Will .cn become the new .com?

I recently came across a chart of the most popular domain extensions, compiled by Stephane Van Gelder. Although I keep track of ccTLD registrations for the Country Codes of the World map, Stephane tracks all domains, including .com, .net., etc. And when I saw it I got to thinking…

Here’s a screen grab of the figures I want to focus on:

most popular domains

What makes this chart so interesting are the growth rates — .com is growing at 5% and .cn is growing at 18%. Granted, it’s easier to grow at 18% when you’ve only got 12 million registrations, compared with growing at 5% when you’ve got 76 million registrations.

But growth is growth and .cn is clearly on a roll.

And China has a lot of headroom for growth in terms of Web users and potential domain registrants. I am confident that .cn will reach 50 million registrations over the next 3 years.

At about that point in time, .com should be around 100 million registrants — in no danger of losing its number one status.

However, if the rate of growth of .com registrations were to decrease while .cn rate of growth continues to increase, it’s reasonable to wonder if we will one day see the number of .cn registrations surpass .com registrations?

I realize this is a far-fetched scenario.

After all, it’s reasonable to assume that companies that register .cn may also register .com — and the majority do just that.

But it’s certainly something to contemplate. And even if .cn never comes close to surpassing .com, the overall point I’d like to emphasize here is that .cn is now the world’s second most popular domain extention — and likely to remain that way for many years.

What do you think?

Watch out ProZ, here comes Google Translation Center

Within the translation industry, ProZ is widely known as the leading public network of freelance translators and buyers of translation services.

But here comes Google…

According to Blogoscoped, Google is about to launch the Google Translation Center.

This is an exciting development, though I don’t expect everyone to suddenly ditch ProZ for Google. Why? Because much of the appeal of ProZ is the community, which Google does not appear to be trying to support. Still, freelancers will certainly want to investigate this potential new resource.

I’ve called out ProZ as one company under threat from Google Translation Center. But EVERY translation agency needs to keep a close eye on this service. It could be a threat. It could also end up being something translation agencies use themselves — instead of paid platforms from SDL. Naturally, for this to happen this new platform has a lot of evolving to do. Still, I can’t help but wonder.

There is no mention of whether or not Google will support machine translation and/or translation memory. I’m assuming they will.

I have LOTS of questions and this service isn’t even live yet. So we shall see what happens. But this is big news, no question.

I wrote awhile back, that the translation industry as we know it is over. The technologists have taken over and they’re bringing brute force computing and massive networks to the table to reduce costs and increase time to market. This is just another sign of this macro trend.

What do you think? Is Google going to disrupt the translation industry or is this new platform going to fall flat?

(Thx Chris for the heads up!)

Update: I just read an insightful article on this Google’s service at GigaOm…

DomainUnavailable.me

GoDaddy domain unavailable .me cctld

GoDaddy, the US registrar with rights to the much-hyped .me ccTLD, opened registration to the general public today and it looks like things have not gone all that smoothly.

TechCrunch reports that people received credit charges for domains they in fact did not successfully register. Apparently GoDaddy had server/load issues.

But if you want to register DomainUnavailable.me, the last I checked it was still available!