I'm bored of .com. I’m tired of searching through Namecheap trying to find the perfect new brand name and realizing everything .com is taken or costs $4000. I am especially irked when no one is actually using the purchased domain in question. I -- we! -- need a new way to think about domains.
Enter the expanded generic top-level domains! Over the past decade the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has worked to bring us more and more domains. Some of my personal favorites: .app, .eco, .fail, .film, .garden, .help, .science, .tech, and best of all .sucks. There are WAY more than just that. Goodbye .edu, I've moved on to .academy and .courses. Personal websites will now be hosted at yourname.ninja.
Domain names can be fun! Digiorno.com is fine, but Digiorno.pizza? *Chef's kiss*. On the whole, many parts of the internet appear to be converging. Brands and websites do their best to look the same, but the expanded TLD is one way for us to take back our individuality on the web. Once you embrace the vibrancy of the rich language of domains, .com just feels like cold, empty business language. Why should my recipe blog be associated with dot commercial? .Cooking and .blog have so much more life to them.
This is how DNS, the internet protocol responsible for translating domain names (like decentalternative.systems) to IP addresses (like 10.45.12.240), was designed to function: decentralized with many top-level domains. Dot com was not intended to be ubiquitous, it was for commercial entities! Now, the most common TLDs are saturated. Although someone owns the rights for each domain, many people are just camping. There’s still room for that name on the web, just not at .com or .net.
You might think that your website must use .com because when people enter it into the URL bar, that's all they'll think of. True, .com has large network buy in, but what new user actually enters your site into the URL bar from memory? It's far easier to simply enter the name of the site into a quick google search. As long as you're one of the top few results, all is good. Truthfully, almost every new guest you have is going to arrive via a link anyway. You won’t be costing yourself any web traffic, so have some fun with it!
There’s power in a domain name. Photos don’t need to live on Instagram exclusively; there are homes for them at .camera, .photo, and .photography. Don’t just register your first name last name .com, take all your enemies names’ and register them at .sucks. Make every aspect of the web a richer, more vibrant place.