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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The "Seat" of Domain Names

By Duane J. Higgins,  ceo and provides 22 different definitions for the term "seat." Definition number #9 in this case is as follows:

9. a place in which administrative power or the like is centered: the seat of the government.

So what about the "seat" of domain names as in the place where domain names reside in our individual and societal consciousness?  
I had speculated in (October of 2013 when I wrote the following  blog post: Mobile Phone Numbers, Email Addresses and..... Domain Names) that Internet domain names could ultimately reach the place of usage in our society that is comparable to phone numbers and email addresses (i.e. that nearly everyone has a phone number and probably a majority of people in the U.S. have an email address nowadays). 
Interestingly, it doesn't appear that we have quite gotten there yet in terms of my prognostications. Since,  I haven't given up on my vision yet, I'm taking this opportunity to repost some material from that October 2013 post: 

Below are excerpts form that prior blog post:

"Believe it or not there may be a time in the coming years where the question of "what's your domain name?" will be as common as the oft repeated questions of yesteryear such as "what's your email address?" or "what's your mobile phone number?"

I went on further to proclaim:

"How long before we all have our own domain name? or two or three or dozens? My guess is that within 10 years owning an internet domain name will be as common as candy. As common as email addresses. As common as mobile phone numbers. In fact, I think the more common questions will be "how many domain names do you have?" and "what domains do you own" or "what's your domain portfolio valued at?" 

So where are we at in our societal consciousness and usage of domain names at this point in time? Some, two and a half years following my bold statements?

Traditionally domain names have have primarily been used for web addresses and for investment purposes. If you look a the numbers on domain name usage you will see that domain names are primarily purchased as investments and not used for website or Internet addresses. (I'll save you from listing the name purchase statistics here). Suffice it to say that there are somewhere north of    300,000,000 total domain names registered worldwide (of all extensions). The .com continuing to lead the charge with over 125,000,000 total registrations.

As per latest report by Internet grows to 294 Million Domain Names in the First Quarter of 2015. 

 In that October 2013 article I speculated the following:

With the ongoing release of upwards of 1000 new top level domain extensions such as .web, .fun, .pics, .pay, .app, .home, .tube, .win, .cloud, .life, .fun, .book, .movie, .online and on and on and on. - We are all going to have unlimited opportunities for the personalization of our own domain names. Domain names that will be used primarily as Internet identities and Internet addresses. The places that we live on the Internet. Just as most of us move around in the real world and end up having several physical addresses over time. That is what will happen with our domain names. Depending on the usage at the time and our goals and objectives, we will all own at least one or maybe several or dozens or hundreds of domain names over the course of our lives. Some of them we will keep. Some we will sell. Some we will even trade or lease. Just we we do with the places we live in our mobile lives in the real world. Our lives on the Internet will be mobile and changeable and adaptable as well. Innovative and valuable domain name uses are going to spring up and draw us into them. With the introduction of these upwards of 1000 new domain name extensions- domain name applications and uses for the consumer and commercial use alike can ultimately explode exponentially.

Adding to the luster of domain name ownership and registrations are the fact that many domain registrations are going to continue to be purely speculative. Just as they are now. Of the almost 290 million domain names currently registered, how many were registered for speculative purposes? I would venture a guess at least two thirds. Domain Names that were registered as primarily investments. A hedge against the future that someone would pay the individual more in the future than they paid for the name. That trend will continue to happen, grow and I suspect accelerate. Where else can you buy (register) a commodity for say 10-20 dollars and turn around and potentially sell it for thousands of dollars or more? Almost nowhere else. That's called a low barrier to entry. Buying domain names is easy. Speculating on them is fun. Look for that trend to mushroom as well.

With this release of upwards or 1000 new Top Level Domain extensions onto the global marketplace-we are going to gradually see Domain names take a new seat in our society. Domain names are going to become more prevalent, more common, more ordinary and more a part of our everyday lives.

As I mentioned before. Think of mobile phone numbers and think of email addresses. How long ago was it when none of us had either one of those? Just a few short years ago. That is where domains names may be. Quite possibly a big part of all of our lives. Meaning that most of us will have one or more and we will all know what they are and can be used for. Much different than today.

(I still say) just give it some time.