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Username: spot
Date/Time: Tue, October 2, 2001 at 11:26 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Subject: The future of .info, .biz and the old domains.


I don't think .biz names will be worth much really. A lot of commerce on the net is brought about as a side line to the surfing. People use the major portals to find information not because they want to buy something, but if there's a banner saying something interesting on their journey, they might click on it.

.biz websites explicitly tell you that they want money from you.
This could be offputting to people, to the point that they wouldn't bother with the site. Take MP3s for example. I might type in or without any objections, but immediately makes me think I will have to pay a registry fee or something. This will put me off and I'll go somewhere else free. But if you keep me coming to your free site and I'm really impressed I may purchase something one day, or subscribe for extra features.

The most successful web portals have built up an online community- a free resource with so much information that you can find unlimited sources of info and never get bored. It's later, when the community is established, that the business element and sales etc are introduced and it works well.

As for the other domain options, for many companies getting a .org would be inappropriate - it's almost like they couldn't afford to buy the .com equivalent off its owner. .org generates the wrong impression for businesses. I think .info or .biz would be viable alternatives, but the .biz may be more offputting to customers as it implicitly suggests hard sales.

I think .info names will be a good 2nd choice for many things, and possibly 1st choice for educational/ scientific subjects, place names etc. Much better than a .org to a business, which suggests that you're like a charity.

But a lot depends on what people do with the domains. If every .info name goes to a holding page saying 'this domain is for sale' then people will get pissed off and stop typing in .info domains in the hope that they are about the subject.

I think if people do want to sell their domain, they should always at least put some links to sites that do offer information on the topic, as well as the for sale sign. That way people may keep coming back to find sites they got to through your site so you get traffic, and globally it keeps the net flowing and helps to develop what is basically a giant fantastic encyclopedia.


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