.always .wanted .your .own .domain ?

If you’ve got an extra $185,000 sitting around and a hankering for a new top-level domain name, this is the day you’ve been waiting for.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) officially opened its application process for new dot whatevers that appear at the end of web addresses-- things like .music, .cowboys, .cheesecake. All morning I’ve been enjoying the land rush analogies out there: “If you think of the Internet as virtual land, new continents are now on the block”,  "Grab Your Cash and Warm Up the Wagon", "Digital land rush expected for new Internet ‘top-level’ domain names" and on and on.  
These new digital continents aren’t without risk (but really, what adventure is?).  The Federal Trade Commission has warned ICANN that the new domain names could wind up confusing customers and turn this new digital world into a playground for scammers.  From The Hill's tech blog:

An array of advertisers, businesses and nonprofits are worried the plan could force them to defensively buy up domains related to their brand.

The Federal Trade Commission warned ICANN in a letter last month that the plan could pose a "significant threat to consumers." The commission worried that under the plan, “ABC Bank” could have the website “ABC.com,” but a scammer could set up “ABC.bank,” and another scammer could set up “ABC.finance” ad infinitum.

The very wealthy (or just curious) can find the application online here.  ICANN says "new gTLDs promise to expand the domain name system (DNS) and change the Internet forever."

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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