Your Brand in Triple-X (and I don’t mean “times three”)

Back in 2005, I posted “Delay for the .XXX Domain?” .. and then I promptly forgot about it. My primary concern at the time was better filtering for routers and the Web at large .. perhaps even giving us back some ‘expected-to-be-safe’ domain names like WhiteHouse.com and Craigslist.com (don’t navigate to either of those).

In reality, there is an important branding question at hand .. with proposed changes to Top-Level Domains (.TLDs .. the .com, .net, .org, etc.), and despite assurances from ICANN (the organization that manages TLDs), it’s possible that your brand could be hijacked. Microsoft.xxx, or Google.xxx perhaps?

Not likely, of course. Powerhouse names are going to be immediately recognized .. likely, for a price. Case in point: do you recall the kerfuffle over superbowl.com? I do (but cannot find a reference; if you have one, please forward to me). Seems a fan registered the domain name and the NFL sued to get it back. I wonder what would have happened if they had just asked nicely.

Reasonable? Actually, it is. There are a lot of cases of this; pages and pages and pages of them, in fact (any of those are an interesting read), where names and variations are purchased and turned to unintended purposes.

Others aren’t so nice, and deserve some legal action .. cybersquatting is the act where someone buys a domain name and then negotiates with another to arrange a purchase. I get the ‘buy low, sell high’, and in the case of non-brand names, I see a business model .. BUT, let’s be reasonable kids .. you can presume that the deeper the pockets of the buyer, the longer the squatter is going to try to hold out, and we’re off to the courts.

Another viewpoint: in the .xxx case .. do you really want your brand registered on the web with a .xxx TLD? Probably not. Tongue-in-cheek intended here, but we have a local business called Tacoma Screw. Can you imagine the possibilities? I’m willing to bet the squatters can.

Anyhow .. I don’t think this is over yet. AdAge posts some help: “Video: How to Keep Your Brand Off of .XXX”. If you have a brand that’s worth protecting, it’s worth a watch.

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

One Response to Your Brand in Triple-X (and I don’t mean “times three”)

  1. Pingback: “Sunrise” Phase for the .XXX Top-Level Domain « OpsanBlog

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