Author: Mike Nardine
From 1985 until 2001 only government agencies could use the TLD extension Dot US for domain names. In 2002 NeuStar Inc. became the administrator with a contract under the US Department of Commerce and the privilege of Dot registration was extended to the following entities:
- American Citizens
- Residents of the United States
- Businesses incorporated in the United States
- Foreign organizations with a bona fide presence in America (charities, etc.)
And to my surprise, after a short search on the web I found evidence to indicate that the restrictions were actually enforced.
NeuStar and other registrars advertise the ownership of domains with the Dot Us extension as a sign of patriotism and pride in the USA, much the same as ownership of the extension ".In" is said to show your pride in India and its place in the modern world. Whatever you might think of this advertising ploy, patriotism and pride of place do sell in this world of ours and gives the Dot Us extension a real chance of growth.
Beside exclusivity there are a few other things you might want to know about the Dot Us TLD extension. For one thing, if the website "dot.us" is correct, you can't take it private. I was unable to discover the reason for this, but I am inclined to think it may have something to do with the very restrictions that make the extension exclusive; it would be difficult if not impossible to discover restriction violators if the extension could be taken private in Whois.
For another--and this is a great idea--the Dot Us administrators have created a directory that displays Dot Us domains by area code and invites all Dot Us domain owners to participate. You type in a area code like 55123 with a.Us extension and are taken to the lists.
I couldn't find a similar directory for.Com or.Net or.Org; such a directory could be a valuable source of advertising for any participating businesses if the idea catches on. Actually, it wasn't the exclusivity that originally interested me in Dot Us. Leafing through the net I came across an ad for the extension I found amusing: a young woman is shown boasting that instead of getting stuck with the domain name "TheLastAvailableName.Com" she was able to get "TheNameSheWanted.Us." (I didn't have the heart to tell her "TheLastAvailableName.Com" was taken too). That said, Dot Us does have far more choice names available than.Com. You might want to think about Dot Us registration to defend your Internet turf or even for your actual business address--only if you're a patriotic American, of course.
Read more: http://bit.ly/egrvxi