GoDaddy.com spent the weekend testing out the .CO extension as the first choice when looking up names that are available to register, the default has since been changed back to .COM. Perhaps this was a strategically planned move by the .CO registry and GoDaddy? Whatever the case it sure created a lot of buzz. It seems like every week .CO is in domain blog and even world news headlines for something. Last week it was the O.CO story – Will Overstock rebrand it’s entire online presence to the new shorter O.CO which they acquired from the registry earlier this year? Recently, even the BBC talked about .CO in an article “Colombian Domain Challenges .COM.”
Ever since the .CO extension was re-branded for public use earlier this year it has stayed a regular topic of discussion by domainers, speculators and outside observers. Registration numbers, development and support around the extension has been very positive. The .CO registry is doing a fantastic job of promoting its product, and from what I can tell that means reaching out to real world companies for help. They must be spending a mint to do so but it just may stick. Domainers/developers are starting to embrace the extension as a good alternative for domains they want that are not available or are too expensive to acquire in the com/net/org extension. It seems like every day I see heated discussions somewhere on different blogs, forums and even domain radio and tv shows about .co naturally being a better option that .net and .org since it’s shorter “CO” could stand for company or corporation.
While speaking with Lori Anne Wardi, Director of .CO during DNCruise, she made her position clear that .CO is looking for people to embrace the extension for development more so than for buying to invest or resell. The higher registration/renewal price for .CO domains may provide that barrier of entry but there are plenty of people investing in the extension for reselling purposes. Unless there is a really good renewal special next year, I think that there will be a large drop in numbers next year when renewal fees hit and people start dropping .CO domains they don’t intend to develop.