Naming and the New Internet: The Demise of the Squatter?
June 30, 2008 ‐ 2 comments

images-2If you’ve ever been responsible for naming a company or product, you’ve likely:

1. Brainstormed until your brain could storm no more,
2. Selected the perfect name,
3. Checked to see if the URL was available,
4. Promptly returned to step 1.

A recent decision by ICANN, the organization that regulates the internet, could change all that, but will it be for better, or worse?

The first of two proposals accepted by ICANN allows for any business or person to create a new Top Level Domain (currently popular TLD’s include .com, .net,.org, and those for specific countries). The second allows for using alphabets other than Roman. But it’s the first proposal that interests us the most.

If you haven’t checked out the Tesla Roadster yet, you should. No, seriously, you should – the car looks amazing and the site is nicely done. But as a company founded only a few years ago, it was a foregone conclusion that they wouldn’t be able to get the single word url tesla.com (%#@!ing squatters). Now, the company can try a new TLD to simplify its web address. How about tesla.car? Tesla.go? New companies and products may no longer have to choose between a contrived name (i.e. Yelp) and a convoluted url (i.e. www.duke-energy.com).

And take an established business, such as American Airlines, who got to the internet a little too late. Type in www.american.com and you won’t find any getaway fares to Curaçao. What if the airline created www.american.air? Wouldn’t that align a little more closely to its brand? Perhaps it could even, one day, release its current url, www.aa.com, and benefit people looking to get some help with their addictions.

But if every company creates a bespoke TLD, will it create too much confusion for potential customers trying to find a site?

Will organizations be able to cooperate in creating relevant, user-friendly TLD’s? Think .ins for insurance companies, .fin for financial services firms, .law for…you get the idea.

Who knows how the new TLDs work in practice, but while there’s still time for punditry – what do you think?

Tell your friends:
2 Comments >>
Forrest McDonald
2
July 18, 2008 5:27 pm
Like many innovations, the success of the TLD proliferation will depend on the end user. For those people who can remember ip addresses for website instead of their urls and keep long seemingly random character strings as password, these new TLDs will be beneficial. However, the average user will be hard pressed to keep track of multiple TLDs; look at the daily frequency of .com vs .net confusions. Yes, a few key ones might be beneficial, but I suspect that their boom will prove more confusing and than clarifying, at least for the first 6-12 months.
mir p
1
July 2, 2008 4:29 pm
I think it's a good idea to expand beyond the few acceptable tld, however there should be standardization so it's not too confusing for us users.
 
 

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