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There are some excellent sites in the final for the 2011 awards. For example one of the finalists in this years .info awards trafalgarsquare.info has a crazy video which has vienna.info advertised throughout.

 The 10 finalists for the 2011 .Info awards have just been posted for public voting. (Voting open until next Tuesday (Dec, 13)

www.docma.info
www.frauenundhiv.info (“Women and HIV”)
www.hotel.info
www.mailworx.info
www.opentype.info
www.solicitor.info
www.trafalgarsquare.info
www.typografie.info
www.visitwhitemountains.info
www.wien.info (“Vienna)

Voting at www.info-award.info/
Press release can be found here www.info-award.info/node/951

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Afilias is holding its 5th annual INFO Awards program, where .INFO domain owners can submit their great site for the chance to be named the Best .INFO website of 2011!

http://info-award.info/about

Submission deadline November 24, 2011

A panel of experts with experience in the fields of website design and media will review submitted sites and determine a shortlist of the ten best .INFO websites, based on the following criteria:

• Presentation of content
• Functionality of the site
• Design
• Usability
• Originality

Afilias has annouced plans for a Chinese IDN equivalent of the .info domain.

Ram Mohan, Executive Vice President and CTO, Afilias said “Given the global presence of Afilias, Internationalized Domain Names — informally known as IDNs — have always been of great interest to us. We were the first company to launch IDN email, and believe that having IDN equivalents of .INFO for the world’s most populated country, in its primary languages, will be a major benefit to all Internet users in China,”

Afilias press release

Interbrand have just released an interesting guide on domains and branding strategy. In 8 pages it covers a lot of ground; well worth the read if you have moment to spare. What’s in a domain? (Pdf)

HosterStats.com has investigated how domains are used within the .co name space.  .co domains are interesting because .co is the country code for Colombia, and has traditionally been structured in the same way as the United Kingdom’s  is structured with a defined group of second level domains allowing people to register a third level domains.

In Colombia
.com.co  .org.co  edu.co  gov.co  net.co  mil.co  and  nom.co (private persons)

In the UK
.co.uk  .org.uk   .ac.uk  .sch.uk  .gov.uk  .net.uk .mod.uk  .nic.uk  .nhs.uk  
.ltd.uk  .plc.uk  .parliament.uk  .police.uk  and  .me.uk (private persons)

A year ago the .co registry was persuaded to allow the second level to be opened up for open registrations anyname.co aimed primarily at the international market.  HosterStats has analysed how these new domains are being used a year after launch.

The uses vary from company names like www.google.co who use it to redirect to other sites rather than a Columbian search engine which can be found at the www.google.com.co, to PPC pages, to holding pages, to non resolving sites etc.

PPC Parked pages 48.5%
Holding pages 13.8%
Active Use 12.9%
Redirects to domains in other TLDs 8.2% (Exact match 3.5%)
Redirects to other .co domains 2.8%
Brand Protection 2%
Forbidden/ Not found 1.4%
For Sale 1.1%
Expired 0.7%
Registry reserved premium domains 0.7%

Datacenter.com has just sold at Sedo’s Great Domains Auction for $252,000. (The reserve price range was $25,000 – $49,999).

Bidding in the last 5 minutes of an auction at Sedo automatically extends the auction and this resulted in the auction ending 1 hour and 37 minutes after the scheduled 12:00 EST end time.

IDN Blog has an interesting interview with John Kane of Afilias on International Domain Names (IDNs) which examines how well the Internet can currently support IDN solutions for IDN domains, IDN TLDs and IDN Emails around the world.

83% of the world’s population is estimated to be non-English speaking, yet for years they have been unable to communicate in their own languages via Web and e-mail addresses. Afilias is currently beta testing IDN E-mail a software package that is standards-based and allows people to use almost any language in their e-mail address.

Chart.info has a new post showing the largest 20 Top Level Domains (TLDs) calculated from the number of pages Google has indexed for each.

The largest 20 TLDs calculated this way are (Largest first)

.com
.net
.cn … China
.org
.de … Germany
.jp …. Japan
.ru …. Russia
.uk … United Kingdom
.kr …. Korea
.pl …. Poland
.info
.it ….. Italy
.fr ….. France
.cz …. Czech Republic
.br …. Brazil
.tw … Taiwan
.ua … Ukraine
.au … Australia
.nl …. Netherlands
.ca … Canada

Source Charts.info / Domain Name Charts

Afilias has just released its annual report for the .info domain space for 2010. .info has had quite a year.

Hightlights from the report include

 In 2010, .INFO saw a significant increase in domain names under Afilias’ management, growing nearly 30 percent from 2009 to over 6.8 million domain names registered. (Already and since the report was published there are now over 7 million .info domains registered)

.INFO domains are now available at more than 360 registrars, representing more than 90 percent of the worldwide domain marketplace. This is hugely important because it means people can buy names in their own jurisdiction

The top regions for registrations continue to be North America (58 percent) and Europe (27 percent), but the Asia Pacific region is also gaining share of .INFO, and is currently home to 12 percent of .INFO registrations. 

Over 70 percent of .INFO registrations resolve to active websites– that’s nearly 5 million .INFO websites worldwide.  The report also shows some of the best sites of 2010. The results of this are beginning to show with good .info domains ranking highly in the search engines for many diverse search terms.

There is available for download a 2010 .info domains report  (.pdf) and an accompanying  Afilias press release for the 2010 report

Sedo has just conducted a small  auction for prime .me domains. The closing prices for the top domain name sales were as follows

$26,500   like.me
$15,600   contacts.me
$13,100   game.me
$12,099   poker.me
$10,099   friend.me
$10,000   art.me
$10,000   note.me
$  8,600   keep.me
$  8,200   shop.me
$  7,600   movie.me
$  7,350   send.me
$  7,100   try.me
$  6,700   health.me
$  6,250   indentify.me
$  6,206   hotels.me
$  6,105   refer.me
$  6,099   employ.me
$  5,600   look.me
$  5,500   finance.me
$  5,350   fund.me
$  5,300   browse.me
$  5,300   smile.me
$  5,100   shopping.me
$  5,100   track.me
$  5,005   list.me
$  5,000   law.me

The like.me domain auction attracted 78 individual bids.

Added: MHB @ The Domains has just posted a full list of 110 .me domain sales at the auction = $400,000 in sales.