Melbourne’s Domain Name: Up And Running
According to the firm ARI Registry Services, Melbourne is officially set to become the first Australian city to have its own brand domain name. The Victorian Government has signed a 10-year contract with ARI, which has been welcomed by CEO Adrian Kinderis as “one of the state’s largest and most significant digital branding opportunities.” A Melbourne-based web address will provide great, unique ways for businesses and individuals to display their organizations as representing the Melbourne and Victorian communities.
Closely competing with Australia’s other most recognised metropolis region Sydney, which is the country’s most populated capital city, Melbourne now joins the ranks of International cities such as New York, London and Berlin, which have already begun offering top level domains. This important trend is expected to continue as other cities worldwide sign up for the rights to a domain name. For examples close to home, almost 40 other Australian applicants such ‘.tab’, ‘.anz’, as well as the Harbour city’s ‘.sydney’ domain name are anticipated to be launched in the near future.
The formal signing of the Registry Agreement by the Victorian Government with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) signified the initial first step in the launch process of the ‘.melbourne’ space. The domain name would only be provided to Victorian residents and would be of premium cost when compared to a ‘.com.au name.’ Although this exact price was not yet locked down as of May 2014, Mr. Kinderis expected payment for a ‘.melbourne’ name to cost between $75 and $100. It was expected that this domain would appeal to individuals as well as localised businesses and industries, with the expectation of many people and families registering their names in the future.
Above all, it’s important to consider the impact this move will make for businesses in the local Melbourne region. The push for a localised domain name is now viewed as a vital tool for better defining one’s brand. Put simply, it allows for businesses or services to be better represented under search results, as well as provide important insight into its location. In 2011 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), who oversee and coordinate the global domain name system, launched the scheme to extend the reach over of top-level domains. The reasoning behind this move was necessary due to the continual expansion of the Internet. At the time of Berlin’s domain name being officially administered in 2013, mayor Klaus Wowereit announced that this move “offers the possibility to highlight digitally that Berlin is where you live your life or base your business activities”. This push into a city’s brand name doesn’t only benefit organisations that want their name to stand out when choosing ‘.melbourne’ over traditional endings of .com or .org; it also benefits the city that wants its services to be known as well!
The race to win the rights to an exclusive domain brand also reignites discussion about the true ‘face’ of Australia. With both Melbourne and Sydney considered as Australia’s two premium capitals, it is Melbourne that has been named the world’s third most liveable city in Monocle Magazine’s 2014 ratings. Sydney ranked 11th in the list of 25 cities, with Brisbane also making its debut as the 25th most liveable city. Despite the Victorian city receiving the commendable honour of a top three ranking (as well as polling 1st in 2011, 2012 and 2013), it was the Monocle’s opinion that Sydney remained the “pretty face of Australia.” With the cohesive ranking system the global affairs publication company utilises, one wonders if this recent inclusion to Melbourne’s comprehensive network will sway their opinion once again. Mr Kinderis stated that Melbourne’s success in acquiring a brand name would beat ‘.sydney’ “by a good margin”, with the Harbour city expected to be “up and about early in the next calendar year.” Regardless of ranking, it’s undoubtedly a huge benefit for both cities to further promote their standard of living through the acquisition of a tool designed to help better local brand and business appeal.
There are numerous possibilities for Melbourne based businesses, individuals and commuters to become more recognised through the activation of the city’s brand domain. Important to remember though are the possibilities for interstate and international clients to better associate themselves with services of their choosing, which may become much more specified thanks to early registration. It’s often said that one of the hardest aspects that businesses and individuals encounter nowadays is becoming anonymous in the sea of brands, advertisements and products should they not take the extra mile in standing out in some way. With reputable sources reporting similar measures of possible success with the new ‘.melbourne’ domain from all sides, this now becomes the chance for many to do just that. The early bird catches the worm, so consider presenting yourself and your local business to the world as being apart of Melbourne city as soon as possible!
The Guardian, 2014. (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/18/dot-berlin-internet-domain-name)
The Sydney Morning Herald, 2014. (http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/melbourne-named-worlds-third-best-city-20140613-3a3fk.html)
Image source: Melbourne CBD Accommodation, n.d. (http://www.melbournecbdaccommodation.net.au/)