There was a time when landline numbers had to be written in a diary or etched in memory. There were no fancy mobile phones with unlimited storage memory.

You had to remember the phone number of a person if you had to chat with him/her. The phone number was the only way you could be reached. If you had an easy number, people could remember it and hence reach you when they needed you. Hence everyone wanted a number which went 12345678.

The domain name is similar to the telephone number. Most of the type in traffic needs to remember the portal name in its actual form, if they want to visit the website. If you don't know it, you won't be able to reach the portal (if you don't know the number, you can't reach the person).

Custom Save Numbers
Now you can store the number of people you would like to stay in touch with, in a format and name you choose. His phone number could be complicated but it does not affect you.

I have names of companies stored in a way I can understand and access easily. The names are typically related to a benefit I associate with them. So I need a bill register for my startup cafe, I call the person "Bill register Andy" - His company is called Total Retail Solutions but I couldn't care less.

Custom Save Websites
Websites are increasingly being stored in a customized manner using social bookmarks and feed readers, as already described in
Can you succeed when your domain name suxx!!. Going forward, is there a possibility that the importance of a domain name will be reduced to inducing the first few visits. Once the visitor is convinced of the websites utility, he might just choose to save it with a name he is comfortable with.

To give you an example, I visit
a page with a long and convoluted name (many /'s and .net attached to it) everyday at work to get past Websense, and I don't think it would have made a huge difference to my visiting pattern if it were called http://www.circumventor.com.

The site is just too useful, and I will visit it irrespective of what its called. All I do is type the first 2 letters and this is one of the first few sites suggested by my browser navigation bar. I have also saved it as a bookmark on my browser and on delicious as, yup you guessed right "Circumventor".

Now I am sure it would make life easier if its domain name were easy too, but the lack of it does not affect my visiting pattern as I have already custom saved it.

Can there be more changes expected?

The future for browsers could well be to introduce a feature which allows you to custom save your website in the browser navigation bar. This will allow you to type "search" and not "google" to search the web. (extreme example - but you get the point)

We might even have an online browser (like virtual desktops are in place), so that you can easily access your frequently used websites, from any location, with a name that you choose to associate with them and a navigation tool bar that allows you to brand the websites and not depend on their domain name.

Hence what your domain name is called can progressively become irrelevant to the all powerful web user. He might just choose to brand you more than you can brand yourself.


 
 

Not one decent .com domain name discussed the pain you underwent in trying to find that ideal domain name. You probably used every creative technique known to mankind to get a decent name, and strangely are still dissatisfied with the final result.

The obvious question is how important is the 4-6 letters and 2-3 syllable domain name. It sure does make life easy, but assuming that a website providing information based content thrives on just the all important domain name would be naive.


Online Behavior is Changing

The web visitor is undergoing change in the way (s)he visits and revisits websites. Social bookmarking, rss feeds are just some of the trends, which suggest that the domain name is being typed less often than before. Moving forward this could reduce even more.

Netvibes and other Feed Readers

Take Netvibes for example, it adds to the options by allowing you to personalize the web. It is about having the web where you want it, the way you want it.

It lets individuals assemble all in one place their favorite websites, blogs, email accounts, social networks, search engines, instant messengers, photos, videos, podcasts, widgets, and everything else you enjoy on the Web.

Whats more, they allow you to rename feeds, which means you might just end up naming a blog/website in a manner that the creator did not intend.

"Content is King"

Sorry to indulge in this oft heard cliche, but this is true more than ever. The similarities between a telephone number and a domain name (yes! there are many) ensure that visitors return to your website only if it proves to be of value to them.

So spice up your content and use free online marketing tools to spread the message. More on this in another post.

I have a parallel blog on Innovative Marketing Techniques and it has the domain name http://gawdlevelmarketing.blogspot.com. Now that domain name sounds like the perfect recipe for failure, but considering the amount of time I have been able to spend on the blog, its doing decently for itself. In fact let me try and use this as a base to test this theory on content vs domain name.

Wish me the best of luck, I am gonna need it

 
 

According to this report, more than 47 million .com domain names have been booked already. Hence its highly probable that you are unable to find the ideal domain name for your online venture.

It calls for extreme creativity at your end to decide on a name that is indicative of your business and yet easy to remember.

In fact Seth Godin goes as far as to suggest that one should first find a domain name and then figure out which business you should be in. It seems like a great way to fail, but a radical thought nonetheless.

What if you can't find an acceptable domain name? Does it spell doom for your online business? Have you just failed before you even tried?

Do share some of the techniques you have used to decide your domain name. Till then, let me analyze if online trends suggest hope for the imperfect domain name

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