A bunch of years ago I had an idea for an espionage/action/thriller story where a bunch of mercenaries planned a coup d'etat against the regimes of either Columbia or Cameroon for the sole reason of gaining control over the country's top-level domain registry and making billions off of typo-squatting .COM.
Truth did kind of mimic fiction (minus the coup d'etat part) when Kevin Ham cut a deal with Cameroon to wildcard .CM root. Well now Columbia has decided to overhaul it's .CO root level domain and open it up to second level registations for non-locals.
.CO is being marketed ostensibly as 'Associated globally with the words "COmpany," "COrporation" and "COmmerce"', but let's face it, the activity in this TLD is going to be driven primarily by the fact that it's a typosquatter's wet dream for .COM and a goddamn headache for everybody else with a net presence built mainly under .COM.
As we've observed before (here and then here), most registrars like to whip their customer base into a frenzy to "grab your name" under every TLD that tries to tart itself up as some pseudo-generic and trots itself out as the latest "must-have" domain. Most of them aren't "must-haves" and a lot of them are quite frankly, a waste of time and money.
So it is with a heavy heart I have to come out and say this. If you're operating a serious net presence on .COM, you probably should go out and get the .CO version of your name, as much of a royal pain in the ass as that is/will be. Not to mention expensive. The base cost on a non-Columbian Sunrise claim will be somewhere north of $250 (non-refundable) and for landrush there will be a small non-refundable "application fee" but the first year registration will be over $200. Then after landrush, the cost will settle down to a more digestible level, only about 3 times the wholesale base cost of an actual .COM.
Nice work if you can get it.
We don't want to make a bad situation worse, but we won't work for free either, so we'll try to keep our markup reasonable.
What I am interested in is what our members think of this. If you have a few moments, please take the following survey on whether you will participate in .CO. For each response we'll donate $1 to the charity of your choice.
Feel free to comment as well.