back to article London calling: Date set for launch of capital's very own domain name

You'll never Adam and Eve how many people are apparently set to buy a new .london domain name. According to a YouGov survey, more than 200,000 small businesses are preparing to pin their web address to the capital when the new domain launches on 29 April. The date of the launch was finalised today, prompting a flurry of …

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  1. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Utter guff

    That is all

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Utter guff

      Gutter stuff!

  2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    "Martha Lane Fox, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, co-founder of Lastminute.com, said: “The new generic domain names are a big change to the web. .london offers businesses and organisations in the capital a chance to be at the cutting edge of that change and show the world how innovative they can be.”"

    Sigh. It's a bloody domain name. How innovative can that be?

    Anyway, what with nominet now selling their soul too, london.uk will be with us soon. And we already have london.com, london.org, london.net, london.org.uk, london.co.uk..... How on earth did London survive up until now without this 'innovative' new domain?

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      domain name explosion

      We have a nice tree type heirarchical domain name system with only a few roots: .com, .org, .uk, ... this is now going to be turned into a bramble bush with roots all over the place. The only people who win out are the domain registrars as companies run to grab their name in multiple places. Everyone else gets confused.

      Fail.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: domain name explosion

        The only people who win out are the domain registrars as companies run to grab their name in multiple places.

        alain williams,

        That comment is unfair to the poor domain registrars.

        I'm sure the scammers will also gain from this new gTLD mess...

      2. Stuart 22 Silver badge

        Re: domain name explosion

        Domain Registration is part of our business (and we are a Nominet Registrar). It was standard practice to register the com/net/org/org.uk/co.uk derivatives of the domain name for our clients. When the next raft came along the rich ones continued.

        But now its become ridiculous. The last straw for some was Nominet .uk fiasco. OK we will register them to go alongside and superseded co.uk but at the cost of org.uk and all the other second rank names which will be let go.

        Hence we are going to see a contraction in the business. I wouldn't be surprised if Nominet don't see the increased revenue they are banking on.

        OK .london is useful to companies who didn't get a decent .com or .uk domain provided the domain brokers don't get there first. But in the grander scheme of things, who cares? I'm surprised at the increasing number of people who never use a domain name. This is now beginning to include me. They just type the company name into Google and expect that to sort the wheat from the chaff.

      3. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: domain name explosion

        It's not only a win for the registrars, it's useful for criminals too. Now, was I paying my groceries at sales@tesco.com or sales@tesco.london - I know, it was sales@tesco.fraud

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: domain name explosion

          I can maybe see something like .bank taking off. If they do it properly. A TV adveritising campaign, funded by really high registration fees - and regulation of who's allowed to sign up.

          Then you could get the message that if a website doesn't end in .bank, it's probably fraud.

          But as I suspect that most people don't know how domain work, and don't know which dot the bank should come after, they'll probably happily click on www.scam.bank.ru/all-your-money-belong-to-us, thinking they're totally safe.

          So I withdraw that. .cymru / .wales and .scot are probably fair enough. And given the weird way banks chuck their secure sites over so many seemingly random sub-domains, it'll make me feel a bit happier if there's a .barclays or a .natwest.

          But this is just going to lead to confusion, or rather more likely, disinterest. The public won't notice. In the same way that paying millions for car.com did not a business make in the dot.com bust, I suspect that paying hundredds for something.car will fail just as badly. If more cheaply...

    2. Ole Juul

      How innovative can that be?

      Britain has much more outstanding names. How about .worcestershire or .shitterton?

      1. Christoph

        Re: How innovative can that be?

        "How about .worcestershire or .shitterton?"

        .scunthorpe

  3. JeeBee

    dangleway.london

    "Great" for London-only businesses I guess.

    TBH decent internet search has done away with the need for really local domain names.

    Maybe there will be subdomains, like putney.london and foresthill.london ... that would let you have really local domains.

    God, I can't get excited by this really, I can't even bring myself to use an exclamation mark anywhere.

    1. frank ly
      Coat

      Re: dangleway.london

      How about .... yahoo!.london ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: dangleway.london

      > Maybe there will be subdomains, like putney.london and foresthill.london ... that would let you have really local domains.

      And going further, one day every house can have its very own web address...

      123.fake.street.putney.london

  4. Havin_it
    Meh

    What a load of old pony

    Someone wants a kick in the Alberts.

    1. Pen-y-gors

      Re: What a load of old pony

      Alberts? = Albert Memorials? = Editorials?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: What a load of old pony

        Albert Bridges... Fridges?

        I couldn't find a rhyme for embankments sadly...

        1. Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

          Re: What a load of old pony

          Them wank splints?

          1. Havin_it
            Pint

            Re: What a load of old pony

            Thanks all, wasn't expecting to provoke any discussion with that one, cheered my Monday right up!

            I'll have to show this to the trouble and the bins once I've got Millenium and out of my whistle.

            As for these domain hucksters, a Martha Lane on all their 'ouses ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a load of old pony

      Albert Halls?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: What a load of old pony

        Spoilsport...

    3. kyoukoku

      Re: What a load of old pony

      Clearly "Alberts" => Albert & Victoria => Victoria Plums => Plums=Testicles

  5. dervheid
    Meh

    I honestly didn't realise

    that there could be THAT many stupids down there.

    Mind you, they're vastly more intelligent than those that would be 'impressed' by any domain name.

    Licence to be parted from your cash, biz bods.

  6. h4rm0ny

    Have they learned nothing?

    I mean, look at the non-rush to buy .info domains or .me.uk. They're still trying to squeeze out a few more pennies by making another redundant domain?

    And anyway - geography based domains on the Internet? Country makes sense because countries come with a lot of language, legal and cultural commonality. When you get down to county or city level, there's far less point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      .me.uk domain

      I bought a ".me.uk" for my own email address, as I'm neither a business or an organisation. I thought about a ".me" but that was already taken, and I rather like being British. ".net" names are a bit too pricey.

      Later when I got married I had the cool idea of migrating to a ".us" domain (cheesy I know!) but you have to live the US, or have a US address, to buy those.

      1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

        Re: .me.uk domain

        Officially you are supposed to be a US entity. However, we have found as long as you give them a US address (real or imagined) and the fee they really don't care or check.

  7. Refugee from Windows
    Holmes

    Nicely timed

    After the Scots have decided to go their own way, shortly afterwards the rest of England will vote to change London into its own entity similar to Monaco, and put up a border fence round the M25, to allow the rest of the country to get on without interference, we'll be able to avoid those sites based inside there won't we?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nicely timed

      "After the Scots have decided to go their own way"

      Don't get your hopes up. The Scots know that the Barnett formula throws billions over the border from England to Scotland, and you've got the nonentities of Westminster and Europe wilfully and falsely spreading FUD like a high performance muckspreader. The Scots will not vote for independence, and the polls show that. WHich is a pity, because the more I think about it, the more Salmond is right: He hasn't admitted that in the first instance independence would be very painful for Scotland (particularly in ways that the left wing SNP would not like), but in the longer term it has to be a better thing, with the Scots economy having to stand on its own two feet, instead of being subjugated to the London centric policies of Westminster.

      Having said that, the idea of a .london domain does further cement the status of London as a separate country and separate economy from the rest of the UK. My guess is that the Londoners would be more enthusiastic about the M25 wall than the provinces. Cameron likes infrastructure projects, perhaps he can get the brickies to start work this year?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nicely timed

        Scotland is a net contributor to the UK, do some research, that's the UK governments own figures which show this.

        You are right though, it'll be a NO vote, because most Scots see themselves as British first, Scottish second and you think that's a bad thing?

        The .london domain is a great idea, for whoever made it and can get some money from it. Nothing more though..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nicely timed

          "Scotland is a net contributor".

          I could challenge that claim, but let's take is as fact. So enlighten me, why do the Scottish then wish to continue subsidising those of us south of the border?

          "most Scots see themselves as British first, Scottish second and you think that's a bad thing?"

          For you perhaps, but most of the Scots I know see themselves as Scottish first, British a very long way second. Some even see themselves as Scots first, European second, and British somewhere after the African ancestry they'd claim from the origins of the species. But however they think of themselves, I don't think there's a bad or good aspect. How people see themselves is simply cultural identification which is a combination of belief and emotion as much as location and ancestry, and if they culturally identify as Scottish, British, or Hebridean then I'm completely happy with that.

          As I interpret your tone, I think you misinterpreted my comments as anti-Scottish. My only view on the matter is a guess that the Scots will vote to stay in the union, but that will be a missed opportunity, binding them to a government system that does more harm than good for Scotland. The singularly negative, obstructive and antangonistic approach of Tories, Labour and Liberals (not to mention the eurocrats) shows they do not want to do whatever is the right thing for the people of Scotland. I take my hat off to Salmond's response of "No currency union? Then no debt", but I think the people of Scotland will ultimately be cowed by the largely mythical threats being put up as "arguments" against independence.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nicely timed

            I'm part-Jockish. I'm waiting for Scottish Independence so I can apply for political asylum.

      2. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Re: Nicely timed

        "with the Scots economy having to stand on its own two feet, instead of being subjugated to the London centric policies of Westminster."

        With the Scots economy having to stand on its own two feet, instead of being subsidized by Westminster.

        Fixed it for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nicely timed

      From your mouth to BoJo's ears.

      We could even get the Wall done at cut price when the people currently building the one in Israel need a new project.

      But...I would want all the investments of people living outside London transferred to new, non-London-based, entities to see how strong that "London" economy really is. After all, if you look at turnover and profits, Delaware must be the most successful State in the US.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Nicely timed

      What will happen to the .scot / .scotland domain if Scotland does go for independence? Suirely they'll hav ea proper country code then, making the whole investment pointless.

      In as much as it isn't pointless already of course? But I can see people going for these regional/national new gTLDs. .cymru ought to do OK for example. I have very low expectations of .camera and .photo.

  8. LaeMing
    Happy

    The Demon Domain-Registrar of Fleet Street!

    There's a hole in the 'net like a great black pit

    and the vermin of the world inhabit it

    and its morals aren't worth what a pin can spit

    and it goes by the name of (dot)London...

    At the top of the hole sit the privileged few

    Making mock of the vermin in the lonely zoo

    turning beauty to filth and greed...

    I too have trawled the 'net and seen its wonders,

    for the cruelty of trolls is as wondrous as 4/chan

    but there's no place like (dot)London!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. jason 7

    Oh no!!!!!!

    "Yet another domain we have to buy to protect our branding!!"

    The thick as sh*t marketing team will cry!"

    I now feel that these new domains are like these new days the greeting card manufacturers feel we need to celebrated dotted neatly throughout the year.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rise of the idiots

    A domain name just for London? Why not go the whole hog and have one just for Shoreditch. It'll be 'well weapon'.

    1. Cliff

      Re: Rise of the idiots

      Sounds like a Sugar Ape leader.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Rise of the idiots

          I have a regular email correspondence with a friend. About Headlines Chris Morris must have written. A few recent ones are:

          Dead Recluse Eaten by Own House Cats

          Helpful Badger Unearths Medieval Graves

          Husband Dies After Rape By 6 Wives

          WATCH: Decapitated Snake Bites ITSELF

          Those last three are from the Huffington Post...

          "the priests who say they need to pack a piece to keep the peace" - straight off The Day Today

          Tearful skin-beaters say good bye to the BumChum - Low-end throb monitor now handled by BC Gigster

          German shoppers slug it out with salami - Parmesan 'dagger' contributes to trolley-rage casualties

          Thanks for those last 2 El Reg...

  11. Elmer Phud

    Arthur feksake

    ""proud to be a London business",

    I'm a tad weary of this 'proud' bollocks.

    If a company wasn't 'proud' of whatever then would they announce it?

    "This idea is shit - we love it!"

    But we are also shown, once again, that Boris is all about the 'shiny, shiny' and not about Londoners. And MLF is showing her expertise in brown-nosing.

    "Anyone residing in the Shoreditch area who is on benefits must move immediately as they are taking up valuable space for "technology'"

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: Arthur feksake

      "I'm a tad weary of this 'proud' bollocks."

      Me too, but for different reasons. This sort of pride is divisive and exclusive which you probably don't want to be if you're actually trying to sell things to people. If you start shouting "we're from London and we're better than you" people from outside London will not want to do business with you. Way to reduce your customer base and income.

      Thing is I remember back when businesses first started to have a serious web presence UK businesses had .co.uk domains, but they soon realized that .com was better. For a start it makes you look bigger, international, but perhaps more importantly it makes your URL easier to remember (for those that use them these days). When trying to guess or remember a URL most people will try .com first, so .com is what you want. If you've already got .com why do you need .london?

      If you have .london but not .com or .co.uk punters are going to assume you're just some little upstart.

      .london and the rest are just attempts to keep the domain registration business growing at a silly rate, but that won't be possible for long simply because most businesses have realized that Joe Punter gives not a stuff for domain names. Domain names are like vanity plates.

  12. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    An email a week?

    I've had an email a week from our domain registrar, for the last 2 weeks. Offering me the delights of new domains for the company. Each had 7 new ones on. We could have had .photo or .camera - not sure why the redundency. Well OK, I am sure why. FEES! Lovely, delicious, tasty, yummy fees! Bonus ahoy!

    We do a lot of work in London, so I did consider that as a defensive buy for all of 30 seconds. We will have to get the .uk ones to protect our .co.uk names I think. There's a rival company out there with a similar name who might nick ours if not. So I guess the system is working as designed by Nominet... Bonuses all round!

    I must confess I did briefly toy with getting a new personal email address though. Who wouldn't fancy Iain't@Spartacus.guru?

  13. TitterYeNot
    Facepalm

    Sigh...

    Please, can we a have a .bollocks TLD? Because that's what this is a load of...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Sigh...

      There's no .bollocks. There is a .guru - which is close enough...

      Although I'm now thinking of registering: werewolves-of.london

  14. RegGuy1 Silver badge

    I thought people wanted .com because it would help you in developing a global brand. The Internet was global, and it didn't matter where you were.

    So is this a volte face? Are we now all wanting to be seen as local? Will we see .birmingham, .manchester, .burnley?

    Heaven help us.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      The problem is with .com is that it is usually incorrectly used instead of .us

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        "The problem is with .com is that it is usually incorrectly used instead of .us"

        Er, not really.

        .com means simply that you are a commercial entity and has been around a lot longer than .us.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Will we see .birmingham, .manchester, .burnley?"

      They are a different proposition to .london. .london for the UK capital city was probably fairly easy to allocate rather than to one of the man other London towns and cities around the world. But who decides which Birmingham or Manchester gets the TLD?

      First come,first served? Biggest "offer" of cash? Largest population? Oldest record of the city/town in history? Biggest armed forces?

  15. Kane Silver badge
    FAIL

    "...while 41 per cent said a .london web address would help customers find them more easily"

    Yeah, do you know what else would help with that? A map.

  16. Dominion

    Pointless!

    The point of creating more TLDs was because there are few useful names left in the current ones, but all that's going to happen is that the companies that have .com and .co.uk addresses will now register a .london variant to point to an existing website. It's about as useful as when they added a 1 to dialling codes...

  17. Purlieu

    Alberts

    Albert Halls .... sheesh any fule kno that.........

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the rest

    .lunnen

    .dahnsarf

    .dontgosarfoftherivermate

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One thing puzzles me

    Why would I want to do business with someone proud to come from the same place as Arthur Daley and Dell-Boy Trotter?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about registering

    isbetterthan.London

    and then offering third level domains to other major cities!

    1. Cliff

      Sadly I fear this will be the core business model of some Hoxton startup already.

    2. Pen-y-gors

      Why just major cities?

      theninthcircleofhell.isbetterthan.london

      evenbognorregis.isbetterthan.london

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't fear it. I think it's a bloody grand idea, it's about time the rest of the UK got a chance to show just how fucking stupid london is.

    The only problem I can see is how long the bidding war for http://anywhere.isbetterthan.london might take.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too confusing for some - which London are we talking about

    In order to make it clear as to WHICH London they stil need to add .UK surely.

    I was talking to an (albeit) young USian from Ohio some years ago in the UK, and my UK friend introduced themselves as being from London - to which the response was "You're from Ohio too?"

    PS. This is not an indictment of USian knowledge of UK geography, as I'm sure there are lots of equally embarrassing examples the other way around.

    1. JulianB

      Re: Too confusing for some - which London are we talking about

      I <heart> New York

      Oh, you're from Lincolnshire too?

      (5-10 miles NW of Boston, just to make things worse)

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: Too confusing for some - which London are we talking about

        "I <heart> New York

        Oh, you're from Lincolnshire too?"

        There's a spot called New York in Nidderdale too.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Too confusing for some - which London are we talking about

          ...also New York, Tyne & Wear. Within 20-30mins driving distance of New York,TW we also have Philadelphia, Washington (the original)...

          ...I was going to list a few more then I found this, this and this.

          ...and that's not even looking at all the other ex-colonies of all the countries who used to do that sort of thing all over the world.

          I suspect this might be more of a can of worms than even the darkest pessimist thought.

    2. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: Too confusing for some - which London are we talking about

      "PS. This is not an indictment of USian knowledge of UK geography, as I'm sure there are lots of equally embarrassing examples the other way around."

      Except that of course London, England as the yanks like to call it is the original (although probably not the best). To assume you meant London, Ohio is clearly ridiculous to do so the other way round is completely understandable.

      Yes there are places in the UK which are named after older places in foreign lands, but they are rare. In the US it is ridiculously common suggesting either that the settlers naming towns over there had no imagination or like most ex-pats they were subconsciously admitting they thought there homeland was great. Actually I come down of the side of no imagination when I see town names like Dangerous Intersection.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, it's causing a lot of excitement in my company

    AnAmericanWerewolfIn Ltd.

  25. John Styles

    We of the Rest Of England Liberation Front salute this

    It will enable us to boycott companies more effectively.

    All together now, stand for the ROE national anthem.

    And did those feet in ancient times, walk outside the M25?

    And was the holy lamb of God, outside TFL Zone 6 seen?

    etc.

    1. Havin_it

      Re: We of the Rest Of England Liberation Front salute this

      Got it in one.

      ".london - the .xxx of geographical discernment."

    2. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      Re: We of the Rest Of England Liberation Front salute this

      ".. outside TFL Zone 6 seen?"

      Frankly I think it an outrage that anyone beyond zone 3 gets better than .sticks

    3. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: We of the Rest Of England Liberation Front salute this

      You do realize that the people of almost every country in the world feel like this about their capital city don't you?

      1. LaeMing
        Happy

        Re: Everyone feels like this.

        Just like the NSW government here in Aus colloquially referrs to the Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong government.

  26. plrndl

    They were probably talking to the marketing people.

    Most people who BUY domain names only recognise .com. as a proper domain

  27. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Except that domain names are irrelevant these days because so few people type them. Most people just type in the company name and let google sort them out. And if they like the company they'll make the site a favourite and never remember the URL.

    Once upon a time the URL was prominent in adverts. These days you're just as likely to see "Google something or another" as a URL because that's the way people work. Thanks to the popularity/ubiquity and capabilty of search engines these days URLs are becoming as relevant to Joe Punter as IP addresses.

    This stuff is only relevant to people who sell domain names and the idiots who pay over the odds for them these days. End users just don't care.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone going for the gaming angle... hellgate.london?

  30. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Top-level country codes

    That's it, then, London's officially a foreign country.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Martha, my dear

    Does Eng(er)land swing like a pendulum do, by any chance?

  32. SVV

    I only hope she's bought up loads of domains with her lastminute dosh

    A futile waste of time and effort really, all the government needed to do was set up a few servers and sell domains within the .corblimey.gov.uk domain and the problem would have ben solved.

    And furthermore :

    ".london offers businesses and organisations in the capital a chance to be at the cutting edge of that change and show the world how innovative they can be" - so Lame-Fox now thinks that buying a domain name shows how cutting edge and innovative you are? Wakey Wakey it's not the year 2000 anymore!

  33. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Rome'n the web

    .londinium surely?

  34. Hairy Airey
    Joke

    Just waiting for...

    .emptyyourwalletintoyournearestregistrar and have done with it!

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