Yes, ICANN invent some new gTLDs.
When I saw the ad in The Economist for a new president/CEO, the organization’s deliciously Huxley-ian name - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – just struck a big, fat chord in me. I can almost here the robotic voice – like the one that tells you to stand to the right on an airport moving sidewalk – welcoming you as you enter the lobby.
Of course, this job would be much more fun in if you actually got to assign names to people. (Numbers, I wouldn’t be so keen on assigning. Way too impersonal.) But this is actually about taking care of the Internet’s addressing system, so that everything can point us information seekers to the right places in a nice and orderly fashion. Which, believe it or not, is no small potatoes, or, in domainish-speak: nosmall.pot.
Or it would be if there actually were a generic Top-Level Domain .pot.
Which I suppose there could be, if the Aroostook County Potato Growers, or the folks a NORML, wanted to pay the $185K evaluation fee to ICANN to see if .pot will fly. And if that was a bit steep, there are grants available for poor and worthy entities that want to add to the list as part of ICANN’s new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) program.
As of now, there are only a couple dozen of them: .com, .net, .biz, .edu, .gov, .mil, .xxx…
But that will change, as ICANN is introducing a New gTLD program to open up the world of, well, generic top-level domains. This is a big deal, given that “TLDs can now, for the first time, include non-Latin languages, such as Cyrillic, Chinese, or Arabic.” (Source: PCMag.)
Although they don’t have to be three-characters long, I personally like this convention, so I stuck with it when I came up with my list:
- .wot – Not that we all don’t know intuitively that, say, rummaging around The New York Post or The Daily Mail isn’t going to be a colossal waste of time. Still, if time-wasting domains were so registered, at least we would be completely forewarned. And someone would come up with a clever little app to block them out.
- .duh – While this sounds like it might be negative, I actually see this domain being reserved for fact-checking sites like Snopes, which I immediately hop on to whenever I get a crazy mass e-mail containing something that is so duh-obviously not the truth.
- .lol – Used for web sites containing clips from John Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
- .lie – Websites belonging to politicians, pundits, and truth-stretching members of the media would be required to use this top level domain until they had six-months worth of postings cleared by a .duh site. Backsliders would be permanently assigned a .lie extension, or perhaps even a longer one: .llpof. (That would be liar, liar, pants on fire.)
- .wtf – To be used by tabloids that specialize in real fake stories, such as “Famed Psychic’s Head Explodes”, and real, should be fake stores about the likes of OctoMom and the Kardashians. (Alternative designation for the Kardashians: .tmi .)
- .kkk – Perhaps the KKK would object, but this would actually make a nifty TLD for extremist organizations, wouldn’t it?
- .doh – For sites devoted to all things Simpson.
- .moe – For use by anyone named Maureen and, I guess, for aficionados of Moe Howard and The Three Stooges. Although there would likely be enough demand for them to have their own: .nnn (nyuck, nyuck, nyuck).
- .dog – Years ago, when the Internet was a pup, New Yorker cartoonist Peter Steiner came up with the now-classic “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” With the explosion of social media and TMI, this truism has arguably been reversed, and, these days, everybody does know if you’re a dog. Whether you are or not. Still, I don’t see why pooches can’t have their own New gTLD. I suppose that would open us up to .cat, as well. But, fair is fair. On the Internet, no one knows whether you’re a cat, either.
Anyway, I won’t be applying for the job as President/CEO of ICANN. Or even submitting one of my cool ideas. There’s a lot of other things I could do with $185K. (Maybe I could apply for one of those grants?) Still, I think that some of these have legs.