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.
Max Menius says
The Charlotte Mall ad is the right idea. The .10 registrations I don’t think much of, very gimmicky and not likely to have any lasting effect. The baseball promotion is a definite yes.
> “Is all of this enough to spur interest in .Us? […]
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.”
That particular topic knocks the ball right out of the park, while more home runs are also needed.
The seemingly pointless inability to use whois privacy when desired has an absolutely CHILLING EFFECT on the use of .US.
Or worse, leads one to wonder if that even really was the point.
Let’s get real: like federal law enforcement and other duly authorized entities do not have access to the whois data underneath any whois privacy if they so desire, whenever they desire, so that there is no good point whatsoever in disallowing it? Like every good point about people’s need for privacy options if they want that in this day and age is not known as clearly as the names of the colors red, white, and blue, and has not been known for years now?
I would even go so far as to suggest that not allowing whois privacy is both un-American and anti-American. It is certainly anti-social. Among everything else you can say about it, all of which is negative, the bottom line is that it is also dangerous to people, plain and simple.
Is that how we do things here?
Or do we do things here to prevent or “chill” people from using .US in ways the established elite might find undesirable or uncomfortable to their status quo perhaps?
It’s nice to see Max Menius post here now. How well I remember when .US was released in 2002, cruising from whois to whois and so often finding “Max Menius” mentioned there. Then seeing the rather nice sites he had put up on various geo-related .US domains.
So you have SanFrancisco.us and those others, Andrew? Very nice. Had no idea, though I almost certainly checked SanFrancisco.us back in 2002 and probably KansasCity.us too.
This latest marketing development is certainly a positive and encouraging move, especially the GoDaddy and MLB promotions. The 10 cent promo too.
The efforts need to be *sustained*. Sustainable and sustained.
Has it occurred to anyone now that this great ICANN “transition” has just occurred, that it casts .US in a whole new light, and elevates .US to a whole new status?
.US is now the only TLD which serves and functions as both a gTLD and a ccTLD over which the United States is now completely or effectively completely sovereign. Think about that.
Someone else can correct me if I’m mistaken, but you can now no longer say that about any other TLD on earth – not .com, .net, .org, and not even .gov or .mil anymore either.
Even with these positive, commendable and encouraging signs of life with .US, we still nonetheless stand at the very base of Mt. Denali here at home, and the base of Mt. Everest upon the world stage. The message and the tone come down from the top, however, and the message being sent from the top is still “.com.” I’m talking about the message being sent by the US of the Dot US itself, not the private commercial scene.
This is most clearly and dramatically illustrated and in effect explicitly expressed in the official US marketing and advertising for the great branches of our great military. Just recently I witnessed not even only one but two such forms of official US advertising almost back to back, for both the Navy (Navy.com) and the Airforce (Airforce.com). Even do a Google search now on all four branches – Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines (in the same order as that classic marketing song of yesteryear). You will find them all listed at the very top of the results as .com (goarmy.com right under army.mil), .com, .com, and .com.
What better, bigger, more appropriate, and more clearly patriotic and explicit use and way to promote our own Internet country code than if all these years by now .US appeared instead of “.com” for these great US military organizations and their official marketing campaigns? And yet, how astonishing that is not. Does any other forum positively cry out for it as much as these? I suggest most definitely not. It nothing less than screams for .US to appear instead, but only gets “.com.”
In the old days, just after the 2002 release that is, the phrase “sleeping giant” was fairly common to apply to .US. That or worse is sadly still the case. Whether a real awakening occurs and will be adequately and completely striven for still remains a question mark to me. These current signs are good, so let’s look and work for the best.
And while my first comment is currently “awaiting moderation,” I’ll also mention this interesting recent tidbit:
“I hand registered Rigged.us in April and got a $10,000 offer recently.” (Rick Schwartz – TheDomains.com, October 4, 2016)
Every time I’ve tried to see this promotion on an MLB team site since finding this article there has been nothing, so while it’s a nice idea to combine .US with that most American of pastimes, I’m not feeling it – or seeing it.
Andrew Allemann says
It’s on the internal pages of teams other than the Yankees and Mets. If you refresh enough times you’ll see it.
Check this out now:
“.US Hosts its Annual Town Hall Meeting”
Why am I not surprised that would be posted on a site which to the best of my knowledge does not allow you to post anonymously using a screen name?
Correction, more like they require your name for sign-up, and pretty sure I’ve been blocked a few times before trying to do so and post anonymously. But I won’t lie and give a fake name, which would be easy.
Well, it will not help unless some high profile websites are developed under .US. The public needs to WANT the .US. .10 on domain names is good incentive, however I hope their target isn’t to just make money off domainers. Neustar has failed the .US, failed the country.