Is This the Biggest Internet Change Ever or Another Waste of Time?

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ICANN LogoAt noon London time on June 13, 2012, ICANN, the organization that oversees, among other things, the whole domain name system, will reveal the list of who is going after the new domain extensions and what those extensions are.

This may sound boring and unimportant but it’s part of a big, 6-year plan that should radically reshape the Internet. The who is not as important to the average person and the what.

You see, these are not just like the same old 27 domain extensions like we’ve had in the past, for example, the .com, .net, .info, .mobi, etc.

These domain extensions will be able to be anything and evertyhing.


The way it worked in the past is that, with advice and public comment, ICANN decided what the domain extensions would be but now, with the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program people can apply (and pay for) any extension they want; although it still has to be approved by ICANN.

When the system is in place and the gTLD approved — it’s expected to be no sooner than the end of 2012 — expect to see companies branding things in a very different manner than they do now.

Just Think of the Possibilities!

Will Google get .YouTube and .Search?

You bet they will because they’ve already revealed that they’ve applied for gTLDs that included .Google, .YouTube, .docs, and .lol.

Will Coca-Cola get .Coke or will Pepsi snatch it up?

Will Staples get .Paper?

How about Olive Garden getting .Pasta or Vera Wang getting .Wedding (and .WeddingDress)?

Will Great Britian get .England, .Scotland and .Wales (and will there be a battle for .Ireland)?

Will I get .Husnian or .David?

Not likely because I think the going price is in the 6-figure range per domain extension and I can’t remember if that’s a one-time fee or a recurring one.

The possibilities are endless and the limitations on having keyword rich domain names or vanity domain names may be a thing of the past (at least for a short while).

Are you salivating yet?

Wouldn’t you want Make.Money or Drive.Chevy or RunIn.Nike or Play.XBox or … let your imagination go wild?

Will It Matter?

Then again, recent domain name extensions haven’t really be wildly successful, some more than others, but .com has continued to rule but as over 100,000,000 .com domain names have been grabbed up it is feeling its age; and really did you even know there was a .museum extension already available.

Warren Adelman, CEO of Go Daddy which sells half the domain names in the world, said this about the current .com world “We’ve been living in a .com world since the dawn of the Internet. Whenever you’re doing something other than .com, it’s kind of swimming upstream.

Note that Go Daddy has applied for some gTLDs including .home, .casa, and .GoDaddy.

This is similar to the toll free numbers of the past. Eventually pretty much all the 800 numbers were taken and the telephone companies started using others area codes like 877 and 866.

It took a while because an 800 number was consider to be a lot better than the others but eventually that passed and I don’t know if anybody even thinks about it anymore; depending upon your age you may not even know this was an issue at one point not long ago.

Some people really believe in the future of gTLD, for example, Frank Schilling, a long time domain name investor who’s made many tens of millions of dollars off the 320,000 domain names he’s purchased over the years, is investing $60 million dollars of his own money to get over 50 new names including .home and .lol.

He says, “This is absolutely the future. We’re at this point where the dot-com name space — the entire name space — is exhausted.

And Vint Cerf, truly one of the fathers of the Internet, currently vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google and former chairman of the board of ICANN said this on his blog “Despite the great opportunities the Web has enabled for people around the world, there is still a lingering question about the diversity of the domain space.

Dan Schlinder, a co-founder of Donuts.co says “We’ve made more than $100 million in bets” as they go after over 300 gTLDs.

Let the War Begin

During the initial round of application about 1,900 gTLDs (called strings) have been applied for.

Of course, just because someone applies for a gTLD doesn’t mean they will get it — you can bet that Pepsi will NOT get the .Coke gTLD!

It’s pretty likely that trademarks holders will have no problem so Google doesn’t need to worry about .Google (sorry Microsoft) or .YouTube but for the others expect some big battles as companies with deep pockets stake out cyberspace claims; it’s an online gold rush.

Imagine the battle for who will get .free or .game or .money or .music or .car or …

The way this will work is that ICANN will ask people who’ve applied for the same gTLD to try to work out a deal. If they can then ICANN will auction  of the gTLDs to the higher bidder.

Then the Hard Part Starts

Not just anyone can sell domain names, you have to be an approved ICANN registrar and with hundreds and eventually thousands of new gTLDs becoming available the current registrars won’t be able to handle them (and they probably won’t be interested in them until they prove themselves.)

You may have noticed that the latest hot domain extension is .co but that success didn’t just happen easily overnight.

First there was the many months of work (and lots of money) getting Columbia to agree, then the millions of dollars in advertising but that wasn’t enough.

Until an agreement with Go Daddy (and 2 Super Bowl commercials later) did the company controlling .co start to turn a profit.

How this all plays out I don’t know but my guess is that, like so many other things throughout history like the toll-free numbers of the recent past, we’ll see that eventually a much greater range of domain extensions used as part of an overall branding and .com won’t be as important.

Chime In

What do you think? Will .com reign as king or fade into distant memory? What domain name would you want to have? Tell me below in the comments.

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10 thoughts on “Is This the Biggest Internet Change Ever or Another Waste of Time?”

  1. Thought I’d add a few of the domain extensions that were applied for and many of them had multiple applicants so let the “games” begin :-)

    .Accountant, .Accountants, .Actor, .Airforce, .App, .Army, .Art, .Attorney, .Auction, .Auto, .Autos, .Baby, .Bank, .Bible, .Bid, .Blog, .Book, .Buy, .Car, .Cars, .Casa, .Church, .Cloud, .Condos, .CPA, .Dance, .DDS, .Deals, .Democrat, .Dental, .Dentist, .Dev, .Diamonds, .Discount, .Doctor, .Drive, .Earth, .Eco, .Engineer, .Esq, .Film, .Free, .Game, .Games, .Gives, .Green, .Health, .Healthcare, .Home, .Hospital, .Hotel, .IBM, .Immobilien, .Inc, .Jewelry, .Kaufen, .Law, .Lawyer, .Legal, .LLC, .LTD, .Mail, .Map, .Med, .MLS, .Mobile,.Moda, .Mormon, .Moto, .Mov, .Movie, .Music, .Navy, .News, .Ninja, .Pharmacy, .Photography, .Photos, .Play, .Property, .Pub, .RealEstate, .Realtor, .Realty, .Rehab, .Rentals, .Republican, .Restaurant, .RIP, .Save, .Search, .Shop, .Shopping, .Show, .Social, .Spot, .Store, .Supply, .Supplies, .Talk, .Tickets, .Video, .Vodka, .Web, .Win, .Winners, .Work, .World, .Wow, .You

  2. Hi,

    Well, most people won’t be applying for a domain extension but companies will get lots of them and make them available through Registrars like GoDaddy, NameCheap, 1&1, etc. so domains will be available to people like you and I.

    For example, Steve will probably be able to get SwimmingPoolSlides.OnSale some day within the next few years.

    I also agree that .com will be around and dominant for some years but as the new gTLD become available and more and more people become comfortable with them I think we will see some of them do very well.

    Of course, some like .Coke will probably ever be available to anyone but Coca-Cola.

    Thanks for your thoughts, really appreciate them.

    Sorry you can’t afford to get your own gTLD, maybe some day soon :-)

    David

  3. Hi, thanks for the useful info. I do not really (yet) fall in the bracket of buying domains for
    six figures, but I can imagine that this will cause a gold rush. Off cause the posibilities are
    endless, but 95% of the internet community will only be able to look in from the outside, as very few will be able to pay that kind of money just in case. The habit of .com will stay for a long time to come, but eventually the few lucky ones that was able to afford the new keyword rich extentions (with proper and clever SEO), will definetely be able to rule the market.
    Lol.. for the [email protected] extention!

  4. Hi, I want to know how I can become a registrar and start making money off this craze…but in the meantime, I want not only my name Stephen.Love and .sex or .porn (though my wife would leave me lol) but .pizza or .expert

    Stephen Love

  5. Steve,

    You just know somebody is going to apply for and get .sale and .onsale and some day you’ll be able to have a domain name like SwimmingPoolSlides.OnSale!

    Weird, I started to type .com at the end it’s such a habit :-)

    The cities ones are nice ideas and it could be expanded into all kinds of things with interesting potential.

    Way back when, like 1998 or something, I had an idea to get the domains of cities and counties and set up sites for those local areas and sell access to business — YourBusiness.YourCity.com — and when I checked most city name domain were available but I was busy doing a big project and never did anything; ideas are great but if you don’t take action…

    I checked a few years later and someone else had already done it and looked to be very successful.

    Nowadays most people have their own domain but city name domains still rank well for many local searches.

    David

  6. Yeah Michael, hadn’t thought of that but you could indeed have a domain name like that.

    That concept just multiples the ideas of how you could use the new gTLD.

    Thanks for that!

    David

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