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The Ascendancy of .co 164

Posted by kdawson
from the milking-the-cash-cow dept.
An anonymous reader tipped the fact that, with the .com namespace getting pretty well mined out, GoDaddy.com's front page for domain registrations now defaults to .co instead of .com. The article claims that GoDaddy registers about half of new domain names. Neither the article nor GoDaddy makes it explicit that .co is a ccTLD belonging to Colombia, or that registering one costs about three times as much as a .com, at $29.99 per year. And if you select a .co domain name from GoDaddy's front page, a number of TLD variants are presented alongside .co — but .com is not among them.
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The Ascendancy of .co

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  • .co for company ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whiteboy86 (1930018) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:20AM (#34221014)
    .co.uk
    .co.jp
    .co.nz

    are already in use as a company designator so why not ? but what about the collision with the Colombia state domain ?
  • The right question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geogob (569250) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:26AM (#34221046)

    The question we should ask ourselves is whether or not we should accept domain name registration as a commercial practice. The moment we say 'yes' to this question, and it seems to me that this was the general answer since very early in the life of the DNS, we shouldn't neither be surprised nor shocked to see common commercial practices being used by these registrar.

    If you buy the nice looking shirt for twice the price right at the entrance of the store, it's your problem I guess. But still, there's a difference. Most of us are aware of common commercial practice to lure clients into more expensive product. We sometimes choose to ignore or forget them, but we still are globally aware of them. But, somehow, we forget that similar rules apply to online businesses as well, probably due to the lack of personal interaction.

  • Dirty business (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:28AM (#34221050)

    The internet is fuel to two dirty business: domain names and CA business. One is asking money for words, or creating ass-expensive database records, the other is selling "trust" and abusing the word in every meaning.

  • by Kosi (589267) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:38AM (#34221084)

    The easy solution would be a "use it or lose it" rule where the ownership of a domain that is just parked will be revoked when someone else would like to register it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:42AM (#34221096)

    You can trivially set up a mail account, subscribe to a few newsletters and ignore any "use it or lose it" kind of rules. The internet is more than just the web, remember?

  • garbage domains (Score:2, Insightful)

    by newviewmedia.com (1137457) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:47AM (#34221112) Homepage
    No different from .tv or any other new top level domain. It is currently possible to open up any tld you want now (.city .dog .etc) if you have around $100,000 and the capabilities to manage a registrar through Icaan. However, .com, .net .org and country tld will always be king in people minds. .travel has been around forever and nobody uses it. Expect more of the same with all these new domains coming on the market.
  • by Englabenny (625607) <ulrik@sverdrup.gmail@com> on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:53AM (#34221134) Homepage
    It's a scam to sell off .co domains as .com domains, and it should be outed as such by slashdot.
  • by Hazelfield (1557317) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:03AM (#34221158)
    Yep. When you can type in http://slashdo.org/ [slashdo.org] and get to a junk "search portal", you know it's too easy to register a domain name.
  • A money grab (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:31AM (#34221222) Homepage Journal

    Disclaimer: I loathe GoDaddy.com. Their commercials are downright offensive, their service is expensive crap, and I've known many people burned by them.

    Having said that, I can't imagine that this is anything but a money grab by GoDaddy.com. When I read this, two thoughts came to mind.

    First, they'll probably catch a lot of people who are not technically savvy enough to noticed that they're registering a .co instead of a .com. I know, how can someone be technically savvy enough to know they need a domain name and go through the process of registering it, but not know they need a .com? The easy answer is marketing goobs. Where I used to work, the marketing decided that .biz would be the next "hot" thing, and changed all of the company letter head, business cards, and ad copy to [company].biz, even though we still owned our .com name. It was a dismal failure, of course. We even got complaints from employees and customers because e-mails were bouncing due to spam systems and/or software that didn't recognize .biz as a legal address didn't work with our domain name. Eventually, the powers-that-be finally made the marketing department relent and they changed it back, but it was still an expensive, needless, unmitigated disaster.

    Second, even for technically savvy people, if .co becomes a popular alternative, it's yet one more TLD that competent businesses will have to register. Any business worth its salt now has to register [company].com, [company].org, and [company].net. I run some hobby gaming sites, and even I register those three for my sites to make sure that no one tries to squat my site names. It seems painfully obvious to me that GoDaddy wants to add another TLD--and another $30 to their coffers for every domain name registered--by "legitimizing" .co domain names. If I were dumb enough to use them as a registrar, that means if I don't want someone squatting my site name, now I'll have to register [site].co as well. Worse, I really need to make double sure that I register that one because it's so easy to mistype .com as .co.

    So no thank you. As far as I'm concerned, unless you run a business out of Bogotá, having a .co domain is like having a .biz domain--kind of stupid, and any non-Colombian business or organization that tries to use one instead of .com will be treated as fly-by-night by me, most likely a scammer or spammer.

  • Re:A money grab (Score:5, Insightful)

    by axx (1000412) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @08:01AM (#34221286) Homepage

    Small thing: many people don't even type in the domain name in full, with the TLD.

    A *lot* of people type in “facebook” to go to facebook.com, or even “facebook login” to login to facebook, completely unaware of the magic that happens behind the scenes.
    Do you remember what happened on that ReadWriteWeb article about Facebook's new login page ? The comments are unbelievable and yet. http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_wants_to_be_your_one_true_login.php [readwriteweb.com]

    Also, this is why Google knows that bit more about what sites people visit. Everytime people don't enter the TLD, their browser does a swift “I'm feeling lucky” search and takes them to the result.

    So the .com vs .co problem might not be that much of an issue these days.

  • by windcask (1795642) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @08:25AM (#34221360) Homepage Journal
    If you disagree with Godaddy's business practices, vote with your wallet and use other registrars and hosting services. What could possibly be gained by trying to force them back into defaulting to .com again? There's no guarantee that .com will stay the de facto standard for domain names in the future. My money is on .us domains, personally. But I don't see it happening, sadly; people would rather spend hours whining at lawmakers to litigate other tech companies like Facebook and Google into shape than actually stop using their services...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2010 @09:33AM (#34221630)

    Apologies in advance; this is going to be harsh... It's called capitalism - supply and demand, scarcity, etc. The hippielove ideal of the internet is long gone. These days it's nothing for a company to spend $5k, $50k or more for a generic domain that drives traffic to their site. A single magazine spread can cost that much for a month. It's not squatting or anything else you want to label it, it really is investing in a valuable asset.

    What you're really saying is that you're jealous you didn't register these names. Out here in the real world valuable things have a price tag. If you're not aggressive enough to take advantage of it then the rest of the world will pass you by in a heartbeat.

  • by kyrio (1091003) <slashdot@lurkmo r e .com> on Sunday November 14, 2010 @10:00AM (#34221766) Homepage
    If idiots stopped paying more than $10 for a domain then it wouldn't be a problem. Every time I've contacted a domain owner about a domain I laugh at them and re-offer $10 for their shitty domain when they tell me it "costs $595".

    The problem is that you have idiots accepting ridiculous amounts for worthless domains when the domain doesn't even matter anymore. I've been to many a site with a meaningless domain or a domain that is very long or a domain with a random tld and they've had no problem with traffic because they have a good website or provide something that people need.
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @10:24AM (#34221908) Homepage

    I have a domain that I currently use only for email but it is still in use. The Web is not the Net.

    And who is going judge what constitutes "use" anyway? Are you going to visit each of millions of Web sites and determine which are "real" and which are merely parked?

  • by windcask (1795642) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @11:33AM (#34222392) Homepage Journal
    I got rid of my Facebook and GMail accounts because I disagreed with their policies and their business practices. I had over 300 Facebook friends and my world hasn't come crashing down around me. People sometimes confuse what they need with what they want.
  • by lwsimon (724555) <lyndsy@lyndsysimon.com> on Sunday November 14, 2010 @12:13PM (#34222748) Homepage Journal

    In some cases, it makes financial sense to pay some. I was looking to start a gun reviews site a while back, and had a $500 budget for a domain name. I found one - I think it was gunreviews.org - and sent them an email offering $500. I got an automated response that they would not be accepting any offers under $2,500.

    Meawhile, something like "buyviagraonline.com" would be worth thousands.

  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @02:14PM (#34223686) Homepage

    Many people, are not aware that country-code TLDs (ccTLDs) are NOT governed by ICANN policies.

    ccTLDs are a whole different breed with their own unique rules and policies. The ccTLD delegated country, which in the case of .CO is the country of Columbia, has total control - the registrant has little to no recourse; ICANN likely can't help.

    Most .CO registrants don't fully realize the risks with the biggest ones being:

    * The country of Columbia could change policy at any time and take away many domains - it's happened many time before in numerous ccTLDs, including with .TM, such as Sex.TM, and even with .US as in the case of FuckCensorship.US that was retroactively deleted - google for more details.

    * Can charge any price they want - so that .CO domain one registers for $29.95 today at GoDaddy could potentially cost far more in the future to renew; no rate caps nor restrictions on variable pricing - .CO can raise prices to whatever it wants anytime for all or selectively (ie. own a real nice .CO and you could be looking at a huge renewal bill; not unheard of either - read up on .TV variable pricing practices).

    Bottom line is ccTLDs (.CO, .TV, .US, etc) are not the same as gTLDs (.COM, .NET, .ORG, etc). Buyer beware!

    Ron

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