View Full Version : Why Get an IDN or Country Code Domain?

2nd February 2007, 01:09 PM
A Simple Test: You're browsing the web and come across these websites. Can you tell what countries they come from?

1. expansion.com
2. phoenixtv.com
3. bigpond.com
4. themarker.com
5. truehits.net
6. bioplanet.net
7. hrinfo.net
8. railwayrecruitment.org
9. sharkproject.org
10. starhack.org

Think you can get them all right? Think you can get any of them right? I'd be shocked if anyone reading this got more than 2 correct.

Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the answers.......

This is clearly a usability problem for the web. People are confused as to what information they're going to get when they visit a domain. Click on ten similar domains and there's a good chance you'll get ten websites from ten different countries in ten different languaes.

So whats causing this problem?

1) A belief that .com, .net and .org and the only desirable domains. Sure, they're often valuable domains to have, but do they actuall suit your purpose? .com, .net and .org were originally designed to be used globally. Instead they've been co-opted by businesses and organizations that only operate in one country. Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) have different purposes. Confusing them reduces the usability of the web.

2) Poor choices on the part of the companies and organizations involved. Spain has .es, China has .cn, Australia has .au, Israel has .co.il and so on. There's no reason why these websites couldn't rebrand themselves using the extension from their own country. It would help them and their visitors. Even major organizations such as RedCross are guilty of this. RedCross.org is the website for their American branch. They need to use RedCross.us for the United States and RedCross.org for their international branding.

3) The lack of a decent, worldwide system to allow people to surf the web in their own language. People can create websites in their own languages so wouldn't it make sense to allow people to domains names in their language also? However, technical difficulties and the incompetence of ICANN, who control the system, mean that International Domain Names (IDNs) won't arrive in any organized and comprehensive way for many years yet.
The Answers:

1. www.expansion.com (Spain - Spanish)
2. www.phoenixtv.com (China - Chinese)
3. www.bigpond.com (Australia - English)
4. www.themarker.com (Israel - Hebrew)
5. www.truehits.net (Thailand - Thai)
6. www.bioplanet.net (Chile - Spanish)
7. www.hrinfo.net (Egpyt - Arabic)
8. www.railwayrecruitment.org (India - English)
9. www.sharkproject.org (Germany - German)
10. www.starhack.org (Turkey - Turkish)

Original post:

2nd February 2007, 01:57 PM
Nice post.
Might be a good exercise for the "open minded" to grasp a better understanding at some of the ascii forums.
They may want to get used to recognizing the languages so they can recognize the languages at DNJournal!