The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is facilitating the ongoing release of upwards of 1000 new domain name extensions. First we had .com, .net, .org and a handful of other domain name extensions. We now have or will soon have .app, .blog, .buzz, .guru, .fun, .group, .fashion, .love, .music, .news, .deals, .play, .shop, .sport, .video, .web, .club, .design, .flowers, .cool, .tube and on and on.
From day one the Internet has been "aflutter" with methods and strategies that we all use for location, identification and promotion. From the individual to the corporation. With the evolution of the Internet and how that medium is integrated into all of our lives- many identification techniques have been created over time. To name a few we have real names, user names. handles, email, screen names. aliases, domain names, web pages, urls, blog names, phone numbers and on and on.
So with the expanded opportunities for Internet domain name extensions available I wanted to talk about alternative and expanded uses for domain names. Particularly virtual taglines and dot slogans.
First of all the definition of the tagline from Wikipedia.org is here: In entertainment, a tagline (or tag line) is a small amount of text which serves to clarify a thought for, or designed with a form of, dramatic effect. Many tagline slogans are reiterated phrases associated with an individual, social group, or product. As a variant of a branding slogan, taglines can be used in marketing materials and advertising.
Also from Wikipedia.org. A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious, and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose.
So what virtual taglines and dot slogans do are to utilize the domain name system (DNS) to create memorable and useful expanded opportunities for domain name usage.
Expanded uses far beyond traditional domain names.
The best way to think of a virtual tagline is much like a Twitter handle.
Only more like a phone number or email address.
The virtual tagline and dot slogan affords the user opportunities for identification, branding and self expression.
What the virtual tagline or dot slogan also does is to provide the user with the opportunity to link to other locations around the Internet such as:
you tube site
your store or shop
clubs and other groups etc.
Here is one of my own recent Twitter posts that includes a virtual tagline:
Virtual taglines and dot slogans. Become a reseller now. tagline.buzz— Duane J. Higgins (@cybrands) July 26, 2015
The virtual tagline is always a domain name. For example: football.life and bostons.best can be virtual taglines. They are also domain names.
However, a domain name is not necessarily a virtual tagline.
Following are a few examples of virtual taglines and dot slogans that I threw together for demonstration purposes only. Note the dots between each word. The extended longer domain names with the dots in between are called sub-domains. Sub-domains are nothing new. You will see many companies use them to indicate specialized sections of their website or for another purpose. Sub domains can easily be set up within your domain name administration panel.
You get the idea. With upwards of 1000 new domain name extensions currently being launched the possibilities are literally endless.
Virtual taglines and dot slogans also have the following uses and more:
Embedding in websites for marketing and SEO purposes (search engine optimization)
Text and SMS marketing
We have begun experimentation with embedding virtual taglines into our own websites. These virtual taglines can serve as a stand alone entity (and be used for marketing purposes) or you can link from there to another location on your site or another site entirely.
Virtual taglines can also be used as an advertisement unto themselves.
You will find a virtual tagline embedded in one of our sites here:
Is there is going to be a time in the near future when the question of "what's your tagline" will become as common as the oft repeated questions of yesteryear such as "what's your phone number" or "what's your email?"
The virtual tagline and dot slogan can also be used anywhere that a domain name could be used and anywhere that a hashtag could be used and beyond. (We all know what hashtags are. They provide a way for social media users to tag their posts with keywords, which in turn make it easier for social networks to organize the information and for users to search.)
Think of virtual taglines and dot slogans being attached to social media posts. (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) Remember that if you use the tagline you can then connect the tagline (string) to any other site or location that you want because the tagline is actually a domain name. Or you may just use the tagline as an identifier for you.
Virtual taglines and dot slogans can be used in the body of any sms/text message. Allowing the user to include their tagline in the body of the text and consequently link to where you choose (or not).
Virtual taglines can also be used for vanity email. For example: email@example.com
Tagline vernacular can be integrated into everyday language just as the term "hashtag" is often used relating to social media posts. For example sleek.style would be pronounced sleek (dot) style. yoga.gal would be yoga (dot) gal and on and on. Further integrating the use of taglines into popular media and culture.
You could of course buy, sell and trade virtual taglines. Much like what is done with domain names. Domain name marketplaces are numerous and already designed to trade and deal in virtual taglines and dot slogans.
Remember that every tagline is unique. This gives the tagline unique value. Unique to you. Your brand. Your online identity. However you wanted to look at it and use it. No two would be the same. (by the way, the uniqueness is what makes domain names so valuable to begin with). The value is in the differentiation. The uniqueness. The originality. The unique value that can not be replicated. For example. Capital.com is probably worth several million dollars. What do you think Captial.com is worth? (note the misspelling) Virtually nothing. Those value differentiations could apply to taglines as well.
There will soon be 1000 new domain name extensions. Certain domain extensions would certainly be "grooved" for tagline marketing. Some of those were listed above such as: .app, .blog, .best, .buzz, .guru, .group, .fashion, .love, .music, .news, .one, .deals, .play, .shop, .sport, .video, .web, .club, .design, .flowers, .green, .cool, .tube and on and on.
So I did find it more than interesting that on (May 11, 2015) when news came out in various news channels that Facebook is testing its own in-app search engine. An application that will allow users to post links in their status updates. Without having to visit Google or another search engine. The way it works is that users will see an "add a link" option next to buttons to add photos or other information. I'm sure Facebook will be providing more information on this potential Google killer as we move forward. As I have mentioned virtual taglines and dot slogans are nothing more than links. Links that either identify yoruself with an Internet identity or brand or carry you to another location on the Internet. Just as most other domain names do.
There is also a very interesting article (by Barry Swartz) found this week in Search Engine Land published May 4, 2015. . According to the article:
"Google Confirms New Experiment with Twitter in Search Results."
According to this article Google is expected to begin showing Twitter content in search this month.
Google is apparently finally making use of the new deal it signed with Twitter to put tweets into Google’s search results. The company confirmed a “small experiment” that some are seeing in the search results.
Is this "small experiment" the beginning of something big and potentially the impetus for “virtual taglines” and dot slogans to ingrain themselves into Twitter, social media and popular culture?
One additional practical difference between traditional domain names and virtual taglines and dot slogans is that there are no capital letters in virtual taglines.
There is a functional reason for this.
This is from Wikipedia.org:
The process of capitalizing letters at the beginning of words in email addresses and website addresses is known as Camel Notation. It provides a virtual cue to the beginning of each word which make the addresses easier to read.
With virtual taglines and dot slogans the capitalization is not necessary. The dot (.) between each word provides all of the visual cues necessary for separation and clarity between the words.
One more very important differentiation between the "garden variety" domain name and the virtual tagline and dot slogan.
With virtual taglines fonts are important. The font needs to be clear, concise and easy to read.
Those who study fonts and what I call "font science" will tell you that the type of font that you use can have a significant impact on the reader. Shapes of letters. Spaces within the letters and between the letters themselves an all impact the emotions of the reader.With thousands of fonts to choose from. All eliciting and evoking their own set of emotions for the individual reader.
If you are interested you may visit our virtual tagline and dot slogan registry here: