With the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announcing a new batch of internet expansion (IE) results every Friday, it’s no doubt that their plan for a bigger—if not better—internet is well under way. In a few short months, the internet that we’ve always* known will be vastly different. There will be, literally (or as literally as you can get in the digital age), vast swaths of uncharted territory on the net.
We all learned about the Louisiana Purchase in high school. We know that suddenly, with the stroke of a pen, America had a frontier. After that, it was a few decades of uncertainty and a degree of lawlessness. Lewis and Clark. The Wild West. The Gold Rush. And several different Land Runs that promised free or cheap land to anyone willing to move their families to parts practically unknown. (If you’ve seen the 1992 film Far and Away, you’re familiar with the concept.)
That’s where we are today. The ink is dried. The frontier is here. But before we can settle it, we need to understand it—which is why I worked with my company, DomainSkate, to produce the infographic you see in full below. Not to drum up business, but rather to act as a Sacagawea to your Lewis and Clark. With so many people unaware of what the new reaches of the internet will hold—and many more unaware that these new reaches will even exist—it’s important to understand what internet expansion means for everyone, not just the mega-brands that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to secure a spot in it.
Enjoy the infographic. Leave me a comment or send me a tweet. The internet frontier is intimidating, and I’m happy to help answer your questions as you begin exploring.
*Some of us, at least. Although some of us also remember a time before the internet.