ICANN Opens Flood Gates To New Extensions

ICANN has unimously voted to allow an unlimited amount of new TLD’s, using any combination of letters and numbers, including non-Latin characters.

In CNN article annoucing the decision it states in part:

“””The decision could spell the end for traditional Web addresses ending .com and .org and country names like .jp or .fr with Web sites able to use easier-to-remember suffixes such as .hotel or .sex.””””

Of course the current US adminstration already nixed the .xxx extension.

However this action, combined with a possible democratic administration that would be in place in early 2009, when the first applications are expected to be received, might allow a .sex, .xxx or similar extension to pass.

In addition to adult extensions, it is expected there will be many application for Geo extensions with .paris, .berlin and .nyc already having groups formed to sponsor them.

Right now we are just left with a lot of questions:

Will this as many predict start another “gold rush” to acquire the top domains for each new extension?

How will type in traffic fair if there are hundreds of new choices?

What effect hundreds of new extension all hitting the market in 2009 or 2010 have or the current value of .com’ and other current TLD’s, now and in the future?


  1. says

    You are thinking its bad for dot COM because as people who sleep, eat, breath and live domains long before the majority of the world gets it or will- you can envision the possibilities and loose sight of the fact that end users won’t have the insight or perspective to see what you see.

    In fact they may never notice this at all.

    The whole thrill of the search is to eliminate the middle man and pocket the savings. You’re not looking for a Realtor, you’re looking for a place to sell property direct and net 6% more.

    And realtors aren’t lining up for domains because they don’t have the marketing skills or budget to develop them any better then you can. The realtors who are in the top tier, who embrace marketing, already have their own sites under their name with dotCOM. And a massive opt-in list and social network.

    You know the ones I’m talking about whose names you know from the post cards mailings they’ve been sending like clockwork for years. There are 600 realtors in my community, and only two of them have ever done anything to get my attention. I can’t see the other 598 rushing out to launch their dot Realtor site.

    The ones with the name and reputation are the brand. They are how you make more money or sell faster then doing it yourself online because of who they know and what they know.

    They are the best and their dot COM branding and digital marketing savvy not only re-enforces that but is the value add they can put to work for their clients.

    Do I want a champion on my side that’s going to do emails, blog posts and press releases to connect with the best buyers for my home, or a Realtor who will list it in MLS and send a rookie to read the paper on Sunday in my living room and hope that the 4 or 5 open house signs placed nearby will deliver a buyer?

    If that’s all you have to do to make $30K commission on my $500K home, I’m already home on Sunday reading the paper, I can type in “list my home” into Google and the first result (owners.com) lets me do it for $377. I’m $27,923 richer by NOT searching for a Realtor.

    And here’s what this all means to you. If owners.com was auctioned a domainer wouldn’t pay much and would put up a PPC page. After 13 years he will leave as he came, with a name that has no 0ther value. The hope is that back on the auction it will have more value in 2008 then 1995.

    But the guy who acquired owners.com in 1995 built a different idea around it: You can make more money helping people succeed without a Realtor then you can leading them to one. Today Owners.com has helped owners in all 50 states market over 1 million homes, accounting for more than $200 billion in home sales.

    At $377 a listing, without any type-ins this ONE domain has exceeded what Frank and Kevin made in the same timeframe, without any hassle. At 10 x revenue it’s a $3 billion domain. With a customer base worth at least $30 per record let alone what third party offers they can monetize from it.

    When you say you need big development- no you need a big idea or to lend your domain to someone with one.

    How many domains does Michael own that he could build a model like this on? I bet many and he could launch a site and patented application for far less then he spent at Tucows only to get fxcxxx and now worried about PPC or competing extensions.

    Forget what you think you know.

    Compare your best domain on PPC after 13 years to this:

    We are our own worst enemies.

    dot Sex? Do you really want that in your browser history for your wife, kids and employer to discover? There’s a reason for “discreetly billed as…”

    Do I need to go to newyork.realtor to see ads from Remax and Century 21. I don’t need a better navigation tool to find those.

    These extensions are not a threat because there’s a bigger threat and better alternative for end users that’s been eating our lunch. It’s called Google.

    It works just like these extensions with a little help from and a big spiff to browser makers, isps, and pc makers to make the search bar the “better address” bar.

    It’s better because when you can’t exactly remember the name or extension you heard about, by using this bar you get some suggestions to tickle your memory.

    Type in your example “new york criminal lawyer” and see what awaits you. Add dot COM, dot WHATEVER and as long as you are doing it in the search bar, you’re going to find more compelling results then had you landed on the PPC page. For starters, like those who look bigger and more successful with the bolder Yellow Page display ads- the thinking is if they are on top of Google and can afford to advertise here, they must be big– they must be the best.

    Notice on the results page the domain newyorkcriminallawyers.com makes no other claim, while surrounding it the ads offer a benefit to the surfer and use their own firm names which may already be well-known or promoted in the community. You think “I know this name, they are good.”

  2. says


    With all due respect, i could not disagree with you more. IMO you are out of touch with what is going on. Yes you are well respected in some circles. I do not mean this as a personal attack. Bottom line, you may be dead by the time this happens (I am assuming based on your posts that you are pushing 60’s), but things will change in a big way.

  3. says

    In retrospect,

    ADMIN Please delete my last post and I want to make a public apology to Owen. I did not intent to be disrespectful and after I looked at it, I realized I was.

    Owen, we can agree to disagree and only time will tell which of us is correct.

  4. Jimmy says

    Brian Berke if .com is in trouble to .city then your .tv network is really in trouble. Because if .com getting hurt

    .info biz tv mobi eu getting wiped out. I DON’T THINK THEY WILL BUT SINCE YOU WANT TO TELL DAVID .com getting hurt. THEN .city or .houston or.sandiego means Sandiego.tv getting affected.

    David you have to understand outside of Michael, the others debating you do not have great .com.

  5. says

    Hope I can post this comment as I am almost 60 and I apologise if I lose the plot part way through with memory loss or the effect of all the medication you have to take after 55 years
    Admin how do you think the Domain Parking companies will react to the temporary surge

  6. says

    Brian, alls good. I got a little carried away on this topic because some spin maestro put out a press release and everyone took the bait.

    As for my age, I’m 20 years older then Microsoft and as old as Steve Jobs. Old enough to see investors bet on the youthful enthusiasm that triggered the dot COM boom and bust. But wise enough to realize why the old fart Steve Jobs succeeded where the Napster kids and the world’s best developers failed.

    In their early ads, Apple Computer urged people to “think different,” using photos of celebrated innovators like Einstein, Edison, Picasso and Frank Lloyd Wright to
    remind us that progress is often made by those who defy convention and look beyond the accepted ways of doing things.

    So let me leave you with some advice from Einstein himself:

    “Talent is important, being smart helps, and knowing how to think is essential, but the way you solve creative problems is by working on them…and working on them. You have to be relentless in your search for an answer. You have to know that your first 100 ideas will be lame or have been done before. You have to bang out every stupid/pointless idea, pun or joke you have in you and then keep going. Only by constantly doing that will you uncover original ideas or original uses of ideas.”

  7. admin says


    Well said.

    I left the comment to age in, as I think that is a common feeling by many, not in a mean way, but many think that if your over 30, your too old to connect to what is going on in today’s world.

    Too old school.

    But as a guy also pushing 50, hard, I hear all the time that we are now out of the loop.

    So your point about Steve Jobs is bang on.

    Moreover lets not forget that although no 40 somethings invented facebook or myspace, a lot of them were instrumental in investing in them early on and got them the ability to grow to where they are now.

    Creating is one talent

    Recognition of a great concept, investing in them and having the ability to support it financially is another talent.

  8. says


    I never said “.com is in trouble” if it is developed well. That is my point. PPC will no longer be enough in this world. My city network must also be developed and meet expectation or it to will “in trouble”. Times are changing. The rules are changing. In the end the most dynamic content will win the day, Period.

  9. Subash says

    .com is just like crude oil. The middle east countries dominates the power of crude oil.

    .net is like diesel cars.

    .city, .nyc. and etc is like hybrid cars, electric cars, natural gas vehicle cars and so on.

    As for now everyone uses petrol to run their cars. It might take a long time for people to convert over to other type of cars.

  10. says

    Wow. How can anyone post after Owen? Great points, Mr. Frager.

    Just wanted to throw a few things out there:

    1.) Domainers are the most forward thinking people I know and I come from a physics/science background (where forward thinking is encouraged). The average domainer is more cutting edge than the vanguard of most other industries (not to mention the cutting edge domainers we have posting on this blog). I think we tend to overstate the general public’s ability to grasp some of the things we take for granted. I’m talking about the people who can’t even program the time on their VCR’s let alone have the wherewithal to type in ‘bestfares.travel’ into their browser bar. If the general public behaves like the average domainer (embracing new technology, anticipating the future, etc), undeveloped dotcom’s might be in trouble. But, we are talking about people who don’t know or don’t even care about the difference between the search and address bars.

    2.) Totally agree with David’s advice: take your 5 best domains and develop the heck out of them. This applies with or without the opening of pandora’s box of vanity or niche TLD’s.

    3.) Say someone owns domain.net or .org and I own the dotcom. They develop their sites and I park my dotcom. Their developed sites help add to my type-in traffic – true or false? A developed bestfares.travel would drive more traffic to bestfares.com – true or false?

  11. says

    Two critically important factors not yet addressed–or appreciated–in this discussion are:

    1. Continued rapid US and international population growth.

    2. Continued rapid growth of people using the Internet for the first time.

    When added to the salient factors already laid out by David and Owen, the owners of .com and the ccTLDs have nothing to worry about, as 10s to 100s of millions of these new people using the Internet each year insures no less than a maintenance of current usage–and therefore valuation–levels for .com and ccTLDs.

    Furthermore, using the analogy of the rise of new TV stations with the resultant lost of viewership by ABC, NBC, and CBS with this expansion of new extensions is misplaced; as it is likely that few if any companies or other entities will pour the 100’s of millions to 1+ billion dollars it cost in advertising and programming costs for companies like Fox and HBO to become competitors to the entrenched networks.

    One has only to look at the failure of UPN; and the virtual failure of the money-losing CW networks–where these 100’s of millions were spent, and lost–to see that this is so.

    One of the factors ICANN will need to address and have procedures in place for is what to do about the 100’s of coming failures of these new extensions in the years ahead . . . as what was once seen as overflowing new pots of gold by many turns out to be nothing more than worthless dirt.

  12. says

    Regarding Question #3: YES to both.

    Yes, a developed dotOrg or dotNet throws traffic to the dotCom. We know this for an absolute fact. For example, our Rate.com has always done excellent type-in traffic, but one day it shot though the roof. The reason? We discovered that a major loan company had launched Rate.net the day before. They were using Rate.net in a lot of their TV and radio ads. And guess which address they remembered?

    And, Yes, a developed bestfares.travelwould drive traffic to bestfares.com.

    In the past 12 years I’ve learned three things about dotCom traffic:

    1) With search engines, it’s a level playing field. Google doesn’t care ifyour dotCom or dotBiz. However, when it comes to radio and TV ads people mostly remember what they hear before the word “dot” and many will default to dotCom when they try to remember the extension. This was true when there was only dotCom, dotOrg and dotNet to choose from. Can you imagine when there are hundreds of TLDs?

    2) A parked dotCom will receive type-in traffic, but not return traffic because there is little user experience with a parked name. This is true with any dotCom, but you can really see the difference with the better names.

    3) DotComs are the only TLDs (besides, perhaps, some major ccTLDs) that receive any type-in traffic. We own some great dotOrg and dotNet names. They receive practically zero direct navigation.

  13. says

    David, thanks for that reply. It’s exactly what I was trying to get it and your three reasons are why dotcom, developed or not, will be in the future at least as valuable/relevant if not more so than they are now.

  14. Seb says


    ICANN is opening the door to a huge mess for companies of all size, SMBs to Fortune 500.
    Companies were used (should i say forced) to register their company name and brands in all new extensions ICANN would come up with : .eu / .mobi / .asia
    These are nothing but defensive registrations, mostly not resolving or simply redirecting to the .com corporate site.
    On top of that, multinational companies faced an even bigger challenge registering, managing (or fighting for) their name and brands in all cctlds (248 of them).

    With several hundreds new extensions launched, there are two options :
    1/ SMBs will give up their fight for defensive registrations.
    It would cost some of them more than what they earn on an annual basis !
    2/ Legal departments of bigger companies are pretty upset and will start suing ICANN en masse

    I can tell you that this door ICANN has tried to open yesterday is not opened yet, it could even end up slamming in their face.
    Their plan is to flood the cyberspace with new extensions, i can already see them flooded with lawsuits.
    They know it and that’s probably why they wanted to move to Switzerland…

    As to Fortune 500 giving up their dotcom identity (they’ve spend millions branding) to move to their own dot, (like .ebay or .intel) that just won’t happen.
    Being your own registry puts you in too much trouble for no reward at all.
    It requires employees with huge technical skills working 24/7 and costs a fortune, probably a million dollars a year or more.
    Why would any company pay that price when you can get a much safer web presence for….let me think about it….JUST $8.95 PER YEAR, under both verisign’s umbrella and your registrar’s umbrella ?
    If you go for it, you’ll then have to deal with pirates constantly trying to hack and put your registry down.
    Can you imagine .eBay without website or email access for 24 hours ?
    (By the way, email address would look very ugly : email@email.ebay or email@ebay.ebay )
    If your registry is being hacked, the world will be watching to see if you can get away with it and how long it takes you to get out of that mess.
    With your company dotcom, it’s very unlikely a hack will happen and if does, you’ll let Verisign deal with it and your company reputation will be safe.
    If you’re selling things on the internet, running a registry is definitely not your job and it’s not worth dedicating resources to it.

  15. says

    Thank you David


    I sincerely hope this proposal coming out of nowhere can still be opposed by the congress or any other entity.
    Time to start lobbying for everyone, brand owners and domain name owners, all united for once…

    Because ICANN is also opening the door to a huge mess for companies (or individuals) having invested large amounts of money in internet real estate.

    One side was not enough, domain owners are now being attacked on both sides of the dot.
    We were questionably accused of cybersquatting, trademark infringement and dilution by brand owners for generic one word dictionary names on the left side of the dot.
    Now ICANN wants to dilute the value of our intellectual property assets by allowing anyone to create a whole registry squatting on our domain names…

    Time to create a udRrp = uniform dispute Registry resolution policy for domain name owners squatted on the right of the dot ?

    I know ICANN thought about his wallet by auctioning registries if several parties are interested in running them.
    We’re not interested.
    I’ll sue ICANN for every new registry proposal that moves the left of any of our domains to the right of the dot (mydomain.com / .mydomain) on the ground of dilution of our intellectual property assets.
    I encourage everyone to do so.
    Rick Schwartz should if someone wants a .candy or a .property
    Escom should more than anyone because .sex will be first in line.
    With 21 tlds and 248 cctlds owners who all use the same name on the left of the dot, that’s 269 possibilities for ICANN to be sued FOR EACH new tld application !!!

    There’s a lot of easy money to be made from ICANN and their new naming proposal coming out of nowhere and changing all the established rules.
    I’m sure a big law firm will be interested in representing all of us in a class action.

    Guess what : ICANN spent $10M of our own hard earned money (you know, the ICANN fee we pay for every domain registration and renewal) to produce this thing that might put us all in trouble !
    Isn’t it sweet and marvelous ?

    There should have been less domain names today.
    Historically, when the DNS was created, DNS fathers thought sub-domains would be much more widely used.
    That means registrars were supposed to sell lots and lots of sub-domains and only a few domains.
    We all know what it looks like today.
    But it seems selling domains with a $0.20 fee per domain per year (even with a record number of domain names) was definitely not enough for ICANN.
    The great idea is that there was more money to be made in selling a thousand registries at $100,000 each or more.
    On top of that, it doesn’t hurt if you can still charge a $0.20 fee per domain on these new registries 😉
    What’s next to improve ICANN’s budget so that they can show their muscles to Verisign next time the .COM contract comes up for renewal ?
    Well, i suggest ICANN should give someone the key to all tld registries (including the thousand new ones) for one billion per year.

    ICANN, you’d better buy a large umbrella as it’s going to rain very hard on you, i feel there’s a storm with very dark clouds just above your head.
    It’s coming from every direction.

    It won’t get any better when the first registry collapses, leaving a few thousand registrants (people thinking they finally found a great domain name) without any website or email for their business…

  16. question says

    This looks to hurt gTLDs and help ccTLDs.

    Unlimited new general or commercial extensions will mean there is less emphasis on any particular extension, changing the game as admin says above. Think tags, Digg and del.icio.us. This affects .com disproportionately and as also said above, our kids and those that will live on these ‘open’ extensions (and search) will have no reason to artificially maintain .com as an article of faith, particularly where it has no inherent meaning or navigation value.

    But the new laser targeted geo domains, by definition, still all slot in and support the hierarchy of geography and therefore ccTLDs; to define a country they still rule.

    That said of course definitive, useful or established names should continue to attract the light no matter what extension, like on any keen new vTLD.

    In all it seems a well crafted way of shifting power from .com and PPC. I didn’t do it.

  17. admin says


    Excellent points.

    Man we got some smart people over here.

    Great catch on the zdnet article.

    I wonder what CANDA position will be on all this.

    Maybe they will lobby against this, and thereby for once help us out at the same time.

    No doubt this is a legal mess.

    Forcing corporations to pay registration fees for 100’s of extensions, not to mention all of the abuse that will occur taking into account mis-spells etc will be a nightmare for trademark holders.

    A very expensive nightmare.

  18. says

    del.icio.us had no effect on dotCom.
    After all this time, dotUs is still struggling.

    The kids of today are being spoonfed dotCom on every television commercial. I make it a habit of noticing every domain name splashed across the screen and 99% are dotCom.

    Coporate America has spent billions branding themselves into the public’s mind with dotCom. They’re not going to suddenly switch gears to rebrand themselves simply because ICAAN wants to make more money.

  19. admin says


    You want to go to the top left of the page and hit the submit a post and put your your responses here, including the link to the article in a post and I will publish it as a guest post.

    Definitely worthy and needs to be highlighted and the topic discussed

  20. says

    Guys – there is a very, very bright silver lining to all of this that you are all missing.

    Clownpenis.fart will finally become a reality.

    (see my sig if you don’t understand)

  21. says

    de.licio.us DID NOT HELP DOT US….
    BUT…what was it’s effect on the keyword delicious?
    Let the historic records reflect the right and correct the wrong.
    The domain hack is worth more than 300 times the mathematical value of dot com.
    And that my friends is only with the current 300 or so available extensions.
    Domain Hacks Are Priceless. (match.com) Was chipped away by (match.net) (match.info) (match.org) (match.edu) etc. then 275+ country codes.

    YOU CAN’T EVER TOUCH (mat.ch)
    match.net cost 100 dollars
    match.com cost millions
    mat.ch PRICELESS

  22. says

    “If the volume of applications received significantly exceeds 500, applications will be processed in batches and the 5-month timeline will not be met. The first batch will be limited to 500 applications and subsequent batches will be limited to 400 to account for capacity limitations due to managing extended evaluation, string contention, and other processes associated with each previous batch.

    A process external to the application submission process will be employed to establish evaluation priority. This process will be based on an online ticketing system or other objective criteria.”

  23. Domo Sapiens says

    2008 June 27 David J Castello permalink
    del.icio.us had no effect on dotCom.
    After all this time, dotUs is still struggling.

    The kids of today are being spoonfed dotCom on every television commercial. I make it a habit of noticing every domain name splashed across the screen and 99% are dotCom.

    Coporate America has spent billions branding themselves into the public’s mind with dotCom. They’re not going to suddenly switch gears to rebrand themselves simply because ICAAN wants to make more money.

    agree 200 %.
    deli end buying the dot com anyway..isnt?
    Mega Business plataforms (worth trillions) are built under a .com domain, from google , ebay, amazon, dell ,yahoo, intel, etc etc , even thinking about re-branding any of them sounds completely irrealistic and stupid…
    New Coke anyone…?

    As usual people selling the “shovels and picks” will be the only winners (and a speculator or two ) pretty much as a see the .co hoopla panning out…

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