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06|08|2009 07:45 pm EDT

Reuters on New gTLDs

by Adam Strong in Categories: Miscellaneous

A new Reuters article focused on a survey which concluded that most businesses don’t know about new gTLDs. The research, which only surveyed 100 business, and was sponsored by registrar doesn’t really lend itself to a whole lot of credibility.  The firm of Future Laboratory conducted the survey and comes to many conclusions based on the small bits of information they gathered.

We have no doubts about the conclusion that many small corporations have little knowledge of the possibility to own their domain name extension, we would venture to guess all except the global corporations really care about this prospect.  Most global brands have a team of IP lawyers and marketing directors who are likely aware of the issues and have made plans accordingly.  In fact some of these global brands are participating in changing domain name policy as part of the IRT team(pdf), are concerned with trademark issues with the new TLDs and have put up a stink about new TLD roll-outs.  If brands don’t know about the new TLDs why are they fighting them and trying to change the policies ?

Tom Savigar of Future Laboratory also concludes “(Owning their domain) could secure a higher level of credibility and recognition.”  Really a new domain is going to give global brands credibility and recognition that they don’t already have ?  A brand is a brand because it already has credibility and recognition. No domain name necessary.

Registrars obviously benefit from corporations who would want to protect their trademarks and would need to register multiple domains in all of the new extensions, so it is no big surprise to see some of these conclusions reached from “research” that does nothing to lead you to those conclusions. We would like to hear from a global corporation directly and see what they have to say about the new TLD prospects. . .of course after they review the expenses of running a new TLD and talk to their attorneys about the potential liablities.

ICANN was put on the ropes at the recent Congressional hearings and we’ve already seen ICANN consultants pushing forward the new TLD agenda. This article and “research” sure seems to wreak of a similar exercise of spin to push forward the idea that new TLDs are a good thing.

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Jothan Frakes

June 8, 2009 @ 7:50 pm EDT

Two truths: The TLD application rounds are coming, and the public awareness is not strong about it.

ICANN, to their credit has (wisely) built in to the new TLD program a 4 month outreach period to raise awareness of the new TLDs.

This should hopefully mitigate the confusion expressed in that article and study.


June 8, 2009 @ 7:52 pm EDT

The article is misinformed rubbish. As you rightly point out a lot of the big brand holders are very aware of the new TLD process and a couple of them are already preparing to pitch for their own TLD. The entire “anyone can have their own TLD” line is rubbish and does not bear any relation with reality.

Adam Strong

June 8, 2009 @ 11:11 pm EDT

@jothan. Do you think possibly the public awareness might come in part from apathy about new TLDs, domains, etc. I’ll give you that people outside the “domainosphere” don’t know about the new round of TLD apps, but those same people also likely don’t know about the other TLDs we have available now either (.travel .info .biz etc) and do they care ? I think we need a better survey and one not sponsored by any specific stakeholders.

David J Castello

June 9, 2009 @ 1:54 am EDT

When it comes to the so called “public demand” for these new TLDs, one thing comes to mind: dotTravel


June 9, 2009 @ 5:42 am EDT

In fact, you have good project would follow the good work continuously dilerim.

Jothan Frakes

June 9, 2009 @ 9:24 am EDT

@adam Dude, to date there’s a wide educational gap on the domain name space in general in the general populace. It’s why I have started conferences and speak and participate in so many different panels around the space. Lift everyone’s game, and we all win.

That educational divide is why the domain marketplace continues to carry such opportunity. If you ask the general public, outside of those who make a primary living in domains, hosting, or aftermarket, many / most of them will still say that Network Solutions runs all the domain stuff on the internet.

When we see a wider cross-section of applicants and strings in 2010 we will certainly see a diversity of use cases and business models that we’ve not had thus far.

The ICANN meeting in Sydney is in two weeks. There will be many announcements in and around the week of June 21st that should bring a bit more attention and attraction to a wider section of the public at large about new Top Level Domains.

I’m friends with the .Travel people so I’ll be diplomatic about responding, but you have a solid point. .Travel is a great TLD in principle.

I’d say that a fair counterpoint might be that other new TLDs do have high demand from what I am seeing. We will have the opportunity to witness TLDs execute their launches, policies, etc differently than .Travel has. The important point is that there is a wide difference between that execution and how it translates into registration volume or public demand, even though they’re married.

TLDs executed with sensible restrictions and market compatible pricing in harmony with good marketing — that are strings that do hold some affinity, allegiance or attraction to natural visitors and use — these TLDs will thrive.

There is large market demand for new TLDs. Watch for announcements the week of June 22nd.

Jothan Frakes

June 9, 2009 @ 5:21 pm EDT

A good friend of mine pointed out my comment sounds slightly self defeating, that stating “folks don’t know about new TLDs” and “folks are excited about new TLDs” conflict because, how can one be excited by what they don’t know?

I should have clarified in more words so as to not doublespeak. I have a challenge in spending way too many words being precise about what I say so I’ve been practiciing being concise.

What I am saying is that my company does new TLDs, so we are reaching out to people and gauging their interest on running one, but as part of our effort, the website is set up so that there’s tons of information to remove the confusion and help educate on new TLDs.

What we have happening is that many are unaware of new TLDs when we talk or we get folks emailing us or contacting us to find out more because they want to know how to register one now that they stumbled upon their existence.

So we’re getting a lot of inquiries to Minds + Machines when people come aware of the new TLD availability and they use our site as a way to review and learn about the process. John Q Public gets totally excited about it once they hear and they wonder why the widespread media is not covering it.

Hope that clarifies.

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