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I was reading the following article: http://www.canon.com/news/2010/mar16e.html

It seems Canon is the first company to spring for ICANN's new policy, allowing corporations and businesses to purchase their own TLD (Top Level Domain).

I began to think... wouldn't this be the perfect thing for the StackExchange network? Especially considering this blog post from the StackOverflow blog. That way, we can have:

This won't be cheap, the fees quoted on this page are $185,000 US - but, I think it would be a worthy investment as more and more sites are launched.


Edit: I forgot that Sweden owns the TLD .se. My idea still stands... perhaps .exchange or something.

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goes off to propose goat-raising site on A51 –  Shog9 Jan 4 '11 at 3:40
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FWIW... I suspect the Swedes will want a lot more than $185K to give up their domain. –  Shog9 Jan 4 '11 at 3:45
    
I'd keep in mind that $185,000 is for a brand new TLD; if you wanted to buy an existing TLD you'd probably have to buy out every single existing domain that's on it. –  Aarobot Jan 4 '11 at 3:54
    
@Shog9: Okay, but the idea still stands. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jan 4 '11 at 3:54
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@George: I'd love to see .exchange. Especially if we could get traction behind a multiple sclerosis support proposal. –  Shog9 Jan 4 '11 at 3:57
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And the idea of sites being hosted on a ".exchange" or ".questions" TLD just fills me with so much ick. It's almost worse than being a stackexchange.com subdomain. –  Aarobot Jan 4 '11 at 3:58
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@Shog: There's no need, we already have Mindstorm. –  Aarobot Jan 4 '11 at 3:59
    
@Aaro: excellent... –  Shog9 Jan 4 '11 at 4:01
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@Shog: Someone needs to propose a new A51 site dedicated to the S programming language. –  gnostradamus Jan 4 '11 at 5:02
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FWIW, Rosinante had this idea eons -- well, months -- ago. (Shog, Pekka had yours.) –  Pops Jan 4 '11 at 5:05
    
@PopsOnDemand: HA! –  Shog9 Jan 4 '11 at 5:15
    
So, that probably gets one things like nl.canon for their site for The Netherlands? (Hopefully they won't try to use a single "Dutch" site for, among others, The Netherlands and the Dutch/Flemish part of Belgium.) Plain waste of money, if you'd ask me... –  Arjan Jan 11 '11 at 23:36
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Pick .sex, expect lag. –  MPelletier Mar 4 '11 at 18:25
    
unix.exchange is actually impossible. –  intuited Apr 16 '11 at 5:01
    
If people want to start saving for the $185k, my paypal account details are.... :P –  Phil Lello Apr 24 '11 at 5:53
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5 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

We don't have quite the funding to purchase Sweden, so .se is out. Unless… Send your $1 donation to the Purchase Sweden Fund. P.O. Box… Wait, no.

Any crazy, custom domain we could come up with would work contrary to users' expectations, and only work to confuse or mislead them.

If you saw an article that said "Go to Ubuntu.questions for your Ubuntu questions", how would you interpret that? Most users would simply stick a .com on the end. The rest… it means nothing to them.

I'm not sure I see the upside (maybe a bit of publicity, is all).

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Well, most users don't bother typing in a full domain anymore anyway, thanks to autocomplete... still, I guess it could be slightly confusing. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jan 4 '11 at 4:48
    
@George Edison: I actually looked into this and only after found the non-standard TLD's off-putting. So your suggestion wasn't completely unfounded. Keep 'em coming. –  Robert Cartaino Jan 4 '11 at 4:54
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I think it would have been a better idea if .se would have been available. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jan 4 '11 at 4:59
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Well, you don't have to purchase Sweden. Just rent it for a while to see how it goes. –  Tim Post Jan 4 '11 at 9:05
    
As said, se.com exists and from the outside, doesn't seem to be in massive use. Might be worth an enquiry –  Pëkka Jan 11 '11 at 23:34
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It's always sweden, isn't it?

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I think you will get many a toast tonight from your finnish user base. What show is that image from? Who is that guy? –  Pëkka Mar 4 '11 at 18:17
    
@Pekka: are you joking? –  Michael Petrotta Mar 4 '11 at 18:25
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@Michael nope... But then, except for the Simpsons, My Name Is Earl, and Weeds, I am profoundly unfamiliar with american TV :) –  Pëkka Mar 4 '11 at 18:26
    
@Pekka: Blame me and my American viewpoint. Late-night talk-show host of some note in the US. Sample –  Michael Petrotta Mar 4 '11 at 18:29
    
@Michael ah, of course! I knew the name, but not the face. Nice clip –  Pëkka Mar 4 '11 at 18:31
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I'm tempted to use the freehand circle script on this image... :P –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 16 '11 at 6:29
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As others have said, the Swedes pretty much have us locked out.

Now, the sorta-Dutch and .sx, on the other hand....

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Nice! So we have to somehow sink Sint Maarten. That sounds more realistic than purchasing Sweden. –  Pëkka Mar 4 '11 at 18:12
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The island's population is roughly the same as the number of active SO users. We could just, y'know, move down there en masse. "Stack Exchange: World's best Q&A network slash benevolent banana republic!" –  Pops Mar 4 '11 at 18:41
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@Popular interesting idea. The country could introduce a reputation-backed currency, exporting answers to the rest of the world. It would be a member of the EU, with all the perks that come with that. The climate seems to be a-ok as well! –  Pëkka Mar 4 '11 at 18:51
    
I call dibs on Geneve Bay. I'm building my house there –  Pëkka Mar 4 '11 at 19:03
    
@Pekka, @PD: are you proposing ... The SO Commune? Sounds eerily familiar - replace nicks as appropriate: everything2.com/title/A+jaundiced+look+at+Everything2+Kansas –  Piskvor Mar 4 '11 at 19:04
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@Piskvor It would be the first commune with a T3 connection. –  Pëkka Mar 4 '11 at 19:29
    
@Pekka: Hmm, it does look habitable; wonder whether the local water sources are sufficient for a population of that size? Good news: there are three different cables on the island (via two landings), so connectivity should be fairly solid. –  Piskvor Mar 4 '11 at 19:47
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I believe you have to have a four letter or more for a TLD. Under 4 letters are reserved.

I'd go for .stack or .questions.

apple.questions
programming.questions

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Updated the question. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jan 4 '11 at 3:56
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Technical issue: although 4+letter domains have existed for some time, much software assumes TLDs are [a-z]{2,3} - my .name domain gets rejected as invalid (and I always get all righteously offended about it ;)), I'd guess .stack would get thrown out right away with many apps. Yes, this is incorrect behavior, but given its prevalence for standardized TLDs, I fear the acceptance rate in custom ones. –  Piskvor Jan 4 '11 at 14:58
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@Piskvor well in that case, the TLD needed is .sex for Stack Exchange! Nothing easier than that. –  Pëkka Jan 11 '11 at 23:34
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@Pekka: Such proposal has been done to death, even in 2004 (pun not intended): ".sex considered dangerous" faqs.org/rfcs/rfc3675.html –  Piskvor Jan 13 '11 at 16:24
    
I hate when people kick my .info domain, like on email addresses. So frustrating. –  jcolebrand Feb 6 '13 at 17:58
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It might be practical and useful to just get some individual domains: cooking.se, english.se, etc. It wouldn't make sense to use them as the canonical locations of the sites, because there would be no way of guaranteeing the availability of future area51 graduates. But they could be set up to forward to the canonical locations in order to correct people who see english.SE written somewhere and take that to be a literal URL.

So just using them as sort of a fallback address, when they're available or can be bought at a minimal price, could be worthwhile.

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