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Pop A Bottle: The Fight for Domain Names is About to Begin

06.24.14
Samantha Walters

Open a nice, full-bodied red and enjoy the fireworks of people getting angry over websites…

The battle for domain names in 2014 is heating up. Earlier this year, ICANN—the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers—opened up the web to a whole new set of generic Top-Level Domain’s (gTLD’s) such as .sex, .space, .beer, etc.. This caused a bit of a stir with a few people who think they should be the ones to own a certain gTLD, and then Google decided to jump into the domain name game and really shake things up.

ICANN gTLD names

At first, these new domains are great because it offers a wider array of site addresses that allow for greater diversity and even more brand recognition. Imagine going to Pepsi.cola or whatever—maybe KFC.chicken, I dunno.

wine domain name

That’s all great, but sometimes there’s a bit of a problem, mainly with who should be allowed to use certain domains. For instance, a region in France is essentially where wine, champagne and all kinds of great alcoholic drinks were born. This is intrinsically tied to that area of France as well as other regions around the world (Napa Valley, Chile, Portugal, Spain, etc.), so much so that they’re petitioning ICANN to allow them to be the only ones that can use the .wine and .vin gTLDs in the face of countless private companies that applied to use the .wine/.vin domain. Their argument is that it would sully the great name of wine, and I happen to agree, mainly because never in a million years would I type Boonsfarm.wine into a browser. Maybe Boonsfarm.swill, but never Boonsfarm.wine. Ever. Wine shouldn’t be blue.

As if the bickering over specific domains wasn’t enough, everyone’s favorite Big Brother/search engine Google decided to put their hat into the domain game by now offering to sell domains to small businesses. You better watch yourself, GoDaddy. It’s an interesting move from Google, considering that GoDaddy hasn’t turned a profit since 2009, so not sure what the plan is here. But I guess if you have your own personal robot army, you can do pretty much whatever you want, right? Danica Patrick sure as hell won’t stop you.

I guess Google sees dollar signs in selling these new custom domain names. If you can get a bunch of small cupcake shops to sign up for .cupcake domains at $12 a pop per year then more power to you. If it results in better visibility for smaller businesses by having a website and a custom domain, then it’s good for everyone.

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