The Web’s Next Frontier: Everything From .inc to .ninja

Photograph by Tim Hales/AP Photo

ICANN Chief Executive Officer Rod Beckstrom spoke about expanding Web suffixes in London today.

If the list of possible new Web suffixes is any indication of the Internet’s future, we may see a lot more apps, blogs and ninjas.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers released the list of 1,930 applications for new domains beyond .com today. Submissions included those from companies wanting to secure their brand names or control various generic or buzz words. The next step for the Internet governance organization is to let companies bid on the names.

With the addition of new and more specific suffixes, users may one day type in “cats.youtube” into the browser’s address bar to get their fix of feline videos.

In addition to .youtube, Google applied for 100 other domains, including .boo, .chrome and .docs. Microsoft also applied for .docs, as well as .microsoft, .bing and .office. Apple applied for .apple.

There were also submissions for seemingly troubled properties. This could indicate that they’re not in danger of being put out to pasture any time soon, since each application cost $185,000. For example, AOL applied for .aol and .patch, presumably for the money-losing local-news service Patch that activist investors have been urging the company to get rid of. Yahoo wants .yahoo and .flickr, named after the photo-sharing website that some expected to disappear when Yahoo closed similar services.

Beyond corporate voyeurism, there is less sex than one might expect. There are two applications for .sex, one for .sexy, one for .adult and one for .porn. Wait, only one for .porn? Perhaps adult-media companies were less enthused about this Web extension after clawing at ICANN over .xxx.

Meanwhile, three companies applied for .rip, and three others applied for .sucks. One applied for .ninja.

More than a dozen companies, including Amazon.com and Google, are competing for the .app suffix. Other much-desired domains were .blog, .book, .home and .inc.

Donuts, which I wrote about last week, applied for 307 mostly generic words, including .wtf and .cheap. At a cost of $56.8 million in application fees, the process was not dot-cheap.

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