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domains.free4.all

domains.free4.all

domains.free4.all

For years the .com domain space has had great importance and kudos in eCommerce, but that's all about to change. Soon you may be able to register homephone.plusnet, snapcrackleandpop.kelloggs, house.channel5 or even i.phone. This is because ICANN are currently nearing the completion of their gTLD domains proposal that will allow you to register additional generic top-level domain (gTLD) names rather than being limited to the existing set of TLDs, such as .com, .org, .uk etc. Registrars would need to support these domains so you won't necessarily be able to use your favourite domain provider to register one, but it may actually be possible for a company to act as registrar for its own gTLD. An article by InfoWorld explains the concept in more detail. At an expected minimum $100,000 gTLD registration fee, you'll need lots of money and probably want a very good reason to register one for yourself. Instead you'll likely see many organisations registering a gTLD and sub-letting (in a manner of speaking) their domains. So, an organisation may register the phone gTLD and let the likes of Apple register an iphone domain and Nokia an n95 domain. There are some concerns about domain squatting and how this could worsen under these plans, but I personally don't see this as a good enough reason to stop this moving forward - although I'm sure some squatting controls would be appreciated by all those who've tried to register their dream domain only to see some "entrepreneur" has parked it for you to buy at their reasonable price. Additionally there's concern regarding whether this concept would just cause consumer confusion. What would someone like Tesco do (a very random example I have just come up with)? tesco.com, tesco.co.uk, tesco.supermarket, tesco.shop, tesco.grocery? It could certainly get messy and expensive. What do you think? This has got me thinking about what gTLDs I'd like to see registered. Well, maybe .cake would be at the top of my list and .gadget a close second, but what would you choose? Add a comment to the blog with your choice of gTLDs, and also let us know whether you think the whole concept will succeed (and why/why not). Dan

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6 Comments
Plusnet Staff
Fascinating insight Dan. I'd not considered how this might affect the major retailers/online presences. What will it be like for someone like Amazon which has to make sure that customers can find them at both www amazon.shop and www shop.amazon? Like you said things could get very expensive indeed. It's certainly looking to become much harder and much more expensive for companies to cover all the bases as it were.
Dabbler
@Pete I'm not sure this would affect retailers online presences more than it does now. I'd still know to go to amazon.com / amazon.co.uk. If I can't go directly to their site, I just type the name into Google and make sure I click the correct link! Though saying that, it allows cyber-squatters to register amazon.shop, for example, then re-direct that link to their preferred online retailer. But that's no different to now, with unscrupulous people out there.
Not applicable
Also what impacts will this have on intellectual property law? At the moment in order to keep ownership of a trademark you have to prove you are defending it reasonably. Would that mean we have to buy .plusnet or at least take action against anyone else who bought .plusnet otherwise we might lose our trademark?
Grafter
As I said last week, I think this is a really silly idea. Anarchy does not make for good governance oddly enough. Requiring huge amounts of capital investment may make a reasonably good deterrent (and I'm sure it's just a coincidence that it will allow ICANN to line their pockets at the same time) but domain applications should be approved on merit/need, not money in the bank. I have to say I loved the headline in ZD Net though: "ICANN has .cheezburger" (cf. this)
Not applicable
The .cake is a lie! The whole concept of TLDs is really confusing. Most people I speak to still believe that any website with a .org domain name must be a non-profit organisation and introducing new TLDs is certainly going to increase the confusion. We'd be better off trying to move away from domain names altogether. What about a kind of Whuffie or distributed PageRank based system? Currently if I'm looking for Tesco I don't even consider what the domain name might be; I simply type "tesco" into the Firefox address bar and it takes me to the first result for a Google search on that term (or phrase). It's the equivalent of "I'm feeling lucky" built into the browser. A system based on a site's reputation or perceived importance is surely more useful than a system based on whoever registered a domain name first or paid the most money for it.
Grafter
That's all well and good as long as Google doesn't fall foul of keywords spam. While it tends to be quite good these days, it wouldn't be the first time.