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.