An excellent and humorous article.|
No doubt people will use the fact that long boring impossible to type names are less in demand as "evidence" that there is "no demand" for short catchy names in new TLDs chosen in a market-driven (rather than ICANN-Board-whimsy) process. Even though there's not much connection between the two.I do think there is some connection between the two, the pre-bubble exuberance and optimism that caused many to register many of these names is gone, and it probably won't be back. Half the 2LD namespace expiring. GAK! Well, I feign surprise but I predicted this, and worse. And what happens next year? Half of that remainder expires? At what point does this burn rate (which is hitting VeriSign harder than anyone) stop?
The demand in that pre-bubble era for new TLDs so that more could have short catchy names hasn't gone away, but it is also probably undergoing a similar market correction. I'm just trying to be realistic here by saying that while, of course, there is not "no demand", and there is probably not even a drop in demand corresponding to the dropped name rate, there is also probably also a considerable drop in demand for short, catchy names.
Many of the folks which registered these names were probably amongst those wanting short, catchy ones. But in many (I suspect the vast majority) of these cases they didn't do anything with the names they did get, so why should we believe that they are still out there wanting shorter names? Or that if they are, and got them, that they would then do anything with them? So then short catchy names get registered and sit unused, and other than making for a slimmer database, and funding ICANN's supply chain to live in unreality for another year, how does that solve anything?
Now don't get me wrong. I think ICANN should move almost immediately to approve many of the remaining first round applicants (and I'm not saying one should give Paul Garrin all he wants), assuming they are still interested, and I suspect many of them may not be because they understand that that was then and this is now. They would at least probably have to redo business plans to reflect current realities, ICANN would then want to re-assess those plans, ICANN doesn't have any assessment money left for that... Ohhh, what a mess. Well anyway, hopefully some way could be found to approve some of those if they're ready, willing, and able. And aim for a hundred more in a year or so. I'd honestly be very surprised if there were that many independent applicants out there. Any bets we wouldn't see VeriSign applying for a horde of them. And perhaps few others to compete with them. That's not much of a solution either. -g