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Interpreting Rick’s Decision of Registering New gTLDs

Posted on 31 May 2014 by Andrei

Earlier today, Mike Berkens wrote a post about the fact that Rick Schwartz registered 500+ new gTLD domains and a lot of people were surprised. In my opinion, there’s absolutely nothing to be surprised about and I’ll try to explain why.

First and foremost, it’s important to view the situation from Rick’s perspective. At the moment of writing, he owns almost 6,000 domains if I’m not mistaken, most of them dot coms. Some were hand registered (he’s been doing this for a very long time, so it’s reasonably safe to assume that quite a few were registered back in the Network Solution days and renewed up until this point) and owned for a lot of time, some were bought on the aftermarket.

All in all, his investment in his mostly-dot-com portfolio is quite high if you factor in the amount it took to keep his inventory renewed and to acquire domains on the aftermarket. In comparison, the amount he is experimenting with now in the new gTLD space isn’t very high.

The amount it takes to register 500+ new gTLDs may seem high for most people but as far as Rick is concerned, it’s not *that* much of a risk in his case but rather an interesting experiment. He earns a living in the domain space and has been doing that for a very long time, so experimenting makes perfect sense.

If his experience will prove to be a success, he will make money.

If not, he will have some very important answers that will ultimately help him put together a strategy for the future.

At this point, he’s basically gathering data and based on the results he and others will observe, decisions will ultimately be made. The same principle is valid when it comes to pretty much any other industry, ours is by no means an exception.

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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Ms Domainer Says:

    *

    No mystery at all, and interpretation is a fool’s errand. How can we really “interpret” someone else’s motives?

    This is a field in which lemming behavior is rampant. (Guilty of it myself, but getting better at beating back negative impulses).

    I would say that registering crap domains in new gTLDs is foolish, which is really all that is left, now that the registries are hogging up the top keywords for themselves.

    Perhaps .club is better than most at being open and reasonable in price, although it is still limited in its usage.

    I would think that the acid test for the new g’s will come when .web is released; if .web can’t make it in the mainstream, then we will have our answer re: the success or failure new g’s.

    *

  2. Andrei Says:

    @Ms Domainer: sure, dot Web is/will be one of the strongest extensions but I think the success or failure of new gTLDs will be collective rather than individual.

    Dot info has lots of registrations, dot biz has lots of registrations, dot TV has lots of registrations, dot me has lots of registrations, dot co has lots of registrations. Even dot mobi has close to a million registrations. Dot tv, me and co are actually ccTLDs technically speaking but they’re marketed as gTLDs and are “de facto” gTLDs.

    Yet ask 100 random people to name just one extension aside from dot com/net/org and that person’s ccTLD and most of them (the overwhelming majority) will be literally clueless.

    In other words, the existing gTLD alternatives aren’t mainstream despite the fact that we’re talking about over a million registrations in each case.

    Therefore, I don’t think just one strong new gTLD such as dot Web can generate mainstream awareness. Not even if it were to have 5-6 million registrations like dot info. I think the success or failure will ultimately be collective.

    Through the sheer volume of extensions coming to the market (rather than a few individual success stories), some domainers think new gTLDs as a whole will ultimately go mainstream. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t but again, the success of failure of new gTLDs as a whole in terms of adoption will be a matter of collective rather than individual impact in my opinion.

  3. Ms Domainer Says:

    *

    The grandfathered TLDs (g’s and cc’s) were able to garner their large numbers because there wasn’t a glut of new gTLDs flooding the market at one time.

    Also, it took years for some of those oldies to reach their current numbers — and they are not still considered “successes.” .TV may be on the verge of enjoying some success in the mainstream.

    In business, there is a term that explains what happens when there is a glut of product or service on any market: “The Point of Diminishing Returns.” I can’t imagine that something like .horse or even .club will enjoy any massive success in the mainstream; they are just too limited in focus and scope.

    I cite .web because of its general usage possibilities, for if it doesn’t succeed, then I can’t imagine that any other new g will break out, at least anytime soon — and certainly not until the mainstream knows and accepts them.

    *

  4. simple-man Says:

    I am confused.
    Why will Rick change his position overnight?

    I guess it is all business :)

  5. John Says:

    The gtlds is an interesting experiment. I only bought one for defensive purposes.

    Let us all try this on for size and always remember this:
    If you own the .Com of a name that is say, registered in 100 different gtld extensions, and one day you told a person to visit your site at whatever and you deliberately not tell this person it’s a .Com, what happens? They usually will ask “you mean whatever.com?”.

    What if you wrote it down on paper and that person left with that paper and later opened up his browser and then realized you did not specify it was a .Com, what do you think the first extension will be, that this person will try?

    I had a person who wanted to buy a .Com from me. Would not pay. Bought a gtld as an alternative. Guess what? This person came back to buy the .Com when they discovered the gtld was really problematic when their clients thought the gtld was a typo or kept adding .Com to the end of their new name.

  6. Tom Says:

    Surely Rick will tell us on the domainsherpa discussion this coming week.

  7. Jason Says:

    Nothing new here. Rick says do not buy the pigeon shit gTLDs, as he is silently buying them up.

    Keep the competition out, more for him to register.

 
 
         
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