Fear not, gentle reader, you are not about to enter into the dark, criminal world of the “hacker!” Using the knowledge you accrue here will not bring Interpol or the FBI to your door. “Domain hacks” are neither illegal nor immoral; they are, in fact, creative, clever, and well-received by most netizens–excluding, of course, those puritanical cyber-censors who, like Victorian upper-class ladies fainting at the sight of a table leg, hastily scratch-out any titles containing the word “hacker” (oh, horrors!). (You might have guessed by now that this article was not met with open arms by every ezine editor.)
As evidence of the innocence of the term “Domain Hacker,” here is the current definition as per the Online Wikipedia: “A domain hack is an unconventional domain name that combines domain levels, especially the top-level domain (TLD), to spell out the full “name” or title of the domain. Examples include del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us/), goo.gl (http://goo.gl/) and fold.it (http://fold.it/). In this context, the hack represents a trick (as in programming), not an exploit or break-in (as insecurity).”
Now hopefully having made this article palatable to our publisher, let us get on “with.It” (yes, pun intended!).
Domain IT is the country-code top level domain (TLD) of Italy. Italy–you know, that boot-shaped country attached to Europe floating on the Mediterranean. Italy, besides having the third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France, also has one of the most popular domain extensions: IT.
And IT isn’t just popular in Italy. IT is also a big favorite with English language domain hackers that crave serendipity in their URLs. (That’s Universal Resource Locator to those of you that don’t actually care to know!) Get.IT? There I just slid a great domain hack past you. With a Com you are limited to pedestrian URLs like “GetItDone.Com”; but if you are a domain hacker, then that constitutes a terminally-boring domain name. What you really want to do is combine the second level-name “get” with the TLD “IT” and a file name like “done.” So that boring web address becomes the unforgettable ”get.IT/done!” Or instead of “readithere.Com” type “read.IT/here!” Catching on? Do you finally “Get.It?” Pure poetry!–at least to some.
Before you register your IT domain, check with your reseller or registrar to be sure that you can actually register an IT with them. Italy demands that registrants have a residence in the European Union (a few smaller non-EU nations on the continent like Switzerland and Monaco are excepted from this limitation). Non-Europeans need not despair, however, as it is possible to get around that requirement by registering through a trustee; some registrars have them and some do not, so choose carefully. (Again, this is neither illegal nor immoral and some of the biggest registrars and their resellers–Godaddy and 1and1 for example–supply these trustees.)
You might be wondering at this point if these serendipitous domains are for serious individuals and businesses or just bemused young domainers (individuals who register domain names for speculation). One respected Internet pundit on domain issues recently opined that “Hacks are for hacks.” He aimed his comment directly at domainers because in his opinion, regardless of how cleverly the names ring in our ears, domain hacks just do not appreciate in price. He could be right or maybe he’s just mad because he doesn’t have any to sell.
If, on the other hand, you’re not a domainer, you don’t care if the domain becomes a collectors’ item or not, and you’re looking instead for a memorable–even edgy–domain name to help your business or blog along, then give some thought to this TLD and “Gofor.IT!”
As should be made obvious by the accompanying photo, Mike Nardine (aka Cheap Mike) is plain vanilla and old as dirt. He has been writing since before the invention of the electric typewriter. His first computer was a 1kb Sinclair; his love-affair with computers began with a Kaypro. He has sold short stories to women’s magazines and has published several books, which are available in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Mr. Nardine has also written a whole slug of book reviews, play reviews, news articles, and consumer-tech stuff for various ezines and The Reader Weekly of Duluth, Minnesota. He presently lives in Rochester, Minnesota with his wife of many years and a fifteen-year-old Jack Russel Terrier named Chloe. Still writing as he circles the drain, he also sells domains and web hosting at CheapMikes.com.
Email Mr. Nardine at email@example.com.