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May 17, 2012

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How Top Level Domains Affect Us All

By Dave Courbanou

It’s not inherently obvious, but the buzz over the registration for new top level domains is something everyone should get excited about it. It has the potential to impact the way we access, view and judge our internet experience. The usage of .com, .net and .org tell us something about a website and the company behind it. But what are the implications of .sports or .music, maybe even .dave? When you think about it, it’s kind of a big deal.

For the more skeptical reader, consider the following: ICANN, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has administered the new domain land grab. Anyone is invited to apply for a top level domain, but that doesn’t mean anyone can afford it. An application will run you $185,000, which should (hopefully) keep out the riffraff. But The New York Times reports, despite the high cost of the application (which does not guarantee acceptance), over 2,100 domain applications have been summited, so enthusiasm must be high. When January 2013 rolls around, ICANN will announce the ‘winners’ of those domains, and the rest will be history.

But the Times also reports these top level domains could have an impact on web security. Artemis Internet Inc., a San Francisco security firm, has applied for the .secure domain. If the application is accepted, Artemis will work to build a security vetting process around the domain, ensuring websites that use the .secure domain meet a strict set of standards. The Times says PayPal is already on board with the domain, which means one day, https://www.paypal.secure will be another way to establish safe access when living in a web browser.

Assuming all goes well, the enterprise could also benefit greatly from the .secure domain. A .secure site could be used for almost everything, confirming employees are connecting to the right cloud portal or providing customers with a way to purchase online with more confidence. But even if it’s not the .secure domaim, something similar, like .secured, .safe .private could be owned an vetted by another company, inviting a new wave of Internet security awareness from companies across the board. That kind of competition can’t be bad for the overall safety of the Internet.

While we’re at it, let’s consider the .ibm domain. www.watson.ibm, for instance, could not only allow the owner of watson.com to keep his or her domain, but it also means IBM can now open up a world of simpler domains for new and emerging technologies. Outside the tech world, a top level domain could even be considered a badge of honor. What if every BMW owner received a complimentary yournamehere.bmw domain? What if .google became a new way for Google to leverage search results or brand oneself? What if www.yourlastname.linkedin was a new way to send users to your profile?

Whatever the case, the introduction of new top level domains will directly impact the way we use the web, and it’s a good thing. It will open up the world to a wider range of creative, secure and informative domains, essentially building new road signs along the information superhighway.

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1 Comment
  1. Sep 19 2012

    yae no more facebook people will need to brag about their stupid life some other way.

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