The Web is about to get more confusing.
Just when you thought you had acquired the perfect domain name suffix for your business and beat off all the competition, along comes ICANN with a few more gTLD’s (generic top-level domain) to throw in the mix. They announced over 1900 new applications for domain names for consideration for formal adoption
A generic top-level domain (gTLD) is one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained
by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for use in the Domain Name System of the Internet. The core group of generic top-level domains consists of the com, info, net, and org domains.
In addition, the domains biz, name, and pro are also considered generic; however, these are designated as restricted, because registrations within them require proof of eligibility within the guidelines set for each.
In September 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was created to take over the task of managing domain names.
After a call for proposals and a brief period of public consultation, ICANN announced its selection of the following seven new TLDs: aero, biz, coop, info, museum, name, pro.
Biz, info, and museum were activated in June 2001, name and coop in January 2002, pro in May 2002, and aero later in 2002.
ICANN added further TLDs, starting with a set of sponsored top-level domains. Of these, ICANN has approved asia, cat, jobs, mobi, tel and travel, all of which are now in operation. Of the remaining applications (post, mail and an alternative .tel proposal), post are still under consideration.
On June 26, 2008, during the 32nd International Public ICANN Meeting in Paris, ICANN started a new process of TLD naming policy to take a “significant step forward on the introduction of new generic top-level domains.” This program envisions the availability of many new or already proposed domains,
as well as a new application and implementation process.
What’s In a (Domain) Name?
Unrestricted generic top-level domains are those domains that are available for registrations by any person or organisation for any use.
The prominent gTLDs in this group are com, net, org, and info. However, info was the only one of these, and the first, that was explicitly chartered as unrestricted. The others initially had a specific target audience. However, due to lack of enforcement, they acquired an unrestricted character, which was
ICANN developed the New generic Top-Level Domain Program to increase competition and choice by introducing new gTLDs into the Internet’s addressing system.
A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a country, a sovereign state, or a dependent territory such as our .co.uk or Italy’s .it
There are 280 ccTLDs but only 22 “generics” in the domain name system right now, but that is all about to change.
June 13th was ‘Reveal Day’ when the applications under consideration were announced. And what an announcement; there are over 1,900 applications under consideration, including such gems as .wtf, .pizza, .cloud, .shop, .mail, .marketing.
I don’t know about you, but maintaining my current sets of domain names is sufficient for me thank you, but I imagine those with additional cash sloshing around who missed the boat first time around when the domain names were issued will ne jumping in as soon s they can. Buying keyword rich domain names, cybersquatting and domain name reselling will be rampant.
Having owned (and let expire, mostly) hundreds of .co.uk and .com domains since the early 90’s in the belief that I was snapping up valuable assets didn’t really teach me much at all; if I see a trend and I try to buy the appropriate domain to cover it. As do many other online entrepreneurs.
I believe the new wave of releases will really muddy the marketplace and create brand dilution on a huge scale.
And of course generate huge amounts of cash for the domain registrars or entrepreneurs.
Remember the .tv domain? It was assigned to Tuvalu who promptly ‘flipped’ it for enormous profit.
Tuvalu is a group of nine tiny islands in the South Pacific which won independence from the United Kingdom in 1978. Five of the islands are coral atolls, the other four consist of land rising from the sea bed. Not a big player in the financial markets.
In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name “.tv” for $50 million in royalties over a 12-year period to Versign, a US Company, with the Tuvalu government owning twenty percent of the company.
On December 14, 2006, VeriSign announced an alliance with Demand Media, run by ex-MySpace chairman Richard Rosenblatt to market the .tv top level domain name (TLD) as the preferred Web address for rich media content.
So there still can be gold to be found in some areas of the Internet; it just takes a new kind of prospecting skill.