Posts Tagged ‘India’

.anydomainnameyouwant soon to be available for purchase

Friday, June 27th, 2008

This week, ICANN voted to expand gTLDs (generic top level domains) so that there are no longer restrictions on the gTLDs that can be registered and used online. A gTLD refers to the letters that come after the last dot Dotcomin a URL string, such as .com, .gov or .org. Previously, there were a limited number of generic top level domains, but this resolution by ICANN, the body that controls and governs the domain name industry, will open every gTLD as a possible domain name extension going forward. These new gTLDs are likely to start hitting the market in the fourth quarter of 2009.

A companion resolution was also pushed through, which will allow domain names to use non-Roman characters. This means that Chinese, Arabic and Cyrillic characters, for example, will all be able to be used in domain names.

These are historic decisions by ICANN, although there is a lot of debate about what kind of actual impact they will have on the industry. For more details on the specifics of what was announced, check out the announcement here.

Here are some of my initial thoughts:

- This decision is important and will have an impact. Since this announcement, I have heard a lot of people making the case that the only domain name that really matters is .com. Although I agree that the .com domain name will stay the strongest for the foreseeable future, this thinking is really short-sighted. Although technology is advancing quickly, the Internet is still in its infancy. It’s hard to predict what will happen in two years, let alone in 20 years. I think that there is a very good chance that other gTLDs will become important. I’ve seen evidence of this in other countries, and honestly, it’s even possible that the gTLD system could eventually go away entirely.

- It will take awhile for any new gTLD to become popular. People are comfortable with their current domain names and will likely stay with them in the short term. But this decision opens the door for a new site with a new domain name to come in and make a splash. And if that happens, it could popularize a new gTLD quickly.

- This decision does nothing to hurt domain name speculators, it only helps them. The decision does not lessen the value of their current domain names, and it opens the possibility that they might be able to add a whole batch more to their already-valuable portfolios. They’ll be able to use the techniques, tactics and strategies (not to mention automated scripts and money!) that they created in the first round of domain name speculation to continue to round out their portfolios.

- A new energy is going to be injected into the domain name industry that hasn’t been seen in awhile. I expect a lot of creativity, and I think that we’ll be pleasantly surprised by the fun and interesting ways that people think up of capitalizing on this opportunity.

- There are significant trademark ramifications. Here is a good story if you’re interested in that.

- The average man on the street is going to be confused when new gTLDs are introduced. There will have to be some serious marketing and explaining done to help translate this to the millions who are just now using .com comfortably.

- The current alternate extensions are in trouble. I agree with this analysis that .info, .biz and a few other currently existing gTLDs will probably not do as well going forward.

- The biggest impact will be with the companion decision, which is that ICANN is now going to allow non-Roman characters in domain names. This means that countries that don’t use Roman characters in their primary languages (China, India, Russia, etc.) will now be able to register domain names in their native languages. This is the one area that I think that there will be real, meaningful and quick growth. Asian, Arabic, Cyrillic and other scripts will now be able to have domain names – this is huge based on the numbers alone:

“At the moment, there are one-and-a-half billion people online and four-and-a-half billion people for whom the Roman script just means nothing.”  

There will be some shakeout on the specifics of this decision in the coming months, and expect a lot of buzz as the end of 2009 approaches.

Photo by husin.sani

Start the process of globalization today

Thursday, September 27th, 2007


If you want to grow your business, I can’t think of a reason to put globalization off any longer. Pick a country, any country (other than the one in which you’re currently doing business), and take a step forward. There are ways to pick what country to start with, such as determining which countries already send a lot of visitors to your site, or finding a country that has a market in which your product has a lot of appeal. Then just start.

One of my clients is starting by re-writing all of the code for its primary application in Unicode, which has the “potential to cope with over one million unique characters.” Or you could start by examining how companies like Yahoo are managing their multilingual content. Or just subscribe to a blog that focuses on the day-to-day process of globalization. Or maybe your first step is simply trying to feel comfortable working on a project with someone in another country. My suggestion is to just try it. One site I’ve used in the past for outsourcing is eLance. The online service allows you to bid out projects of many types (including translation). All you have to do is register for an account (you’ll need an active credit card or bank account to qualify to use the service, although it’s free), then post your project. You’ll get bids from all over the world. This week, via eLance I’ve worked with contractors in Argentina, Russia and India (as well as my U.S.-based contractors – this isn’t a post about outsourcing all your work overseas!) This experience alone might open you up to the possibility of exploring other markets. Just start.

~Today’s view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13799608@N08/1450092271/

Some interesting facts about globalization

Thursday, September 27th, 2007
  • In 2006, the fastest growing Internet audience was in…India, where the growth rate was 33%. India’s growth was followed by the Russian Federation (21%), China (20%), Mexico (18%), Brazil (16%), Italy (13%) and Canada (11%), according to a report from comScore. The growth rate in the U.S. was a mere 2%.

  • The largest Internet population in the world is still in the United States. The same comScore report showed that even though the United States’ growth rate is slower than many other countries, it still leads the world in number of Internet users over the age of 15. China, Japan, Germany, U.K., South Korea, France, India, Canada and Italy round out the top ten countries, ranked by number of unique Internet users. 

  • Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) could have a larger GDP than the G6 (U.S., U.K., Italy, France, Germany and Japan) by 2040. This fact is part of a 25-page white paper from Goldman Sachs, “Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050.” As the paper is fond of pointing out, if this indeed happens, “it will be a dramatically different world.”  In the report, India is shown to have the greatest growth potential of the BRICs, followed by Brazil, China and Russia.

  • More than 50% of the traffic to the NBA.com Web site is from international visitors. 54%, to be exact. This is a trend that many companies are discovering – that a large majority of their site visitors are coming from other countries. As John Yunker, author of Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies, sums up in his Going Global blog, “This trend [of sites getting more than half of their traffic from outside the U.S.] is a major reason why multinationals have been investing heavily in Web localization. That’s where all the growth is.”

  • A ranking of the most popular sites by country often shows the localized version of Google at the top of the list. Alexa has the rankings of the most popular sites by country, and the results are fascinating. In many instances, the localized version of Google is at the top of the list, giving some credence to the idea that preparing a localized version of your company’s Web site is a good way to start to penetrate that country’s market. In some countries, however, the number one site wouldn’t sound so familiar to the average consumer. China’s #1 site is Baidu.com . Russia’s #1 is http://mail.ru/.

  • The number 1 site that is published in the SeznamCzech language is Seznam.cz. Sounds kind of like “shezam.”  Anyway, along with finding out the top site in Czech, there is a list of the top sites in 20 other languages, including Turkish, Hebrew and Finnish (Google, Google and Google), on Alexa.

~ Today’s view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13799608@N08/1445266053/