There are a lot of interesting sub-stories behind the big Internet land rush that has been the gTLD application process. This week, ICANN released its big list of the gTLDs that were applied for during the application window, as well as the companies that applied for them. Google applied for as many as 101 of them, and Amazon applied for 76, many of which were in direct competition with Google. Facebook, on the other hand didn't apply for any.
Demand Media's story has been a pretty interesting one, having applied for 26 on a standalone basis, with the potential to acquire others from Donuts, thanks to a partnership between the two companies. The really interesting part about Demand Media's applications, however, are the actual gTLDs they chose to apply for, particularly those related to the armed services and political parties. Such gTLDs include: .airforce, .army, .navy, .democrat and .republican. You can see the full list here.
It turns out that Demand Media's choices were driven purely by data, much like other parts of the company's business practices have been historically. Demand Media made a name for itself by producing content based on what data shows is in demand. Presumably, that's where the company's name comes from. Based on comments made by a spokesperson, Demand Media approached its gTLD application strategy in a very similar way.
Leyla Farah, speaking on behalf of Demand Media, talked to TheDomains.com, and explained the approach, when asked about the company's choices to apply for gTLDs directly related to the armed services and political parties.
According to the site, Farah said: "Our entire portfolio of gTLD applications were all grounded in the same data-driven process. We analyzed all of the data we could find to determine which words people were consistently using to navigate through their digital world. Many of the most interesting words capture a universal sense of personal or professional identity, or are words that have come to define large and important ideas around the world. Ideas like 'democrat' and 'army' and 'actor' represent global, vibrant communities that naturally gravitate to one another using shared language and experiences. They are universal ideas that aren’t limited to any single entity like an armed service or political party in a single country — in fact they are often used generically (e.g., 'Arnie’s Army' etc.). Because of the universality and generic nature of of these words, there really aren’t grounds for objection by anyone.”
In other Demand Media news, the company's President and CFO, Charles Hilliard is stepping down, while the company has reaffirmed its guidance for Q2.