Mark Armstrong of Automattic:
Automattic — the parent company of WordPress.com — secured the rights to oversee and operate the sale and registration of .blog domains, a new and never-before available top-level domain. You’ll be able to purchase a .blog domain at WordPress.com or through our partner domain name registrars. And again, the .blog domain will be available to everyone, regardless of what kind of site you have or who hosts it.
ICANN’s decision to allow private companies to own and control generic top-level domains was incredibly short-sighted. I think it will backfire in the not-too-distant future.
That said, I’d rather Automattic control
.blog than Google. I linked to a great article by Drew Crawford last year, but it’s just as relevant today:
My point is that if you think Google is some kind of Patron Saint of the Open Web, shit son. Tim Cook on his best day could not conceive of a dastardly plan like this. This is a methodical, coordinated, long-running and well-planned attack on the open web that comes from the highest levels of Google leadership.
Google was planning on using
.dev for internal Google use alone, and making
.blog available exclusively to Blogspot users. At least Automattic allows anyone to register a domain, regardless of their platform choice.