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 marketing@123-reg.co.uk 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 -
business
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 (4.org.uk, 3.co.uk 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, .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk, 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 .me.uk 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.

Google Domains

Google announced earlier this week that it is in the process of building a domain registration service.

It’s not “… fully-featured yet, but we’re giving a small group of people the ability to buy and transfer domains through it and send feedback on their experience.” It’s by invitation only at present and looks like it’s a US only service right now.

The “features” they envisage providing, are in their words.

“Here’s what you get:

  • No additional cost for private registration
  • Branded emails
  • Easy domain forwarding
  • Customizable sub-domains
  • Fast, secure and reliable Internet infrastructure with Google
  • Simple domain management tools
  • Easy integration with top website builders
  • New domain endings (assistance re the new gTLDs)
  • Support

We added the italics annotation re the new gTLDs in which of course Google is a significant player applying for, we think, over 100 names range from the obvious .google to the less obvious .dot!

Worth a look and applying to join in if you are a US small business

Very interesting, we shall await developments!

ICANN 50 and Domain names for dummies

ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is in London town (at the Hilton London Metropole) this week celebrating it’s 50th public meeting with a pretty full schedule. involving over 300 events and 3,000 participants.

They even include in their Meeting guide (pdf) details of ICANN’s Expected standards of behaviour together with a more useful list of acronym definitions ranging from ALAC through gTLD to UDRP.

Surprisingly there is no entry for ATLAS the At Large Summit II  which is taking place at the same time and is considering, in particular, the further internationalisation of ICANN’s governance as it is intent on shedding its overtly US organisation in particular post Snowden’s revelations.

The main (Gold) sponsors of the wider conference are:

  • EURid
  • Microsoft
  • Nominet &
  • VERISIGN

Nominet got a mini feather in its cap yesterday as Wales’ First Minister, Carwyn Jones, announced that the Welsh Government plans to begin a switch of its official internet address from .gov.uk to .cymru and .wales from next year. We wonder if this will be a precursor to .scot and .london getting similar endorsements.

EURid is offering at the conference free copies of  its publication “Domain names for dummies” which is also available as a download

Elsewhere there is a little spat (or as many wags have described it … a whine) concerning the new gTLD applications for .wine and .vin. Our cousins across la manche are not amused and foresee a possible attack on, in particular, their regional win names which are protected under international trade agreements and the  geographical indications (GIs) of products and brands.

Sweeter, shorter and definitely the smallest

Click to enlarge

Sweeter!

By & large the online coverage of Nominet’s launch of .uk has been positive we believe.

Our wordcloud (courtesy Wordle) is of the top 5 articles (mainly technical publications) on a Google news search on “Nominet” and probably convey the desired coverage. We’ve ordered it alphabetically and only included the top 100 words and no figures.

And shorter!

Elsewhere we see that an owner of one of the 36 (a-z and 0-9) 4 digit .uk domains (x.uk) believes his maybe worth £10 million. We certainly hope so!

That got us wondering how many of the 36 had actually already registered their new .uk domain. The answer, a little earlier this morning, was an impressive 18 as follows:

  • 7 by a UK investing company
  • 5 by a US investing company
  • 5 by UK companies
  • 1 by a non uk individual

At this early stage the status of them is:

  • 8 had no redirect or web presence
  • 7 have holding pages of one form or another
  • 2 have a redirect to an existing website (including ourselves i.uk and x.uk)
  • 1 has a website under construction (5.uk)

If anything approaching anywhere near 50% of existing rights holders to the new .uk domains take them up within the first year or so Nominet,we imagine, would be exceptionally happy!

and definitely the smallest

Now on to the question of the smallest 4 digit .uk domain.

We remain convinced from our extensive research that we have these bragging rights. Our main competitors we believe are L and 1.

From our internet browser a comparison (somewhat enlarged) is we believe conclusive.

A while ago we did compare many typefaces and we, certainly, on the more popular ones in general usage, concluded that the “i” had it! We now conclude the “i” has it!

Shorter Sharper Sweeter and we are the Smallest .uk

Shorter sharper and now sweeter are Nominet‘s tag lines, so as to speak, for the launch of .uk today heralded by an impressively large sign on the flight path to and from Heathrow viewable from 35,000 feet greeting all who pass by with a resounding welcometothe.uk.

It apparently is:

  • 10,000 square feet in size
  •  bigger than the Hollywood sign in California
  • the equivalent of four tennis courts at Wimbledon
  • the length of more than five double-decker buses.

In our selection (modified with an n and a .uk) from Nominet’s promotional pictures we were pleased to see that cricket is being played and we reckon by inspection (of the area) that the sign could accommodate a cricket square with the equivalent of  around 15 pitches!

Amongst the first to, not only sign up to the new .uk (converting incidentally from a .com) but also to get it up and running on day 1 is that very British celebrity Stephen Fry. He amongst other comments eulogises that he can now save three key strokes! Allegedly there is a little terminological inexactitude in his post (Three strokes and you’re out) but we forgive him unreservedly for his support of the all new .uk.

Click to check your domain rights

For our part we will be exercising our right (as we encourage all eligible .co.uk owners to do) to the smallest .uk in the near future. So please return for updates on our plans!

Already registered on day 1 are:

  • EddieStobbart.uk
  • I.co.uk
  • PolyPipe.uk
  • Sainburys.uk

Our hosting company have had hundreds of registrations today we hope Nominet start reporting numbers again.

A mini critique, ‘cos by & large we like the launch promotion, it is slightly England-centric and we wondered if they might consider duplicating the signs at Edinburgh Cardiff & Belfast airports!

We’ll leave you with Nominet’s video and Eleanor Bradley’s (Nominet COO) slightly windswept words concerning the launch.

welcometothe.uk

The All New Mi Pad

Launched yesterday by Ziaomi  in Bejing, initially for the Chinese market is the intriguingly named Mi Pad. Its spec is alarmingly close to the Apple iPad mini (retina display 7.9” screen 4;3 form factor etc etc) but of course its android (their own version) and the entry price (16GB) is $240 ish (1,400 yuan) moving up to $275 (1,600 yuan) for 64GB.

As the third largest domestic supplier of smartphones Ziaomi are no slouch and cannot be ignored in their home market.

Whether or not they will roll out globally remains to be seen but they did hire Hugh Barra last year – Googles then VP of  Product Management for android and his joining comment was “ …  I’ll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally — as Vice President, Xiaomi Global,”

The company, and the groups founder Lei Jun, have been likened to Apple and Steve Jobs but he prefers to differentiate the companies.

Recently Ziaomi bought the domain mi.com for a reported $3.6 million saying “The new domain is simpler and more accessible to an international audience,” This makes the domain purchase globally the highest priced one this year to date.

As a brand we rather like “mi” as it’s short and of course there’s the “i”!

We’ll leave you with their Mi Pad video

UK Country Domains Update

Wales/Cymru

Nominet say they have been given the go ahead and that take off starts from 1 September with registered trademarks heading the process. General availability is planned from 1st March 2015 aptly being of course St David’s day (the patron saint of Wales).

You can get more information in the language and domain of your choice at:

Scot (land)

No updates from DSR (Dot Scot Registry) but their previous prediction was for a summer 2014 release.

We would point out that St Andrews day is the 30th of November and that there is a certain vote due to take place on 18th September!

Brand dot UK

Nominet are in the process of introducing a new brand mark and identity as part of their promotion of the new .uk which becomes available from 10 June.

It also has extended usage to their whole family of domains and a brand Identity guide has been made available (pdf)

Just in case you missed it the right side of the “K” is of course the sharing symbol.

We rather like the brand concept, and the mark itself, and wholly support all promotional activities associated with the .uk launch by Nominet. The more the merrier. Whilst almost inevitably some of the associated words go over the top we thought the Registers comments were excessively negative and unwarranted.

There’s also a video which we were disappointed to see was “unlisted” and are sure this is simply an error by Nominet as it’s all for sharing so as to speak.

We’ll leave you with a combination of Brands which whilst usually somewhat fraught we thought in this instance worked rather well!

In case you missed their News Release earlier this month Lesley Cowley, Nominet’s CEO will be leaving them on July 9 after 15 years with them.