of the landrush is over and the .AFRICA registry is now beginning its second phase of landrush from Monday 12th of June, 2017.

The first phase had begun on 5th and from the data on Namestats, it seems not too many domains were registered. There are about 964 domain names registered so far, many of whom registered by the brand protection domain registrars such as Mark Monitor, LexSynergy, Ascio Technologies, SafeBrands and Gandi SAS so I will assume these were the Sunrise registrations. There is a surprisingly large number of .AFRICA domain names registered during the sunrise period by the Moroccan domain registrar Genious Communications.

The registry will proceed with the next three phases of .africa landrushes before the general availability begins from the fourth of July. I wouldn’t say the uptake is impressive but it is pretty good for the target market. What this means is that hundreds of companies operating in Africa have already purchased a corresponding .africa name address. Most end users are unlikely to pay the high price of $150+ for the .africa domain names during the landrush so most will be waiting for the low prices during the .africa general availability. My projection is that we are going to see a high number of registrations in the first month of the GA judging by the interest during the Sunrise.

 

In other news, domain sales have been pretty slow. I received an offer of EUR100 for a .shop domain name which I rejected outright. I also received a low offer on a .COM domain name this week which I countered with my offer, in the mid four figures. Buyer never came back. Most of the best .shop domain names have long been snapped but I have been bumping into a few good ones occasionally and snapping them up. But moving forward, I will be minimizing my .shop purchases and focusing exclusively on .COM domain names.

GROOVY.CITY

In other news, I just acquired my first .city domain name: www.groovy.city . This is a TLD I have never had any interest in but I though the name combination was good. Probably, I would be looking at other attractive combinations and purchasing them once in a while but for now, the strategy is purely based on acquiring good .COM domain names.

Speaking of .COM, I registered this one today www.glamspotting.com. Perfect fit for a glamour website for spotting the latest glam trends. There is a popular website called www.glamspotters.com so this domain name could go well with a website idea along those lines.

.AFRICA Domain Name List of Accredited Registrars

The .AFRICA registry has released its list of accredited registrars. So far, they have brought about 19 registrars on board. Unfortunately, none of my favourite registrars have signed up so far. That is the likes of GoDaddy, NameCheap, Name.com and others.

 

Most of the registrars that have rushed to sign up, frankly, are those that are better known for price gouging the cost of domain names. The kind of registrars that typically sell a $12 domain name for $60. Hopefully, the registry will be able to reach out and bring out many of the larger and popular registrars that could give them good traction and give domain registrants good value for money. I am also hoping they will offer lots of registrar promos and discounts in the first few months after general availability. All the leading registries are currently doing it so why shouldn’t they?

 

One of the .africa and ICANN Accredited registrars in the list had some ethical issues during the rollout of the South African city ccTLDs .DURBAN, .JOBURG and .CAPETOWN and no action was against the registrar by the registry.  I know they kind of have “gentleman agreements” having worked in the same industry and country for years but I am hoping they will observe the highest standards of professional ethics this time round.

 

Here is a list of the current .AFRICA Accredited registrars:-

.AFRICA Domain Names Moving to the First Landrush Phase

The .Africa Sunrise Phase which was open only for brands finally comes to an end today and the launch now goes to the first phase of the Landrush. During the Sunrise of .africa, some 500 domain names were registered by companies. So far, I haven’t seen any .africa websites online but that could be due to the target market during the Sunrise phase. Most of them were companies that already had well established websites and they were registering the .africa domain names defensively. A defensive registration  is where a company acquires its brand name or related name to prevent it from falling in the hands of cybersquatters or competitors.

 

The first phase of the landrush will run from 5th June to 10th June. During the landrush phase, the .africa domain name registrations will be open to all registrants from across the world. The registry has in the past stated that it is targeting the Chinese market where it expects to sell the bulk of the .africa domain names. However, during the landrush phase, the domain name registration costs will be relatively high. I have heard from some sources that domain name registrations will cost $150 per year during the landrush phase. I am not sure if there will be a variation in the pricing for the subsequent landrush phases.

Each landrush phase will last five days as follows:-

 

5th June 2017 to 10th June 2017:  .AFRICA Landrush Phase I

12th June 2017 to 17th June 2017: .AFRICA Landrush Phase II

19th June 2017 to 24th June 2017: .AFRICA Landrush Phase III

26th June 2017 to 1st July 2017: .AFRICA Landrush Phase IV

 

To be honest, I don’t understand the rationale behind the phase landrush rollout. The registry is also planning a phased rollout of the general availability where in the first phase, the domain names will be sold at a higher price.

 

At $150 per domain name, I don’t expect too many domain names to be snapped up by end users. The real race for the best .africa domain names will begin on July 4th during the general availability.