Earlier today in London, ICANN released a list of thousands of applications for new generic top-level domains. The applications include plenty of brand protection moves like .google and .bentley, as well as some more generic speculation plays like .beer or the very popular .app, which received several applications.
There was also plenty of weirdness buried in the list of suffixes, applicants, and primary contacts.
For example, it looks as though Google might be interested in giving the Cheezburger network a run for its money with oddball applications for domains .lol, .wow, and .fun.
Some other applications seemed strange based on their extreme specificity. Apparently, Singapore's Changi Airport doesn't feel that owning changiairport.com is sufficient -- it put down the $185,000 application fee in the hopes of grabbing a .changiairport suffix. And Discover Card is so committed to its promise of a "cash back bonus" for its cardholders that it also put down some cash of its own for .cashbackbonus. Um... why?
There's nothing particularly funny or weird about the application for .catholic, but it was the first time I learned of the existence of the applicant -- the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, which is an affiliation that would be pretty awesome to have on a business card.
Within the list I also found a little glimmer of hope for the financially flailing newspaper industry -- things can't be that bad if the Boston Globe is willing to plunk down the application fee for .boston.
Content farm Demand Media also has a stake in more than 130 applications, including .airforce, .army, .navy and my favorite -- .ninja. Legend has it those domains will have the power to quietly slip into other domains in the dark of night and take them out; they might even storm the .citadel, so be vigilant, Citadel Investment Group, LLC.
Exhibiting some impressive hubris, the huge Mumbai energy conglomerate Reliance Industries saw fit to apply for .indians, which would be roughly akin to ExxonMobil administering .americans.
Who applied for .mormon you ask? Not Mitt Romney. It was a Salt Lake City lawyer who once served as counsel to Utah Senator Bob Bennett.
Don't worry fantasy fans, I've saved the best for last. You'll be happy to know there was an application for .unicorn. Unfortunately, it may not become home to all kinds of new MMORPG worlds, because the applicant is Unicorn, a European IT company. I know it's upsetting, but there could soon be a place for you to vent those frustrations -- on a whole new universe of sites on the .WTF domain.