The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

.Co (dot Co) Hype or the best thing since sliced bread?

Millions of us watched the Superbowl yesterday, most tuned in to watch the big game but many tuned in to watch the commercials. At upwards of 3 million dollars for a 30 second ad, the Superbowl is where some brands are made. The fact that some companies are willing to shell out that kind of dough makes me obligated to at least watch doesn’t it? I am a business development manager for a national title insurance company in Phoenix Arizona, I help real estate professionals-real estate agents and loan officers-get “found” online.

The Volkswagen/Darth Vader and the Bridgestone Tire/Beaver commercial were my favorites but one in particular actually got me thinking-GoDaddy’s new .Co (dot co) commercial. I couldn’t help but to wonder how many people-business owners, resellers or squatters-were going to rush to the closest internet connection to secure a .Co address. Many people have been locked out of a preferred URL because the TLD (Top-Level Domain) .com was already taken. .Co is a viable option isn’t it? Or is it? Depending on who you ask. .Co is either the best thing since sliced bread or the latest extension destined for failure like .biz, .me and .TV. Although the .Co registry appeared to have been announced yesterday, it actually opened in July 2010, to date-over 600,000 .Co addresses have been purchased or resold, you can bet it’s well over 1 million now, largely because of GoDaddy’s new .Co commercial below.

The .Co website lists the benefits of .Co as:

Searchable

Google ranks .CO domains with the identical geo-targeting options available to .com web address, so when your idea comes to life the world will know it.

Networked

The flexibility and broad global appeal of .CO makes it the premier web address for today’s socially networked individuals and entrepreneurs for sharing connecting, communicating and collaborating with friends, followers, clients and consumers in every country around the world.

Transparent

To help deter harmful uses of .CO, we ensure that every domain name registered provides full WHOIS information. While masking identities on other web addresses may be common, we’ve found that ensuring a clean name-space creates more room for people and businesses that want to do good things online.

Flexible

Part of .CO’s value is that it is extremely flexible. Because of its universal appeal, registrants and consumers can ascribe to .CO any meaning they want based on their own interpretation, language, interests and specific needs.

Secure

The .CO domain incorporates internationally proven best practices to ensure that the rights of brand owners are carefully protected and domain disputes can be fairly resolved.

Committed

If a .CO is maliciously attacked the .CO Registry can enable Rapid Domain Compliance Process (RDCP). This action gives the registry the ability quickly lock, cancel, transfer or take ownership of a web address to ensure no further harm is done. It’s just one way we ensure the safety of our community.

Growing

The larger the .CO community gets, the greater the awareness for the individuals and brands using the web address. Our community believes in the era of opportunity, and .CO is the web address that makes “making your dream a reality” a reality.

Confident

.CO continues to adopt the strictest web standards available to protect users from scourges like malware, phishing, pharming, serial cyber-squatters and other security threats. Because the tougher we enforce the rules, the less you’re at risk.

Well known brands currently using .Co include Overstock.com (O.co), Twitter.com (T.co), Politico (Politi.Co), Cisco (cs.co). What is .Co going to be? Who knows, but I can tell you that I promptly whipped out the GoDaddy app on my iPhone and purchased MyTitleGuy.Co, mostly a defensive position on my part. Simply put, I have no clue what .Co is going to be so I elected to protect my brand “MyTitleGuy” rather than ignore it and hope no one else acquires it-well worth the $11.99 in my opinion.

Should you, as a real estate professional run out and secure a .Co for your real estate business? It depends what you are going to do with it. Just because you own it does not mean that “they” will come. You will still need to have an engaging website with engaging, unique, keyword rich content on it to get found. The URL-.com, .net, .co or otherwise is only part of the plan to get found. If you plan on doing these things as part of a comprehensive online marketing strategy surrounding your new .Co, go for it. If not, save your $11.99, and take an A+ client to lunch. That’s the point of the Internet anyway isn’t it? Generate leads online to meet offline.

Stephen

Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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