In a story just published by the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Race To Nab Web Addresses” chats about how this week ICANN will start accepting applications for new gTLD’s
“‘This week will bring the long-awaited opening up of a new realm of Web addresses in which just about any word—such as dot-furniture or dot-arcticvacations—can serve as a domain name. And to some, that spells opportunity.”
“It will be the first time in more than a decade that anyone can apply for the rights to control a slice of the broader Web marketplace, as opposed to just domains for specific types of Internet users.”
The article quotes a Jeffrey Smith saying that:
“He and domain-name speculators like him have been building entire businesses around ideas for new right-of-the-dot names, and in many cases they have lined up backers to help them cover application and other costs.”
“Mr. Smith and his eight partners started their business in 2000 for the sole purpose of having it become a dot-shop registry holder that could sell dot-shop Web addresses, such as jeans.shop and coats.shop. “I’ve dedicated the last 10 years to this,” says the 46-year-old Mr. Smith.”
“Mr. Smith says he has already put more than $2 million of his own money into his speculative dot-shop registry business. He and his partners have also lined up four angel investors to raise capital.”
I hate to tell Mr. Smith but GMO Interest the largest ISP in Japan and the 13th largest domain name registrar according to RegistrarStats.com, has been quite public in their interest in applying for .Shop and has maybe spent more money just on ICANN parties to promote their .Shop application than Mr. Smith and his partners have spent.
The article also quotes Jacob Malthouse who plans to apply for .Eco and attorney and fellow domain blogger Enrico Schaefer, who is quoted as saying:
“Mr. Schaefer thinks his undisclosed dot-something could become a leading rival to the ubiquitous dot-com registry. “Dot-com is not immune to real competition,” he says. “This will be the very first opportunity for competition to come to dot-com in a real, meaningful way.”
This is just one of many articles we should see this week about the new gTLD program in the mainstream press.