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Countdown of the Coolest Domain Names

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Domain Names may only be used as link through to a website, but some people have been very imaginative when working within the restrictions of what Top Level Domains are available. So here is a count down of some of my personal favourites.

10 … ma.tt & blo.gs

This is generally referred to as a “domain hack”. I suppose in a way a “domain hack” could be anything you do with a domain name other than the standard .COM – but it is usually used to specifically refers to the situation where you try to pretend the dots, or dots, don't exist in order to make a word or phrase.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of them. May be it is partly my dyslexia, as I find reading hard enough without adding another hurdle, but I do think there is a genuine issue here. Breaks that occur randomly in names like ma.tt or blo.gs seem confusing and less effective to me. If there's any question where the break goes, then there's room for misunderstanding.

However, in the case of Ma.tt its pretty easy to remember, and given the guy's called Matt Mullenweg, he just had to make the cut – he also owns Blo.gs – that's why its included.

9 … CR.YP.TO

Again, another “domain hack”, but there is something about the way the word is split up that actually suggests real encryption – although if your encryption was this weak you wouldn't have a hope.

Add to that the fact that domain hosts information about cryptography really means this had to make the cut.

8 … Last.FM

Launched in 2002, Last.FM was one of the first on-line music streaming services in the UK to offer a radio style experience tailoring itself to the listeners preference.

Some time in the 1980's any decent radio station had moved from the whistling and popping of mono AM to the crisp stereo sound of FM, and as a result pretty much all of them had added the “FM” suffix to show off how modern and fancy they were.

So Last.FM makes a great choice for a domain name if you want to offer the radio type experience, online.

7 … who.is

“WHOIS” is the technical term for a service that Domain Registry operators provide so you can find out who owns a particular domain name or IP Address.

In theory, you must go to the corresponding registry operator to ask the question – i.e. to ask about UK domain names, you must go to Nominet, who run the registry for dot-UK. Often the registry for a Country is called the “NIC” so their home site is often at “nic.” - e.g. www.nic.uk – and their whois server is at whois.nic.uk – However, this is also often not the case.

As knowing where to go, and who to ask, about which domains is quite a fiddle, a number of sites are available that take the domain you are asking about and direct the query to the right server for you.

So what better domain for providing such a universal WHOIS service than http://who.is/

6 … x.men and oh.mg

Although these two domains don't quite go together, they are both pretty cool and they are both owned by the same domain investor, so I've put them together just to make sure the list doesn't get too ridiculously long.

All I can say to those who don't think the new-GTLDs will ever amount to anything is “what could be cooler than having the email address Xavier@X.Men?” – come on, really? May be the owner should consider auctioning X.Men at the next San Diego Comic-Con. The online auction house Metropolis once turned-up with a copy of Action Comics #1 – With a price tag of $3.2M, its the world record holder for the most expensive comic of all time, so it might be a good place to find people with big money.

And with OMG practically the chant of the generation, if you wanted to start a Caught-on-Camera video web site, what better URL could you want than Oh.MG !!

5 … unclog.it

dot-IT is the country domain (ccTLD) for Italy. There are quite a few names in the Italian domain space that make up a short phrase using the “it” ending, but this is undoubtedly my personal favourite.

I hope it goes without saying they offer drain unblocking services, in the Vancouver area. They will take a hit on their search rankings for using an Italian domain but being based in Vancouver, but I would have though it would more than pay off by giving them such a memorable domain name.

“IT” can also stand for “Information Technology” and I recent saw “office.it” at auction, which I think would look just as great on the side of the vans of a company offering maintenance & support for computers and office equipment.

There is also a gamer who goes by the name of Slay.it – with the domain name to match.

4 … insure.me

Like dot-IT, dot-ME is full of this sort of domain phrase, but this is probably my personal favourite, in terms of ones I have actually seen deployed in the wild. Despite the fact that the ME domain space is pretty well occupied, its not often you actually see one in the wild and most of the ones I have seen are used for personal identification – as in .me

But given that the purpose of a domain name is to give people a memorable way to find your web site, I think this does a good job.

Sadly, the site appears to be down right now.

3 … ☮.com

Although I'm not a great fan of Emoji Domain Names – they are pretty cool and they do stand out. I don't like them for two main reasons – firstly, they are hard to type and secondly, even once you have managed to enter one into social media, it can be a real battle to get the platform to actually recognise it as a domain name and make it clickable.

However, once that task has been completed, being a graphic not just plain text, it does really stand out.

Sadly, the Domain Name system was never designed to deal with anything other than American English text, so symbols and other languages have to exist as a kludge called “IDN” - as a result most web browsers do not display the site's name as ☮.com, but display it as xn—v4h.com instead ☹.

2 … stupid.domain.name

I love this domain name for three reasons. Firstly, it makes me laugh, secondly, I've seen plenty of domain names which have elicited this response from me and finally because it belongs to Patrik Fältström who is chair of the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee. So he presides over crucial decisions about domain name policy and maintain internet interoperability and stability.

There are too many people who take DNS, Domain Names and themselves too seriously, so its great to see somebody who genuinely has a position of real responsibility, over the entire internet, having a little fun at its expense.

1 … Will.i.am

Love him or hate him, the lead singer of “The Black Eyed Peas”, TV personality, tech investor and overall celebrity, who professionally goes by the name “Will.I.am”, has a great domain name.

Sadly, his tech investment vehicle “i.am+” wasn't so lucky with its domain name and has ended up with the rather mundane “iamplus.com” - may be plus.i.am would have been a better choice?

Conclusion

Of course, any mention of great domain names – especially mentioning of my personal favourites, couldn't go without mentioning Names.of.London, which I think is a terrific domain name.

I love the way the new Generic Top Level Domains, and a few legacy Country Domains, that are made of a natural language words, can be used to make snappy three word phrases that can often match existing brand, products or events – like Taste.of.London or City.of.London

Or they can be used to make a memorable call-to-action that can be added to posters or adverts on TV & radio – like Gifts.for.Men or Flowers.for.Mom

There is so much more than can be done with domain names than just naming a website, if only people could add a little more creativity and innovation.

 

 


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