newsonaut


by Mark Rogers

December 19, 2015


What's in a dot-name? Plenty

A screenshot from the aircanada.sucks website.

If you’re starting up a website, it’s tough to come up with a name because all the good ones have been taken. That’s especially the case if you limit yourself to names ending in dot-com.

And many of the other well-known endings — dot-net and dot-org — have also been snapped up. To get around that, some sites are using endings normally reserved for countries.

The British Indian Ocean territory, an archipelago south of India, is in demand among tech websites. That’s because dot-io not only stands for Indian Ocean but also input/output — the communication that takes place between computing devices.

The Pacific Ocean country of Tuvalu is in a similar situation. Sites specializing in television buy a domain from the island’s government so they can have dot-tv in their name.

Sometimes, a country’s letters are tacked on to spell out a whole word. Libya was popular for awhile because dot-ly could be used in combinations such as bit.ly — a site specializing in shortening web addresses.

That trend may soon become a thing of the past with the flood of new endings now available. When you go to register a name for your site, you’ll find that there is a dot word for just about anything you can think of.

Some new ones coming up include dot-car, dot-family, dot-theatre, dot-protection, dot-wine and dot-cloud.

It might seem like a recipe for mayhem, but I’ve seen some of the new names used in ways that actually make sense. Symbol.guide, for example, is a guide to the code needed on websites for special characters such as ampersands.

When dot-news came out, I thought it might become wide spread. So far, it seems to be used mainly by people who want to reserve it. Were you thinking about starting up kamloops.news? Too bad — it’s taken.

A particularly contentious one is dot-sucks. The idea behind it (or so they say) is to keep corporations and brands on their toes. More commonly, though, it seems to be used as a way to extort money from those same corporations and brands. If they don’t pay for a dot-sucks address, they run the risk of someone else doing it.

This is what happened to Air Canada. They didn’t buy aircanada.sucks, and now they’re paying the price.

The site is supposedly a place for Air Canada customers to share their horror stories with the hope of improving service. But as of this writing, there was not one shared story. Instead, there were plenty of stories pulled in automatically from other sources via news feeds.

Plus, there is a store where you can buy gadgets to make your flight better.

I’m guessing the owners hope Air Canada will sit up, take notice, and make an offer to buy the site. It’s hard to believe they expect to make money from the store.

Of course, Air Canada could simply counter with one of their own called aircanada.rocks. Yes, that possibility also exists.




by Mark Rogers © 2010-2018