As new, generic top-level domains spring up everywhere, we have some thoughts on some that -- surprisingly -- no one's claimed.
Is this what they mean by the "semantic" web?
The list of available generic top-level domains (gTLDs) -- the string of characters to the right of the dot, such as .com or .org -- will grow by hundreds this year and beyond. It opens up all sorts of opportunities for new addresses online. For example, the domain name system (DNS) now allows for non-Latin alphabet strings, such as those using Arabic or Chinese characters, and there will be hundreds of new gTLDs as a result. Meanwhile, plenty of big companies seized the chance to apply for strings that reflect their brands, such as .apple or .panasonic.
There will also be a wealth of truly generic TLDs -- everyday words that can now be utilized in semantically, syntactically creative ways to form online addresses without relying on the boring, old, and dominant .com suffix. If you own a clothing boutique, for example, you might be eager to buy yourname.clothing. (Or, you might not.) That's a fairly obvious example, though -- where it gets interesting is the more imaginative uses of various new gTLDs. Sticking with .clothing: it seems a matter of time before someone registers itakeoffallmy -- well, you get the idea.
Still, the list of applied-for gTLDs feels incomplete. Are we really making the most out of this expansion? Sure, .clothing is nice and all. But how about a little thinking outside of the box? (It's the Internet, after all.) Here are 10 gTLDs we want to see.
.belieber A glaring omission if ever there were one. You mean to tell us a crafty entrepreneur couldn't make a mint off of Justin Bieber's true and loyal fans? The Internet might break as the Beeb's devotees scramble to register "numberone.belieber." And if you whiff on that one, how about "true.belieber" or "forevera.belieber." Older Bieber fans -- you know who you are -- might pay homage to another pop sensation: "nowima.belieber."
.con How about riffing on the staying power of the ubiquitous .com gTLD. Name recognition is everything, people, and a .con gTLD would help legitimize the slimy underbelly of the Internet. Running a social engineering scam? Facebook.con is the domain for you. Search engine poisoning enthusiast? Google.con awaits. Stop hiding in the shadows, scammers -- it's time to embrace your brandividualism with .con domain.
.snowpocalypse Winter weather got you down? How about a new blog to share those icebound blues on the .snowpocalypse gTLD? Of course, you'd better be ready to pony up domain name registration fees each time a new storm is named -- maximus.snowpocalypse is the nom du jour. Transplanted Yankee living in the southeast? Try: oneinchisnota.snowpocalypse. Key West resident? Rub it in with some beach photos at 78andsunnysuckers.snowpocalypse.
.larryandsergey It's Larry Page and Sergey Brin's online world; we're just living in it. Google in fact applied for around 100 gTLDs reflecting its brands and other interests, such as .search and .hangout. But why not vanity names? If you intend to take over the world, piece by significant piece, let your inner Bond villain out once in a while: bowdownbefore.larryandsergey has a nice ring to it, and it's sure to get prime placement in organic search results.
.things Actually, we're not even being goofy here. Remarkably, it would appear that no one coughed up $185,000 to apply to own .things nor its cousin, .ofthings. You're telling us no trophy-hunting speculator wants to own Internetof.things or Internet.ofthings? Maybe there comes a point where there are simply toomany.things for the average online citizen to remember, even if we're talking about thenextbig.thing.
.0 We do love our Next Big Things, don't we? Why not a .0 gTLD to enable a twin love in the tech world: Adding numeral-dot-zero after any the name of any technology to make it sound awesome-r than what came out yesterday. Web2.0, anyone? Of course, Microsoft would need to apply to own .1, instead.
.kardashian If you're going to embrace overexposure, you can't rest your laurels on your Twitter handles and your very own TMZ category -- you need your own gTLD. It's the digital age. A URL for every sister: kim.kardashian and, um, you know, all the other ones, too. Forward-looking domain squatters could have some fun here, too: whateverhappendto[name].kardashian.
.twerking Speaking of overexposure, people of a certain age would have crashed the servers of whattheheckis.twerking after Miley Cyrus' performance at the MTV Movie Awards last year. Would have saved us some frantic Googling, and just think of the marketing opportunities.
#hashtag Facebook borrowed the #hashtag conceit from Twitter; why can't the DNS do the same? An astonishing 57% of Super Bowl ads this year included hashtags. Get them a gTLD, already. In fact, let's just abolish the dot and embrace the #, people. So what if "that's not really how the Internet works." #getitdone
.stupid There's a certain logic to the gTLD expansion -- the Internet's a big place that's getting bigger by the day, and there are only so many .com addresses to go around. There's also a certain stupidity to it, isn't there? Witness: three different organizations applied for the .sucks gTLD. That's $555,500 just in application fees for .sucks. That seems incredibly.stupid -- but no one applied for .stupid, another glaring omission. That.sucks.
Your turn, readers. Which new gTLDs would you like to see? Surely you can improve our humble list. Let's hear your suggestions in the comments.
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Kevin Casey is a writer based in North Carolina who writes about technology for small and mid-size businesses. View Full Bio
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