There is a paradigm shift coming to the way we view domain names. I predict the .com to be a dinosaur in the following years. I am so sure of that I’m betting on it by acquiring some of them that fit my current business model. However it has been extremely confusing on the new gTLD release dates.
First there is the Sunrise phase, which allows national and international registered trademark holders to secure their name brands. Self use, local and pending applications need not apply to this phase—you must wait till the next phase if applicable.
Landrush typically comes after Sunrise (however some gTLD’s do not offer it.) During the Landrush you can pay extra get it sooner and beat out the competition.
Finally there is General Availability and that is where the scraps are picked up. Sure you can still get lucky at this point, I have. But keep in mind many services out there allow for pre-registration and payment for general availability, so if several others have also pre-registered this same domain (which is common) your chances of getting that stellar name is very low.
To make the gTLD domain name release dates a bit more easy to digest I put together a Google Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiSCqnEYeYZcdEkyLXRncUdKaGx0THJnNmxjM1duVVE&usp=sharing
- SR (yellow) = Sunrise
- PL (pink) = Pre Land Rush
- LR (orange) = Land Rush
- PG (light green) = Pre General Availability
- GA (green) = General Availability
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