Just like in the real world, branding is everything in the online realm.
And sometimes the best way to create not only good brand recall but also good searchability on the web is to stamp one's brand name on their own domain.
Branding The Internet With Nomulus
Thanks to Google and its newly announced Nomulus domain registry platform, it may now be easier for companies and individuals to "brand" the internet with their own identity — by using creative and catchy top-level domains.
It's no longer just the brand-name-dot-com domain name format we're talking about, which proliferated during the dot-com bubble of the noughties.
We're talking about even more clever ways to craft those TLDs into addresses like .google or .chanel, all to celebrate one's brand identity and spread one's footprint and influence online.
How Google Nomulus Works
Nomulus is Java-based, released under the Apache 2.0 license, and open-sourced. The initiative makes "this piece of internet infrastructure [TLDs] available to everyone."
With this opportunity to shape the internet by naming its domains, one can already imagine the explosion of ideas just for that little snippet of the URL.
Domain names are hosted as a collection under a specific TLD. Take, for instance, all the academic websites hosted on .edu.
This is where a domain name registry, the database of all domain names, comes in.
"To manage a TLD, you need a domain name registry — a behind-the-scenes system that stores registration details and DNS information for all domain names under that TLD," writes Ben McIlwain, Google software engineer.
A platform like Nomulus operates by "conducting business" on your behalf for your domain name's registry.
In 2011, ICANN, which manages namespaces on the internet, began to carve out more space for generic TLDs to be created.
"Google applied to operate a number of new generic TLDs, and built Nomulus to help run them," McIlwain adds.
Nomulus is powered by the Google App Engine, and because the registry platform also relies on the Google Cloud Platform, it can handle the breadth of information that will soon be created, whether it's by a company or an individual.
Google's Top-Level Domains
Among Google's TLDs are .meme, .eat, .prof and .rsvp. As for companies that want to brand their own domain names, Google writes:
"The internet has always been first and foremost about self-expression, and the dawn of this era of hundreds of new domains marks one of the most unpredictable moments in the history of a highly unpredictable medium."
Check out some of Google's other TLD ideas in the chart below: