NEW YORK -- Internet users looking to give friends and relatives an easy-to-remember e-mail or Web site address can now turn to their own name.
".Name," the first Internet address suffix created exclusively for individuals, makes it debut today. Some 60,000 addresses with the suffix will be activated by Global Name Registry, a London-based company administering .name.
Currently, Internet users with personal Web sites tend to use ".org," which is commonly associated with nonprofit groups. The company is hoping to lure people to the new domain name by billing it as easy and highly personalized.
"We think the personal space is in its infancy," said Andrew Tsai, the registry's chief executive.
For about $30 a year, people can register a name in form of "firstname.lastname.name" for Web sites and "email@example.com" for e-mail addresses. The user would still need an internet service provider for an e-mail account and Web hosting services.
'A clean e-mail address'
Ross Stevens of New York got ".name" addresses for himself, his wife and a 6-month-old daughter. He plans to set up a Web page with baby pictures and to use ".name" for lifetime e-mail addresses, which don't have to be changed whenever he gets a new service provider.
"It's difficult to get such a clean e-mail address," Stevens said. "You can't get much cleaner than your name. That was the attraction."
The ".name" suffix was one of seven approved in 2000 by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, an Internet oversight body. They are the first major additions to the domain name system since its creation in the mid-1980s.
The new names were approved to help relieve domain name overcrowding. Registration of ".com," ".net" and ".org" names more than tripled in 2000, ending the year at 28.2 million.