And I’m OK with it but ICANN is a bunch of pushovers. Long ago they quit being the manager of TLDs and became the lackey of every company that is willing to pay big money for a new TLD. The recent vote to allow .XXX proved once and for all that it really has nothing to do with what anyone wants, but rather what’s good for the pocketbook.
Let me get this straight. I have no problem with porn. As long as as a user of the Internet is warned what they are about to see, it is fine in my book. In some cases I see that having the XXX ending will help in this manner. Unfortunately, it’s a little too much too late. If this would have been created initially then it would have worked very well. But it wasn’t. Now it serves no purpose other than to force existing adult sites to protect their names and register the dot XXX version. Although ICM claims that only adult industry companies will be able to register these names we know that won’t be true. Almost anyone with a little effort can be involved in the registration. Even worse, if only adult companies can register then what keeps adult domainers from registering the .xxx of non adult companies and trying to sell them back?
So how is this different than the other new tlds? In reality it isn’t. It’s no different than .mobi, .cm, .tv, and .co. Another release of a tld with the reasoning of need. While I can’t really tell you if there are needs for more tlds, I can tell you the reason the most obvious reason they are released. Money. I can also tell you that nearly all of the purchases will be defensive or speculative. Neither which provide real reasoning to release more tlds. I don’t care if they release 50 more tlds because I’m smart enough to stay away. There are thousands of people and companies that can’t. They have to register all the tlds that bare their trademark. An instant windfall to the tld owners and in my opinion, combined with speculators, the only reason any of these are being released.
Only time will tell how this will play out and dot co is proving that not all new tlds are created equal. It seems to be taking hold in both the domain investing community and slowly in the general public and certainly is fueling the new tld craze. The key is the general public as it is the true determinate of the future of of a tld. An answer that is many years away. But for every dot co there are going to be 20 tlds that cost users and investors millions and even dot co isn’t a sure thing. There certainly have been some good dot co sales but if you dig deeper, most of the names that have been sold were never available to the general public. Most were registered during the Sunrise period. This is not to say that I don’t like dot co. Personally, I think it is a good risk reward scenario. High risk but high reward. I can not say the same for almost all the rest of the recent tld releases. And I certainly feel more comfortable paying a little more in the “second round” than being an earlier adopter. I can see if a tld has legs before I spend good money.
As for the companies behind the new tlds. Why wouldn’t they want to be in? It’s a cash cow. Snapnames is behind ICM, the owner of XXX and if I were them, I would be in the same place. From a business standpoint it’s a brilliant move. It’s the only side you want to be on. The profitable side.