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Thread: Premium .Mobi Domain Names Still Out of Compliance - Domain Name Wire

  1. #61
    Senior Member DomainTalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post

    I wonder what the reg count currently is for .mobi? Anyone know how to find that number?
    Last figure I saw, Scandi, was about 865,000 regs for .mobi.

    .

  2. #62
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    This is the number when google search for

    site:.mobi

    Results 1 - 10 of about 8,050,000 for site:.mobi.

  3. #63
    Founding Member Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    This is the number when google search for

    site:.mobi

    Results 1 - 10 of about 8,050,000 for site:.mobi.
    Those searches always end up showing pages, not sites. Someone at the .TV forum was trumpeting about how many developed sites .TV has now...using the 24,000,000 number that shows up with the "site:.TV" search!

  4. #64
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DomainTalker View Post
    The unpleasant reality, is that if, say, 150 premium holders don't comply exactly on time (including, say, the buyer of Flowers.mobi) - and dotmobi were to enforce the 6-month rule literally - would that be a net benefit to the .mobi brand? And, indeed, the whole .mobi ecosystem?.....
    Just for clarity, not all Premium names have been sold with dev requirements. If memory serves me correctly the requirements started with the first Sedo 100. As such I believe Flowers was not sold with dev requirements.

    Regardless, there are a lot of premiums out there with the requirements and I think we all agree that how it is handled is indeed important.

    I hear you DT, I don't think an immediate repossession for not delivering in the 6 months is productive, but a consistent enforcement plan commencing after 6 months has passed is essential IMO. If we're still dealing with this a year from now AND also still seeing names released under this same agreement it will be a black eye for mTLD.

    My instinct tells me that a lot of these names are held by speculators with no intent to dev. But their intent is ultimately not an issue, the issue is following through on the agreement. If losing a Premium name is not incentive enough to build something promised to be built then I don't know what else will motivate them. If beating a dead horse with a stick won't get it to move, neither will trying to feed it a carrot.

    IF the goal is to get the premiums built instead of parked, then something needs to be done about this situation and soon. The process needs to commence to notify the domain owners that they are on borrowed time, point them to the many development resources available to domain owners, and affirm the ultimate result of their lack of development activity. If an eventual repo or two from some dead horses resurrects some of the other dead horses and keeps the pure speculators out of the room down the road then so be it, makes more space for those willing to pursue real ideas for those top quality domains other than just parking them for resale. Premium speculators are not the future of this extension IMO.

    And I really think a refund is a mistake. It will serve as a hedge to the speculators, a built in bailout if they fail to flip the domain before a repo.

  5. #65
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DomainTalker View Post
    Last figure I saw, Scandi, was about 865,000 regs for .mobi.

    .
    Thats about what I heard as well. Lots of room for growth when compared with the 6 million domains reged in org. Quality premium builds could really serve mTLD well to grow .mobi awareness and hence reg numbers. An additional 4 million domains at say $5/year is nothing to sneeze at.

  6. #66
    Senior Member DomainTalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post

    If beating a dead horse with a stick won't get it to move, neither will trying to feed it a carrot.
    Hahaha....Classic, Scandi....

    .

  7. #67
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DomainTalker
    Its about striking the right balance between controlling the pace and quality of the roll out of the premiums - so they act as visible lead flagships in the mobile space - whilst at the same time, not stifling the entrepreneurial flair required to forge new concepts, in a new market place, nor creating poor quality, 'cos of the natural desire to get 'quickly to market'..

    My central judgement on this point, is that too rigid a mandated 6 months timeframe for the launch of a new premium onto the market from scratch, risks over-emphasising speed, at the expense of decent quality......Its just hard to get a great site together in that time...
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by DomainTalker
    Is it possible that many of the (apparently) laggard premium owners are working on sites, right now?...Its just that they can't get it done in a 6 month timeframe?...If so, things may not be as bleak as it looks, on this front, and many of them will appear in the time ahead.
    I would sincerely hope that's the case, but honestly, I suspect it's not. If they were developing and knew the deadline was looming or had passed, the least they would do is put up a "coming soon" page. If they haven't made the effort to show any signs of life and have left a parking page - or worse, the domain unresolved - knowing they were contractually obliged to develop the domain by the 6-month mark, I would suspect that the majority - not necessarily all - of those owners are waiting to see what mTLD is going to do about it before making any effort to develop. It's like a kid testing his parents. If they see that mTLD is not going to do anything about it, then they won't budge and will have saved themselves the trouble of having to develop the domain and will continue sit on it as an investment. If they see mTLD starts doing something about it, then they'll begin to move on it, but I wouldn't expect any kick-ass sites out of them at that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by DomainTalker
    Last figure I saw, Scandi, was about 865,000 regs for .mobi.
    We're closer to 1 million.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    I hear you DT, I don't think an immediate repossession for not delivering in the 6 months is productive, but a consistent enforcement plan commencing after 6 months has passed is essential IMO. If we're still dealing with this a year from now AND also still seeing names released under this same agreement it will be a black eye for mTLD.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    My instinct tells me that a lot of these names are held by speculators with no intent to dev.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    But their intent is ultimately not an issue, the issue is following through on the agreement.
    I would agree that their intent is not an issue at this point because those Premiums have already been released, making their intent irrelevant. But I would also argue that, moving forward, the intent of future Premium owners is critical to avoiding this situation in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    If losing a Premium name is not incentive enough to build something promised to be built then I don't know what else will motivate them. If beating a dead horse with a stick won't get it to move, neither will trying to feed it a carrot.
    I agree. The reality is, I think the threat of a "stick" will work on them - who would want to lose a Premium they already paid for when they could have it developed for $200 - but it will force them to produce a "bare minimum" site just to get mTLD off their backs. That's obviously better than nothing or a Parked page, but not anywhere near as good as what someone with proper intentions would develop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    IF the goal is to get the premiums built instead of parked, then something needs to be done about this situation and soon.
    I agree and believe that is the immediate goal. The secondary goal - and just as important - is, again, how to avoid this situation altogether in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    The process needs to commence to notify the domain owners that they are on borrowed time, point them to the many development resources available to domain owners, and affirm the ultimate result of their lack of development activity.
    I know mTLD are looking into this as we speak, as are we on the MAG, and us right here on Mobility. This is a very important topic that is definitely starting to get the attention it deserves.

    If an eventual repo or two from some dead horses resurrects some of the other dead horses and keeps the pure speculators out of the room down the road then so be it, makes more space for those willing to pursue real ideas for those top quality domains other than just parking them for resale.
    I agree, but I don't think it will get to the point of a Repo. The problem is that the Premium Names contract only stipulates that a "best effort" site be created. I just don't see mTLD getting mixed up in legal battles with Premium owners over how good those "efforts" are as long as "something" was developed, so I see this as a potential loophole that will no doubt be exploited by delinquent Premium owners who will rather launch a 3-page site rather than have their Premium repossessed. The RFP filter would resolve this particular point as well because mTLD could assess that "best effort" (and intent) before releasing the names rather than after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    Premium speculators are not the future of this extension IMO.
    I couldn't agree more.

    From this entire discussion, there are 2 critical things we've been focusing on: 1) How to get the overdue Premiums developed, and 2) How to avoid this situation in the future. We all agree that "something" developed is better than a Parked Page or non-resolving Premium, so the first thing we need to look at is how to get the overdue Premiums developed using a delicate balance of "carrot and stick". Second, I think we can all agree that we don't want this situation repeating itself in the future with the 4,000+ Premiums left, so we have to tweak the current allocation system or find a new one altogether.

    The ultimate decision is in mTLD's hands, of course, but I think them having access to such in-depth discussions as these is invaluable and is what differentiates .mobi from all other extensions.
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  8. #68
    Senior Member gogo's Avatar
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    Well if the owners of the premiums can't get their sites up maybe MTLD need to hand out the little blue pills.

    I agree entirely with Coast that MTLD will need to do or say something public sometime soon so people can see that they at least recognise the issue. If they want to fudge they can say they are "working with domain owners" or "in dialogue", or they could say more if they want to.

    Perhaps MTLD should invite RFP development ideas from the public on those names that are past the six month development requirement? The idea of names being repossessed and then given away might get some people moving.

  9. #69
    Senior Member DomainTalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post

    From this entire discussion, there are 2 critical things we've been focusing on: 1) How to get the overdue Premiums developed, and 2) How to avoid this situation in the future. We all agree that "something" developed is better than a Parked Page or non-resolving Premium, so the first thing we need to look at is how to get the overdue Premiums developed using a delicate balance of "carrot and stick". Second, I think we can all agree that we don't want this situation repeating itself in the future with the 4,000+ Premiums left, so we have to tweak the current allocation system or find a new one altogether.

    The ultimate decision is in mTLD's hands, of course, but I think them having access to such in-depth discussions as these is invaluable and is what differentiates .mobi from all other extensions.
    Agreed, Andres.


    ...Forward movement on current premiums - firmly, but, with finesse...

    ...And, a 'tweak' on the future allocation system, but, that, ideally, doesn't exclude an exceptional individual with fabulous concepts, but who perhaps doesn't have corporate resources.

    .

  10. #70
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    The problem is that the Premium Names contract only stipulates that a "best effort" site be created. I just don't see mTLD getting mixed up in legal battles with Premium owners over how good those "efforts" are as long as "something" was developed, so I see this as a potential loophole that will no doubt be exploited by delinquent Premium owners who will rather launch a 3-page site rather than have their Premium repossessed. The RFP filter would resolve this particular point as well because mTLD could assess that "best effort" (and intent) before releasing the names rather than after.
    Yes, the best efforts clause could turn into a loophole. It's up to mTLD to decide what they mean by best efforts and apply it consistently.

    The big problem with the RFP as I've seen it is that it is completely unclear how an application is evaluated. Also will those doing the evaluating share the same vision as the applicant? A classic example of this problem is the story behind FedEx, where the concept was given the kibosh by a business prof but the guy still believed in it and went and built a successful global business. Great ideas are not so obvious at first. It's entirely possible that good ideas are lost on the minds of those reviewing them. Also there is the issue of confidentiality that makes people really nervous. spilling your guts and ideas to a mystery panel of reviewers is not something entrepreneurs like to do. How has that intellectual property now been compromised?

  11. #71
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post
    Yes, the best efforts clause could turn into a loophole. It's up to mTLD to decide what they mean by best efforts and apply it consistently.

    The big problem with the RFP as I've seen it is that it is completely unclear how an application is evaluated. Also will those doing the evaluating share the same vision as the applicant? A classic example of this problem is the story behind FedEx, where the concept was given the kibosh by a business prof but the guy still believed in it and went and built a successful global business. Great ideas are not so obvious at first. It's entirely possible that good ideas are lost on the minds of those reviewing them. Also there is the issue of confidentiality that makes people really nervous. spilling your guts and ideas to a mystery panel of reviewers is not something entrepreneurs like to do. How has that intellectual property now been compromised?
    I don't personally envision a particularly stringent RFP approval process. If someone took their time to submit an RFP app, chances are it will be decent and they have a genuine intent to develop a good site. As such, I think an RFP filter would serve more towards identifying genuine intent to develop more than identifying which is the best idea of the bunch. A closed auction would then be held amongst approved RFP applicants and the highest bidder would take it, ensuring mTLD a good price and ensuring an owner who has a proven intent to develop. Furthermore, I think a non-refundable fee should be associated with the RFP app to cover mTLD's costs of assessing the applications and as yet another barrier to entry for pure speculators. This would help ensure only entities genuinely interested in the domain would go through the application process and pay a fee to have a chance to bid.
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  12. #72
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    I don't personally envision a particularly stringent RFP approval process. If someone took their time to submit an RFP app, chances are it will be decent and they have a genuine intent to develop a good site. As such, I think an RFP filter would serve more towards identifying genuine intent to develop more than identifying which is the best idea of the bunch. A closed auction would then be held amongst approved RFP applicants and the highest bidder would take it, ensuring mTLD a good price and ensuring an owner who has a proven intent to develop. Furthermore, I think a non-refundable fee should be associated with the RFP app to cover mTLD's costs of assessing the applications and as yet another barrier to entry for pure speculators. This would help ensure only entities genuinely interested in the domain would go through the application process and pay a fee to have a chance to bid.
    This system can still be gamed, so enforcement will still be an issue, but I suspect less so.

    I expect the sales prices will be less but provided there are a higher volume of quality sites on these high quality domain names then it could have a serious upside in growing the total reg count as .mobi grows in public awareness with better sites and becomes a more common extension.

  13. #73
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post
    This system can still be gamed, so enforcement will still be an issue, but I suspect less so.
    Any realistic system could probably be gamed by those with serious intent to do so, so I don't think there's a watertight solution out there. However, considering RFP apps can't just be composed of BS - actual thinking needs to go into the answers since the Apps are actually read - and that there would be a fee associated for each RFP, I would imagine the gaming of the system would be significantly less almost to the point of being negligible. For example, imagine a speculator interested in 50 domains for which he has estimated he has the budget to win 10 of them (doesn't matter which 10 since he has no development plan for any of them). He would have to create 50 "fake" RFP apps which would be very time consuming. Let's say each RFP app takes 2 hours to complete, he would have to spend 50 x 2 hours = 100 hours on the applications alone. Now let's say the RFP fee is the standard €500 mTLD have charged in the past. He would have to pay 50 x €500 = €25,000. So just to have the opportunity to bid on those 50 Premiums he's interested in - with no guarantee of winning any of them - he would have to spend 100 hours and €25,000. That's a huge barrier to entry which I think would significantly reduce any gaming, especially since even those "fake" RFPers who got through to the bidding would still not be guaranteed to win the domain. On the other hand, for an entity genuinely interested in developing a particular Premium (e.g. me with Dating.mobi), 2 hours and €500 is hardly a barrier. If €500 were found to keep too many entities out of the bidding, it could obviously be adjusted accordingly.

    I expect the sales prices will be less
    Possibly. However, depending on how the RFP Auctions are marketed and executed, the price difference might not be so big and could even be more favorable. To use a previous example, imagine a closed auction for Sports.mobi with ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and Sports.com as the only participants, and with all of them knowing everyone that is bidding for that particular domain. The price could conceivably go higher than via an anonymous open auction where bidders are hoping their competition is not aware of it and therefore not participating. If Fox Sports knew NBC Sports was also bidding for Sports.mobi, they might be prepared to bid a lot higher then if they did not know, especially since their loss would automatically mean their competitors gain in this scenario. That kind of information completely changes the dynamics of an auction. This isn't without precedent either, I believe the .asia auctions revealed who all the bidders were before the closed auctions started. Furthermore, the potential decline in sales prices could easily be offset by the application fees received by mTLD, not to mention that the fees could also be used to fund an awareness campaign to formally reach out to the likes of Fox Sports and NBC Sports.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    but provided there are a higher volume of quality sites on these high quality domain names then it could have a serious upside in growing the total reg count as .mobi grows in public awareness with better sites and becomes a more common extension.



    Obviously, all of this - the stringency of the approval process, the amount of the fee, the RFP App itself, etc. - could be tweaked depending on the overall demand experienced.

  14. #74
    Senior Member DomainTalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    Yet another Premium .mobi - which should have already launched - up for sale: CellPhone.mobi

    Early. Warning. Signal.
    Perhaps Nokia, or Vodafone - or, even Sprint, or someone - will buy it, and develop & promote it into a main platform...?....Then this would turn out to be a huge positive move for .mobi...(I know its unlikely...)

    So, not all secondary 'movement' need necessarily be bad for the space...


    But, look - I'm with you that it would have been better if Cellphone.mobi had gone to, say, Nokia, or someone similar, in the first place....And, RFP might have achieved that...

    ...Or, it might not have done (Nokia, et al, were perfectly free to bid for the name at the original auction - They didn't. Why not?...Perhaps they didn't see value in it...?...Who knows...?...And, an RFP process might not have changed that).


    I take your point that a pre-vetting system, of some sort, may get more active engagement from those that participate and win the names......But, lets not suggest to .mobi that they put all their eggs in one basket...

    What I'm saying is lets be careful about suggesting to mTLD that they go holus-bolus into RFP-ing every premium from now on.


    ...Even if mTLD did this....Have they got the manpower to assess 4000 RFP's in any reasonable timeframe?....Can they find 000's of people prepared to submit RFP's, across all 4000 of the the names..?....Or, would it take 10 years, or more, to release 4000 premiums, this way?....That may be much too slow to provide the optimum momentum for .mobi., however good the sites were...And, would there be necessarily superior outcomes?...Likely, but, maybe not.

    Unintended consequences, again....


    And, don't forget, mTLD have their Cities program going - and the upcoming L. releases - and then, the LL. releases....So, the premiums are not their only game in town...


    All things considered, by 'tweak' it, I recommend a modified hybrid allocation system for remaining premiums, possibly along these lines:


    (i) RFP a significant portion of the names (for the reasons Andres has outlined - but by no means all of them, for the reasons I've outlined)


    (ii) Continue to Auction a portion of the names - And, anticipate/expect that many will not get sites up in 6 months (or change it to 12 months) - But, plan for, and ensure, a well-balanced, supportive, encouraging, follow-up process to secure compliance - backed, ultimately, at the end of that process, with the ultimate sanction of withdrawal (not cancellation of the name, but, say, hibernation/suspension of the name, instead, until it IS developed, to avoid legal action).


    (iii) Introduce some unconventional allocation processes on a small, select, portion of the names (such as I suggested above - or, some other ideas) - With energy & buzz...To go after great ideas, with the incentive someone could make it a reality....And, also, to cast the net into the 'maverick' waters, in order to increase the chance to find some brilliant mavericks out there.


    (iv) Proactively target/educate third-parties - especially the major Advertising Agencies/PR companies that advise major corporates on marketing strategy & tactics - These entities could have a vested interest in persuading their large corporate clients to engage (pay) them to put together brilliant RFP's for selected .mobi names - And, further, then they are paid to devise marketing campaigns/strategies to promote their client's .mobi, as their clients 'go mobile' strategy, which the Agency has recommended (There's nothing like a motivated third-party 'evangelising' for you, through self-interest...lol)....Huge prospective .mobi exposure...

    ...And, lots more...


    ....In short, multi-task it....And, keep it moving, flexible, open, interesting - enforce adherence, reasonably - and, don't bog it down in red tape, and the process of it...

    It'll be fine....

    .

  15. #75
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    This is THE issue... but surely the initial requirement must be a compliant parking page with relevant content / ads. At least that makes dotmobi no worse than a huge number of dotcom premiums...

    Having premiums not even resolving is just not acceptable at all.

    The compliance 'issue' is too big to manage manually but is it possible that mTLD have bots to check .mobi sites & report back non-compliant sites automatically?

    Otherwise the purpose of the entire extension is at risk.... It wouldn't surprise me if many with a vested interest in seeing dotmobi fail have a few non-compliant mobi sites out there already!

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