Chances are that most Realtors are aware that a new “top-level domain” — .realtor — will debut this week. The National Association of Realtors, which won the right to administer the domain, will give away 500,000 .realtor domains to members on a first-come, first-served basis.

But even some who apply for their own .realtor domain may not realize that the rollout of .realtor TLDs is just one part of a historic expansion of the domain name system by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Where there were previously just 22 “genericTLDs” — including the familiar .com, .edu, .org and .gov — ICANN has laid the groundwork for potentially thousands of new TLDs, to be created and managed by communities, governments, businesses and brands.

This week, new TLDs making their debut will include .army, .navy, .airforce, and a strange “mobile friendly” domain, .ooo, Domain Name Wire’s Andrew Allemann reports.

Allemann sees NAR’s launch of .realtor as a “key moment” in ICANN’s TLD program, “assuming the National Association of Realtors doesn’t screw it up.”

Allemann has predicted that “IF a lot of Realtors take them up on the offer and IF they use the domains, this could give a lot of visibility to top-level domain names.”

For that to happen, “NAR will need to make it very easy for Realtors to forward the domains or set up websites. If I were a portfolio applicant, even one with competing real estate domains, I’d see if I could lend a hand to NAR to make this launch successful.” Source:

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