Hey, I hate .com – I wanna use somethin’ else!
Most people know about country codes, right? .ca for Canada, .uk for the United Kingdom. Every country has it’s own code. We all know that, blah blah blah. And yeah, you can get a .net if the .com‘s not available, or a .org – people might think they have to be a non profit for this, but you don’t. It’s not restricted. Some people know you can get a .biz if you’re a business, though it’s lesser known.
Of course, a .gov is the US government, right? And .edu is for educational organizations only. (specifically, actually, it’s for “post-secondary institutions accredited by an agency on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies*“) A .mil is only for the United States Military. If you’re REALLY into the nitty gritty, you might be aware that anyone can get a .info domain. It’s not restricted either, despite it’s appearance.
Y’all remember the ARPANET? It’s what the Internet grew from. It’s the starter. Blond jokes shooting around on the ARPANET. Which still exists, in the form of anysite.arpa
But are you aware that if you had a cooperative organization, you can get a .coop? Betcha didn’t.
With enough money, you can have any top level domain you want.
Now. Here’s my issue – certain things are obvious, right? If you’re trying to get a .mil, it’s not gonna let you. No one wants the wrath of the combined U.S. armed forces knocking on their door. And there’s a sponsor of record on each top level domain, so yes, technically, someone could come after you if you try to register under their gTLD (general use top level domain) without meeting the criteria. But sometimes that criteria is vague. And what if you’re in the U.S. and they’re in…Myanmar? Or vice-versa? How is this enforced? While you do, indeed, have to register a domain through an approved domain server, it’s all automated most of the time.
I’ve taken the time to sift through all the country code top level domain names to find all the rest, currently existing, gTLD (yes, ALL, at the time of this posting) and their purposes.
.AERO is for members of the air-transport industry
.INT is for “registering organizations established by international treaties between governments”
.JOBS is for human resource managers – and this is where it gets dicey and I start to wonder. WHO’S HR managers?
.MOBI is for consumers and providers of mobile products and services. Consumers AND providers. WTH? Isn’t that ALL OF US now?!
.MUSEUM is for…well…museums. That one I think is obvious.
.NAME is for individuals. Yes, that’s right. Individuals. No, you didn’t see that wrong, and I didn’t mistype. All this time, your homepage? Probably coulda been “JohnSmith.Name” – or more creatively, “Whatisyour.name”. Hey, which ironically doesn’t exist, but the title bar says “Hello. What is your name?”
.PRO is “Restricted to credentialed professionals and related entities”. I use the legalese because I swear to god, no matter how many times I read it, it looks like if you have a degree after your name, you can have a .pro domain, and I’m sure there’s a lawyer out there who’d argue if I just said that instead of the actual wording. (keeping in mind that I’m pre-law)
.TEL is for “businesses and individuals to publish their contact data”. I have to ask. Using this logic, couldn’t FaceBook and MySpace, etc, all have been .tel instead of .com?
.TRAVEL …legalese again: “Reserved for entities whose primary area of activity is in the travel industry”. Dude. I travel a lot, thus I use the industry…I wanna put up a site with thousands of slide shows. I can have a .travel! Likewise, I’m a travel agent…I can have a .travel! Hey, I’m an online booking company…what, use a .travel? No, no, that’d make it TOO EASY TO REMEMBER!! -headdesk-
Now, seriously, this is it. Plus the ones I mentioned in the first paragraph, that’s ALL OF THEM. Anything else in existence right now is a country code.
So, each of those gTLDs has a sponsor. For example, .TRAVEL is sponsored by Tralliance Registry Management Company, LLC.
I assume that if you register a .TRAVEL and instead post something about construction work or something, they’ll be all over that like ugly on a bear. But the point is, they paid, and got a top level domain. Now, I’m sure there’s more to it than that. Like, paperwork and forms and approval, etc, etc. But basically, here, have cash, gee thanks, my new site is www.trinitylast.bleh
Before you ask, all this info is available for free from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, linked at the bottom. In fact, if you wanted email Tralliance and ask what exactly they went through to get a .TRAVEL gTLD or just what kind of site they WOULDN’T sue for using it, there’s an email and everything on the site. I won’t post it here, that’s just mean, but dude, I’m looking at it, and it’s not even admin@…it’s a person’s NAME.
Heh. And of course, their site is www.travel.travel
The fairly sparse design is excused by the awesomeness of buying a gTLD just so their site would BE www.travel.travel
It’s like the days of alt.binaries are back.
Anyway, to end this fairly geeky PSA, I would like to post this question: if you could have any top level domain you wanted, what would it be? Comments are open on this blog, or just twitter it and I’ll line up the answers in another entry.