The new system is being billed by some as "owning your own little piece of the Internet." Instead of the current format, where your website's address reads something like: 'yourbusiness.com,' under the new format your online address could read more along the lines of: 'anything.yourbusiness.' Essentially the right side of the dot has been liberated from the clutches of uniformity!
The application process is rather extensive and comprised of 6 main steps. In addition, it is expected that applicants meet three general requirements in order to move forward in the application process. The applicant must:
- Represent an established brand or reputable organization
- Consent to $185,000 in fees
- Allow anywhere from 9 to 20 months for the application process to be completed
The substantial application fees and rigorous credential requirements should provide sufficient deterrent against the majority of potential scam and spam sites. This is particularly pertinent as these changes come on the heels of the '.xxx,' pornographic domain scare, which has many brands forking out cash to register undesired domains in order to protect their image online.
Overall, the relative merits of this new system are debatable, as web users have become accustomed to the standard generic top level domain system, and the addition of an infinite number of variables may just serve to confound and confuse.
From an Internet Marketing standpoint the prevailing question is: will anybody care? Well, though it is too early to speculate on how widely, and with how much enthusiasm, these changes will be adopted - the important thing now is considering possible applications of a completely customizable domain name.
For more information on top level domain changes read about ICANN's new gtld program.