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International

Dot Kiwi for dotty Kiwis

Surely few of us are going to be fooled or swayed by the use of "patriotic" domain names like ".kiwi"?
Written by Darren Greenwood, Contributor on

Surely few of us are going to be fooled or swayed by the use of "patriotic" domain names like ".kiwi"?

A group of ex-pat New Zealanders living in Canada think so, and are trying to get approval to register the domain name now that applications are being accepted for generic top-level domain names.

In their bid, they are working with Wellington lawyer Peter Dengate-Thrush, who is a former chairman of worldwide internet governance body ICANN.

They argue that the .kiwi domains will allow businesses and personal users to promote their Kiwi-ness and New Zealand identity.

However, setting up such a domain could cost the group several hundred thousand dollars; money funded by users paying $25 for each .kiwi address.

It all comes as ICANN looks at creating new top-level domains like .bank or even .london.

I don't know about you, but I see nothing wrong with the existing co.nz domain.

That seems patriotic enough for me, but, there again, perhaps that is because I was not born in New Zealand.

I am all for a bit of love of country, but can businesses seriously expect consumers to be swayed by such use of patriotic-looking gimmickry?

Air New Zealand makes a great play about it "supporting" the All Blacks in its TV commercials, but I am more concerned about its price, safety and quality of service.

Indeed, I have often flown Qantas or Singapore Airlines instead, and I also use a Yahoo.com.au email address in addition to Gmail.

Surely, I haven't been penalised because of such "Australian-ness" in my emails because I dumped Hotmail when I once lived in Sydney!

As for the proposals for .bank and the like, I would have hoped the banks and the other major corporates would have got their website domains sorted by now.

Such new domains might even cause some confusion, especially for the multinational organisations.

For example, ANZ.co.nz obviously refers to ANZ bank in New Zealand, whereas ANZ.com.au refers to ANZ bank in Australia.

ANZ.bank could mean either bank, or it would simply lead to a web page directing you to both banks. Surely ANZ customers already know which country they are in and which of the two banks they use?

I see little benefit here, other than to give "cybersquatters" a new opportunity.

Anyway, since the potential new domains would be funded by the private individual users, I guess they are free to spend their money how they wish. If it makes some people happy, why not?

For the corporates, they might want to question the potential benefits of such domain-based websites and whether they add to anything they already have. I doubt they do. It seems to be a dotty use of one's money.

Thus, when it comes to splashing out on .kiwi, or .ocker, or whatever, you might as well buy a piece of paper saying you own a plot of dust on the moon!

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