.Blogs Domain? I don’t think so…

Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion feels that there should be a .blogs domain to help push blogs beyond the small level of awareness and enable a mass level of recognition and understanding.

Despite the huge buzz, however, the vast majority of Americans still probably do not know what blogs are. The Pew Internet and American Life Project says that 11% of Internet users read weblogs. My theory is that this number is actually far higher because many news consumers can’t differentiate blogs from professional sites because of their high-quality design and content.

There is a solution, however, to this problem – a “.blogs” top-level domain name. This will immediately make it easy for everyone right off the bat to differentiate a weblog from a professional news site. Alternately, there also could be a special graphical identifier – perhaps an icon that says “This is a Blog” – that bloggers can integrate into their site template to make this distinction even more clear.

While I don’t disagree that a top-level domain would assist in recognition, I think there are a few issues…and actually don’t think it’s a good idea.

First, I don’t think many people look too carefully at a URI if it’s been clicked on and only would recognize it as a link from an email (assuming it’s not hidden in HTML) or if someone told you what it was.

Second, while the idea of .blogs is interesting and would work for certain types of sites, I believe it would actually limit the potential of a great number of sites. A special domain would allow for easy filtering of search results, which I would be upset to see as often a great deal of solid information can be found on blogs and is always good to see within the context of more commercial endeavors. Commercially viable (not just see my cat type sites) might get filtered through this domain listing as well and this would take away from their inclusion with a corporate site. While there are certainly no rules at this point – there’s no domain either – it’s hard to imagine how it might work which brings me to my last point…

How would it even be enforced… We can’t even get a .sex domain going so a red-light district can be established and maintained away from unsuspecting searchers and children. The initial top-level domains .com, .net and .org all had specific meaning before 1995, but when a larger group of people started to get interested in things the purpose was quickly lost in the pursuit of name opportunity. Even today as more TLD’s have been added, they unfortunately hold little meaning other than what the actual name is and how that might be referenced.

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