.CO Trends & Stats: Wrapping up 2012
Super Bowl Here We Come -- Again!
Go.CoLearn about our .COmmunity and how others are using .CO to build a next-level Internet.go.co
Cointernet.com.coView our local website that features news, blog posts, events and information about .COM.CO cointernet.com.co
Dominios.com.coFind your ideal .COM.CO domain and serve the people of Colombia with a reliable and secure web address. dominios.com.co
From Transition to Traction
It’s hard to believe that it was just one year ago, in February 2010, that our team successfully transitioned 28,000.CO domain names from the former registry operator, the University of the Andes, and started the journey toward launching the .CO domain on a global scale.
By all accounts, it has been a fantastic twelve months. By February 1st of 2011, over 600,000 .CO domain names were registered by individuals and businesses in 200 countries around the world; brand owners were well protected; the government was pleased with our performance; our investors were more than satisfied with their returns; our registrar partners continued to enthusiastically promote .CO domains to their customers -- and the positive buzz about .CO continued to grow as more and more developed .CO websites started to emerge.
Then, just as we were starting to gain some traction, came Super Bowl Sunday – February 6th of 2011 – a day that will go down in history for .CO.
The .CO Super Bowl Party
I have to admit that doing the Super Bowl in partnership with GoDaddy – errr… GoDaddy.CO, was a huge bet for us. I’m not a gambling man, but the reality is that it could have been a gigantic flop. It wasn’t.
Our goal was to gain massive consumer awareness. With an audience of an estimated 110 million football enthusiasts – plus another 10 – 20 million viewers tuning in just to watch the commercials – the results have been staggering.
To start, we’ve had a huge surge in Internet traffic. On Super Bowl Sunday alone, we had over one hundred times our typical traffic volume visiting our company websites www.Opportunity.CO and www.COinternet.CO. According to our traffic logs, one of the top search queries bringing people to the sites was "What is .CO?" I guess on Super Bowl Sunday a lot of people found out!
And the awareness and traffic continue to grow to this day, thanks in part to the ongoing media attention that Joan Rivers, our funny, fabulous GoDaddy.CO Girl, continues to get! GoDaddy.CO and Joan’s website, Joan.CO, have been mentioned on dozens of popular television shows, like Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and The View -- in addition to countless magazine and news stories.
Another (very) exciting result of doing the Super Bowl ad has been the incredible and immediate impact it has had on our sales. On Super Bowl Sunday alone, sales were about 35 times that of a typical Sunday – with a huge boost in numbers across all of our registrar partners. The increased sales continue even now – and our business is propelling forward at a rather aggressive pace as a result.
From the Super Bowl to the Super Goal
So YES, YES – we are celebrating – but there’s still much work to be done to become the business we aspire to be.
You see, growing our registration base quickly, and keeping our stakeholders happy in the short term is not, in itself, how we define our ultimate success. Frankly, it’s really far too early to pop the champagne corks and party like its 1999. What we have on our hands, folks – is simply a good start. A solid launch.
For us to be truly successful, it means looking out over the horizon of time – five, ten and twenty years plus down the road – and seeing that .CO is recognized around the world as the premier domain platform of choice for innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunity online.
Success means that .CO will continue to grow and flourish -- and to one day comprise a significant portion of the fabric of the Internet -- with millions of developed websites, thriving communities, small and growing businesses, aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals from every corner of the world building their online homes on .CO domain names.
The Metrics of Success
So how do we get there from here? How do we grow from a company that enjoyed a “successful domain launch” into a company that has built and manages a “successful domain extension”? And how can we track, measure and monitor our success along the way?
As it turns out, there’s no quick or simple answer. The most common success metric that many registries use is the total number of domain names registered. Although we are certainly enjoying our incredible growth – the number of .CO domains registered is simply not a metric we believe is robust enough to measure the kind of impact we fully plan and expect to have in the world over the long term. If it were, we would simply drop the first year registration price to $1.99 – and watch our volumes explode.
Another common success metric that people seem to point to is the outcome of domain auctions in the secondary market. The theory is that high secondary market values are indicative of a strong domain extension. While there generally is some truth to this sentiment, the challenge as it relates to .CO is that it’s way too early in the domain’s lifecycle for after market values to be meaningful. I suspect we will need to wait a good 4 or 5 years to see the .CO extension become more widely adopted, developed, monetized and marketed by end-users -- and for the after-market to ripen. In my humble opinion, most of the efforts we are seeing today to quickly flip .CO domain names on the secondary market are largely driven by speculation.
So what kind of metric can we look to in order to measure and track our success? How will we know if we’re meeting our goal of creating a safe, thriving domain space that helps to unleash the creative genius of millions of entrepreneurs; helps to create jobs and economic prosperity for families; and helps to inform, educate, engage and inspire people in every corner of the world?
To gauge the impact of the .CO extension, I think we will need to consider a combination of factors. Imagine, if you will, a sort of “Gross Domain Product” or “GDP,” measuring not only the total number of .CO registrations, but the number of websites developed, and the broader value of the economic activity happening within the .CO space.
Hey, if we can measure the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for entire countries, there’s no reason to believe we can’t do the same for a simple domain extension!
I promise to keep you posted on our progress on this project. In the meanwhile, if you have some good ideas for how to define and track the somewhat elusive “Gross Domain Product,” please do tell!
So, Where Do We Go from Here?
In March we’ll continue to build on the post-Super Bowl momentum by launching our first ever Billboard in Times Square! Actually, please keep an eye out throughout March for a huge outdoor .CO ad campaign that we will be launching throughout New York City, Austin and San Francisco. This really is historic folks! I do believe this will be the first major ad campaign in history that specifically features a domain extension!
I hope you love our new ad campaign as much as I do. It’s intended to speak to the hearts and minds of the people we like to call “Starters” – you know, they’re the ones with the innovative ideas, big dreams and great aspirations who will launch the world’s next great enterprises online.
You can get a good sense of the campaign by popping around our website www.Opportunity.CO – which showcases the accomplishments of many of the starters who have already built their businesses, blogs or brands on .CO domains. Go check out companies like Angel.CO, Challenge.CO, Playbutton.CO, NWC.CO, ReadyMaid.CO, Enter.CO and hundreds more right now! Hopefully you’ll be inspired to get started on your own big idea right now!
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Until then, thank you for sticking with me and reading all the way to the bitter end!
And by the way: should you stumble upon one of our ad campaigns in your region, PLEASE send me a picture of it.