Today ICANN voted to change the way we visit websites, they have pretty much allowed for any word to be a generic top-level domain (gTLD) starting in 2012. What is a g? You may know them as .com, .net, .org and .edu. There are currently 22 top level g’s.
So what does this really mean? Well when you visit us for example. If we chose to we could have a g of .geeks. So you could type “http://hardware.geeks” and navigate to us as if you visited http://hardwaregeeks.com.
While that sounds cool I don’t really think its practical, it’s going to cause a lot of confusion even if people are made aware of the change. I personally think the current g’s will rule for a long long time and “.com” won’t be going anywhere. However I do believe companies will snag up a personalized g and we here at HardwareGeeks.com may even snag one up as well, but I don’t expect companies to tell you to visit “http://hp.hp” (Hewlett Packard) or “http://amd.amd” (Advanced Micro Devices).
I think the perfect use for these personalized top-level domains would be for reassuring a customer that they are on your site. For example banks could use the personalized TLD to let users know that they are logged in and browsing securely. For example: “Bank.com” when you are not logged in, and “Bank.Bank” when you are logged in and viewing your accounts. Or it can also be used to confirm a link belongs to a particular government agency or corporate entity, might help limit fraud and phishing attacks.
I believe .com, .net, .org, .edu and the other g’s will rule for many many more years to come, and while I see a use for open domains, I just don’t see people visiting company.trademark or company.company. Now if we didn’t need to enter a g and could visit a corporate website by simply typing in “companyname” into our browser then I’d consider this huge news, but in my opinion this is more of a money grab by ICANN than a actual benefit to end users.