If you have felt a burden upon your shoulders your whole internet-enabled life and it recently seemed to dissipate, leaving you feeling light and free, then Public Affairs 2.0 has just discovered why (thanks, of course, to another blog – Digital Daily). ICANN – the mysterious group who is actually the internet not on computers – has just unrestricted the part of the web address after the dot.
Yes, instead of being limited to .com, .org, .net, .co.uk, .aero, .info, you can now be .whateveryouwant. Go .crazy!
A note of reassurance to our faithful reader(s): The fee to register a ‘top level domain name’ is in the “low six figure dollar amounts”, so you will not see this blog move to .publicaffairs any time soon.
For companies moving into the digital world, this adds a whole new set of complications. Many people are so accustomed to the .com that they will add this to any web address (e.g. vam.london.museum.com – the .com is unnecessary). So on one hand, there is no immediate reason to use a new domain. On the other hand, it is important for companies to preemptively buy the top level domain name, regardless of their plans to use it, so that they can protect brands. Furthermore, as the use of microsites explodes to deal with specific issues, companies will have the weigh many more options for names.
And for the average web consumer, the new morass of addresses will continue to make the web increasingly confusing. One thing is for sure: we will soon need a new search engine, far smarter than Google, to organise the internet.