Want to get ahead of the queue for the Web address craziness that is the generic top-level domain expansion? Web registrar GoDaddy has begun letting people preregister addresses ending in .uno, .menu, .build, and .luxury.
Trademark owners have groused about the hassles of defending their brand names across a vast new swath of cyberspace. The four new domain names that will go live early in 2014 may not sound like much, but hundreds more will arrive, too -- and the worries are moving from hypothetical to real.
For companies like GoDaddy, though, the GTLD expansion could be big business, and the company is eager for a feeding frenzy.
"Domain names are essentially 21st century real estate that create your namespace on the Internet," said Rich Merdinger, GoDaddy's vice president of domains, in a statement Friday. "The new naming options will open up significant inventory and give business owners and entrepreneurs, and the public in general, more relevant choices that are specific to their business or location."
GoDaddy is a registrar, not to be confused with a registry company that actually operates the domains, so it doesn't guarantee that a preregistration will mean a customer will actually secure rights to a particular domain.
"After preregistration closes and registration opens, GoDaddy will work to capture the domain name from the operator," GoDaddy said. "If multiple people requested the same domain name, it will be put to auction for those competing in the pre-registration step. If GoDaddy is unable to secure the domain name, customers will receive a full refund less any application fees."
Each of the four new top-level domains has a particular focus: .uno for Spanish-language sites, .menu for restaurants, .build for contractors and designers, and .luxury for companies "looking to appeal to a more affluent clientele," GoDaddy said.