If you had typed calvinklein.clothing into your browser’s address bar last week, you would have reached an error page or a list of Google search results. Do it today, and your browser will redirect you to Calvin Klein’s official website, calvinklein.com. The new world wide web is upon us.
Last month, we told you that starting this week, the web would change forever, thanks to the greatest land rush in internet history. Hundreds of new top-level domain names (TLDs), which are the final bit in a website’s name (like the .com inqz.com) will go live this year. The first seven—.bike, .clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles and .ventures—have already opened to trademark and early-bird registration, with general availability to start on Wednesday. Follow the links on this Google search and you’ll find a whole bunch of new web properties that have already gone live, though they look unfurnished and in need of some living in.
Last week came the “Dutch auction” phase of the domain name sales. The way this works is that prices start high—on eNom, a wholesaler of domain names, they began at over $11,000—and then drop every day until the seventh day, when they hit their retail value. Companies such as Calvin Klein would have got theirs in the “sunrise period” when trademark holders could register at regular retail prices. But those looking for a head start, such as the people at soccerrugby.org, who snapped up soccer.guru, would have paid top penny for their new web addresses.
Nick Nelson of Rightside, a company formed by Demand Media to invest in the new TLDs, sent over a list of registrations from RegistrarStats.com, also owned by his company. The list is about 48 hours behind real time and far from complete. It only lists those domains that are set up to point at something, even if the site doesn’t yet exist (as is the case with the intriguingly named brownpeople.singles).
That means the domains registered by Apple, such as apple.guru, do not appear on the list. But pacific.ventures, which takes you to a Hong Kong-based investor, does. Still, the list offers a fascinating glimpse of the multi-faceted beast the web is about to become. It also shows which of the first set of domains are the most popular: From the early numbers, .clothing is the runaway winner, with .guru and .bike trailing some distance behind.