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Accepting New Top-Level Domains As Suffix-Less Cyber Brands

Naseem Javed

First off all, still unknown to the masses, this newly proposed $185,000 USD generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) scheme is in reality a suffix-less, custom-made, designer, globally exclusive domain name. Well done ICANN, as it is what the world needs now. However, ICANN has never mentioned this special marketing feature to date, as this suffix-less quality alone brings a major and a very positive revolution in cyber branding architecture for the net savvy marketers and dramatically changes the global thinking which has been primarily locked into a suffix based mentality when trying to reach for anything on the net; what name and what suffix? Basically, struggling to remember a name with 100% correct spelling and having to worry about which one of the 21 suffixes from com, net, info, biz or 240 country codes like uk or jp are attached to it… a formidable challenge for global customers to remember and a marketing nightmare when dealing with international issues of hundreds of other languages into play.

Currently Internet offers three options, go directly to a website for which a precise and full address is required, go to Google and enter an incomplete name or part of the web address in anticipation that the correct website address would appear on the first page or lastly enter a query text line with some generic terms hoping to find that desired contact. After trying any one of the above or at times all three one would eventually get to the desired goal which is after all to make contact with the right party about the right issue. This still is a magical process and a life saver in contrast to the pre-Internet era where it would take physical search of various directories and phone calls over hours to achieve the target.

But these new suffix-less gTLD brands will create new thinking where a person would only have to know the name without having to worry about its suffix or location. Say, you want to go to a hotel in Delhi, think Hilton and enter Delhi dot Hilton, looking for a Walkman, Walkman dot Sony or thinking of applying for a job, job dot IBM or need a limo, go to limo dot Toronto, casino dot Niagara, ny dot pizza, Rio dot Toyota, no need to worry about remembering suffixes. Of course dot com and some other suffixes will survive and stay for a long while, but the marketing pressure will open new floodgates of custom designed suffix-less names. In a soon to be released study by ABC Namebank, there are already hundreds of newly developed successful nomenclature models researched for implementation for cyber-branding support for major players on global marketing. The hardest things for the markets in the meanwhile are to accept new gTLDs as a suffix-less cyber brands and forget about cyber-squatting fears and massive confusion and secondly to accept that poorly structured business names have no chance to survive on new global cyber branding platforms in the long run. They have to change their thinking, names and methods to deliver those name brands.

By Naseem Javed, Expert: Global Naming Complexities, Corporate Nomenclature, Image & Branding He is the founder of ABC Namebank, author of 'Domination: The GTLD Name Game', syndicated columnist, keynote speaker and specialist on global naming complexities.
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> Say, you want to go to jeroen  –  Aug 02, 2009 1:33 AM PST

> Say, you want to go to a hotel in Delhi, think Hilton and enter Delhi dot Hilton,

Do you mean Delhi, or New Delhi? Is that New Delhi in India, or the one in the US? And then I mean, the one in California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and a few others.

You need a directory here. Google is perfect for that. DNS is not a directory for random strings.

> looking for a Walkman, Walkman dot Sony

If you just type 'walkman' in google, you don't even need to know it is from Sony.

> or thinking of applying for a job, job dot IBM

A job at IBM where? It is a rather global company with a lot of different workspaces.
Also you are forgetting that maybe in those other countries they don't speak English, thus there will be job.ibm, arbeit.ibm, travaille.ibm, werk.ibm and how many other languages? oh and of course all the English variations of 'job', eg 'jobs' and 'work' and many many others. Not even going to the point that several people don't know how to spell properly (or are you introducing spell-checking into DNS too?) Sticking these things and all their variants in DNS is not going to help anything.

What you are stupidly (well, except for the cash flow into several peoples soon to be come very deep pockets) proposing is that DNS becomes a search engine. What you need to realize that it is not.

Also, the more worrying part is the cybersquatters who will register random urls which they might think are useful to grab lots of traffic from and just put some useless referrer pages with ads on it.

There is all a simple solution to this which doesn't involve any new TLDs: Google/Yahoo/Bing etc and these all exist and already work just fine.

we've been here before John Levine  –  Aug 02, 2009 3:47 AM PST

or thinking of applying for a job, job dot IBM

You can already type ibm.jobs or microsoft.jobs, but nobody does. (Try it.) Users don't know about or use the new domains we've already got, so the more I think about it, the more I think that thousands of new domains will just cement the dominance of .COM and a handful of others that people already know.

ibm.jobs in DNS points to redirect.www.ibm.com and jeroen  –  Aug 02, 2009 4:12 AM PST

ibm.jobs in DNS points to redirect.www.ibm.com and indeed, that just goes to http://www.ibm.com/us/en/ which is very useful if you want to find a job, google(ibm jobs) = www.ibm.com/employment/ which is much more appropriate and quicker, than trying to guess that those jobs are there.

Indeed those two examples "work", but what if I wanted to work at playboy.jobs (doesn't exist), or HP.jobs (doesn't exist either), or should that be hewlett-packard.jobs. or hewlettpackard.jobs. ? And then of course not even talking about locality issues. Which is the fun part with "pizza", pizza where? Same thing for Berlin, which Berlin, or which Dehli?

DNS is simply not the right place for storing that information. DNS is for mapping hierarchically stored hostnames into IP addresses, Google/Yahoo/Bing is for finding websites, and they are webservices themselves. What if I wanted to call IBM for a job, does ibm.jobs have a proper NAPTR record? Nope, thus clearly that whole thing is just for the web. Thus keep it in the web as that is where it belongs.

I think we're in violent agreement here John Levine  –  Aug 02, 2009 10:22 AM PST

If companies can't be bothered to spend the $100 or so that a company.jobs domain costs, it seems rather unlikely that they'll spend the $185,000 that job.company would cost.

At this point I'm mostly surprised that the lawsuits to stop the new TLDs haven't been filed yet. I guess there's no point until there's something concrete to stop.

John wrote: If companies can't be bothered Jay Daley  –  Aug 03, 2009 2:14 PM PST

John wrote: If companies can't be bothered to spend the $100 or so that a company.jobs domain costs, it seems rather unlikely that they'll spend the $185,000 that job.company would cost.

I'm not so sure about that.  If you register company.jobs then you are following a strategy of registering company.whatever, which some consider a problem because it is:
- open-ended (where do you stop?)
- non-trivial to administer (hence the growth in IP firms)
- brand dilution (is company.na the same as company.pl?)
- open to cybersquatting (c0mpany.jobs)

Whereas those same people might well see .company as immune to all of those because:
- just one to register
- just one to administer
- single place for your brand
- nobody will ever get .c0mpany

And they might well consider it worth the one off hassle and fee of $185,000 over the $100.

Whereas those same people might well see Paul Tattersfield  –  Aug 03, 2009 3:11 PM PST

Whereas those same people might well see .company as immune to all of those because:
- just one to register
- just one to administer
- single place for your brand
- nobody will ever get .c0mpany

And they might well consider it worth the one off hassle and fee of $185,000 over the $100.

Don't think so .brand or .corporate is a pure branding play - and an additional cost.

Do you think Hewlett Packard is going to give up hp.com hp.co.uk etc? Well Apart from the fact 2 letters names like .hp are reserved for country codes and they won't be able to compete with .ibm .dell (Just another small issue.)

But most importantly a Super league destroys the ability to compete on a level playing field. At the moment to launch some software designed compete to with Microsoft or Sun its $10 + hosting a year then it’s down to skill and innovation.

A super league changes this and medium sized players will have to consider whether it worth spending $185,000 + $25,000 per year with ICANN to enjoy the same level of branding and enter the Super league. For startups and smaller players cost of admission to this implicit branding advantage is likely to prove prohibitive.

Generics are even worse what happens when if Microsoft is awarded .search or obtains a controlling interest in a company which is awarded it? Do you think Google will be happy even if Microsoft allows them to defensively register google.search and uses video.search and image.search to point to Bing?

Naseem, you've done a great job of demonstrating why this is a bad - and likely lossmaking - idea. Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Aug 03, 2009 7:20 PM PST

I am not sure if that was your original intent, but still .. congratulations.

Thank you all for your very valuable input... Naseem Javed  –  Aug 04, 2009 5:47 AM PST

I will leave the technology issues to all the experts out there but on the 'Usabilty of Corporate Nomencalture' here are few facts.

When a url looks like .hilton or .sony it is a 100% suffix-less name, to the global public and a joy to the marketing heads. It is a blessing over 200 suffix options and makes a powerful tool for global cyber-branding and even at $500K is still very cheap. Pricewaterhouse etimates global Advertising to be a 346 Billion a year. Our research clearly points to some 87,000 serious corporate candidates for the new gtld.

When a url is a non-branded 'term' like .geo or .thermo or .water or .casino it is a suffix and leads to selling of sub-brands like JohnHenryConsuting.geo or JohnHenryConsulting.thermo or sweat.water or cash.casino. A very big confusion will come in this area and just like the existing suffixes mobi, tel, info, biz , job, me, and it is WHERE the public that will have to buy into to make them a great success, the overlapping duplication will be a nightmare and once again leads to the prime issue, companies doing 5 different things in five different suffixes ... a global challenge.

However at 200K there will be very minimum squatting unless the new holders of gtld create their own liberal domain selling policies. ibm.casino or ibm.geo etc

30 years ago I set up my practice on the principal 'one name and one owner' and my thrust is all about eradicating the massive name confusion due to duplication. FACT: Poor names are poor no matter with or without suffixes.

My position is simple that it is a great move by ICANN and it will help big and SME business sector worldwide, destination branding and certain other selected sectors but the answers will always be wrapped around with the main principal ..one name one owner

Thanks again

> However at 200K there will be jeroen  –  Aug 04, 2009 5:56 AM PST

> However at 200K there will be very minimum squatting unless the new holders of
> gtld create their own liberal domain selling policies. ibm.casino or ibm.geo etc

It looks a lot like you want all these companies to create . and on top of that ..

Yes, I can see how that will generate a LOT of money for various people. Because they will indeed put a LOT of advertising on those websites. I can also see that being totally useless and totally confusing to people.

You are btw still talking about WEB sites. Please just get it in your head to start using something simple like Google/Yahoo/Bing/whatever to find what you are looking for. DNS is not a searchengine.

As for a nice technical aside: I wonder what happens with all those people who currently rely on having "www.local" when "local." gets "globally branded", or for that matter when "www" or "w3" and "gateway" and various other hostnames that are locally used get introduced into the roots. Mayhem and confusion, and for the owners of those probably quite some advertising money.

. is the new .com eh, yeah, I can see the money flowing in all those pockets.

Besides which not all domains get to be used as websites Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Aug 04, 2009 6:14 AM PST

Or even as advertising and PPC vehicles, the way some domainers assume all domains are used :)

Our research clearly points to some 87,000 Paul Tattersfield  –  Aug 04, 2009 6:28 AM PST

Our research clearly points to some 87,000 serious corporate candidates for the new gtld.

$185,000 * 87,000 = $16,095,000,000 setup fees
$25,000 * 87,000 = $2,175,000,000 annual revenues

Compared with $10 * 87,000 = $870,000 or so using the existing system

And you think that might be an improvement on the exiting system?

Hint The reason why the Internet is probably the most successful system in the history of mankind is because it enables ANYONE (not just a super league of economically advantaged players) to reach an unfathomable number of people for $10.

You want to destroy that so your clients can have branding advantage?

Correction Naseem Javed  –  Aug 11, 2009 12:37 PM PST

Accepting New Top-Level Domains As Suffix-Less Cyber Brands
Aug 01, 2009 6:12 PM PDT
My comments…
Thank you all for your very valuable input…
Naseem Javed – Aug 04, 2009 6:47 AM PDT

First para, last line
"Our research clearly points to some 87,000 serious corporate candidates for the new gtld. "

I meant 18,700 companies

I regret the error

Naseem Javed

What about individuals? Virendra Gandhi  –  Aug 18, 2009 6:53 AM PST

I dont think it will solve the John Smith problem

It is not meant to "solve" anything jeroen  –  Aug 18, 2009 7:39 AM PST

It is not meant to "solve" anything except the deep pockets of several people.

Except for the domain parking (which IMHO should simply be forbidden, but then again, how does one argue that you have "real content" and they don't, as those link-collections are "real content" for the parkers; maybe a "Maximum of 5 domains per organization, but then again, they will just come up with fake ones, and of course that little thing that John Smith will probably not do everything themselves) DNS is quite fine.

DNS provides a stable hierarchical way of getting an anchor. For actually finding that anchor there are two methods: people type them in exactly (mistypo and you are at the parked site) or easier: google/yahoo/bing it

And that latter point about the searching is something that some people tend to forget. When one makes a new product, and wants to market it, don't register productname.com|cn|nl|de|us|org|net|allothertlds, just make a subdirectory on the website, eg www.company.com/products/productname. Presto. Easy to find for customers, as they can google/yahoo/bing it, and due to history and links to company.com it will rank high, and

Hierarchy is the key here and the moment that search engines will start putting a pagerank value on "domain is old and well linked" + "domain has hierarchy" the whole domainparking business will be bust.

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