One fun way to speculate what companies were applying for which gTLD extensions was to look through all of the dotWhatever.com, .net, and .org domain registrations to see who owns the names. Since many applicants have been posturing for quite some time, you could get an idea of some of the potential applicants and also an idea of some gTLD considerations.
Of course when others noticed websites popping up, domain speculators went out en masse and purchased dot whatever domain names in various extensions, likely with the hopes of eventually selling them to applicants. I am sure thousands of different dot terms were registered, and the domain registrars happily took the registration fees.
Let’s have a look at some of the dot keyword domain names that were registered where it turns out there was not a corresponding gTLD application:
Could these names be worth something on their own merits? Perhaps, but from the looks of the names I highlighted, they aren’t being “used” aside from some PPC pages, for sale landers, and registrar landing pages. It’s possible that some of these dot extensions were considered for gTLD applications and registered just in case, but it turns out that there was no application.
Seems like the big winners here, as always, were the domain registrars.