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Three Reasons To Register An XXX Domain – Or Not!

.XXX is on the way and there appears no way to stop it.

So what to do, buy in or ignore it? There are probably more reasons to register an .XXX domain than the three I’m proposing, but these are the only three that make some sort of sense to me: first reason, you’re in the porn business; reason two, you’re looking to make an investment; three, you are looking to protect your brand.

At first glance reason number one looks like the best reason to register a .XXX; after all, if you’re in the porn business and these domains are officially for porn sites only, shouldn’t you have one? Oddly one of the business sectors most fervently opposed to .XXX was the porn industry. Porn dealers felt that making an official porn domain would only further stigmatize and ghettoize them. Not only would porn filters find it easier to keep them out, but paying customers would stay away to avoid being stereotyped dirty-old-men (or women) by search bots and cookies; every industry has dot-coms, but only one will use dot-xxx.

Reason number two, buying .XXX as an investment, looks like a loser at the moment. For one thing they’re expensive, selling in the hundred dollar range; for another, how popular can they be if their own industry isn’t thrilled with them? Most porn sites are still happy with their dot-coms; they have no intention of giving them up or allowing them to be taken away without a fight. Besides, with the recent ICANN announcement allowing unlimited generic domain names, how long do you think it will be before someone with money decides to underwrite .PORN–or even better .SEX. Which do you imagine will bring a better price, .XXX or .SEX? The only thing that could change this equation is the growing opposition to ICANN’s new plan; if such powerful groups as the Association of National Advertisers have their, way the idea of an unlimited proliferation of domain names will be strangled in the crib.

Reason number three, protecting your brand, is perhaps the best reason to register a .XXX domain. Existing porn sites as well as trademarked, heavyweight businesses and national organizations of all kinds are already doing exactly that. Bet on the same people owning the dot-com “sex” and the dot-xxx “sex;” while the dot .XXX’s for “IBM” or “NCAA” will never see the light of day! The real question for each of us lesser luminaries is, can our brands withstand the existence of a porn site with the same second-level name and a .XXX? That’s a question that each individual domain-name registrant must ask themselves. Chances are they can; chances are most registrants’ don’t own all the possible domain extensions like “net,” “org,” “info,” or “co” for their brands now. Why worry about one more? And for those that think they must, you had better hope ICANN is stopped before the floodgate of new domains opens because you will never stop paying.

 

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