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Field Guide to Top-Level Domains

TLD Field Guide

(Updated February 2014)

Up until now, the Internet has been organized into a handful of generic top-level domains (TLDs, or gTLDs) which were limited to three letters -- .com, .org, .gov, .net, .biz, .edu, and so on. Until recently, the list of TLDs stood at 22 extensions. This year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that regulates TLDs, plans to introduce potentially hundreds of new generic top-level domains, which are no longer limited to three characters, along with TLDs for specific trademarks (including .REALTOR).

What changes will the new TLD system bring to the Internet? This Field Guide explores what TLDs are, how they are used and regulated, how the crop of new TLDs might change the Internet landscape, and how REALTORS® and others can use the new TLDs to market their businesses and services. (A. Siudzinski, Senior Information Specialist)

What Is ICANN?

ICANN — The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers

What Does ICANN Do?, (ICANN, 2014).

ICANN primer: Understanding the technical and business functions of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)(GovLab - New York University, Oct. 2013).

ICANN CEO sets off explosion of new Internet names (Q&A), (CNET, Jan. 28, 2014).

YouTube Video: What Does ICANN Do? (ICANN, 2013)

What Is a Top-Level Domain (TLD)?

Beginners Guide to Domain Names, (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Dec. 6, 2010).

List of Top-Level Domains, (ICANN).

New Generic Top-Level Domains, (ICANN, 2014). -- ICANN’s microsite on the new top-level domains features a searchable database of applied-for TLDs (including .REALTOR), program updates, a timeline of the approval process, infographics, videos, podcasts, and other material.

Why the TLD Structure Is Changing & What It Means for the Internet

22 Domains Such As .com Aren't Enough? Some 1,000 entities vie for 2,000 applications; .merck battles .merck, (Investor’s Business Daily, Feb. 11, 2014). Q

Web domain choices grow as digital real estate expands, (Daily News/REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 6, 2014).

Cyberlaw Review 2014: ICANN’s New Top-Level Domains, (Bloomberg BNA E-Commerce & Tech Law Blog, Feb. 6, 2014).

How All Those New Domains Will Change the Web, (Popular Mechanics, Feb. 4, 2014).

Upcoming flood of new top-level domains could change how we surf the internet, (Extreme Tech, Jan. 31, 2014).

The Great Internet Land Grab, (The New Yorker, Aug. 28, 2013)

Real estate trade groups seek control of .Realtor, .MLS Internet domains, (Inman News, June 18, 2012).

The New .REALTOR Domain

Within the next 3-6 months, NAR will launch a top-level domain for the REALTOR® brand. Learn why NAR is launching .REALTOR, and find out what it means for you.

Top-Level Domain topic page, (REALTOR.org).

New .REALTOR Domain Coming Soon, (REALTOR® Magazine, Nov./Dec. 2013) — Learn about the procedure to apply for a new .REALTOR top-level domain

GoDaddy Will Not Sell .REALTOR Domains, (Daily Real Estate News, Oct. 31, 2013).

Top-Level Domains and Your Business

.Com has company! What new top-level domains like .bike mean for you, (Digital Trends, Feb. 5, 2014).

Protect Your Brand from Cybersquatting, (Harvard Business Review, Feb. 10, 2014).

Brace yourself for flood of new domain names, (Computerworld, Jan. 28, 2014).

Seven Things to Think About Before You Register That New Domain, (Forbes, Jan. 30, 2014).

Ready or not, here come the new Internet top-level domain names, (ZDNet, Jan. 29, 2014).

New Domain Names Could Boost Your Online Presence, (Inc., Jan. 29, 2014).

Sell Bikes? There’s a Web Domain for That, (The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 22, 2014).

With so many new top level domains launching, what should your strategy be?, (The Next Web, Dec. 3, 2013).

The Neighborhood Just Got Bigger: Protecting Trademarks in the Expanded Internet, (Nonprofit World, Nov./Dec. 2013). Q

Web address changes may mean more work for brand managers, (Idaho Business Review, Aug. 29, 2013). Q

What’s in a Domain Name? (Customer Relationship Management, Apr. 2013). Q

In new Web domain system, companies must decide how much words are worth, (The Washington Post, June 15, 2012).

eBooks & Other Resources

101 Ways to Promote Your Website (Adobe PDF eBook)

The Rough Guide to the Internet (Adobe PDF eBook)

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.