Time to panic? The Internet is about to change dramatically.
Ever since Al Gore invented the Internet (or so I’ve heard), users have relied on a limited number of top-level domains, or “TLDs.” A top-level domain is the end portion of a web address — e.g., .com, .net, .org, .biz, .gov, or, everybody’s newest, favorite, and most scandalous TLD, .xxx. Last year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) — a non-profit corporation/venue for nerds to rule the world that manages most TLDs, IP addresses, and basically anything that involves the interwebs — approved the creation of new TLDs called generic top-level domains, or “gTLDs”. In announcing that move, ICANN cited the need to increase competition and choice in the world wide web (because we know that there certainly isn’t enough competition and choice in the entire Internet). Any legal entity may apply to create and manage a gTLD. And that’s why, as people are finally starting to realize, things might start getting a little crazy(er) on the Internet.