.coms may not be so valuable in 2012

The new gTLD (Generic Top-Level Domains) program may change the way you go to a website – therefore devaluing the .com extension. This means companies, individuals, or whoever will be able to create and purchase their own extensions. An example would be Apple registering the .apple extension. This would enable them to create addresses such as ipad.apple, itouch.apple, etc. (Notice the missing .com extension.)

According to the ICANN website, “The expansion of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) space will allow for a greater degree of innovation and choice.”

Opening up the top-level domain space could potentially create a new marketplace, and change the way we visit websites. However, registration fees are extremely expensive. ICANN documentation prices the application fee alone at $185k with a yearly cost of $25k to operate. The high prices will certainly deter domain squatters from grabbing your branded .com, but will also prevent many businesses from partaking in the new domain protocols.

Recently, the use of “www” has been de-emphasized, partially in response to a 2010 Wired article proposing “The Web is Dead” (not the internet) but no doubt fueled by the ease of typing in http://landinteractive.com rather than the traditional “www” that has worn down our “w” key over the years.

For more details on this subject, read this CNET article or visit the ICANN gTLD website for documentation.

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