The .CO Top Level Domain is the geographic domain for Colombia. It has recently been made available for general registration, and the registrars are busy hyping it as “the new .COM.” Unfortunately, there is one major downside: you have to pay $30/year for a .CO domain.
Normally I wouldn’t be too worried about the high pricing. After all, .FM (Federated States of Micronesia) domains run in the $70-$100 range. The problem with .CO is the cybersquatters.
How many people prematurely tap the Enter key when typing
youtube.com, resulting in
youtube.co, in one day alone? It’s a very common typo, and cybersquatters will start snapping up .CO domains for everything. People running moderately-sized websites will have to choose between dropping $30 every year for typo protection or letting domain vultures pick it up. Behemoths like YouTube and Yahoo will be okay, since $30 is nothing to them, but what about everyone else?
I highly doubt that .CO will be used legitimately for much other than name protection for a similar reason. It looks like a typo. If you see a business card with
www.shawnspencersdiscountpineapples.co on it, is it really “.co” or did the designer make a mistake that somehow wasn’t caught? This is particularly bad when the masses still seem to expect everything to be a .COM.
The .CO push is going to make some people a lot of money, but it’s going to cause a lot of problems for everyone else.