Uniregistry Video: Frank Schilling Discusses the Future
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Uniregistry Video: Frank Schilling Discusses the Future of the Internet

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I want to share this video uploaded to YouTube by Uniregistry, the company founded by Frank Schilling that is applying for hundreds of new gTLD strings. In the video, you can get an idea of Frank’s vision for the Internet once new gTLD domain names become available and used.

There is considerable uncertainty right now, but one thing is certain for me. It’s been very cool to watch the Internet change right before my eyes. There will be winners and there will be losers. Fortunes will be made and lost. It’s been exciting to see all of this unfold in front of us.

The Internet as we know it is changing, and it’s going to cause great change in our businesses.

Check out the video below


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (28)

    jack

    When do these new domains launch?

    September 26th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    @Domains

    I really like Frank but I hope he’s wrong on this one, or mostly wrong. There will probably be at least some wins with the new gtlds, likely with big brands using their own name for a company gtld.

    His analogy of putting out a fire with water is a good one.

    Another analogy might be if something hasn’t worked in a small way (.mobi, .travel, .aero), doing the same thing in a bigger way also won’t work, or will make things worse. If you are fishing in a lake with one line and a worm on your hook, and the fish in that lake don’t like worms, then throwing a hundred lines in the lake with worms won’t get you any farther ahead.

    September 26th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Adam

    People don’t just choose .com, they usually choose the ccTLD of their country, whether it’s .co.uk, .de, .fr, .il, etc.

    Drink.Jonnywalker is not an obvious URL address and it never will be…at least until you put www. in front of it.

    I agree EMDs like Used.cars or Rent.cars might make nice marketing channels, but the worth of mouth from it is horrible. People are going to have to pronounce it as “used dot cars” rather then something brandable like “Hertz” or “Avis”. Even then, the homepage of brand TLDs will be what? home.avis, home.coke, home.google?

    It’s not exactly catchy compared to Avis.com, Coke.com

    September 26th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Kassey

      I’ve been thinking about this issue too, Adam. Will there be a common entrance into a .brand website? Will all .brand firms agree (unlikely) to use ‘home’ as the entrance? We need a simple convention for consumers to come and visit a .brand website. (With .com, it’s easy. Just type brand plus ‘.com’. With a .brand, what do you type to go to that .brand?)

      In reply to Adam | September 27th, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Ron

    We all can appreciate Frank is a good guy, but most of us are not right all the time, some say he got lucky back in 2001 ish era, some say it was pure brilliance, but we all know it was a shot in the dark, and it paid off. When money becomes no object, and you have it coming in droves on a daily basis, you get bored, you look for the next gold rush, he is rolling the dice, and he can afford too.

    As we all know, how many great domains domainers own, that should be in the hands of end users, who are to uneducated to bother caring to own them. Everyday I see more, and more vehicles, billboards, with some sort of URL, some good, and some just plain ugly.

    Don’t be fooled that you will be able to purchase such domains as Go.Online for reg fee, they will most likely be auctioned off, or held for big bucks. Much like .co registry did, anyone notice, they held POF.CO and sold it for $10,500 last week, to a dating site hoping to get the real sites traffic, UDRP probably in the works… Regardless it is going to be messy, there are going to be scammers, phrophets, and doomsday sayer’s. It will be another marketing channel for large FORTUNE 500 corporations, but how many of you sell to Fortune 500 companies on a daily basis, .com is almighty, and it make take decades to change that, so stay the course. >net has taken a huge hit > .co are dropping, and keep getting picked up by domainers in a recycle reg fee exchange, or low auction paydays…

    Nobody really knows what is going to happen, we know there are going to be legal headaches, UDRP’s galore, Phising issues but wait and see…

    September 26th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Dean

    Nice video, well produced. My analogy: domains are like precious and semi precious metals. Gold or .Com is the standard that drives the economy and that other metals (domain extensions)are measured by. They will always fluctuate in value, but Gold or .Com is the standard and that is not likely to change anytime soon.

    September 26th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Rick Schwartz

    It’s a brilliant video. Fantastic!

    There is one snag. Frank’s vision can not be controlled.

    It is not a library system designed to find things easier and is controlled centrally and logically. This is a commercial effort and there will be nothing central or logical about it and no control whatsover.

    For that to work, ICANN would have kept control of the 700 Generic extensions and then sell listings or have businesses listed independently by 3rd parties

    I think for a gTLD to do well, it has to be strategically introduced and that takes time and money and a vision others buy into.

    I think Dean put it best: “My analogy: domains are like precious and semi precious metals. Gold or .Com is the standard that drives the economy and that other metals (domain extensions)are measured by. They will always fluctuate in value, but Gold or .Com is the standard and that is not likely to change anytime soon.”

    I do agree with Frank that 2014 will be very exciting.

    September 26th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Dev

    It’s a well made video, and Frank certainly has a reputation of creating finely tuned, clear and concise videos with relaxing music playing in the background. Studies have shown that soothing music helps clear the mind in stressful or complicated times and boy, the internet is about to get pretty damn stressful and complicated.

    Frank’s company, large corporations and the zillions of other domain registrars WILL overwhelmingly profit off gtld’s, make no mistake. Everyone who is selling domains at the registry level obviously wants/needs for gtld’s to be a resounding success and the idea of launching thousands of gtld’s resonates with them. More products to sell = more revenue. However, the million dollar question is will gtld’s actually resonate with CONSUMERS (non-business owners) on a large scale? Obviously that is the big unknown at this point. Gtld’s will no doubt resonate with many small business owners and picking up “joes.pizzeria” may seem like a pretty viable option when the dot com counterpart has been taken since 1999. However, what about Joe’s customers? If you look at history, human nature tends to take the path of least resistance. In order for gtld’s to become “mainstream”, we are talking about a complete paradigm shift in the way consumers have been conditioned to use the internet since its inception. In order for gtld’s to become 100% mainstream at the level in which Frank speak of, you are asking to “reprogram” the consumer. You are asking for consumers (not business owners) to suddenly use MORE brainpower in order to suddenly remember what’s “right of the dot”. Even today, there are millions of consumers who STILL have trouble remembering what’s LEFT of the dot, much less right of the dot. Will there be random, isolated successes with new gtld’s and strong, new brands created? Absolutely. There are a lot of creative and motivated people out there. But you have to keep in mind that as hundreds of new gtd’s are being launched, there will likely be mass confusion like we have never seen before. The talking point that makes gtld’s such a popular notion (that gtld’s will deliver an immense amount of new options for businesses) could actually be the achilles heel for gtld’s as an industry. Having unlimited options may not necessarily be a great thing for the proponents of gtld’s if consumers do not adapt well to this change.

    As domain investors, we have solely relied on the finite aspect of domain names, which is precisely what makes them both sought after, valuable and liquid. In order for dot com values to retain their current values, gtld’s by and large, will have to fail. On the flip side, if gtld’s are a huge success and they actually end up changing the way consumers use the internet, then you can say goodbye to domain ingesting as we currently know it. I simply cannot envision the internet being powered by gtld’s on the level that Frank sees it, while category “killer dot coms” are somehow able to hold the liquidity and values that they hold today. Why? because if gtld’s truly end up changing the internet on the type of scale that Frank and others are proposing, and if consumers gravitate toward using gtld’s on a mass scale, then a “dot com” domain name will be considered just another “right of the dot” choice for businesses along side .web, .shop and hundreds of others. On the flip side, if gtld’s fail on a mass scale, then I would expect to see dot com values holding their present values and perhaps even increase in value. I do not see anything in between these two extremes. Ultimately, it will be consumers who will decide the fate and direction of the internet and NOT domain investors, domain solution providers, or registries.

    September 26th, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Larry

      I agree with what you are saying. As someone who has been around this 1996, owns and sells domains and also operates as a registrar with end users (and how they think) I can’t see this working out in a big way. Most established businesses already have their .com. And you have a hard enough time selling them “joespizza.net” they’d rather have “joespizzanashua.com” from my experience. (Maybe that’s exaggerated but I’m using it to prove a point.)

      So the market is really people who don’t have domains not people who already have domains. And those people won’t see enough critical mass to want to go to another TLD. This happened with .info back when it came out way before Elliot got involved in domains. I saw what happened with that. It was a niche. Or .us for that matter.

      Of course if Frank really believes .com will be like AM radio then you would expect him to be willing to sell of his valuable .com’s at much less than he was asking last year. Somehow I doubt that will happen though.

      Lastly as far as registering any domain in a new tld hoping to profit the problem with that is nobody checks those tld’s. So if you own bagelstore.com that’s good because people will type it in and see it’s not in use and email you to try to buy. But nobody really tries out to see bagelstore.co which is the reason nobody can get high dollars for three or 4 letter .co domains. With .com you sit and wait until someone comes along. With the other tld’s nobody is checking them. From my experience that is.

      In reply to Dev | September 27th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    craig

    Do not expect much from the modern consumer in the way of adaptation or understanding of the gTLDS.
    I learned from 50 years of apartment ownership, bus driving and firefighting, all in urban centers, most of those peckerheads can hardly remember their own names.
    The bulk of them, don’t have a clue what a domain name is or where it came from!
    Sad.

    September 26th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    todd

    The tide is already turning in favor of the new gTLDs. Everyday more and more we are seeing .ME, .CO, .TV etc…… being sold and being accepted by the new and young internet user. The first generation internet user which is also the 1990s domainers will always believe that dot com will rule but the “NOW” generation of internet user already knows how the system works because they were taught in elementary school so there will be no confusion with them understanding this new system.

    Everyone thinks it will be confusing when they release all these new extensions but in reality they are all marketing themselves the same and that is promoting the right of the dot. So on a mass scale internet users are going to be bombarded by the same marketing message from thousands of new gTLD registries so how in the world will it cause confusion when the message will be the same and heard over and over and over again.

    History has proven that everything no matter what it is evolves over time and this is no different. Some of the brightest minds are behind these registries and it’s not one or two or a hundred incredible businessmen but thousands upon thousands who all believe in this concept. Pure logic tells you that there is something to it and we may not be able to exactly pinpoint it but its going to be a revolution on a mass scale.

    September 26th, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Dev

    Todd, the “now” generation you’re speaking of mainly consists of those who are young, savvy business owners, not your average 40 year old housewife who shops at amazon.com. There’s a dramatic difference.

    September 26th, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Frank

    The acceptance of .co and me are amazing. Though they don’t hold a candle to the almighty .com

    It is smart for new young owners and business start-ups to go with a .co first then graduate to .com. Get the sales first then go for the big .com name latter.

    Harddrive.co and tablets.co are on the list at Ricks next month. This will be very interesting to see how those do.

    Home.co just went for 26k. A market exists for these extensions but they are not going to command 6 figures. Low five figures at best for single worded .co names.

    September 26th, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Acro

    Open.your.eyes

    September 26th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    TC

    I am not saying he is wrong, but we have to remember what his motives are.

    He is saying this because he has a company in the GTLD space. Frank is of course going to promote this!

    September 27th, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Josh

    Funny thing about money, easy come, easy go. Why no one can be satisfied in life with XXX million dollars is beyond me.

    I am not saying someone should lose their drive in life to succeed once wealthy but when it gets to a point that it is clear money is trumping truth, sad.

    As far as a new extensions success, it will only be as good as marketing and constant pounding into our brain for decades to work. Can you do that with umpteen hundred of them?

    September 27th, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Adam

      He has a bold ambition and is putting his money. His motives are clear to me . He isn’t doing this to please you or me or make you or me wealthy and that doesn’t mean he’s not a “nice guy” or likable or whatever people want to saddle this “domain celebrity” with.

      It seems to be more about legacy/purpose and helping shape the future of the internet. . . . money has a role obviously, but he’s put a lot in already and he’s been active in helping shape things . . . making money at the same time. Good for him.

      In reply to Josh | September 27th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Dev

      The difference between Frank and the majority of other proponents of the gtld space, is that Frank was savvy early on and he has put himself is in the rare position to profit from his dot com portfolio should gtld’s fail on massive scale. It’s a win win for him, regardless of the outcome.

      In reply to Adam | September 27th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Dev

      I tend to agree, Josh. I also have to admit that even from my narrow perspective and experience communicating with end-users on a daily basis, the vast majority of them have had zero interest in any of the new extensions that are coming, and some of them have even said that a .web or .shop seems “cheap”. If that is truly the consensus among business owners and even consumers, then new gtld’s will be no different than a dot info or dot biz, which isn’t exactly “game-changing”.

      In reply to Josh | September 27th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Adam

    “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

    September 27th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    John Colascione

    Excellent video and Frank is a very well respected guy for vision, creativity and success, but I do hope he is wrong on this one. I am not a fan of the new gTLDs, as seems most here. Yes, money will be made and a great deal of it but seems to create a confusing mess inspired mostly by profits by ICANN and registrars.

    September 28th, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Joseph Peterson

    It’s a slick and well produced ad — manipulative in the prevailing style. Of course, propaganda is the norm in our society, as in most; so I don’t fault Uniregistry specifically for adopting the typical approach. After all, hand-waving gestures are better than dull analysis when it comes to extracting money from the masses. In reality, the more points that need to be glossed over, the glossier the commercials need to be. And this ad is excruciatingly glossy.

    Why are the new gTLDs our guaranteed future, and why is that future unquestionably good? Because people smile into a camera! Because we see “.COM” painstakingly hammered out using a clunky, outmoded type writer (as we do these days), whereas the new gTLDs are shown to be the preference of an attractive woman delicately navigating the web with her fingertip on a modern laptop while relaxing on her bed! Because children (our future!) run across the lawn in superman costumes! Because two models, posing as a young couple — and armed with the new .HOUSE, I guess? — are delightedly dangling the keys to their very own new house in front of a camera!

    The music is especially cynical. Early on, while Frank Schilling, is talking about the era of .GOV and .COM, the piano dithers among dissonant, minor-key, “troubled sounding” arpeggios. Indeed, those .COM days were troubled times, we instinctively feel, shaking our heads. Then, as Frank Schilling transitions toward talking about the new TLDs, the music gradually becomes brighter, major-key, and higher in pitch. We’re happy and uplifted! It’s all sunshine!

    How manipulative is that, folks? Any self-respecting human being should feel insulted by this condescending approach. Clearly, the majority of people are not as offended as I am by the effrontery of advertisements like these. Uniregistry certainly didn’t invent them, and plenty of advertising firms show a similar disrespect towards the public. It works.

    Frank Schilling has a legitimate point of view on the new gTLDs — as opposed to the marketers who overdubbed his conversation with this sappy soundtrack and cobbled together footage of smiling models. I’m confident that he can present a detailed case on behalf of Uniregistry’s new gTLD initiative. But I’ll say again: “The more points that need to be glossed over, the glossier the commercials need to be.” Mr. Schilling’s well earned point of view is designed to be obscured by blind optimism because that point of view is highly debatable.

    Let’s examine 4 of Mr. Schilling’s sentences:

    (1) “It’ll just become more logical.”

    Will it? Even if drink.johnnywalker is somehow more logical than DrinkJohnnyWalker.com — or JohnnyWalker.drink, say … Will it really JUST “become more logical”? Just the good side? No drawbacks? I’d say that’s an oversimplification, and I’m sure Mr. Schilling would agree with me that the issue is more complicated than his choice of the phrase “just … more logical”. I’m sure he’d concede that ads are not a platform for communicating in detail or with accuracy; they’re designed to be the opposite. All advertisers — from Geico to the local bank — aim to distort and oversimplify reality in their favor. But, in the interests of accuracy here, we should carefully consider whether, with these new gTLDs on the shelves at all the registrars, “It’ll just become more logical”.

    (2) “There is a landrush of great, great domain names coming that anyone can register on a first-come first-served basis.”

    When it comes to the new gTLDs that Uniregistry hopes to operate, Uniregisty has (from what I hear) expressed its intention to release second-level domain registrations on a first-come, first-served basis. However, it’s indisputable that many applicants for other extensions (or even the same strings) would not do so. Some gTLDs — even generic words — will remain the sole property of corporate brands. Meanwhile, other registries will follow the lucrative precedent of their forebears, holding back the best domains for greater profit rather than making them publicly available for whatever yearly registration fee they decide should be normal. Perhaps Used.Cars will be $2,000 per year rather than just $100 per year … or the $8 per year for UsedCars.com.

    As the general public is urged to “pre-register” domains (months or years before any actual availability), it seems logical to assume that most registries will use data from all these “pre-registrations” to identify the most sought after domains and then hold them hostage at inflated prices. So, while Uniregistry may pursue an open-registration model for its extensions (IF Uniregistry secures the rights to them), it remains dangerous to assume that “anyone can register” anything they want.

    (3) “Rather than UsedCars.com, people will go to Used.Cars.”

    Once it becomes possible to register .cars, I’m sure someone will own Used.Cars — whether it’s a registrant like you or me or the registry itself. And eventually it seems probable that someone would display a website on the other end of used.cars. But will people “go to Used.Cars” rather than UsedCars.com? If so, then this new extension has introduced significant brand confusion between two different companies, forcing both of those companies to pay more in SEO and advertising costs. Those extra costs will inevitably be passed along to their customers. Who in this scenario — except for Uniregistry — would say, “It’s so much better now!” … ?

    The more likely scenario, in my opinion, is that people will go to used.cars WHILE they simultaneously go to UsedCars.com. Any halfway intelligent company operating used.cars will need to secure their position by obtaining the .COM and forwarding it to the same website. It’s up to them which domain to display. Otherwise they leave the door open to the problems I mentioned a second ago. This second scenario — one of redundant domain registrations — is harmful to business owners and customers as well because, in this sense, the new gTLD represents an added tax on websites.

    (4) “How did we get by with this narrow selection of names? It’s so much better now!”

    Is it better when UsedCars.com must simultaneously pay for Used.Cars — or vice versa? And possibly for many other extensions as well, simply to protect its brand online — eventually Used.Trucks, Used.Car, Cars.Used, Used.Vehicles, Used.Autos, and so forth? If I’m right, then these new extensions will often be, not a vent to let off excess naming pressure, but an added cost burden on businesses and consumers. They’re also a godsend to spammers, phishers, and charlatans galore, since it’s that much easier to impersonate a legitimate brand due to all the newly introduced, relatively cheap ambiguity!

    Although it may sound like I oppose the new gTLD initiative in its entirety, that’s not the case. Frankly, I expect to register some of them. But I’m convinced that there are significant drawbacks with these new gTLDs that businesses won’t hear about because of all the marketing dollars spent by registries and registrars with very obvious financial agendas.

    Reality is complex. The new gTLD program — like anything else — has pros and cons. And it should be discussed in a responsible way that attempts to balance these pros and cons. Slick advertising will make money primarily by misleading people.

    September 28th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Dev

      One of the aspects that proponents of gtld’s seem to overlook, is the basics phonetics of the way a domain rolls off the tongue. By simply adding a “dot” in between two critical keywords of a brand, often doesn’t flow and in many cases just comes off as plain strange.

      In reply to Joseph Peterson | September 28th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Joseph Peterson

      Agreed. If your website is Amazon.com or Ebay.com or UsedCars.com or DomainInvesting.com, then you can refer to your business simply as “Amazon” or “Ebay” or “Used Cars” or “Elliot’s Blog”.

      But if you’re Something.Amazon or Something.Ebay or Used.Cars or Elliots.bog, then — in practice — your name becomes longer. You’ll be forced to clarify. Either you’ll now pronounce your brand name as “Elliots dot blog”, say, or “Used dot Cars” … or else you’ll have to explicitly say that you’re not “that other site called UsedCars.com”.

      The only antidote to this naming problem is to own the .COM as well and forward both domains to one site. In some cases, the new gTLD will be displayed; and in others the new gTLD will simply forward to the more familiar .COM. But it’s significant to point out the added cost involved in owning multiple domains (the messianic future) versus owning just a quality .COM (the horrible present).

      In reply to Dev | September 28th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Adam

      I’m not sure I follow. Can you please elaborate?

      In reply to Joseph Peterson | September 28th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    J

    Frank is great and the new gTLDs will be exciting and of course there will be changes on many levels but this is an ad, pure and simple. Frank has a business he wants to promote and is well positioned if the new gTLDs take off. If not he still has his .com empire but he’s going to talk up the concept every chance he gets.

    September 28th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Louie

    Obviously, new extensions will change the domain world, but it does not really hold yo drag down the top tld’s. Businessmen spent millions on their .com’s and I am certain that they will protect that investment. The success of the new extensions relied much on the top tld’s unless they will stop the registration of .com, .net, .org and .info. If you were smart enough, this is the right time to spend on .com, I have seen people letting go of some precious .coms. for me, these new extensions are just a expansion of their business, reach and market. Just try to grab Buy.Coke and youll find yourself in yhe courtroom for UDRP.

    September 29th, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Ben Pittman

    AS A DOMAIN NOVICE WHO OWNS A FEW, WHAT I THINK TO BE VALUABLE, NEW DOMAINS, I think that when we see a url in print, it will be much easier to remember or look up under a specific directory because of all the long tail names showing up on existing places. Most of the time we click on domains so that may not matter but to remember to visit later, more specific, less brain power.

    just a thought.

    June 1st, 2014 at 2:12 pm

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