Is .name ready for real-life use?
February 17, 2010 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have experience with registering and using a .name domain for email and/or web hosting?

I'm considering setting up a new primary email address for myself. This time, I'm looking at using a .name gTLD. There are options with using .name that seem a little unique, so I thought I'd cast about for firsthand experience.

First of all, there seems to be a built-in difference in third-level domain names when using .name compared to other TLDs like .com. I'm unclear about who is allowed to register second-level domain names (using .name) or if it's just first-come-first-served, but (according to wiki) third-level names seem to not be owned by the owner of the second-level name. That is, if my name is Buster Keaton, I can register even if I don't own The .name registrars I've looked at don't even seem to allow searching for availability on third-level names. Anybody have any advice there? Do I need to just find a second-level one that is free, like

Also, according to the wikipedia article linked above, email address format validation for .name addresses in some web forms might not work in some places, since it's newish. So my shiny new email address might get rejected as invalid when I try to buy stuff online or pay my bills. Again, any firsthand experience out there?
posted by dammitjim to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is really unavailable? How about

If you say "something something dot com" on the phone, people get that. Good luck getting anyone to understand that you're saying "dot name"

.name is kind of, well... something that rhymes with .name.
posted by rokusan at 10:53 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have a second-level .name domain, which I registered (after the rule change) and it runs like any other domain. (And my opinion of the TLD's lameness/coolness differs from rokusan's, at least for people who can register their full surnames as second-level domains — seems like one of the most intuitive personal email addresses out there, short of

I think the Wikipedia article actually explains this pretty clearly, but I'll restate my understanding: if someone has already registered a third-level subdomain (under the old rules), the second-level domain is no longer available (but new third-level subdomains are still available). That is, depending on the individual .name domain, you can either grab the whole thing (if it's available and unencumbered by subdomains) or you can register your own third-level subdomain, but never both. The opacity of these third-level rules, and the non-parallel to how every other TLD works, obviously motivated the rule change.

I don't understand what your actual concern is about "email address format validation," but I can at least confirm that my .name email has worked fine everywhere I've tried it.
posted by RogerB at 12:40 PM on February 17, 2010

I own both the dot com and dot name versions of my own real name, not to mention my pen name, my name in another language and a couple of jokey pseudonyms.

Many websites choke on the dot name version, either because of the two dots on the left side of the at-sign, or because they don't recognize .name as a valid domain at all. I assume this is what the question was referring to.

But I don't really use it much, since the dot com is so very much cooler, right? ;)
posted by rokusan at 1:40 PM on February 17, 2010

Best answer: I've just re-read this bit of the question and wanted to clarify (for more, see Verisign's .name FAQ):
third-level names seem to not be owned by the owner of the second-level name. That is, if my name is Buster Keaton, I can register even if I don't own

This is wrong if someone else has already registered if the second-level domain is registered, then you cannot register However, if someone else has already registered the third-level, then you can register a new third-level, and cannot register the second-level

It's obviously a lot more attractive to grab an available, unencumbered second-level domain if it's still available, in order to avoid potential misunderstandings generated by this messy set of legacy rules.
posted by RogerB at 2:39 PM on February 17, 2010

.Name is definitely not ready for real-life use, in my opinion. Every time I say my email address over the phone, I already have to spell the thing out... I'd rather not deal with explaining ".name" on top of that.
posted by beingresourceful at 3:21 PM on February 17, 2010

I've had good experiences with my email address (haven't tried a web site, no contact with I got it because and were already taken. It's worked well for me.

Occasionally a web form will balk and say it isn't a valid email address (because some blockhead has hard-coded the page to accept only .com, .net, and .edu). In that case, I've had to enter a "normal" email address, because the email address was mandatory.

since it's newish

Oh, it's not new — it was introduced way back in 2001. It just hasn't caught on. So, the real question is, what kind of person are you? One who joins a group that isn't popular (.name) , or one that goes with the crowd (.com)? :-)
posted by exphysicist345 at 4:58 PM on February 17, 2010

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