There has been a lot of action and excitement over at TechCrunch’s Disrupt show in NYC. While I didn’t get a chance to attend I have been following it through their great coverage. One of the highlights of the show was Hackathon and one things I found exciting about this event was the domain name that the runner-up’s branded around, a .IO name – Dispatch.io.
.IO which is the Indian Ocean’s ccTLD is branding themselves as “the domain powering the next generation of social websites.” Honestly this is the first I’ve heard of .IO so it was interesting for me to see that not only were they being used by real brands, but they themselves, like .CO, .TV, and .ME were marketing themselves to entrepreneurs.
This is a trend we’ve seen growing that is definitely not going-away. In the TechCrunch interview with Dispatch.io they actually pronounced the name “Dispatchio” rather than “Dispatch dot IO” which I thought was interesting, but absolutely makes sense. When I talk about Bit.ly the wildly popular URL-shortner I don’t call it “bit dot ly” I call it “bitly” which is nice and brandable. I took at look to see who owned Dispatchio.com and see that it currently goes to a Go Daddy parked page. I wonder if the Dispatch.io team will acquire the corresponding .COM or stick with their highly-brandable, already famous thanks to TechCrunch, .IO domain.
No matter how you slice it, these alternative TLDs are becoming popular for branding and at the end of the day if you put a great product on the domain the brand can take flight, .COM or not.