Here’s what happens in the domain investment world whenever a new top level domain name is released.
Every time a new top level domain name comes out — be it .mobi or .tel — I see a similar cycle of “fanboys”. I think of “fanboys” like those Apple fans who think the company can do not wrong. Like Apple fanboys, domain fanboys blindly drink the kool-aid, only to be disseminated later.
It follows a similar trend every time, regardless of the domain.
Phase 1: Quiet acquisition of domain names – during this period, the fanboy pays attention to buzz about the new domain name on forums. They particularly look for any “big name” domainers that might be buying domains in the TLD. The fanboy starts to hand register and perhaps acquire some domains in the TLD, but keeps quiet about it. He’s amazed at the good keywords available; keywords that would cost six figures in .com.
Phase 2: Gloating – during this phase, thefan boy goes around to several forums talking about how they got some great domains — such as money.tld, england.tld, etc.
Phase 3: Pumping – now that the fanboy has spent lots of money on the tld, (s)he makes sure to promote it and make other people feel like they missed the boat, and they must buy now. The fanboy realizes he isn’t making anything from domain parking, of course, and will need to sell the domain names to make money. He will make numerous comments on forums and blogs about how everyone else “missed the boat”. Of course, he’s willing to let you in on the action if you want to buy some of his names. The pumping phase is particularly long, because the fan boy has nothing else to do with the domains other than to promote them.
Phase 4: Quiet worry – not having sold many of the new domains, the fanboy starts to wonder if he has lost his investment. Maybe development is an option? What happened to the secondary market? Where are all of the big buyers? Should I look at history to understand what happens to the value of these new TLDs? The Fanboy is disappointed that major auction companies reject his domains for auction, buyers are few and far between, and Esitbot doesn’t understand the potential value of these domains.
Phase 5: Blame – realizing the new TLD won’t create quick riches, the fanboy starts to blame the registry. “The registry isn’t promoting the TLD enough!” they yell.
Phase 6: Disillusion and the “give up” period – those same fanboys who left dozens of comments about how this TLD was the next great thing suddenly return to leave dozens of comments about how “this TLD will never amount to anything”. This phase can overlap with phase 5. After all, there’s plenty of blame to spread around, and certainly none of it should be pointed at the domainer who invested in the TLD with hopes of quickly flipping his way to millions.
Phase 7: There’s a new TLD coming out! It’s going to be awesome! Rinse and repeat phases 1-6.