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Future .AU Values - .com.au and .au

Discussion in 'General Domain Discussion' started by DomainShield, May 24, 2016.

  1. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Firstly, apologies to @pacifier - his thread has got a bit sidetracked. Perhaps mods can separate discussions?

    You're sounding like you have some inside knowledge to have such a "reasonable expectation" Anthony. I would have thought that discussion / decision is a long way from happening - or are you suggesting it is already pre-ordained? ;)

    So just as a "for instance", are you saying that training.gov.au should be given priority over training.com.au when it comes to the .au (the latter being a domain purchased on the expired auctions at Netfleet for around $33k)?

    Or that health.gov.au should be given priority over health.com.au ?

    Given the heavyweights behind these two examples, I imagine there will be lawyers at 20 paces if auDA gives the government first dibs.

    And what about domainname.gov.au? I'm sure Publishing Australia Pty Ltd wouldn't be happy to lose rights on their domainname.com.au. ;)

    Nominet certainly didn't give priority to any .gov.uk domains when it came to .uk. Whilst they did have some "discriminatory" proposals in their first two rounds of submissions, they were forced to ultimately concede that first rights should go to the holders of the premium .co.uk domain (approx 93% of total registrations in the UK space). In Australia, .com.au stands at around 86% of total registrations.
     
  2. chris

    chris Administrator

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Good idea, now moved to General Discussion.

    There are lots of examples like this -- the more generic (and sought after), the more likely these names are in use by other extensions.
     
  3. Horshack

    Horshack Membership: Community

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    I wouldn't be surprised to see similar action if .com.au is given preference over .net.au.
     
  4. Rhythm

    Rhythm Membership: VIP

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    Do you travel by horse + carriage or drive cars?

    'Twas me.
    When I say there are buyers I mean motivated buyers. With serious $.
    And that was an extremely cautious, conservative, worse-case-scenario estimate.
    Could well be that all 3 will pay a premium.
     
  5. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    I mainly walk actually.

    Do you think .au is similar to the invention of the car? .Au could have been brought in in the year 1986, it is not revolutionary.

    The fact that it doesn't pose big clear benefits is the reason businesses are not likely to change. It is like taking one prong off the power point or deciding that CD's would be more practical if they were 1cm less in size. Good luck selling products like that to actual users, these are minor changes where a marketing person could think up benefits but consumers are not likely to take up on.
     
  6. DomainShield

    DomainShield Membership: Community

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    I am keen to discuss your points but would you mind re-phrasing your questions without the emoticons as I am confused if they are supposed to be indicating that the preceding comment is intended a joke.
     
  7. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    I believe that emoticon is a "wink". ;)
     
    neddy likes this.
  8. chris

    chris Administrator

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    These are the issues that need to be addressed. Giving people choice is great, but I think it's more important to work on strengthening the namespace. How do we get businesses to want to use au's, and invest in building on them.

    Very important point @snoopy -- .com.au has become the de facto standard for a business website. While this isn't unique, it's a major strength of the namespace.

    Good point @DomainShield, there are many threats to .au as a whole. I had a meeting with a designer last week who said they don't have a website, just a Facebook page. This person is tech savvy too, and has had a few websites for various business in the past. For them Facebook was easier, and they've just ran with it. For the record I think it's a terrible idea, but it's happening.

    Not so far fetched @Scott7 :) It's shorter than dubbodentist.au. If the price wasn't silly, I'm sure some businesses would gladly use it, even though it wouldn't have the same consumer confidence and trust as a .com.au.

    From what I've read about the direct au debate so far, the focus is quantity over quality. Even poorly accepted extensions can be profitable, so learning from what hasn't worked is a good starting point. Does anyone have any information on next steps, I asked the question about timeframes here and the 5 year UK timeframe was mentioned in the discussion, but I can't see anything else?
     
  9. DomainShield

    DomainShield Membership: Community

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    Chris,
    Your new post title seems to be missing my point. "com au vs au" is not what I am discussing. I am actually offering an opinion on how "LLL.com.au + bit.ly vs LLL.com.au + LLL.au" is going to affect the future value of LLL.com.au
     
  10. chris

    chris Administrator

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Correct, my mistake - it did start off as values of .com.au + .au vs "other". I've updated this.
     
  11. Shane

    Shane Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Maybe we're not a good example for the questions you've posed. For starters, we don't post anything directly to Twitter. It's not a priority for us so we just have our Twitter and FB pages linked. That's why the fb.me shortener is used.

    So even if we had nuts.au we wouldn't be using it as a shortener for Twitter unless there was some way of automating its use when taking updates from FB.

    For all of my businesses social is just something we do because I know we should and because I enjoy it. Total followers across my different FB and Twitter properties totals just under 100,000 people (genuine, not bought!) but in terms of sales less than 1% of our sales can be attributed to our social channels.

    If social completely disappeared tomorrow it wouldn't bother me, so looking at URL shorteners on Twitter... it's a 0.0000001% priority in the scheme of things.

    I don't disagree that having a nice short .au domain to use as a shortener would be nice, but it's a non-issue for me and just distracts from the much bigger issues of direct registrations.
     
  12. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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    less? this is like "more" so you have to buy a new machine to make it fit !
    tim
     
  13. DomainShield

    DomainShield Membership: Community

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    There is a balance for all businesses and there is no easy answer to the "rent versus own" balancing act they have to consider continually. I think that owning a domain name is important even if micro businesses leverages free services initially.

    There has been and there continues to be advertising and educational material being given to businesses around using name@brand.com.au for an email address. How it looks more professional than brand@gmail.com and it allows for future hosting of the brand.com.au email at a new location without being tied to gmail.com in the future. The smart short term move is to point name@brand.com.au to the gmail service in the beginning and then expand to your own mail servers or paid hosted services in the future.

    I believe that there is going to be advertising and educational material given to businesses in the future around using brand.au for their social media links instead of fb.me or bit.ly. It will be marketed to them as a smart way to take control of their short links while still leveraging social media. There is also going to be an added element of how .au compliments your existing com.au and how they can be used together. Small businesses will still resolve their short links via free services in the beginning and then expand to their own link servers or paid hosting services in the future.

    When it comes to selling your own domains I am keen for you to be informed about how this works and how interest generated by the marketing done by the supply side of the domain registration industry is going to help maintain or even increase the value of existing .au domain names.
     
  14. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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    i agree there is opportunity there for owners of short domains but that also represents a small % of domain names not enough to warrant a change to .au
    tim
     
  15. DomainShield

    DomainShield Membership: Community

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    The answer is that yes there are currently plugins available for all sorts of social media generating applications to automate the production and insertion of self controlled URL shorteners. They might be too cumbersome to use right now in the same way that name@brand.com.au email addresses used to be cumbersome to setup and many people fell into (and still fall into) the trap of using brand@freemail.com addresses.

    I hope you don't mind but I just want you to think back to when you started using email as a business tool, or even your first website. The first ones I was paid to build in 1998 where requested by clients who said almost verbatim what you have just said. I know we should do it, it is fun but it is not serious because 99.9999% of my sales revenue is from telephone calls and advertising in the yellow pages.

    There is no easy answer to it being a low priority. The marketing push will be "look this is really easy, costs very little and will future proof a potentially valuable sales channel in the future". It will also get combined with the fear of missing out and will go on to say "if you don't do it some pesky domainer might get the domain and then sell it to you once the sales channel does become viable". I don't have a crystal ball but in a scenario where it costs a business $140 to secure the .au for two years rather than spending hours and hours researching and analysing the future importance of .au domains am I naive to think this is not too high a cost to pay even if they do not understand the bigger implications?

    I do not personally have enough time to dedicate to ensuring existing holders of large portfolios get a fair deal when it comes to direct registrations. I do however have a suggestion that whoever does the lobbying does not use "this is going to hurt all small business" as the rally cry. In my opinion it is a side point to a rally cry which should be. "This has the potential to hurt large portfolio holders" and we would like to see that addressed via grandfathering rights rather than an up front fee and priority rights given to com.au holders rather than the oldest domain first.
     
  16. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Why would a small business do that? Link servers for a small business?

    A lot of small business don't even need a domain to have a decent web presence any more (because of Facebook). I don't think they are going to have the time/resources for all of that.
     
  17. DomainShield

    DomainShield Membership: Community

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    The accountant side of my brain agrees with your sentiment that they represent a small % of the registration count.
    The brand awareness side of my brain disagrees. fb.me, bit.ly, ow.ly and aus.pm are only 4 domains BUT as brand ambassadors for millions of links billions of clicks they are much more significant than the % of total registrations they represent.

    If the .au brand fails (or continues to falter as it has for the last 5 years) then your entire portfolio of .au domains fails or falters too.
    BTW The names panel listed 9 other pros, do you disagree with all of them?
     
  18. DomainShield

    DomainShield Membership: Community

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    At the risk of repeating myself, they could benefit from the 34% increased click through rate. They can also control the future of their short links.
    It is a progression of cost/effort as they grow and their sales channel changes. Initially all they have to do is secure their matching or if they can a shorter .au domain ($10 - $70 per year). If they are socially active and tweeting weekly then hook up their own short.au domain on top of a free shortening service. If they grow more and want more control then they move to hosting their own service.
     
  19. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    They could......but why would they? They are a small business. They aren't going to be reading reports on all this kind of stuff.
     
  20. Shane

    Shane Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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    I just don't think URL shorteners are of any real concern to small, medium, and in some cases even large businesses.

    Obviously there are some exceptions for those businesses that benefit hugely from social (online fashion comes to mind) but it's a non-issue for most.

    To me it just seems like a distraction from the real issues.