On TV, in newspapers, and in magazines you keep hearing about having an identity on the Internet, having an Internet presence and other IT propaganda. Simply having a website is not enough. The key to succeeding is your domain name.

The domain name game is a tricky one, but if you play it right you can make the website big-leagues. Think of your domain name as your Internet Identity. Think of it as your websites passport to fame, to glamour, to popularity, to everything that you, as a webmaster, a dream of. Picking the domain is vital.

The domain name game is a hard one to play. Every single day tens of thousands of domain names are snatched up, making it almost impossible to find a dictionary word domain. If you are one of the few lucky ones to own a simple dictionary word domain, you can make thousands selling it. If you are not, you have to be more creative in finding one for your site. You can either choose a longer, less brand-able non-dictionary word domain, a combination domain name with letters, numbers and maybe a dash or two, or you can try one of the new TLD (Top Level Domains) available.

Recently the governing bodies that control Internet TLD's decided that the current standard .COM, .NET and .ORG domains were no longer able to fill the demand and approved several new TLD's, including .INFO and .NAME. In addition to those new TLD's, we have country codes such as .TV and .CX, and New.Net domains such as .CHAT and .CHURCH.

But since Network solutions lost its monopoly of domain name registrations, a new industry has erupted with a loud bang. New, simpler registrars like Dotster.com and DirectNic.com have appeared on the scene, easily stealing millions of clients from Network Solutions. Remember the days you had to FAX in a confirmation of your identity in order to change any of your registrant information?

Do you remember having to deal with confusing verification e-mails that Network Solutions bombarded you with when all you needed to do is change the phone number of your Administrative contact? Those days are long gone. Now, all you have to do is log into your Dotster account, modify the form with your domain's information and submit it. Within hours, you are updated hassle-free.

In addition to sticking with its outdated verification system, Network Solutions has kept their pricing at a level much higher than the industry standard has lowered to. Fifteen bucks is all it takes to buy a domain for a year! Granted, their accessibility, reliability and support have improved. You can actually get into a support chat one-on-one with a tech who will answer all of your questions.

But how long can they possibly keep this up?