News – Knock Knock WHOIS There

.blog at the Grand Meetup

When someone asks where Knock Knock WHOIS There is based, the answer is complicated. Our team ranges across North and South America and Europe — you can find someone from KKWT online and at work at almost any hour of the day. How’s that? KKWT, like Automattic — our parent company and the company behind WordPress.com — is fully remote, meaning we work from anywhere and everywhere. Continue reading “.blog at the Grand Meetup”

Why Blog?

As we talked about in our last post, bloggers come from all walks of life. New blogs are created every day — and yet many of us find ourselves hesitating to press the “Publish” button. Here are some great reasons for blogging that’ll get you motivated to push past the worries.

Starting a blog positions you as an authority in your area of expertise. Whether your passion is photography, baking, restoring antiques, or traveling, a blog allows you to share both your passion and the lessons you’ve learned with the world. With Google at our fingertips, we all turn to quick online searches to find instructions on a new skill or task, or to get advice. Many of these results are blogs posts written by people who were eager to share their knowledge with others, just like you.

Beyond imparting your own knowledge, blogging also helps you learn a new skill. Writing regular blog posts can improve your writing skills drastically. Through managing your own blog, you can learn as much as you’d like about image editing, coding, blogging platforms, and other tech-focused skills that facilitate your experiences in the digital world (and can make you more desirable to employers!).

Writing is also a creative release that can improve your mood and overall stress levels,. Through regularly putting pen to paper — or fingertips to keyboard — you give your mind the space to process and evaluate events in your life and the world. If you’re a corporate blogger writing updates on behalf of your company, posting regularly can help you achieve clarity in communication and spark new ideas for other social media projects or blog posts. As a personal blogger, writing down your favorite new recipe or the weekend hike you took cements these ideas in your mind, gives you a chance to reflect, and lets you release them into the wild.

On the business side, blogs are excellent marketing tools. You can monetize them to bring in extra income, or leverage them as megaphones to expand your business. From individual consultants and coaches to larger corporations, blogs give customers (and potential customers) a way and a reason to interact with your brand. Fresh, new, and quality content also increases your likelihood of appearing in search results — another great way to attract new customers and clients. And as your blog grows, you can cash in on your writing skills by reviewing products, incorporating advertisements and affiliates, or even finding sponsors for your posts.

Above all, what separates blogging from other types of writing is that it creates a community around your work, passions, and words. By default, blogging encourages people to regularly visit and engage with your website, through checking for new content and commenting — and community is a powerful thing! You’ll find people reaching out to you, seeking your advice or services, and even becoming friends as they loyally follow your updates.

Whether it’s expertise or connecting with others online, there are many reasons to get started blogging. And with so many great .blogs out there, why not join the family?

Who Blogs?

Each year there are hundreds of millions of new blog posts published. With so many new posts being produced every day, it’s worth asking the question: who blogs?

Trying to pinpoint who blogs is nearly an impossible task. Anyone with a computer or smartphone internet access can blog — and millions do. Blogging has no boundaries and is one activity that is truly diverse and inclusive. Bloggers come in all ages, sexes, ethnicities, sizes, shapes, colours, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. They write from every country, and in every language. Every blogger is unique in their own way.

Take Gary: He’s a self-proclaimed foodie, travel addict, and aviation enthusiast who logs his travels on The Gastronomic Traveler. Then there’s Charlotte, the 22-year-old from England, aka The Girl That Games. Yoga Mama writes a yoga blog for pregnant and nursing mothers from Bulgaria, while Danny Zappa is a Swedish photographer who lives in Brazil.The Animal Farm Foundation is a US-based non-profit corporation that rescues and re-homes animals. Lyn is a young women from Vietnam who’s studying in Japan and sharing her experiences at Enjoy Japan Life. Shinola is a Detroit-based watch manufacturer. Do you see what’s happening here? Anyone and everyone blogs. People who want to network, share ideas, create revenue streams, advertise and market, connect with like-minded people, have a voice, help others, stay in touch, learn and grow.

Many people blog as a long-form of their social media networks, students blog to share schoolwork with their teachers and classmates, marketers blog to promote products and services, hobbyists to find others with common interests, and organizations blog to raise awareness. Some people blog for the pure joy of creating and sharing, while others do it as part of their job or to make money.

For any topic you can think of, there is a blog post on it, and a unique person or group of people sharing their passion. Whether it’s a travel, food, photography, or daily blog, thousands of new voices join the ranks of “who blogs?” every day.

365 Days of .blog

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year, and that it’s only been a year, since we took our first step towards making .blog available to everyone. Exactly one year ago today, .blog domains were released to companies and people with trademarks — a required step called the Sunrise phase — and were later opened up to the whole world.

What’s happened since?

  • During the Sunrise claims period, companies like Amazon, Apple, and Soundcloud grabbed their .blog addresses and started using them right away.
  • Tim Ferris (tim.blog), Stack Overflow (stackoverflow.blog), Miss Lauryn Hill (misslaurynhill.blog), and many more joined our dotblogger program, which makes premium and reserved domain names available to online influencers.
  • Within the first 8 months 100,000 people registered a .blog — and even better, .blog domains have a 66.5% usage rate. Our goal remains to see as much unique content published in the .blog namespace, creating global awareness for new TLDs.
  • We expressed our commitment to stability and reliability to registrars, resellers, and customers by updating the .blog Registry-Registrar Agreement to include a clause specifying that the renewal fees for .blog domains will not increase once they’re registered.

When we decided to launch .blog, we hoped it would find a natural home in the blogging community, helped built by our parent company, Automattic, Inc, and their mission to democratize publishing on the web. While Knock Knock WHOIS There (KKWT), the company behind .blog, and Automattic are separate entities, our philosophies remain tightly intertwined.

As we continue to move forward, we appreciate having the time to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished, both at .blog and the new TLD (top-level domain) community at large. We’re looking forward to seeing where the next year takes .blog.

What is a blog?

The word “blog” came from “weblog” — but not how you might think. Peter Merholz, a blogging pioneer, jokingly broke “weblog” into two words on his web page, “we blog,” and the word “blog” was born.

But what is a blog?

Blogs emerged and grew in popularity in the late 1990’s, due in part to the introduction of easy web-publishing tools. Sites like Open Diary, Blogger, and LiveJournal were followed by advanced content management systems, like WordPress and TypePad. These sites and systems removed knowledge of HTML and FTP as requirements, making website creation — and blogging — more accessible than ever before.

Simply put, blogs started as online diaries where people, usually single individuals, shared their experiences and passions on a regular basis, creating a following of readers. Early bloggers like Dave Winer, Andrew Sullivan, and Jenny Lawson helped pave the way for the tens of millions of bloggers that soon followed.

blog imagery - man computer table camera notebook

As the popularity of blogging grew, so did the popularity of bloggers. Marketers saw blogging as a way to create unique content and a means to connect and interact with customers online, while individual bloggers saw it as a way to make money through advertising, marketing, and selling products and services online. Today, some of the highest traffic sites are blogs, like The Huffington Post.

But that brings us back to our original question: what is a blog? Blogs are typically made up of a series of regular entries, called “posts,” which are displayed in reverse chronological order, from newest to oldest. A post, as opposed to a web page, is dynamic — a site’s blog will always be changing as the author publishes new content, on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. They combine text with multimedia and links to other blogs, and often allow for two-way interaction with readers through comments and feedback.

Blogs can be about absolutely anything at all — from fashion, news, or comedy to niche interests and subcultures. They can be individually written or developed by a multi-authored team. They can be for fun and enjoyment. They can be something published just for personal fulfillment, or a means to make money (or both!). Blogs can be a simple web page or a comprehensive site utilizing the many blogging tools available today to grow and manage online communities.

In short, a blog is anything a blogger wants it to be — from a place to express yourself to the world to a place where people and corporations can share thoughts with hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of readers, to promote themselves, or a business, or a cause.

new dotblogger: emilypolar.blog

Emily Polar is a professional photographer and adventurer who has worked with the likes of Patagonia, Reebok, and National Geographic. Her work seeks to explore the connections between people through her global explorations that reveal just how simultaneously big and little the world can be.

Her photo and travel blog, emilypolar.blog, is filled with her visually stunning adventures all over the globe. From Chiapas to Nepal, India to Arizona, Polar shares captivating galleries of the landscapes, people, and customs she encounters throughout her journeys.

new dotblogger: shinola.blog

Shinola Detroit does more than just make watches, bicycles, and leather goods. It’s a company with a mission: creating American manufacturing jobs. That’s why they chose to set up their headquarters in the historical heart of American industry: Detroit, MI. Seeing an opportunity to bring more jobs to the area, they’ve built their brand on scalable and skilled craftsmanship through American-made goods.

That philosophy trickles down into shinola.blog, a blog that focuses on company news and new products, as well as the local community. Here, they share interviews with various entrepreneurs in Detroit as part of their #RollUpOurSleeves campaign. We think it truly embodies the spirit of blogging: building a community, both online and in real life.

100,000 .blogs

We’re proud to celebrate one of our biggest milestones to date: 100,000 .blog registrations!

It was only eight months ago that .blog domains became available to the general public. Since then, we’ve watched the registration numbers grow consistently, with an average of 300 new .blog domains registered each day.

During this time, we’ve focused our efforts on learning as much as possible about our registrars, resellers, and end users, and on understanding the makeup of our baseline numbers. Recently, we’ve begun to experiment with .blog marketing programs, with our first campaigns launching just last month. It’s been a busy year for us, and we’re only ramping up.

On the road to 100,000 domains, we’ve remained committed to our top priorities: usage, transparency, and stability through consistent, sustainable growth. The proof is in the numbers: 66.5% of .blog domains have a unique website associated with them, compared to an average of 39.3% for both new and legacy TLDs, according to recent research by Daniel Ruzzini-Mejia (co-founder and CSO of DomainsBot Srl, the company behind big-data analysis platform Pandalytics). Ruzzini-Mejia also found more than 250 .blog domains that use an eCommerce platform, “which actually indicates that there’s people using .blog not only for blogging, but also for business,” he said, pointing out the broader opportunities for .blog websites.

Looking to the future, we plan to continue using our data-oriented approach to push the limits on usage and growth, while working with registrars to understand their needs as the new top-level domain market matures. Our first marketing programs are proving to be a great starting point and will form the basis of future growth opportunities. All of our current and future efforts will aim to empower our target audience to do what it does best: blog!

We thank you all for helping us along the way, and are excited to continue the journey to one million thriving .blogs.

new dotblogger: kirstenalana.blog

Kirsten Alana is a photographer who travels, and a traveler who takes photographs. Originally a wedding photographer, she made the courageous decision to quit her job and focus on a new career that would combine her passions for travel and photography. As she’s made her way across the globe – quite literally, she was the first photographer to travel around the world on the Four Seasons private jet – she’s built an impressive portfolio through her sincerity and eye for an amazing picture.

kirstenalana.blog is Alana’s photoblog-style Tumblr. Here, you can find snapshots from many of her trips, along with a glimpse into the life of the Traveling Photographer.

RRA Updates and our Commitment to Pricing Stability

At Knock Knock WHOIS There, we believe that keeping things simple allows registrars and resellers to focus on their core business. For this reason, we recently made the decision to amend the .blog Registry-Registrar Agreement, changes which will be effective on July 15th, 2017.

The modifications we made are:

  • The addition of section 3.14 regarding Rights Protection Mechanisms and Uniform Rapid Suspension compliance, as required by ICANN.
  • Clarification to section 7.1(ii) to further limit the scope of liability for our registrars.
  • An amendment to section 5.1.1 to ensure that the pricing of a .blog domain, once registered, will not increase.

This final amendment is to underscore our stance on price stability in the new gTLD marketplace. Any .blog domain that is registered will not see a pricing increase for renewals on subsequent years.

Pricing stability improves a registrar’s ability to promote new gTLDs to website owners, both new and experienced alike. By building a sense of security and predictability amongst end-users, we contribute to the perception of new gTLDs as reliable and accessible options.

We also believe this allows .blog registrars to focus on sales, without the worry of future price changes that would cause complexities to their business. As Domain Name Wire indicates, introducing pricing changes, along with a wide variety of pricing tiers, creates a barrier to registrars interested in onboarding more new gTLDs. We’d like to see the barrier to entry as low as possible to promote usage and a broader acceptance of new gTLD domains.

If you’re interested in joining the .blog registrar family, sign up through our application form.