TLD: .com or .org or what?

A discussion has come up on Discord: what top-level domain should our content site be under? Whatever the name is (that’s a mostly separate question), do we want a .com, .org, something else?

I feel strongly that this should not be .com.

We’re here because we’re unhappy about Stack Overflow, Inc. We’re unhappy for different reasons, but a central aspect is that the ultimate power resides in a for-profit company. If we’re a .com, we’re the same. A .com sends the wrong message.

I favor .org. Our philosophy is much closer to Wikimedia than to Stack Overflow, even if the tool that we want to build is close to Stack Overflow. Wikimedia sites are all .org.

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Definitely .com. That is the “goto” for pretty much everyone. Even the places that should use something else - e.g., higher education .edu and goverment (US) .gov - often use .com because that is what the average user expects to see.

In addition, .org doesn’t actually “mean” anything - there is no vetting process as there is with .edu - no requirement to be a nonprofit or anything else. If you want to register .net and .org (and anything else reasonable) to avoid squatting on the same name in different TLD, that’s fine. But the main thing for the unwashed masses is .com.

Wikipedia is the big obvious exception - but wikipedia.com redirects to wikipedia.org. Same thing for us. If the consensus is to go with .org then we still need to get the .com anyway - just redirect com to org rather than the other way around.

Well, sure, we can redirect the .com. But our public image should not be a .com.

Do people even type .com these days? From what I’ve seen of both techy and non-techy people, most people type the name in their search bar and let Google find the site.

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Hmm, I think that many of us old schoolers do. We’re becoming a rare species, but still.

Now on topic, .org is generally directed towards non-profits, with no commercial presence. So, if this ends up being our actual approach, .org would be most appropriate. But will it be so? At this point, I’m not qualified to state either way.

Reposting one of my earlier messages on the Discord server, from 2019-10-17 (that was day#2) with emphasis:

  1. Maybe a significant share of why the Stack Overflow / SE clones have failed is that their development and implementation diverged too much from the actual SO(SE). This is the first thing we must get right.

  2. Another relevant point - in fact, I’d argue it’s THE most relevant, is that of market reach, funding, and management. I’m more of a technical person, but can definitely see how the technical side - the software, the sysadmin etc - is just a minor part of making this endeavour successful.
    And no, I don’t have a lot of insights on how to manage success on that front, if it’s at all doable.

Since then there has been much deliberation (mostly on #general and #funding) regarding what would be a successfull financial model. I don’t have the pinpoints fresh in my mind right now.

Anyway, just wanted to add these perspectives. Choosing a TLD is tied to choosing a PM/governance/financial model.

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Now on topic, .org is generally directed towards non-profits, with no commercial presence. So, if this ends up being our actual approach, .org would be most appropriate. But will it be so? At this point, I’m not qualified to state either way.

The content must be managed by a non-profit organization. Otherwise we’ll just reproduce the Stack Exchange model. The structure may involve a for-profit organization that owns the software and the server, but the non-profit needs to be the one in charge of governance.

Decisions like the terms of service, the code of conduct, the content license, what ads are ok if any, what communities are allowed to exist, who receives privileges such as moderator access, etc. need to be taken by a non-profit, not by someone who thinks in terms of KPI and sales volume and stock price.

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One thing we might do to mitigate the concerns of „.com“ meaning company is to say „.com stands for community“.

Listed elsewhere, but relevant here:
The current project site is both codidact.com and codidact.org with primary domain TBD by implementer (likely @ArtOfCode at the moment). But both should point to the same server(s).

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