Unless you have spent the last year studiously avoiding Domain Name news, you probably know that there is something happening at ICANN this year. Yes, that's right, ICANN has authorized the creation of nearly 2,000 new top-level extensions over the next 3 years. That's a big number! Probably more than you will want to register. While this flood of new possibilities is exciting, and we do hope that it enables a lot of creative activity, we expect the new extensions to be seriously underutilized, for the most part.
Over a third of these domain extensions are in the hands of brand-name owners, and will not be made available for public registration. Take Amazon for example, who has filed for at least 76 extensions. Amazon can soon publish sites dedicated to their reading lamps, if they want to, thanks to their exclusive ownership of the .kindle extension.
There are also extensions for whom several parties are vying, and ICANN must decide who is the most worthy contestant. Sticking with Amazon for our example, they have requested .book, but there are nine applicants and an objection has been filed against Amazon (though not against the other 8). There are even extensions where all applicants are objected to (for example .gmbh), and these can't be created at all until the objections are resolved.
There are also a number of extensions known as IDNs, or Internationalized Domain Names. These extensions contain non-ASCII characters (see this post on IDN if you want more details). IDNs represent a little over a hundred new extensions, of which we propose a dozen candidates.
So with all these complicated rules and disputes, it's probably going to be pretty hard to decide which of these new opportunities for domain name registration you will want to take advantage of for your online presence. To help you hack through this jungle, we have selected an initial set of some 600 interesting extensions to consider offering, with edited summaries based on the documentation filed by the requestors. So far it's been a big job, and we need your help to select the most important candidates in this set.
If you click here right now, you can pre-select for free any terms you might like to eventually register, along with the corresponding extensions. This will allow us to see fairly quickly where the demand is, and to keep you informed of the latest news about the extensions you wish to acquire.
When we eventually receive the information (release dates, conditions, prices, etc) on the new extensions you select, before they are activated at the Registry we will contact you and give you the opportunity to change your free pre-booking to a genuine registration request, for a fee. We won't do this automatically, or without asking you first, we promise.
Finally, to avoid the ethically repugnant system of internal auction that some other registrars have created, we have implemented first-come-first-served registration for any domain name that has multiple requests. For example, if the domain name choucroute.alsace is pre-booked by 3 people at Gandi, the first customer to ask for it will be in first place. But, if at the time of changing from a pre-reservation to an actual booking, the first customer does not confirm their desire to register the domain, then the second client will get the chance to do so. But wait! What if, say, the registry for .alsace for reasons of their own, requires a certificate of residence in the Alsace region? If the second customer to request "choucroute.alsace" can't provide this, then the third customer to pre-register will move up, and if they can provide the required documents, they will get the chance to register the domain at Gandi at the opening of the extension. Obviously, this will not give you the guarantee of obtaining the domain name, since other registrars file their applications at the same time, but at least we will not have asked you for money for the dubious practice of moving up your request. That would be just... wrong.