All posts by Andy Churley

Andy is CMO of Famous Four Media. An expert in generic Top Level Domains (TLD), brand protection and IT Security, Andy is responsible for all strategic and operational marketing activities including marketing communications, market research, product management, product research and development and strategic alliances. Before joining Famous Four Media, Andy worked as Group Marketing Director and Head of Products for NetNames Group Ltd., the largest corporate domain name registrar in Europe. With more than 20 years of experience in Marketing and Product Management, Andy holds a BEng. in Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Andy is a Chartered Engineer, a European Engineer and is also a Chartered IT Professional.

Science and Madness

The clock is ticking down and I am waiting with baited breath. Things in the coloring in department at Famous Four Media are in a frenzy, yet every five minutes I look up from my screen at the clock and mutter something under my breath.

science_banner_8

To others, I must appear to be a crazed support techie temporarily escaped from the FFM development dungeon, but if they could hear my utterances it would become immediately obvious that I am a not one of the ripped jeans and scruffy T-shirt brigade. For a start, I am not endlessly repeating the tech support mantra of “Have you tried switching it off and on again?”

No, I’ve been infected with ‘TLDementia.’ Fortunately, it’s a rare disease of the mind known only to affect multi-TLD applicants. It is a mutation of the malady which afflicts teenage girls around the time of a new boy band album or concert tour, and I’ve caught it!

I’ve gone raving bonkers over the .SCIENCE gTLD. I have posters of .SCIENCE on the walls in my bedroom (my wife is none too impressed); I wear .SCIENCE branded clothing – garish colored socks mainly and sequined bomber jackets; I smile inanely all of the time thinking about .SCIENCE and, when I am with my other .SCIENCE besotted friends, we make a noise like 1,000 broody hens who are all laying eggs at the same time.

So why am I so enamored with .SCIENCE? It’s quite simple really. The scientific community is vast, inclusive, driven by discovery and adventure and is determined to make the world a better place.

science_banner_7

Everyone is a scientist, everyone!

I remember the awe I felt when I first encountered Whit Diffie’s and Martin Hellman’s mathematically beautiful solution to a problem that was thousands of years old … exchanging the keys that lock and unlock secret messages securely.

I vividly recall the birth of my children via C-section , a scientific medical procedure that only became possible some 120 years ago, prior to which time the procedure always resulted in the death of the mother.  And I still smile today when I remember my first child discovering gravity for the first time as she repeatedly dropped a spoon from her high chair, watching it fall and then laughing like a loon when I had to keep picking it up.

Let your copyspace tell families the good news

So I’m glad I am infected by .SCIENCE, it’s a great domain ending with huge potential for all the right reasons.

And, as I look up at the clock and whisper to myself “Not long now.”I am delighted and proud that Famous Four Media will be bringing it to the world on 24th February 2015 @ 15h00 UTC. The same day, coincidentally, that NASA launched scientific space shuttle Discovery for the final time in 2011.

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Why new-style web addresses are right for your business

If you could go back to the start of the Internet armed with the knowledge you have now what domain names would you buy to support your business?

Nine out the first 10 domain names registered were company names, but the Internet has changed dramatically with the advent of search engines. Nowadays, the most trafficked websites are those containing keywords. Compare the search queries for the following term: Nike, Sport and Football. Despite Nike spending billions of dollars and years of effort in building global brand recognition, the generic terms get nearly three times as many search engine queries.

The good news is that the Internet is changing, hundreds of Top Level Domain suffixes (the letters to the right of the final dot, e.g. .com, .net or .org) are launching. So now you can go back to the beginning all over again and get the domains you wish you had registered for your business.

Logo on wall_7cm_1024x700

Registering a new style domain name can help you support and drive your business in the following ways:

  • New- style domain names offer up one of the rarest of business opportunities, entry into a brand new but mature market.
  • Registering new-style domain names based upon popular key-words relating to your business helps drive relevant traffic to your websites e.g. www.industrial-rivets.trade, www.steelpipe.bid
  • With an average cost-per-click of ‘paid search’ approaching $1 per action, a new-style keyword domain name costing $30.00 per year that boosts your organic search results delivers almost instantaneous return on investment.

 

Three business focused, new-style Top Level Domains that can drive your business online.

bid_trade_webcam_horizontal_1

.BID

.BID is the new top level domain name to be used to buy, sell, swap or bid on anything on the Internet.  Owning a .BID web address will position you perfectly to access the hundreds of millions of people that participate in online auctions. Whether you are looking globally, nationally or locally, with a .BID domain name you will find a ready market. With $35Bn changing hands in online auctions in the UK, and nearly ten times that amount in the USA there is definitely a buyer for your products or someone selling the thing you are looking to buy.

Examples of .Bid owners: auction houses, global, national or local marketplace sites, bidding clubs, auction forums or communities, anybody looking to sell anything online

Add a new dimension to your business and create a bidding war for your products with a .BID domain

.TRADE

Stocks and shares, bitcoins, cars, stamps, stickers and clothing: online trading in any goods and services is big business – the biggest business! The new .TRADE top level domain allows local businesses to enter the global arena and bring their products to a truly international audience. A .TRADE web address clearly announces your desire to do business to the world.

Examples of .Trade owners: Forex / Stocks / Oil brokers / foreign exchange, trading education communities, Trading card clubs (magiccard.trade), Fair Trade promotors  (fair.trade), Small medium business owners looking to expand internationally.

.TRADE is the natural home for start-up businesses, high-growth industries and emergent international trade.

.WEBCAM

According to Cisco, by 2018, video will represent 79% of the world’s internet traffic*. Even today, more and more businesses are including recorded video and live online webcams into their daily business operations. Video traffic on the Internet will be so prolific that it would take an individual over 5 million years to watch all the video data that will cross global IP networks in 1 month.

Undoubtedly, a proportion of this video data will be individuals chatting with friends, looking for love or other late night entertainments, people checking out potential vacation spots or the weather at a favourite skiing resort. However, webcam channels and live video chat add a new dimension to cost effective business operations that has been absent until today. Using online live video to showcase products or to provide the next level in customer support will set businesses apart from the competition.

The huge change in the Internet naming system coupled with the whole-scale rise in the percentage of internet traffic that is video, means a massive overall change in the way in which the Internet is used as we know it today. For individuals, this will be a smooth change in usage which is almost organic. For businesses, which have established patterns of communications with investors, customers and suppliers it is likely to be a more abrupt and conscious change.

Businesses are combining the opportunities that the new-style internet domain names bring with a change to their communications outreach by supporting their go-to-market strategies with a relevant new style keyword domain name such as .WEBCAM  For example www.sheetmetalwork.webcam , www.weldingadvice.webcam or www.highspeedmanufacturing.webcam.

Examples of .Webcam owners:  Events webcams, Corporate video blogs, corporate customer support, weather, landmarks and tourist attractions, online adult entertainment,

Get your talent recognised with webcam concerts, screen tests and live broadcasts and share your day – every day as it happens on your  .WEBCAM website

 

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

 

 

Lights.. WebCam ..Action: How absolutely anyone can be a movie mogul nowadays!

You know Peter Jackson right? .. Movie director extraordinaire? The guy that wrote the screenplay, directed  and produced the Lord of the  Rings trilogy? The kiwi fella that followed that epic up with King Kong and The Hobbit and the awesome animation, the Adventures of Tintin? …yeah that guy!

Well, I’ve long been an admirer of his since I first saw an early movie of his called ‘Bad Taste‘.  This is a ‘cult classic’, a ‘B movie’ epic made in the 1980s, 30 years after the  golden age of  B Movies. The genius of this film is in its kitsch nature, its unashamed low budget, low brow, low quality production coupled with a solid plot and an admirable   tenacity that it took to get this movie from script-to-screen.

It took Peter Jackson 4 years of  filming (usually at weekends) and an overall budget of $25,000 to complete this B Movie masterpiece. That’s $271 per on-screen minute. Compare that with $421,500 per on-screen minute for the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Nowadays, even Jackson’s measly $271 per minute might seem rather excessive, due to the huge advances in movie making technology. With a couple of GoPros or other brand webcams and some cheap video and audio editing software the results can be, we think, rather impressive.

This video was recorded when  the Famous Four Media team had a bit of fun one Friday evening. But it was fully edited and up on YouTube on Monday afternoon.

So what does this mean for businesses?

According to Cisco, by 2018, video will represent 79% of the world’s internet traffic*. Even today, more and more businesses are including recorded video and live online webcams into their daily business operations.

Today, companies can produce business boosting product videos, customer support  videos and other promotional live or animated material in hardly any time at all and for hardly any money.

Short 30 – 60 second video clips can be written, performed, edited and published in a morning. A 30 second ‘video-byte’ does far more to determine customer’s purchase decision than a brochure, repeated  telephone calls or even a shiny promotional gift. This short .TRADE registry promotional clip cost less than $50 to make and all but $8 was in labor costs.:

We created this final clip, about the launch of Famous Four Media’s first 3 Registries, to allow website visitors to feel more engaged with the business and understand a bit more about the ‘ethos’ and ‘culture’ of enterprise as well as feeling closer to the people in it.

So what’s the lesson here?

The lesson is simple: it doesn’t matter if you are a multi-billion dollar business or a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) you can make your business stand out with webcam-style video content.  Your website visitors will return more often, they will feel more connected, and more positive about doing business with you and your organisation.

It doesn’t cost very much, the results with your customers can be incredible and, with a .WEBCAM web address not only is there an almost unlimited number of subjects you can feature, you get  feedback on the visitors coming to your website specifically to access your video content. So why not WEBCAM THE WORLD?

webcam_new_slide1

Ref: * Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013 – 2018

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

 

.BID for Small Businesses

Globally, businesses are sitting on over $8 trillion excess inventory* (manufactured products that are sitting in warehouses waiting for a buyer). To put that in perspective, that is equivalent to the gross domestic product of China.

For manufacturing businesses around the world, the majority of which are Small or Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), it is desirable and often essential to be able to turn over stock as often as possible. Unsold stock is cash drain on manufacturing businesses, pushing up the overall cost of manufacture though storage costs. In addition, excess stock contributes to reduced profit margins, since excess stock is often sold at low margins provide cash to keep production lines running.

Fortuneteller

In recent years, due to the global economic downturn, businesses have seen stock levels rise to unprecedented levels. For example, in 2009, semiconductor stock levels rose from $3.8 billion to $10.2 billion within the space of 3 months, putting a serious strain on the industry and its suppliers.

Excess inventory is usually sold, often at a significant price reduction, to online and offline discount retailers.   Middlemen such as brokers and wholesale distributors provide services to place excess inventory with different customers around the world.  A number of middlemen are virtual electronic marketplaces which auction overstocked goods online.  However, after a period of continued economic downturn, most such marketplaces have discontinued operations due to a failure to realize their business plan.

With the introduction of new style web addresses, where the letters after the final dot can be almost anything, manufacturing businesses are beginning to use these low -cost, new extensions as a means of creating an easily found, online space where they can dispose of excess inventory directly to a consumer with no brokerage or distribution fees or costly pay-per-click advertising.

New style web addresses using exact search terms rather than company names, differentiate websites and make them easy to find online. For example www.electronic-components.bid or www.excess-welding-consumables.bid match a user’s search engine query and inform the user that they could bag a bargain at auction.

For the manufacturing business, having a direct link to the buyer is beneficial as it permits the opportunity to build a longer term relationship which will help smooth out undesirable lumpy manufacturing cycles. However, just as importantly, it allows businesses to retain control over how much inventory to release, at what time and at what price.

So, SME manufacturing businesses looking to exert more control over stock levels should consider a new-style .BID web address to let the world know that they have product to sell and are prepared to deal.

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

 


 

*according to a report by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

How to .TRADE with the BRICs

Logo on wall_2 600px

The term BRIC nations refers to a grouping of the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are considered to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development. Although considered to be ‘new’ economies, BRIC nations have a combined economic power nearly twice that of the USA. BRIC nations are looking to trade with the entire world and the world is looking to trade with the BRICs.

In BRIC nations, for the millions of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), international trade often begins on the Internet and,with no legacy investment in .COMs. The BRIC nations are happy to registering new style exact match keyword web addresses. There has already been a surge in adoption by the BRIC nations of new-style web addresses with a strong showing in the newly launched .TRADE registry.

So, SMEs wanting trade internationally should consider a new-style .TRADE web address to tell everyone they are ‘open for business’.

For example consider:

    • www.sheet-metalwork.trade,
    • www.industrialrivets.trade 
    • www.electrical-components.trade.

As a way of getting your businesses in front of customers looking online for the products you produce.

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Surprise surprise! The Internet is changing!

Ninety percent of the first domain names registered were company names, but over the years browsing habits have changed and search engines index ‘what you do’ not just who you are. Nowadays, the most trafficked websites are those containing keywords.

The good news is that the Internet is changing, hundreds of new Top Level Domain suffixes (the letters to the right of the final dot, e.g. .com, .net or .org) are launching. So now business and individuals can go back to the beginning all over again and get the domains that they wish they had registered your business back at the start of it all.

The world in pictures

According to Cisco, by 2018, video will represent 79% of the world’s internet traffic*. Even today, more and more businesses are including recorded video and live online webcams into their daily business operations.

Personal and corporate online broadcasting (webcamming) is more popular now than it has ever been. The Internet allows anyone the opportunity to be a “star” in their own right and enables businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition through the use of live streaming video.

With over half of all IP traffic originating from non-PC devices by 2018*, mobile devices are set to be the default means of internet communication and where mobile devices go so do their webcams. Video traffic on the Internet will be so prolific that it would take an individual over 5 million years to watch all the video data that will cross global IP networks in 1 month.

Undoubtedly, a proportion of this video data will be individuals chatting with friends, looking for love or other late night entertainments, people checking out potential vacation spots or the weather at a favourite skiing resort. However, webcam channels and live video chat add a new dimension to cost effective business operations that has been absent until today.  Using online live video to showcase products or to provide the next level in customer support will set businesses apart from the competition.

So what does it all mean?

The huge change in the Internet naming system coupled with the whole-scale rise in the percentage of internet traffic that is video, means a massive overall change in the way in which the Internet is used as we know it today. For individuals, this will be a smooth change in usage which is almost organic. For businesses, which have established patterns of communications with investors, customers and suppliers it is likely to be a more abrupt and conscious change. Businesses will have to adapt to the opportunities that the new-style web addresses bring as well as changing the nature of its internal and external communications strategies to cope with the demand for video.  Businesses are combining the opportunities that the new-style internet domain names bring with a change to their communications outreach by supporting their go-to-market strategies with a relevant new style keyword domain name such as .WEBCAM  For example www.sheetmetalwork.webcam , www.weldingadvice.webcam or www.highspeedmanufacturing.webcam.

 

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Andy Churley CMO at Famous Four Media

Sun and Science – a potent combination

I’ve just finished my meeting with the G-WIS and, having just escaped from the 21st Century light starved dungeon that is Techno Corner, I feel the need of a little sun. So I step onto the promenade, outside the Famous Four Media offices, and look at the mega yachts moored in the Ocean Village Marina.  By far the most impressive is “Octopus”, this one of the yachts owned by Paul Allen (he of Microsoft fame). Octopus is 414 foot (126 m) long and believed to be the largest expedition yacht around.

Ocean_village_2

Ocean Village Promenade on a “Poor Day”

Now it’s no secret, in the Famous Four Media offices, that I am a fan of boats. I grew up sailing with my father in the (usually) cold and blustery, but occasionally utterly magnificent Solent and now that I am living on a small peninsular almost totally surrounded by water, covered in sunshine and blessed with favorable winds I really miss not having a boat here.

Not that ‘Octopus’ is in my price bracket  (it cost over $200m), neither is either one of the two helicopters that are kept on board, nor even the ‘tiny’ 63 foot (19m) tender “Man of War”which is kept inside the hull of the ship and certainly not the two (yes two) submarines. I may possibly be able to stretch to one of its many jet skis though.

So why do I love this vessel? It’s not just the fact that (speaking as a coloring in guy) its hull is almost the same shade of blue as the Famous Four Media corporate colors. Nor is it the fact that this ship is totally and unashamedly over the top. It’s the fact that, despite all the ‘gee whizzes’ (such as the jet ski dock complete with bar and hot tub)  and ‘ohmygoshes’ (such as the basketball court) on this boat, Mr Allen regularly loans this vessel out for scientific research initiatives and exploration projects.

Kid2

To me, this epitomises the nature of science in its purest essence. Science may mean many things to many people, it is after all one of the broadest churches, but to me, science is about discovery; it is about inclusion; it is about excitement and it is about sharing:

  • When my kids discover how to do something new for the first time, I share in their delight – Science!
  • When I hear engine of the 52 year old MGB roadster, that I helped fix, splutter back into life, it puts a smile on my face – Science!
  • When we do something that the human race has never done before, not from necessity but from desire, it makes me feel like a kid again– Science!

That is why I get so passionate about Famous Four Media’s .SCIENCE gTLD. There is finally a place on the Internet where scientists young or old, amateur or professional, rich or poor can share their passion and excitement for discovery with others.

Flower2

It really doesn’t matter that you are 5 years old and have just build your first working paper aeroplane – share the design with the world. Or that, as a professional scientist, you have just discovered an improved treatment for Alzheimer’s – we’d love to know.

I am reminded of the story of Francis Crick (a Nobel prize winning scientist) who, on the 28th of February 1953 burst into the Eagle public house in Cambridge and interrupted patrons enjoying their pub lunches to announce the he and James Watson had “discovered the secret of life” after they had discovered the structure of DNA.

Had he owned a .SCIENCE web address he could have let the entire world know – and I (and hopefully millions of others around the world) would have celebrated with him.

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Andy Churley CMO at Famous Four Media

 

Interview with Andy Churley, Famous Four Media

The revolution of new generic top level domains has started. At present, 15 TLDs are already available to the public (.bike, .guru, .estate etc.). One of the most active new Registry Operators is Famous Four Media (FFM). FFM was set up in 2011 by a small group of recognized domain name experts and successful financiers. They operate 60 gTLD applications, which include some of the most interesting domain suffixes, such as .accountant, .bid, .date, .download, .faith, .loan, .men, .review, .science, .trade, .webcam and .win.

To read the rest of this interview click here

Andy Churley CMO at FFM

Andy Churley CMO, Famous Four Media

 

Is Rihanna ready for the New Internet?

As I look out of the window of the Famous Four Media office, I can tell you that it’s a warm and sunny day here today. In all honesty, it’s usually sunny in Gibraltar even during the bleakest of February mornings. But despite the beautiful weather, it’s the day I least look forward to every week – Technical meeting day!

Once a week, whether we need it or not, I resolutely make my way down to ‘Technical corner’ aware that, with every step I take, it’s getting just a shade gloomier. What is it about Techies that make them fear the light? With all of the blinds down, the technical office is in permanent darkness only punctuated by the glow of over-sized monitors, displaying text that’s way too small, in mismatched fluorescent colors that would make an online marketer weep with despair. Its occupants scurry around like naked mole rats, clearly using senses other than sight to navigate the vast array of desks loaded with boxes, wires, keyboards and other computer paraphernalia too complicated to identify.

“What’s going on?” I ask Famous Four Media’s Great Wizard of Internet Stuff (G-WIS). I can see from his frown, illuminated by the pale glow from one of his many monitors that something is clearly up.

“We’re all worried about Rihanna!” He replies, clearly flustered. “We’ve been discussing it all morning and we’re not sure she’ll get her name in Sunrise.”

Evidently NOT www.rihanna.webcam

Now I don’t profess to know a lot about Internet nerdism but I do know one thing: all of them, without exception, consider Rihanna to be the hottest thing since WiFi.

“Oh is that all!” I cry, thankful that it is nothing serious, such as our websites going down or that our wireless toaster is burning the toast. Clearly I’ve said the wrong thing.

“But that means someone else might get Rihanna.webcam!” Exclaims another techie, distraught.

In order to calm him down, I explain about the Trademark Clearing House (TMCH). It’s actually quite straightforward, when a registry launches, it is obliged to start off in what is called the Sunrise Phase. In this phase only trademark holders, with names lodged in the TMCH, are allowed to register a domain name matching their mark exactly.

“So,” I continue, “if Rihanna wants to make sure that only she gets www.rihanna.webcam, all she has to do is pop her Trademark in the TMCH and wait for the .WEBCAM registry to launch. Then bingo she grabs rihanna.webcam!”

“Does she have a trademark?” I ask the G-WIS slyly, trying to catch him out

“I don’t know ,” he says simply, turning back to his screen. “I’ll ask her.”