Sunday, July 03, 2011

If It Is Not Broke....

Since the very first days of the World Wide Web, most of us have grown accustomed to the various web address conventions. The dot com, dot org and dot edu suffixes are as familiar to us using Internet as Area Codes are when making a phone call. Over and above the suffixes listed above there are some that are used to designate various countries of the world like dot us for the United States and dot uk for the United Kingdom. Other than the country suffixes there are currently only about twenty other suffixes used throughout the world. The three listed above are the most used but there are others other less known like dot mil for the military, dot gov for government and dot info for reference sites. That list may get much larger very soon.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal that will change web address conventions forever. ICANN is the Internet’s international body that is responsible for maintaining structure and order to Internet domain names for the millions of Internet address holders and billions of Internet users.
According to some experts, this is the biggest change to domain names since the creation of dot com 26 years ago. If these changes get implemented businesses will no longer be restricted to the list of generic top level domains which now include dot com and dot org when they apply to register a website address.
So a large company like Macy’s or Procter & Gamble might be able to change their web address from the current or to or www.washwith.tide.
Companies wanting to take advantage of this new domain structure will find that it does not come inexpensively. ICANN will charge $185,000 per name and levy an annual fee to maintain the names.
I think this change is really an example to fixing something that is not broken and in many cases will be introducing a system that will be harder to use. Some websites already have very long names, but they most often make sense. For example, if you want information on the CSO concert at Music Hall you can go to With this new method of naming web sites it is anyone’s guess how long and how complicated they might get. If I had the bucks perhaps I could get a new web site. I would call it www.jackdominic.besuretoreadmygreatcolumnsintheharrisonpress. That should be easy to remember.


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