Alternative Domain Names, as Controversial as Abortions?

alternative domain namesby Adam Yamada-Hanff

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.

I bought .ME domain name, for Me

me domain nameAbout a week ago I bought a .ME domain name which just happens to be my first purchase in the .ME domain extension.   While the domain was not my first choice for what I wanted I bought this particular .ME domain name for same reason most people buy a domain name nowadays, it was available. 🙂

Even though a lot of web entrepreneurs are familiar with the .ME domain name I know a lot of people that read and follow my website might not be.  I did write about the .ME registry accepting application for premium domains awhile ago.

Since this is my first .ME domain name I thought this would be a good time to do a quick write-up and explanation of the .ME domain extension.

What is a .ME Domain Name?

The .ME domain extension is what is known as a country code top level domain (ccTLD) for the the European country of Montenegro.  Many ccTLDs that used to be restricted for use within only a certain country, like .ME for Montenegro, have been opened up for registration to general public.  That means you or I can register the domain name.

In terms of search engine optimization (SEO) there is no disadvantage to using some ccTLDs nowadays.  Google considers many ccTLDs like .ME good for global and generic use.  In addition to other domain extensions like .IO, which Google changed their mind about.

Where is Montenegro? What goes on There?

Like I said, Eastern Europe.  Look at a map.

The most famous local that has “taken place” in Montenegro is James Bond playing Texas Hold'em Poker against Le Chifre in the movie Casino Royale.  (In the original story Bond plays Baccarat.)  Of course no part of the movie was actually filmed in Montenegro to my understanding.

As to what else goes on in Montenegro I unfortunately do no know.  Hopefully there is a lot of high stakes gambling and beautiful women.  Maybe I should go find out!

What are you going to do with a .ME Domain Name

It is not a domain name I plan to build a website on and I honestly do not think it has any resale value.  You are welcome to offer me a million dollars for it.  I will gladly accept.

If you don't offer me any money for it my plan is to use this domain as a URL shortener most likely for this website in addition to my other web properties.  While there are tons of URL shortening services there are many advantages to using your own domain name to shorten your URLs.  A lot of free URL shortener services allow anyone to pull statistics on your click through rates for those shortened URLs.  Not good if you don't want your competition to know this information.  It also enables you to brand all your URLs even if they are shortened.  In addition it gives you greater control if you take down an article and you can have shortened URLs be even shorter since you are the only person using the domain.  Also, it's just plain fun and cool.

Can you Enable Privacy on a .ME Domain Name?

Yes. I have whois privacy enabled on this .ME domain I bought through NameCheap.  What is interesting is most ccTLDs domain extensions do not allow for domain privacy but it seems with .ME they do.

How much does it cost to register a .ME domain name?

It's not crazy expensive but you are paying more each year since there are not as many registrations of the domain as more popular extensions.  Average pricing runs about $15-$17 dollars but this will vary depending the domain registrar you use.

Since there is a higher yearly cost for renewal I wouldn't register a .ME domain name and not do anything with it.  You should have a plan to use it either as URL shortener, like I will, or develop into something awesome.

Do you like .ME?

I hope you do and you like my blog.

Anyway, this is what I now about .ME domain names and the extension.  If you have anything to add or opinions about .ME, (get it?) feel free to leave a comment below.

.ME Registry accepting applications for Premium Domains

me registry

The .ME Registy has announced that they are accepting applications for their premium domain program.  This is part of the .ME registry trying to promote a wider use of .ME domains which has had some success.  Examples would include, a site where you can post a page about yourself, and Pulse.Me, an news app.  In addition Facebook uses the URL shortener and Wordpres uses for their URL shortener.

While there has been some success the .ME domain extension it really only works for catchy words.  I think is probably the best example of this since it is easy to remember and makes sense.  A lot of .ME domains just don't make sense in my opinion.

Like a lot of domain registries the .ME registry reserved premium domains.  This is in an effort to try to ensure that companies and startups can build out the domains into viable products or services rather than just having them sit there and be parked.

The .ME domains part of the premium domain program this year are;

  • Around.ME
  • Fund.ME
  • Find.ME
  • For.ME
  • Hire.ME

While the .ME registry could auction these premium domains names to the highest bidder this is a good explanation of why they are not doing that. 

Why Doesn’t The .Me Registry Sell These Domains?
Our goal is to assign the very best premium domains to the best content. If we sold them outright, large domain portfolio holders who don’t intend to build websites or offer services would likely purchase these domains. We reserved these five domains so that they would be available to be used by companies, businesses and startups that provide a quality product or service. Ultimately, this has far greater value for our domain (.Me).

Let's be honest, money with strong financial and venture capital backing is going to be a factor.  They are looking for great ideas for developing these premium .ME domains which standout though.

Out of those 5 domains I personally like Hire.ME the best since it would be ideal for a microgig competitor to Fiverr.  The domain could also be used to create an Elance and oDesk type of freelancing platform.  Alternatively it could be used for a jobs listing service.  I think in this economy any of those 3 ideas would be great for Hire.ME.

Another one I like is Fund.ME since that could be used for a crowdfunding site such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter.  Fund.ME is catchy and easy to remember.

I would submit one of these ideas myself but I seriously doubt my application would be taken seriously.  If you want to give it a shot and your name is “Jack Dorsey” than by all means apply to the .ME premium domain program.  The deadline to apply for premium domain program is June 15 th, 2013.

Maybe you can kickstart the .ME domain extension with your awesome idea!

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!