There seems to be a growing trend amongst people at the moment to create funky looking URL’s (oh so web2.0) using not so common TLD’s and then adding a hostname or two.
Think the great social bookmarking site, del.icio.us (why is it that they don’t also alias www.del.icio.us?).
Problem is, that unless you’re going to register every variable possible, you’ll end up like my mate, Myles Eftos, who is building a web2.0 project called sa.ndwi.ch. Problem is the other variations, such as san.dwi.ch and sandwi.ch are owned by two other disparate folk, and I invariably type one of those combinations 2 out of 3 times when trying to find Myles’ site.
However, I’m not picking on him, as he is certainly not alone in this; Yahoo! property del.icio.us has competitors in their space as well, with delicio.us, deli.cio.us, delic.io.us, d.elicio.us and de.licio.us all owned by different registrants.
Another Yahoo! purchase, blo.gs is also open to confusion with b.lo.gs and bl.o.gs, not to mention w.eblo.gs. At least they also have their hands on weblo.gs.
I believe this causes great confusion out there for both website visitors, and also branding – unless you are going to grab every derivative of the country code extension, you’re just leaving yourself open to trouble. A great business (or domain) name is the beginning of a great brand. It should be memorable and create a certain feeling when heard. If a misplaced full stop can throw your website visitors somewhere else, will it be the image your business or project wants?
Image being a property conveyancing lawyer, and registering all the different permutations of conveyanci.ng or property.lawyer, etc? It could get confusing.
Now I am off to register milesbur.ke, m.ilesbur.ke, mi.lesbur.ke, mil.esbur.ke, mile.sbur.ke, miles.bur.ke and milesb.ur.ke…