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Domain Name Registration Control

The proposed expansion of online addresses has created a lot of new possibilities for the landscape of the internet. Initially the internet was considered to be so vast that a very limited number of suffixes were considered necessary. “.com”, “.net”, and “.org” seemed like enough way back in the early 1990’s before most people even knew about the internet. But now people have completely run out of legroom and are clamoring for more space.

Why?

From a technical standpoint the issue with suffixes is non-existent. Names are just a cover story for the IP address and we have billions upon billions of those available now that the IPv6 has rolled out earlier this month. But suffixes are all about marketing. That is why the big companies on the net have ponied up the big money, $185,000 per proposal, to try and add things like “.app” and “.auto” to the mix.

Obviously the big boys of the world like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Sony are right there spending that big money but so are other companies like Gallo Vineyards trying to obtain “.barefoot” for their very popular wine line.

It’s all about control.

A lot of these companies want to control a domain in a way that will prevent spam, malware, and phishing; at least in the case of the big companies. Other firms are doing a pure speculation on values by snatching up domains to sell later using venture capital money. Unfortunately this leaves a lot of companies out in the cold because not everyone happens to have an extra $185,000 in the advertising/internet budget to grab a closely associated domain name to their primary product. This has created a lot of concern with many companies about losing out on key branded terms if someone applies for their word.

Speak now or forever hold your peace!

ICANN, the corporation that has a stranglehold on the net’s address book, is dealing with a bit of backlash from some companies such as Samsung, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Coca-cola to name a few. They have signed a petition organized by the Association of National Advertisers to voice their displeasure in this change that could force smaller companies to buy a domain just to protect them. This could be seen as a way for ICANN to drum up a whole lot of business, as the initial proposals has raised over $357 million dollars.

Now nobody will force you to use these new names such as: app, LLC, LLP, web, home, art, shopping, INC, blog, book, movie, design, news, love, or mail. But you can see by the simple usage that it can create a bit of a problem for existing businesses. Do you snap up new domains as they are available or trust that your current brand is strong enough as is?

The smart money would say that you won’t need to. Yes the big boys will want to ensure they can be found no matter what, but for medium or small sized businesses this really isn’t a large concern. In fact, it offers some nice possibilities for future websites or even spin-off sites depending on how reputable the domain owners end up being.

So for most of us this is just interesting news for now and something to keep an eye on. ICANN does take time to review possible suffixes like it did with “.XXX” before making it available. But once they have put it out there, it would probably be a smart idea to at least consider the idea of picking up additional addresses such as Widgets.love if it is appropriate.

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