All The Good Names Had Gone…

I recently came across “Vyew“, a free online collaboration tool. Given that it’s written in Flash 8 (not yet available for Linux) I haven’t actually tried it out, but it got me thinking about something else. In Vyew, you can have a “SlydeShow”, or save filed in a “VyewBook”. In other words, their branding strategy is based around their name, which itself is based around the only four-letter .com domain name they could get which vaguely fitted what they did.

Does anyone know of other companies whose branding and publicity strategies have been significantly affected by the shortage of good .com domain names?

And, as a bonus, is there anything we can do to wean end users off their unhealthy obsession with “.com” as the only TLD they will understand? Is this only a problem in the US, or is there also a culture in other countries that .com is best and .cctld is inferior? (Yes, I know the web browser .com autocomplete thing is partly responsible for this. We sucked.)

19 thoughts on “All The Good Names Had Gone…

  1. In the Netherlands, in general people will be fine with .nl domains as well, and since ‘nu’ is a word in Dutch (meaning “now”), there are some domains that use that as well.

  2. I think that if the browser started trying autocomplete with the .”country” that you appear to be living in, then .co.”country” etc etc etc and finally in LAST resort .com, you might see a change in the TLD strategy.

    Furthermore, if “.com” was only attributed to company having an office in more than N countries (and being able to prove it).

    The “.com” obsession has to be stopped. In Europe, the “.eu” was recently released BUT I’m not sure there is a rule of doing business in more than 1 european country to get one.

    Then again, you have countries like France that REQUIRE you prove you are a business to get a .fr domain, so to avoid all the red tape, they buy “.com”. I’m not sure, but a person cannot get a “.fr” in France.

    I heard (a while back), that in Canada, to get a “.ca” you had to prove you did business in 2 or more province (office wise), otherwise you could only get a .”province”.ca (as in for Quebec).

    In England, most business get a “” (some also get a “.com” by the way).

    I think it’s time to stop giving .com, .net and all the other TLDs, and start a move to etc My company couldn’t get the .com because somebody else had it, so we got the .net instead. We do business in 4 countries (France, Canada, US, Israel) and have an office and people in each country, I think we would qualify for a “.com” (or “.net”, but if I recall correctly the “.net” was supposed to be reserved for business managing the Internet).

    We need a new catchy top level domain that you could only acquire if you could prove you had an office and people in more than one country (ex., (except business ONLY having offices in Europe, where they would get a

    I think to start the revolution, you have to reverse the browser autocomplete feature and ADVERTISE it a lot. Granted 80 to 85 % of the population won’t care much on account of IE, but if Mozilla, Opera, Safari and all the alternative browsers start this revolution, maybe, just maybe we could get something done here .

    I don’t have much hope for this though. The habits are really hard to change and “.com” rules the world.

  3. yes… most people who dont use firefox (ie dont know the difference between flash 7 and flash 8, and need some1 to teach them how to use google) think that .com is the only real website, .net is for “helpful orginazations” .org is for NGO’s and everything else is for cheap bastards who cant afford .com

    its all bullshit

  4. In Poland the national TLD .pl is the mostly used one, a Polish company using .com for a Polish language site is rather strange (the only one that comes to me right now is and its subsidiary, however they both have .pl domains as well, redirecting to .com).

    As .a com domain is a lot cheaper than .pl, the .com sites are sometimes seen as inferior to .pl.

  5. In Germany, nobody cares about .com domains. Everybody uses .de for private and business issues and people only switch to .com/.net/.org if their desired name is already assigned in the .de domain space. As a result of this, .de is the most used ccTLD in the world and the second most used TLD after .com with almost 10,000,000 registered domains.


  6. There was a similar problem with nic-se in Sweden. I think that .se names were really restricted up until a few years ago. However, there are still sites that advertise on the radio or TV using .com ( and come to my mind.) In some of those cases, they are multi-country companies that lead to a choice of countries, but all of them could just as well be accessed with the .se domain and bypass that language page.

    Ironically enough, I found out that our township (Falun) owns the .com address as well as the .se address, so it sounds stupid. However, I can understand if my childhood city (Fort Collins) would want a .com to shorten the url. I mean, it must be easier to enter as opposed to, despite the wrong domain type. But that’s a long story in itself.

  7. Both are widely used in the UK, but there does seem to be a preference for .com over Personally the only advantage of .com that I can see is that its shorter and easier to say (important for tv and radio). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company using or, and every so often I come across a website that won’t take my .name email address

    I generally prefer sites because it shows that they are companies that are at least interested in the UK, and the sites are often targeted towards a UK audience (prices in pounds etc). I get annoyed when I go to a .com site and it is aimed at American’s only – eg and They should either use and, or and

  8. I believe it’s because early on (~1999) it became myth that .com’s were the ones making money (thanks to the’s,’s and all the other .com ipo’s), hence they were ‘reputable’… if I can invest in these ‘.com’s which are the latest in high tech… they must have a good reputation.

    Because of the ‘.com bubble’, ‘.com investment’ buzz phrases, I think ‘.com’ got the classified as 1st class, while the others were 2nd class in public perception.

    The media spent years focusing on ‘.com’s’. Hence that’s what people know.

    Not to mention it’s easier to say than ‘’ or something to that effect. Marketing is also a big player.

  9. I don’t think this matters much. Believe it or not, real people only know the URL of Google. For example they will type “ebay” or “amazon” in Google and click “search” or . And Firefox added to that. People dont’t even try to use the adress bar anymore. Google is their home page, so they just start writing the name of the site (myspace, yahoo, whatever) right away and klick “search”. Adress bar? WTF? If you don’t believe me, look up the live search pages, many search engines provide.

  10. In Spain until recently it was hard to get a .es domain (and they were really expensive), so almost everybody used .com and didn’t care too much about the .es because nobody could hijack it (you needed to prove that you had a business with that name, or a trademark, you couldn’t register any name that you wanted).

    Now the laws have changed and it is much easier and the .es are almost as cheap as .com so the trend has started to change, but there are still (and will be for a long time) too many webs over the .com

  11. In Australia, there is alot of use of but i see alot of .com stuff too. I think we generally as a rule use the us stuff more.
    .com i think is more seen as a global thing.
    If your a online co starting in aust, a .com is a decent choice because people from all around the world can relate.
    The americans need to start using .us – fix the whole problem.

  12. Ritchie, afaik, the only country using co.COUNTRY, is UK, hence All the rest, use com.COUNTRY, as in, or directly .COUNTRY, as in .us. I allways wondered why UK uses, instead of either, or uk directly.

  13. When we were starting our business we had to check all candidate names for availability in the .com domain. It felt rather weird, like it was not our business who had the value, but the name.

    But after all, it’s just marketing – we wouldn’t want to have a web site that is spelled differently from our company name (I think this Vyew thing has problems – noone would catch the spelling when hearing the name).

    The .com reign is a social effect of “auto-completion” in web surfer’s mind. If you happen to hear about a company named foobar, where would you go first?

  14. Doesn’t this all come back to the dot-com landgrab? Just before the bubble burst, as the internet took hold in the public consciousness, and suddenly every billboard ad included the compulsory .com address… will always be more valuable than myname.(co(m).)cctld because it represents a bigger patch of internet turf.

    The only solution is to scrap all the non-country specific tld’s, forcing everyone to use the country codes only. And if you really operate multinationally (and hold trademarks in multiple countries), then you simply have to register a domain in each. Simple!

    Now what’s the chances of that happening? ;-)

  15. I agree with marcoos, in Russia we also only use .ru, and it would be very strange to come across a web-site in Russian and for Russia that would have a .com address.

    This is likely due to the fact that the registration is open to the public for a very long time already. Some other countries like ES and US didn’t use their top-level domain, or restrict it in some ways, and that’s the reason few sites use it — after you have a site called, you don’t just change your address to

    But with .pl, .ru, .de and some others — it’s definitely more rare to see a .com than the national tld.

    p.s. they are changing the rules for .ru now, and they won’t require one to produce a national passport anymore, so the amount of domains will start growing with an even bigger pace! (Yes, I’ve had to photocopy my passport, go to notary, sing the contract and mail it to them in order to get my .ru domains. But I do think that it was worth it! )

  16. About the situation in France :
    � .fr was reserved for registered businesses, so right now it’s only companies using it. Small businesses mostly use .com, while national companies tend to use the .fr one. .fr is prestigious while .com is just neutral (unless you’re a free software or free culture advocate and favour .org) ;
    � .fr will be accessible to any French citizen in a few weeks/months thous ;
    � other TLDs are rarely used, except .org for NGO and other associations. I’ve seen quite a lot of .net, but mostly with the web/software/free software/free culture kind of sites. Not sure wether the broader audience is aware of TLDs other than .fr, .com and .org�