[Courses] [Domains] Choosing a domain name

Ms.Piglet Ms.Piglet
Sat Jun 12 06:46:28 EST 2004

Another consideration when choosing/registering a domain: the 
confusion/competition/embarrassment factor.  This particularly applies 
if you're registering a business.  (This is mostly an issue for 
websites rather than email.)

Let's say you pick example.com as the domain you want, and it's 
available.  Do you need to even bother taking a look at .net and .org?

Yep.  Because people *are* going to get confused and type the wrong 
ending looking for your website.

If they're taken: who has them?  What are their function?

If it's somebody who would be a serious competitor of yours, you might 
want to reconsider. Say  you're starting a consulting business in Los 
Angeles, California and want to use edlinux.com to denote Edie Dannon's 
Linux Consulting. If edlinux.net is Edward Dobber's Linux Consulting of 
Santa Monica, you might get some of his customers by accident, but he 
might get some of yours, and it could even end up in court with him 
accusing you of picking the domain specifically to damage his business 
and confuse his customers.

If edlinux.org is Edlin Utterback's X-Rated Girlz Girlz Girlz, you're 
going to be embarrassed one way or another, sooner or later.

On the other hand, if you're looking at suzy.com for Suzy Smith's 
consulting in Seattle, and suzy.net is is Suzy Jones' florist business 
in Atlanta and suzy.org is Sabras United Zionist Youth of New York, a 
club for Israeli-born teenagers living in NYC, you're probably okay.  
Folks will just look at those sites and say "oops, must be the wrong 
place."  Of course, there's always the chance one of them will let 
their domain lapse and it will become Lookie Suzy Nekkid.

What if they're *not* taken?  Now you have to consider a couple of 
possibilities: that a competitor (or porn site) will notice that your 
domain is taken and grab the others to create confusion or take 
advantage of the confused---or that a squatter will grab them up.  
Given how cheap domains are to acquire these days, you may want to 
seriously consider getting all three and having .net and .org set by 
your hosting folks to point at .com---keeps it from becoming a problem 
down the road.

Particularly if you think or hope your business might become a *big* 
business someday, you might want to particularly look for domain names 
where you can get all three.  You may even want to consider what 
mistakes people are apt to make spelling your domain and get those if 
possible: for example, genealogy.com, which also runs message boards at 
genforum.com, also owns geneology.com and jenforum.com; ancestry.com 
also owns ancestory.com.  Common misspellings are often targets of 
unscrupulous competitors, rip-off artists, or porn site folks.  I don't 
know if it's still true, but angelfire.com had a running problem with 
anglefire.com being a disreputable site.


On Jun 12, 2004, at 01:08, Mary wrote:

>   If you are based in a single nation outside the US, I'd suggest 
> getting a
>   domain under your country's TLD. Certainly, this is the most common 
> thing to
>   do in Australia. If you're based in the US you could consider the 
> .us TLD,
>   but I think it's much more common to use the international TLDs.
>   Otherwise you're probably after a .com and you should curse all the 
> vanity
>   domain holders and product domains that have made them difficult to 
> find.

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