The next big trend on the Internet may be the new dot-pro Web sites that will be available July 1. Or not.
Initially, dot-pro Web sites are available for accountants, lawyers and doctors. The sites, which will be named CPA.Pro, Law.Pro and Med.Pro are for professionals who prove they have met the eligibility standards of their profession.
Instead of the traditional dot-com addresses, licensed members of the three dot-pro professions may choose to use the new dot-pro address. Registration for the new addresses is underway. The new addresses provide special security features that allow encrypted communications with clients and patients as well as the proof that the owner is licensed in the applicable profession.
While many professionals have indicated they expect to reserve their firm name with the dot-pro Web address suffix, don't expect a sudden shift of all such professional firms to the new addresses. Many are registering for the new names just to protect the names and prevent someone else from taking them. The practicality of changing from an existing dot-com name to the new dot-pro name may not appeal to many professionals.
"No one knows how popular the dot-pro domain space will become," said Rich Harris, partner in the law firm Day, Berry & Howard.
Future plans include dot-pro Web addresses for engineers, architects, and surveyors. For more information about registering a dot-pro Internet address, visit the RegistryPro Web site.