The day that we have talked about for more than two years is finally here. ICANN - the non-profit corporation in charge of assigning domain names - is throwing open the doors and allowing a slew of new domain name naming conventions. The Internet is about to get huge (er). Up until now, web sites were limited to such generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as ".com", ".net", and ".org". The group added more in the past few years including ".xxx", ".biz", and others, but now they are allowing customized gTLDs. It could be a brand (.mcdonalds), an organization (.youthhockey), or just about anything else. Approved applicants will maintain that gTLD and use it to host all of their company information, control who has access to the name, and even be able to sell space in the gTLD.
But before you jump to register ".thing", the registration process alone will cost you at least $185,000 plus the investment in maintaining your little slice of the web. However, if you are a business or a group with the resources, it could be an invaluable new way to maintain your presence on the Internet.