Friday, April 18, 2008

Masters of their domains?

For many people the difference between dotCOM dotNET and dotORG domain name extensions have long faded into meaninglessness (is that even a word?). But the domains dotGOV and dotEDU still generally represent the type of institutions expected to inhabit them.

Now comes word that a company called LinkAdage and an organization called the Pickering Institue offering commercial blog domains using the EDU extension.

"LinkAdage is now offering the web's first open to the public EDU blog community. This is a very unique opportunity for Webmasters and SEOs not affiliated with a university to control a personal EDU blog.

The opportunity that running one of these blogs presents is tremendous. Your blog will be a legitimate EDU blog that you can use to promote your business and increase revenues."

So is this effective marketing, leveraging a distinction for legitimate purpose? Or is this something else? Here's a view I endorse . It does beg the question, where is the line between 'marketing' and 'deception'?

Better yet, in the transparent, always-on and interconnected social web, where will brand stewards find the line between marketing, deception and the perception of deception? No worries, it's only Trust that hangs in the balance.

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