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Author: Subject: .mobi The domain for the mobile Internet!
Regine
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[*] posted on 6.23.2006 at 06:37 PM
.mobi The domain for the mobile Internet!


If you've ever tried to surf the web on your cell phone, you probably know the meaning of "frustration." Web browsing on portable phones still has some way to go before it is as useful and convenient as browsing from a PC, but a new industry consortium wants to change all that. Their plan? Introduce another top level domain called ".mobi" (pronounced "dot mobi"), which will feature content formatted for mobile devices.

The company behind the scheme is dotMobi, officially known as Mobile Top Level Domain. The company, based in Dublin, Ireland, has just opened the registration process for .mobi domain names. Currently, they are only taking sign-ups from industry players who want to launch mobile versions of their web sites (open registration will begin later this year).

Registering the new domains isn't particularly cheap. Names cost US$140 a year if they are trademarks, US$45 if they are not. The Wall Street Journal reports that Procter & Gamble was expected to register 500 names, a move that could potentially cost the company a cool US$70,000 a year.

dotMobi isn't just a domain name registrar, though. The company also publishes style guides which contain both mandatory rules and suggested best practices for sites to follow. dotMobi has the right to enforce the rules, which means that the company can yank your domain name if you don't stick to the style guide. The goal is to create a reliable and consistent mobile browsing experience for .mobi domains, and to do that, the company needs to be able to enforce messages like "Don't use frames!"

The only real question is how long it will be before the pornographers get involved. After all, mobile users love their pornography. Will porn drive the success of dotMobi, or will the company want to keep the .mobi name "family-safe"?

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060523-6893.html
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