Rumour has it that Montreal wants their dot city TLD…But they want .mtl instead of .montreal ! Huge, huge mistake #newgtlds
— Christopher Hofman (@HofmanLaursen) August 7, 2014
The Gazette, a Montreal-based newspaper, published an article about the possibility that the city of Montreal would apply for its own new gTLD extension. The article indicates that .Mtl would be the extension the city would apply for, and I tend to agree with Christopher Hofman Laursen of the European Domain Centre, who believes this application would be a mistake.
I like geographic new gTLD extensions, and I believe many have a great shot of being successful (both in terms of profitability and adoption/usage). I think and assume Montreal could successfully operate a new gTLD domain extension, but I believe they should apply for .Montreal, and not .Mtl. The city’s “branding” is Montreal, and by not applying for this exact extension, I think it could reduce the commercial usage. For example, I would want to own Hotels.Montreal, but I wouldn’t really have an interest in Hotels.Mtl.
As far as I am aware (please correct me if I am wrong), people don’t generally refer to Montreal as MTL in the same way that people refer to Las Vegas simply as “Vegas” or New York City as “NYC.” This makes me assume that a .Mtl extension wouldn’t be as in demand as a .Montreal because there isn’t as much of a personal connection to it.
In many cases, a shorter domain name is better than a long domain name, but in the case of a .Mtl, I would think that the extension could be confusing because .Mtl doesn’t resonate with me the same way that .NYC resonates, and it doesn’t seem to have the same meaning. Perhaps it’s the fact that I lived in New York City for ten years and have only been to Montreal three times, but .Mtl doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
I like the idea of a city having the desire to get its own domain name extension. I believe it can help the city brand itself online, generate local interest and promotion, and may even become a profit center at some point. I think it would be a poor choice for the beautiful city of Montreal to apply for .Mtl instead of .Montreal though.