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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Welcome to the "Inter-niche".

By Duane J. Higgins, ceo

99.9% of the (upwards of 1000) newly proposed domain name extensions have no chance of ever rivaling or even competing with .com as the king of the Internet.  The new name extensions are going to be "niche" names. Limited scope or category specific names.

For the record, I will  say that there is one (and only one) name that even has the potential to rival .com in its popularity, usage and pervasiveness- and that is the proposed extensions of .web.  No fewer than seven companies have applied for the privalege to run a proposed .web registry. Each one knows what the stakes could be.  .Web has at least a punchers chance to ever take on .com and compete. .Web has a chance however slim. Not impossible. Not likely. I have written about the .com dominance in prior blog posts and you can find that if you like. Suffice it to say that .com is and will remain the kind of the Internet. If you ask me, someone has to be at the top of the pyramid and I don't see .com coming off. 

Keep in mind that .net was the last extension to have the "punchers chance" to take on .com and compete. What happened to .net? .Net is a nice little "niche name" that is widely used for many purposes. Does it rival .com in usage and popularity? Not even close. Not even in the same conversation. Does .web have a better chance than .net (to rival .com)? We will see.

Let me give you an example of some of the new domain extensions that are about to be released onto the global marketplace.


Ok, you get the idea.  That's a nice list of some niche names that will become new domain extensions. That list is just a few of the upwards of 1000 proposed new domain extensions. The new extensions that will be added to the mix along with the existing extensions of  .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us and the like. This list above does not include of course the newly proposed country code domains,  non-english character domains, and branded/company names that have been proposed.

Why do I bring all of this up?

The reason is that there will be an interesting hierarchy developing  between the existing domain name extensions (such as .com, .net and .org) and all of the newly proposed extensions.

I'll pull a few of the new name applications that appear to have the potential to engender even slightly more attention or interest than the type of niche names listed above. Some of these name do have potential for fairly widespread usage.


Ok, that's enough of those for now and back to my main point.

The existing names of .com, .net, .org and .info will remain as popular as ever. Even the names that were lagging behind such as .mobi and .biz are likely to see a renewed interest do to the release of the new domain extensions. There will be many winners and losers among the new extensions. However, the domain extensions that have the least to worry about are the already established extensions. The newly proposed extensions will serve as adjuncts and additions to the existing extensions.

We'll see how this process (of introduction of new domain name extensions) rolls out over the next few years. It will be interesting to see how this new "Inter-niche" plays out.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Will .mobile lead to a .mobi renaissance?

By Duane J. Higgins, ceo

There are upwards of 1000 new domain name extensions about to be poured onto the Internet scene. Many have speculated on who will be the big (registry) winners in this new gamble by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) who administrate the domain extensions and proposed the massive expansion as well.

We have an avalance of new top level domain name extensions coming down the slope.  So what we are undoubtedly  looking at a paradigm shift in the way that domain names are viewed and utilized in our global society. Who will be the largest beneficiaries of the deployment of the new domain name extensions? Some have speculated that .web and .shop are destined to be big winners.

Who will be some of the big winners?

Will it be .shop, .web, .book, .mobile or any number of a thousand others?

I would like to take a look specifically at .mobile and .mobily.  The domain extensions .mobile and .mobily have been applied for as part of ICANNS reorganization of the Internet. Of course, the domain extension .mobi has been in existence since 2005. In fact, .mobile has been applied for (to run the registry) by three different entities. Suffice it to say that we will likely soon be looking at the three domain extensions (.mobi, .mobile and .mobily) widely available on the Internet for purchase and use.

(* .Mobily Mobily (Arabic: موبايلي‎) is the trade name launched in May 2005[2] by Saudi Arabia's second Telecommunications company. (from Wikipedia post).)

What is the point of all of having three extensions that have essentially the same meaning and content?

You might look here:

According to a recent Cisco research report. The number of smartphones, tablets, laptops and internet-capable phones will exceed number of humans in 2013. 

These numbers already suggest more than 8 billion Internet connected devices by now.  Probably more. Now these 8 billion Internet connected devices mean alot of different things to many people. However, to the domain name industry (because that's what I write about) it will likely mean many (hundreds of millions) more domain name registrations one way or another. Meaning, depending on what the new registries/operators have planned for the new and old extensions.  The basic reasons for the likely explosion in (mobile related) domain names are as such- in order of importance:

Defensive registrations by companies seeking to prevent domain "squatting" or misuse and protection of intellectual property.
Domain name speculation (investments)
Company/website names and development. (such as domain portfolios)
Other uses (such as email addresses, mobile ids or security related)

How many new domain name purchases could (mobile specific) domain names involve? Projections are that billions and billions of mobile devices (accelerating at a rapid pace) are connected to and connecting to the Internet.  Remember that domain names are cheap. That ten dollars/year for some useful application is pretty inexpensive. One billion domain names sold at ten dollars/year is ten billion in revenue/year. Not bad for any new domain name extension (such as .mobile) or even .mobi which many have already left for dead and is which is likely to see a renaissance.

To the .mobi domain extension I say congratulations and welcome to your new life.