June 26th, 2008 -Paris, France. The Internet Corporation of Name and Numbers ‘approved a recommendation’ that could allow for a whole new set of gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domain). Yes, that’s right.
President and CEO of ICANN, Dr Paul Twomey, was quoted as saying “It’s a massive increase in the ‘real estate’ of the internet”
What the global stakeholders are proposing is that applicants can be allowed to have more control over self-selecting their domain name, meaning, I can be iam.3ncryptabl3… Well, if I wanted to be anyways. The point being, applicants can, quite literally, choose what they want as their TLD. Within reason of course; there will be an ‘objection-based’ process on public morality and order to prevent offensive names and trademark stealing. Although trademarks wont be automatically reserved, the afore mentioned process is available to argue for protection.
But there are a few strange issues that will have to be resolved, or at the very least, will be interesting to see how they pan out.
You see, out of the current 21 or so gTLD’s available, of which the vast majority of sites are registered as .com’s, how am I suppose to track down the proper extension for a given site without first having the complete url. Well, I guess I’ll have to do a search for them online.
Think about that for a second.
Say I want some grommets and I know the business is called Grommets INC. I’ll be fairly certain that if I do a search for Grommets INC, and if they have a site, it’ll come up in the list. And lets say their site url is grommets.rule. Now, the search is going to bring up a whole slew of other returns as well, not just the one I want. I’ll get grommets.rule but also grommets.suck and ourgrommets.arecheaper, turning what is already an ad revenue based industry, into a possibly slanderous nightmare. Just when you thought pop ups were annoying, imagine typing, ilovedirty.underwear in your browser to get to the laundry detergent site. Never mind all the slangterms.yo
Okay so there’s that and we’re not even getting into the serverside prefix changes one.can.make.
Since all the variations on LLLL/LLL.com’s are gone can you imagine the rush to grab all those slick marketing terms? Wow. Trademarks not withstanding, this presents a whole new challenge. Not only names but terminology, catch phrases… Buzz words. People, organizations and corporations will scream bloody murder. thats.hot.
Just when advertising online was passive enough, now we’re going to have to take an active role. Its not enough to ignore a flashing banner-ad or close a popup that’s trying to sell you a service; now you must profess to its quality or subject yourself to typing out sentences you would otherwise never utter in your life.
So where is this going!? Really, what is the point of opening up such an open ended opportunity to the web (ab)users of the world? Even though ICANN says it’s not ‘selling’ the new gTLD’s I think I pretty much summed up the point a few sentences ago.