Who's a .pro?
May 11, 2002 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Who's a .pro? The new .pro TLD will only be available to certified professionals —at first just lawyers, doctors, and accountants—with subdomain strings (“.law.pro, .med.pro and .cpa.pro with more to come”) to identify the professions. [more info at RegistryPro] Seems pretty clunky to me.
posted by kirkaracha (25 comments total)
What about wrestlers? prostitutes?
posted by rushmc at 8:27 AM on May 11, 2002

Or professors? Or beurocrats? Does "doctor" just mean M.D., or does it also mean D.O.

This is an incredibly short-sighted move. I've been programming for the medical and legal communities for about three years now....I can tell you with absolute assurity that doctors and lawyers are not the most technologically minded.
posted by taumeson at 8:43 AM on May 11, 2002

It also dilutes the brand. joeschmoe.law.pro isn't very distinct from joeblow.law.pro, and anyone who pays attention to URLs will think they're related, because of how subdomains for every other TLD work.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:01 AM on May 11, 2002

Odd. So then will the public DNS keep track of the second level domains? That sounds... well.... I guess clunky is a good description. And who approves the second levels, like .law.pro and .cpa.pro and the like? ICANN? Everyone knows it takes ICANN a long time to approve something like a new TLD. It actually sounds a bit on the fishy side to me.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:22 AM on May 11, 2002

I don't like the idea of stratifying the internet (i.e. elitism, etc), but it may very well be successful if they get it to work. We turn everything into status symbols eventually. Why not domain names? Those professions already attach letters to their names as it is... M.D., esq., etc.

I especially like their comparison table:

.pro -- A restricted secure domain extension exclusively for certified professionals

.com -- Open to any applicant with $35

posted by drang at 9:26 AM on May 11, 2002

ICANN won't have to approve anything, RegistryPro should be able decide what to do within ".pro" themselves.
It's very much like .name, where you get www.firstname.lastname.name as URL and firstname@lastname.name as email address, or local second level cctlds that are common in some countries (.co.uk, .com.hk, .gv.at ...)
I don't think they have a very large market for this domain though - and the fact that Americans aren't used to second-level domains certainly won't help them or .name become popular.
posted by c3o at 9:38 AM on May 11, 2002

I see a ton of problems. How do you establish you professional credentials? American only? British too? How about Malaysian? What certifications will be considered? Will the URL be yanked if a member loses their professional certification through abuse?
posted by srboisvert at 10:18 AM on May 11, 2002

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posted by m@ at 10:23 AM on May 11, 2002

This reminds me of Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut where Tom Cruise is running around with some sort of license for psychology like it's a police badge, and people are answering his questions like he's a cop.

c3o: Wouldn't that just make RegistryPro a webhost? And are they the only webhost who can assign a second level, or can I register one with any registration service? (I know that you wouldn't have the answers, just posing the question to illustrate how confusing this could be.)
posted by eyeballkid at 10:28 AM on May 11, 2002

I suspect the .pro TLD refers to professional proctologists
who will see hordes of clients coming to them, expecially the ones who will buy the .pro TLD.
posted by elpapacito at 11:00 AM on May 11, 2002

Arthur Anderson: cpa.pro.con.vict?
posted by Mack Twain at 11:41 AM on May 11, 2002

I'm just waiting for hulkhogan.wrestling.pro. What with the WWF WWE's domain name problems lately, this is just what they need.
posted by katieinshoes at 11:53 AM on May 11, 2002

srboisvert: Will the URL be yanked if a member loses their professional certification through abuse?

Yep, arccording to the Post article: "If .pro physicians, lawyers or CPAs are disbarred, found guilty of malpractice or lose their professional licenses, they will also lose their .pro addresses."

eyeballkid: according to RegistryPro's About Us page, they're "the exclusive operator of the .pro domain extension." Register.com is the sole shareholder.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:17 PM on May 11, 2002

Look, under the ICANN process, they approved the seven new TLDs, each one proposed by the operator. RegistryPro put this proposal in and ICANN approved it as an experiment, along with the other "limited" TLDs such as .name (which is where individuals are free to take domains). If it's successful, two things will happen. First, RegistryPro will want to expand its target market by signing up other professional certification groups, such as some of those people complaining in the article -- one obvious technologically-minded market would be computer professionals, such as MSCD, MSCE, A+ and so forth. Second, ICANN will see that this was successful and in a future round of TLD approvals will allow other registries to similarly manage what they've proposed.

I don't see where the big deal is. ICANN also approved (I think) .airline -- are plumbers expecting "the internet to be free to all" in that, as well?

There have also been proposals to set strict controls on .edu and .org, so that the former are certified schools and the latter are properly incorporated non-profits. There are, of course, people who are up in arms about the latter, and grandfathering would certainly be problematic; and one of the rejected ICANN proposals this last round was for .npo which would serve that purpose.

I don't think any of this is perfect but I think it's a reasonable advance given the circumstances.

I'd link some of the above but it's impractical on this computer.
posted by dhartung at 12:39 PM on May 11, 2002

more dots, not more googles.

"some sort of license for psychology like it's a police badge"

but...Harfords medical license I.D. entitled him to ask questions if it pertained to a medical Issue. Who would question a doctor, after all, he's obtaining information that may save a life....(sundrie mu-ha-ha) Perhaps Kubricks side point was Harford was not only asking the wrong questions, but questioning the wrong people.
posted by clavdivs at 12:51 PM on May 11, 2002

As kirkaracha said, they "own" all of .pro, so it's up to them to only make subdomains of certain domains availible - and that's all a foo.law.pro would be.
From what I've read on the page, it sounds like that as with .name, other registrars will actually sell the (sub)domains, and they'll presumably just maintain the database and maybe do the verifying of registrations.

You mean ".aero". I have no idea what they were thinking when they approved that one.

Hmm: On this page they boast that register.com has processed registrations for ".co.de", which in fact does not exist (Germany does not use second-level domains). That doesn't make them look like ".pro"s, does it?
posted by c3o at 3:48 PM on May 11, 2002

$5 bucks to the first non-professional who manages to get a .pro domain registered.
posted by Neale at 5:21 PM on May 11, 2002

Can I become a professional through the Universal Life Church?
posted by ODiV at 6:34 PM on May 11, 2002

I heard that a .pro site costs $300. No wonder they are targeting doctors and others with high income potential.

Oh, and they better not take my .org away from me.
posted by jazon at 8:30 PM on May 11, 2002

How about something useful like .xxx for porn sites then those that want to find them can and others have an easy way to exclude them.
posted by onegoodmove at 10:15 PM on May 11, 2002

There was talk of a .sex TLD way back when the new set were first mooted. It's a shame it never came to anything.
posted by jackiemcghee at 2:48 AM on May 12, 2002

... which brings us full circle to the future .sex.pro (available legally in certain Nevada counties and Australian states).
posted by dhartung at 10:11 AM on May 12, 2002

Now wouldn't adding .sex.pro be nice for the rest of non-working girls!
Add .sex.cruiser for the ones who want a free ride, and then we can save John Ashcroft the trouble of a massive anti-porn campaign with overpriced lawyers. Sortof the Internet equivalent of a "red light district." If you're not interested, you don't go there. And it's outta your face when you're not in the mood.
posted by sheauga at 12:51 PM on May 12, 2002

Am I the only one who pretty much ignores any web domain that's not edu, gov, com, net or org? Like .tv for example. WTF? I actually had 'zach.cx' for awhile. What a waste of money that was. It wasn't a scam exactly, but I still felt ripped off. Any website other than those with the Big Five at the end just oozes with uncertainty. Granted a good percentage of regular web domains are disreputable, but the irregular web domains outside the original Big Five are.. well.. irregular.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:53 PM on May 12, 2002

Hey, that's Big Six. Don't forget .mil.
posted by rodii at 5:33 PM on May 12, 2002

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