ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has officially opened the doors for registration of .ME domains today.
With .ME registration available immediately, it's a first-come first-served landrush for the best domains. If you were hoping to get something catchy, however, you might be a little late: trademark owners have been able to reserve domains since May, and reservations for domains from members of the public have been allowed since June. According to figures released by the official registry
for the new TLD approximately 30,000 registration requests have been received so far. With an 'average educated person' having a vocabulary of approximately 20,000 words
it's fair to say that the really memorable verbs are long gone.
Where the registry has received multiple applications for the same word – quite likely in the case of popular words like 'to' and 'with' – or where the registry believes there is a 'high value', the relevant domains will be auctioned off rather than sold outright. While this smacks of organised domain squatting, it's their TLD so it's their rules.
The .ME domain, in common with many other 'repurposed' GTLDs like .tv, started off as a country-specific top-level domain. Assigned to Montenegro after it gained independence in June 2006 by the ISO 3165 Maintenance Agency, the domain holders quickly applied for delegation rights in order to monetise what is clearly a desirable suffix. The official decision to allow delegation was given in September of last year, which allowed the government of Montenegro to repurpose the TLD as a generic namespace. The Montenegro-based joint venture doMEn
is the current official registrar for .ME domains.
Will you be attempting to snag your own little bit of .ME internet space, or is it one generic TLD too many? Share your thoughts over in the forums