David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
Maybe. The country of Laos and the companies working for it sure hope so. Today, on Laos’ behalf, URL registry GoDaddy began auctioning dozens of prime entertainment-themed Internet addresses ending in the newly available .LA suffix. The auction ends July 18. Among the names getting the auction treatment: comics.la, moviestars.la, producers.la, talentscout.la, screenwriter.la, studios.la, casting.la, thespian.la, stagehand.la, movietickets.la, filmfestival.la, filmguide.la, productionlocations.la, encore.la, homecinema.la, cartoons.la and, perhaps inevitably, mime.la.
.LA is the “country code” designated for Laos by ICANN, the agency that runs the Internet’s global name directory and ensures every online address is unique. Many countries only allow a company or person to use their country code if they have some sort of direct connection with that country, said GoDaddy VP Domains Richard Merdinger. “They have to have some sort of nexus” with the parent country, he said. But Laos, a small and poor Southeast Asian country that hasn’t been in the news much since the Vietnam War ended next door, has opened up access to its country code in a bid to generate revenue. The hope is to entice lots of Los Angeles- area companies and people – and possibly some in Louisiana — to sign up for a URL that’s more location specific than one ending in .com, Merdinger said. To further raise money, about 300 of the prime URLs have been set aside for an auction with several verticals, including the one for entertainment names, that GoDaddy is running. (more…)