New TLDs – And Why They Won’t Take

Looking at Namecheap to register a new domain (a bit cheaper than GoDaddy) I noticed all the new TLD (top level domains):

.academy, .agency, .bargains, .bike, .blue, .boutique, .build, .builders, .buzz, .cab, .camera, .camp, .careers, .center, .ceo, .cheap, .clothing, .club, .coffee, .company, .computer, .construction, .contractors, .cool, .diamonds, .directory, .domains, .education, .email, .enterprises, .equipment, .estate, .farm, .florist, .gallery, .gift, .glass, .graphics, .guitars, .guru, .holdings, .holiday, .house, .institute, .international, .kim, .kitchen, .kiwi, .land, .lighting, .limo, .link, .management, .marketing, .menu, .onl, .photo, .photography, .photos, .pink, .plumbing, .pics, .recipes, .red, .repair, .sexy, .shiksha, .shoes, .singles, .solar, .solutions, .support, .systems, .tattoo, .technology, .tips, .today, .training, .uno, .ventures, .viajes, .voyage, .watch and .zone.

This is only some, and will likely be changed/added to even as you read this. And of course, .org, .com, .edu, .net, .biz, etc are all still available.

Will they ‘take’?

Possibly some – for example, according to Namecheap, the .xxx TLD ‘encourages responsible behavior online’, which sounds good. However, we’ve had .mobi and .biz for quite a few years now, and they rarely appear online. We are used to .com, plain and simple. In fact, an earlier version of the Opera browser would automatically add .com to a domain entered without the extension, since it was so prevalent (a very handy feature they later removed).

And while I applaud the new options for domain buyers (anything to reduce the stranglehold squatters have on .com names), I think we’ve reached a point where change is unlikely. The Internet was malleable in the 1990s, and a major change like this could have been absorbed and influenced the way domain names appeared; but once the early adopters were supplanted by the ‘average’ user, and continued down until now even the ‘laggards’ (tail end of the acceptance curve for anything new) have joined in, inertia will keep changes to a minimum.

Of course, I’m willing to be proven wrong – but if you’ve got a good .com name or two, keep them – just in case.

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