Is your business ready for new dot you…?

Is your business ready for new dot you…?

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Are you familiar with the term for Internet domain name endings? They are called generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has slowly added a few new gTLDs over the years. The .com, .org, .net, and 15 or so others. But it’s all about to change with potentially hundreds, even thousands of gTLDs and in several languages. After the vote at the ICANN board meeting on June 20, 2011 they are going to revolutionize the way we create domain names.

"Today's decision will usher in a new Internet age," said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of ICANN's Board of Directors. "We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration."

So what does this mean to you? This will create a whole new way to define your niche in the world on the Internet. Now, most of us will not be the ones purchasing the rights to create our own domains endings but we will be the ones using them. Creating new marketing plans, choosing what dot market we want to be associated with and that suits us best.

Companies interested in this new era of gTLDs had better have their ducks in a row and the capital to back it up. So what does the initial investment of $185,000 or more to apply do for you? When it is all said and done after a yearlong process, you control that segment of the Internet. You decide how inclusive or exclusive to make the domain. An example, New York City is already working to secure their online presence with a top-level domain name. Dot NYC will generate millions of dollars in revenue or the City of New York. This new domain will ensure that local small businesses and merchants based in New York City are able to brand themselves as such.

Here is a little history on gTLDs:

  • October 1984, the creation of; .com,, mil, .org and .net
  • February 4, 1997, the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) issued a recommendation that seven new TLDs be created; .arts, .firm, .info, .nom, .rec, .store, and .web. The proposals were abandoned after the U.S. government intervened.
  • September 1998, the ICANN was created to take over the task of managing domain names.
  • November 16, 2000 ICANN annouced its selection of the following seven new TLDs: .aero, .biz, .coop, info, museum, .name, and pro.
  • March 16, 2004: ten applications were approved by ICANN; .asia, .cat, .jobs, .mobi, .tel and .travel, all of which are now in operation
  • June 26, 2008, ICANN adopted a new policy for TLD naming to take a "significant step forward on the introduction of new generic top-level domains." This program envisions the availability of many new or already proposed domains, as well as a new application and implementation process.
  • June 20, 2011, ICANN Board approved a plan to dramatically increase the number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) from the current 22, which includes such familiar domains as .com, .org and .net to the potential for thousands in several languages.

"ICANN has opened the Internet's naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today's decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind," said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN.

ICANN stated they would soon begin a global campaign to tell the world about this dramatic change in Internet names and to raise awareness of the opportunities afforded by new gTLDs. They will start accepting applications for new gTLDs from January 12, 2012 to April12, 2012. Whether you are “Big Brand” business, a small independent company or the everyday user, new gTLDs will influence the way you research, market yourself and interact with the World Wide Web.

~Kristen Price