I couldn't agree with you more.
The fact that many people DON'T know about .info
yet is a blessing in disguise, because if they did, they would get into the habit
of keying in a .info name and constantly getting holding pages or "This name for
sale" and in the end they would just stop trying .info
My view is that .info names
at the moment are a bit like those postage stamps I used to collect from obscure
Pacific islands who would churn out the stamps to raise revenue - the stamps looked
pretty but were virtually worthless.
The .info names will, in my opinion, grow
significantly in value, but only very slowly, as they are developed and used.
you, Challenge, I've bought a fair collection of names, but only with the intention
of developing them myself. Indeed, I've already started, and one of the websites
was mentioned in a news article in UK's "The Guardian" newspaper this Thursday -
so .info is certainly alive and growing!
The real value of the .info registry (IMHO)
is as an information source (as you said, an alternative to a search engine in some
cases) and if it is developed this way, then the public will direct large amounts
of traffic to locate these easily-guessed information sites.
The potential trouble
for this model, however, is that large tracts of the registry have been bought speculatively
- not to develop, but in the dream of nevernever money. If these vast areas of unused
.infos remain sterile, then it could undermine the integrity and attraction of all
the other .infos which ARE developed.
I suspect that what will happen is a fairly
long slow incubation period, but that gradually the sites that are really worth anything
will be the ones that are properly developed as information sites with high volume
traffic. This won't happen overnight in most cases.
But if you have bought a few
simple single-word names (as I have) and if they relate to simple subjects that have
a wide public interest, then NOW is the time to start developing them before most
of the public has tuned in... because the public will, I believe, turn more and more
.info for information. It's so simple and so logical.
Unlike the .com bubble, I
believe that .info sites will be worth little as speculation but will earn their
worth by what the site content itself has to offer. Only at a later stage will people
be able to realise a return for most names, and then only if they can convince someone
that the name is generic or obvious enough to attract lots of traffic.
context, the generics stolen at Sunrise are critical (because they are at the heart
of the registry's relevance for the future). Whoever gets them in what has been termed
'the second landrush' will be getting the real assets of .info
It is a travesty
that the people who went through honest procedures to get a share of this registry's
future have been let down so badly by Afilias