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What's in a .Com?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The internet is about to become a much more expressive (and confusing) place. Starting next year, the "internet overlords" at ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) announced that it will allow companies (not individuals or sole proprietorships) to register for a variety of "personalized" TLDs (top level domains).

The Cost of Ownership
Currently there are over 250 TLDs (including gTLD and ccTLD), some of which you're familiar with like .com, .org, .gov, and .edu. This announcement from ICANN means that companies will now be able to create their own TLD-- for instance .mcdonalds or .nike. This novelty won't come cheap, however, as PCMag.com reports that "applicants must pay a $185,000 evaluation fee, with $5,000 upfront... maybe even more." Mashable adds that there will be an "annual fee of $25,000." 

Domain Names
A breakdown of the current, 280 TLDs (via ICANN)

Regarding the news Rod Beckstrom, president and CEO of ICANN, stated that “ICANN has opened the Internet’s addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination. No one can predict where this historic decision will take us.”

I've got a few ideas for Beckstrom, but most of them result in TLDs becoming extinct and/or irrelevant. In addition to the recent ICANN, .CO (http://www.cointernet.co/) has been leading the charge for it's TLD since last summer and Dashworlds' (http://www.dashworlds.com/) unique (and free) "dashcom" domains already offer enough lawsuits-waiting-to-happen and confusion.


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