Sunday, June 12, 2011

African ccTLDs: Somalia Domain Names, .SO names, the next hot thing?

Somalia could be in chaos but its domain extension dotSO or .so is the next hot thing on the web. The .so landrush was open from January to April 1st. The domain is now available on general availability and users can now register names on a first come, first served principle which has given the first good opportunity for the general public to register .SO domain names. No restriction has been placed on who can register .SO domains(another lesson for ccTLDs?). In April, the registry unveiled its list of accredited registrars.

The dotSO registry, a new entrant on the scene, has piled up a respectable list of .SO accredited registrar partners including DomainMonster.com, 101domains.com, eurodns.com, indom.com, markmonitor.com, name.com amongst others.  .so has 4 labels of domain name spaces to address specific communities or interest groups as shown below:

.so                                    General purpose
.com.so                            Commercial Entities
net.so                               For networks
org.so                              Not-for-Profit Organisations

Make it .SO!
The hottest thing will definitely be the general purpose .so names. DomainMonster has announced that it will soon launch the registration of the .SO domain names. You can pre-order a .so domain name for just $24.5 on DomainMonster.com On the website, they are marketing the .SO names as "A premier domain name, .SO is short, memorable and unique. The .SO domain provides a flexible channel to promote yourself, your brand and your message online. Whether you are a business, brand or blogger, make it .SO!"

More Information:.SO is the Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for The Republic of Somalia. The technical operator of .SO is the Japanese company GMO Registry while the “sponsoring organisation” of the ccTLD is the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications of Somalia. GMO registry will be donating a portion of the operating profit to provide necessary aide for Somalia targeting children more specifically.

The policy for the TLD .SO is liberal, there are no restrictions concerning the registrants, no local presence service is needed. The registration period for domains registered during General Availability has to be at least one year and maximum ten years.