“All the good domains are taken!” is one of the most common exclamations among new bloggers. They’re partly right. You have to be real creative when you register a .com or .net domain these days. Domains are taken for legitamate reasons most of the time, but millions of domains are in the control of “domainers.”
Domainers, for the uninformed, are people (or groups of people) that register large quantities of domains with the intent of reselling them for substantial sums of money. Have you run into a domain owned my a cybersquater (domainer)? Usually the page displayed is generic, and contains ads. Most of the time there’s also a link to make an offer to buy the domain. Yeah, it sucks that the domainersÂ taking half of the good domains and not utilizing them, but they’re not about to stop anytime soon. They’re making hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars off the domains they sell.
So how can you get a good domain with all of this going on? You have three options:
- Buy from a domainer
- Come up with a creative domain that’s available
- Look for an alternative TLD
If you just have to have that cool domain, go with option one. If you’re the creative sort, keep looking. The last option is to look for a domain with a different TLD. What’s a TLD? A Top Level Domain is the .whatever suffix on domain names. .Com isn’t the only TLD on the web. You could use a country level TLD like .us (great if you get something like www.stupendo.us), you could use .net,Â .info, or something else. There are plenty of alternatives.
Some counrtries have even made their country level TLDs available to the general web population, deciding that they don’t need them all to themselves. The republic of Tuvalu has made .tv domains available through several major registrars, and you can also get .fm and other country TLDs. .Tv and .fm are great for vidcasts and podcasts, as I’m sure you noticed.
Personally, I’ve been wanting a whole new TLD as a .com alternative. After years of wait, we’re finally getting one. Sometime in 2008, ICANN will create the “.web” TLD. It’s a general-purpose TLD that’s being introduced because of the overcrowded .com and .net. Finally! Of course, the domainers are going to have a field day, registering every word in the dictionary, as soon as it goes online. So you may want to keep an eye on ICANN’s website. I’ll probably register a few domains for future use, before their taken. I have some ideas for NTugo that would be better if they had unique domains.
So if you plan on starting a blog next year, but you’re not ready yet, keep an eye out for the .web domains!