After a variety of delays, the .biz domain name goes "live" today. From 00:00:01 EST November 7th, .biz names can be registered in real-time at domain registration sites across the Net.
So what should you expect if you try to register .biz names in the next few days? If the recent launch of the .info name is any indication, you can expect problems! Even though Affilias, the company running the .info registry, had many months to prepare for the launch, they were still unable to cope with the demand for .info names. At launch, their systems were totally overloaded, resulting in very few customers being able to register names. Thankfully though, Affilias quickly upgraded their systems and the .info registry is now working smoothly.
The firm running the .biz domain, Neulevel, say they have learnt from the .info launch. Indeed, they went as far as to delay the .biz launch by a full two weeks, moving it at the last minute from 23rd October to 7th November, in order to upgrade their systems. We will find out in the next few days how successful they’ve been.
Can Anyone Register .Biz?
Whilst the .info domain is open for anyone to register names for any purpose, the .biz name is intended specifically for bona fide business or commercial use. Here’s the definition given in the .biz "Restrictions Domain Resolution Policy" (RDRP):
"Bona Fide Business or Commercial Use.
Bona fide business or commercial use shall mean the bona fide use or bona fide intent to use the domain name or any content software, materials, graphics or other information thereon, to permit Internet users to access one or more host computers through the DNS:
(a) to exchange goods, services, or property of any kind; or
(b) in the ordinary course of trade or business; or
(c) to facilitate the exchange of goods, services, information, or property of any kind or the ordinary course of trade or business.
Not a Bona Fide Business or Commercial Use.
Registering a domain name solely for the purposes identified below shall not constitute a "bona fide business or commercial use" of that domain name:
(a) selling, trading or leasing the domain name for compensation, or
(b) the unsolicited offering to sell, trade or lease the domain name for compensation.
For illustration purposes, the following shall not constitute a "bona fide business or commercial use" of a domain name:
(a) Using or intending to use the domain name exclusively for personal, noncommercial purposes;
(b) Using or intending to use the domain name exclusively for the expression of noncommercial ideas (e.g., registering exclusively to criticize or otherwise express an opinion on the products or services of ABC company, with no other intended business or commercial purpose)."
Why Register .Biz?
So why should you consider registering .biz names? Here are four possibilities:
- Namespace Protection.
If you own a .com website, registering the .biz version will stop a competitor or cybersquatter doing so.
- A Better Suffix.
If you own a .net or .org web site when you always wanted the .com version, .biz could be a good alternative.
- A Shorter Alternative.
If you own a .com Website, but you’re being held back by an overly long or unbrandable name, this could be a perfect time to re-brand using a short, snappy .biz name.
- Biz -> .Biz.
Many commercial Websites use domain names that contain the word "biz". Doesn’t it make sense to be Marketing.biz rather than MarketingBiz.com?
All The Good Names Are Still Available!
In these tough economic times where every dollar matters, it would be easy to ignore this launch. But before dismissing it, bear in mind, .biz is the first domain name built exclusively for businesses around the world, and no others are planned by ICANN.
The phrase "all the good names have gone" has been attached to .com for longer than anyone cares to remember. For the next few days at least, for .biz it’s fair to say "all the good names are still available." So if you want a great name just for the cost of the registration, this is an unmistakable one-time opportunity.