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Domain Squatting For The Rich?

ICANN

.Nike? .Shoes? .Anything

ICANN

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will charge you a $185,000 application fee if you want to create a new generic top-level domain of your choosing.

THOUGHT: There are currently only 20 generic top-level domains, of which .com is the most popular but which also include .net, .org, .edu and .gov. ICANN is a non-profit corporation that controls the naming system that serves as the central infrastructure of the Internet.

The requirements and guidelines are very strict, so creating new domains is not for the faint of heart nor the shallow pocket.

The earliest you’ll start to see these new domains is 2013.

I expect what we’ll see is global brands such as Nike buying up .nike and using it to organize their own online presence through subdomains such as jordan.nike, which would host their Jordan line of products. They might implement a women.shoes.nike site or a basketball.shoes.nike or a simple video.nike. The possibilities are endless.

But that’s a game for the big boys.

What are the implications for those of us who do not have the resources of a multinational corporation at our disposal?

I think some tough decisions are just across the horizon because I believe it is inevitable that we’ll see people creating top-level domains solely in order to sell the subdomains therein. Imagine if someone bought .coffee and was able to turn around to Starbucks and Caribou and Folgers and sell them starbucks.coffee and caribou.coffee and folgers.coffee for $10,0000 a year. But at those prices, every individual local coffee shop hasn’t got a chance to participate.

While I can’t say authoritatively I’m pretty confident my employer, Tunheim, is not going to be buying .tunheim. But if someone buys .marketing or .communications or .agency or .firm, it might make sense to but tunheim.marketing or marketing.firm.

We’re not going to know until we know how this will all shake out but I think it bears close scrutiny by companies who have invested in building their brands.

FOLLOW FRIDAY: Adrian Belew, one of my favorite guitarists.

 

Thank you for peanut butter cookies from Wuollet Bakery.

 

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

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