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Our Vision for Advancing and Growing the Domain Industry

Taryn Naidu

ICANN 54 is upon us, and to commemorate it, we've got www.dublin.pub loaded up with friendly places to network, take advantage of the city's comedy and music scene, and possibly even enjoy a pint.

With so many issues to discuss and address this week, a .PUB address wouldn't be the appropriate destination for the entire conference, but for a microsite discussing the cultural and social opportunities that Dublin has to offer, we happen to think it's perfect, especially in the place that gave the world the Irish pub.

And there are dozens of other new domain extensions that could be easily applied to ICANN 54, and because growing this industry is a collaborative effort, I'm excited to say that many of these new domain extensions don't belong to Rightside.

I wanted to take this opportunity to elaborate on previous discussions about the value of domain names and how we, as an industry, have an amazing opportunity to advance and grow the market for domain names.

Re-introducing Domain Names as Discovery Tools

Domain names are amazing discovery tools and, at present, vastly underappreciated. Think about it — what other product can do all this?

  • Direct customers to your primary website, a featured section of your website like your blog or hiring page, or your other digital destinations on third party platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook?
  • Be versatile enough ...
    • On the backend, to dynamically direct you to the appropriate experience online, whether mobile web or mobile app.
    • On the front end, to work as an effective call to action across all media platforms (whether online, radio, print, tv, or billboard).
  • Evolve with you as you launch new digital destinations or sunset old ones.
    • Want to move your audience from Myspace to Facebook to Twitter? A personal domain name can help you do that without ever changing your call to action.
  • Perfectly fit your brand, campaign,or destination type, making it really easy for your audience to remember and navigate to. Of course, this is especially true with the memorable and descriptive inventory available with new domain extensions.

If that functionality was driven by a new technology meant to solve the discovery gap that is being created by the rapid growth and evolution of digital presences, it'd be a hot topic generating lots of buzz in the tech community. But because that functionality is driven by a domain name, it's almost too practical, too simple and too easy to take for granted. Let's make sure we don't let that happen.

Evangelizing Domains as Discovery Tools Dramatically Grows our Industry's Addressable Market

Domain names have always been great discovery tools for websites but that is really just the tip of the iceberg. As online presences have grown and evolved, domain names have amazingly kept pace — whether to power email addresses or seamlessly work with desktop or mobile versions of your website, domain names have made it easy to direct your audience to your primary digital destinations.

And now as digital destinations have grown exponentially with the rise of third party platforms, apps and portals, the opportunities for a domain name to drive discovery have also grown dramatically. Whether small business pages on Facebook, video destinations on YouTube, live streaming events on Periscope, professional profiles on LinkedIn, e-commerce storefronts on Etsy (the list goes on and on), customized domain names can uniquely help brand and drive discovery of all those destinations. The problem is that most people don't know how a domain can do that or even more basically, that a domain is capable of doing that.

The size of that expanded market opportunity is staggering, so rather than rely on our potential customers to somehow figure this all out (amazingly, by the way, they are figuring it out), let's evangelize and re-introduce domain names to the world as the discovery tools that they are. We'll dramatically grow our addressable market across the industry, open up new customer acquisition opportunities, and grow ARPU with our existing customers.

So how do we do it?

The "how" is more than one can tackle in a single blog post, and to the point of this post, something that we'll need to work together on as an industry to figure out.

That said, here are a few of the concepts that we think are important at Rightside.

As you can see, there is some great progress being made in these areas in pockets, but we need to rally as an industry to really advance our industry and capitalize on the opportunity in front of us.

Let's Connect

I'll be in Dublin for the duration of the conference, along with the rest of the Rightside crew, and we'd love the opportunity to connect. We're focused on all of the above and want to partner to take this industry to the next level.

By Taryn Naidu, Chief Executive Officer at Rightside

Related topics: Domain Names, Top-Level Domains, Web


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