After years of being teased for Internet hubris, Al Gore once again is taking his MO back to the Internet. Today, he and his group, the Alliance for Climate Protection, will be lobbing for a new ".eco" domain that would be available to environmental websites. Gore's not going about it alone. His latest campaign is in partnership with Dot Eco LLC, an org started by tech entreprenuers whose mission it is to make .eco ubiquitous.
Although the prospect of this new self-defining environmental URL seems empowering at first glance, my fear is that it could end up being an insular badge that's potentially polarizing (environmental website Grist brilliantly dubbed it ".eco Chamber"). And while the domain would be reserved for organizations that, according to Gore's press release, "distribute a majority of their profits to support environmental causes" I can already envision the corporate explotation and subsequent rapid dilution of its meaning altogether.
Gore and his crew of .eco-ers will have to wait, though. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will review the proposal, which won't be decided until later this year. However for all the Internet teasing Gore gets--and surely this campaign will instigate a whole new round of comedic fodder--folks shouldn't forget, as we pointed out in our April 2007 cover story, that Gore, after all, is a master entrepreneur.