I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve only just found out that the option to have a new range of domain suffixes is going to be possible later this year! I became aware of this when a discussion about URL availability led onto the .eco suffix.
I like the idea of owning the URL http://www.louisewilson.eco but having read up on the topic, I am likely to be priced out or may have to prove my environmental creds to be allowed to use it.
At first it sounds great – we can expand our Internet options with the sometimes controversial .love, .sport or even .god at the end of addresses as discussed in the Washington Post. Maybe it will stimulate our creative side, allow clearer distinction between sites and allow organisations have the domain they have always wanted. Or is it just a money making decision? Apparently the high price to own the sites will prevent cyber hackers from buying up sites but that sounds like a convenient excuse to me. Impact Lab argue that the internet could become too cluttered with the availability of the extra sites.
It will be interesting to see how strict the credentials are to be able to buy one of these new suffixes. I wonder what credentials you’ll need for a .sex site….? And will .geek be popular?
Currently half of the 220million Internet sites are currently .com or .net and it appears from quick research that the UK is one of the few countries that use unusual suffixes. It is helpful to recognise that .org is an organisation or .tv tends to be tv or media based but my frustration lies with having a .info address and email which is often rejected as ‘not recognised’ on online forms.
How long will it take for the new suffixes to be popular and accepted? Dane Carlson blogged about the subject discussing how in a decade, the .com URL is likely to be as uncommon as .biz is today when ‘hundreds of new top-level domains enter the market’.
It is a sign of the times that eco-friendly and environmental sites are now popular enough that there will be a demand for dedicated domain suffixes but I do hope that ethically, people do not buy them up to make money from them. I would like to think that the established environmental sites don’t feel the need to join the new wave of suffixes and continue to have energy, confidence and support they currently have. We do not need companies greenwashing by creating new websites.
For more information, have a look at the Dot Eco website, especially the section on policy and accountability