According to an article in USA today,
“The familiar .com, .net, .org and 18 other suffixes — officially “generic top-level domains” — could be joined by a seemingly endless stream of new ones next year under a landmark change approved last summer.
The current TLDs are :
.aero – Air-transport industry
.asia – Asia-Pacific region
.biz – Business
.cat – Catalan language sites
.com – Commercial entities (open to anyone)
.coop – Cooperatives
.edu – Educational
.gov – Governmental
.info – Information
.int – International organizations
.jobs – Companies
.mil – U.S. military
.mobi – Mobile devices
.museum – Museums
.name – Individuals, by name
.net – Network
.org – Organization
.pro – Professions
.tel – Internet communication services
.travel – Travel and tourism industry related
(List of TLDs from here)
What the ICANN is proposing would allow anyone to register .”anything”. Instead of DietCoke.com it could be diet.coke. That’s it. Our website could be flash.ladybug. Explosiontheory.com could become Explosiontheory.bang. Google could have .google Mail.google, maps.google, search.google.
On one hand, this could open up some interesting web addresses. No more adding in “.com” after mail.google to check my email. On the other hand, this chage is removing one of most important orginizing features of the internet. So that I’m not turning this post into a product pitch, I’m going to use Slum Cola from Futarama as my example product.
Right now, Slurms website would be Slurm.Com. That’s their main site. Slurm would probably also own Slurm.Net, Slurm.biz, and maybe Slurm.Info as well. All of those sites re-direct you back to Slurm.Com, so that there’s almost no chance of someone missing the Slurm website. Along with “Slurm,” there’s probably SlurmCola, SlurmIsAddicting, and numerous other promotional sites registered under the .com, .net, and .biz domains. The last thing someone wants is for a brand to get hijacked. Companies work hard to make sure that they’ve got as many different combinations of names and phrases that they might want under their control. So, as things stand now, Slurm only needs to worry about 4 or 5 major domains (Slurm. _____)
Now, under the changes the ICANN is proposing, they’d have to worry about a lot more. There could be Slurm.Cola. Slurm.Soda Slurm.diet DietSlum.Soda. GetAddictedToSlurm.Soda Drink.Slurm SlurmIsDa.Bomb. Slurm.Pop Slurm.Drink The list could go on and on and on. So what happens to corporate identity then? If I’m looking for Slurm now, its probably going to be a .com. But if I’m looking for Slurm online in the future, it could be ANYWHERE. It wouldn’t have to be .com.
It might not seem very important when it comes to buying Slurm. But the same problem of brand identity could hit your bank. Scammers and phishers could find ways to mimic the banks official website. As things stand now, the banks website is .com In the future, it could be .bank, .banking, .financial, etc. It would be very easy for a scammer to create a website that was .financial, or .banking to mimic a real page that was supposed to be .bank.
This quote from the USA Today article really worries me :
“To beat a competitor to the punch, a company might decide it needs to control a new generic domain, such as .cereal or .detergent, but it would be costly. The currently proposed application fee is $185,000, says Levins, plus an annual “continuance” fee of $25,000. If more than one company wants a suffix, there could be a bidding war.”
It would cost almost $200,000 to register a different TLD ending??? There are millions of businesses out there that could, in theory, benefit from more specific domains – like having .hardware as an ending. But what if I giant chain buys up the .hardware ending? That creates a major problem for all the other hardware stores out there, especially since a lot of web users might mistakenly think that .hardware is somehow better, more professional, or just the authoratitive source for harware information, when in reality, its the same old .com it was before, just $200,000 more expensive.
I don’t like this idea at all.
-Confusion between domain names could make it hard to find things
-Scammers could take control or create fishing websites that mimic originals, but could end in anything.
-Companies will have to spend more money guarding their corporate images (and the expenses will get passed on to us, the conumers.)
-With something as large as the internet, some organization is a good thing. Libraries have the dewy decimal system. Graphic designers have different standardized color codes to organize and share specifici colors. The internet needs its top level domains.
Read the original USA Today Article Here