Wednesday, December 28, 2011

KENIC hits 20,000 .KE Domains!

Kenya's .KE domain namespace hit 20,000 on 27th December and has added another 71 domains in the last 3 days which means KENIC is steadily stumbling forward, adding new registrants. There is a lingering feeling in the Kenyan internet community that these numbers would be much higher if the domains were affordable. At a minimum of $27 for .co.ke domains (the crown jewel in the .ke namespace), it's still beyond the reach of many users.

The Kenyan namespace has been growing on an average of 700-900 domains per month this year, so if the growth rate is to remain constant, we can expect 30,000 domains in the .KE namespace by the end of 2012. Well that's quite optimistic :) but I hope KENIC will come with more marketing, promotions and price reductions in 2012 to boost uptake of the .KE domains. After all the new gTLDs are coming into the market and many Kenyans are also realizing that they can acquire gTLDs and other "repurposed" ccTLDs like .me at a relatively low cost.

So there's already stiff competition in the domain market and users have choices; what wins out is how the particular domain is marketed to get users know why it's is a differentiating factor. .KE, as the ccTLD for the country has value, but consumers need to be aware of what's in it for them. This kind of communication, together with merciful pricing I believe, will drive .KE registration much faster and even beat my very optimistic prediction above.

On other news, I met the first  Kenyan domainer last week and we had tons of discussions on the .KE domains; It was quite interesting and we learnt a lot from each other.  I hope I can meet more Kenyan domainers to share ideas and insights. If you are interested in organizing the first Kenyan domaining meetup, please hit me up and let's get this rolling! Otherwise, am wishing a happy and fruitful 2012 to everyone! Let it be a serious, profitable domaining year :)

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