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New Domain Names In The Future? Call It a Definite.maybe

Mike Musgrove

The non-profit corporation responsible for overseeing the Web's domain-naming rules came to the Hill today, partly to push forward an agenda that it's time to expand the type of Web addresses beyond the familiar ".com" and ".org." But don't expect to be able to register "your.name" as a Web address anytime soon.

Paul Twomey, president and chief executive officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, in testimony before the House subcommittee on communications, technology and the Internet, said that raising the number of domain names would benefit Web users by allowing for more competition. Twomey listed possible domain names tied to geographic areas, like ".nyc," or topics, such as .sport."

Also, he said, allowing for more foreign language-based domain names would be fair to the "billions of non-English speakers who want domain names that look like their language."

Not everybody's an immediate fan of this idea, by any stretch. After all, the World Wide Web has already seen more than a few opportunistic, domain-name-buying cybersquatters. What's more, critics point out, consumers have a hard enough time feeling secure on the Web; an increase in the number of possible domain names will only increase confusion.

Consumers need to be confident, said Sarah Deutch, general counsel at Verizon Communications Inc., that if they visit some future "verizon.phone" Web address, for example, that they aren't ending up at an address belonging to a cyberscammer.

ICANN also took a number of jabs from congressfolk about the group's transparency and accountability -- or lack thereof.

Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) pointed out that the strength of the Web is its open-ness and its democratizing powers, "yet it seems to me that the way ICANN operates does not match that."

Christine Jones, general counsel for The Go Daddy Group Inc., the Internet domain name seller and Web hosting company, echoed that sentiment as she asked for ICANN to operate less privately. "We ask a question and basically we get stonewalled," she complained.

One topic on the table was the future of U.S. government oversight of ICANN. At the end of September, an arrangement that gives the Department of Commerce oversight over ICANN expires. The House subcommittee, led by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), sounded inclined to extend that oversight period this morning.

By Mike Musgrove  |  June 4, 2009; 1:58 PM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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Our company Future Domain Names was established for consumers interested in Direct Navigation Marketing. Owning a Future Domain name is similar to real estate, as each internet domain is unique and for sale. For expample: outerspaceadventures.com is for sale. Email us at purchase@futuredomainnames.com or visit our website futuredomainnames.com for a list of all our domain names.

Posted by: purchase2 | June 4, 2009 4:27 PM

I too have concerns about the way ICANN operates. Just look at how the domain name system has been handled to date: we have a silly array of top level domains, such as .biz, .name, .museum, .coop, .aero, .pro etc. These domains are hardly used at all. To me the existence of these TLDs shows speaks of the incompetence of ICANN. In addition, many country domains, such as .tv, .me and .cc, have been subverted for unintended uses under the watch of ICANN. Now, ICANN proposes to open up the top level domain name space to anything anyone can think of. How will ICANN manage the trademark and trade name issues? I spend a significant dollar already trying to protect my business name by buying up domain names related to my business name under all the various silly TLDs that ICANN has introduced. Now, with the space about to become unlimited, I will have no hope of protecting my business name for my legitimate business use. Frankly, I have no confidence in ICANN's handling of domain names and I urge U.S. Congress to impose a moratorium on new top level domains until ICANN demonstrates that it really knows what it is doing.

Posted by: Thugs-chen | June 5, 2009 7:42 AM

Wonderful site! I love to visit more often. Nice look on the future with lot of encouragement for domaineers.

http://www.findandbuydomain.com

Posted by: newdomainname | June 5, 2009 7:54 AM

Domain Names are just business for ICANN. This is the way to receive millions of dollars each year. I started to buying domain names as soon as they release the new domain address. After a while I just realized I was wasting my money on it. Domain sellers just want a piece of the cake. For example, they advertised .tv was the new way to make a high enrichment media websites. It was (it is) a real lie. This .tv is just a country domain (touvalu). What happend with .mobi, what's going on with .me the new myself domain?
If you think about it, you realize this is just businnes and you registering domains for making rich just a few people.
Do not waste your money, .com it was, it is and will be the comercial domain.

Posted by: kobbynk | June 5, 2009 8:38 AM

Mr. Musgrove,

You may have unintentionally named thousands of hard working domainers as "cybersquatters" because they invested in buying generic descriptive domains that can be purchased by smart online companies who understand the power of owning the generic domain of the prodserv they (and their competitors offer).

As long as trademarked names are not being purchased as domains (which 99% of domainers don't bother with), then the domain world is no different than the real estate business. A business that invests $10,000 in a descriptive domain that describes perfectly what they are selling (forget the "brand"), then this company will take advantage of all the "typein" and organic search traffic this domain will produce year after year, all 24/7/365, for the unbelievable renewal price of $10 or less.

A company that sells "baby" products buys BABY.com for $2 million and point it to their main website, or a custom page just for that domain. They will take advantage of the estimated 250,000 visitors a month who just type in "baby" in their browser search bar. Then, the following year they pay $10 for renewing the domain and they receive the same marketing benefits. That's it. As long as they own the domain, they reap incredible rewards on getting eyeballs that their frightened Madison Avenue Agency execs don't want them to focus on.

Hmm... let's see who are "cybersquatters" if we go by your possibly unintended description: Johnson & Johnson (Baby.com) and Barnes and Noble (book.com and books.com) and the following short list of companies who "get it".

Toothpaste.com - Proctor & Gamble
Shoes.com - Brown Shoe Company
Computers.com - CNET
Coffee.com - Peets Coffee (boy, did Starbucks blow that chance!)

There are tens of thousands of examples of top companies buying up the domains that generically describe their products and services (prodservs).

There is a reason for that, and no person in online marketing would ever call them a "cybersquatter". That term is reserved for unscrupulous types who try to register TRADEMARKED domains. Domain industry professionals understand this practice is fruitless, problematic and unethical.

A good book to read by Wall Street writer, Dave Kesmodel, is "The Domain Game"

In the meantime, my advice as a corporate domain consultant is to any business -- instead of wasting $10,000 of your advertising budget on radio or print ads, buy a domain from a domain investor that describes exactly what you sell. Why? Because a domain name is an "appreciable marketing asset" that not only works for as long as you own it, but the domain itself appreciates in value every year! No ad buy can give your company this benefit.

It works for you bringing eyeballs to your website nonstop, while all the other ad buys fizzle away after 30 days.

Hope this brings some light on domain values and what a "cybersquatter" is.

cheers

Stephen Douglas
http://www.Successclick.com
Successful Domain Managementâ„¢

Posted by: spritzenfoogle | June 5, 2009 8:49 AM

The comment section to this article seriously needs an anti-spam cop.

And the cyber-squatters rationalizations for how they aren't cyber-squatters is quite amusing. Of course Johnson and Johnson wouldn't be cyber-squatting if they bought baby.com, your company however would be exactly that.

Posted by: buckdharma | June 5, 2009 6:22 PM

A few lucky people got in early and ended up with "gold" names such as cars.com - the cybersquatters are going after trade names and names that sound/look like major trade names and should be shut down. There was a guy name george who owned george.com and kennedy sued him and got the name for his magazine, not cool.

I've owned and own a number of names and have been lucky to sell some of them to entrepreneurs, like largestmall.com (the buyer was going to sell it to the Chinese who have the largest mall in the world) I don't know what happened to that deal. Some names I've had for years for speculation purposes (indranet.com/domains), like largestautomall.com but none have been cybersquats, I own my own name's .com and variations of it. I use 1and1.com for almost all web business, unlike godaddy they have a tollfree 24/7 tech support.

Posted by: kkrimmer | June 5, 2009 10:33 PM

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