2000 new domain name suffixes – not a great idea

ICANN accepts applications for over 2000 new domain name extensions (suffixes)

Image of Question graffitti

Photo (snigl3t)

On June 13, 2012, ICANN released information about new extensions that take the domain name space in a new direction beyond the current easily recognizable spaces such as dot-com (.com), dot-org (.org) or our beloved country code dot-ca (.ca).

ICANN tried this in the past, but many of those extensions did not exactly “catch on fire”

ICANN has not approved any of the over 2,000 new top level domain names that have been applied for yet and some of the names, such a dot-bank (.bank) are in contention (in other words more than one organization has applied for the same name). ICANN has yielded to pressure from some businesses who want to vastly increase the number of extensions (suffixes)…largely, in my mind, for marketing purposes (or from the point of view of a person who owns a registry, to force trademark holders have to pay through the nose to protect their brands). This, in spite of the fact that other new extensions have approved by ICANN in the past, such as dot-me (.me), dot-travel (.travel), dot-museum (.museum), dot-mobi (.mobi) or even dot-biz (.biz). I am not putting these extensions down, but they have not really “caught on fire” in the minds of the public.

Business owners still want the dot-com (.com) version of their name

Business owners still want the dot-com version of their domain name. In Canada, brand recognition of dot-ca (.ca) is pretty high, especially when compared, relatively speaking with the counterpart to the south of us the dot-us (.us) brand. So in Canada, many business want both the dot-com (.com) and the dot-ca (.ca) version of their business name.

There are still a large number of consumers, who really think of a uniform resource locator (URL) as http://www.SomeBusinessnName.com. They do not really recognize any other domain name suffixes. Granted, most customers do not type in a URL, they find businesses via search engines.

Nonetheless, I think that there is a good reason to think that adding 2,000 domain name suffixes is not really going to help people sell more products or make their businesses more findable online.

The “not such a great idea” scratch test

Image of cat claw

Photo: (barockschloss)

Here is the scratch test. Psychologists tell us that people can usually remember a list of about 7-8 items. Here is your challenge, and you can’t enter if you are one of my friends who works in or has worked in the domain name industry:

Can you name 8 domain name extensions (suffixes) that are currently available for sale right now?

Unless you work in, or around the domain name industry, it is not that easy to do…

It will be really fun with people are asked to remember over 2000 of them.

Does the business I am looking for use a dot-this or a dot-that? Hmmmm, I can’t remember 2000 different extensions.

I can see it coming…

O how I long for the days when it was just a dot-com, dot-ca, dot-org or dot-net…and life was simple.

Do you agree with me, or are you excited about all the possibilities that come with the new extensions (suffixes)? I would love to hear your views on this.

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