Google finds its G-Spot!

Initially apologies to those who have arrived inadvertently here by (ahem) mistake. Our post is simply an appreciation of the new Google logo family and typeface together with a reiteration and update of the small is beautiful axiom!

We really like the new “softer/ smoother” Google logo which owes its sleekness almost entirely to the newly designed Product Sans typeface.

For a more comprehensive appreciation of its qualities and certain variants that Google have included in the initial version,  so as to speak here is their taster (Produfct Sans pdf). This includes Cyrillic Greek and Latin examples and also teasing a variant typeface, Noto Sans, which will “… bridge the gap by providing a broader set of 30 international scripts”.

It doesn’t look as if Product Sans is commercially available yet to download but we are sure this will come in due course.

For a detailed look at some of the updated icons in case you are not yet familiar with them SlashGear have a couple of articles worth a look:

Google themselves have  a worthwhile article on the overall redesign and of course their obligatory video.

Now then onto our recurring theme of small is beautiful vis a vis, inter alia, domain names!

So Google for the very basic reasons of space necessitated by the comparatively small screen sizes on smartphones tablets and increasingly wearables have reduced  their name from Google to G in these environments.

We increasingly believe that our sister domain is “probably” the smallest short domain, ……..roll on drums, in the world!

Using the Product Sans typeface I is clearly the smallest letter in the alphabet both upper and lowercase. It’s only real competitor is L which loses out on area in lowercase and width in uppercase.

The other country code top level domains with the shortest short, ie one letter, domains are we believe .co and .de. Using the product sans typeface d, e and o are approximately 20% wider than both u and k. c is 10% wider than both u and k. So there you have it.

So our question is whether, in the interests of clarity and space, in the not too distant future  Apple = i?

.uk Registrations Disappoint

Nominet publish their new registration statistics monthly which is good news.

Not such good news is the level of .uk registrations which, after a promising start on their first release back in mid-June last year, now seem to be running at around the 20,000 a month level, constituting about 12.5% of all the .UK family (ie,, etc).

As far as the overall .uk family domains managed by Nominet are concerned these seem to be flat-lining at about 10.5 million.

New gTLD registrations were 3.7 million in 2014

This is according to  and looking at the monthly rates these have been over half a million in June & October. The current run rate seems to be around 400k a month. There are 453 of the new gTLD’s listed as at today’s date.

Overall the volumes must be disappointing as far as ICANN are concerned who were hoping for something like 15 million in the year to June 2015 which looks most unlikely.

We’ve had a look at the top 10 and others of interest in the UK in our table. The Chinese .网址 (XN-SES554G) apparently translates as “website” and virtually all of the registrations are parked or have no content (98.9%).

On the UK front .london is doing well but lags .nyc and .berlin.  .wales & .cymru are still in the release phase and are not yet generally available but the numbers look very low to us. Whilst it is somewhat dated Nominet Board reports indicate total new .uk registrations in August & September of last year of around the 140k a month level.

.scot is making some progress and it will be interesting to see how this develops – we did notice that the Scottish Government now have their very own HMRC competitor Revenue Scotland at

Your right to a .uk domain name

Following Nominet’s announcement back in mid September  that it was starting to email all eligible uk domain registrants (ie that’s etc domain owners) we received our first email earlier today. Duly personalised it did arrive in our Promotions folder which we suppose is, sort of, appropriate.

Click to enlarge

We counted 8 links on it which we will not detail simply repeating the ones we mentioned back in September:

So again we encourage you to take up your rights lest you forget and someone else come 10 June 2019 picks them up rather cheaply!

Wales beats Cymru 6-1

Yesterday saw the first .wales and .cymru tranche of domains go live on the ever-expanding internet.

Compared to some we expect these domains to be of minority interest and .wales will likely far outstrip .cymru.

According to the 2011 Census the ONS report that of the 3.1 million population nearly 2/3 (66%) regard themselves as being Welsh. Welsh language speakers number some 562,000 (19%) of the resident population of 2.9 million.

Logically therefore we might expect the Wales / Cymru registrations to be about 4/1.

On a very quick look around yesterdays arrivals we spotted the following!

.wales .cymru
Assembly (redirect)
Bloc Bloc (redirect)
DailyPost (redirect) DailyPost (redirect)
Gwalia Gwalia (redirect)
Thinkorchard Thinkorchard
Walesonline (redirect) Walesonline (redirect)
WRU (redirect)


So, on the way we count, that looks like at this very early stage, 6/1 with the winner being The Orchard Media & Events Group

There also seem to be a few technical teething problems with this first tranche!

Whilst talking about Wales we were interested to see that recently uSwitch reckoned that, in country terms, they had the fastest broadband speeds in the UK at 5am being 22.5Mbps but that they also had the slowest speed come 9pm of 11.6Mbps. Hmmmmm

Grab your dot uk domain rights and certificates NOW

Nominet have started (from September 16) to email all eligible uk domain registrants (ie that’s etc domain owners) letting them know that:

  • The short .uk equivalent of their UK domain has been reserved for them
  • This reservation is free, and they are under no obligation to pay anything extra, unless they choose to register the short .uk domain with a registrar
  • Registrants should contact a domain registrar or hosting company if they wish to register the .uk domain. However, they have time to think about it as the reservation will last until 10 June 2019, provided they continue their existing domain registration.

Each email for some (practical?) reason will only list up to a maximum of 5 domain names but you can access their Online Services in any case where initially you can use the “… first time logging in “ facility to set up your own password after which a complete list of domains is accessible.

It has editing facilities and is we thought rather useful.

Other Nominet links that you may need (together with a repeat of the online Services facility are:

The, sort of, icing on the cake is that you can download your very own certificate signed by ….. Lesley Cowley the past Chief Executive of Nominet!

Whilst Nominet stress that the .uk rights will continue until June 2019 (as long as the domain name is continually registered) we think there is much to be said for grabbing them NOW! This will need to be done through your registrar.

Incidentally if as with ourselves certain domains were registered without one’s own email address as the contact point it will be appropriate to contact the registrar used to progress matters.

We haven’t yet received any of the promised emails but may update this post on discovery!

Dotscot’s birth, its pioneers and legacy

Dotscot launched the availability of its .scot domain names in the middle of last month  starting for all from September 23rd. In the meantime it has enabled 50 or so “Pioneers” to get going already and also is offering a free domain name to any child born in Scotland on launch day 15 July 2014.

One of the Pioneers is, almost unsurprisingly, arrising as a result of the just finished successful Commonwealth Games.

As an added bonus the dotscot registry has also just announced that it will also give a free domain name to any Scottish athlete who won a medal in the Glasgow 2014 games.  We think that might be over 50 numerically. They do say though that Kylie doesn’t qualify – not sure about Lulu though!

The list of some of the Pioneers they provided ran to 38 and a quick analysis (see below) shows that already just over 70% are in use. In such a short period of time (3 weeks) it is understandable that many of them are redirects (49%) and one has a holding page, but a very commendable 20% already have fully operational sites.

We did notice that there is an which possibly falls foul of ICANN’s rules about country code usage as .se is in use as a country code domain for Sweden. It’s also a short domain of less than three letters / numerals which certainly the other new UK community/geographic / city top level domain registries are not currently releasing ie .cymru .wales and .london.

Applications for domains should be made through any registrar who offer them – you might try calico who are one of the pioneers!

Dotscot pioneers
Holding Site No site
page Redirect found Better Together Scottish Enterprise Calico Ltd Scottish Enterprise Dunedin Links Electric Scotland Scottish Enterprise SCVO Scottish Enterprise SCVO icipia Limited Inverclyde radio Scottish Enterprise Scottish Enterprise Scottish Government Scottish Government Scottish Government Scottish Government Scottish Government Scottish Scouts SCVO Scottish Enterprise Scottish Enterprise Scottish Enterprise Silicon Glen Smart Compliance Ltd Smart Systems Scotland Scottish Enterprise Louisiana Scots SCVO Johnston Press Scottish Enterprise University of the Highlands and Islands Weber Shandwick Scottish Government Johnston Press World Wildlife Foundation Scotland Yes Scotland

Win win with .uk on tour

123-reg (the UK’s largest domain registrar) are sending a team of experts  around the UK in July & August to encourage small business users to get online and  to register their new .uk domain name. All the events are free.

In their words “As well as promoting the new shorter .uk domain name, the events will focus on essential core digital skills including online marketing, social media, networking tips and advice on increasing website conversions.”

The venues in addition to today’s Newcastle Racecourse (NE35HP) are:

  •  30 July Leeds: Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AD
  •  6 August Cardiff: St.David’s Hotel, Havannah Street Cardiff Wales, CF10 5SD
  •  12 August London: Canary Wharf, Bank Street Level 32, 40 Bank Street London E14 5NR

To book a place simply email them or we guess you could simply just turn up!

Win 1 – “At each event, we will be offering our attendees the chance to win a Merlin Annual Pass. The pass allows you free entry into over 30 UK attractions for a whole year, including Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Legoland, Madame Tussauds, SEA life locations and many more. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is post a picture of your day at the event to Twitter using #UKtour – it’s that simple!”

Win 2 – “As well as our roadshow events, we plan to stop off at plenty of brilliantly British locations to get plenty of snaps of our special .uk branded campervan. At each location we will tweet a picture of our campervan asking you to tell us where you think we are. Those who guess correctly will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 John Lewis voucher! Remember to use our roadshow hashtag, #UKtour, or you won’t be included in the draw!”

And of course the real win is get all the info available at the events and then get online if you’re not already there!

You can follow them @123reg 

Disclosure: We have no commercial arrangements wiith 123-reg

UK Web Award Winners 2014

All the glittering prizes were handed out last night at Nominets’ Internet Awards 2014  which celebrate the internet as a force for good.

Our graphic summarises the winners, runner uppers and highly commendeds which are detailed below:

Category Winner Runner up Highly commended
Innovative internet WriteLatex – Overleaf LawBite -
Online skills & training #Techmums AbilityNet – My Digital Unite
Computer My Way
Making the internet a eCadets Safer internet day Virtually S@fe
safer place 2014
Doing good online CRUK – Citizen FaceDementia Turn2us
Science Programme
Digital innovation - Informed solutions eRedbook Start2
public services Boundary commission

For some reason the Nominet eCadets link is to a YouTube offering rather than their right up to date brand NEW .uk site, which we are proud to display!

Whilst on the topic of domains our analysis shows that the .uk domains underlying the awards come to 57% of the total (, and 1 .uk) gTLD’s account for  36% (3 .org and 2 .com) with one country code TLD .co. There are no new gTLD’s!

As far as the winners themselves are concerned we were impressed from a very brief look at LawBite (competitively priced legal services for SME’s) and have used and have previously recommended turn2us’s benefits calculator.

Congratulations to all concerned but especially to eCadets for having a NEW .uk domain – they have to be our overall winner!

Here’s their explanatory video:

We’ll leave you with Lawbite’s Introduction Video

LawBite Introduction from LawBite on Vimeo.

Shorter .UK Domains are Growing

We were delighted to hear from Nominet today that the new shorter sharper and sweeter NEW .uk registrations are going well with:

  • Over 100,000 new .uk shorter registrations in June (the new .uk shorter names were only available from the 10th of the month)
  • Over  a third (36%) of new .uk registrations in the last week have been new, unique registrations
  • Over 225,000 total .uk family new registrations in June

Nominet quite accurately say “June 2014 saw almost 225,000 new registrations across .uk,, and, second only to March 2000, when registrations nudged 250,000”.

Our retained figures as originally published for March 2000 show a little over 245k and of course didn’t really get going until 2004.

Whilst there may be a bit of a spike arising with the initial introduction of the new .uk. As there is a, sort of, installed base awaiting to be converted of some 10.5 million domains we are hopeful that a monthy figure around the 250k level could be achievable. This some say is around the level that ALL of  the currently released new gTLDs are achieving.

We do hope that Nominet will reinstate the previous transparency that existed when they published monthly detailed registration figures.

If anyone is interested we could get together our history as originally published by Nominet for the period covered by our graph in either or both pdf / excel file format.