I went to a Ray Kurzweil lecture a couple of years ago and remember him saying that we often view our kids’ relationship with technology as just a step more than our own. Perhaps a large step. But his view was that it is magnitudes larger and frankly just different. For our kids, the speed of evolution of today’s technology is not something that grew slowly during their lives but was present from day one.
I think of this as close to 1,000 new TLDs have begun to reach the market. Top Level Domains are the letters that come after one’s web address, such as .com or .gov or .co.UK. For some years now there have been other TLDs available but almost all have been geographically driven such as .fr (France). Now you can get .careers, .travel, or .tattoo, and hundreds more are coming.
Dot com has had such value given to it – it is of course currently the generic name for the whole internet industry – but my guess is that in a few years that advantage will evaporate. There will be so many new options for companies to take TLD’s with their preferred name in front instead of the one they compromised on due to the lack of available .com addresses. With 252 million names already registered it will be good to get some breathing room.
Now that there will be so many more options for “peteswidgets dot whatever” to exist on the net, the value of search engines will only increase. And the algorithms they use to rank searches will have to be rethought. For businesses that have relied on securing the preferred .com address as enough of a brand separator, there will now be the need to make sure that your “peteswidgets” quickly differentiates from the other 15 “peteswidgets” that come right up in the rankings. Being the first to dot com used to confer status – I believe that will significantly erode in short order and fairly soon disappear.
The millennials and coming Gen Z that drive so much of the net just won’t care. But they will still care about how they feel about you – and that comes from your brand communications. This would be a good time to assess how strong your company’s brand message is.
— Simon Dixon