I’ve been in this web thing for a long time. I watched as people sucked up domain names like no one’s business in the late 1990’s. Thousands and thousands (or even millions and millions) of dollars were spent to buy these names and as was usually the case, squat on them. Then, along came Web 2.0 and names like flickr.com instead of flicker.com were cool. Then, even cooler was the announcement that you could have your own “top level domain”, so I could just have http://hudin instead of https://www.hudin.com, although we’ll see where that goes. It appears that in the meantime, people are still all about eating up whatever new names that they can. I wrote an article about the Montenegro .me release last year and how domain squatters have pretty much made that name go bye-bye. If you thought you were going to start the next dating service at www.love.me, ha ha, think again.
The Africa Part
But, the reason I bring all of this up is that while not writing on this blog and not working on coding the bolts and gears driving Maneno, I’m looking at the fact that Maneno is being created to serve the blogging needs of some 45 separate countries. It’s a moderately lofty goal and if I were Google, then in order to preserve a brand identity, that would mean registering, a .ao for Angola, a .bf for Burkina Faso, a .bi for Burundi, a .bj for Benin (condolences to Benin on that one), a .cd for Congo DRC, and… oh lord, it’s freakin’ endless. You can read all the names here if you’ve got spare time to kill.
There is really no reasonable way to do this though. For one, a great number of these are already taken. For two, Maneno ain’t Google. Google is working to create a presence in each of these countries that they then market directly to. Google CoKe is all about working for Kenya. While we’re steadily working to get more bloggers in each of the countries that Maneno is being created for, we really don’t want to tie it in to one specific country only. Investment folks in the US would probably ask why we’re “just” tying it to the African continent, but that has been explained many a time before.
I guess this is all thoughts on the question as to why .org and why not .somethingelse and the answer is that it just works. Somewhere down the line when it can just be http://maneno, then we can talk again. But, I’m seeing that eventually, people are getting unstuck from the whole, “This needs to be ournewsite.com or it just ain’t gonna happen. The business model is ruined!” Even though they bought the .com version, you can see with their getting popular as del.icio.us that people can accept other domains and the .com has lost a little bit of its shine, although just a little as people work to create brands and not just a “duh” name like shop.com. Now off to register www.hud.in if someone in India hasn’t already taken it. What? They did? Ah, man…