Ah .ORG, it has been in the news more over the last month than ever before, mostly due to its controversial sale to a Private Equity firm. Beyond all the issues with this deal there’s a fundamental issue that .ORG has always had that doesn’t get talked about as much.
Dot-org symbolizes neither quality nor trustworthiness. It’s a marketing tool that relies on a widespread but false association with credibility.(Source – New York Times)
It might be blunt but it’s spot on, the idea that .ORG is somehow associated with non-profits or has anything to do with trust is all just marketing fluff. Anyone can register a .ORG domain and do anything they want with it, the article goes on to say:
The Public Interest Registry and Ethos Capital could channel some of the millions earned from the dot-org mirage to fund initiatives that educate the public on the domain’s shortcomings.
They can start by adding a bright red asterisk to their royal blue logo: “Dot-org implies nothing about an organization’s intent. Buyer Beware.”(Source – New York Times)
I think the fallout we’ve seen with .ORG in the short term is only going to accelerate. The reality is, a huge amount of trust has been lost and now the veil of trust .ORG has built their reputation on for years has gone down the drain, the question is will PIR, Ethos Capital or ICANN do anything about it. For now we’ll just have to wait and see…