.Blog, .LOL, .Microsoft, .Whatever

If it wasn’t already hard enough to remember the TLD for that website you heard about, it just got harder. You don’t just have .com, .net, and the other usual suspects to worry about anymore.

ICANN has voted on and approved a plan, starting in 2009, to allow anyone with $100,000 and a viable business plan to manage their own unique TLD and allow people to register it through them. Who will be quick enough to get .blog? (Maybe Google. It would go right along with Blogger…) How about .rss?

This opens more possiblities to get a short, logical domain. Wouldn’t it be cool to have http://design.blog/ or http://click.here/?

But there are a few downsides to this though…

  • People already type .com automatically, and have trouble remembering URLs. Having thousands of TLDs will make it worse.
  • It’s a trademark nightmare! Companies already go and register their domain on a wide variety of TLDs so the cybersquatters don’t go and take Microsoft.net or whatever. After securing the major TLDs, you then have Microsoft.computers, Microsoft.wtf…
  • SEO will be more important than ever. You will have to be in the top 3 results in Google if you want anyone to make it to your site. I doubt anyone will remember that your domain is myexamplesite.lolcat.
  • You have to have some really deep pockets if you want to register a new TLD. Few but the monster-sized corporations will be able to afford it. Congratulations ICANN, you’ve just made it easier for Time Warner and AT&T to take over the internet!
  • There’s no way .com is going anywhere any time soon…

I assume ICANN just did this to line their pockets, and didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it. Everyone on the board who voted for it saw the big $100,000 and thought “and I’ll get a cut of the profit…”

  • http://compsci.ca/blog Tony

    I doubt anyone will have $100K to spend, just for the .LOLz. $100K is also a lot of money to loose in a trademark infringement case, after registering .ebay. So I doubt this will change much.

    It’s a way for large corporations (like ebay) to show off and have their own shiny TLD. You are also right that there’s a possibility for some startup possibilities, based around a nifty sounding TLD (my.blog), but I feel like the number of very useful names is very limited.

    This would be a very different game if the price was to drop by an order of magnitude.