In 2013, the Internet will undergo a major change. No longer will domains be limited to the common .com, .org or .net with which we are all familiar. ABC News explains:
A gTLD, as Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) explained on its website, “is an Internet domain name extension such as the familiar .com, .net, or .org.” To date, there have only been 22 gTLDs, including .com, .edu, .gov, etc. But that’s about to change very soon.
Instead of the .com or .net suffixes attached to website addresses, ICANN has taken applications from companies that have applied for new gTLDs.
A new gTLD does not come cheap, however, as the evaluation fee is placed at $185,000. Among the proposed new gTLDs is the .church domain, and megachurch Lifechurch.tv wants to own it in spite of the hefty price tag. USA Today reports:
LifeChurch.tv, the high tech megachurch out of Oklahoma, entered the domain-name competition Wednesday, ponying up the $185,000 application fee in an effort to lay claim to .church as the Web faces a massive expansion of domains.
But LifeChurch has competition. Another private group has also applied for .church — along with dozens of other generic names.
Meanwhile, LifeChurch is hoping to drive up support, asking folks to let ICANN know they want this domain. Undoubtedly, prayer would also be welcome.
Lifechurch.tv’s Innovation Leader, Bobby Gruenewald, took to Twitter this week to help spread the word. His tweet leads people to a new website created to promote this cause. The website further explains Lifechurch.tv’s intentions for the .church domain:
One Domain, Many Faiths
.church domains will be open to all faiths and religious beliefs.
For churches and religious organizations
Churches, denominations, and organizations serving churches will be eligible for .church domains.
If it acquires the .church domain, Lifechurch.tv, a professing evangelical Christian church, will open the domain to all faiths and all religions. USA Today reports Gruenewald’s confirmation of this, quoting him as saying,
“We’re not trying to define beliefs or doctrine that people would have to agree upon. This is not an effort to make it exclusive to any type of belief,” he says, just as .com and .org are wide open. Source
Lifechurch.tv, led by senior pastor Craig Groeschel, is a megachurch based in Oklahoma, with 15 physical campuses across Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and Florida, and also draws a massive online audience. Lifechurch.tv also was ranked #1 in “church innovation” by Church Relevance. It seems that they intend to live up to that title in this latest pursuit.