July 9th, 2008
ICANN, the internet body responsible for domain names announced last week that they were going to have the ‘Biggest Expansion in gTLDs’ so far. Currently 22 extensions exist including .com .co.uk and various others.
While the application process is not yet open, it will allow organisations to create extensions pretty much anything they fancy. As ICANN themselves has suggested: .nyc for New York or .brandname could be possible.
How many they are willing to release is very hard to know but the fact that they have mentioned the possibility of .brandname or .yourname implies that it will be alot. This could completely change the face of the Internet and while .com will almost definitely keep its prestige, a whole raft of new niches of the Internet will probably emerge.
The implications will be widespread, for search for example it could also be considerable. For example, currently Google has country specific search engines, will they now release versions for every corner of the internet? Maybe..
Alternatively it could turn out to be a complete flop, the new extensions could be thought of as a secondary Internet in the same was as now if you don’t have your .com you essentially don’t exist. I still think that there will be a few people after firstname.lastname@example.org or .london
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