Overheard: Word of the Day

Apr 16 2009   2:03PM GMT

Top level domain names – too confusing for the average Joe

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Mainstream Internet users will probably see the new custom domains as too complicated, like 9-digit ZIP codes.

Paul Boutin, Latest plan for domain names is as doomed as .coop and .mobi

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is top-level domain (TLD).  It’s in the news because Paul Levins, ICANN’s vice president of corporate affairs has been the subject of a blogswarm. Not Paul himself, mind you, but something he’s been talking about — unlimited generic top-level domains.   They’re sort of like vanity licence plates for your website.

Here’s an example — instead of TechTarget’s website being TechTarget.com, the company might pay extra money and ask ICANN’s permission to change their top-level domain to something they want to be known for.  TechTarget.ROI for example.

There’s a lot of buzz about whether generic domains will bring us back to 1997 and create a gold rush where speculators register generic domains in hopes of selling them.

Shawn McCarthy points out that ICANN says it will cost $185,000 to set up a new top-level domain name and associated registry.  McCarthy says “That alone should weed out a lot of riff raff .”

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