Monday, October 14, 2019

The .CONTACT new gTLD is around but...

I heard background noise about the .CONTACT new gTLD and it appears that there could be innovation coming with this string: not just domain names to buy and renew. If I am confident that Donuts - the new owner of the .CONTACT new gTLD - has the capacity to create innovation, I sincerely hope that it is going to bring something definitely new to the new gTLD world and not a copy of the .TEL Top-Level Domain.

Remember .TEL ?
The .CONTACT new gTLD reminds me of the .TEL : do you remember the .TEL with this platform dedicated to offering your communication details? It offered links to you phone, your email, the possibility to add sub-domains to differentiate your professional identity from your personal one, you could even add your Adsense in the end to try to generate an income from it.

I liked it quite a lot in the beginning and registered as a great domain name that I would use on my personal business card to point to "what I do", and the option to contact me in several ways (and show off my websites too). The problem is that the platform was a nightmare and required many clicks to do something. It required a different password from the domain name registration (2 passwords then). The platform was then abandoned several years after. Unless I am wrong, I think that it can till be used.

Funny, I just checked and noticed that someone uses it for porn in some strange language :-)

Please "renew"
"Meet with adoption" is a sentence that I quite like when it comes to talking about the launching of a new gTLD: it is also the hardest challenge for a registry. Having registrants to renew a domain name does not necessarily mean that a new gTLD has met with adoption and I hate to write it but it is precisely what happened to .TEL and myself:
  1. I found the project quite innovative: it was the only one to offer something different;
  2. .TEL was cool : it meant "Telephone" and was a great string to tel users your phone number: "hey, this is where you can find my phone number...and much more";
  3. The .TEL new gTLD was the only one to launch, there was not even competition around: no other strings were launching at the same time!
  4. I really liked the idea of offering access to a platform that made sense to me: the opportunity to offer all possibilities to contact me in a single place: it required no HTML development, no coding whatsoever...and no hosting!
I kept and used the name several years BUT at some point...I dropped it because it was just another domain name to renew for a use that I did not really have since I already had other websites for my activities. The .TEL Top-Level Domain now has 75,000 domains on the market: it had...many more in the past.

This is the ultra high challenge that the .CONTACT new gTLD is facing: users not to drop their domain name at some point. It the innovation to come with this new string is not completely different from what we've seen in the past...let's hope that Premiums will do the rest.

Come on Donuts, show us what you've got ;-)

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