That means today is the first day that you can get the beer version of .com, .ca. net, .org etc… Yes, you can now register a domain name like Drink.Beer, well, sort of… more on that later.
So, what’s the reason for a dot beer gTLD (generic top level domain) or ‘domain name extension’? In my opinion it’s really just to make money for the registry (Minds and Machines) and the registrars (like Godaddy), the companies selling the domain names.
But, I’m interested to see if any sectors of the beer industry will buy in to this.
Does the beer industry need a .beer extension? The argument for the release of hundreds of these new generic domain extensions is that all of the decent .com and in Canada’s case, .ca domains are taken.
Although there is some truth to that, it’s not a full view of the internet landscape.
Combine naming creativity, and personal or geographical prefixes on domains, now throw in the opportunity to buy domains on the aftermarket and the possibility of getting a good domain name starts to look pretty favourable. Still this overlooks the numerous alternative extensions that have been in existence for a decade, plus/minus a few years (ie: net, org, info, biz, tv, me, .co etc..). Alternatives already exist and have for years.
So, who is the target market for .beer domain names? I don’t think that the company behind .beer is banking on new businesses to choose a .beer, more likely they’re hoping for existing business to feel like they need to shell out more money to secure their .beer domain.
Some businesses in the beer industry may consider protecting their brand(s) by buying a .beer domain, but I’d suggest that it’s an unnecessary measure. The general public is familiar with .com and .ca, but, even an almost 14 year old extension like .info remains more or less unknown to the public at large.
Dot beer stands a very small chance of gaining any traction within the realm of the general public versus giants like .com and .ca and any traction that may take hold would be site specific. I don’t see outlying sites, that may choose to use a .beer domain impacting the overall online presence of other businesses within the beer industry.
There are some instances that I can see the possibility of .beer being beneficial. Well. maybe just 2 instances..
1) Great Brands – There are a limited, a very limited number of combinations that make up genuinely good sounding domain names that could turn into great brands. This may be especially true if you have the time to wait for younger generations to come of age. For now .com or .ca work just fine.
Branding around and marketing a .beer domain carries a pretty significant risk. It’s still up in the air how the public will react to these type of domains, but the risk of confusion runs pretty high.
2) Social Media – namely Twitter. Twitter limits the number of words per Tweet. There are plenty of URL shortening services out there, but, having your own dot beer shortener could be a good play. The problem here is that most (if not all) one and two letter .beer domains will not be available for registration due to policies on one level or another.
Speaking of not being available, this may be a good time to revisit the previously mentioned domain Drink.Beer.
Drink.Beer is on a ‘collision list‘ put in place by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). I’d bore you to death if I tried to explain what a collision list is, all you really need to know is that nobody is able to register a name on the collision list. If anybody really is interested enough to read more on that, here’s a link to some dry reading on the subject (I think… I couldn’t get through it either).
So, what about all of the other cool dot beer domains out there? Well, I really don’t think there are many, although, I thought about trying to get Craft.Beer to forward to this site. My buying decision was easily made for me when I found out that it too was on the previously mentioned collision list.
Here’s a useful link that will bring up a list of all the names on the collision list for the dot beer extension.
If you’re still looking at getting a .beer domain, be sure to consider pricing long term. With these new gTLD’s, the registries (manfacturer of sorts) try to determine the best possible domains that could be created in each extension. Then they put a premium annual pricing on those domains that may run well into 3 figures.
I don’t know for sure if there are .beer domains out there with premium registration pricing, but, a standard registration at Godaddy.com is currently priced at $31.99 per year.
For myself it has to be either .com or .ca (especially with Craft.Beer off the table), how about you? I’d love to hear readers opinions on the .beer extension.
Do you plan on getting one for your brewery, pub, restaurant, blog…. ???
Also be sure to check back for updates as this article is sure to expand over the next few days.