TalkPress bbPress Domain Dilemma

LelandThe following guest was written by Leland Fiegel who operates ThemeLab.com. While you’re there, be sure to check out his free WordPress themes. You can catch him on the WP Tavern forums under the username Leland.

Quiz time: What is one thing that the following Automattic products/services have in common?

WordPress, Akismet, IntenseDebate, PollDaddy, Gravatar, BuddyPress, TalkPress

Answer: Each of their respective .com domains are each controlled by Automattic.

I’m sure you can guess which one is missing off the list, and that’s bbPress. The domain name bbpress.com has been registered since 1997 by a company called B&B Press, Inc. It has nothing to do with online forums.

I’ve been involved with domain names for a few years now, and there are a few general guidelines that are involved when buying domains. One of the more important guidelines is: always get the .com.

I realize most of you reading this are relatively web savvy but imagine this: you’ve never heard of bbPress, but you knew it was a free open-source forum software. You would probably simply type “bbPress” into Google, realize the first result is the one you were looking for, and click through.

Unfortunately, most of the rest of the internet are not that savvy. I would imagine a lot of people mistakenly type in bbpress.com into their address bar, wind up on the wrong site, and give up.

At the time of this posting, it looks like Matt Mullenweg is the listed owner of TalkPress.com/net/org/info/biz/us. So why doesn’t Automattic just dump the “bbPress” name, and move everything over to talkpress.org?

There are a number of reasons that were outlined in this bbPress blog post.

  1. It avoids the sort of confusion users experience trying to distinguish between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
  2. bbPress is not a particularly good product name for that service
  3. The bbPress.com domain name is already registered to someone else

Okay, I can understand there is some confusion trying to distinguish between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, but wouldn’t it be even more confusing trying to distinguish between bbPress.org and bbPress.com, considering bbPress.com is a completely unrelated site? Could this “dilemma” be solved by simply switching from “bbPress” to “TalkPress” or do you think it’s fine the way it is?

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