ICANN, the group that decides on Internet domains (such as .com, .net, etc.) recently solicited bids for a whole new generation of "generic top-level domain names." Dan Rowinski notes that our very own Globe has applied to set up and run a domain of .boston (see all the applications).
If approved, the Globe would win the right to act as a domain-name registrar, doling out Internet addresses to anybody who wants a .boston address. Or as the Globe puts it in its application:
The .BOSTON TLD aims to become a new on line identity for the city of Boston, its inhabitants, companies, organizations and institutions, managed and supervised by The Boston Globe. ...
The internet extension is secured for the benefit of Boston and Bostonians, and is consistent with the initiatives under way for other prominent cities around the world;
.BOSTON will assist the City of Boston as a forward-looking and innovative city
Ed. snarky question: Would they allow herald.boston? Ed. answer: Possibly not, the Globe application rules out addresses that might wind up "harming the reputation and good name of the City of Boston or the Boston Globe," although more likely that would be limited to something like sucks2b.boston.
The Globe says it has the backing of the city of Boston - as required by ICANN for geographic domains - and that it would give the city a series of "utility" domain names, such as police.boston, mayor.boston, city.boston and visit.boston.
And like Fenway bricks, the Globe will seek to sell personalized domains to Bostonians, who, being proud of their city, will rush to buy them. But non-locals need not fret - the Globe says it'll sell a .boston address to anybody who wants one, such as people who want the world to know they're moving to Boston or just enjoy the city.
The Globe says it will offer reduced rates to non-profit groups who register .boston names.
The Globe says it would sub-contract the actual technical details of doling out domain names to a company called OpenRegistry.
As part of the application, the Globe had to agree to pony up $185,000 for an "evaluation" of the suitability of the proposed domain - a process that starts this month and which ICANN says could take 9 to 20 months.