It could turn into The Wild West out there again with URL land grabs — this time for .tv domain name extensions (rather than .com domain names). Need I remind you of the pre-Dot-com boom and URLs selling for millions of dollars?
With my memories still raw from having missed that .com domain name opportunity to make my fortune in the mid-1990s, JAGWIRE Group quickly took Social Media Guru Denise Wakeman’s advice over the weekend and bought a shiny new URL (jagwiregroup.tv) after listening to SocialMediaExaminer’s Webinar “8 Hot Social Media Marketing Tips.” One of Denise’s “hot” tips during the Webinar had been to grab a .tv domain for your name, site or company and redirect it to your YouTube channel because video is becoming “so powerful.”
Now at the moment JAGWIRE Group does not even own a video camera other than what was packaged with my Blackberry. Nonetheless, I thought it prudent to buy this piece of “waterfront” property (I’ll explain “waterfront” in a moment) and “park” it until I can figure out what to do next since I don’t have a YouTube channel either. In hindsight I probably should have bought something a bit more marketable. I mean, how much demand is there going to be for jagwiregroup.tv in the future? The stakes would be somewhat higher for Microsoft.tv or McDonalds.tv or better yet Nightline.tv. You get the idea. Well I don’t have the stomach for a big fat lawsuit from any of these corporate brands if the prices go sky high again. So for the time being I will just sit on my new real estate.
It took me about an hour of my precious Sunday to figure out how to register a .tv address. Let me save you some time. I usually rely on Yahoo! Small Business, host of JAGWIRE Group’s corporate Website, for these kinds of things, but they didn’t offer a .tv domain name. I could have a .com, .net, .org, .info, .us or .biz, but not a .tv. After a desperate Google search I learned that the .tv domain is operated by VeriSign, of which the island nation of Tuvalu owns 20 percent. So that’s where I went fishing. VeriSign not Tuvalu, that is.
Alas, VeriSign does not register or renew domain names, but it does certify registrars who do register domain names “for people who need them.” VeriSign provided a link to these certified registrars, and I ended up at Moniker.com where I successfully registered my new .tv domain name. In researching this further for today’s blog, I have learned that VeriSign made some changes that fundamentally altered the process in March 2010. These changes are expected to make the .tv extensions more mainstream, and I explain below.
A blog posting entitled “The State of Dot TV – March 2010” on AllThings.TV, a discussion forum, explains that last month VeriSign slashed prices on Premium .tv domain names and eliminated the high annual renewal fees for Dot TV domain names registered after March 18th (For more on this, read DN Journal, The Domain Industry News Magazine. Depending on the Registrar, registration fees can range from about $7.50 per year up to $39.99. Previously, Dot TV names had to be registered with eNom, and “prices varied greatly for the most popular Dot TV domain names or the names that early-adopters would register and develop.”
DN Journal concludes that these changes make “the .TV proposition more compelling for developers and potential investors alike.”
So JAGWIRE Group says “bring it on.” I imagine that Tuvalu is looking forward to the selling spree as well. You won’t believe this, but .tv stands for Tuvalu not television. Some time ago, Tuvulu realized the potential of its country extension, and according to Wikipedia (which by the way still needs to be rewritten to better reflect the VeriSign changes — anybody?) signed a contract in 2000 to lease .tv for $50 million in royalties over a 12-year period.
Remember that reference I made earlier to “waterfront” property? There’s a hilarious blog in Gizmodo about how domain registrar GoDaddy.com is recommending against people buying .tv names because Tuvalu is sinking into the South Pacific. You know that old adage that goes something like this: “Hey, if you like that then I’ve got some swamp land down in Florida for you.” I sure hope that’s not what JAGWIRE Group just bought!