New Domains, Growing Pains And The .Sexy Bus

sexy-bus-adUniregistry has 2 buses going around Los Angeles, California with a .Sexy ad on them: http://areyou.sexy.

The ad was a great idea as it will increase New gTLD recognition to all kinds of people on the street. People that don’t know anything about domain names or know very little but  do visit websites everyday. I also love the color of the bus, the enormous size and the minimality of the ad. No photos, graphics or logos. Just a domain name.

But I do see a few problems with the ad and one of them is the “http://” part. When asked, Frank Schilling said that it was added in the ad because “most people will visit from iphones.. Mobile Safari doesn’t support .sexy without http yet. Early days. We’re all pioneers.”.

But “http://” is typed by hardly anyone anymore in the address bar of browsers. I think that only a few people still type it and these are the people that were first online in the 90s and Netscape would not work without “http://”.

Most of the people these days will not type the “http://” part even if they see it on an ad. They know that websites resolve with or without it. And most websites work without the www. part too. And this is especially true since the “http://www.” part has disappeared from the address bar from a lot of browsers such as Firefox.

So using the “http://” part on the ad will not help getting more people on the areyou.sexy website. Uniregistry should get in touch with Safari and other browsers and end this problem once and for all. Growing pains…

Fortunately the domain areyou.sexy was indexed by Google a few days after the bus ad was live. At first if a user typed areyou.sexy in the address bar and Safari did a Google search instead of going to the website then the user could not find the domain name in one of the search results. Now they can.

And speaking of Iphones and Safari, I must say that there are a lot of people not using Iphones like myself and a few people using Iphones but using a different browser. Enad even if the Samsung built in browser has pretty much the same behavior as Safari, Chrome works fine.

Also I was going to say that when you are using “http://” in an ad you should use the “www.” part too but Uniregistry’s Amanda Fessenden said on Twitter that the photo posted by Frank was not the final version of the ad and that the final ad includes the www. part. So this is good.

Now let’s talk about ads in general. Most ads in the past few years have omitted the “http://” part and then they started omitting the www. part too. I was thinking for a long time now that we will probably see the return of the www. on addresses. That is because while an ad with an address ending in .com always means that it is an internet address, an address with a New gTLD such as areyou.sexy might not seem like an address to a lot of people. It might look like some fancy brand writing. Uniregistry took this a step further adding “http://” but it seems very strange to see it these days.

Finally let’s get down to pure domain name marketing and domaining. I don’t agree with the choice of the domain name on the ad. I don’t really like 2 word New gTLDs and I don’t like questions in domains because you can’t use a question mark and people tend to forget it was a question when they go to type the domain name. So a lot of people may type youare.sexy instead of areyou.sexy. And of course some people will simply type areyousexy.com but this is a battle that will take several years.

By the way youare.sexy that is registered by Uniregistry as part of the 100 domains that ICANN allows each registry to reserve for it’s own use does not work. This should be fixed soon.

And the fact that the domain name is a question might make a few people believe that the website is a “sexy or not” type of website. A fun app would have helped a lot in engaging users that make it to the areyou.sexy website. The website has changed since the ad came out and it more appealing now. And at least there is a contest running…

Another problem at first was that areyou.sexy was redirecting to nic.sexy so the domain name was lost from the address bar. This is fixed now too.

So even in the past 2-3 weeks there has been huge improvement on the ad and it’s delivery but problems remain.

Finally I had a look at the 100 .sexy domains that Uniregistry has reserved for the registry’s use. I would have liked the domain get.sexy much better on the ad. Am I alone on this?

It seems that registries, registrars, browsers and of course registrants and everyday users are still into New gTLD growing pains. How soon will these be over is still a question unanswered.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

2 comments

  1. Having to type the http:// in mobile browsers is a serious issue the NEW GTLDS will NEED to overcome!!… This applies to email applications as well……This is the number one issue as I develop NEW GTLD’s…..Losing emails and mobile customers is detrimental to any business…….This is not a .Sexy issue, but a New GTLD issue….

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