While at was at ICANN chatting with Applicants and others in the domain space the question I found myself being asked the most was about .XYZ.
.XYZ has been very aggressive pushed the envelope when it became the first to auction off new gTLD domains names through Namejet.com
So I reached out to Daniel Negari whose company is going to operate the .XYZ extension (and .College too) to see what his vision for the extension is, what’s up wit the Namejet.com auctions and what the hell he was thinking when he applied for it.
What is .xyz?
Put simply, .xyz domain names are for every website, everywhere. When I was selecting a potential domain extension, I wanted something that would be internationally recognizable. .xyz is the only domain extension that can be identified by any language, since the letters X, Y, and Z are universally recognized as the last three letters of the Latin alphabet, and also represent the three dimensional axes. In other words, an individual does not need to speak English to understand what .xyz is. And because .xyz doesn’t have a literal meaning or connotation, it offers end users the flexibility to create any kind of presence they desire, rather than being labeled by an industry, location, or other niche.
Because the namespace is so crowded, it’s tough to find a short and recognizable domain name that is also affordable. This is where .xyz comes in. As an affordable unrestricted namespace, we are the first truly generic domain extension. We are firmly committed to keeping the purchase price, as well as renewal fees, low and competitive.
So when users are looking for the flexible domain name they’ve always wanted, they will have the choice to register a .xyz.
Both businesses and individuals will appreciate the value of .xyz domain names.
We want people all over the world to be able to share their knowledge, passion, and interests without having to worry about high start-up costs or needing a return on their investment.
With .xyz, these users can purchase an affordable and memorable .xyz domain name without sacrificing flexibility or recognition.
In fact, we want to help promote these individuals’ websites by offering design and SEO services, featuring them on XYZ.COM, and building in other benefits so that they are able to better connect with their audience.
As we say in our office, we end the alphabet with XYZ, so we end a domain name the same way.
What is the launch process for .xyz?
.xyz will be available to the public in Q2 2014.
We reached a major milestone this week when I executed the ICANN Registry Agreement on Tuesday. The next step for us is to perform predelegation testing. We are working closely with ICANN and our backend provider, CentralNic, to launch .xyz at the earliest available date.
The first phase of availability will be called the Sunrise, which gives Trademark Holders the opportunity to acquire their domain name prior to General Availability.
Exact launch dates will be announced in early 2014.
Why are you auctioning off premium .xyz domain names without reserves?
We are giving the early adopters an opportunity to secure premium domain names at insider prices. These equivalent domain names would cost exponentially more if they were being sold by other registries. But as innovators in the namespace, we want everyone to have an equal opportunity to own a short and memorable domain name.
The overall goal of the NameJet advance auctions is to give the individuals who have been following us the chance to get in on the ground floor.
As an affordable, generic domain extension,we are anticipating a very high volume of registrations.
These auctions reward the early adopters with a first-to-market advantage before the surge of registrations by the general public.
Auction winners will be able to get a head start on building out their .xyz sites, have a chance to be featured on XYZ.COM and our future registry page, and receive joint press opportunities with us.
We are just getting started on our awareness campaigns and will be turning up the heat leading up to our global launch in 2014, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss out.
How are you able to auction off .xyz domain names if ICANN hasn’t delegated the extension to you yet?
We ventured into uncharted territory when we decided to team with NameJet to advance auction .xyz and .College domain names. Because this has never been done before, we worked very closely with our legal teams to make sure we were not breaking any rules or disappointing any potential customers.
We were able to accomplish this by auctioning “purchase options,” which can be exercised once .xyz and .College have been delegated to us and we have gone through the Sunrise period.
This means nothing is being allocated at the time of auction, and the winners do not have to pay for the domain names until after the Sunrise period has concluded and they have received notice from us.
What if I win a .xyz auction and the domain name becomes unavailable?
Because this is an option contract, the auction winner does not pay anything for the domain name until he or she actually purchases it (for the final auction price) once it is available.
This is worth repeating – you are NOT responsible for paying the auction price until it is available after the Sunrise period.
We are not trying to create unnecessary risk to our potential customers.
If .xyz domain name is won in NameJet’s advance auction and becomes unavailable, either because of collision or is acquired by a Trademark Holder during Sunrise, the auction winner is not liable to pay NameJet or the registry anything.
What if I win a .xyz auction and decide I don’t want the domain name once it is available?
Don’t buy it.
This is the beauty of the advance auction.
The auction winner is entering into a nonbinding option contract to purchase the .xyz domain name if he or she wants to once it is available in 2014.
If you win the auction then have a change of heart, that’s ok.
We don’t need a reason.
There is no termination fee, no contract, no agreement we will hold you to.
Can I resell the .xyz domain name I win in the auction?
Once you are notified and exercise your purchase option at the auction closing price, the .xyz domain name is yours. Auction winners will have the freedom to set their own pricing if they choose to resell their .xyz domain names.
Has the advance auction information been formally published somewhere?
Yes, NameJet published the terms and conditions on their site prior to the advance auctions going live (Section 4, “Advance Auction”).
Will I be able to transfer my .xyz domain name to the registrar of my choice?
Yes, you can see a partial list of the registrars we are partnered with to carry .xyz at xyz.com/registrars.
We are already working very closely with many of the largest registrars on the internet and are reaching out to new ones on a daily basis. As a global extension, .xyz will be available at most registrars.
If your favorite registrar isn’t carrying .xyz, we want to know. Send us a tweet at @xyz and we’ll reach out to them. Make sure to contact to your registrar’s account manager or customer support representative to let them know you want a .xyz domain name. We’ll be sure to announce when each one of them signs our RRA on Twitter and Facebook.
What are you doing to spread the word about .xyz?
Although we are in the very early stages of our awareness campaigns for .xyz, we have been able to generate much more buzz than any other domain extension out there. We’ve accomplished this primarily by being extremely proactive in reaching out to registrars, communicating with the media, developing a strong social media presence, and doing a lot of targeted advertising both on and offline.
As a registry, we believe our top priority is to generate awareness about our domain extensions and put the registrars who will be carrying our domain names in the best possible position to succeed. With comprehensive business and marketing plans in place, we are educating registrars on the value of .xyz domain names so that they are able to share that message with their customers closer to our launch.
With all that being said, we already have agreements in place with most of the top 10 registrars and many boutique, niche, international and growing registrars.
I still don’t “get” .xyz. Why should I choose a .xyz domain name over another extension?
Our registry is built around connecting with people.
That’s why we created “Generation XYZ,” or the idea of creating a community for individuals regardless of their age, location, or interests. .xyz is meant to be more than just your average domain extension. It has character – an identity. When you register a .xyz, you know you are getting a domain name backed by a passionate team who genuinely wants to see innovation on the internet.
We see how quickly the internet is growing and all of the new ways people are using it to communicate.
It’s amazing how many people from emerging markets are coming online each year for the first time ever.
Unfortunately, these individuals didn’t have the opportunity to register an affordable and memorable domain name before. With .xyz, we are giving them that chance to create an online presence that is not only short and memorable, but also affordable enough to purchase and maintain. It’s a fresh start for internet users around the world.
The internet is still in its infancy, think about how far it has come in a little over twenty years. .xyz is going to be the platform for everyone all over the world to connect, share their ideas and designs, and cultivate knowledge.
My hope is that by introducing an affordable, recognizable, and unrestricted domain extension like .xyz to the world, we as a community will continue to innovate, and hopefully be an inspiration to the next generation of internet users.
If anyone has any additional questions, please reach out to us on Twitter at @xyz.