First of all, I have no idea how I got in the middle of a firestorm that has nothing to do with me. But here we are. Folks will use my selected words to bend things one way or another and sometimes not bend at all. It's almost comical. Almost all my blog posts are opinion based. Very few are news based.
But putting that aside.....
I had a near 2 hour phone call late yesterday with Daniel Negari. He gave a heartfelt apology to some words he regrets he wrote to/about me. I was surprised at the words given Daniel was on my chatboard years ago (he was a teenager at the time) and we never had any issues so I accepted his apology.
Daniel Negari has been under fire for days for a host of issues from his remarks to me on TheDomains.com, his arrogant selling technique and and the firestorm over the domain giveaway by Network Solutions. TheDomains.com, OnlineDomain.com, DomainIncite, and blogs everywhere includng DNJournal have many of the details and commentary. Most of these folks have multiple stories on the issue from a variety of sources and the comments and speculation only add more fuel. Some justified, some not. I think you will find all those links in these stories so just follow the bouncing ball if you need to get up to speed.
True passion by Negari is just getting ahead of reality. imo
So what happened with the Network Solutions giveaway of some 30,000 .xyz as a freebie? Who did what? My conversation was designed to answer those questions and sort out the events. You, the readers will be the judge. As always, answers may spawn new questions and I hope Daniel will come here and address them if they do. Here is the interview:
Q1 .XYZ was in the news this week when an email offer was discovered going to customers of one Registrar offering their customers a free .XYZ domain? Were you behind it?
First, I think it is important for everyone to understand the difference between a Registry and a Registrar, and the roles that each play.
A Domain Registry, like .xyz, .com, or .org is responsible for the operation of a particular domain extension. Think of it as manufacturer of a product.
A Domain Registrar is an organization that enables Registrants to register domain names. It is like a store where you go to buy a product - in this case its domain names.
The Registry Operator like .xyz, .com, or .org sets a fixed wholesale price for all Registrars.
Each Registrar (or store) then makes its own decision on the retail price it wants to charge for the different domain names (products) it offers.
We have over 200 registrars from all around the word in all languages offering .xyz domain names. I do not know the details of every promotion or marketing campaign that they are doing every day.
Here is what I do know:
Regardless of whether a registrar charges $100, $5, or gives the domains away for free, I get paid the ENTIRE wholesale price, which is the same price that every registrar pays.
Q2. Did you as a registry give away free domains?
No. The Registry Operator is unable to “give away” free domain names. I never even saw the email that the registrar sent to its customers until I discovered it on the blogs. As a Registry, I can only suggest an MSRP for a Registrar to display. However, a Registrar does not have to use that price.
Just like the price of .com, it is up to each Registrar to set the retail price of any domain registration.
Q3. Do you set the price that the registrar charges for a domain extension?
No, I do not set the price that a Registrar charges for a domain extension. That pricing is determined by the Registrar only.
Q4. Do you know the retail price that each of your registrars is charging for a .xyz registration?
No, I do not know the exact price that every Registrar is charging.
On all of our Registrar outreach materials we have suggested $9.99 retail pricing for .xyz domains, however, it is the up to the Registrar to determine the retail price that they offer to registrants ($14.99, $50, $9.99, etc…).
Q5. So what you’re saying is that a registry is like a manufacturer of a product. Let’s use Coke for example. So if Coke sells a 2 liter bottle to stores for a wholesale price of $.50, it is up to the store to set the price that they want?
So if a store purchased a bottle of Coke for $.50 they can charge $1 or $5, $50 or sell it on a buy it get one free basis or give a bottle away for free.
As the registry of .XYZ like the manufacturer of Coke, I am paid my full wholesale price regardless of what the store or retailer sells it for
Here is another example. A gas station may purchase a bottle of Coke for the $.50 wholesale cost. Then when a customer fills up a full tank of gas, the gas station will give the customer the bottle of Coke for free. The maker of the bottle of Coke cannot control how the gas station owner prices the bottle of Coke. Again, in this example, xyz is like the manufacturer of the bottle of Coke.
Q6. In your first blog, you mention that .xyz is your “Gift to the World”. To many domainers this came off as arrogant. What were your intentions with this phrase?
I admit I am not the best writer, and sometimes I am not able to express my feelings on paper. By no means was I trying to sound arrogant, and I understand how some readers may have read into this. My goal with .xyz was to allow anyone, around the world, to purchase an affordable and generic domain name for any purpose. By opening up the .xyz namespace with no restrictions, no variable pricing, and a small amount of reserved domains (about 1,000-2,000), I feel that .xyz is the first new gTLD to allow for mass appeal and a worldwide audience.
That is what I mean by our “Gift to the World”.
You can draw your own conclusions as it is not for me to say one way or the other. These were the questions posed and his answers. Nothing more, nothing less.