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The Top-Level Domains And How To Use Them

Apr 15, 2008
The top-level domains of the Internet domain system are those having their own suffixes, and their use is governed by a very seriously policed and rigorously monitored set of rules that everyone agrees on and never deviates from. If everyone couldn't agree on the rules for the regulation of the Internet then, as an international system, it would collapse into chaos and censorship.

The top level domains I am going to refer to are .com, .net, .org, .info and the individual country codes.


The most well-known and celebrated of these is of course the .com domain name, supposedly for commercial entities, which gave a new phrase to the English language - dot com, as in 'dot com collapse', 'dot com scam' and 'lost millions when the dot com bubble burst'. For some reason, this is the top level domain everyone wants. They want to join in the fun, I suppose, and want to be the latest 'dot com failure'. For some reason, .com names are favored by that sad group of internet users called bloggers.


The .net top level domain was intended for those geeky companies or enterprises directly involved in Internet operations or systems, like web hosting or domain name registration. This gave rise to famous web and computer-related sites like fishing.net, porn.net, sex.net and girls.net. This is the second most popular domain suffix, chosen by those who were too late to get failure.com, clueless.com and wheredidourmoneygo.com.


Another popular suffix is .org, which is for the use of organizations of all kinds. Popular users of this domain type are b.org, girls.org, sex.org and porn.org. If you see a pattern developing here with all the domain types, it is only coincidence, because the internet is actually not full or porn and sex at all. This is a myth.


A newer suffix, and one you may have a chance of getting for your preferred keyword, because no-one has ever heard of it, is .info. Now I'm not going to say that this is meant for information-type sites, because frankly there are not very many of these compared with sex sites and blogs. In reality, I don't know what this suffix is for, though it has been suggested that it was a creation of the domain registration industry. Their idea was that it gave large companies another large set of trademark domains they had to register for themselves at great expense before anyone else did. Don't believe me? Well, check apple.info, dell.info and microsoft.info and see where they redirect to.

Then there are the country based names, meant for international sites and based on the International Standards Organization (ISO) country codes. Things like .us, .ca and .uk. This gave rise to famous American sites like del.icio.us, thumblicio.us, thisisby.us, and thisbelongsto.us.

As you can see, domain name owners are imaginative, respectful and very fond of following the rules both in letter and in spirit, and this is just as it should be. There should be no place for humor, satire or irreverent attitudes in the world of domains.
About the Author
To get honest information on everything to do with domain names, check my site about domain names at buteland.com.
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