I had the chance to interview Aaron Grego, who is the CEO of Punto 2012. Punto 2012 is the Registry behind two very interesting new top level domains (TLDs) - .rest and .bar. What I like about these two TLDs is their ability to cover an industry. At the same time it's global terms, short and memorable, and I think they will be great "virtual road signs". When I look at bars' websites they usually have to settle for an address such as NAMEbar.com or barNAME.com (or even worse bar-NAME.com). Now they have a serious alternative.
1) Please introduce your organisation and explain who .rest and .bar are for. What are the benefits of these compared to using a .com for the website?
Punto 2012 is a Mexico City-based domain company and we are veterans of the restaurant and bar industry as well as experts in providing restaurants and bars with the tools they need to be successful on the Internet. This unique combination of skills and interests has enabled us to really stay on the forefront of search technology and we’ve made a successful career out of making sure restaurants and bars can be found by their customers. We created the .rest and .bar domain names so that restaurants and bars can have an online neighborhood made just for them. Now, for the first time ever, they can be identified as a restaurant or bar simply by looking at their Internet address. It is a wonderful way to secure a memorable, short, and relevant domain name for restaurants and bars and also it enables businesses that weren't able to get an ideal .com address, whether because of availability or aftermarket costs, to finally secure their perfect domain name.
2) In your opinion what will the impact be of the new generic top level domains on the way we use the internet?
We are on the crest of a wave that will completely innovate and redefine the Internet as we know it. Generic Top Level Domains will organize and categorize the Internet like never before. For the first time since it was created, we can place our domains into categories that define who we are and what we do, rather than being lumped into a catch-all .com or .net category. Also, it enables those of us who were unable to get the domain of our choice to find the ideal domain that is not only easy and simple to remember—but also clearly defines our brand. The Internet will evolve into a broader and easier-to-navigate global landscape.
3) Which criteria for .rest and .bar have you set to define their releases as a success? In general what pedigree does a successful gTLD have, which a failing one hasn't?
Criteria for success on any gTLD will be how many registrations are secured. It is currently in a controlled environment and so we are measuring our success based upon the interest of those in the food and beverage industry and are looking down the road when the domains are available to the public. There have been other gTLDs that released at varying levels of success. In general, a successful gTLD tends to be one that can better categorize a topic or industry, and be useful to businesses due to simplicity, clarity, or marketability. Also, a successful domain address should be global and applicable to more than only one language-limited marketplace. We expect success with .rest and .bar because as food and beverage professionals ourselves we've identified there is a pressing need and demand for industry categorization of the Internet. Ultimately we want restaurants and bars to be able to market themselves better—and with gTLDs designed specifically for them, they can.
4) Apart from .rest and .bar what are your three favourite new gTLDs?
I am so hyper focused on .rest and .bar, this is difficult to answer. We have seen potential for domains such as .club, .hotel, .ski. In all these cases those domains categorize the Internet into a particular topic or industry, which, we believe, is a key qualifier for a successful gTLD, and they are short and global. It is still very early in the process and most domains are still in the trademark stage. In a couple months we will see which ones have velocity.