Is .com “silly” and “meaningless”?
That’s what some new gTLD registries would have you believe.
In separate blog posts over the last week, Donuts and ARI Registry Services have gone on the offensive, dismissing .com as an irrelevant relic of a bygone age.
ARI CEO Adrian Kinderis branded .com as “meaningless and unintuitive” in a post slamming the Board of Racing Victoria, an Australian horse-racing organization, for the purchase of racing.com for (he claimed) $500,000.
New gTLDs with more semantic relevance to horse racing or geographic regions will make this purchase look “silly” in future, he said.
Take for instance .racing which is set to launch soon. It would offer a more creative and relevant domain name such as horses.racing, victorian.racing or vichorses.racing.
He also said that most Australians are conditioned to visit .com.au (for which ARI provides the registry back-end), which will lead to traffic leakage from racing.com to racing.com.au.
The problem is that racing.com does not have an intrinsic connection with Victorian horse racing that would lend itself to intuitive navigation and recall.
Donuts had a similar message in a blog post last week.
Donuts vice president Mason Cole said on that company’s blog that .com is “diluted and meaningless” when compared to more vertically oriented TLDs such as Donuts’ .photography and .bike.
It adds nothing to an identity. Except perhaps to say, “I’m on the Internet somewhere.” .COM is “1999” — not “today,” and definitely not the future. New .COM registrations are extraordinarily long and much less meaningful when compared to a new registration in a new gTLD. And with its recent price decreases on new registrations (which apparently is necessary to match their low quality), .COM now means “low quality and cheap.”
It will be interesting to see whether this kind of messaging will be carried over from lightly trafficked corporate blogs into more mainstream new gTLD marketing by registries.
What do you think? Do Donuts and ARI have a point? Is .com meaningless? Will it fall out of fashion? Is going negative on legacy gTLDs a wise strategy for new gTLD companies?