Friday, June 15, 2012

New Domain Suffixes: "Dot-Whatever" Coming (Fairly) Soon

"Web 2.0: New Internet domains may include '.lol,' '.bank"
Associated Press, via (June 13, 2012)

"If Google has its way, you won't need '' to do your searches. You can simply go to '.Google.'"

"New York City wants Internet addresses ending in '.nyc,' while several companies and groups are looking to create '.doctor,' '.music' and '.bank.' Google Inc. is also seeking '.YouTube' and '.lol' -- the digital shorthand for 'laugh out loud.' Others are looking to attract non-English speakers with suffixes in a variety of languages....

So far, this looks pretty good. With so many 'dot com' addresses, the Internet - well, the Web, anyway - is probably due for some new ways to say 'this is where I am' in cyberspace. Look at the names we've got for "street," besides "street," of course. Like:
  • Avenue
  • Boulevard
  • Court
  • Drive
  • Lane
  • Place
  • Road
  • Terrace
  • Trail
Of course, there's the problem that some cities have, where newcomers get lost trying to find 123 Mockingbird Lane; or was that Mockingbird Drive; Mockingbird Place? - all of which are in about the same part of town.

What, No .BYOB?!

"...Some 2,000 proposals have been submitted as part of the largest expansion of the Internet address system since its creation in the 1980s. These suffixes would rival '.com' and about 300 others now in use. Companies would be able to create separate websites and separate addresses for each of their products and brands, for instance, even as they keep their existing '.com' name. One day, you might go to 'comedy.YouTube' rather than ''

"The organization behind the expansion, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, will announce a full list and other details in London on Wednesday....

For all the Lemming knows, .byob actually is in the list of new "...It'll take at least a year or two, however, for the first of these new suffixes to win approval and appear in use.

"Some of them never will if they are found to violate trademarks or are deemed offensive. Others will be delayed as competing bidders..."

For all that the Lemming knows, .byob (Bring Your Own Bottle) may be one of the new domain name suffixes. If it is, the Lemming suspects that some of America's more tightly-wound citizens will raise a fuss. You'd think we'd have learned from Prohibition, and that's another topic.

'Offensive' is in the Eye of the Beholder

The Lemming hopes that the folks at ICAN use common sense when handling complaints about 'offensive' suffixes. With so many of the world's 7,000,000,000 or so citizens having Internet access, the odds are pretty good that someone's already offended by ".com" and ".org."

Since those are still with us, the Lemming figures the folks at ICAN have at least a little sense.

Serenity and a Dreaming Lemming

Surely by now some frightfully earnest fellow has complained about the crass commercialism of ".com," or the oppressive overtones of ".gov" - and yet, ICAN retained those suffixes. Perhaps that sort of restraint and inner serenity will flow into other channels.

The Lemming has a dream that one day online communities will shine with friendship, compassion, and rational exchange of ideas.

The Lemming has a dream that one day reporters and columnists will no longer write angst-laden articles about the dreadful consequences of something new.

The Lemming has a dream that - oh, never mind. The Lemming's just dreaming.

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