The first generation of internet user is also the domainers of the 90’s and they have a vested interest in .COM remaining the de facto gold standard for TLD’s but the current generation and all ensuing generations are growing up with the internet and are savvy users by the time they leave primary school. There will be no confusion so it is an illusion to think that Top Level Domain Expansion will fizzle to a dribble.
More than 700 New Generic Top Level Domains are slated to start deploying on a monthly basis in the fall of 2013, but do we need more domain names? The answer is yes we do. A significant driver of New gTLD demand will come from new users. Most people do not own a domain name and I believe demand for gTLD’s will come from people and businesses who do not currently own a domain name but want one and are unable or unwilling to pay 4, 5 and 6 figure prices for the any of the original string of premium TLDs. The demand should increase, fuelled by future generations, eager to publish their content to a relevant digital address they own, whether business or personal.
I am a domain investor and like many heavily vested in premium name dot.com’s but I seriously began to reconsider that strategy as I began to note the ease with which so many young children have learned to circumnavigate technical barriers. This left little doubt in my mind that the next generation won’t care what rules and protocols governed the internet of 2013, they will chart their own more efficient path and that path will not be limited to a handful of origin string TLD’s (.com, .de, .net .uk etc.. )
Bottomline: The next generation is certainly not going to accept an internet where a small collection of domain name investors from the late 90’s and early 2000’s attempt to ransom off a limited inventory of relevent .COM’s.
The argument that Google will also endeavour to undermine the adoption of new gTLD’s because they may offer a more vertical path to the content and will cause people to circumvent Googles lucrative search results business model, assumes that future generations will just accept the status quo. That is unlikely in any scenario and even more unlikely with regards to the rules that govern how the internet is used. Not unlike Moore’s law, the internet has a history of reinventing itself, so why would the next 5 to 10 years be any different. New internet users will arrive en masse and they will be looking for new and innovative ways to publish content, this will drive demand for new namespaces beyond the limits of currently available TLD’s like .com