Former Twitter CEO Evan Williams wrote an article earlier today putting down domain names, saying the perfect domain name was less important than it used to be, and and it will continue to become less important.
According to Evan, there are five reasons why domain names will become less important.
First, Google is how normal people get around the web.
Second, Auto-Complete Address Bars. You don’t really have to remember anything, not even domain names.
Third, Mobile Web Browsers and Hidden Address Bars. Evan’s own conspiracy theory is that Google has a secret plan to kill domain names all together and make sure all navigation goes through them.
Fourth, Apps. The domain name is unimportant with installable apps.
Fifth, Alternative Successes. The non-perfect .com is also acceptable these days, Evan claims. After all he says, Facebook used to be at thefacebook.com.
The main point of his argument is that while a good .com name is still worth a lot, it’s not as crucial to success on the internet as it used to be, but you have to read through the whole post to get the message in his conclusion.
But despite all the talk of domain names “becoming less important”, in his own words Evan writes, he’d still opt (and pay up) for a nice, clean .com if he could. Among Evan’s own domain holdings are obvious.com.
If you recall, Evan purchased the domain Twitter.com for $7,500 back in the day - giving the original project code name for the microblogging service “twttr” a much needed web facelift.
Hat tip to David for finding this article and emailing me earlier today. David suggests Evan should put this to the test and agree to let any random person choose any random domain name for Evan’s next startup.
I’m biased towards domain names, but Evan Williams does carry quite a bit of credibility on the internet.
Not only has he founded several successful companies on the internet, two of them ended up being in the top ten according to Alexa’s site ranking: Blogger and Twitter. He is even credited with inventing the term “blogger” and helped to popularize the term “blog”.
As of today’s Alexa ranking, Blogger is #8, while Twitter has fallen out of the top ten, down to #11.
Readers: Do you agree or disagree with Evan? Are domains becoming less important?
[UPDATE: Wed June 23, 2011 5:07 PM EST: I just noticed that other domain bloggers like HybridDomainer have also covered this story, and the list of blogs particularly within the domain space voicing their opinion will (and should) probably grow.]