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The .rush is on -- and it may create the world wide weird.
Proposals for Internet addresses ending in ".pizza," ".space" and ".auto" are among the nearly 2,000 submitted as part of the largest expansion ever in the online address system -- each application costing a whopping $185,000.
Apple, Sony and American Express are among companies that are seeking eponymous domain names using their brands. But the list of domain name proposals runs the gamut from obvious to extraordinary. Here are the ten strangest.
.George: Is the giant Wal-Mart chain of stores having an identity crisis? Not at all. The chain, famously founded by Sam Walton, explains that “George” is the first supermarket clothing brand. There are over 3,000 stores across the UK, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, selling against that brand, the company noted in its application.
.goo: Search giant Google went for the eponymous domain, but it also sought the abridged version to “provide a more recognizable, branded, trusted web space … for streamlined provision of Google services.” It’s not alone: Japanese tech giant NTT Communications already runs a popular web portal with that name, and wants to shorten that name down. Let the battle begin!
.Indians: Quick, what’s the second most popular sport in the world? While soccer is planet Earth’s pastime, humans love a game of cricket almost as much. And the Mumbai Indians -- a popular and prominent cricket franchise representing the city of Mumbai in the Indian Premier League (IPL) -- think they’re popular enough to merit their own domain.
.ketchup: The only condiment to merit its own domain name, .ketchup was proposed by ProMark Brands -- a subsidiary of the H.J. Heinz Company. And good news! If you’re a fan, you might someday be able to get your own email address there. “ProMark will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees, potentially including customers of Heinz.”
.lol: Uniregistry is another new startup applying for a slew of recognizable domain names. “I’ve always been extremely passionate about naming, said managing director Frank Schilling. “For ten years, I’ve been waiting for a meaningful opportunity surrounding top level domain names. Now that it’s here, I’m proud to be making names for registrants of the future.” For Schilling, “.lol” is an obvious choice. “Comedy is the currency of the Internet,” the company said in its application.
.OOO: Indian company Infibeam has perhaps the most ambitious plan unveiled by its domain name application: “Our goal is nothing less than providing a billion stores for a billion people,” the company wrote. It currently hosts websites for Indian businesses small and large -- and aims to take this service worldwide at .ooo.
.plumbing: Because the Internet is really no more than a series of tubes, right?
.sucks: Another in demand gTLD, “.sucks” is being chased by no less than three registrants. Top Level Spectrum, Inc. wants to create a place “dedicated to dealing with negative feedback.” Rival registrant Donuts Inc. has a similar vision: “There is a deep history of progressivity and societal advancement resulting from the online free expressions of criticism.”
.Vermögensberatung: The award for longest domain goes to Deutsche Vermögensberatung Aktiengesellschaft, which in English loosely translates as "German financial advisors.” The German multi-level marketing investment company is also after “.vermögensberater,” which means financial advisor.
.WTF: One domain name registrar is betting dollars to donuts on this off-color TLD. Donuts.co applied for 307 new domains in the latest roll-out and believes it can offer a fresh choice for web users. “Finding a usable Internet address is a real problem,” Donuts CEO Paul Stahura said. “The Internet was opened for worldwide use almost 20 years ago … we’re overdue for expansion.”