Amazon has attracted the wrath of the author’s guild by trying to register the top-level-domain names (TLD) of .book and .read . Yes, I do understand the reason why writers can get angry about it, but I think it more or less shows how opening up TLD’s to be able to be privately registered just makes everything more confusing.
Ah, good were the times when you had four types of domains; .com, .org, .net and then your country’s own TLD set. That’s it. And if you were a commercial oriented company, or a private citizen who actually wanted a website, you targeted the .com TLD. Well, to think of it, I don’t think that actually changed at all. It has been already some time now that the TLD discussion flared up, of which the introduction of the .xxx domain name for adult oriented websites actually attracted the most attention.
Now, it actually sounds pretty nifty to own your own TLD, but most likely, you and I cannot afford it, since the registration costs alone are $185,000 and a yearly cost of $25,000 to simply run the registry makes it a steep investment. Not only that, the question is, should we really care? Because, in my opinion, domain names are a broken element by now. The simple reason why is the same reason why the increased number of TLD’s have been introduced; domain names don’t hold up when there is a multitude of productions that could fit the description of the name.
For example, how many stores could match the domain name ‘store.com’, which might be everyone, right? Or look at the small and medium-sized businesses that care their owner’s name? How many stores should have the desire to run Shirleys.com for example, or Smith.com. Domain names were a good way to cloak the real computer address. And with the ‘old’ computer addresses it was still possible to remember them, if you owned them yourself at least. But a number like 124.324.7.1 (yes, I know this is an impossible address, but since all IP addresses have been assigned, I wanted to add a bit of anonymity into the mix) is hard to get across in your marketing plan. Let alone the IPv6 that make our most impossible-to-guess passwords look like a pre-school gibberish.
But, there was also a good thing about the limitation of TLD’s; you could guess the domain of the site you wanted to go to; sears.com if your were at Sears, or, airlineticket.com if you wanted to book a ticket. Most site-domains were easy to guess. But just like the original IPv4 addresses for computers, it can only hold this many elements before it becomes cluttered. If .book and .read are registered, in one or two years time, will I still know if I have to read up on the latest of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child on .com? .read? .book? maybe even .lincolnchild? I don’t know. Or you want to follow-up on Lord of the Rings…. should you go to .book, .com, .movie, .game
Actually, that thought of having TLD’s as categories, might seem like a good idea for a moment, but it vaporizes again when you think about that it doesn’t solve any problems with limitations in domain names at all. Companies will buy up the remaining domain names asap anyway. Do you really think that Sears won’t immediately register its name in all the other TLD’s? And then, there still is the issue.
Domain names show by now their limitation. No matter even, the whole concept of the TLD’s is completely useless. What should a private user care if something is .com or not. It has no meaning to a regular person. Sure, we, who are a bit more into the logistic part of the web know, but let’s be real, isn’t it time for something new? Something that works a little bit better?
Although I am not a big fan of the QR code, because it requires an extra step, it is something that holds a bit of the solution in my opinion; it is an abstract, easy and quick way to connect. It doesn’t have a name, and just like a domain, it points you through. What should I care if the domain name of the store that I am in in New York City is called thisismystorenyc.com or not. I just know, I want to visit the website, and I can go there right away. And there will be such a new cloaking system. A bit better than the QR because it is only linked to being able to scan it (so it is difficult to communicate through any other means of communication that is not visible), but something the like.
Domain names are limited, but extending the amount of TLD’s doesn’t solve any problems, but only create new ones. Some people earn a lot of money with it, but in the end, no one will get any use out of it.