Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CIRA cancels .ca TBR again - moves to Dec 1

Disappointing to hear yet another TBR is cancelled.  It actually went through but had a review by CIRA and was cancelled later into the evening.  Here is the news release.

CIRA Cancels TBR Session November 24, 2010

Ottawa, November 24, 2010 - CIRA plays a stewardship role in managing the .CA domain space on behalf of all Canadians. This entails a responsibility to ensure that our processes meet the highest standards. We have encountered an issue that has affected the integrity of today’s TBR session.

Ambiguity in the usage of some fields created the situation where some Registrars were not able to participate in the session. This was not a result of any changes to the new .CA registry system nor the TBR system, which remains unchanged. Accordingly, there will be no changes to either of these systems as a result of this issue.

Fair and equal access is an important aspect of the TBR process. As today’s session was not fair and equitable to all participants, we have cancelled today’s TBR.

The TBR session of December 1, 2010 will include the exact same domain names as were in the November 24, 2010 session. No domain names will be added or removed from this list. Domain names cancelled after November 18, 2010 at 9:45 a.m. (ET) will be part of the December 8, 2010 TBR session.

We understand the disruption this has caused and apologize for the inconvenience. We are strongly committed to ensuring the integrity of the TBR session and have acted accordingly.

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is the organization that manages Canada's .CA domain name registry, develops and implements policies that support Canada's Internet community and represents the .CA registry internationally.

For additional information, please contact:

Jennifer Austin
Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing
(613) 237-5335 ext. 296

.CA TBR goes today, and

After the last few once-weekly .ca domain drops (called TBR's, to be released) were cancelled, the dropped .ca domains have continued to pile up and should all be released today.  There are just over 32,000 domains dropping.  Registrars who try to catch these domains have had to set up special interfaces to allow hopeful domainers to better sort through the list - using features such as search by first letter, 3 character, etc.  Most weekly domain drops usually have 4,000 or so names in them.  Last week's attempted TBR was cancelled at the last minute.  We are all wondering if today's TBR will actually go ahead, there is even a poll set up at where you can vote yes or no on whether you think it will take place.

In the midst of this TBR conundrum, a new .ca registrar has started up - is run by a longtime poster at DNForum, Jason Brumwell.  They have an opening special on right now.  The next 300 customers get a promotional rate of $0.99 on new or transfered .ca domains.  If you or someone you know owns a .ca domain, you can take advantage of this offer and save $10 (they do take paypal).  I don't know many domainers who can pass up a 99 cent offer, and you get to test drive a new registrar.  I'm sure they have many exciting promotions and features in the works, and wish them best of luck with their new venture!  I did take advantage of their special and registered a domain I had dropped not long ago, but wanted to have back,

Also of note is the new TBR system.  I have used MyID in the past to buy and sell .ca domains in their auctions, and have some names listed currently in their .ca Marketplace.  The new TBR system just launched in the last couple weeks.  It has the best sorting system I've seen, you can search .ca domains on the drop list by keyword, 3 characters, 4 characters, first letter and on.  If you have certain keywords you are always looking for, this is by far the fastest way I've seen to find them.  Especially this week with over 32,000 names.  I don't know how many of my domains they will catch, and I guess that is really what it comes down to.  Another nice feature is that the minimum bid on any domain is only $12.  If there are multiple bidders on a name, the highest bid gets it unless the bid hits $60.  If two or more people bid $60 the domain goes to auction where only those bidders can participate.  I also have to say that MyID has given some nice email updates on what has been happening with the weekly TBR's, and their new system.

I can't finish the TBR topic without noting that Sibername has always done well for me.  They catch a good number of domains I try to get, and many at their $35 minimum.  They adjusted their TBR interface this week to allow a search by first letter, which was good.  I hope they continue adding to this search feature.

Good luck everyone in today's TBR.  Really hoping it works this time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

.CA TBR Nov 17 domain drop cancelled

Hard to believe, but I just got a notice from Sibername and MyID that today's .ca domain name TBR has been cancelled.  It has now been over a month since there was a Wednesday .ca TBR.  Today's cancellation was based on a technical difficulty at CIRA, the .ca registration authority.

If there is a TBR next week, there will likely be over 30,000 domains on the list.

I was really looking forward to today's TBR, I had some good bids in and there were some decent names available.  Stay tuned and hopefully CIRA will get this on track again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Recent .ca Domain Name Sales, TBR update

Again there aren't a whole lot of .ca sales to report, but there were a handful reported in in the last couple weeks. 

Those sales were: went for $3,000 sold for $5,000 exchanged for $3,453

TBR (to be released) update

The last couple TBR's were cancelled by CIRA, but now they look to resume this coming week with a boatload of dropped .ca's to become available.  CIRA announced that the next .CA TBR domain drop will be held on Wednesday, November 17th at 2pm EST.  Anyone who is interested better start looking over the list soon, because there will be well over 20,000 names dropping that day!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

.CA sale, CIRA changes, Sell & Develop

First, there is one .ca domain sale I saw in the previous month that I can report on: - $2,910

The bigger news in the past month is the CIRA change to an EPP system.  Previously, if you bought or transferred a .ca domain, it had to go through your CIRA registrant profile and the whole process involved your registrar and CIRA - and CIRA approvals if you transferred a domain.  You could log into your CIRA account and see your domains listed.  Now, they are just using an EPP system where each domain has a unique transfer code, like is done with .com, .net and .org.  In essence, it's supposed to be a much simpler system.

What I have seen so far is that you better have a good registrar who can handle this switchover quickly and professionally.  I deal mainly with two .ca registrars, and have renewed some domains since the changeover.  Most of the domains renewed but for two years (instead of one).  I'm sure they will catch this and make the change.

Another domain I renewed didn't show up with the extra year until a few days later in CIRA, but it still doesn't show up as renewed in my registrar account.

Another thing I haven't figured out yet, is that before when a .ca expired it went into a 30 day suspension period where you couldn't use the domain, but could still renew it.  If you didn't renew, it expired at the end of 30 days.  I've heard that a registrar can now add time to this 30 day period, but it could come as a cost to the domain owner, and can differ between registrars.

So far my domains are all still working, and I don't think I've lost any, so I'm thankful for that.  We will have to live with the system for a few more weeks or months to really get a feel for how it is working.

Sell & Develop

From talking to a few domainers recently, and reading other blog posts, it seems that many with large portfolios are getting more domain enquiries this fall.  Could this mean the market is picking up?  Or at least staying steady?  From the importance the internet plays in most people's everyday lives now, you can see how the demand for domain names should be keeping up, despite rumblings in the economy.  For many, if you aren't online with your own storefront or sales message, you aren't even in the game.  I am also noticing that a lot more people want to develop their domains and partner with others in development - especially since PPC is falling off.  This is all good and every domainer should have plans to develop at least some of their domains.  But I don't think the importance of a good domain sale should be looked down on too much.  People like Rick Schwartz and Frank Schilling sell names when the price is right - and that price is different for everyone and depends on many different things.  When you have hundreds or thousands of domains, it's hard to imagine being able to develop each one into the best possible website it can be.  And trying to mass-develop this many names is not yet possible in my opinion, at least to a quality degree. 

So while you are learning development or building out some sites, remember that the odd sale can help float the rest of your domain renewals, or pay down some bills, or buy presents for Christmas which isn't too far away!  If you worry about letting a domain go for too little, sort your portfolio into gold, silver and bronze quality names, and set a price range for each.  That way when an offer comes along, at least you'll have put some thought into it beforehand.