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March 22, 2010


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Paul Sevensky

Perhaps companies would be well advised to set up a dot-org in advance of crisis, using it to post Corporate Social Responsibility-related items (as well as posting them on their dot-com) when the dot-org is not in "crisis mode."

David Meerman Scott

Interesting idea Paul. Do you know of any examples of this use of a dot ORG?


Steve Johnson

You'll find that google.org goes to their philanthropy site.

Also see Wikipedia's definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.org

David Meerman Scott

Steve - interesting that the Wikipedia definition is a bit different than the .ORG registry definition regarding what kind of companies can use. I guess the use has evolved in the past 15 years or so from the original intent.

Charles Neville

Good point Paul. Assuming a company does have a pulse of corporate social responsibility items that would be a very good approach and registering and maintaining a .org site should be a part of every company's communications plan, not a thing done in an emergency. This way the site is established in search engines and should do better in search results in the event of a crisis.

Paul Sevensky

Steve's example of Google's dot-org use is precisely the type usage I had in mind, although I did not have a specific company in mind. Charles, the idea that setting up the dot-org will establish it in search engines for better results in crisis is a great point.


Thanks...Good suggestion.

One thought regarding .org's for profit related entities - Whoever is responsible for managing the .org site should not be in the Marketing group. It is too easy to forget the purpose of .org is unrelated to For-Profit motives - too much temptation for many marketing groups. Thanks Again


David, great idea! Although it's contingent on you actually owning the domain in the first place as it can take a while for the DNS hook up to go through.

One of my clients would love to get hold of the .org of their domain name but unfortunately someone else is sitting on it.

I suppose a variation of the company name plus org could still have the same effect. You've got me thinking!

David Meerman Scott

Thanks to all for jumping in. There was more to this post than I thought. Lots of great ideas. THANKS!

Emile Paradis

Seems like ethical thin ice to me. .org has meaning because it represents "nonprofit" in the minds of most. Hiding behind that image for the purposes of commerce will dilute this credibility. The use of .org by a for profit organization in order to benefit from the IMPRESSION of credibility and trust associated with it seems deceptive to me.


Name availability is also another good reason to buy a .ORG. Its certainly a lot easier than buying a .com. Additionally, since they have such a strong brand recognition I personally feel like its a great option and consumers probably trust going to a .org a bit more than they would a .com, .net or .mobi.

Lauren Price

We, at .ORG, thank all of you for the engaging commentary and for realizing the value of .ORG to the greater community. As David noted, we view our domain as a means for organizations, individuals, groups, and corporate entities to educate and inform their audiences-whether it be to communicate crisis or to simply share it's philanthrophic efforts. With the public's best interest in mind, we strongly encourage that every entity looking to register a .ORG view our domain as a venue to improve both transparency and communication, mobilize activism, promote causes, and educate communities.

Take for example, PistachioRecall.ORG. In 2009, Kraft Foods discovered several types of salmonella present in it's processing plants. The nuts in question all came from a single company, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, California. In an effort to educate consumers about the recall, the CAL-PURE co-op of Pistachio growers chose to create a simple, informative website that would communicate to consumers the names of all pistachio brands that did not face recall from the FDA. .ORG not only represents the company or organization behind the domain but also the activity that occurs on the website i.e community interaction, education, collaboration, etc. The use of PistachioRecall.ORG is a prime example of how commercial entities are relying on the trusted reputation of .ORG to create a well-intended site that is resourceful and restorative in a time where consumer confidence is shaken.

In a time of crisis, it's good practice to shift focus to dealing with the issue at hand by educating the public on important and pertinent information in a timely manner.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for jumping in Lauren.

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I think that @Joshua is right on. Name availability is huge when buying a .org. Everyone is worried about having a domain name being close to theirs, so they buy up every option. I am seeing many non-profits operate under .com, which used to be a rarity.

Dwight Lavallee

Transperency comes with truth at its simplest form of communication. If deseption is there you will always find great lengthy highly tenical or exagerations which only spur on more mistrust as well as misery. Tell me I'm lieing.

ffxiv gil

Hiding behind that image for the purposes of commerce will dilute this credibility.


We actually had the option to use .com for New Haven Lyme Disease support group but we decided to only register the NewHavenLyme.org The name in .com was available but we went with .org instead.

David Meerman Scott

Christine - Interesting. That's probably what I would have done. thanks for letting us know

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