One of those aw-shucks heartwarming stories that makes even the most cynical pause. Social media at its best – connecting people to someone who is doing something amazing and noteworthy, who would otherwise not get recognition.
What that means is that consumers are no longer limited to such domain extensions as .com, .net, or .org. Instead, you might be able to buy .television, or .politics, or whatever name you can think of.
Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO of ICANN, posted a written statement on the ICANN website:
“ICANN has opened the Internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today’s decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind.”
Serving all of mankind is a worthy goal, but in practical terms what this unleashes is an investor buying spree on extensions such as .sucks, .fail useful for bashing competitors; or those belonging to public figures such as .palin, or .obama.
The extensions won’t be cheap and they will be doled out by ICANN.
Applications for the first round of new global Top Level Domains (gTLDS) begins January 12, 2012 and will close on April 12, 2012. The application fee is $185,000, and there is a limit of 1,000 new gTLDs every year, which can be registered in any of the languages and scripts recognized by ICANN.
We will have to see whether the use of custom domains trumps ruling Internet God .com.
Or will they be just more domains relegated to the dustbin with .tv, .biz, and .me?
The latest report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project examining whether social networking sites make Americans more connected or more isolated has some encouraging statistics for social media fans.
Facebook users are more trusting, have more close friends, are more politically engaged, and get more support from their friends. Additionally, Facebook helps revive “dormant” ties with lost connections—the highest proportion of Facebook friends is high school classmates.
The report also finds that 47% of adults are now on social networking sites, compared to 26% in 2008. More than half are over the age of 35.