02 June 2014

New gTLD domain names are failing to impress, "many, many will fail"

Interesting article from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Knowledge@Wharton: selected quotes below (emphasis added):
"“The introduction of new TLDs is likely to increase the value of the gold-standard ‘dot com.’ Adding more side streets only increases the value of a main-street address.” –Karl Ulrich, Wharton’s vice dean of innovation and professor of operations and information management.
"Wharton marketing professor Stephen J. Hoch is likewise unconvinced by the potential of gTLDs as an enormous advance. “From the consumer’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of difference,” he says. “Moreover, with search and automatic filling in of email addresses, it is not clear that the brands, at least big brands, would be affected either. People are not really thinking about anything that comes after the period.”
Others ... fail to see the new gTLDs as useful. Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader considers the new generation of suffixes as downright retrograde. “This is 1999 technology,” says Fader, co-director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative. “If you think about it, back in the day, if you wanted to share your web address, you had to say, ‘http, www, slash, slash, etc.’ We have whittled it down and gotten to the point where our email knows when you type in a .com, it says, ‘Hey, it’s a URL.’ I really can’t see a legitimate upside where new benefits outweigh costs, and everyone I mention this to feels the same way. People just shake their heads. It’s all about the money. They [ICANN] are creating these extensions because they can....“I think we have all learned by now that you have to be creative with what’s to the left of the dot,” says Fader. “You can’t hide behind the right side of the dot as a lack of creativity to differentiate your brand.”
"The extent to which the project [new gTLD domain names] is succeeding will be gauged by an ICANN committee convening after the new generation of names has been up and running for a year. “I think some will succeed and many, many will fail,” says Jonathan Zuck, president of the ACT, The App Association — an advocacy group representing the interests of small and mid-size app developers — who will chair that committee. One of the outcomes may be greater reliance on search engines. If there are too many suffixes, I am not going to remember whether that photographer I am looking for can be found under .photo or .portrait.”

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