The .Menu Top Level Domain (TLD)
In 2012, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and numbers, accepted applications to create new Top Level Domains (TLDs). A TLD is the text to the right of the final dot in a domain name. For example, .Com is the most popular TLD today. 1,930 applications for proposed new TLDs were filed. DotAnything.co will be featuring one perspective new TLD per week in our 10-week series on the most popular new TLDs. This week's featured TLD is the .Menu TLD.
October 21, 2013 - Today, there are just 22 generic TLDs - like .Com and .Biz. In 2012, ICANN held an historic application round inviting companies from around the world to apply to create new Top Level Domains - or, TLDs for short. 1,930 applicaitons for new TLDs were filed in ICANN's historic 2012 application round. The first new TLDs from the 2012 application round are expected to launch in 2014.
DotAnything.co will be featuring one new TLD per week in our 10-week series on some of the most popular new TLDs. This week’s featured TLD: The .Menu TLD.
The .Menu TLD
Wedding TLD2, LLC was the sole applicant for the .Menu TLD. Erik Ludwick is the co-founder for both Wedding TLD2, LLC and What Box?. According to their website at WhatBox.co, What Box? applied for six TLDs, including .band (as Red Triangle, LLC), .discount (as Dot Discount, LLC), .fish (as Dot Club LLC), .menu (as Wedding TLD2, LLC) .online (as Dot Online LLC) and .wedding (as Wedding TLD LLC). Although What Box? is not listed on the .Menu TLD application filed with ICANN, Erik Ludwick is listed on all of the applications above as the Chief Executive Officer.
The .Menu TLD passed the Initial Evaluation phase on April 12, 2013. There were no objections filed against the .Menu TLD during the Dispute Resolution process, and there were no competitors for the .Menu TLD. Wedding TLD2, LLC signed a Registry Agreement with ICANN on September 11, 2013 for the .Menu TLD.
DotAnything.co asked Erik Ludwick, CEO of Wedding TLD2, LLC to share his thoughts on the .Menu TLD with us.
DotAnything: Can you tell us a little about your history with the .Menu TLD. What made you decide to pursue the .Menu TLD? How to you envision .Menu being used?
Wedding TLD2, LLC: "What Box? applied for 6 different TLDs in ICANNs new gtld program. Our focus was on determining the best string to represent strong and established industry verticals. The food and beverage vertical presents one of the largest opportunities for growth in the domain name space. In the United States, not even 50% of restaurants have an online presence. Of that, a small percentage have mobile enabled websites. Restaurant patrons, however, are doing around 90% of their online searches for restaurants via mobile. This gap is where the opportunity exists for a food and beverage related TLD. What Box? chose to go with the .menu TLD because it is a short string, every restaurant, bar, pub, etc. has a menu, menu is a term that is spelled the same and means the same thing in over 25 countries, and most importantly, menus are what restaurant patrons are focused on in their online searches. There were a few reasons that moved us away from pursuing the .restaurant TLD. We knew there would be competing applications, restaurant didn't translate into as many languages, restaurant is a long string, and restaurant is one of the most misspelled words in the English language. At the end of our analysis, .menu was a better opportunity.
Food captivates hearts and minds (and stomachs) like almost nothing else on earth. People spend countless hours surfing the web for menus, dining suggestions, restaurant information, reviews and offers, recipes and ingredient and dietary details. With the introduction of .MENU all of this information will be found in one central location. There will finally be an online community for all activities and interests related to restaurants and their menus. This new top-level domain offers restaurants, chefs, diners, and anyone else interested in food, their very own segment of the Internet. "
DotAnything: Have you launched a website dedicated to the .menu tld?
Wedding TLD2, LLC: "We have a website dedicated to the .menu TLD. At this point it is dot-menu.com"
DotAnything: We notice that you have selected ARI as your Registry Services provider. Can you tell us a little about that?
Wedding TLD2, LLC: "What Box? has chosen ARI as our RSP for all of our TLD strings, .menu included. ARI was very aggressive in both the level of service that they would be providing and their pricing structure. We had multiple bids for RSP services, and ARI treated us as if they really wanted our business. We traveled out to Australia to meet with their team, and understood quickly how aligned our companies were in this. "
DotAnything: Have you passed pre-delegation testing yet?
Wedding TLD2, LLC: "We have concluded our pre-delegation testing and have been notified that we have passed."
DotAnything: Do you have a tentative date in mind for Sunrise / General Availability?
Wedding TLD2, LLC: "It looks as though the .menu sunrise period will begin on January 6, 2014 for 30 days. A 30 day land rush period would begin on February 6, 2014. GA would being on March 10, 2014. These are subject to change depending on ICANN delays. "
Pre-register for your .menu domain today at DotAnything.co.
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