On the 1st January, 1985, the world was forever changed. The .com domain was introduced, along with all the other original domains – .com; .edu; .net; .gov; .mil; .int.
Since the mid ’80s, the world-wide-web (WWW) has grown massively, not just in users, but the amount of domains registered.
The first domain to ever be registered by a private citizen was broken.net, by someone called Jason. To this day, Jason owns that domain, using it for email.
Jason was lucky. Jason got a damn good domain. The rest of us, well, we aren’t so lucky. I’ve owned domains ever since I’ve had a debit card and have been able to register them, I’ve never lived in a world where many good domains have been available; and those that are are snatched up within 1-millisecond by the bots of GoDaddy or DAN.com.
The best domain I own is jac0b.net. Ouch. Don’t get me wrong, I really do like my domain, but having to swap an o for a 0 is… well… yeah. I own a lot of domains, around 24, among them is jacobsammon.com – which I use for a lot of back-end stuff and for email, but I’d have much preferred jacobsa.com or jacobsa.net; both are owned by the same person and have no content – not even a DNS record.
Anyway, people like me are forced to get longer and longer domains with every passing year if we want a .com, .net, .org, or other highly used TLD.
ICANN, the non-profit responsible for everything domain related, started to recognise this issue in around 2007. ICANN opted to allow companies to bid on proposed gTLDs (generic top-level-domains). Since then, thousands of domains have become available; you can see a list of them on Wikipedia.
These, to put it mildly, are awful. Some are OK, .xyz, .blog, .app, .codes, .art, .news.
Most are awful. .domains, .online, .email (should be .eml), .accountant, .black (which, I am not joking, is for “those who like the colour black”), .christmas, .cyou.
I mean, c’mon, .cyou. What idiot came up with that? I read the company that runs the registry’s website and it said it’s for “GEN X”. Cool.
I don’t know what the solution to the domain problem is. But maybe it’s to have short, logical, recognisable new gTLDs that people’ll actually want, and not whatever .spreadbetting is.
ICANN needs to seriously rethink their entire strategy on gTLDs. The people at ICANN don’t realise the scope of the issue – most of them have had domains since the ’90s.
PS, good luck even getting a good new gTLD. The best one that someone that I know owns is hn.fyi, but Hayden got very lucky with his!