Often wrong, always adamant! For what’s it worth here is my thoughts on the new domain name suffixes that are making all the news.
Many are promoting this as “the biggest change to the way people find each other on the internet since its inception” (Paul Twomey from domain contolling authority ICann). “Apart from the .com, .net or .org, 1.3 billion web users will be able from early 2009 to acquire generic addresses by lodging common words such as .love, .hate or .city, or proper names,” he said.
In my opinion it will have little effect. At the end of the day .com will always be the first and foremost important domain. In the most part if the domain is not available in the standard channels then creating a “similar” domain with a different suffix is not going to help you capture market share. Let’s say someone decides that they are going to setup .search and register google.search – users are not going to be fooled and likewise I would not think it would take very long for the holder of that URL to get a wee knock on the door from the Google lawyer. I think it is pretty much in everyones normal method that if they are trying to guess a domain the first place they start is with the .com and then if that is not correct then with the country code of company they are searching – I would expect this to remain the case for a long time.
I certainly don’t think it will be the case that we are going to see a rush of new domains infringing on others business names. If the domain is gone in the .com or for a New Zealand company the .co.nz then I think people are far to weary these days to try and register the businesses competing name with a different URL.
The only interesting thing will be if the big boys start registering domains for fun, for example Flickr might become flickr.photos – and because they would own the right to issue the suffix no one else have access to this. This might create an interesting competitive advantage. There might be a few new domains that are launched, maybe .xxx for the porno sites or alternatively we might get some real inventive domains such as was the case with the guys that came up with using their sub domains to create del.icio.us and script.alicio.us but overall I don’t think there will be much of the shift that everyone in the general public seems to be talking about.