November 2013: Mark this month, the FIRST that saw new top-level-domains delegated to the Internet root. The FIRST of ±1,300 of the FIRST round. This month will forever be known as the month the taxonomy of the Internet changed.
For participants who have worked in their corner of the expansion, it is a welcomed milestone. You can hear the collective sigh – IT’S HERE, FINALLY!
From ICANN staff to TLD applicants, incumbent registries, registrars, policy specialists, technologists, lawyers, consultants, government representatives and entrepreneurs, all have over the past years measured the new gTLD program on milestones marked by ICANN meeting numbers and locations. Each meeting formed its own legacy of what it represented.
Next week we head to Buenos Aires. I think I know its legacy. TLDs GO LIVE!
It happened between Durban #47 and Buenos Aires #48. The online world changed. You cannot tell yet, but it did and some outside the space are starting to ask; “We’ve had name expansion before. Why is this so different?”
What is different is the SCALE OF THE EXPANSION.
From 22 generics to over 700, plus 600+ brands and this is round one. It is the SCALE that flips the paradigm, creating opportunities to build new and innovate existing business models, content engagement, rethink distribution of content and services, develop new branding techniques on .ANYNAME.
No one really knows how it will play out. My view is like broadband and mobile before, registries bring new capabilities and capabilities foster innovation. One capability is simply the meaning of a registry name. Names provide context of what to expect, the message itself and a platform to serve communities of interests.
Chaos is next. Who in technology doesn’t like a little chaos? Chaos will eventually settle to order and we will have our new taxonomy of meaningful, authoritative name spaces. The regulatory environment has shifted the ground, opening up new opportunities for commerce and communities. Incumbent markets will be disrupted, forcing participants to reinvent. They will do so, be they registry operators, domain investors or new brand participants and providers. What you can count on is, the name space will be different as chaos runs through to order and new and evolved players stake out their turf. Fun stuff.
It is the begging again and an exciting time to be in the Internet business.
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