The .Us domain name is finally getting some marketing muscle.
Hang around American domainers long enough and you’re sure to hear them gripe about .Us.
What could the United States’ country code domain name have been had Neustar actually marketed the domain name?
It’s not really as simple as that. By the time the internet took off, .com had become the de facto standard in the United States. The same can’t be said for more popular country code domain names like Germany’s .de.
Yesterday, I received an email from Uniregistry promoting .us domain names for only ten cents. If that seems like a page out of the new top level domain name playbook, you’re right.
“With new TLDs launches, it’s the perfect time to reinvigorate awareness” for .us, Neustar VP Lori Anne Wardi told Domain Name Wire.
Offering domain names for a dime will likely prove to be a controversial move, but Neustar has been leading other marketing initiatives to boost .Us’ profile.
For example, domainer Abdu Tarabichi saw a cobranded GoDaddy and .US ad (pictured) while strolling through a mall in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend.
Neustar is also taking lessons its acquired .Co team learned from launching .co and applying them to .Us. It has sponsored a number of hackathons, especially civic-minded ones like the NASA Space Apps Challenge.
And what’s more American than Major League Baseball? Neustar struck a sponsorship deal with MLB to promote .Us domain names to people visiting team sites.
Is all of this enough to spur interest in .Us? I suspect Uniregistry’s deal has already fueled registrations, which stood at about 1.7 million at the beginning of October. But that’s just investor demand, not consumer demand.
Perhaps policy changes can also stoke the fire.
The .US Stakeholder Council is taking a fresh look at a key policy for .Us domain names: no whois privacy. Overturning this restriction could boost interest in the top level domain name, as well as give domain name registrars greater incentive to promote the domain name because they can sell a high margin add-on.
The group is also looking into releasing previously-reserved one and two character domain names. An auction or RFP process could create additional interest in the domain.
As the owner of SanFrancisco.us, KansasCity.us and Albuquerque.us, I have a financial interest in seeing .us succeed. Maybe, just maybe, these investments will start to pay off.