Today I read a post on the New York Times website about a revolution in the availability of new web addresses or what is called domain names in the Internet industry. This shift in the policies from ICANN is going to open up a hornets nest if you are trying to decide which type of domain name to register between the multitude that’s already available.
Domain names is the glue that makes the Internet work. The basic idea is that instead of trying to remember complicated or weird combinations of IP addresses, the numbers that are the unique identifiers of computers and other Internet-enabled devices, people will type in a name that they can easily remember e.g. cnn.com instead of 188.8.131.52 (the IP address).
The problem with having a near infinate number of domain names is that it is bound to create confusion in the short term. And for businesses it means yet another scramble for domain names linked to your company name, brand names or trade marks. I refuse to buy into this idea that I have to purchase every single variation of my company name: NETucation. I currently own netucation.co.za but not netucation.com, which is owned by some unknown company who have not published a website on the name. And instead it is redirected to the original domain name registrar Network Solutions. There is sometimes a lot of uneccesary stress that is created by domain sqautters i.e. people who specialising in purchasing future potentially valuable domain names and selling them to the highest bidder or blackmailing companies or celebrities into purchase them at exhorbantent amounts of money.
In South Africa we now have a formalised procedure to deal with domain disputes. I highly recommend at the least your register your name.com and your name.co.za and just keep it reserved. One important thing I want you to note is that you MUST insist that your ISP registers your domain name, in your name, NOT in their name.