Top-Level Domains Will Help Web Growth & Reach

Source: Monday, June 20th, 2011
http://www.yousaytoo.com/top-level-domains-will-help-web-growth-and-reach/847013

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ICANN Monday morning (June, 20th) in Singapore, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted unanimously 13-3 in favor of unveiling new top-level domains (TLDs) worldwide to compete with the classic .com, .org, and .net domains. The vote was broadcasted live online and received a standing applause from the thousands of audience members in attendance when it passed.

Why is there a need for top-level domains?

One of ICANN's main goals for the implementation of TLDs is to give people more choices.  A majority of web developers & users are finding it difficult to pick the best domain for their project because of domain limitations. Trademark owners can acquire their own TLD which can protect the brand from many types of online issues. "A .brand TLD gives marketers the choice of any domain they want ending with their trademark. No matter what name you come up with for your new product or promotion, with your own .brand, the domain is available," claims Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic.

Another goal for the TLDs is to make domains more impartial. This means that global languages like Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic, that were previously unable to create domains using ASCII text (common letters & numbers on English Keyboard), can now purchase domains using characters and symbols.  These new TLDs will surely expand the reach and growth of the web in regions where those languages are spoken.

The recent popularity of ICANN's repurposing of domains like .co (previous domain for companies, now Official TLD for Colombia) has businesses believing that top-level domains will revolutionize and protect brands online, globally.

"Today nobody can tell if these domain names are official sites or not: metallicasummer2011tour.com metallicaofficialschwag.com, masterofpuppets.com, larsulrich.com etc. But if there was a .metallica, then everything that ends .metallica is official, endorsed content, product, etc." – Ben Crawford

The only negative I really see is that the extreme $185,000 application fee for TLDs will cause businesses to question the worth of the domain when there will be no visible benefits from ICANN.

What do you think about top-level domains?  How do you think they will impact e-commerce and online business?