In a recent blog post, Frank Schilling of NA Media, owner of close to 400,000 domain names, one of the domain industry’s most powerful and successful individuals of all time has made some bold predictions regarding new gTLD’s. In the post titled “In New gTLDs, The Only Certainty is Change” Schilling brings up a few very real (potentially) scenario’s that could play out in as little as a few years from now that would forever change the internet naming system that we have all gotten so used to. Schilling predicts:
“The big brands that were not in the first round of applications will exert immense pressure to have the application window open again and there will be 10,000 strings in round 2, followed by 30,000 more in round 3. Once again, I predict no shortage of willing participants who hope to emulate the Fortune 1,000.
With the last of Pandora free from her box you can expect to see technical standards change more quickly because corporate America, Europe and Asia will demand it. Get ready for some new faces to show up at ICANN meetings of the future. Inviting the Fortune 500′s marketing department into the root will change the outcome of ICANN’s bottom up consensus.
There will be less attorneys and technical intermediaries than the past, if only on a volume basis – at least one ICANN meeting per year will feel more like a COMDEX show than an ICANN meet. There will be immense pressure on the technical apparatus to try new things and innovate, for the the World’s brands benefit.”
Currently there are around 315 top level domains in the world, according to the IANA’s Root Zone Database. There are 293 ccTLD’s such as .UK, .CN and .DE. 14 sponsored sTLD’s such as .MOBI, .TRAVEL, and the recently approved .XXX. 4 original gTLD’s: .COM, .NET, .ORG which are the most popular, and .INFO. 3 gTLD’s that are/were restricted: .NAME, .PRO and .BIZ.
Schilling presents various theories regarding the newly proposed and soon to be me available sponsored gTLD’s that will be getting rolled out in 2013 in his post once ICANN approves the new generic top level domains… He goes on to say:
“The billions of dollars in new marketing for more intuitive site labels will drive the acceptance of, and navigation to, generic SLDs like Used.Cars; just as generic intuitive SLD’s such as PickupTrucks.com became more viable due to brands marketing URLs like ToyotaTrucks.com or EbayMotors.com before them. Latch onto the belief that things will be the same forever if you wish, but today’s technically savvy Internet user will require much less time to get used to new GTLDs than the 14 years it took a stunned World to come to grips with the concept of .COM SLDs”
The post has shaken things up all over the domaining industry, setting abuzz the various forums, blogs and provoking many people’s minds who are now coming to realization that there is a very real possibility that things will be getting flipped almost as if it was upside down. It is not clear what will happen once all of these new gTLD’s arrive, nobody knows for sure, but Frank urges everybody to keep an open mind.
“Regardless of your viewpoint on the future potential of new gTLDs, whether you agree with my theories or not, you should open your mind to the possibilities ahead, much as you did when you registered your first .COM name. The registrants of the future who take registrations in these new spaces are no crazier than you were in the early days when you registered your .COM. I am certain that this new gTLD window will bring some significant changes that we should all prepare for.”
So what do you guys think… How many new gTLD’s are we going to have around in a few years from now?