Did you know there is a .LA domain extension? Similar to .TV being for Tuvalu, .CO being for Colombia, and .ME being for Montenegro, .LA is the country code for the southeast Asian country of Laos.
If you’ve heard of .LA or seen .LA domain names advertised, it’s most likely by a domain registrar marketing it as the Los Angeles extension (like the Register.com email that spurred my post). It is probably being marketed in a similar fashion to how the .NYC, .Paris, and other geographic areas intend to market their own gTLDs once ICANN approves them.
Anyone who intends to bid on and win a gTLD should look at the efforts ccTLD registries are making to sell their domain names. They should analyze what is working and what isn’t working. They can monitor the amount of domain registrations along with the ups and downs in registration cycle to see how marketing efforts are paying off.
gTLD registries are going to have to pay a lot of money to manage a registry. I’ve seen a number of extensions that I think will be successful with a strong marketing effort (such as the geos mentioned above), but I’ve also seen a number of head scratchers that just don’t seem to make sense, no matter what the marketing effort will be.
I do think there’s a place for gTLD domain names, and I also think anyone who is pining to manage a registry should pay close attention to what’s working and what isn’t working.