The single-most important aspect of good domain names

That is ease by which a name enters the brain and sticks there.

For example, abc.com is a good domain name because it is easy to remember, at least for those whose language uses the Roman alphabet.

That is less than a quarter of mankind. And while it may be true that English is the world’s backup language for those with different native tongues, English is as much in decline as China becomes a dominant power of the world economy.

Why do Westerners think that anyway, everybody is the world speaks English? You can go to the countryside of any Chinese province. They all have Internet there. But ask at a normal hotel in a normal countryside town: “Room?” The receptionist won’t have a clue what you want. She maybe won’t even know “yes” and “no”.

Ok, these people may not be intellectuals. But honestly, how many Western intellectuals know the equivalent of ABC in Chinese or Arabic or Hindi. Most won’t even know it in Cyrillic.

So, on a globalized globe, abc.com may not be so good after all.

Now, try 123.com. That one really sticks, whatever the language. Because bank account numbers are written in Arabic numerals anywhere around the world. Go find an exception and tell me.

Actually, while we usually call them “Arabic” they really aren’t. Which is why (even though Arabic is written from right to left) 1549 is written 1549 in Arabic, not 9451. The numerals are not Arabic anyway, but Hindu (the culture, not Hindi the language).

The advantage of number-based domain names does not stop with 123.com. Even domain names such as 638594.com have an intrinsic advantage over names such as filtersys.com.

Let two Chinese business partners talk over the phone and refer to a website 638594.com they can spell in Mandarin and the recipient of the information can write it down on a piece of paper. Chances are he gets it right on the first attempt.

But between two Chinese on the phone, filtersys.com will never arrive.


Domain Names, Globalization, and Internet Governance
Marshall Leaffer
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies Vol. 6, No. 1, Symposium: Sovereignty and the Globalization of Intellectual Property (Fall, 1998), pp. 139-165

Seizing Domain Names to Enforce Judgments: Looking Back to Look to the Future
Juliet M. Moringiello
Hein Online Rev. 95 (2003-2004)

Domain by any Other Name: Forging International Solutions for the Governance of Internet Domain Names
Rains, Christopher P.
Hein Online Rev. 355 (2000)

That Which We Call a Domain by Any other Name Would Smell as Sweet: The Overbroad Protection of Trademark Law as It Applies to Domain Names on the Internet
Batavia, Neil
Hein Online Rev. 461 (2001-2002)