Domain Industry's Sleeping Giant is Waking Up!
McCullough Archived 11-19-03
domain business used to be simple. Register a .com and go home
or, if you wanted to be adventurous, you might pick up an occasional
.net or .org for your portfolio. Not much to choose from so making a
decision was easy. Today new extensions are muscling in on the
marketplace and they are getting too big to ignore.
new growth in the world of domains is coming in the country code
extensions (ccTLDs) with Germany leading the way. Its .DE
extension has garnered nearly 6 million registrations (second only
to .com and far ahead of #3 .net).
While Germans and companies
wanting to do business in Germany have been able to register .DE
domains for a number of years now a country code counterpart for
America, .US only became unrestricted and open to public use in
April of 2002.
.US was restricted, only individual States, Government branches and
educational providers were able to register .US domains. Neustar was
awarded the contract to administer the .US registry and just 3
months after launch over 269,000 total registrations were on the
books, including previously registered
restricted .US domains. By the end of the year 2002
registrations had nearly doubled, reaching 477,000
.US daily registrations usually total as many as two new Global
TLD’s, .info and .biz, COMBINED. This growth will not only
continue but is likely to surge this summer when Kids.us opens for
registration. Kids.Us was created by Congress to give kids a
relatively safe place to surf the internet. By law the government is
required to heavily promote the Kids.US namespace and that publicity
will undoubtedly raise the American public’s recognition and use
of the .US extension.
restrictions for registering a Kids.Us domain will be extremely
tight, but those that are allowed in will have instant access to a
market of over 33 million
kids in grades K-12 that are enrolled in
American public schools.
will also have access to these children’s parents and if we assume
each child has at least one parent, then we are looking at another
market of 33 million people that will, at the very least, now be
aware of Kids.Us and the parent .US domain.
promotional push required of the government was spelled out in the
Kids.US bill that was recently signed into law by President George
5. EDUCATION AND OVERSIGHT.
EDUCATION- The Secretary of Commerce, acting through the National
and Information Administration, shall carry out a program to
publicize the availability of the new domain and to educate the
parents of minors regarding the process for utilizing the domain in
combination and coordination with hardware and software technologies
that provide for filtering or blocking of unsuitable content. The
program under this subsection shall be commenced
not later than 30 days after the date that the new domain first
becomes operational and accessible by the public."
layman’s terms, nearly 70 million US children and parents will be
“educated” about .US by law. This is a huge advantage that .Info
or .Biz do not have. There is no doubt that these eyeballs are going
to find .US sites as this “educational” process includes using
Kids.US sites as resources in the classroom every day. This
generation of American children will identify the internet with dot
.US (much as today’s adults identify the internet with .com).
Parents will not imprinted with .US as immediately the children
will, but will still become aware
that the web is much more than .com almost overnight.
world wide will want to register their company names and keyword
names in the Kids.Us and .US name space as the realization of
exactly what this bill means hits home. No one will ignore a CAPTIVE
audience of no less than 33 million people. This can be seen when
you look at the many companies and associations participating in
Neustar’s request for public input on ideas of how they should
proceed with Kids.US.
Toy Industry Association’s input
is of special interest. According
to the TIA, they represent over “250
manufacturers of toy’s
and games whose aggregate sales at the retail level reach $25
billion annually”. It is clear that there is no lack of interest
and that the interest is substantial. All of this will fuel the
initial exposure of .US to millions of Americans almost overnight.
speculation in .US domains has already begun and will grow in leaps
and bounds as Kids.US is implemented. When the marketing mandated by
law raises the awareness of .US among business leaders their
children will define markets they will must enter to remain
the same reasons, we see companies world wide implementing a policy
recognizing the importance of registering the country code extension
of each country they want to do business in. Most major companies
already have or will register .US
Suzuki realizes if it is to reach the German market .com
isn’t enough, they need an address that shows local representation
hence Suzuki.de or why Philips, a Dutch company, can be found in
Ireland as Philips.ie or Germany (on .de) or Italy (on .it) etc.
in the midst of an economic slowdown, it is obvious how important it
is going to be for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of
companies large and small to have a .US website to reach the largest
open market on earth and the only remaining superpower.
are seeing a move away from one size fits all domain extensions like
.com and a maturity of online business coming to terms with the fact
that one of the easiest ways to reach a market is to become part of
its community. That begins with registering a domain extension that
fits the country and a website that fits the culture.
are just at the beginning of that process for .US, leaving plenty of
opportunities for millions of businesses, individuals and
speculators to profit in this new boom. Keeping an eye on the
rollout for Kids.US and other news in the .US extension could pay
off handsomely in the months ahead.
McCullough is a domain name dealer and developer. His sites
to name just two.
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