Friday, 27 June 2008

Welcome to the dot anything world

A paradigm change in WWW navigation is coming (though different from what I had imagined) - ICANN will soon start selling rights to new top level domains (TLDs). The potential ramifications are massive - for surfers, marketers, SEOs.

What's a better domain to market BMWs:
a. or

How about the .club or .air to market clubs and airlines respectively? Personally, I would love to get my hands on a good .video site, for example.

The pricing has not yet been announced although there is speculation that setting up a new .something could cost between $100,000 and $500,000. Obviously a modest sum for large brands, which can then use TLDs to create sexier URLs for individual business divisions (us.coke, diet.coke...). Imaginable for larger cities and regions, which can recoup the cost by reselling domain names (think or and of course for attractive generics (.casino, .mortgage, .hospital).

Depending on how liberal ICANN will be this could hurt the value of existing domain real estate ( vs but possibly also help it through drawing broader attention to domaining. I expect users to warm to the new URLs fast as they actually may be easier to remember and make more sense.