BusinessWeek Gives Domain Name Advice and Artemis (.secure applicant) Reveals its Business Model

An article titled When Should Domain Names Match Company Names? was published this morning by Karen E. Klein on Bloomberg BusinessWeek Small Business Advice Section.   The post was a response to this question asked by a BusinessWeek reader:

When is it necessary or advisable for a startup to have a matching dot-com domain name? What should take priority, the brand name or the domain name? —B.E., Upland, Calif.

Klein’s response to the question basically suggests that the domain name is secondary in importance to developing the brand name.  To prove her theory Klein found a few ‘branding experts’ and used their words to try and convince readers as to why paying more to own the best .com for your business is not that important.

The advice given by the branding experts basically said if your preferred domain name is taken already you should register a weaker option by adding a prefix/suffix or using the plural, hyphen, etc.   One ‘expert’ George Tierney of Quantam Method ( said:

“Let’s say the company is Acme Toys. You find that you can’t get because someone has already purchased this domain name for the purposes of resale,” he says. Rather than pay a cybersquatter for the premium domain, he says, find a close alternative, such as, or “These alternatives will work just fine in the early days of your business. Once you have positive growth and budgets allow, you can go back and acquire the premium domain..”

First off, Tierney generalizes anyone holding a domain name someone else may want a cybersquatter. Then he admits that down the road you will want to pony up for that premium (preferred) domain name.  All the while, during the most crucial part of your business launch you might as well build up your website on that crappy domain name you settled for.  Don’t worry you’re only sending who knows how much typo traffic to the other domain name you wish you had which is in turn increasing its value so that you really pay out the ass when you try to acquire it later.  Ingenious.


In other news, Friday the folks from Artemis out of San Francisco published a press release stating their intentions for the .secure top level domain.  Alex Stamos, CTO of Artemis said about .secure in the press release:

“We are creating a safe neighborhood where you know people follow the rules and you can rely on them to do things securely..  There is not going to be typo squatting or malware.

We are going to make it really air tight so even if you were in Syria the Syrian government couldn’t hijack you.”

Ok. Not sure if that made sense to anybody.  Maybe the rest of the explanation of how the company works will register with you:

“There are all kinds of shenanigans people pull with domain names.

There will be all kinds of people squatting over the domain space and we are just not going to let that happen.

Businesses registering .secure websites will be required to verify their identity and accurately represent what they do.

If you use the word ‘bank’ or ‘brokerage,’ you will have to prove that is what you are.. You can’t just grab that domain and sit on it.

Those running .secure websites would need to install safeguards, such as data encryption and guard against viruses that could be passed on to visitors.

If you launch a website and two days later there is malware on it, we are taking it down and you will have to come to us and explain.

If companies go through a little bit of pain to run on .secure, in the end they have done themselves and their customers a great service.

If you want to be lazy, you should not apply for a .secure domain.”

So, the plan is to sell .secure domain names. I can’t figure out what kind of security is offered/guaranteed with a .secure domain or if they require that YOU have installed safeguards in place? By the way, don’t worry! There will be no cybersquatting of .secure domain names only verified businesses will be allowed their .secure domain name. 

Let’s not forget that pre-installed anti virus and malware can already be offered with new TLD’s which is the case already with .XXX, so there is no new technology or innovation in this plan.  I’m sorry but if what I see in this press release is any indication of the success of .secure, I see a huge flop.

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