Joseph Peterson uncovers some great usage examples of .XYZ domain names.
This “love letter” to .XYZ may surprise readers who remember me as one of that registry’s more persistent critics. True that I’ve found fault with .XYZ’s inflated registration numbers and decried statements made by CEO Daniel Negari. Yet the TLD itself is separate. As a branding option for entrepreneurs or a resale proposition for domainers, .XYZ is affected by registry actions but not defined by them.
Here I want to draw attention to a couple of specific areas where, in my opinion, .XYZ has a strong case. Although .XYZ is marketed as a versatile .COM substitute, regardless of topic or industry, and that is how many people see it, I personally prefer a variety of other “Not COMs”. Where I really like .XYZ is more niche.
You see, I take those letters X, Y, Z literally. Rather than view the suffix as an arbitrary, anything-will-do domain ending, interchangeable with others like .NET or .LINK, .BIZ or .INFO, .PRO or .CLUB, let’s look at cases where .XYZ is meaningful, relevant, appropriate, superior.
.XYZ = The Alphabet
Obviously .XYZ suggests letters. That leads on to writing, fonts, typing, transcription. Some projects use .XYZ to reinforce those ideas:
iFonts.xyz – An attractive gallery of downloadable typefaces.
EmojiKey.xyz – A tool to type emojis directly from your keyboard.
Trandict.xyz – Compare machine translations in 54 languages using multiple sources.
ABC.xyz – Google’s spinoff parent company, Alphabet, uses this domain as its online address.
Transcribe.xyz – Last year, Konstantinos Zournas chose this domain as the winner in a registry-sponsored contest. Now it’s a developed site that offers automatic audio and video transcriptions powered by IBM’s Watson.
.XYZ = 3D
After you learned your ABCs, the next time you encountered X, Y, and Z would have been in the context of algebra – first as variables in equations, then in graphs. X and Y are the conventional names for coordinate axes in 2 dimensions. Adding Z puts you in 3D.
Across the world, regardless of language or alphabet, (X,Y,Z) already means 3D. Mathematics is the only universal language. Thus .XYZ has the potential to act as a shorthand for 3D in every sense: 3D graphics, 3D games, 3D printing. Here and there, that potential is actual.
Elsewhere.xyz – “Watch anything in immersive 3D” using these spectacles and an app.
uPrint3D.xyz – For the “student-run 3D printing service at McGill University”. Students encountering .XYZ in this way will take the 3D association with them after graduation.
Shaper3D.xyz – 3D CAD modeling for the iPad Pro. In this case, .XYZ is either an upgrade from or brand protection for Shapr3d.com (which lacks an “E”).
uMake.xyz – Transforms a 2D sketch or doodle into a 3D model.
3DBoulevard.xyz – 3D printing workshops and prototyping services in India. The domain forwards to a Facebook page, but it’s still a memorable shortcut.
Haxor.xyz – Software tools for 3D animation.
This is my favorite application for .XYZ because the 3D space is well defined, expanding, and ripe for a consistent recognizable identifier – a jersey for “Team 3D”, if you like. Why not? Treating .XYZ as a synonym for 3D makes as much as sense as using .IO as a shorthand for input / output processing.
Ideally, a domain extension’s brand would be based solely on entrepreneurs building quality websites. Unfortunately, while looking for .XYZ sites to feature in this article, I ran across an unusually high percentage of .XYZ websites blocked by the browser as suspicious … or ranking in SERPs but parked … or squatting on .COM brands. This is what gives me pause and prevents me from endorsing .XYZ wholeheartedly even for 3D or alphabet / script projects.
It’s no surprise to see impostors, malware, and low quality sites built on .XYZ. This is what happens when domains are given away in unlimited numbers for 1 penny apiece. Arguably, in order to maintain its high registration numbers, the registry undercut its TLD’s credibility online. If .XYZ websites are to flourish, that can’t continue.
Even cybersquatting on .XYZ sometimes points to 3D. For instance, I ran across Photoneo.xyz in search results; but once I clicked, I was taken to porn. The real site is Photoneo.com, which sells 3D scanners. Because .XYZ seems plausible in the context of 3D, I clicked on the fake.
For the record, I don’t own any .XYZ domains. No, the .XYZ registry hasn’t paid me to blow it kisses. No registry ever has. Merry Christmas, Daniel, all the same!