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April 09, 2007

Comments

Sahar Sarid

It's funny that today if you want to "think big" all you have to say is ask : "what if google..". Think about it. or example, "what if google started to sell car stereos?", "what if google started a dating site?", "what if google started a tld?". Regardless of google, that exercise you've just done (thinking opportunities), is a beautiful thing. No wonder you are where you are in life, and I bet,as a friend of ours said few days ago, it's just the tip of the iceberg of things to come :)

***FS*** You keep raising the bar on me Sahar ;) .. Glad you liked it.

owen frager

Very thought provoking post. First of all did anyone consider that the consortium of mobile companies backing dotMOBI are making money on the registrations. Either way, the house wins.

I think DemandMedia has found an interesting niche for dotTV--- and they will make money on registrations and annual fees regardless of whether anyone uses the tools... but YouTube, GeoCities, MySpace, Napster and other consumer-with-tools-provided sites have yet to turn a profit- so what's the point?

Ironic Channelme.tv's slogan is "television programming is so 1999". So what will these obsolete tools be like in 2010? If television is having a hard time with 500 channels...

You simply can't loose with dotCOM, but as a marketing guy I can tell you for sure a different idea can certainly sell tons. How many people have bought every abs and fitness product from 2:30AM infomercials only to sit in the corner?

Kind of reminds me of the quote I just heard that 75% of all blogs (Kevin Leto on Rick's board says there are 72 million of them) are inactive. Some people write a word or two and then they can't figure it out. Others are just hoarding the domains pre/DOT blogspot or DOTtypepad (some for future plans, others to use seo to hijack the domain owners goodwill).

Google JLO shoes and find 7500 blogs actually Adsensing that trademark. Most look like sXXt

Just because you provide tools, doesn't mean people can or will use them. Ask ASK and their multi-million TV campaign touting a better search experience with "tools".

How many websites do you visit contain anything compelling or even a video or a subscribe feed even though this freeware is available?

Just my 2 cents. (that's all I can give you since I sold your2cents.com foolishly, years ago)

***FS*** Ha hah ha.. your-two-cents.com perhaps still available? I agree with most of what you just wrote Owen. You really have the benefit of experience and it shows. I think we'll see what happens.. nothing will take .com's lights out over-night. But certain TLDs could do it.. using the power of leverage (not trying to make you my foil with that last line ;).

Edwin Hayward

One play for Google could be to give every Gmail user (there are several million of them already) their own "username.goog" pseudo-domain which would automatically "work" if it were typed into the Google toolbar's search box.

Combine that with Google's existing suite of own-domain tools (Gmail, blogs, calendar etc.) and you might end up with the domain of choice for everyday folks wanting to set up their personal sites. Sure, only those with the Toolbar could get there directly, but Google searches could also resolve the domain name, for example.

That's still not going to unseat .com, but it would be a way to give millions of people who still don't know/don't care/don't want their own domain name a unique, simple way of identifying their own little corner of the world wide web.

***FS*** Great point Edwin.. combine this with all the other things and you're on your way to making a serious dent in .com .. I think .com could be unravel .com's dominance in the time it took to build Google.. the difference this time is that Google will not get to run the field unimpeded. There's hungry linebackers facing them this time.

owen frager

re Edwin:
-------
One play for Google could be to give every Gmail user (there are several million of them already) their own "username.goog" pseudo-domain which would automatically "work" if it were typed into the Google toolbar's search box.

Combine that with Google's existing suite of own-domain tools (Gmail, blogs, calendar etc.) and you might end up with the domain of choice for everyday folks wanting to set up their personal sites. Sure, only those with the Toolbar could get there directly, but Google searches could also resolve the domain name, for example.
-----

That reminds me. This suite of tools already exists on the 3 letter domain I challenged anyone to identify on my blog and, so far, no one can. Unlike Google and other FREE tools- this one earns $1 billion a year in recurring revenues with 600K subdomains and it's subscribers actually USE the tools.

Drewbert

My admittedly feeble memory credits Jon Postel with allegedly bequeathing .web, not Vint.

And I think it'll be a cold day in hell before ICANN ever decides to re-open that pandora's box.

***FS*** I was speaking to the 2000 ICANN meeting (on video) where the board approved .info for affilias, but where I distinctly recall Vint saying [paraphrasing] "I'd like to see the .web tld reserved for IOD". Perhaps that was in support for Mr. Postel. You're probably right.. But global warming (Money) has a way of doing funny things to hell's climate. I could see the termperature getting to 31 or so. ;)

Franky

sorry :( deleted a bunch of comments from last night accidentally.. damn blog software.. post again if you wish and I'll puttem up.

Maurice

dont smoke those naughty jaz cigarettes and post. This is one of those ideas that looks good at first sight but is rubish

ask anyone who worked on the last expansion round .coop destryed a well know isp/ut company in the uk

***FS*** I think that traffic drives the interenet .. like oil moves the real world.. .coop has no traffic.. never did, never will. There is traffic potential in .web and my .goog example, so I really think they would work. I'd buy them. Lots of them. They have to go through the same gauntlet to get launched as any tld, so you'd see it coming and be able to structure yourself accordingly. Having digested overnight I really don't think either (or both) would render .com worthless .. or .. and I don't partake in that jaz. ;)

RobB

Interesting ideas but I don't see companies releasing their own extension, like .goog or .yhoo because EVERY website using that extension would be associated with the company. Think of all the embarassing type sites (adult, bad humour, poor taste) that could be built on those extensions that would reflect back on the company. Sure, they could patrol all the sites but how much resources would that take? Granted the idea is original, I've never seen anyone talk about this before, but I think very little chance of happening. Maybe if they pushed an extension that didn't include letters from their company name it would work - you're right that google has so much reach if they wanted to push something they probably could.

I'm in the camp that thinks there are so many people/businesses within the next ten years and beyond that will need a domain, that by default extensions like .net, .org, .info, .biz, cctld .tv, .mobi will advance because the .com will be out of reach. And as they start using these extensions in advertising and promotion, they will gain recognition over time. They don't have to 'beat' .com to make it, but they will still have value. It would be a stretch to say though that many of these other extensions would ever get the same type in traffic that .com does. The bottom line is that many domains will be needed in the future and people will have to go to second, third, and fourth best extensions. It's already happening now.

***FS*** Good points Rob.. "there is room for everyone because the pie keeps growing".. My post was more how to challenge the com founation but you probably have something there.

Mark

When the prototype voice recognition system being put together by the consortium of Google/Verizon/ATT is put into operation, that will be the beginning of the end for the wizards who think that they are going to lay back, sit on the beach, and just count money by people typing in addresses.

Anyone who thinks that corporate America is going to be held hostage by some clown with a credit card who has a domain address, needs to see a shrink.

The world is littered with people who thought they had the world by the short ones.

***FS*** I don't think I know a single generic domain investor who walks around with the attitude that they "have the world by the short ones" ... And I haven't passed many phone company execs on my beach. If a new phone based voice recognition platform comes out somebody will "game" it to their advantage (corporate or private).. By the time any new platform gets "any traction" those who capitalized on the previous platform will have long retired.. Look at the big picture Mark.

Rob Sequin

Me thinks thou doth protest too much!

I usually agree with your thoughts or learn something here but I have to disagree with you on this post.

I think your argument is flawed because you are viewing this argument from "up there". YOU own thousands of great .com domains but most of us do not.

And, since you are not selling your domains, you leave us no choice but to buy "the next best thing" and that means different things to different people.

For some it's .net, for some it's their country code, others like .tv or want to focus just on mobile so they are going after .mobi.

Sure, none of these will challenge .com but if there is no supply of good .com domains to be had (at least for any price realistic to the common man), what else are we supposed to do Frank?

So, I agree .com will be king but don't indirectly discourage those of us building portfolios and websites on .info, .tv, .mobi etc.

We want empires too.

***FS*** Dude.. I'm a man of the people.. As I "preach from my cloud" (tongue firmly in cheek), I imagine I'm talking from the vantage point of not owning a thing and to myself. I'm not protesting so much Rob... "Let the new spaces come".. but if you are just starting out, be forwarned to "follow the cashflow first" so you can afford renewals. If anyone else agrees that I am somehow unfairly being to hard on new ext's pls chime in .. as that is not my intention (to speak in an unfair or unbalanced way) and I just don't see it. I'm just trying to call what I see and hopefully help a few folks along the way.

Christopher Ambler

Well, that "car dealer" is my business partner, and .Web was (and remains) my idea back in 1995. Irrespective of what Postel said and how his plans were derailed (and may he rest in peace), the bottom line is that this year will likely see another gTLD round, and there is no question that our application from the 2000 round is not only still pending, but is first in line. Those who say that .Web is "up for grabs" are mistaken, at best. .Web was attempted to be "grabbed" in 2000 by both Afilias and Neulevel who were given .info and .biz instead - that grab failed.

As for the business plan, I can agree with your analysis 100%. We do have a business plan that I feel will give .Web a market share to rival .com. That evokes laughter, of course, and then the inevitable, "okay, smartass, what's the plan?"

In other words, I'm not only confident that we'll see IOD's .Web in the roots as the new gTLD process re-opens, but that we'll see it compete with .com, head-to-head. I'm also honestly shocked that no other TLD has thought-up and implemented the ideas I had for .Web as long as ten years ago.

I've been very content to remain involved in the process and wait patiently for over ten years now (and eNom has given me very interesting things to do during that patient wait).

***FS*** I hope you're right Chris .. I have some IOD pre-reg's I'm hoping to cash in on. It would be a Roy Rogers sunset moment to see the space come alive.. and outside of sponsored corporate TLDs .. it is the only one I could see jockeying to become 888 against .com's 800 status.

alpine

.tv does not need to rival .com imo. there are certain extensions that fit certain purposes (.edu for education, .com for general websites, .tv for online channels). If you want a specific channel on the net, then it is better or will be better to have the .tv version over the .com. .com is for all websites, .tv will be for online channels because it makes sense. I believe it is as simple as that. .tv could become like a huge satellite or cable tv station with millions of channels open for anyone.

12 or 13 years ago, .com made sense also (commerical websites) so we saw mass adoption by all the major companies. Those companies are not going to instead adopt .tv for their main website as it would not make sense, but if they have a specific online channel they want to present to the public, then I believe they will choose and are choosing ____.tv.

.mobi I am not convinced yet, as you could just read the user agent and show an alternative page automatically that fits the mobile screen. However, certain generic .mobi names could work with a little bit of marketing effort.

Regarding .goog, I doubt it could ever rival .com. Maybe individuals or smaller firms will adopt it if they can make more money from adsense or for seo purposes but I think google would be shooting themselves in the foot if they favored a .goog over other extensions within their search engine. To me that sounds evil, and their motto is 'do no evil'. ;p

Andrew Hyde

The Beleize extension,.BZ which is open to everyone and encouraged for international business, and further makes sense coining .BZ is for businesses, works in terms of recognition, memorability and for IDN's too, could be a contender? At least I'm hoping so - bought a boat load of them. Rumor has it 1 in 10 domains being registered is .BZ???

owen frager

Let's put it simply.

The only reason for another extension is to explain where to find you because you don't have a dotCOM that maps to your brand name and own the dotCOM keywords that describe everything youy make or do. That ensures multiple avenues of customer reach.

Ask The Today Show or American Idol. They learned a costly lesson until they finally "got it."

Now, they don't even need to put a graphic up that redirects the audience to the after party because they are HOME when the GUESTS show up at the DOOR just where the guests assume they should go. And this will ensure delivery of opportunity whether spoken or typed.

By contrast the new commercials for Jerry Springer show have to spend more time making sure you understand the URL is not the one you think it is, that there's no time left to sell anything else.

Everyone knows where the White House is, except online. And, imagine trekking all the way to the north pole with your four kids only to discover Santa is in Florida. That's what surfers experience everyday.

DotCOM is the only way to solve this problem. Because it's the only extension that can. (Are you listening Jerry Springer?)

Chui

If you can give Mozilla a million bucks, they can give you the typo of SHIFT+ENTER to go to a new TLD, or a TLD you control. It will be worth some serious traffic.

***FS*** Insert visual of Frank heading to Mozilla HQ

Alexa Raad

In my view, it's not about .com versus the world of TLDs or, for that matter .mobi versus .com/.net/.org etc.

You say:
"The downside with new TLDs which sell themselves based on a platform is that they are typically exclusive of others. Don't have a .mobi? “Well!! ~ You’re just not getting access to our suite of software or services then :-p.” .Mobi could give away their domains and still wouldn’t get traction because the drawing card is just not big enough. Don’t get wowed by a bunch of Telco’s which have trouble even agreeing on foundational phone platforms. These folks are touting .mobi as much out of “fear of missing something”. I have not seen what I would call a world changing plan.. .Mobi could give away tools that can turn straw into gold and yes, some folks will switch, but in my opinion .TV, .Mobi etc have “no chance” [to beat .com] without such a world-beater of a plan. This plan would have to have such a "wow effect" that it would land on the cover of every paper in the world in order to rival .com. Better to open your platform to .com holders."

Let me address this, by way of clarification:

1) "Well!! ~ You’re just not getting access to our suite of software or services then :-p.” Not true. Go to our developer forum, download the handbook (free), build a site (free), join the forum (free), or get training (free). Our certification program, which you do pay for, offers value whether or not you use .mobi.

So you may ask, "why do we do this?" Which brings me to...

2) "Don’t get wowed by a bunch of Telco’s which have trouble even agreeing on foundational phone platforms" Well... Our investors aren't just a "bunch of Telcos." They invested in dotMobi, not to take advantage of the money to be had in the domain registration business, but to help jump-start the expansion of Internet on mobile devices. (Something that was lacking for a long time.) And they did agree on a set of standards -- W3C's mobile web initiative -- If that is what is meant by "foundational phone platforms."

3) ".Mobi could give away tools that can turn straw into gold and yes, some folks will switch.." We do give away tools and know-how, but it is not about switching from .com, co.uk or any of the others for that matter. Have your .com, but if your customers are increasingly mobile -- and most of us are -- then you want to design and author a site that is specific to their needs during those times when they're not in front of a 17" screen with an all-you-can eat DSL plan and some time to spare.

4. "Better to open your platform to .com holders" Goes back to my first point, really. We actually announced back in February that dotMobi is building the directory of all mobile optimized content, which uses .mobi as well as other TLDs, including .com. To quote specifically:

"The dotMobi database is a catalog of all mobile content available on the Internet today and is quality-rated by location, category, relevance and suitability to download content easily on a mobile phone. The database will contain all mobile content in existence, including .mobi sites, country specific sites, .com sites, WAP sites and other mobile-optimised content."

BTW see my original post on our blog. http://blog.mobi

***FS*** Thanks sincerely for your comment Alexa .. posted unedited. Can you just explain, why bother buying a .mobi domain name if all your products and services are entirely available in .com, net, couk etc? What makes the .mobi TLD relevant if it is about tools which are available for free for domains we already own?

alexaraad

Hello Frank
Thanks for posting my comment. You asked why would anyone buy a .mobi if they alreadly have their content on say a .com or a .de? To answer that, you'd need to ask a question: Are your customers increasingly mobile? and would they like to get access to your content when they are away from home or office? if its yes to both, then you have a choice to use the tools we provide to build your site under .mobi or as a variation of your PC based site. Like these here (all are BTW real sites)
www.nike.com/nikebasketball/mobile/
wireless.schwab.com/
mobileapp.epsn.go.com/wireless
www.amazon.com/gp/aw/html
wap.ebay.com
www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/pda/
m.technorati.com/

So which do you think your customer would prefer to remember?mobileapp.epsn.go.com/wireless or espn.mobi? Also because we ensure compliance with some basic user experience rules, using the .mobi site has another advantage. You can rest assured that it will work and it will not break the bank. If you have ever pulled down a site designed for a PC (with all the graphics, java aps, etc) you know what I mean. So bottomline, we make sure that the .mobi site is easy to remember, discover AND use. Hope that helps!
thanks again!

***FS*** I guess I asked for that :) Thank-you Alexa.. sincerely.

William Brister

Frank,

I agree that .com will always be main street in the cyber world. However, .TV is going to be huge. I know traditional business may never need or want a .TV name like Fedex.com, UPS.com. However, if the business is associated in any way with video, social networking etc. .TV is the place to be. Here is AOL becoming a TV production company http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117963242.html?categoryid=1009&cs=1

There is about to be a mad rush on .TV names as we go from several hundred TV/Cable channels to thousands and beyond. Social networking is about to become truly real time interactive.

Your thoughts?

***FS*** We're already way past there.. I see no rush to .tv .. the youtube/myspace/facebook crowd is not gunning for a .tv Can you make money buying and selling .tv's yes.. but I don't see them as this rocket that is about to launch.. more likely the rising tide of folks online will serve to lift their boat along with other alternative tld's

owen frager

Can someone tell me why this is such an emotional issue? Why newbies need to "defeat" dotCOM before they can rest. It's like kids arguing "no my father is smarter than yours".

We're all smart. But right now Google and MS seem much smarter. It seems there are bigger problems to be solved in order for an entrepeneur to have his payday on the web. Worry about what domain is attached to it is not the best ROI on brainpower.

DotCOM is like a gas station here in Florida that has a generator. It's got a headstart especially, in a tough times.

Sasha

I do believe that Google could do something like that. They could create a .GO extension (this sounds and works much better. Go has a sense of movement to it), and work around it.

I don't really think that any alternative TLD could match the .com dominance. If the .com is to be defeated, it has to be hit where it hurts. .tv and .mobi will only take a minor chunk out of its armory. But launch a TLD that offers good opportunities and is not run by a bunch of morons (Google's .Go, for example), generate enough marketing blitz, and position it as a DIRECT rival to .com, not an ALTERNATIVE TLD, and things could work...

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