.Quebec, .green, .ninja: Hundreds of new Internet domains coming this year
Published Wednesday, February 5, 2014 11:35AM EST
Starting this week, new Internet domains are coming into existence, meaning the web will soon be littered with a whole bunch of new suffixes including ".Quebec," ".book," and even ".ninja."
The first batch of the roughly 1,000 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) became available Tuesday, with additional domains slated to become available throughout the year.
The list of new domains includes the names of places, well-known trademarks and everyday items such as books, types of housing and photography equipment. As well, domains in other languages, including Chinese and Arabic, will also become available.
Bill Sweetman, president and strategist with domain name consulting group Name Ninja, told CTV's Kevin Newman Live that the new gTLDs were created to give entrepreneurs opportunities to become more creative and innovative.
"It's a very exciting time," he said in an interview Tuesday night. "It's like switching from silent film to sound film."
As well, the new domains will allow groups of people with similar interests or services to brand themselves through a singular domain, he said, giving the example of ".secure," which is expected to be used by the banking and financial services industries, and ".green," which is expected to be used by environmental groups.
The new domains are the result of a new gTLDs program by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is a non-profit organization that oversees a number of Internet-related activities.
The program, which launched in 2011, began accepting requests for new domains in January 2012. In total, it received more than 1,900 applications for new gTLDs – many requesting the same domain.
A number of the new gTLDs were requested on behalf of well-known companies, ".Lincoln" and ".Panasonic" for example.
Before the launch of the program there were only 22 gTLDs available for use.
In a video explaining the project, ICANN said there's no telling what the end result of the newly-created domains will be.
"Just as no one predicted the dot-com boom, no one can predict all the innovative ways new gTLDs will be used," the group said.
One result that will undoubtedly come as a result of the new gTLDS will be some confusion, at least initially until Internet users find their way around the new domains, Sweetman said.
"There's no question there's going to be a lot of confusion in the first couple of years. People are going to end up in the wrong place," he said. "Time will tell if it actually has a benefit to people."
He said of all the new domains, ".Quebec" stands out to him for its unique Canadian context and the fact that it's not limited to businesses and groups operating inside the province.
"Some of the Internet entrepreneurs there decided that Quebec deserves its own domain name," Sweetman said.
"It's going to be really exciting to see which companies embrace it, and interestingly enough, anyone can register '.Quebec,' they don't have to be a Quebec-based business."