December 16, 2005

Revisiting the idea (the very stupid idea) of sponsored top level domains

ICANN loves "sponsored" top level domains.  It has given us TLDs for co-ops, Catalonian speakers, "professionals" (except for the world's oldest profession), travel businesses, etc.

That world of "sponsored" TLDs is so exciting and vibrant!  And so useful too!

So in a moment of unrestrained excitement over sponsored TLDs, I have come up with some ideas for new sponsored TLDs.

I'll begin with ".family".  And by this I don't mean some neutered and sterile Disneyesque kind of family.  Appropriate residents under my .family would present content describing how families are created, including biological details, and methods for keeping control of family size (which would, of course, include those providing abortion services.)

And then I'd add ".christian" (and other TLDs for other major religions.)  As sponsor I'd be able to say who is worthy to have a name under .christian and who is not.  For starters, I'd make sure that the list of excluded names includes "Robertson", "Dobson", "Falwell" - they would be vectored over to the .ElmerGantry TLD.

And then there's ".fruitcake".  This TLD would give free names to those who claim to have been kidnapped by space aliens,  practice feline phrenology, or believe that "intelligent design" should be taught in schools.

What is ICANN's policy about "sponsored" TLDs doing to the internet?  The best way to answer is to draw a parallel:  What ICANN is doing to the internet is similar to what would have happened had some 16th century ICANN forced Gutenburg to use his new printing press to print nothing but Sharper Image catalogues and Wal Mart flyers.

Posted by karl at December 16, 2005 1:20 AM