Country Code Domains

image of WWW on gold

image of WWW on goldI’ve dabbled off and on in domains but have mostly avoided country code domains (ccTLD) except for specific purposes. I’ve had a .US domain for a few years and have used it for email. Since I’m a US citizen there’s little risk in me using the domain. I used it because the COM/NET/ORG were taken in the name I wanted.

There’s been other heavily promoted ccTLDs available, such as .ME (Montenegro) and .TV (Tuvalu). Godaddy has heavily promoted both at various times, depending on which was most profitable for them.  Godaddy played off the potential instability of ccTLDs when they abandoned .TV for the more profitable .ME by spreading the word that Tuvalu was sinking.

The latest ccTLD dust up is the Libyan registry’s yanking of a domain from a URL shortening service that targeted adult websites. Concern were raised about the popular URL shortener Whether or not the rules are valid or legitimate the Libyan registry can do whatever they want, just like the US registry can do whatever they want.

Columbia is the latest country to try a monetize their ccTLD (.CO) and opened up their registry to widespread registration. The popular Twitter picked up T.CO. CO is promoted as a nice abbreviation for “company” and is compared to .com. This is probably a little safer than the Libyan domains since the intent is to commercialize the registry and encourage registration. But it is a ccTLD and the country can pretty much do what they want whenever they want. They aren’t bound by ICANN rules.

I’ve avoided ccTLDs unless there was a specific reason to use one, but I was sucked in a picked up a couple .co domains. I picked up which I redirect to this site for now and I picked up another with just my initials. I figure they may be suitable as a future URL for this site and/or as a personal URL shortener.

So if registering a domain in something other than the standard TLD be aware of the risks. The risk is simple to define, the country’s registry can do whatever the heck they want.  Bitly does appear to also own Bitly,com so they may have a backup plan should be taken away from them.