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Navigating “The New Internet” and Why We Need New TLDs

Written by Posted On Monday, 27 August 2018 20:07

Billions of dollars are invested in technology infrastructure, staff, and marketing for “The New Internet.” This continuing transition to a more capable Internet requires increasing the number of top-level domains (TLDs).

More TLDs is the planned direction of the Internet and this programmed expansion will continue into the foreseeable future. It is important to understand that increasing the universe of TLDs is not a fad or passing fancy of the lords of the Internet. It is the plan.

The leader of the TLD pack since 1985 has been .com, and the possible combinations for a domain name using .com are now very limited. In December 2013, WhoAPI, a domain data analysis startup, revealed that every possible combination of four-letter .com domain names had been registered. From AAAA.com to ZZZZ.com, all 456,976 combinations have been exhausted. The three-character .com domains have been used up since 1997.

2018 08 27 Dot Real Estate Article III

But there are now many new options available to companies and marketers. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the internationally recognized governing body for TLDs, has added over 1200 new TLDs in the last few years.

ICANN has been planning and executing the expansion of the Internet for some time and began accepting applications for new generic top-level domains (ngTLDs) on January 12, 2012. There were over 1930 initial applications for this phase of the expansion of the Internet. Five hundred applications were withdrawn or not approved. Over half of Fortune 500 companies applied for their own TLD.

New TLDs fall into the following categories:

Brands – High profile entities, corporations and sports teams protect and enhance their trademark using new TLDs

Communities – Like-minded groups with commercial and non-commercial offerings

Geographic – Cities, states and regions

Generic – Not covered in the other three

Knowledge is power. You can capitalize on the opportunity created by the growth of the Internet and the introduction of new TLDs. In a way, you can now have “First Mover Advantage” in the domain space. You can participate as, what Geoffrey Moore in his classic marketing book entitled “Crossing the Chasm” refers to as, "An Innovator and Early Adopter."

The age of Dot Anything will include unregulated and highly regulated domains. An example of a highly regulated domain is .realtor™. Another is .bank.

The massive increase in the number of TLDs is a paradigm shift, a fundamental change in what we are accustomed to on the Internet. The term, Dot Anything, is an emphatic statement that Dot Com is the paradigm of the “old Internet.” It may not be farfetched to say that in the next 20 years, the Internet will progress to the point where everyone owns their own TLD.

I say this as I look back on the history of the Internet, while also looking forward into the future, aided by the domain landscape today, and the plans for more TLDs by ICANN.

As the Age of Dot Anything advances, keep in mind that, domain names are issued on a first-come-first-served basis and may be registered for periods of up to 10 years. Once a name is taken, it is not available to anyone else unless the current owner wants to sell it, and usually for a hefty premium over the original cost.

You can read more from our series: From Dot Com to Not Com in the Age of Dot Anything. In this series, we discuss a Brief History of “Domain Names” as the Evolution and Acceptance of “Not Coms” Continues, and how Domain Names Represent Brands and Virtual Destinations and Can Have Huge Value.

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Saul Klein

In 1948, doctors told my father that his life aboard submarines on war patrol in the South Pacific and the depth charging he experienced had rendered him sterile. Although controversial and not widely applied, he was treated with an Ayurvedic therapy called “shivambu.” If you are unfamiliar with this term, I recommend you Google it because against all odds, I came to exist.

That was a loony segue into my life but is a fitting precursor to a career that would be just as incredible.

Like my father, I joined the Navy. However, due to a medical inconvenience, I was honorably discharged after 6 years of commissioned service, all on Sea Duty. This was an opportune misfortune that led me down the path to a successful career in real estate. Both my father and grandfather flirted in real estate brokering and flipping part-time, and I followed suit but making a lifelong career out of it.

With over 40 years in real estate, it is impossible to talk about my experiences in this small window. But I can proudly say that I am well-recognized as an industry pioneer, especially in real estate syndication and education, and one of the few luminaries that paved the way for real estate’s transition to the online world.

Some highlights of my life’s work:
● Co-created ePRO, technology certification course that certified 70,000 students
● Created the first online communities for real estate professionals to network, learn, and sell
● Created "Opt Out" Listing Syndication, aggregating over 1.4 Million Listings in 18 months
● Built the #2 National Listing Syndication Service, Point2 Technologies, sold to Yardi in 2010
● Founder of the California Association of Buyer’s Agents
● Member of the first REALTOR.com Team, pre-IPO, responsible for obtaining first 500,000 listings
● Helped Zillow and Trulia build up their MLS data inventory

Today I continue to lead efforts that bring new technologies to the real estate industry. Feel free to reach out and learn more.

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