Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here.
This evening I found out from Webhostingtalk that the Swedish domain registry (.se) is giving away free .se domain registrations until December 31, 2006. It seems similar to the free .be domains from last year. However, there is a catch – you can only get a free internationalized domain name. Internationalized domain names (see ICANN for the technical details) have non-ASCII characters in the URL.
This was the first time I’d heard of internationalized domain names. It’s so cool – you can not only have domain names that aren’t english like 愛我.com (which is chinese) or parlez-français.com, but also domain names like smile☺.com. (Note: none of the domains have been registered yet, so the links don’t work.) And now there is a much bigger pool of domain names to choose from.
There are some downsides. Not all browsers support it – for example IE 6 doesn’t. To get it recognized on browsers and other programs, the characters are converted to punycode. When converted to punycode, the resulting URLs look rather ugly to me. If I were to register español.com, the resulting URL in punycode would be xn—habla-espaol-jhb.com. And if I were to get an email from one of those domains and I can only see the punycode translation, I’d think it would look quite spammy. (Note: all of the translations have an “xn—” prefix, so that’s a good way to recognize them.)
Back to the free .se domains. I am not planning on registering one. I once registered a .info domain when those were being offered for free, and I did absolutely nothing with it, and just let it expire after the first year was over.
But, that hasn’t stopped me from thinking up witty domain names all evening:
databå.se. This was the first one that popped into my head. I wanted something that looked readable like English, but with the a, o, u, and e characters replaced with å,ä, ö, ü, or é. According to this, they’re needed to satisfy the internationalized domain name requirement and they are the only non-english characters allowed. But after thinking about it, it’s not a good name, because there are multiple spelling variations: dåtåbå.se, dätäbä.se, dätaba.se, and so on.
süppö.se, mörö.se. löö.se, impö.se. I like these. The letter “a” isn’t in any of these so it’s less ambiguous as you don’t have to remember whether to use å or ä.
öbé.se. Umm. I asked my brother to think of some words and that’s what he came up with. The accent on the e would make me pronounce the word wrong though. Same with whitérö.se.
pöi.se, pörpöi.se, türtöi.se. Argh, I really like these.
I could go on!
You are welcome to register any of the above, if you like. And if you have any good suggestions, comment! I want to hear them.
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