At the start of the Internet and the first ever internet domain name boom, why has ‘dot com’ became the king and not ‘dot net’? This is a serious naming question and demands authoritative clarity to the answers. Form a nomenclature point of view; the global audience felt more comfortable with Com. It sounded better and more like ‘company’ while, Net sounded weaker, limited, network related and therefore techie. Despite being half portion of the name of the Internet, the Net suffix was left behind, and although both were equally accessible the global perception got in the way. In usage, each dot Net also became the proof that somewhere out there an identical name with dot com suffix already exists. Dot Com became official; dot Net just became plan B. The rest is history.
Today, with the launch of new and exciting 1600 proposed gTLDs, the choices will simply unleash a slew of unlimited new ideas for the global end-users. The influx will create amazing times for the right names and the right parties. The global public will get the taste of owning multiple domain names for multilayer of communication to enhance richer and selective experiences. No need to be in pool with 800 million folks but rather interacting with ‘117 winemaker, left-handed and collectors of toy trains’. ‘Divorce lawyers, only handling 3.7 million dollar pre nuptials, only serving Jersey wives’. The age of selective communication will creep over; a huge mind shift from getting buried in billion mix match search results. The domain name branding selection options at times tricky but variety will enable to identify microcosms around the globe, and special social clubs with extraordinary yet selective reach and connect-ability will emerge; global search with micro results. Google search has declined any special treatment to a new proposed suffix. However, it’s the tactical name branding of a name identity that will enable such selective outputs. Google will have to invent a ‘suffix based’ search features and options eventually.
Will dot com lose its power? No, because it has become the poster child of the domain names, most recognized symbol of domain suffixes and globally accepted pass of a certain level of credibility.
To surpass such dominance a new domain will have to first gain 100 million plus users and demonstrate its stamina of durability.
So long as the diverse gTLDs are fragmented and focused on their own targeted markets and agenda; the universality of use of dot com will stay intact and become even bolder. All new dot name candidates in their ‘usability test’ will be compared and bench marked against the ease of performance of dot com.
This may not be directly relevant in each and every new suffix but in global mind share, it will always be exist. Irrespective, the most new gTLD sales targets will not be so much based on cutthroat quantity but rather quality, exclusivity and special long term pricing.
Now as the selection of the first round of gTLDs get closer, the name and its alpha-structuring gets into the spotlight. The simplicity and ease of usability of a proposed domain suffix becomes critical, although at times denied by the gTLD owners immersed in their passion and beholder of an application may not see the hidden complications in the word, perception or mixed messages, the fact more options global public has more they will gravitate to simpler and easier solutions.
To the domain name trade, consisting of registry, registrars and domainers, a domain name has entirely different values from what the end user is seeking; registrations, renewal and cyber-squatting is one thing and ‘usability’ another. The trademark preaching has different merits what the hard core name marketability issues demand, Domain name speculation has more to do with financial wizardry and not the contextual longevity, elasticity or sustainable popularity of the name. The case in point is the last 22 gTLD and their varied range of success in the global markets. All those initial gTLDs were originated by the domain name trade and most lacked the global usability and nomenclature understanding. Although, some may have provided initial healthy returns but followed by declining renewal but not glaring success. All names are not created equal and like the first batch of 22 the current list of 1600 proposed names has serious nomenclature issues.
The domain trade can easily recover their investment on a gTLD as the markets are eventually global and the domain usage is widening. However the real success and leadership names will stand out in contrast to other mediocre fillers. The global cyber name branding gets an amazing future while the global naming complexities become a central topic.