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Call for Videos: New gTLD Applicant Stories and Learnings Sought

As the steward of the global expansion of new generic top-level domains (New gTLDs), ICANN maintains strict confidentiality about applicants and their applications. However, we know from interacting with our community that many applicants have fascinating stories – along with key learnings that could help other applicants.

Therefore, ICANN is calling for videos by any applicants who want to share about their journey. (This invitation also extends to those who represent applicants, and have permission to speak publicly about the applicant's story.) If you're willing to recount what you've experienced in applying for a new gTLD, we encourage you to post a video to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, your own site, or anywhere the public can reach it. Then send an email to and let us know where your video is. We'll review it, and if it meets our guidelines, we'll highlight it through our Twitter feeds and Facebook page so that others may learn from your experiences.


Your video can be as simple or elaborate as you wish, and does not have to be produced in English. What we're looking for should emphasize the human aspect of your process: your personal experiences applying for a new gTLD, and what you've learned so far. If you're stuck for an idea, examples of what you might talk about include:

  • What motivated you to select the string you're applying for?
  • Inside your organization, what was the process like that resulted in deciding to apply?
  • What question in your application have you found most difficult to answer?
  • As you've gathered support for your TLD, how have outsiders responded?
  • What has been the hardest aspect of applying? What has been the most exciting?

Our goal is to collaborate with applicants in educating, sharing learnings, and raising world-wide awareness about new generic top-level domains.

The Fine Print

Our mentioning your video through ICANN social media tools has no bearing on whether the independent evaluators will approve your application. ICANN may refer to applicant videos without implying any endorsement of the organizations contributing the videos or the strings they are applying for. ICANN reserves the right to mention or not mention any particular video, and we will not highlight pure advertisements or videos we think are not in the educational spirit of sharing an applicant story. In selecting videos to mention, ICANN weighs on educational merits and does not validate an organization's claim to have applied for a new gTLD. Videos we choose to highlight must conform to ICANN's Expected Standards of Behavior [PDF, 106 KB], the community guidelines and Terms of Service of whatever site each video is posted on, and all applicable trademark and copyright laws. Applicants should consider carefully what details they choose to disclose publicly. ICANN claims no rights of copyright or ownership to any of the videos submitted, offering solely a community service to help interested parties find such videos and to learn more about new gTLDs.

In Conclusion

If you'd like to share your own applicant story with the ICANN community, this is your opportunity. Our social media initiative aimed at highlighting applicant stories will continue during calendar 2012. "First movers" typically get more attention, so we encourage you to post your video soon – then notify us via email to To those who choose to share their experience: thanks, in advance.

We've posted a video of our own inviting you to post your videos. It's on the New gTLDs microsite.

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."