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Domain Name Scarcity

last modified Feb 04, 2016 11:02 AM
'Sorry Kids, all the good usernames are gone' - A recent column in The Financial Times quotes from the latest paper on domain name scarcity by Thies Lindenthal of Cambridge Real Estate Research Centre, Department of Land Economy at The University of Cambridge.

The article by Lisa Pollack talks about the end of 'a golden age of online identity', where we all have have relatively simple email addresses that include our names, but email addresses like these are running out.

The article goes on to say:

'Many will shout that this is all the more reason to purchase a domain name — to allow, say, a family of Joneses to have email addresses along the lines of [firstname] But here, too, many of the best addresses — that is, those that are familiar, pronounceable and memorable — have been snapped up.

 Evidence of this is provided in a forthcoming paper in The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. Thies Lindenthal of the University of Cambridge finds that there could be up to 25 per cent more registered domain names if more user-friendly ones were available. New addresses are being released by expanding the universe of top-level domains — for example, to include .site and .online — but whether these are widely adopted is a different matter.  For those unable to find a web address to their liking, Lindenthal asks in a separate interview whether the growth of certain social media platforms will at some point slow down simply because users cannot find an attractive login name'.  As Thies says,

“In the end who would like to be Dave123456789?”

 "Virtual Space markets are like land rushs in the Wild West: Whoever is first can claim a location. New research investigates whether there is enough good space available to host all potential digital settlers."  TL

To read the paper 'Monocentric Cyberspace:  The Primary Market for Internet Domain Names' by Thies Lindenthal, please go to the Cambridge Real Estate Research Centre website, Working Paper Series.

For a .pdf download of the full article please click here.  For FT subscribers a full copy of the article can be found here


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