Life on the internet is about to get a little more relaxed, but potentially a little more difficult to boot. Coming in January of 2012, applications will be accepted for new domain endings. So, instead of going to your favorite SEO/Website Building/Rebuilding/Vanilla Forum/Social Media Management website–that would be www.TMP.com–you might just end up going to www.TMP.TMP. Theoretically. Honestly, I can’t see us changing the domain like that, but then again, our fearless leader (Dwight) works in mysterious ways. Or is that our mysterious leader works in fearless ways? It’s definitely one of those.
So, yes, the group given the authority to oversee how the internet is developed has decided to loosen the shackles a bit and allow for some flexibility in domain names. In their eyes, it’s a way to usher in another age of the internet that will spawn creativity and inspiration. Okay, it’s a bit of blah blah blah, I think, and here’s why.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a business and it’s done well over the years, chances are you’ve had a website built. Fair to say, right? So when you hired someone to build that site or you’ve taken a hand in it yourself, you’ve looked at and purchased domain names so that nobody else can use your name. For instance, if your business is called My Daddy Magnet, then you most likely bought MyDaddyMagnet.com and MyDaddyMagnet.net for starters. You might even have purchased MyMagnetDaddy.com just in case somebody got it backwards. Then, with a simple 301 redirect, they would be pointed to your site anyway. And perhaps you also bought another 5 versions of the name that might be typed in just so that people will still find you.
Now, let’s say your business developed the nickname MDM over the years. Now comes along the opportunity for people to petition for new domains and MDM would be one you could apply for. MyDaddyMagnet.MDM…only because the floodgates have been opened and maybe you waited a month or two before applying, someone went in and purchased that domain. You would theoretically have to buy back a domain that should be yours. Could you fight it? Of course. Is it worth the court costs? It really depends. Is it right that people out there will do that to you in the first place? Nope, not at all, but it happens every day.
Now, will these folks go after companies like Pepsi where a domain could become Generation.Pepsi? They could, but they’ll lose. There’s some give and take with that because while they’ll lose against the bigger companies, they will set their sights on yours. There’s money to be made in this sort of thing and it will be. We’ve see it happen with potential clients here at Trademark.
So keep your eyes peeled, consider whether or not you want to register for a new domain extension and be sure to purchase those domains early! If you don’t, chances are someone else will and it’ll be a mad free-for-all.