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web watch

ICANN's gTLD Gold Rush: Google, Go Daddy Look to Grab Desired Domain Names

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 4, 2012 11:44 AM

The mad dash for ICANN-approved generic top-level domain names (also known as gTLDs) is on.

The most popular generic suffixes, .art, .radio, .music, .shop, .food, .bank, and .web are being most aggressively pursued. Google is spending an estimated $10 million to apply for 50 domain name suffixes including .Google, .YouTube, .Docs and .LOL. (Is Google looking to buy a sense of humor?) It's actually one of the biggest brands to jump in, while more than 40 major companies, including Coca-Cola and GE continue to oppose the top-level domain program.

Go Daddy has applied for only two top level domains, .home and .casa. CEO Warren Adelman said the names “were chosen in part because they have multiple meanings with big market opportunities: they can be used in both a real estate context and personal context.” (Of course, the relationship between "Daddy" and "home" in English and Spanish is another lure.) “Dot.com has been getting the lion’s share of branding since the dawn of the internet,” added Adelman. “Any kind of new branding is heavy lifting.”

According to a blog post by Vint Cerf, Google's chief internet evangelist,

We’re just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and we are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment. By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse—and perhaps shorter—signposts in cyberspace.Continue reading...


Slogan Slingers Crowdsources Taglines for Cash

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 1, 2012 10:02 AM

Slogan Slingers bills itself as the world’s first crowdsourcing platform. Pitting professional writers against each other and bringing Fortune 500 level slogans to small business at affordable prices, the platform lets business owners or marketing directors initiate an onsite slogan contest and freelancers compete for a cash award put up by the contest holder in advance.  

“The Slogan Slingers talent pool is impressive,” says founder Rich Davis. “Many of the writers who signed up during our beta testing phase are either moonlighting ad agency writers, successful freelance writers or former ad agency writers put out of work by the recession.” OK — so what did they come up with?Continue reading...

what's in a name

FDA Not Sweet on Corn Refiners' HFCS Moniker

Posted by Dale Buss on May 31, 2012 04:31 PM

What's in a name? A lot, if you've got an inconvenient one and you want to change it. Would John Denver ever have become beloved, or even reviled, as Henry John Deuschendorf?

Thus you can understand the disappointment of the makers of high-fructose corn syrup this week after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration rejected a request by the corn-refining giants to allow them to change the name of their product to "corn sugar."

The agency said that it defines sugar as a solid, dried and crystallized food — not a syrup. Plus there's already something that technically is a solid corn-based sweetener, dextrose. Thus, the corn refiners are stuck with the moniker — better known by the acronym HFCS — that might as well appear as a skull and crossbones on nutritional labels, the way many American mothers see it.Continue reading...

web watch

On Digital Archery and ICANN's New gTLD Program

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 31, 2012 02:04 PM

The latest target dates were announced last night by ICANN for the next phase of the New gTLD (generic top-level domain) Program, which opens up URLs to so-called dot-branding such as .nike or .pepsi at the end of web addresses. The Batching period will open on June 8, close on June 28, and Reveal Day occurs on June 13.

Applicants remain confused about the mechanics of ICANN’s Batching process, the Target Time Variance procedure (also known as “Digital Archery”), available options and the implications the batch they land in could have for their applications.

Two blog posts from FairWinds (see Part 1 and Part 2) break down the Digital Archery process, and offer predictions about what various applicants will do to try to “game” the Digital Archery process and how those actions will ultimately affect brand owners that applied for new gTLDs.

Applicants that land in late batches will have their gTLDs delegated much later – some perhaps not until 2018; applicants who plan to build a business selling domains in their gTLDs will be aiming for the first batches; many brand owners who applied for gTLDs will probably take their cues for participation in the Digital Archery process from Reveal Day.Continue reading...

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Mondelez Approval in Hand, Kraft Thumbs Its Nose at Mockers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 29, 2012 12:12 PM

Scoff all you want. Kraft Foods is going for it. The company is splitting into two public entities and one half of it — its global snacks business — will be known as Mondelēz International. 

The shareholder vote at the company's May 23rd annual general meeting on the name change wasn’t even close, either. More than 90 percent of those who voted gave the new name the OK, according to a press release.

The word Mondelēz, selected from an internal employee competition, is a "portmanteau" combination of the Latin word for world (“monde”) and “delez,” which is supposed to suggest deliciousness. Sticking "International" on at the tail end gives it that global feel the company is in search of.Continue reading...

name game

Kraft Shareholders Set to Debate Mondelēz Moniker

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2012 01:08 PM

When Kraft Foods announced in March that it would name its new global snack business “Mondelēz” as part of its upcoming corporate split, the world basically snorted in disdain. Say what? The pronunciation isn’t even exactly clear. Kraft says it's supposed to be pronounced "Mohn-dah-LEEZ," please.

Some crafty exec came up with the idea of combining the Latin words for “world” and “delicious.” It was a high-faluting idea that got dragged down through the gutter pretty quickly.

Shareholders in the company will get their chance to give their opinion on the name at the company's annual general meeting on Wednesday that will decide whether the maker of Oreos and Fig Newtons (sorry: Newtons) should be housed under the proposed Mondelēz name or not, according to the Associated Press.

A new name is necessary because Kraft is separating into two entities, one that needs a new name for the half that will house its global snacking brands, while the Kraft name will be used for the half housing its North American CPG/grocery brands. So the new name, whether it ends up being Mondelēz or not, must work for a worldwide audience.Continue reading...

name blame

Is Harley-Davidson Riding Roughshod Over Fans?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 17, 2012 02:02 PM

With more than 250 million folks on Facebook, at least a few of them are likely to be bikers, and Harley-Davidson fans, so one of them thought he'd launch a community for his fellow Harley-heads.

That's what inspired Harley brand loyalist Jimmy Coulbourne to start a social network for bikers and named it HarleySpace.com in honor of the bike they all love to ride.

Well, the Milwaukee-based company was not a big fan of that move. They took the issue to court and now the 36-year-old Coulbourne has changed the name of the site to IronRides.com, though he’s not very happy about it. 

"They said I was trying to profit off their name," Coulbourne said, according to the York Daily Record. "HarleySpace isn't their name. It's Harley-Davidson. If they think they own HarleySpace, why didn't they own HarleySpace?"Continue reading...

masters of their domains

ICANN, ICANN... ICAN’T Get My Top Level Domain Yet

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 16, 2012 03:57 PM

ICANN’s plan to open up the Internet to a new level of addressing in the form of custom top level domains is delayed… due to technical difficulties. The already besieged initiative, as we reported last month, is under scrutiny for a systemic glitch as explained in a statement last Thursday from ICANN chief operating officer Akram Atallah:

ICANN constantly monitors the performance of the TLD Application System (TAS). Recently, we received a report of unusual behavior with the operation of the TAS system. We then identified a technical issue with the TAS system software.

ICANN is taking the most conservative approach possible to protect all applicants and allow adequate time to resolve the issue. Therefore, TAS will be shut down until Tuesday at 23:59 UTC - unless otherwise notified before that time.

In order to ensure all applicants have sufficient time to complete their applications during the disruption, the application window will remain open until 23:59 UTC on Friday, 20 April 2012.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. If you have any questions, please contact the gTLD Customer Service Center (CSC) via the CSC portal.

So far, 839 companies have paid $185,000 to submit vanity domains in response to ICANN’s approval last June of an increase in gTLDs (generic top-level domains) from the current 22. The plan is to offer new benefits to Internet users such as the ability to create new TLDs in non-Latin, non-English scripts. Continue reading...

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