The View from Landmark

Trends and issues in personal computing from Bud Stolker, a long-time PC consultant. The View from Landmark features tips and techniques to make time spent with your computer more productive and rewarding, commentary on new personal computer policies and trends, plain-English explanations of new hardware, software, and network designs and their relevance to you, and answers to common questions. There may be personal material interspersed if Bud believes it is of general interest.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trampled in the Land Rush -- .Mobi, Ho!

This morning at 10:00 am general registration began for dot-mobi domain names. It's been called a "land rush" and boy, did I get run over.

If you're going to have a presence on the Internet, you've got to have a domain name. I have several. My primary company name is, though I also have and about a dozen other domain names, including and

Dot-mobi is the newest type of domain name, dedicated to delivering the Internet to mobile devices. Dot-mobi Web sites are formatted for viewing on mobile devices: short menus, simple graphics, little or no typing required. It almost goes without saying that a dot-mobi domain name should be short.

Dot-mobi's potential is huge. If every mobile device user winds up surfing for dot-mobi versions of Web sites, owning a mobile-branded domain could be an important part of a company's strategy.

Sure, everybody wants a dot-com domain name; it's the recognized standard. Dot-name, dot-biz, and dot-us are still struggling (as indicated by discount pricing on registration of those domains) because they haven't been promoted well.

But dot-mobi is different. Even its launch was different; clearly the powers that be have gotten smarter about how to start up a Top Level Domain extension. First there was a two-week "Sunrise" period in September. To register a dot-mobi domain name linked to an existing trademark (such as cost $220-280 for 2 years, depending on the registrar -- a bit steep, but if you had a trademarked name to register, probably worth it.

After Sunrise closed, there was a four-day hiatus, then the two-week "Landrush" period started. During that time anyone could register any available dot-mobi domain name at a premium (though less than the Sunrise fee -- $60-80 for 2 years). After the Landrush closed, then the price went down -- to as little as $30 for two years.

I waited until after the Landrush to see if was still available. This morning at 10:00 am I was online, waiting to grab it at the earliest possible moment. It was available! By 10:02 I was already checking out at the GoDaddy domain store, but by the time I punched my credit card number in, was gone!

In a (slight) panic, I tried (for Landmark Lad, my company's "face"). Gone! gone! (Not a surprise -- preregistered by Annheuser-Busch, who presumably could afford the preregistration fees.) I tried -- based on a favorite name -- but at checkout I kept getting a shopping cart error.

Then at 10:15, GoDaddy pulled the dot-mobi registration page -- probably too much traffic for their system to handle.

By 10:30 the GoDaddy store was back up and running and I settled on -- short for Landmark Computer. Cost for two years: thirty bucks.

I could have gone for -- but try punching that in on your cell phone! (I'll bet dot-mobi gets abbreviated to dot-m on cell phones. And with predictive cell-phone spelling, could wind up being spelled LC.M.)

So I've got my dot-mobi domain name -- hahahahahaha -- I've got it! It's mine, do you understand, all mine!!

Okay, Bud take a deep breath. There, that's better.

It's not too late to get your own domain name, whether it's a dot-com, dot-mobi, or any of the other popular top-level domain names. You can search for and purchase it at, my subsidiary company (though we're not yet selling dot-mobi domain names). I discuss how to choose a domain name at my not-yet-open-for-business Web site that's all about getting started with your own Web site. Here's a preview of the site.