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February 12, 2013

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Rick Schwartz Sounds Off on New gTLDs and the Key Difference Between Them and .Com

After a very rewarding trip to California (both professionally and personally) I just got back to our Florida home today. After Webfest Global ended in Santa Monica, Diana and I flew up to San Jose to visit our son Aaron and his family for a few days. Aaron, who is a globe trotting chemical engineer at Apple, gave us our first tour of the company's sprawling campus in Cupertino while we were there. Apple's low rise office buildings cover a huge expanse of land encircled by One Infinite Loop.

Webfest Global was also very interesting again this year (I'll have a full show review in our upcoming February Cover Story). As you would expect the impending arrival of new gTLDs was a hot topic of conversation there. Opinions about how well the new gTLDs will fare were all over the board.

An entrance at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, CA
(Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013)

Before I left for the show, domain pioneer Rick Schwartz, co-founder of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference, shared his new gTLD view with me while I was conducting interviews for our January State of the Industry Cover Story. Some of his comments were included in that article, but due to space constraints in that wide ranging article, I held some others that I can share with you now.

Rick Schwartz on the balcony of his Fort Lauderdale Beach penthouse apartment.

Schwartz said, "The .whatever registries and registrars may have internal success. But thatís the problem and the difference. It is internal success where .com was/is an external success. Think about that. The reason .com is such a success is the wide use and acceptance by 3rd parties. 3rd parties were the big winners. Here Registries may be the winners but that is a completely different equation."

"So in success or failure, .whatever will just reinforce .com as not only the gold standard, but THE most sought after property on the planet," Schwartz declared. "The domain name is every great brand rolled into one brand. Your brand, my brand, their brand. Plus the location, plus everything else that comes with it. The intangibles. Like credibility for example. It is the total lifeline, heartbeat, main entrance and foundation of your business and supersedes all other entry and contact points."

"If you can hold on to your domains to 2015-2016 I believe that you will see a huge 

spike in prices and that is what I have waited all these years for. I am sorry many donít see it. My most vivid example would be like comparing the salaries of Babe Ruth and Johnny Unitas with Derrick Jeter and Tom Brady. Now that took 70 years. What we are doing is taking 70 months and that clock starting ticking about 42 months ago," Schwartz said.

"T.R.A.F.F.I.C. has been the launch pad of .mobi, .me, .co and .xxx and all have enjoyed great success at our shows. I think that will continue as we have already proved that we can do the job. So I think many of us will benefit from .whatever. My job is not to talk anyone out of what they see - just try and separate fact from hype. Donít try to value the corresponding .whatever to the .com. Not a fair comparison. Those that buy into that are being fooled. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. will premiere, offer and promote but we wonít endorse. And there may come a time where we see no value in that. Time will tell. We will be true to what we believe." Schwartz concluded.

(Posted February 12, 2013)  


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