I have talked about this a number of times before but today it was illustrated in a major way. Consumers and the mainstream media still have absolutely no idea what a TLD is.
Today TechCrunch, one of the top tech publications in the world wrote an article about Google.co.uk and yes, they think that .co.uk is a subdomain. Here’s the exact quote:
During the debate Schmidt was also asked a question specifically about whether the public should move to searching Google.com rather than searching sub-domains such as Google.co.uk in order “to remove edited or removed information”, as the questioner put it. (Source – TechCrunch)
I think our terminology in the domain name industry is restricting us from the rest of the world. We all know what TLDs are and we know that the industry is buzzing non-stop about new gTLDs, and for good reason. The problem is consumers don’t know what a gTLD is, they know what .CLUB is, they know what .CLICK is, but they don’t know those are gTLDs.
If TechCrunch can’t figure out the difference between a gTLD and a subdomain what makes you think that the average person can?
So what’s my point? My point is that as an industry we have to get better at communicating with the rest of the world. We should start talking about new domain extensions, talking about things that come to the “right of the dot”. Honestly Michael and Monte got it right (literally!) they have a company that makes sense to people in the industry and outside of it.
Now we all have to do a better job as bloggers and gTLD operators in getting the message out there in a way the public can understand.
Here’s my question to you, because I don’t know the right answer myself. What do we call these new gTLDs? How can we explain them in a way that consumers and tech media alike can understand?
Comment and let your voice be heard!
Note: just to be clear, I’m not faulting TechCrunch here, I love TechCrunch and read it every single day. What I am faulting is the domain industry as a whole describing a major innovation in a way that confuses the heck out of everyone, even the incredibly tech savvy.