New book discusses the potential of more top level domain names.
Before reading Domain Names Rewired, a new book by Jennifer Wolfe and Anne Chasser, I knew I was going to have two challenges with the book.
First, I knew I’d disagree with many of the supposed benefits of new top level domains that the authors would espouse.
Second, since the new TLD program is such a moving target, I couldn’t imagine how a book on the topic could remain relevant through the publishing process.
So I tried to clear my mind before reading. The end result: I came away feeling this is a good book for its audience.
Wolfe and Chasser know the subject matter. Wolfe is the founder of TLD consulting company Wolfe Domain and a partner with an intellectual property law firm. Chasser’s resume includes stops as Commissioner for Trademarks at United State Patent and Trademark Office and President at International Trademark Association.
The book is aimed squarely at companies that have applied for a new TLD and those that didn’t but are wondering if they should get involved, either with an existing application or in the next round.
It gives an in-depth overview of the promise of new top level domains, and also takes the time to discuss some of the risks of applying.
As I mentioned at the start, I don’t buy most of the arguments that new TLDs will be revolutionary. I’ve yet to hear a benefit of a new TLD compared to the existing TLD system that holds water.
Yet just as I would start shaking my head about some of the supposed benefits as I read about them in the book, and was thinking how you can do the same thing with a .com domain, the authors would add a caveat.
Yes, they admit, many of the benefits are possible within the existing domain name system. But the new TLD program will get companies to think about domains, and thus innovation may follow.
This is the most likely benefit I can see from new TLDs. Amazon and Google have invested a chunk of change in the program. It’s not that much money to these industry giants. It’s just a wager. But it’s enough money that they’re actually putting people on the project and telling them to think about TLDs and how they can use them for innovation and competitive advantage.
That’s an argument I’ll buy.
I won’t buy the argument that new TLDs will accelerate the adoption of TV moving to the web. I don’t buy the argument that they will do much to stop phishing and the sale of counterfeit goods.
But I do buy the idea that the new TLD program has gotten people thinking, and thinking can lead to innovation. No one has publicly identified what that innovation is yet. They probably haven’t come up with the innovation yet. Yet perhaps it will happen. And if people want to bet money on this potential, kudos to them for trying.
Domain Names Rewired, published by Wiley, is available on Amazon (that’s amazon.com, but might someday be books.amazon).