WordPress.com owner Automattic is making .blog available to the general public as of 21 November, following a somewhat controversial landrush period.
Earlier this month, the registry opened domain registrations to non-trademark owners for the seven-day landrush period, but was accused of pre-registering and keeping the best keywords for itself.
Automattic responded to the criticism on 17 November, stating that it had an opportunity to register up to 100 domain names, though it claimed it had offered some of these domains to third parties.
The company said that it had also offered a list of 25 “very generic domains” to its WordPress.com business, so that they could be “shared for free among millions of users instead of being owned by single entities”.
Further, it said: “As a registry, we can decide to reserve as many domains as we want.”
“We reserved all one-, two- and three-character domains from being registered by anyone and will probably release them in the future. In addition, we allowed employees of our parent company, Automattic, many of whom are bloggers and passionate about blogging, to reserve a single domain each, some of which were first names.”
Automattic paid $19 million for .blog in 2015.