New domains do not destroy the good old com and net. Just as television did not cause the collapse of the cinema, and the internet fall of newspapers. The market just a little more to share. I doubt that the big portals, which have well-established positions in search engines and recognizable name among the users (with standard domain) decided on rebranding.
In a few short years, dot-com will be a quaint throwback referring to a couple of economic booms, and not something to indicate a web site. Like the Great War -- everybody now calls it World War 1, since we've had another great war... Why? Because the floodgates are about to open on domain names, and so we're about to see the rise of dot bike, dot plumbing, dot gifts, and even dot dentist.
The dot is not going anywhere, but the days of having to get a .com address for your business are drawing near the end -- there's a couple thousand new endings you'll be able to start getting for your email address and web site in the next couple years.
It's going to get really confusing for a while. So many people have been trained to put a www in front of a name, and .com at the end -- if your web site doesn't use those rules, people might have a hard time finding you. Perhaps. Let's take that thought to an extreme. Freelock is an LLC, we do web development, consulting, and a lot of other things. Get ready for our new sites!
|Ok, we incorporated
|Now we've got a hot lunch deal
|Hey, we did really well at this year's National Bike Challenge
|Let's sell drugs now
|In a 90s way
|Yeah, that might do
|Our new down-under office
|Them's fightin' words
|We do it all
Every one of those will be possible to buy within a couple years -- all of those have been approved by ICANN, the organization that governs Internet "Top Level Domains", which is what these are.
If you are a business owner or are responsible for marketing a business, you need to start thinking about these now. GoDaddy has a few of these available for pre-order from here: http://www.godaddy.com/tlds/gtld.aspx?ci=85337 ... and some 900 already in their system so you can get notified when they are available.
Is it really the end of dot com? Well, no, not really. For quite some time, .com will be the grandaddy domain of all, simply out of force of habit and how slow people are to adopt new conventions. But I think these new domains will get widespread quicker than most people think, for a couple reasons:
- People don't type domain names exactly anyway -- they search Google. That means that even if you pick a really obscure top-level-domain for your business, you will be found.
- Short .com domains are very tough to come by, and this change will open up a vast number of new possibilities. We've already seen a large rise in the use of the two-letter country domains being hijacked for other purposes -- e.g. bit.ly, goog.le, last.fm, walkthrough.it, identi.ca, justin.tv. With a huge number of new top level domains, it becomes far easier and cheaper to come up with a creative, engaging domain name than to buy a .com off a cybersquatter.
Should you jump on these as soon as they come out? I would suggest thinking about them if you want to do a specific marketing campaign that's going to involve a new site, or if you're starting up a new business or something. I would certainly avoid spending much on buying a domain from a cybersquatter -- we're entering an age of abundance, there's just no need for that. But there's no real reason to go on a domain buying spree, unless you feel you need to protect your trademark. And please don't use .website, we know that's what it is.
If you have nothing to do with making a web site, just get ready to see web sites come with all kinds of names. Stop automatically typing www and .com and you'll be fine. And for those who can't seem to finish sentences, I bring you dot.dot.
After a bit of a bumpy summer, we're settling into our new Pioneer Square digs and getting back on track with a series of exciting new projects. It's going to be quiet around here during Christmas week with more than half our staff away for the holidays, but if you have a project you'd like to start in the new year, it would be a great time to call and get on our calender -- we have a couple dozen pretty hot opportunities we've been talking to that I think will book January very quickly.
As the year winds down, I would like to thank everyone for their support, business, and friendship over the past year, and I am looking forward to helping you be more successful next year!
John Locke and the Freelock Team