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Wishful thinking will not change how domain names are used

Wishful thinking by many people in the domain name industry will not change how domain names have been used in the past, how they are used now and how they will be used in the future.

Domain names are what they are. A great domain name can help a company and even make it grow exponentially. It can bring traffic and huge branding benefits.

But a single domain can’t bring disruption in an industry by itself. More cars will not be sold in the world just because a company bought cars.com. But the company that buys Cars.com may sell more cars and crush a similar competitor if used right. More people will not access the internet just because New gTLDs launched in 2014. More people will not love horses or visit more horse websites just because .horse launched.

Worst thing you can do is convince yourself that New gTLDs will bring or are bringing any kind of disruption or innovation in the domain name space and the internet.

No.

Worst thing you can do is convince yourself that these new domains are going to be used in some newfound and exciting way.

No.

New gTLDs are going to be used just like domain names have been used in the past 25+ years. And they will evolve with the rest of the domain name space in the future. People will type them (or not) and click on them (or not) and get to a website. Just because you can convince yourself that credit.cards looks better than creditcards.com that alone will not change how people use the internet or how effective marketing campaigns will be. We had “New” gTLDs in 2001 and 2002. That didn’t change the internet.

New gTLDs are here to cover a certain portion of the market. To give more choice to some people that are looking for cheaper and more readily available domains than an expensive .com. That is wherever that is possible because some new extensions are priced well over aftermarket .com domains and in many cases well over the .com usual $10 price in retail.

No. New gTLD are not going to get website owners more advertisers or more traffic or more of anything. They will bring the same (at most) as other domains if used right. There is nothing new and magical in New gTLDs. Use them right and you will get the expected results. Nothing more, nothing less. And the expected results are currently below the expected results from a .com. This doesn’t mean that New gTLDs have no value. Just like .net and .org had a place in the domain name system for years and some value.

If you really want to change how people use and think of domain names then you need to work hard, to educate and to promote domain names. All domain names. Change will then come slowly.

And by the way is you want to promote your domain names, the single worst thing to do it is say that the domains that have been here for 25+ years are bad, old-fashioned and dead. That is like saying cars are old-fashioned, here, buy my car instead…

And here is an example…

I had a conversation on Twitter today with a known domain name investor. He said that .app is going to be big with consumers in 5 years from now and that a big percentage of apps will be using a .app website.

I say: no way. First of all a big percentage of apps means nothing in terms of consumer usage or engagement. Nobody visits an app website. Nobody. I have only visited 2 or 3 ever and that was to see who the developer was, how they were making the app and how I could potentially buy the complete app to develop and resell.

The point is that even if all apps were using a .app domain name that wouldn’t mean that consumers would suddenly start loving app websites. Consumers have no use for these websites and they have demonstrated that in the past 10 years. We need no more proof and no false hope. Most app websites are used as a reference point displaying some basic app and contact info. They are rarely updated and there is no usage by consumers or engagement. The .app extension can’t and will not change that. Thinking that somehow consumers will find new interest in these app websites while they offer no new info or services is nothing more than wishful thinking. People have not been visiting xxxxxxxapp.com websites and will continue (not) doing so if the website is moved to a .app.

BTW, Google paid $25 million for the .app extension in February 2015. 2+ years later and there not any real plans yet. They are still working on plans. Launch could be in 2018 or even in 5 years from now. The purchase was mostly a vanity play by Google and of course to keep competitors like Amazon or potentially Apple away from it. But they clearly didn’t have plans for it. It will be nearly impossible make money selling .app domains as they must be cheap and there only so many developers in the world. Maybe they simply use it for marketing purposes (but as I said not really effective or wanted as consumers don’t use these websites).

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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45 comments

  1. The New G’s are “innovative”, however they should not be considered as a “disruptive innovation”…There is a difference.

    • There is nothing innovative about them. It is an old technology revisited.

      • Wikipedia:

        “Innovation can be defined simply as a “new idea, device or method.”

        VS.

        “A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances.”

        If we are going debate by English definitions the New G’s are INNOVATIVE, but not DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION. Innovation can come in small steps, it does not mean newly invented. Disruptive innovation is an entirely different animal………Being very interested in everything technology such as VR/AR, drones, computers and software I am well aware of these definitions and the importance. The difference is measured in $billions….

      • What is innovative about New gTLDs?

    • “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”— Theodore Levitt

  2. The word I’m looking for after reading this is “Alternatives”, new gTLD’s are “Alternatives”. That one word is the best and shortest way, to sum up a lot of the debates some people have regarding them. Just like .net and .org, eventually, with enough traction and interest, they will slowly start to accumulate value. I wouldn’t hold my breath though, look how long it took some of the other popular extensions to build up a fraction of the value .com’s have. Even with that in mind, some of them aren’t worthless (Premiums), and others can be developed to build some value.

    • I am not saying New gTLDs have no value at all. Some good ones have value.
      Even a fraction of the .com value could be enough for most people.
      But New gTLDs are not the second coming that many people claim to be witnessing.

    • With most things, especially health, alternatives are the BEST solutions, but with New gTLDs, they are the worst! Imagine that!

  3. Great post, I had tweeted this out 3 hours ago,

    Stop saying new gtlds are an innovation. They are simply more options, greater choice, they are not innovation. #Domains

    Spot on Konstantinos

  4. Good piece, Konstantinos.

    As the domain industry advances, it seems like the history of the automotive industry may serve as a decent analogy.

    At the turn of the 20th century, there were only a few major players (Mercedes, Ford, and Olds). Then there were something like 500 new entrants within the next decade or so. Then there was a shakeout, and massive consolidation occurred.

    But by 1913 (about 20 years after the first real production car was sold), Ford had an 80% market share – despite the massive number of competitors. By 1929 three companies (combined) held 80% market share: GM, Ford, and Chrysler, and only 45 car companies remained in the industry.

    Fast forward to today, and cars are as popular as ever, and the top-5 companies in the market in order are:

    – Toyota
    – VW
    – GM
    – Kia
    – Ford

    So even though Ford and GM are still leaders, and still very much alive after a full century, neither of them would be considered the ‘gold standard’ in the sense that dot-com is to the domain name industry today. And even though ‘everyone who was anyone’ in the US drove a Ford in the early 1900s – just like every important company uses a dot-com for its website today -, things evolved over time.

    • I’ve used this exact example in several past posts, being in he auto space for 26 years I’ve witnessnesed market share grow and split . More buyers and more of fractional market share ownership among companies .

      New G’S are not innovative they are alternatives to a growing internet . More users added daily . New users .

      If I were looking for a new app I heard about … teenchat or bogieman I would use voice search or type in search in google if teenchat.app came up verse teenchat.com or anything else I would be inclined to click the .app he new g’s do help sort the results if used correctly .

      There is a secondary market evolving we have sold over 250k of non com names in the last year . And we get 3-5k offers weekly . We are not in a hurry to sell . Names that we could turn 150 into 5k in a year is a good return but we are not flipping.

      We are looking at a longer term for the return we a speculating on. We have had offers of 50k on names we paid 12k for during eap and are not interested in selling at that price .

      • If I were looking for a new app I heard about … teenchat or bogieman I would use voice search or type in search in google if teenchat.app came up verse teenchat.com or anything else I would be inclined to click the .app he new g’s do help sort the results if used correctly .

        That is a very very small percentage that would do that. And most of them are domainers. Almost no one would recognize .app as an extension and certainly not a superior extension to .com.
        And of course you are not guaranteed to get the correct result if you click on the .app domain as you are implying.

        But less value than .com does not mean no value. Some good New GTLD domains have value.

    • Your analogy, while correct, does not in anyway relate to the domain name space. We use about 2000 words in our vocabulary. Those words are important to us and valuable. Some of us may learn other languages but many of us will not. We are creatures of habit. Someone is not going to change their language because there’s another language that is just as good. A car is just a car. It doesn’t matter who makes it as long as it’s easy for us to use and gets us to our destination. A language is like a family member that we will never give up, at least not easily. .com simply means “on the internet”. One of those 2000 words with a .com makes them not only valuable, but defining.

      • Point taken, although, I believe you intended to say 20,000 words and not 2000….

      • Normal Person (Graduate) = 5,000 to 6,000+ words
        http://www.answers.com/Q/How_many_words_in_an_average_vocabulary

        The words that are very valuable in .com, or any other extension, is around 2000 in my estimation.

      • There are many words outside the average vocabulary that have great value.

      • Totally agree Konstantinos but the greatest value in domain names have been in English, the language of commerce, and .com. That is the area of my expertise.

      • @Michael

        I fully respect your opinion when it comes to the domain name space. But as we were taught in law school, what you’ve said is equivalent to a demurrer; that is, even if everything you say regarding the 2,000 words is true (and it probably is), that doesn’t solidify the argument for ‘only dot-com.’

        There are almost 1.2 BILLION websites (http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/). Moreover, your reference to IoT – and the role that domain names will necessarily play in connecting devices to the internet – is also a fact that will require millions of domain names.

        So, then if those choice 2,000 dot-coms are long gone and in-use, which they most certainly are, then why would there by ‘no room’ for millions of other quality, non-dot-com names?

        If a startup needs a name today, by definition they’ll need to explore beyond the 2,000 names you refer to…because those are no longer available – in most cases at ANY COST.

        Granted that those 2,000 names continue to appreciate in value. I’m not doubting that. But what’s everyone else to do – especially with limited budgets?

        So you’ve made a great argument for the fact that there will continue to be an insatiable demand for those 2,000 dot-coms…but NOT that everything else is worthless, or not worth owning or trading in.

  5. Konstantinos,

    I suggest you suspend disbelief for a bit longer. The GDD Summit next week in Madrid is an opportunity for the new TLD operators to come together around a unified vision of how the new TLDs map to a “Smart Web” that is intuitive, personalized and secure, all connected via single-sign-on. It is a really big idea, and MMX is already on board with .LONDON, .BOSTON, .MIAMI, .LAW, .FIT and more to follow. This is the tip of the spear but I am more certain than ever that the web must become Smart. It will start with cities.

    Overall, I think exciting times ahead. The registrar channel alone and the old-school domainers will not be carrying the load. This is about fomenting a movement. To do that, DigitalTown is working in partnership with domain registries with established stakeholders for cities (e.g. municipality, chamber, destination marketing organization and civic leaders), and verticals (e.g. trade associations and industry leaders) to make it easier for individuals and service providers to benefit from each other.

    Stay tuned.

  6. Every electronic device and every person looking to connect or engage in commerce will need an IP number. Whether those numbers are attached to a domain name is irrelevant. It is obvious to me that domain names will have a vast and far-reaching future. The hierarchy in the domain name system will produce huge winners and losers because it is the gateway to everything and everyone. We think in words and will communicate with technology, in that language, through the internet.

  7. In the US, there has been a great and saddening dumbing down of society regarding domain names. People need to be educated and reeducated on the very basics: what is a domain name? How do they work? What are they useful for? How are they used? How do they relate to email? Why are they so valuable to society?

    Somewhere between five and less than ten years ago I even read an attorney I know writing briefly to someone else in a Facebook group having nothing to do with the industry something to the effect of saying she has not had any involvement with domain names because she didn’t really know or have any idea what it meant to own a name. When that subject briefly and surprisingly popped up I was of course particularly intrigued, as no one had any idea about what I was up to and into for that, and still don’t. I marveled at how she with such a personal and professional background in the USA could even say such a thing, and I knew how smart she was. She had even been the salutatorian of our high school back in the day, not to mention my date to our junior class prom. 🙂 For various reasons I won’t go into here I did not tell her that something few people ever even have a chance at was available for the taking – her very first name free to register for the taking in .com. How rare is that? It still is, all these years after this exchange occurred. Who would not jump on that in a society like this and with a background like that if they merely knew even just the very basics about domain names?

    The large, rich and powerful influential vested interests like Google have worked to bring about this very costly dumbing down.

    If we do that, this basic public education and reeducation, things may be very different, for the better. I mean for all of society, not just this industry, but definitely for all types of domain names in general including the new gTLDs.

    And that is where the sleeping comatose giant .US can revolutionize the world more effectively than any other TLD if the “powers that be” would merely be willing to awaken it, not only for .US, but for the entire concept and phenomenon of domain names and their relationship to the health and strength of the national and global economy. That TLD is the one that can spearhead such a revolution unlike any other, but to the benefit of all the others. That TLD is the one that calls for this very education and reeducation of the public that is needed from the top down, from the very mouths of the highest levels of government, not merely from the private sector.

    Do that at the national level, tapping into the national interest and national sense of patriotism, and all the TLDs, including the new and the old, can benefit far more far more quickly and far less expensively than any other way.

    • Thank you for your input.

      I still believe in .us even though Neustar does not and has given up. Not that they ever tried doing anything with it…

      • That’s the thing, Konstantinos: it has to begin with the public sector and not the private sector for this particular one, and for the all but certain vast enormous and lasting benefit that could result to all and to society in general as a result. It’s just like important public works and resources like highways, bridges and dams. This is the one that is uniquely positioned for and capable of that here in the USA, the one that calls for it like no other. Then the rising tide truly can lift all boats, everyone can win, everyone can be happy, everyone can share in all of it, and the public is more informed, more capable, more conducive to the economic health and strength of society, from the greatest among us to the least, and the benefits that could result from that. It’s not up to Neustar and does not depend on Neustar at all. It all begins and flows from Uncle Sam. (And of course, if I could colorize font here you would have the “U” and “S” there in blue and red for effect.)

      • It all starts with the registry. They have reserved names for the US government that they do nothing with them. Neustar should have been pushing these names to the government.
        If the registry doesn’t move an inch then don’t expect anyone else come running.

      • That is all very noble but exactly how do you suggest this is accomplished? And by whom? With what budget? “Re-education of the public” – this is not something that you can just “do”. The tasks you outline are enormous, expensive complicated to manage, and will take years. By the time any impact is had things will have changed again and god only knows where the domains industry will be. Also .us is only ever going to be of any interest in the USA. Outside of that country no-one will care, even if it is used as a pronoun to suggest inclusivity or community, in a similar fashion to .club. For the rising tide to lift all boats it would need to have global appeal.

      • The point of the post was not re-educating the public. That was a small part of it.
        But you want an idea then we can start baby steps with $100 million of the money ICANN has been hogging for years.

        And .us was mentioned in a comment. Not sure why .us shouldn’t do better… Just because it is a ccTLD?

      • Okay guys, I can’t stay to give this a proper reply right now, but I plan to later. And for the record, it takes a lot of conviction for me to use that oft used phrase, “That’s the thing.” I don’t normally say that otherwise. 🙂

      • In reply to Dan:

        It culd be a college course

        “Structure and Nomenclature of the Internet and World Wide Web”

        Obviously, people here can come up with a catchier title, but the above is just a starting point.

        Since every student in the world will be using the Internet during their studies and asking such questions as – what does DNS mean – What is a CName. What is a URL, etc.

        What do the prefixes right of the dot stand for

      • >”It all starts with the registry. They have reserved names for the US government that they do nothing with them. Neustar should have been pushing these names to the government.
        If the registry doesn’t move an inch then don’t expect anyone else come running.”

        Just very briefly now, you must reverse that when it comes to .US. That is why .US is so uniquely suited to bring about a renaissance not only for itself, but also for .com, net. org, the new gTLDs, and so on.

        With .US, it all starts with the government, not the registry. And just as only the government is in a position to take on expensive public ventures and works projects like bridges, damns and highways for the benefit and prosperity of all, it is the US government that from the beginning has always been the one that could have and should have done the same for .US – but at a cost of approximately $0 no less.

        Figuratively speaking, just as with so many other things in life all it has ever taken and would take now is nothing more than a word and a nod, along with action that in this case would cost nothing for all intents and purposes.

        You have even shown that in your heart you recognize this in some fashion, when you say “Neustar should have been pushing these names to the government,” though you are conditioned perhaps by being so experienced and expert with other parts of the industry to think the same requirement applies for .us as for the other TLDs. After all, it is only natural to think that. That is understandable, like a man who is deep within the forest and is an expert on how the forest works, which you doubtless are. But .US is the exception – the facts of life are reversed.

        The US government could have been doing this all along. But it is still not too late by any means, and in fact the time is just as ripe as it ever was.

        Does anyone live in a big major city here in the USA? You are probably familiar with this reality of life:

        Internet access and knowledgeable use of Internet access is considered vital to the health and strength of society as a whole and on an individual basis. From time to time you see a great public push in that direction by various means, such as affordable service for the less fortunate, for instance, or availability of public access locations.

        This truth is just as true at the macro national level too of course. And it is not for nothing that even in the private sector two of the greatest de facto (or in some cases no doubt intentional) enemies of DNS and domain names have made such a push for expanded or enhanced Internet access in their different ways, i.e. both “big G” and big “FB.”

        What if…

        What if the US government did what it could have done all this time and can still do, and I would suggest should do now?

        If the US government would in essence merely “say the word” and “walk some talk” to go with it re .US, here is the all but certain benefits to the country that would all but certainly result, God willing:

        1. The public relearns, rediscovers, and for some learns anew what domain names even are and how the Internet works, why such things are so important and valuable to society, and how they themselves from the greatest to the least of us can begin to use such things more knowledgeably in potentially super advantageous ways for all.

        2. Because of this expanded awareness, interest, and potentially beneficial uses from bottom to top, inexorably this public knowledge and public “literacy” redounds to the benefit all such phenomena, resulting in a new and welcome and desirable awareness and knowledge of all things Internet, especially .com, new gTLDs, and so forth.

        All of this can happen, could happen, should happen, and God willing would happen if they only spoke a few words as it were, and took a few practically cost-free steps. There is nothing to lose, and it is all but certain the only result could be gain nationwide, and beyond.

        But what is the situation and status quo now because of not having done this? It is virtually inconceivable. It is exactly what I also mentioned above: we have gone in reverse. People know far less now. They have far less useful and societally beneficial “literacy” – from the greatest to the least of us. I have witnessed it firsthand all these years and it has been totally needless and totally avoidable.

        Okay, well I guess that’s the “brief” version, and sorry if any typos up above. I’m just going to post this now without proofreading.

      • I pretty much know how .us works and also how Neustar works.
        I have been following it since 2002.
        And I also know that there is probably 0 people in the US government at the moment that know that Neustar has hundreds of reserved domains for them.
        I have a list of a lot of the reserved names. Neustar keeps saying it will do something (SOMETHING! – ANYTHING!) for years…
        Neustar is expecting all from the US government just like it does for .nyc.

      • For a brief but important and significant episode of my life prior to 2002, I worked for Uncle Sam. 🙂 I have also followed .US since 2002.

        Of course they know. At the top, that is, whereas no doubt even a vast number of federal employees either barely know .us exists or in some cases don’t even know at all now after all the years of what has been happening here. Of course they’ve known at the top from the start and no doubt even told Neustar exactly which such domains to reserve.

        All that would have been required to ignite .us from a small spark into vast flame at a cost of roughly $0 could have been done from the start and could be done now. Clearly, those in the position to do so have not wanted to. Why is a matter for another discussion. If it had happened on its own, however, that would have been something else.

        If they were willing to do it now, they could still do it now, and the all but certain result would be everything I described above: the entire country would benefit and become stronger, even the world, as well as .com, .net, .org, new gTLDs, and so on. It could be a whole new game changing new of positive benefit for everyone, everyone but those who do not wish to see any dilution of their own selfish grasp on power, wealth and influence no matter the cost to vast millions of others.

      • new game changing era*

  8. Konstantinos, I agree that they are not innovative. I also have my favorite gTLD and a slight interest in a few others as names for personal projects.

    I think that one thing that is useful to add to the debate is that gTLDs are interesting or perhaps even exciting to some people.

    There are different angles to look at them: innovative/not, exciting/interesting/not, domainer/investor/end user/hobbyist, an email tool/social media forwarder/ego booster/attention grabber, prime generic on a Not-com possibly great and memorable vs prime generic on a dot-useless or dot-ridiculous suffix, seo-destroyer vs seo opportunity….

    The list goes on. Innovative no. Exciting maybe. Novelty maybe.

    From a financial point of view, not all innovations make good business/investment sense and likewise not all things that are exciting make good investment/business sense.

    Recently I have been learning how to build apps and I’ve been playing around with Android Studio and I the .com I want for the app isn’t available… so I thought about getting a .app – Is this a terrible thought? I’m not sure but I’ve asked myself… “What’s my real need?” (Just a home on the web for a basic site/email and hopefully some SEO/marketing benefit) and the second question I ask is “What’s my alternative for a site if the .com/.net (I hate .net) etc. have all been taken?” (Unfortunately, I think the answer is either (a) pay 40k for the .com (b) change the name of the app/company and finally (c) maybe consider a new gTLD like a .app for reg fee).

    Not innovative but interesting/exciting from my POV. But again if the product (website/app) is really bad, it doesn’t matter what the domain is. But if the website content/app is really great… and it’s on a new gTLD, I think this changes the perception of the company and the new gTLD complements the great product/website making it seem even more edgier… not necessarily innovative. But adds to the marketing of the business and can possibly help it being seen as novel or as a risk taker with a great product…

    • Interesting.
      So what if the .app was $100 per year? Or $500? Or not available. What would your decision be then in these 3 situations?

      But my point is still that consumers will not really care about your website but rather for your app.
      (I hate .net as well!)

      • I most likely wouldn’t pay too much of a premium and I’m not even sure that .app would be best for the idea I have for an app… but I was considering it.

        As a domain investor, I’m irritated with premium renewals of any kind. I’m irritated with a regular renewal price of anything more than $10. Funny enough I’m also suspicious when they’re free/$1.99 – maybe they’ll boost the price on me?! Or maybe the TLD isn’t respected/respectable and will end up as a tld for spammers and scammers…

        But the dilemma or pay $,$$$ or $$,$$$ for the .com or $$ for the .gtld is still real for many businesses.

        I do agree with everything you’re saying about gTLDs not being innovative though and I acknowledge that the excitement or even optimism I have for some of the gTLDs may be irrational. I’m just hopeful with one or two of the gtlds that some great things can be built on them.

        When building an idea out, developers want to be proud of their name. Arguably perfectname.gtld vs less than perfectname.com may be something of benefit.

        Some gTLDs like .uk for example (.uk came in after .co.uk, this is a whole other discussion too but it is similar in ways to gtlds), anyway .uk was initially proposed to have all these extra layers of security (I forget what exactly)… Also I think Nominet (UK registry) proposed the additional layers of security on .UK just to get people to initially back the idea of another alternative to .co.uk however the extra secuity with .uk didn’t materialize. That would have been innovative… but as an investor I watched the damage that .uk did to .co.uk and the confusion it caused to the UK domain aftermarket and everyday businesses.

        Everyone needs optimism, hope and excitement in their lives. I’m really not a big fan of most gTLDs and would advise investors to beware. But as a developer, with many ideas, I like the choice and feel if I like a TLD and a domain is available at a reasonable price, and the registry seems like it’ll do the right thing by its customers and not pump and dump, or boost the prices, or act irresponsibly, then I might brand with a .gtld.

        I haven’t been excited by .com in a long time! Sure I have very few .coms and maybe I’d feel differently if I had some great .coms, but with most of my web ideas either a hobby or startup level I wouldn’t want to pay more than 2k for a domain… Which as I type this I remember that I have spent 3k twice on two .NYC domains – but I love the names.

  9. One of your best articles.

  10. Good article. Lot of times in marketing people tend to overthink things. Often the most success in marketing is appealing to the lowest common denominator.

    Bottom line is .com is a strong, reputable commercial brand in of itself. One word, two word .coms and common phrases are the only real long term investible domain imo because .com has genuine price/renewal stability.

    .net and .org are brands in a way too but that was not the primary purpose of their TLDs when they launched. They also have good price/renewal stability.

    These niche gtlds have been a major disappointment. Took a swing but not going to play anymore. There is no long term price/renewal stability on the economic side, and there is no clear way to understand what keyword.keyword means in a marketing message. Looks like bad grammar or typo. Perhaps in enough time consumers will begin to understand what keyword.keyword means in the context of a sentence. But that is not worth the gamble to me when there is no price stability on the renewal side.

  11. Suresh Raghavan

    Nice article. When something is hyped up beyond its abilities, you have to wonder. Let the new gtlds first try to compete with .org and .net before they try to attack the big kahuna (.com).

    Not to forget the cctlds that are ever so popular in their respective countries. You don’t see the hype about cctlds, because they are already being used everyday by large brands worldwide.

    When something has to be constantly hyped, you wonder what the deal is..:-) Remember the old Heineken ad : “When you make a great beer, you don’t have to make a great fuss” .

    So lets see the hierarchy, .com , cctlds, .net/.org and then the new gtlds if it makes sense

  12. Here’s 1 way to look at the nTLD program:

    Prior to 1803, the USA consisted only of about 16 or 17 states along the Atlantic coast. Then Thomas Jefferson purchased the middle 1/3 of the continent from France. And the expense of $11 million (about $250 million in today’s terms) might have seemed extravagant or unjustifiable.

    There was nothing innovative about this westward expansion. Just more supply of the same thing – namely, land. 2 million square kilometers. Sparsely populated.

    Fast forward 2 centuries, and what has changed? New York City is still the national power house it was in Jefferson’s era. Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Wyoming, and South Dakota – they’re still dismissively regarded as “flyover country”. And yet the center of gravity of the country HAS shifted. The coastal states remain relatively dominant; but the expansion did open up new opportunities … accommodating more people in a new ecology with a slightly different culture.

    Nothing about this is “innovative”. But new cities did spring up, didn’t they?

    Same thing will happen with the nTLDs. They are the internet’s “Louisiana Purchase”. They give us our digital equivalent of Montana, Oklahoma, and Iowa. More land is just more land. But more land lets more people become homesteaders and BUILD. And it’s the PEOPLE who build cities on this (digital) land – the PEOPLE who create real innovation.

    • @Joseph – Very well said.

      In the digital age, the “cities” will fill in quickly both because it is (1) easier to find out about new things, and (2) because the tools for producing, co-creating, storing and distributing content are approaching “free”. In a world where land is abundant and construction is free, “location” becomes more important. So, for the same money, right now users can choose between a long and forgettable .COM or a short and memorable .WHATEVER.

      It is worth noting that in the last week or so, DigitalTown registered at Epik.com, more than 4,000 .LONDON domains, all at reg-fee at a discounted rate of $9.99, a rate that is also available to the general public. You can see the names registered here:

      http://www.myname.london/

      I believe the “.COM forever” domain speculators are missing the obvious arbitrage opportunities of getting domains of these new TLDs into the hands of the logical end-users.

    • As is often the case in this type of impressive analogy, the reader focuses all attention on the space, and completely ignores the time aspect.

      It’s time and space.

      How long did it take to create the virtues outlined as far as the center of gravity? 200 to 300 years for the expansion? Are the ngtld investor willing to wait that long?

      Are the possible intervening events the same or different? For example, would ICANN open up the second round soon, and what would be the effect?

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