Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just the Same, Only Different

My dad is full of great phrases, like the classic "Don't do that... it only does that so many times." As in: "Don't zoom the lens in and out on your camera, it only goes in and out so many times." Or: "Don't play with the automatic locks on the car door, they only lock and unlock so many times."

Another one he likes is "Just the same, only different." This phrase works wonderfully when explaining why you should try spinach, when you already like lettuce.

Currently, in my line of work, I'm immersed in new gTLDs. What are they? Put simply, a gTLD (generic top-level domain) is the part of a URL at the very end, to the right of the dot. You probably know about .com, .net and .org. Well, this year, corporations and organizations will be allowed to apply for new gTLDs. It's starting to push into the mainstream media coverage, but mostly I read about this issue in domain industry media and IP law media. And there are a lot of people who oppose this expansion. To sum up the basic arguments:

IP attorney: "Creating new domains means that we'll have to protect all of our trademarks from cybersquatters across hundreds of extensions and that will cost us a lot of money and time so don't do it!"
Domain investor: "New domains are always worthless, we can't make any money off them, so don't do it!"
Businesses: "No one will ever learn to type anything other than .com at the end of a name, so don't do it!"

And I look at all these arguments against new gTLDs, and I want to say:

It's just the same, only different.

You already love and know .com. So why can't you love .web? Wikipedia relies on .org, but surely the Clinton Foundation would look nice on .ngo.

Another gem of wisdom from Dad: "Put it where it belongs." This also applies for new gTLDs. Shoes belong in the closet, and hotel websites belong on .hotel. We have complicated classifications systems for libraries to sort our information, why not classifiers online?

What I see is a lot of people not wanting to change because "it's always been like that." Well, I'm telling you, don't stick to the same old thing and get the same old result. It only does that so many times.