We all grew up, it seems, thinking there were only dot-coms. Turned out there were also dot-orgs and dot-edus. And dot-gov. Eventually, dot-mil. But the demand for websites kept growing, and so did demand for more so-called “top level” domains. I was surprised to learn there was a dot-fish, which is where they landed SmartCatch, hook line & sinker. And that was just the beginning.
To get geeky for just a second: the governing authority here is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which helps coordinate the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which, in turn, are key technical services critical to the continued operation of the Internet’s underlying address book, the Domain Name System (DNS). Got that? Good. Let’s continue.
What we’re talking about are Top-Level Domains, the letters that follow the “dot.” There are now more than 1,000 such domains, from AAA and AARP to ZUERICH and ZW. You can even petition ICANN for your very own.
Along the way, they came up with dot-DOG and dot-PET. There’s a dot-CAT, too, but the sponsors are proponents of the Catalan language. (Just like a cat, wouldn’t you know, won’t come when you call.) My pooch is named Stella, and, golly-gosh, there’s even a Stella.dog website. A single page headlines World’s Best Dog. And by astonishing coincidence, Stella-dot-dog Stella actually looks a lot like “my” Stella, the doggo at the top of this story.