You are obviously quite familiar with .com, .net, .org, and the others. These were the extensions that the internet was founded on. These were the first generation top level domains. Back in the early days of the internet, before big companies decided for certain that this whole web-thing wasn’t just a fad and was probably here to stay, “cyber-squatters” made out like bandits by buying domains that big corporations would ultimately want (“coke.com,” for example), then selling them off at a handsome profit when the companies in question came calling.
Eventually though, we started running out of domain names, and the only solution was to start making them longer, or adding prefixes to them. “mycoke.com,” to build on the example above, or “drinklotsofcoke.com.” There are some obvious problems with that approach, however, and too much of that kind of thing can lead to some really awkwardly long web addresses.
The solution was to create a whole new set of extensions. Maybe you couldn’t get coke.com, but coke.ca might be available, and that was almost as good, right? With the explosive growth of the internet, the first round of new extensions filled up fairly quickly too though, and there has been a plan in the works to create more. When this happens, of course, it creates a whole wave of new possibilities and opportunities. The catch, however, is that with each new batch of extensions, the value of the “lesser” ones gets somewhat diluted.
There’s no need to worry, really. The value of your .coms, .nets, and .orgs is secure, but these others are in some ways, poor cousins to the first generation. They’ll never be quite as good or valuable. That doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to be had, there almost certainly are, but it’s not something you just want to leap blindly into. For instance, the Coco-Cola Bottling Company bought coke.com, and a variety of other related domain names. They could go out and acquire coke.asia, but will they? Maybe, even if only to redirect it to their primary domain. Coke.blackfriday? Probably not.
What’s In A Name?
Still, the addition of a new set of extensions (you can get the complete list here) opens up some great possibilities if you’re a small to medium sized business and you really want a good, short, easy to remember domain name. If you had to settle for something ungainly like: “wemakereallygreatstuff.com” because the phrase you wanted was already taken, you now stand an excellent chance of being able to more clearly identify your company and your brand with the new extensions, and that’s something certainly worth thinking about.
It’s a fairly trivial task to port your existing site over to the new domain, or leave it just as it is and have the new domain simply redirect to your existing. You can do it either way, and it’s simple. The point though, is that if you’re looking for a good, quick, easy way to better identify your brand online, this represents an excellent opportunity for you.