Whether you're watching every ICANN move or are simply showing passing interest in the new generic top-level domains, there's a brand advantage to understanding the domain roll-outs and their impact on your industry.
Simon Anderson, the CEO of hosting provider and domain registrar DreamHost, offered his take - from the gTLD trenches - on the pros and cons of opening up website domain possibilities in this way, and what DreamHost is seeing from customers looking to register new generic top-level domains during what Simon refers to as a "brand grab."
Here is an exclusive interview with Anderson of DreamHost:
What do you consider the top two pros and cons of releasing so many new gTLDs in the coming months and years for the domain industry as a whole?
Anderson, DreamHost: Pros: stimulate interest in domains again. Domains, like real estate, need fresh land to build on. Plus I can see the new TLDs being great for new marketing approaches to Web content. I grabbed simon.guru just because I wonder whether I'll be smart some day and be able to leverage it!
Cons: potential customer confusion due to too much choice. But I think this will not be an issue. Domain owners and Web users alike will find navigating to new TLDs very natural, within a year.
How do you think the new gTLDs will benefit (or negatively impact) the average small- or medium-sized business owner?
Anderson, DreamHost: The Supply versus Demand equation has just tipped dramatically in favor of new aspiring domain owners. Imagine we've just been able to open up livable real estate on all the planets in our solar system. Now there's more choice on where to live, or in the case of small biz, how to shape your brand! Choice and open opportunities will breed plenty of innovation and new ventures.
Now that a handful of gTLDs have been released for general availability, are there any assumptions that can be made about the rate at which business owners and/or consumers will adopt them?
Anderson, DreamHost: .guru has registered over 30,000 names. I don't have the data, but I bet .com was much slower than that in the early 90s. There will be a long tail of adoption that will play out, and it's good for registries, registrars and buyers.
What do you think the gTLD conversation will be like in 2015?
Anderson, DreamHost: "It's not about the TLD, it's about how you use it." Freedom of choice will bring plenty of new uses.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Anderson, DreamHost: Wish there was a .aussie!