In around March or April, a California-based nonprofit known as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will wrap talks regarding unleashing custom domain name suffixes into the wilds of the Internet. This week, a conference called “.nxt” will be held in San Francisco and will feature seminars about ICANN’s custom domain name suffixes, mainly regarding the rules and guidelines pertaining to said custom suffixes. If the prospect of buying a domain featuring your surname as the suffix is appealing, make sure you have about $185,000 on hand to apply for the suffix — a price set high enough to dissuade pranksters from registering ridiculous suffixes and to prevent domain squatters from buying up every suffix imaginable — and if the check and suffix is accepted, be prepared to pay ICANN an annual $25,000 to keep the domain under your entrepreneurial thumb.
Of course, the main selling point to buying up custom doman name suffixes is that they’re not a single-use suffix, and the owner would be able to sell out uses of their suffix; for example, the Food Network would buy the “.food” domain, then anyone who wants a “.food” address instead of a “.com” would have to shell out a bit of dough (yep) to the Food Network.
Though the high price tag freezes out well-meaning people who’d responsibly handle a custom domain suffix, it would hopefully also deter people from registering custom domain suffixes named after other peoples’ Internet property, such as a “.geekosystem” suffix, for example. However, at least during the custom domain suffix’s infancy, ICANN will supposedly be looking out for stunts such as these, and will only approve based on an applicant’s identity, which, in theory, would help prevent digital shenanigans.
There would be some possible benefits from custom domain suffixes, such as a “.music” for bands or “.movie” for movies. This kind of suffix organization could potentially drive more traffic to their proper source, rather than having potential misfires on search terms because, for example, a band or movie is named after something else that returns a higher search result.
The first of these new Web address expansions is planned to go live in 2012, so we have a while to see what transpires until then.
(via The Washington Post)