25 Mar Bypass a costly domain
You want a domain? Maybe you are with a startup and it needs a domain. So you go to (eg) GoDaddy.com and see if someone already has a dot com domain that you are after. If not, great! You buy it from GoDaddy for about $US12 to register it. In a year’s time, if you want to renew, the fee is also around $12/year.
The problem is that the dot com Top Level Domain (TLD) is the most popular, with about 110 million domains. This is the after effect of the dot com years 95–2000, when people gravitated to dot com domains as epitomising desirable domains. Today there are 1000 TLDs! No shortage of domains for you to pick. Why so many TLDs? One reason is there is a shortage of desirable unowned dot com domains — those with 1 English dictionary word. Speculators snarfed these up. If you want 1 of these domains, the owner might ask $10,000. Sometimes much more. Yikes!
To address this was 1 reason for the new TLDs. If you cannot afford reason.com, maybe no one owns reason.mobile or reason.info so you get those for the default (low) price.
Especially if you are a startup with little cash, what can you do? Go to a non dot com TLD, or maybe pick a name and, if it is a dictionary word, deliberately misspell it. So we ended up with Tumblr.com, Fiverr.com.
This is not so great if you already incorporated your startup as fiver. Another concern is that you want people to easily find your site. If you misspell a dictionary word, how will they, who never have visited your site before, know to also do this?
Another way is to get a linket. A linket is a string, enclosed in square brackets, [ and ]. Examples are [Reason], [Bespoke] and [Ramen]. There are currently 21,000 linkets compared to 110 million dot com domains.
You can make your site at a cheap domain you bought, like random567.com. Then suppose the word Reason aptly describes your brand. If you ask us and no one has [Reason], you can buy that. Then [Reason] acts as your brand. You point it to random567.com but you publicise [Reason].
Linkets are like a time machine taking you back to 1993. That was the first time that anyone could get a domain. Prior, only tech firms in networking and Internet research, like HP and IBM, could get domains. (Tidbit: hp.com and ibm.com are domains older than the Web.) In 1993 you could get almost any dot com domain you wanted. You can no longer do that. But with linkets you can.
How much? $US15 to register a linket. A year later, if you want to renew, it is $US15/year. Compared to going full monty and ponying up $10k (if you’re lucky) for a “full” dot com domain.
Half a mo! What about cybersquatting laws? Those are if you (eg) get a domain like cocacola.com, where Coca Cola has the trademark on its name. Avoid linkets like [Google], [Facebook], [Microsoft] etc, and you’ll be ok. Those are made up words. Stick to dictionary words and sidestep those concerns.
Look at [Fidelity]. The asset management firm Fidelity Corp of Boston owns a trademark on Fidelity for financial uses. But the beauty about dictionary words is that it is hard for a firm to get a trademark for all uses. A medical firm has a trademark on Fidelity for medical uses. So if you want to use [Fidelity] for crocheting, and there is no trademark in that usage, you’re kosher.
Linkets have other advantages.
a) Whitespace. So instead of readthis.com, there is [Read This].
b) Concise. A linket focuses directly on your brand. If you got splendid.co.uk because your brand is Splendid, do you really want the .co.uk?
c) All languages. Domains are essentially restricted to a-z0–9. Here are actual linkets in Hindi [Advisor बख्शी], Chinese [Analyst 范杨], Russian [Эльмира Кадрали ]. This is big. People using other languages have griped about the linguistic dominance of English on in Internet. Domains are essentially restricted to Roman letters. It discriminates against the Indian languages, Chinese, Arabic, Russian.
d) No US bias. You didn’t know this? .gov is for the US federal and state governments. Dot mil is for the US military. Dot edu for US schools and colleges.
1 other thing. Someone asked, suppose I want [Reason] and someone buys it. Then it is taken in the linket namespace, just as reason.com is taken in the dot com namespace, yes? Yes! In each namespace there can only be 1 brand for reason.
First come, first served.
Do not dither. If you really could use a linket and you wait too long, someone else can get it first. This is true for any given word. But across all English words, much fewer are taken in linkets. That may not help you if the specific word you need is now owned by another.
Interested? Visit Linket.info for more information. Or ask me.
Oh, and what is that furball Link Cat about? Just like the insurance firm Geico has its Gecko, Linket has Link Cat. We are a b2b and a b2c. For the b2c, we need a mascot with broad appeal. On our site are videos showing how we want to use Link Cat to outreach to many. It acts as a visual tutor, and it’s a lot cuter than the Geico Gecko.
Dr Wes Boudville email@example.com.Wes Boudville
Inventor. 20 US patents on cellphones. Founded linket.info for mobile brands for users. Linket competes against Twitch and YouTube. PhD physics.