Say Hello to Dot London!
HEXONET is committed to offering many geographical based NewTLDs, as the demand for geographic domains is extremely high. With the recent releases of .nagoya, .berlin and .ruhr, HEXONET is scheduled to launch several more within this year. Among the upcoming georgraphic NewTLDs that is sure to be in demand, dotlondon is one to highlight. HEXONET recently had the opportunity to speak with Alex Kinchin-Smith, Director of dotlondon on his insights and plans for London's newest TLD. We would like to thank Mr. Kinchin-Smith for sharing his valuable time with us.
Questions and Answers:
1) Can you please highlight the mission of dotLondon?
In short, our aim is to become the domain of choice for London and Londoners. We want dotlondon to be widely used by businesses, organisations and individuals who want take advantage of the benefits of a clear association with London. By establishing a TLD for London, we aim to provide a market opportunity for businesses, particularly SMEs, to trade, innovate and collaborate for economic benefit.
2) What will be the key benefits to registrants, Internet users and others?
A dotlondon domain name is an opportunity for businesses, organisations and individuals to identify themselves directly with London, to secure a short, memorable web address and to be a part of our great City - a leading centre for investment, innovation and culture, at the cutting edge of new technology and embracing change. It is an association that will also identify businesses as local and as such inspire a sense of trust and legitimacy.
3) Will there be specific restrictions in order to register a dotlondon?
During the initial three month launch phase which begins April 29, we will make dotlondon domain names available to anyone who wants one. However, during this period we will prioritise applications from Londoners and London businesses ahead of applications from those outside of London. Trademarks will also be given priority during this time. To do this, domain names will be available for individuals or entities that have a physical address in London (comprising the City of London and 32 London Boroughs); or who declare that they have an affiliation with or interest in London, such as to provide information, or offer products, goods or services, relevant to London or Londoners.
4) Several of the new geographic / city gTLDs indicate that search engines will likely give ranking preference to their TLD compared to other TLDs. What are your thoughts on this?
We believe that where a dotlondon domain is used to carry local content then it could help in terms of search. Over time, having a dotlondon brand could help increase your rank in searches by being a signal for content about London, helping to get people to come to your website. However, just obtaining a dotlondon address will not suddenly make a website rise up the search rankings.
5) How do you plan on effectively differentiating dotLondon to stand out against the other geographic / city new gTLDs?
What new city gTLDs offer are more relevant and personal web addresses – so location specific domain names will allow people to identify themselves as being local to a particular area and allow businesses, organisations and individuals to show a sense of pride in their association with the city. They also offer those businesses – and the cities themselves – unique marketing opportunities.
However, for truly global cities like London, there is another element at play – which is the brand identity that comes with the city. London is one of the best big cities on earth and a truly global city. It is a vibrant centre for business, investment, technology, creativity, education and tourism – a city that welcomes enterprise, provides opportunities for businesses and individuals and adopts technological change. It’s right that dotlondon reflects that richness and diversity. We believe a dotlondon domain name will appeal equally to Londoners and London businesses that are proud to be part of our great city (research has shown that 48% of SMEs in London who are likely to register a .london domain, cited their pride in being in London as a major reason for registering). Moreover, the appreal to international companies and organisations that have a connection with London will be just as strong.
6) Will you be launching a 'founders / pioneer' program ? If so, can you please share more details on this.
Yes, we are working with a number of high profile businesses in London as well as some of the city’s smaller firms. They will be a showcase for dotlondon, featured in our promotional material and will help us make dotlondon ‘real’ to the masses. Some of the big brand names include Selfridges, Claridges, Fortnum & Mason. These are well known businesses that people already associate with London. Smaller companies we are working with may not be as well known, but they too are no less passionate about London and their contirbution to making dotlondon a success.
7) Hundreds more new gTLDS will be launched in the months to come. They will of course be vying for digital 'shelf space' with various domain registrars. How do you plan on embracing the registrar community?
We have been talking to a number of registrars for a long time and will onboard many in time for the launch period on April 29. Registrars are a crucial element in making dotlondon a success, so it is important to us that we find the right partners, who are not only keen to sell dotlondon domains, but also committed to promoting it to their customers.
8) When dotLondon is launched, what are the key challenges / obstacles you foresee in the short term?
The most important thing for us to do is ensure that people know about dotlondon and understand what it is and how it could benefit them. Businesses and people don’t buy domain names on a regular basis, which is why they are not familiar with the arguments about and the reasons for the new gTLDs. We need to make the benefits clear and easily understandable to get people on board with dotlondon.
For a complete list of the geographic new TLDs that HEXONET will launch, please visit: https://www.hexonet.net/preregistrations