Discussion in '.UK Domain Name Consultations' started by Stephen, Jun 27, 2014.
Thank you very much for the link, I wish Nominet would provide this level of transparency.
Predication made in V2 .uk
When I was arguing that the .co.uk owners under v2 .uk proposal, would not understand the imperative of registering the .uk in the first few months after .uk launch or they would loose the right to .uk, I seem to recall you were aggressively saying everybody would know about .uk when it was launched.....well it has been over 1 month and I don't believe the general public or many businesses are aware of .uk and the media has not picked up or covered .uk.
Nominet have decided to postpone their 7,000,000 emails they announced back in February that were to go out mid July to September and later.
You can find a few hundred .uk domains via Google but there are millions of .co.uk owners how will be paying the price for Nominet's stance on .uk, unless they recognize what is really happening and adjust for it.
I agree and acknowledge there is a long way to go and a lot can change but it appears .uk is just another defensive registration for many who understand domains and I fear for those .co.uk businesses that will be caught out unless things change.
Hard to see exactly from the chart but looks like seriously pathetic number of daily .uk registrations - maybe under 1000 per day at the moment.
You forget - or omit - in your comment above that there was only going to be a 6 month window in V2 so the registrars would have been screaming their heads off day and night to get those juicy .uk registration fees from existing customers before the opportunity passed them by.
With a 5 year window on the other hand the urgency is at least 10x less (and likely in practice even less than that) I'm sure it must feel like there's "bags and bags of time left" to those in Nominet, at the registrars and elsewhere who are tasked with communicating .uk to potential registrants.
In other words, you can't take a response to V2 and map it to the final .uk release because the goalposts have moved so substantially that they render the previous commentary moot.
You may not be noticing it day to day unless you're constantly monitoring, but the uptake of .uk IS steadily increasing - we're up to 37% of the Alexa Top 20,000 .co.uk sites who now have registered the matching .uk.
The real test isn't how many .uk names are being registered, but how many companies and site owners are going to switch to .uk as their main UK domain. It's far too early to tell as yet.
Thousands of big companies have bought their name in many tlds and done nothing with them so registrations aren't a good indication.
For your average business owner, there's nothing wrong with .co.uk. Everyone's happy with it as it is, so there's no urgency to switch and doing so offers little benefit yet incurs significant costs and risks. By switching domains he will probably have to pay a web designer to implement the forwarding, runs the risk of upsetting the site's standing in search engines and will face additional costs for rebranding, remarketing, reprinting etc. Sure there are 5 years in which to swallow these costs, but I could imagine many thinking 'Why would I want all that trouble and expense just for a slightly shorter domain?'
But if a critical mass of registrants switch to .uk and some of the most popular websites follow suit, the tipping point could happen very quickly but we'd need to be seeing hundreds of thousands of .uk names in use and in SERPs before that becomes a possibility.
2014-07-03 onward from the chart they're 978, 855, 360, 361, 889, 852, 845 but please remember only ~%80 have been discovered so there may be some weirdness in there that hasn't been picked up .
screaming their heads off day and night?
It didn't matter if it is 1 month or 6 months, the profit motive is the same.
The main registrars do not appear to be mentioning the 5 years and have a great incentive for .uk take up, up to 200%+ more profit than .co.uk and if they register .uk now they will make profit on all future years registration on .uk, so the incentive is there for the registrars.
The registrar have also been supplied with potentially hundred of thousands of £'s in marketing support from Nominet, that were not originally factored into the success of the launch of .uk, which therefore should be greater and quicker than forecast.
I seem to remember about how the media would lap up the .uk story, "when it was real", not even the IT media seem to have made much of it, never mind nearly no coverage on main and business media.
So the point is for me, even over the 5 years, the real business that use .co.uk will not know or understand about the significance of .uk in protection terms.
It can all still change but when you look at the predications of how .uk would take off, have not happened, maybe some should pause for thought about future direction of .uk and the protection of .co.uk owners (which is 93% of the name space).
I agree with a lot of what you are saying.
So if we assumed 1,000 per day of .uk being currently registered, it would take 27 years to get to the current 10 million .co.uk.
I mentioned to someone in a PM the other day that I thought .uk might just turn out to be a total failure at this rate.
I guess the big email push planned for September will help, but I'm not sure why Nominet didn't realise the value of momentum.
The only useful marketing right now to be done by the registrars (and possibly Nominet) is a campaign directed at .co.uk owners.
To clarify if I was a registrar I would feel it very deceptive to promote .uk given that most people who would attempt to register a .uk wouldn't have the 'rights' to do so. Registrars run the risk of upsetting their customers by promoting a tld that with limited d domains that can be purchased (given the 5 year suspension that most domains effectively have).
That's why this implementation is effectively a double edged sword. Sure you've given companies time to register change letterheads etc. But the .uk real launch isn't for another almost 5 years. And by the time 5 years comes, who knows what success/failure would have happened with .uk with most likely so few players in the game (the companies choosing to operate both after exercising their right).
They should have made this 1 year or at most 2. The argument companies needed 5 years is only for those changing over from .uk, I thought one motive for .uk was to enable more people to operate on decent domains - so new customers to a .uk wouldn't need 5 years.
One thing for sure is that uncertainty is bad for business.
This is part of the main problem with Nominet, a prediction based on what? Nothing, that's the answer. The launch of .uk was not in response to any real need, the market wasn't calling for .uk. Hell, did Nominet even bother contacting all the existing registrants with simple emails to get a feel for their requirements? No! Funny how an email push might suddenly be a good thing now .uk is in the shop window!
The overwhelming majority of the .uk domains registered to date are highly likely protective moves simply BECAUSE .uk has been pushed into the market place, irrespective of the 5 year option. One thing is crystal clear, Nominet's coffers will certainly grow from this, and money is what the large registrars will get too.
I get tired of reading about how Nominet gets other things right, who gives a damn about that, it's their job to do so. The reality is they are in a monopoly position, making far too much money for a non-profit organisation, unaccountable in any real sense of the word, not subject to FOI requests, and are out of reach in any effective way when it comes to the power of the majority of its members.
No desire from the punters for it. We see that too with the new gTLDs. Most days double digit registrations.
Nominet refused to email domain owners during the last consultation, under advisement (in-house as I recall) in relation to spam regulations. What's changed now?
Not sure, but there's talk on their forum about 7,000,000 emails going out..
During the consultations we were told this was a no no?
Nominet have always stated (since V1) that they would contact existing registrants after .uk goes live to let them know. So this isn't a recent/changed position from them.
As for the difference between that and getting input for a consultation, well that was debated to death and back without a definitive conclusion. At the end of the day it was moot anyway as in both cases it was to be Nominet doing the contacting, and therefore Nominet - and only Nominet - calling the shots.
Because of the consultations, I think many flatter/delude themselves into thinking they have or should have more say over running Nominet than they really do. This stems from a failure to understand the balance of power and Nominet's actual obligations (under the law, based on their Articles of Association etc.) which are, in practice, almost nothing at all.
Nominet have no requirement to take input on:
- product launches
any more than any other company does. In other words, as I have said so many times on so many threads, there is nothing magically different/special about Nominet that would require them to behave differently from other companies.
If I were in the marketing team at a large registrar then, knowing that Nominet will be contacting all existing eligible registrants (ie all those entities for whom a .uk is currently reserved) I would be saving the main marketing push for shortly AFTER Nominet's own communication(s). Let Nominet sow the ground, then the registrants are (more) primed to want to register their .uk. And that means the registrar marketing efforts are likely to be more effective.
Remember, there's no secret about the fact that Nominet is going to do this - they've said as much for a LONG time now - the only unknown is exactly when...
Not true. We were told that doing so for the purposes of roping them into the consultation itself was a no no. It's always been on the cards for Nominet to contact qualifying registrants about .uk after .uk launched.
Not the same as most companies
There is a big difference to MOST companies, Nominet are a "not for profit company" run for the benefit of the UK namespace and its structure is peculiar in that members do have a say in appointing Directors.
Nominet do not have an obligation to listen to anybody or consult as you have stated, but if they make decisions which are against the interest of the namespace, especially if it benefits only one small part like registrars then it would be possible to have it over turned or get the Government to step in and effectively take over Nominet's role.
If they had not had a .uk consultation and gone off with their V1 plan as originally set out without listening to anybody, I do not believe Nominet would have survived.
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