The other day I was going down the road and passed a car for a cleaning service. It was all wrapped and colorful with the domain on the back window that ended in “.cleaning”. I thought nothing of it and continued my drive. Then I realized something—have the vanity extensions (for lack of a better word) become commonplace as the Internet has grown?
While travel was one of the first industries to have a computer on each desktop, we were somewhat late to the game in adapting to the Internet. Maybe we did not want to get into bed with our competition…who knows. I started in the industry as a franchisee of Carlson-Wagonlit Travel and our website was merely a sub-domain of the franchisors. Very much a cookie cutter site. Very little functionality. Carlson updated it with the deals and programs they negotiated. Looking back, it was really nothing special. By the time I (and I think many of my colleagues) got around to buying their own domains, most of the good ones were taken. We were forced to either have incredibly long names, ones with hyphens or (heaven forbid) underscores which were all very unmemorable. Personally, rather than go that route, I opted for a .net domain. Sure it was not the coveted .com, but it was close. And as my professional career has moved forward, the .net has become more of a personal trademark for me. I do not look for the .com any longer.
But as I looked at that car, I began to wonder…are the newer “vanity” domain extensions working? I think so. I did not bat an eye at thelmaandlouise.cleaning driving down the road. It actually might have been more memorable for me. But that was not always the case. Does anyone remember del.icio.us? It was one of the first social bookmarking sites and is now owned by Yahoo or Verizon. Great play on words and used the .us to finish their name. GoodTripsTravel.com was (surprisingly) available until I just bought it for $12.17. But I wonder if GoodTrips.Travel would be equally recognizable? I think so and I will pursue that–.travel is somewhat restricted and you need to provide documentation before issuance.
But there are some others out there that look very interesting. What about .holiday, .tours, .cruises, .flights, .vacations, or .voyage? You can check out some of the choices here.
Do you have a “vanity” domain? Does it work for you? I’m curious!