Barron’s: “The Dot-Com Era Finally Comes to an End”

Barron’s, the weekly publication that has changed the fate of public companies and the direction of markets for over 50 years just covered the new gTLD’s in a story entitled:

The Dot-Com Era Finally Comes to an End

Like many accuse me of, the headline is more provocative than the story.

Baron’s is not predicting that .Com will be replaced by the new gTLD’s but rather discusses the new gTLD program the opportunity it will brings to come company’s it mentions like Donuts and Top Level Domains (Minds + Macines) and some applicants like Big Room’s .Eco bid.

Generally just an overall on the new gTLD program but once again domain names are being discussed in the biggest of business publications which can’t be a bad thing for the industry.

Some notable quotes out of the story:

“A new epoch begins this year on the Internet, ushered in by .MOVIE, .BEER, and perhaps, .FAIL. ”

“That tired old address suffix—.COM—will finally get some interesting company, as the directory overseers of the ‘net let loose with some 1,900 new word-strings to the right of the dot, a prestigious slice of cyber-real-estate known as the “Top Level Domain.”

“The possibility of creating a business like the .COM registry of VeriSign (VRSN), which boasts a $6 billion stock-market capitalization, animates guys like Jon Nevett, a co-founder of Bellevue, Wash.-based Donuts. Backed by over $100 million in venture capital, privately held Donuts has applied for 307 of the new TLDs, including .BABY, .CASINO and .PIZZA.”

“”You can think of .COM like a big downtown department store,” says Nevett. “We want to compete by building a shopping mall with a bunch of boutiques and a few anchor stores.” Donuts and a handful of others chasing portfolios will mostly emulate VeriSign, which runs the .COM directory but lets outfits like SuperBowl advertiser Go Daddy do the retailing of Internet addresses to end-users”.

“Top Level Domain Holdings is but a flyspeck, with a 6 pence share price and a market-cap equivalent to about $50 million. It’s got no revenues but has raised over $25 million from hedge funds and has no rivals for 16 of the TLDs it seeks, including .BEER, .VODKA, and .HORSE”.

“For names with more than one applicant, ICANN plans to put all who survive the initial background check into what it calls a “contention set.” The contested domain name will then be put to auction, although ICANN’s Willett hopes such an auction will be a last resort. Rivals will be encouraged to resolve their competition among themselves though negotiation, or even a private auction.

“There’s a trump card for some applicants, however, who apply as a “community” for TLDs like .ECO. Top Level Domain’s folks originally teamed up with Al Gore in pursuit of that name, but the former Veep parted ways before the application was filed”.

“Top Level Domain can still boast the endorsement of the Sierra Club for its .ECO application, but a Vancouver, BC,-based rival called Big Room, Inc. has applied as representative of the environmental “community” and has a crowd of endorsers like GreenPeace and the World Wildlife Federation. Under ICANN rules, if the agency agrees that Big Room represents a community, then it automatically wins”.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Well it seems futuroly not facts. Every stats and data pointed on the opposite, many of the new gTLD will be ignored for the millions that still want to invest on dot com or their neighbors dot net, dot org and even dot info that are being promoted by a special auction on Godaddy. I am not a conservative on the domains market but think that is simple futurology to conclude that “The Dot-Com Era Finally Comes to an End”.
    Thanks for the article. E pur si muove!

  2. BrianWick says

    The author is a frustrated person who could not get the .com he/she wanted – and decided there were 10 of thousands in the same boat – so the article was written – nothing more – nothing less

  3. BrianWick says

    BullS –
    so true – and sadly it is some folks that need to be BS’ed and know when they are being BS’ed and are happy with being BS’ed – and then they turn on the TV and watch BS network TV shows and BS network news telling them how smart they are – just like this fine Baron’s article :)

    Mike –
    sure you operate a “blog” or whatever you call it – but it is really THE publication of facts relevant to an industry so many folks are desparate to be part of.

  4. says

    It wasn’t a bad story. After all, people are attracted to headlines
    and theirs was simply a (loosely factual) way of getting you to
    read the article.

    I think that some of the gTLD applicants are making big mistakes,
    in the identities they’re choosing, but that ‘domainers’ are so
    desperate to ‘turn a buck’ that even crappy gTLDs will be able
    to sell names.

  5. Paul says

    To be fair, .Com domainers are not exactly unbiased.

    Having said that, I agree that it’s a sensationalistic headline which reeks of desperation. All too common in the media today. However, it probably stirred up some debate.

    I’m a fan of competition and consumers having options. That said, who needs 1,900 new strings? And how does “1,900 new word-strings to the right of the dot” represent “a prestigious slice of cyber-real-estate…”? More like flooding the market.

    I’m a fan of .Co, .Net, .Xxx and some others. Again, I’m all for competition, but not flooding the market with thousands of new extensions.

    .Com isn’t going anywhere. Everyone knows it’s been the dominant extension for years. However, there should be more than 3-4 viable competitors to .Com. Without competition consumers suffer. As reflected in the resale prices .Com domainers demand. I stress “demand”. Most .Com domains are parked indefinately, of no use to anyone. I’m sure even .Com domainers would admit, domaining is hit and miss. Mostly miss.

    So give the people more options. Why not? But 1,900+ more options? Overkill.

  6. says

    Of course it should also be pointed out that this is only the 1st round of what is anticipated to be many rounds of new gTLD’s so 1,900 is likely not to be the final number but the starting numbers.

    See Mr. Schilling post of a few months ago where he predicts hundreds of thousands of new gTLD’s, where brands and other opt to spend what ICANN promises will be less than $185K to get your own.

    Down the line company may will regularity choose to get their own right of the dot extension for less than the equivalent .com for a lot less money

  7. Grim says

    Articles like this suggest that someone has an economic interest in the seeing the new gTLDs succeed…. follow the money, and all that.

    Well, good luck to them. Although as I’ve stated before, it’s a bit late in the game to get so excited about new domain extensions, when there’s so much established website competition out there already. Unless you’re a registrar, of course. They’ll be the main winners in all this.

  8. says

    I agree with Paul, in that .com is not going anywhere, and think that
    gTLD’s that go beyond a 3-5 character range will really struggle, even
    if they are super-generic…

    e.g. “.web” will do well, but “.website” may not.

    Why is this?

    I think that people’s expectations regarding the ‘brevity of domains’
    can not be under-estimated here. They are used to typing/seeing a
    maximum of just 3 characters, right of the dot. Psychologically, I
    think that many web visitors will rebel against gTLDs that are much
    longer than that.

    gTLDs have the potential to be great, but applicants and promoters
    need to be sensitive to these concerns if they want their name to gain
    traction.

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