New Domain Names: Aye or Nay

“Evolution is a change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of a population.”

We can call Internet an organism, the one we created ourselves. Each user takes part in its evolution bringing something new to its development or changing already existing parts. Beware, here comes another great change that will turn upside down the whole structure, or just the perception and wallets of individuals.

You must have heard about the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) this corporation controls the domain name system of the Internet. Last year, ICANN launched a program that is designed to transform the appearance and infrastructure of the Internet, as we know it. The new generic top-level domain program allowing the community to apply for new gTLDs , also known as domain names, or the .com, .org, .net parts of the web address.

Photo: Paul Downey

ICANN developed the new generic Top-Level Domain Program to increase competition and choice by introducing new gTLDs into the Internet’s addressing system. Up till now there are 280 ccTLDs (country code top level domains) and only 22 generic domains, but that is all about to change.

ICANN plans to increase the amount of top level domains to 1,000 names. Still this decision results in numerous complains towards this organization. Most complains are about the money ICANN got for 1,930 of applications, a non-profit corporation received somewhere $357 million for these applications. A great hullabaloo erupted when the domain .xxx was approved. A list of proposed domain names was published recently and it means that possible top level domains like .app or .news will compete with existing .com and .org. The domain names that are already approved and will join 280 already existing geographic domains as .us or .uk.

The new selection of top level domains represents some sort of cross-section of the Internet that is what we use it for, but companies see it as a money-gaining opportunity.

Let’s look at the table below; it represents domain names of the highest interest according to the ICANN:

Most applied-for domain name extensions
Count
.app13
.LLC, .LLP13
.web, .webs, .website12
.home, .homes12
.art11
.shop, .shopping11
.INC11
.hotel, .hoteles, .hotels9
.blog9
.book9
.music8
.design8
.law, .lawyer8
.movie8
.tech, .technology7
.store7
.news7
.cloud7
.love7
.LTD7
.mail7

Source: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

As you can see the most popular is an .app name, guess no one will argue the importance of this name, since we are all extremely fond of various apps for our iPhones, Androids, Symbians and whatsoever.

Corporate giants made numerous application: Google – 101, Amazon – 76. Most preferable Google’s choices are .android and .youtube, surprising names like .are, .baby in addition to .lol and .goo appeared.

Amazon’s choices were more or less predictable: .book, .buy, .app, .search. Soon there will start a battle between these giants for the names .music and .mail in addition to other 19 common names they’ve applied for.

Donuts Inc., for instance, filed 307 applications – or $56.8 million worth – funded by venture capital and private equity funds.

Another company, Afilias, says it applied for 305 top level domains, either on its own behalf or for its clients. The company currently operates .info and .mobi, among other enterprises.

In a report for All Things Considered, NPR’s Yuki Noguchi spoke to Roland LaPlante, a senior vice president at Afilias, about what companies want with the new domains.

“They’ll have complete control over what goes on in their top level domain. And that means in those domains there will be no spam, no phishing, no malware, none of the other evil things that are happening on the Internet today,” LaPlante told Yuki. “So there’s a big security benefit to having your own top level domain, particularly if counterfeiting has been an issue for you.”

Still not all big companies wish to take part in this venture. 79 corporate monsters (Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Dell, Nestle USA, Dunkin Brands, Ford, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Kellogg, MillerCoors and others) have signed petition against the use of new ICANN’s top level domains.

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The program implemented by ICANN allows to state virtually any possible word as a top level domain (weird, hah?!). This will pressure great amount of brand owners with similar or consonant names. What are your thoughts about this program. Feel free to express your opinion.

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