What domain extension to choose: .com, .net., .org,…..?

This is the third part of our domain name series started two weeks ago.

Today I would like to provide an overview of the different domain extensions one can choose from, what I believe are the best uses of these domain extensions and what domain extensions should be important to you if you want to start a website.

The Leader Of The Pack “.com”
This is by far the most popular extension and was originally intended to be the domain extension for commercial business in the US. The .com is now the ultimate extension to have and is worth considerably more then others. If you have the choice always choose a .com.

The Second Tier. The “.net” and “.org”
.net and .org are at the moment really secondary domain extensions unfortunately. This is due to the .com boom over the last 10 years. The .net was intended to be a domain extension for networks and is often used by IT people. The .org was intended for an organisation is general. The .org is now mostly preferred by charitable organisations, NGOs and websites with a community flair and purpose. I really like the .net and .org and have a lot of these names in my portfolio but these extensions will never be as popular as the .com unfortunately.

The Newcomers’ .info, .biz and many others
These are the up and coming extensions that are meant to be making it easier for the ever growing internet community to be to more topic specific. .info is meant to be for information websites, .biz for businesses and their corporate websites. There are a lot more of these new extensions out there but I believe only the .info and .biz will be popular in the next 5-10 years time.

Country Specific Domain Extensions
Then there are the country specific extensions like .us, .co.uk and .de only to name three of them. These are domain extensions that are great if you have a German only website (.de) for example or if you are primarily doing business in the UK (co.uk). The only danger with these country specific domain extensions is that they are not very likely to have a global appeal and therefore will in the long run limit your general brandability across the web. This is my opinion only of course and I am sure that there are examples that can prove me wrong.

All in all it fair to say that the internet user now has a lot of different domain extensions to choose from.
My advice is this. If you have .com name then this should be your first choice. The .net is great for social media and technology. The .org is great for the whole business around green topics and sustainability. If you have not been able to get the name you wish as a .com, .net or .org then I would go with an .info or .biz. If you choose to be country specific in terms of your business outreach then a country specific extension as mentioned above might suit you.

But stay away from all the others. All of these new extensions are just ways to get your money out of he pockets nothing more.

Top 5 Sustainability & CSR News Stories this week – 26.09.2008

This weeks Top 5 Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility news stories focus more on Climate Change topics. I noticed that there where a lot of interesting climate change studies published this week. Next to the interesting Climate Change topics I particularly like second article on the importance of brand strength for sustainability.

Here are the Top 5 of this week:

Combating climate change could create millions of jobs, says UN-backed study
Tackling climate change could potentially generate millions of new employment opportunities, according to a new United Nations-backed study – the first of its kind on the emergence of a “green economy” and its impact on labour.

Sustainability credentials essential to brand strength
Authors of top 100 brand report argue that good environmental performance is becoming an increasingly important factor in a company’s brand power.

Global carbon emissions still rising
Man-made C02 emissions are increasing four times faster than pre-2000 figures.

Study: GM Gets Thumbs Up for Eco-Friendly Practices
In Web discussions and blogs centred on environmental health and sustainability, Toyota and Honda have an unlikely stable mate: General Motors, a bane of environmentalists for spending millions to lobby against fuel economy mandates.

Consumers Say Business Should Take Leading Role in Fighting Climate Change
Consumers believe businesses should bear the heaviest load of the burden to address climate change and while companies acknowledge the problem, they haven’t done as much as they could to address it, say two recent studies.

The new Blog Networks on Facebook

As a regular Facebook user and blogger I have recently come across and started using the new Blog Networks.
Blog Networks is a new application for reading, rating and finding other people who enjoy the same blogs, all within Facebook.
The purpose of this post is to introduce it and show some of the features and provide a very quick walkthrough including a screenshot.

Here is what you can do as shown in the Screenshot above.
Search Possibilities

  • Search for blogs
  • View the Top Blogs of the Network
  • Browse blogs by category such as Technology, Politics, etc

Blog Management

  • You can give 5 different tags to your
  • Add a description of your blog
  • Add selected content

Interactivity

  • You have a wall for others to post something
  • People can rate your blog. 1 Rubbish up to 5 Excellent.
  • If people go to your profile they will see that there is a box with your blog network details.

Promotion

  • You can promote your blog by inviting friends
  • Get a widget that you can put on your blog asking your readers to join your network. See widget below.

All in all I think this Blog Networks is a good addition to Facebook and I hope that this application will be a key feature of the “New” on Facebook. And for bloggers this new application is another great tool to promote their message and to get the word out. The application still needs improvement but that will come once it is successful enough in my opinion.

So thumbs up for “Blog Networks”!

Domain Name Classes – The Types Of Domain Names You Can Choose From

This is the second post of the new series on domain names. Domain names have been my hobby for a long time now and the purpose of this series is to explain what I find important about domain names.

The topic of this post will be about the key uses of a domain name across the internet. The so called domain different classes.

People, organisations and governments now make different use of domain names. Here are so called domain names classes I have identified when looking at uses of domain names.

Class 1 – Personal Names
These are domain names that derive from the person’s name. Like my blog. FabianPattberg.com. mostly used for blogs and personal websites. I have only come across one different usage. Check out MaxGladwell.com. Max is not a person but only a blog brand, very clever Max.

Class 2 – Generic names
A generic domain name features a word or words that can not usually be trademarked on their own. That is why generic domain names are so popular. They are not nonsense names (class 3) that do not make sense. An example would be OrganicFood.com or MobilePhone.com these generic names are sometimes referred to as the “Real Estate of the Internet”. Some of them can be very valuable. Parked.com (Domain Parking Service) is an example.

Class 3 – Brandable and Nonsense Names
Brandable and nonsense names do not usually have an inherent meaning or obvious use on their own and are usually combinations of words. Because there are so many combinations possible with brandable / nonsense names the value usually is not more then the registration costs if undeveloped. But if you intend to develop this domain name into a website and you have pronounceable name, then you are in a good position to create your own nice brand. Examples are: Yahoo.com or Google.com

Class 4 – Acronyms
These are interesting when you have a longer company or a phrase that you would like to use as a domain name. An example is the writers network I run. The name of the network is “The Sustainability Writers Network” and the domain name I use is TSWN.org. In this way you are making the domain names a lot more user friendly when it comes to communicating with your visitor on the web. Instead of writing the full name he/she just needs to type in the acronym.

Class 5 – Numbers
Numbers are good to remember but usually do not serve as a good and useful domain name. I have seen some websites with number domains but these tend to be trendy and web designer websites. The only examples not fitting in this is 888.com but we all know that 888 is a lucky number in some cultures.

Class 6 – Letter and Number Combinations
This is the last domain name class that is really a mix of good and bad. You can have really useful names such as F1.com but these combinations are in most cases branded and trade mark protected. The important thing here is to have a short and pronounceable domain name. If you have that then you are in luck. Other wise are these domain names useless in my opinion.

One last point is that these domain name classes can be blurred sometimes. Different cultures across the globe have different words and expressions. These then used sometimes are great domain names. But also means something else: Always check the meaning of a domain name in different cultures to make sure you are not developing a brand with multiple meaning across cultures.

Next weeks domain series will be on the different domain extensions such as .com., .org, etc.  So stay tuned.

Picture Credit: Daniel Broche

Building a Business Network Using the Web

Everyone that is doing business knows the importance of a business network. The web has given us even more possibilities to extend this business network. The biggest difference is that we can know connect with new business contacts from all across the globe with no limits. There is only one big problem. We do not know these people because we have never met face to face.
This post is about introducing you to three great places on the web where you could start building your network without the fear that you are giving away confidential information or that you are connecting to untrustworthy people and give them access to your network.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the classic and currently the largest online business networking website. Here are some tips on how to use LinkedIn to your advantage in one of my earlier posts.   LinkedIn is a must for everyone building an online business network.

ecademy
Well ecademy claims to be better then LinkedIn. I have joined and tested it. I like the idea behind it that it “enables business people to connect through online networking, at networking events and 1-2-1 meetings” (Quote: ecademy website). But there is one big problem I think. What if LinkedIn also adds all the functions you have there? Well in any case this has not happened up until now so ecademy is worth a try in my opinion.

Twitter
And then there is Twitter of course. Well what is Twitter? Bu they are very different so how can you compare Twitter with ecademy and LinkedIn? Here is what I think.
I think Twitter is a great business networking tool now will be a even more useful tool in the future. It is easy to use, you can start creating your network instantly, communication is instant and it is becoming more and more popular across the net. Here is a great post from Chris Brogan on how to use Twitter in a great way.  If you not already on Twitter and have access to the internet for a daily usage then Twitter can really make it a lot easier to build your business network.

And these are only three of a lot more business networking websites out there. In my opinion it has never been easier to build a business network using the web. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and work the Net.