opinion

I Heart Dot COM

Allison Vivas

Dear .COM,

As you might have heard, there has been quite a bit of drama lately around domain extensions. In the process of muddling through the mess, I’ve come to realize something: I absolutely love and adore you, .COM. 

How do I love thee, .COM? Let me count the ways!

1)      You are the default in every browser if I do not type in an extension.

2)      You come built in on all the newest mobile device keyboards.

3)      ALL consumers already know about you, .COM

4)      You were there from the beginning and have been loyal and effective.

5)      I can get you from all the registries and you are always reasonably priced.

6)      You don’t have any crazy policies outside the existing laws that I already have to abide by and you allow us to incorporate good practices on our own. Heck, our .COM sites are pop up free, malware free, CP (we prefer to call this Child Rape) free, billing scam free, SPAM free, and true to our advertising… and they’ve been that way for years.

7)      If I have a dispute, I remain protected by Trademark law and can go through WIPO to fight for you.

8)      If anyone doesn’t own a particular variant of you, .COM, they usually own an alternate extension that makes them look oddly cheap and unprofessional.

9)      Google says it doesn’t care about extensions, but there’s much evidence to show that Google loves you, too, and loves you more than any other extension.  

 

Because I love you .COM, we will continue to invest in developing our products on you. It just makes good business sense. 

Do other TLDs get a little bit of love, too? I’m sure they do, yes.  The creativity they can be used for is good, like About.Me (who also owns aboutme.com, btw) and del.icio.us (who also owns delicious.com).  The geo-location or language based extensions make sense for some like google.co.uk vs. google.com to appreciate the customization for language or demographic, but this is also often achieved with sub domains. 

DotMobi?  Nah, seems like the sub domain has ruled that space with m dot. 

Dot Gov, okay, as a US citizen it’s good to know that the poorly designed site I’m at is truly a US government site. 

Dot EDU, ok, yes you make it a lot easier to type in a school name instead of having to type out the whole University of whatever, because those schools can’t trademark their acronyms for the most part (asu.com vs. asu.edu), but I would still trust my beloved Dot COM.

Dot ORG?  Nah, it also failed by not making itself distinct or defining itself beyond what individual organizations define themselves as.

Dot Travel? Well, easy enough to identify as a ‘no,’ as well, and how difficult it was for the policies of .TRAVEL to meet the needs of the whole community

.COM, one of the things that I love most about you is that you represent an established brand element that is unrivaled to this day in its power to say “this brand has a real Internet presence.” You have branding panache all your own, in fact, and you have allowed companies to create amazing brand names from words that would otherwise look like typos or nonsense, like flickr.com and twitter.com.

.COM I love you because you make businesses online operate like they would need to in the real world and think about brands and trademarks and maybe even think twice about investing in generic words that aren’t particularly ‘brand-able.’

Yes, .COM I love you…. but I hope you won’t get too jealous later, when I write other love letters to those who help make and support trademark laws.

 

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