By Emily Baird
Ever since the mid-1990’s visiting the internet has been referred to as a basic three letters: .com. It’s the most commonly used suffix on the internet and represents more than 100 million web sites. It has practically taken over the name “web.” The first dot com was registered in 1985, over 27 years ago. Since then, the internet has come along way, and it’s now about to take it’s next big jump.
Until now, the largest expansion of top domain names occurred in 2001, 12 years ago and it’s about to happen again. It has been announced that the new domain expansion will be including about 1,900 additional new web names. Over the next couple months users will be able to visit sites at .luxury, .gay, .mom, and .bible just to name a few.
The question is what does this mean for your marketing and your business? There are two sides. For one, your domain can be specific and targeted. (Big rule in marketing – target, target, target your audience.) However, there is also the possibility that choosing something so obscure may require too much of your audiences brain. If we are capable of screwing up a site that is a .com or a .org then how will we ever remember whether we are visiting a .luxury or a .music or even a .party?
It’s going to be difficult and it’s going to certainly introduce a new search logic. But on the contrary, it stems the possibility that communities will unite under certain top-level domains. For example, sectors of the community that enjoy dancing may unite under a .dance. It helps you clearly define your presence on the internet and establishes a purpose. So far, the number 1 prioritization has been taken by The Vatican, or the Pontifical Council for Social Communication. It even applied for a domain in Chinese characters, that when translated means Catholic. Republicans have acquired .gop – but Democrats haven’t acquired a .dem. It is still unclaimed. This could cause exponential discrepancies between parties or any competing organizations that do not get the opportunity to equally claim ground.
Like anything new, these new domain developments are going to take some getting used to. We are used to a beautifully crafted easy to understand information portal that is now going to quite possibly give us the largest headache in the post-millennium.
It’s not going to be easy and it is certainly going to test our brain power and memory. But maybe that’s not so bad after all. Just remember to hang onto your business cards.