Domain name registration fees are charged by ICANN and everyone has to pay them to register domain names. So just who are these guys and how come they get to charge?
Go in the way-back machine to the beginning of the Internet. It was actually run by the U.S. Government( I know – the metaphors are endless…) The process for getting started on the World Wide Web was turned over to the private side and the biggest winner was the “Internet Assigned Numbers Authority”. Not very catchy, but remember that in the beginning, you typed in numbers – just like a telephone number – and were then connected to the server you dialed. As a terribly-teasing-side-note, you can still just type in numbers….if you know what they are.
The end result of all of this is that the U.S. Department of Commerce signed an agreement with the
“Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers” (ICANN)
to take over the management of ‘centrally coordinated unique identifiers’. This means that no matter where you go to register your name – Go Daddy, Register, me, we all end up submitting your name to ICANN and it is then registered throughout the universe.
This company is also in charge of developing the extensions that go after your domain name. They came up with ‘.biz’, although that has not caught on very well. They still have a proposal out to move all of the porn sites to ‘.xxx’ – that would certainly clean out the .com field a bit.
Probably the most interesting development from ICANN is the establishment of the first non-latin Top Level Domains. Top Level Domains are what you usually think of and run in to on the World Wide Web - .com, .net, .org, .mobi, and the like. Now the Middle East has secured domain extensions that I can’t even reproduce in writing because it is in the local alphabet. Here is a picture:
More Recently is the release of a couple of hundred or so ‘friendly’ extensions which were designed to resemble ‘vanity’ urls.
We have .life - .nyc - .photography. Visit any domain name reseller and check them out.
I usually end my articles with an invitation to visit the website which I will still do, but you will need your ‘technobabble dictionary’ handy at all times. A more friendly approach is taken by Wikipedia and you may find it an interesting read.