In January 2012, thousands of new domains will become available to Internet users, including .ECO, the environmental community’s new home online.
I think .eco might be nice, but the notion that adding a new toplevel domain would increase the available name space is simply nonsense.
If you have a business or organisation, what you in fact do is capture as many as possible of the relevant (and even some irrelevant) versions of your chosen domain names
And if blah.com already exists, are you likely to want blah.org or blah.eco? Not likely – it causes confusion so you want to avoid that.
Essentially for xxxx.yyy it’s largely a single name space xxxx, and yyy is the arbitrary extension. The yyy is inconsequential to the fact that you want the xxxx to be unique – the yyy is just an optional extra identifier between commercial, organisation, educational, etc.
Domain registrars have been loving the introduction of new toplevel domains (.biz, .mobi, etc) as each domain registration makes them money! Then of course there’s the domain name trolls that register names and sit on them, offering to sell them to you. If you were to suggest that having extra TLDs is really a giant money making scam, you wouldn’t be far off. I’m sure that coca cola can afford .coke, but that’s not really the point.
So back to practicality, an ecological group might want to get .eco as its primary domain, but would also *need* to get .org so noone else does (and when picking their name ensure noone else already has it), and in addition they may *want* to get .com – so they need to get domain registrations in 3 TLDs rather than 1 and that costs. Being in the domain registrar business is obviously very profitable…
For .eco I see an additional problem: green-washing. Who decides who can have a .eco name? http://doteco.org/ is and they’re making notable effort to have a good policy in place.
But I’m sure many corporations will jump at the opportunity – you know how many corporations have “think tanks” and “research groups” that essentially plug and lobby their wares? It’s already a quagmire.