The Internet is About to Change – Are You Ready For New gTLDs? By: Maria Crimi Speth

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In 2012, we may not see the end of the world, but we will see the end of the Internet world as we know it. Currently, there are roughly two dozen generic top level domains known as “gTLDs” and about 250 country codes. The most popular gTLD is .com and other popular gTLDs are .org, .net and .biz. In June, ICANN, the organization who is responsible for coordinating the domain name system, approved a new gTLD program which will release unlimited gTLDs.

Applications will be accepted beginning January 12, 2012 to allow registries to purchase any string of three or more characters as a gTLD. The application period will close on April 12, 2012. As an example, new website domains might end with .cars, .football, or .movies. ICANN is engaged in a marketing campaign to create a buzz about these new domains and some in the industry are predicting that there will be hundreds or thousands of new gTLDs.

If you are thinking that this may be interesting but has no effect on you or your business, think again. New gTLDs could include brands such as .disney, .godaddy, .cocacola, or .nike. And, even your brand name could become a gTLD.

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