Ever since I learned that .tv sites are actually from domains registered in the Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu, I keep an eye for unusual domain suffixes. One of my former favorites was del.icio.us (using the rare .us domain suffix for United States). I’m sorry it’s now officially delicious.com.
My new favorite may be the bit.ly addresses used for short URL aliases (similar to tinyurl.com aliases). But at some point, I finally had to ask…where is .ly? Answer: It’s Libya. You can look it up at http://users.telenet.be/worldstandards/internet%20domain%20suffixes.htm (out of Belgium.
Of course, there are many more opportunities out there to explore – like .al (Albania), .an (Netherlands Antillies) .er (Eritrea), .es (Spain) .it (Italy), .in (India) and even .um (US Minor Outlying Islands). Spanish Web services may find .ar (Argentina), .er (Eretria) and .ir (Iran) interesting since these are all verb ifinitives endings. You can see even more options at this globalbydesign.com blog post. As you can see, the only barrier is our imagination and a nation’s willingness to participate in these pun schemes.
This is nothing new, but always fun to observe and ponder…who are these people who provide us our popular online services? I was interested to note that bit.ly has apparently branched to j.mp where .mp are the Northern Mariana Islands.
P.S. The .st suffix is São Tomé and Principe.