Any domainer who hasn’t been on a desert island for the last month has heard of .mobi. With industry auction sales leaping into 6 figures and the support of top industry players like Google, Microsoft, Nokia and others, this new tld, the first intended to address the needs of a distinct type of internet usage, has gotten a lot of attention.
However this new TLD is not without controversy. To almost anyone else, saying “dot mobi” produces a blank stare and a “dot WHAT???” and even among those in the know there is a distinct split between the mobi true believers and those who remain unconvinced.
What makes .mobi different?
The .mobi tld is intended specifically for users of the mobile, including phones, PDA’s and other devices with limited capabilities. Currently, surfing the net from your cell phone can be a hit or miss situation, with many sites rendering poorly or not at all.
To address this issue, one item in the agreement for registering a .mobi stipulates that the pages to which the name resolves MUST meet certain minimal compatibility standards. Registered names will be periodically audited and the registrars of any which do not comply will be notified to give the name owner 2 warnings. If the situation is not remediated, the name will be removed from the zone file (i.e. will no longer resolve) until the owner complies with these mandatory rules.
Of course, a webmaster could just as easily make a mobile-compliant site on any other TLD. However surfing to a .mobi site pretty much guarantees that the pages will be mobile-device friendly.
Will it catch on?
At the moment, 99.9% of the interest in .mobi appears to be coming from domainers and the investors. The proof of its value will be whether or not a significant number of .mobi sites are actually developed. Real sites offering something of value, not domain auction sales frenzy, is what is needed to bring .mobi to the attention of the growing number of cell-phone users throughout the world.
[tags]domain names, domains, mobi, mobile phones [/tags]