Ever since the inception of the Internet, we’ve been trained to recognize web sites by their addresses, usually ending in .com, .net., .org, or .gov, although there are more than 300 Internet domain suffixes currently in existence. But today, the board controlling Internet web site names approved the ability for companies and individual users to create and register thousands of new Internet suffixes.
Some of the most buzzed about changes are Apple’s projected use of the suffix .apple, and potentially .ipad, .ipod, and .iphone. The camera company Canon has reportedly already announced its plans to apply for a .canon suffix. Others include big banks using a .bank suffix and major cities using their names for their suffixes, such as .london, .nyc, and .berlin.
A few months ago, Internet regulators approved the use of a .xxx domain suffix for pornography sites, which spurred a flurry of controversy. Although approval of the .xxx suffix was delayed many times over several years, this widespread freedom domain suffix plan has been in the works for over six years. Hmm. In any case, the sites with .xxx suffixes were expected to launch this summer, but not much has been said about them since late March.
With .com domain names selling for extraordinary amounts, this change could change the market of web hosting, giving the opportunity for more domains with more unique names at potentially cheaper prices. A domain name belongs to whoever happens to register it first. And Apple wasn’t quite quick enough on the draw for iPad.com. But you can bet the owners of that domain wouldn’t give that up for a reasonable price. Maybe this change would get around situations like that. Would that be a good thing?
We probably won’t see this new system go into effect until late next year. But personally, once it’s implemented, I think it will confuse the heck out of me. I don’t recognize a string of words as a URL unless it has the familiar URL-y suffixes tagging behind it. To be honest, I just got used to the idea of not having to type in the “www.” when navigating to a website. But this web suffix change, the most radical change in the Internet’s naming system since .com was introduced over 25 years ago, leaves me feeling like it’ll take some getting used to. And I consider myself to be pretty computer savvy.
What do you think? Necessary, cool, or “a solution without a problem?”