Domain hacks are created by adding a subdomain (SLD) to a top level domain (TLD) in order to create a word or name of some sort. For example, the popular social bookmark site, Del.icio.us is created using a subdomain del, and the US ccTLD, .us – del + icio + us. Domain hacks are an alternative way of obtaining a domain name, for the simple reason that good quality domain names are quite hard to come by these days. Domain hacks need a whole lot of energy and promotion going into them, just to make them visible because hardly anyone knows about them. Recently, the Landrush period began for an extension that could be perfect for hacks – .ME.
The .me extension is the ccTLD of Montenegro, an ex Serbian republic. Registration is open worldwide, and the Landrush phase is scheduled to end on 26 June 2008. The earlier Sunrise period just ended on May 20. Just like .Asia domains, any multiple registrations during the Landrush period will go into auction. But after June 26, it will all be on a first-come-first-serve basis, starting July 17, 2008.
What I like about .me is obviously the ability to create cool domain hacks with it. A lot of people may think it is only good for porn domains, but I digress. There are many cool possibilities with .me. Unfortunately, the premium domain names that could be registered with .me have all virtually been reserved or designated as premium. The high price is also not helping their cause, but it does go some way in weeding out some opportunistic registrants. Currently in this landrush phase, it costs $50 to register a .me for a year, and they need a minimum of 2 years registration. Right now, there are a few registrars offering .me registration, one of which is Godaddy, which appears to have secured registrar rights for the extension.
All things said, this is still a very “hackable” domain extension. If you can’t get a cool .me, fret not though. There are other extensions and other hacks. For example, the .us extension is still largely untapped, but undeniably, has good “hacking” potential too, being sheltered in part by its restriction for registration only by US based entities.
There are also many other ccTLDs that can conceivably be hacked to form great names; a list of ccTLDs can be found right on Wikipedia. Just remember to check the terms of registration, because different ccTLDs have different terms of service, and it also takes a lot of effort to make a domain hack website popular in the long run. In addition, it is still unknown how the major search engines will treat new or obscure ccTLDs. Nevertheless, for many of you domain aficionados out there, a domain hack is a cool thing to have!