Brands, Domains and Web 2.0

If you’re a traditional (offline) company you can create a domain name that doesn’t identically match your company name. For example, if you are “Widgets R Us” you could be WidgetsRUSonline.com or GetWidgets.com, and so on. Your offline brand and online presence don’t need to match 100%, although it’s desirable if they do.

Where everything breaks down is if you’re a pure Internet company. Then your domain is your brand. And there are virtually no domains left. Almost every word or word combination that isn’t pure gibberish has been registered. That’s why you see all these goofy and distorted new company names (unless they’ve bought the domain from someone else). It’s a backward way of doing branding.

Ordinarily one would sit in a room, come up with a brand and then establish a web presence reflective of that brand. But people nowadays have to back into a brand based on what domains are available (or pay the squatters’ extortion fees). Check out Go2Web20.net (itself an example). This a fascinating site that catalogs the Web 2.0 phenomenon in all its awkward-brand glory.

Only a fraction of these businesses will survive; so this will probably be the “Web2.0 graveyard” 18 months from now.

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9 Responses to “Brands, Domains and Web 2.0”

  1. Chris Says:

    Thanks for the link – that’s a cool site.

  2. Orli Yakuel Says:

    Thank you for mentioning Go2web20 in your blog.

    Orli Yakuel.

  3. Southland.LA Says:

    That depends on whether, or not, you desire to stay strictly within the Dot-Com domain space. Many are starting to explore other domain spaces in order to have their brand name coincide with their url. Dot-TV and Dot-US domain spaces are getting more traction. Interestingly enough, Dot-LA now has quite a few active websites from schools, to banks, to car dealerships, to rock bands, to bloggers, to not-for-profit organizations. Check this link to get a sampling of such sites: http://www.southland.la/detail.php?siteid=702410. Even Google has a website in this space via http://www.google.la. And, you can even search for Dot-LA websites in LA by typing in “site:.la” in the Google search box and click enter. Since .LA is being used by residents/businesses in LA (e.g. Southland), such a search allows you to perform a geographic search on websites not available in the Dot-Com, Dot-Net, or Dot-Org domain spaces.

  4. What’s in a (Domain) Name? « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] But if you’re building a brand around a URL, then the seven-digit prices may be justified in limited cases. (See my post on the absence of URLs and branding.) In my little local world, AT&T (then SBC) and BellSouth paid a reported $100 million for YellowPages.com and then tossed out almost everything but the URL. [...]

  5. Chri Says:

    You need to grow up. Yes, there are squatters. But domain name acquisition is a legitimate industry. Simply because some one woke up 10 years late and decided to jump on a niche not finding an appropriate name does not make the one who has the name a “squatter”.

    You need to broaden your online knowledge a bit.

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    By squatter I mean a speculator, someone who has no intention of building a business but rather hopes to auction off the name to someone who is building a business. I recognize as more legitimate those who put ads (and other content) on “direct navigation” domains (see Marchex and Seevast).

    In my case, I own the domain “gbuzz.net.” I was contacted proactively by the owner of gbuzz.com, which wanted almost $30K for the domain. I said take a flying leap.

    And when you go to register a domain a majority of the registered sites are not built or even parked with adds on them.

    Your indignant tone suggests that you are one of these people engaged in trying to sell domains.

  7. The Shakeout: Starting to Happen « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] argued previously that this site would go from a catalog of Web 2.0 sites to the “Web 2.0 [...]

  8. Recession and the End of ‘Web 2.0′ « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] previously argued that only a fraction of the businesses represented by the logos above would survive in a recession [...]

  9. Recession and the End of ‘Web 2.0′ | Trip Delivery Says:

    [...] previously argued that only a fraction of the businesses represented by the logos above would survive in a recession [...]

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