Why have a .us domain name?

(This post originally appeared on about.us)

Gene Marks is a small business owner and columnist for The New York Times, Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com.

Why does Air France, a French-owned airline, have a “.us” domain extension? Why does CNBC, and even BBC use the same extension?

Shell OilHitachi, and Fwd.us, an advocacy website run by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, also use a .us domain extension.

These for-profit, not for profit and even media organizations all have their reasons for a .us domain name.

For example, these companies have an American angle, line, subsidiary, operation or other interest and so by typing in the website with a “.us” to follow they’ll find them quicker. And they will.

Others like to stake their claim on American online soil because they have U.S. operations. That’s why Shell is there. The oil company may be known for its worldwide operations, but it has a site devoted to just what it’s doing in the U.S. Discounts are offered and news is directly specifically at an American audience. That’s because even though we live in a global world, we still want our information delivered locally. So large companies need to focus their information on regions or even specific countries, which is why having a .us extension is and will grow importance over time for them. And maybe for you as well.

Maybe, though, your business or organization is uniquely, unabashedly and patriotically American. You have a political-oriented website. You run a U.S.-based charity. You have a specific line of business or operations that are unique to an American audience. Or you deliver American products and you’re darn proud of it. You’re all about America and you want the world to know that. What better way to tell the world than to have an American-focused extension on your website?

Or maybe, like ESPN, you’re delivering content to different audiences around the world. Want to find out everything about the 2014 World, from an American angle? Then go to ESPN’s official U.S. world cup site, espnfc.us, which is targeted directly to its American audience. Maybe you have manuals, safety docs, blogs, articles and other information for your customers that are from different countries. Maybe you want to have just a dedicated “U.S.” version of your site for your U.S. customers.

As the world becomes more global, your customers will desire a local touch even more. We never want to lose our country’s identity. We celebrate our traditions, cheer our soccer teams and are proud of where we live. A .us domain tells your American customers that you’re all about them.

About the author:
Gene Marks is the owner of The Marks Group PC, a ten person technology consulting firm based near Philadelphia Pa. The author of five unpopular books, Gene writes daily on business management and technology for The New York Times and weekly for Forbes.com, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, Fox Business and Philadelphia Magazine. He is also a below average Certified Public Accountant.

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