2008 was another action-packed year at Webnames.ca. The main focus this year was on launching new products and services, in addition to celebrating our founding product: .CA domain names. We continued to grow our services, attained record breaking service standards achieved by our customer support department and still found time for much community involvement.
Our first major initiative of 2008 was the launch of .ASIA, the new TLD dedicated to the Asia-Pacific region. Spanning from Turkey to Japan, the Asia-Pacific economic region encompasses the world's fastest growing markets. The new .ASIA extension provides businesses and individuals across the globe an opportunity to show presence and expand online activities to hundreds of millions of international Internet users.
In a new twist, the DotAsia registry auctioned names that received multiple registration requests during the Landrush period. Previous launches have worked on a first-come, first-served basis. Under the new system potential registrants were treated equally, with the "winner" decided based on their own sense of the value of the domain. The auction format was intended to discourage the warehousing of DotAsia domain names for eventual sale. The auction process appears to have been very successful with the market deciding the real price of top domains. Some examples of top auctions results include discover.asia at $112,111US, sex.asia at $83,334US and buy.asia at $73,000US.
In April, the number of .CA domain names hit 1 Million registrations. From 1987 to 2000 the volunteers at UBC registered almost 60,000 .CA domain names. In 2000, the registration of .CA was then transferred over to the newly formed Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). Since 2000, almost 1.1 million .CA domain names have been registered. Compared to almost 80 million .COM domain names registered, this doesn't seem like much, but it does mean that there are many good .CA domain names still available!
John Demco and Webnames.ca were widely featured in the media including the following:
- April 2008 - CBC Radio One - John Demco discusses the history and growth of the dot-ca domain with Stephen Quinn on CBC Radio One "Sounds Like Canada"
(MP3 file for download here)
- April 2008 - Global TV BC - Webnames.ca celebrates 1 million dot-ca domain registrations
- April 2008 - CTV Canada AM - John Demco Interview with Colleen Christie regarding Million .CA milestone
In June, John J. Swift joined our Board of Directors. John is a lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia, with an independent practice centered on organizing, financing and advising knowledge-based businesses, and on technology transfer from public institutions and universities. Having served as Counsel to Microtel Pacific Research Ltd., NCompass Labs, Apparent Networks Inc., CellFor Inc., as a Director of BioFoture Fund and as Counsel to and as a Director of NeuroMed Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ultrasonix Medical Corporation, Connotative Intelligence Corporation and Spark Integration Inc., John has brought extensive knowledge and experience to Webnames.ca
Autumn brought us to the 21st anniversary of the .CA domain extension which was founded
by our own John Demco, co-founder and Director of Webnames.ca. John has become known as the Godfather of .CA. He was honoured in September by the University of British Columbia (UBC) for creating the .ca country code top-level domain for Canada and managing it on a volunteer basis for more than 13 years. The Department of Computer Science at UBC has named its undergraduate computing learning facility "The Demco Student Learning Centre". The name is a tribute to John's tremendous achievements, his foresight in preserving a uniquely Canadian identity on the World Wide Web and his positive impact on the reputation of UBC in this field.
Related media at:
- September 10, 2008 - Vancouver Sun - "UBC Names Learning Centre After .CA 'Godfather'"
- September 9, 2008 - UBC Media Release - "Former UBC Staff Honoured for Foresight of Creating Canadian Online Identity"
Also in September, Webnames.ca sponsored, helped organize and participated in Vancouver's first annual Canary Derby. Along with approximately 20 other technology companies, the Webnames.ca team built and raced a soap box car to raise money in support of the Canary Foundation. The Canary Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the goal of identifying cancer early through a simple blood test and then isolating it with imaging.
The event raised over $110,000 for early cancer detection for the Canary Foundation of Canada and the BC Cancer Foundation. Webnames.ca was the top fundraiser for the event, raising almost $15,000 - we beat our goal by more than two thousand dollars. See http://www.webnames.ca/canaryderby.aspx for a video of the event.
In October, Webnames.ca became an official .TEL registrar. .TEL is the new domain extension that provides individuals and companies with a single point of contact where they can securely store, update and share contact information. .TEL received a great deal of media coverage in newspapers across country, on radio and television and the buzz and interest in this new extension are growing stronger.
.TEL is being rolled out in three phases. Sunrise, the first phase, is specifically for trademark holders and launched December 3, 2008. Landrush is available to everyone, at a premium price, and is open from from February 3 - March 23, 2009. General registration opens March 24, 2009. Webnames.ca is taking applications now for all 3 phases. Visit www.webnames.ca/tel.
Webnames.ca was honoured to be named to the PROFIT W100 for the 5th year in a row in November. As well, COO, Cybele Negris was also featured in the 'New Pioneers: Stories of 100 B.C. Women Entrepreneurs' Book.
In December, Webnames.ca acquired Montreal-based registrar Papa.ca. Papa.ca was previously a wholly owned subsidiary of Linnk Technologies, a full service web development company. Papa.ca was a CIRA certified registrar only offering .CA domain names.
Throughout 2008 we improved our growing suite of products and services. In addition to the .ASIA and .TEL domain extensions we launched Webnames Privacy, Multi-Year SSL certificates and upgraded our email offering.
Our Better Business Bureau record continues to have zero complaints year after year. And best of all, we took on 7 amazing and dedicated new staff members: Dave in web development, Rami in customer support, Jessie and Robbie in sales, Nikolai in Systems Administration, Lisa in project management and Emma as our office administrator. Our customer support department was named finalist in the BC Contact Centre of the Year awards.
What's ahead for 2009?
Webnames.ca will be moving to 21 Water St. from 322 Water St. in January 2009.
Look for Webnames.ca to continue to grow, offer you new products and services, exciting contests, continued exemplary support and increased community involvement. Stay tuned. We've only just begun.
If you have feedback on what services you would like to see Webnames.ca offer, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.