New-GTLDs are boring
--- Francesco Cetraro, Former-Head of Registry Operations at .CLOUD from his essay Exit Music (notes for a new TLD round from a former nTLD manager)
This is a damning indictment and a statement that is hard not to agree with. In most cases new-GTLD registry operators have failed to provide any innovation whatsoever in the domain name market – all they have offered is more, but inferior, choice of the same. They have not offered customers new innovative solutions, but just more of the same.
Some three years after the launch of over a thousand new top level domains, they all still seem to be chasing the same market as dot-COM – except, on the whole, both site owners and end users would still prefer to see sites ending dot-COM.
“We're like dot-COM, but we're not dot-COM” is not a great marketing strategy. What customers want is to be shown creative and innovative ways to attract more traffic to their products or content. Customers want solutions, not features.
So what could they do? After all, isn't DNS just a simple mechanism for translating semi-human readable terms into the numbers (IP Addresses) the computers prefer. Well, yes, that is its most basic job, but that's not to say it is the only thing it can do. In addition to caring both IPv4 & IPv6 address records, DNS can support over 65,000 other different data types. Making it a massive worldwide scalable database, with automatic caching built-in.
Further more, since the signed ROOT zone was officially released to the public in July-2010, all the data carried in the DNS system has the potential to be cryptographically verified by anybody. This is called DNSSEC.
Both DNSSEC and the new-GTLDs have the potential to transform the usage of DNS into far more than it currently does, but the new-GTLDs registry operators seem to have missed a tick in not offering creative and innovative new ways to use their interesting offerings.
The question of what they should be offering however is slightly harder to answer, but over at Names.of.London, using their brand Phrases.for.Sale, they have come up with an innovative new way to use domains name to turn your company name, slogan, strap-line, product or event into a clickable phrase.
This means a phrase that all browsers and most social media platforms like Twitter will automatically recognise as a domain name and so provide a click-through to your website, while at the same time reading as natural language. Here are some examples …
gifts.for.men, ladies.of.fashion, taste.of.london, trucks.for.sale, two.for.one, wine.for.sale, fitness.for.men, photos.of.london, tours.of.london, week.of.fashion, all.for.one, world.of.fashion, hooked.on.fashion, cycle.to.work, just.for.men, one.for.one, empty.our.casino, join.our.bingo, cooking.with.fish, sold.with.land, games.with.gold, kings.of.football, me.and.mom, all.under.one, baby.and.mom
All these are new-GTLD domain names that Names.of.London are offering as clickable phrases that can be directly forward to any of your existing web content (URL) – whether that's your main website, a page for a product or event, a blog or a twitter feed.
This offers a innovative way of linking old school media like TV, Radio, posters, leaflets or bill board to web content as these phrases are not only easy to read, but by being easy to remember, say and tell your friends about they can act as a powerful marketing weapon in the battle to get a buzz going about your business.
Imagine an entrepreneur with a new eBay store selling Nike sports shoes – they probably can't afford the cost of a sexy and memorable dot-COM name, but if they bought nikes.for.sale, printed it on a ton of cards and handed them out at a festival, they could launch their new business with a bang for very little financial outlay.
That's one solution to easing the boredom – we're looking forward to seeing more.