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Published January 19th 2012

Conversation: Is It Worth Customizing Your Domain Extension?

This article is about a series of conversations sponsored by Brandwatch, covering all facets of social media. To see a full list of the conversations that have taken place, click here for our archive.

Click here to hear the conversation.

The unimaginatively named but aspirationally-acronymed ‘Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) this week began accepting applications for its customised top-level domains.

The gTLD programme, allowing for generic top-level domains, permits anyone to apply for custom domain extensions.

There have been a number of these extensions already assigned, such as .aero for the aviation industry, .museum for museums and .xxx for the places we’re not supposed to talk about at work.

With the opening up of these domains to the private sector, it’s surely not going to be long before the likes of coca.cola,  apple.ipad and start splashing their branding all over our browser address bars.

While many of these multi-billion dollar businesses may be scrambling for the best and most desirable names, Neil Glassman at WhizBangPowWow has been asking Jeffrey Braverman of whether SMEs should also be considering registering these types of addresses.


In the aftermath of a rebrand from Nuts Online to, Jeffrey reveals the thought processes behind his decision against applying for a .nuts domain.

Aside from the giant stumbling block of the whopping $185,000 required just to apply for one of these gTLDs, Braverman also discusses the inherent problem of what to include before the .extension: eat.nuts? love.nuts?

Everyone is familiar with the current extensions, most familiarly and desirably so with .com. Therefore, justifying spending extra cash on an unknown quantity is terribly hard to do.

One of the main lines of thought is defensive strategy. This is the notion that companies should buy these domains to stop competitors from capitalising upon them, or even to sell them on or to host other sites under that gTLD.

Jeffrey Braverman discusses all these considerations in the conversation, and why he concluded that SMEs probably shouldn’t invest in gTLDs over at WhizBangPowWow.

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