ICANN‘s 34th public meeting officially opened earlier today in Mexico City.

The “hot topic” for this meeting will be “new gTLDs”.

At the meeting in Paris last year ICANN paved the way for the introduction of a whole new range of domain extensions.

While many in the media hailed the announcement as being a “free for all” and many talked of there being new extensions available within months, the reality is quite different. As some like to say, the “devil is in the details”.

Without getting bogged down in the details that will delay the launch, the new gTLDs definitely offer some very interesting openings to business and social groups.
For example, there is already an active group in Scotland campaigning for .sco, which could be used to promote Scottish identity and culture. There already is .cat for Catalans.

In essence the new gTLDs can probably be seen as broadly fitting into two categories, though some may disagree with this, namely commercial and non-commercial. You could expand that to include a third one ie. “special interest”, which would include the likes of DotSport.

All in all the next year or so should prove to be quite an exciting and interesting time in the domain world!

If you want to find out more about what’s going on I’d recommend checking out the current ICANN meeting website, as there are plenty of ways that you can participate remotely (I am, as I couldn’t attend in person)

Also worth reading is Antony Van Couvering’s excellent article debunking some of the reasons people are putting forward against the introduction of new TLDs. He’s also put together quite a few resources on the entire new gTLD process and in case you were thinking of setting one up – be warned – it’s an expensive process!