What’s the Big Deal About .xxx Domains?

It’s been a few months since the controversial .xxx domain opened up.  From the very beginning institutions (include colleges/universities) began snapping them up to ‘protect their brand’.  The Edmonton Journal reported that Grant MacEwan University paid $1,875 USD to secure five .xxx domains.

I’m just not sure I completely buy-in to the hype.

First of all, if someone types in your business name into Google, it’s very likely that your business or another .COM website will appear in the results first.  In order for someone to come across www.yourbusiness.xxx, they would likely need to type the exact address. By nature of the URL they will know what content to expect and their impression would not be influenced.

There is a much larger risk from more traditional top-level domains (TLDs) like .COM, .NET, .ORG, .CA, etc.

For example, if you run a specialty toys store and have the domain name www.funtoys.ca.  People that know of your brand, may type in www.funtoys.com.  Can you imagine the horror your prospective customer would feel when they came to an adult site, when they were fully expecting to learn about your unique line of toys.

What I don’t understand is if these institutions are so concerned about protecting their brand and are willing to pay thousands of dollars on .xxx domain names, why don’t they spend a little more and seek after more common TLDs and work towards truly mitigating the risk of misrepresentation?

Where do you draw the line? There are over a dozen TLDs that could be purchased.

What are your thoughts? Has your organization purchased a .xxx domain name?