Are alternative domain names as controversial as abortions? What about politics and hot button issues like education, guns, and healthcare? This might sound like a joke but I'm actually being serious.
Recently I posted about my negative experience mentioning IO domains to someone at a conference I had lunch with. I detailed how this domain extension, for the Indian Ocean, lost me a valuable consulting gig or a possible job offer by from the executive I talked with. I felt the IO domain extension, which in mind I would consider an alternative domain extension, really hurt my chances. I encourage you to read the post to see why.
I didn't really put down the IO domain extension but made it clear that for regular people alternative domain names are not ready for primetime. At least for a non-tech inclined audience.
What shocked me was that I got lots of nasty comments on this article the day it was posted. Usually when I write an article, even if it is meant to generate interest, it usually takes awhile for people to start leaving comments. Even with some of my really popular and fun articles like Top Gear USA vs Top Gear UK and Top Gear USA getting cancelled it can take awhile before people start leaving their opinions and weighing in. This includes when I wrote about mentioning a CO domain I bought to a family member and which they didn't understand.
My article about my experience just mentioning IO domains people jumped in immediately. (I try to maintain a clean and family friendly websites for the most part so none of these nefarious comments were approved.) Many commenters made remarks about my intelligence and how I'm not a good web consultant. How could I write such insults about the greatest domain extensions of all time? Don't I understand it's for Input/Output? What's worse is the person who didn't get what these domains I was talking about must have been “stupid” or “an idiot.” I'm fine if people don't like my services or advice but I really disagree that this person was stupid. The fact is these alternate domain names are just was not in her lexicon and probably won't be for awhile.
What's interesting to me is how much people take offense when you say anything bad about the domain name, and more specifically the domain extension, they have chosen. Clearly a lot of people like, use, and have bought alternative domain names for their business, service, or website. They really do not like it when you criticize it and feel there is something wrong with other people.
I get why these people are upset. When someone chooses to build a website on a domain name, they probably took time and care to think about it. In a sense that is their “baby.” If you make any bad remarks about where you are “raising” their kid or infer the “baby” is ugly I believe they see it as a direct insult. Not just on their brand but their abilities and the entire operation they've been working on.
I own some domains that are considered alternative, like a ME domain. I should divulge I did not buy it for building out though but will likely be used as a URL shortener on Twitter and other social networks. Also I've written about services like Short Domain Search which cater to those looking for alternative domain names that are short and supposedly easy to remember.
Even if I've written about some of these domain topics, negatively or positively, it still does not give people the right to attack me, clients, and potential clients for voicing their opinions. Most of their rationale behind the choosing these domains can be pretty flawed to a certain extent.
If you are having trouble finding a good domain, why not try a domain name generator? I've highly recommended Lean Domain Search on this fine web establishment and continue to do so. In my opinion it is the standard by which all other domain generators are measured. If Lean Domain Search does not work for you might want to check out NameMesh and Impossibility. Those are definitely great domain name generators too. If you find a domain name you like I encourage you to use NameSilo or NameCheap to register your domains.
What do you think about alternative domain names like IO, CO, ME, and others? Do you agree that your websites are “babies and kids?” Do you think insulting a person or company's domain name is as controversial as talking about birth control and abortions? Let me know with a comment below.