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.guru, .tips, .sexy: The Wild West Of Internet Domains

A couple years ago, Adrienne McAdory read that the organization that sets the rules for Web addresses was going to allow people to apply for new top-level domains. No longer would there be just the old top-level domains like .com and .gov. People could apply for any new top-level domain they wanted.

McAdory liked the idea, but it took her awhile to figure out the right domain.

"I was thinking about lifestyle," says McAdory. "My girlfriends and I just had incessant conversations about 'Oh, we're not married, can't find the right guy, blah, blah, blah.'"

So she decided to apply for .wed, a domain that could host peoples' wedding websites. She had to fill out a long application and pay $185,000. McAdory used some retirement money and her dad helped out, and finally .wed was hers. Now, she can charge a fee when anyone wants a Web address that ends with .wed. She figures if 6,000 couples buy .wed websites, she'll break even.

In all, there were close to 2,000 applications for new domains: .buzz, .guitars, .mango. It looks like McAdory's .wed will have to compete with a .wedding.

If these new domains take off, what will become of .com? Will we look back and say "Oh, remember when everything was .com? That was so weird."

Tom Brackey, an intellectual property attorney, is co-owner of .menu.

".Com is like New York City," he says. "It's full, it's crowded, but it's also very vital. And these new domains are, you know, the Wild West. And we hope eventually people will build on them."

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David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.