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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
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to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Consultant Says New gTLDs Will Banish .Com to the Less Professional, Mom-and-Pop Segment of the Web

I was interviewed Sunday by Las Vegas based reporter Steve Friess for an article that appeared on AOLNews.com today about a local battle over a proposed new .Vegas gTLD. This would be one of the unlimited number of new TLDs ICANN plans to roll out within the next year or two. 

As you may have heard at least two competing entities plan to go after a .Vegas extension. One is backed by the city of Las Vegas and the other by Clark County who has jurisdiction over the Las Vegas Strip. If you are interested in the wrangling over .Vegas, you can read Friess's account of the situation

What I found more interesting in my conversation with Steve was a quote he relayed to me from a Chicago attorney named Paul 

McGrady who accepts consulting fees from people who are considering plunking down as much as $500,000 in an effort to land a new gTLD and get it into operation.  I was incredulous when Friess told me McGrady said, "Some day people will look upon .com as the less professional, mom-and-pop segment of the Web where only small businesses and amateurs dwell." I have to admit I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I heard that.

Granted, we have all become pretty much accustomed to a lot of unsubstantiated claims from both sides of the new gTLD debate (with the viewpoints expressed almost always directly related to the financial interests of the person making the claim). Even so, I am dumbfounded that anyone could be so uninformed and lacking in common sense as to really believe that the world's corporations are going to discard their .com addresses for new gTLDs that no one has ever heard and in most cases never will. No entity on earth has the marketing budget to equal the billions upon billions of dollars that have been spent advertising .com domains and making .com synonymous with the Internet (before anyone brands me as a .com fanatic you should know that I personally own more domains in other extensions - including previous new gTLDS - than I do in .com, but that doesn't change the reality of .com's dominance on the Internet).

A handful of new gTLDS may carve out a niche for themselves but this is the first time I've heard anyone suggest that people (especially people they are collecting money from for their new gTLD investment advice) can expect to see new gTLDs send .com into obscurity. What could such an assertion possibly be based on?  Certainly not history. New gTLDs are nothing new and last time I looked previous ones like .info, .biz and .mobi don't appear likely to send .com to the dustbin any time soon.

Now, there is nothing wrong with promoting a business idea but when, as a professional, you start leading potential investors who rely on (and pay you for) your "expertise" down a 

primrose path like this, that is going over the line in my opinion. As I told Friess (in commentary that appears in his article following the McGrady quote), anyone who would make such an utterly baseless, absurd assertion would have zero credibility in my eyes and I could never believe another word that comes out of their mouth. I appreciate the thoughtful cases people are making on both sides of the new gTLD debate but please, let's leave Fantasyland to Disney World.

(Posted April 12, 2010) 


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