This was first posted on the MatthewChan.com Blog.
One of my pet peeves on the Internet is the phenomena of cybersquatting and domain speculating. Basically, most cybersquatters are people or companies who register blocks of domains for the purpose of reselling them to end-users or developers who ultimately want to create content around a given domain name.
Because we live in a capitalistic society, I won’t say it is morally or ethically wrong to cybersquat for profit. However, as a website creator and content developer, I find myself blocked from using many domains that would be appropriate for a project or venture.
If there was a corresponding live website to a registered domain name, it would not bother me so much. But most of the time when I view a registered domain, it shows nothing or a generic parked page. That tells me that there are lots of people who either are not developing content for the registered domains or they are cyber-squatting.
There are domains I register and hold on to. But it is not to resell them. I have intentions of developing a website around the name. For the most part, the days of domain speculation are over and yet there are many domains still being sat upon.
With ICANN’s recent expansion announcement, the Internet domain space will soon be expanded to the point where it will become unprofitable to cybersquat. No longer will we be limited to .com, .net, .org, .info, etc. We potentially will have a limitless supply of domain names with the creation of new top-level domains.
Up to now, I have been a strong proponent of getting a .com in a domain name. However, I have softened my opinion on this because I have registered some .org domains as appropriate. The biggest problem years back was that most of the public was ignorant of Internet conventions. So if you did not have a .com, you were not as credible and you ran the danger of less sophisticated users not being able to recognize your Internet address as an accessible website.
I am tired of cyber-squattting and domain speculators. In my eyes, they profit but they really add no value to the big picture. With domain names soon becoming plentiful and diverse, the power shifts back to the website creators and content developers. That is what people want, that is what I want to provide.
We are in the middle of 2008. ICANN claims they will start accepting new applications around this time in 2009. I predict that sometime in 2010, the domain space will begin to widen. I also predict that cybersquatters and domain speculators are going to start dumping their domains when they realize it is going to be quite unprofitable unless they have a super-unique domain name.
As far as I am concerned, there isn’t a project I have worked on that I have not been able to be creative and work around cyber-squatters. I simply will not allow them to profit from me.
Cybersquatting and domain speculating will soon become an obsolete and unprofitable thanks to ICANN’s recent decision. The end, and new beginning, cannot come soon enough for me. Start watching domain names not being registered next year. The dumping will start slow but will eventually come fast and furious.