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Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization that oversees the naming scheme for domain names, has decided to allow new top-level domain names ending in whatever the registrants like. Wow, you may not believe this… but you read me right, ICANN has decided to allow this!


Soon, you will be able to register domain names ending in any extensions you want! Some day, you may be able to reach me using or Go.og.le! (Is there a .le country level domain name now?)

This proposal allows applicants for new names to self-select their domain name so that choices are most appropriate for their customers or potentially the most marketable. It is expected that applicants will apply for targeted community strings such as (the existing) .travel for the travel industry and .cat for the Catalan community (as well as generic strings like .brandname or .yournamehere). There are already interested consortiums wanting to establish city-based top level domain, like .nyc (for New York City), .berlin and .paris.

Under the new ruling, companies may add their company name to the end of their domain name instead of being limited to .com, .org or .net as is previously the case. The new naming process will begin in the second quarter of 2009 and as expected it won’t be cheap. It’s estimated to cost anywhere from US$50,000 to US$100,000 or even more for a “customized” domain name.

You may try to register a domain name with the suffix .xxx which was rejected by ICANN last year, but approval is not guaranteed. Paul Twomey, CEO of ICANN, has already said that the organization will still try to reject any domain name it deems inappropriate for security or moral reasons.

Domain names trivia, if you are interested to know…

The largest top-level domain is .com, with 71 million addresses, followed by .de, the Germany country-level domains, with 11.2 million and .net, with 10.6 million. The fastest growing is .cn, the China country-level domains, with 10.5 million addresses.