The Next Big dotThing

Author: Michael Yaw Appiah
Published: 15-Jan-2012

The Next Big dotThing

Internationalized Domain Names

Because the Internet originated in the Western hemisphere, naming protocols for web domains and email addresses historically did not work with any characters except those in the Latin alphabet. More than half of all Internet users do not read English or other Roman scripts such as Spanish.

ICAAN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) the policemen of the internet, announced in 6 months ago (Jun-2011) they were extending the suffixes used for web addresses beyond the existing 22 (.com, .net, .uk, etc) in a gTLD program called the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). The New gTLD Program allows for an increased number of generic top-level domains in any language. New gTLDs may include extensions in non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Chinese or Cyrillic.

For these millions of Internet users – and a billion more to come — Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) represent their first chance to navigate the web using familiar, local languages and scripts. From 2012 with the new gTLD program, almost any word in any language can be a TLD.

Domain dominion

Interested parties can apply to run one, and either retain it for themselves, or set up as a registrar selling domains within groups like .car or .bank. So now companies can bid for their own gTLD for the first time. Think .hitachi, .coke, .facebook.

Does this mark the end of the .com’s dominance?

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