During this holiday portion of the year I thought I would do a little work where the crowds flock to. The specific work is reflexology in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Tis the holiday season and boatloads of avid skiers have come to Mammoth to frolic in the snow and party with friends and family. It's been interesting watching the white powder covered city grow in just the last few days. Last week the buses were empty and now packed full with snowboarders and skiers, young and old. As I wait for clients at the massage place called Simply Massage (MassageMammoth.com) I can look out the window and see the people coming and going with their equipment, snow or shine and even in this current economy, tradition is tradition, and many families just can't stand the idea of staying at home for the holidays and come up to Mammoth. For me, a SoCal guy, the weather is quite extreme, going from Sunny and warm today, from last nights extreme chill factor. The vacation/reflexology work has been stimulating to say the least, but one thing that is impossible to leave behind is my work with IDNs. So, after doing some reflexology sessions and going out for lunch or dinner, there is always time to do some mining for IDNs. I have a list of IDNs to reg, but am holding off for a little while, to see if the selected niche starts to grow. I'm interested in hearing what you all are doing for the holidays, so post comments if you like. Happy Holidays!
Well with some recent sales of IDNs, it is becoming clear that to actually set values on them is almost impossible. The German market gives us a glimpse into prices and sales, but the German IDN market has been very active during the past 2 years. Some of the early IDN investors have quite an amazing collection of IDNs and many of them are priceless. And which language will be the next to 'pop'? Many think Russian IDNs are already popping and enjoying a great deal of type-in traffic, and it makes sense. Although a couple of fairly wealthy individuals may make a start with Arabic. One thing we are certain of is that the value of IDNs will rise during the next 5 years, and may level out around 2015. Until then, we are likely to see many, many 6 figure sales, and by next year, a huge percentage of DNJournals reported sales will be IDNs. How soon? How high? How fast? Anyones guess right now. So hold on tight.
The website IDNBlog asked questions to Chuck Gomes of Verisign today and he answered one of the questions many of us have been curious about. How will the aliasing process work? You can read his answer here on IDNBlog. Basically, IDN.com and IDN.net holders will have the rights to IDN.com-in-IDN and IDN.net-in-IDN exclusively. If the IDN.com holder wants to "turn-on" the .com-in-IDN or .net-in-IDN domain, he/she will need to purchase the .in-IDN version in order to 'activate' the domain. Otherwise the '.in-IDN' versions will not resolve. I think this is a great solution and the mechanism will be in place (added to the root) during the launch of the new gtlds by ICANN. For those who have invested in and are developing IDNs this process insures stability and makes the .com and .net brands available in the hundreds of languages being spoken throughout the world.
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With the opening of applications for IDN.IDNcctlds on November 16th, there is a mild media frenzy going on. NPR, BBC, and news in various countries is starting to stir up the interest in International Domain Names. What does this signify for Domainers and Webmasters? Many things...domainers are beginning to come around to the notion that URLs will be type in foreign scripts (non latin) although many domainers are not liking this too much. I mean think about all the domainers who have invested in pinyin style domains -- will they become useless? And what is the fate of IDN.com? Well for those who invested early in IDN.com/IDN.net and other gtlds, it looks like there may be some real good news coming around the corner. I will write about this soon, not to keep too many in suspense. Webmasters....hmmmm webmasters and web developers will need to get their sh*t together and make sure their websites can support the new urls, meaning that many corporations (the smart ones) will finally have to leave behind IE6 and move on. IE6 will be quickly leaving the scene, especially with countries that do business worldwide. How does this all fit together? Well, the web is simply changing. And those changes were marked on November 16th, 2009. Currently known as IDN day. The day the internet became more free, more open to the global community.
A new day has dawned for ICANN with a new agreement with the United States, and the US Department of Commerce called: AFFIRMATION OF COMMITMENTS BY THE UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND THE INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS.
Wow, that's a mouthful, but a well needed mouthful for a starved international community. Some of the reins have been loosened, and the international internet community has more of a voice in the governance of the internet. My favorite quote from the Affirmation of Commitments comes in at number 5: "5. DOC recognizes the importance of global Internet users being able to use the Internet in their local languages and character sets, and endorses the rapid introduction of internationalized country code top level domain names (ccTLDs), provided related security, stability and resiliency issues are first addressed."
This is a strong acknowledgement from the US DoC regarding the need to Internationalize the internet. The entire text is worth the read, and the video is also available for viewing here. It's worth a read and a look at the short interview of Rod Beckstrom - ICANN's Chief Executive Officer. He mentions the release of Russian and Chinese IDNs as well as the spread of the internet throughout the world and the need for access in many scripts and languages.
This is perhaps a historic day in the 11 or so year history of ICANN, but more importantly it is a day in which ICANN will be governed by the world (the internet community) and the launch of fully internationalized domain names is now inevitable.
Noomle has provided a great solution for IDN holders to develop their domains and begin to monetize them. Although the current thought in the domain world may be trending against minisites. I don't agree with this trend. Noomle provides the tools to get a quick website up in just a few minutes. Some of the benefits of using Noomle over traditional parking include;
Greater flexibility Better Search Engine Rankings Greater Visibility and Ownership Status Choice of Advertisers NewsFeed Language Support (German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Japanese and Hindi)
I currently have about 200 Noomle minisites up for IDNs. I will go into the basics of setting up a Noomle IDN site in a future post, but here I will showcase a few of them:
Now as you can see, the templates vary, as well as the way the newsfeed and ads are displayed. Your website can basically include anything you want, videos, gadgets, stores and lots of extras.
Here is a sample Japanese Website Video section: ゲームPC.com
Here is a sample Swedish Website: trådlös.com note: you can see appropriate ads appear and there are 7 different articles. If we check out google to see how a search appears, we will find this Noomle IDN website on the first page here.
Noomle provides an easy to use control panel, and you can organize your websites into folders. I create a seperate folder for each language to help when working on them.
Contributors to Noomle get a much better choice of SEO friendly templates, and I highly recommend choosing to contribute instead of opting for the free Noomle services. But you may want to start out with the free service to check them out. Simply sign up at Noomle.com
I will be continuing to write about the Noomle and Noomle development techniques for IDNs in future posts.
Simple answer: PUNYCODE! The opening qualifier of a non-english (non ascii) domain name. All IDNs will have a punycode representation beneath the surface.
A sample of this would be xn--gtv858b.net, the xn-- is reserved for IDN domain names. xn--gtv858b.net converts to 糖果.net which in simplified chinese represents candy.net.
Punycode was invented some time ago, and you can search then internet regarding it's beginnings. The beauty of the invention and use of punycode is; that it enables users to register domain names in a multiplicity of scripts. To see the punycode conversion tool from verisign, go to http://mct.verisign-grs.com/index.shtml
Before the DOT:
IDN domain names are available for registration and use in many extensions, but IDNs can only be accepted before the dot. During the next several months, ICANN will launch IDNcctlds, for example .РФ will be used for Russian speakers signifying Russian Federation.
I'm going to keep this first post short, as I will be working on the layout etc.