Serve them right for appropriating .com in the first place.
The Register started out as a UK operation with a UK addressed web site, but accidentally and against our expectations became a pretty successful international operation. In deference to marketing we should point out that in recent years the international success has been both planned and deliberate, but that certainly isn't …
As a yank who's mastered typing .co.uk in a surprisingly short six years, why should this matter?
I would think the "branding" issue would be much better addressed by continuing to produce top-quality journalism.
After all, I usually am able to type "news.bbc.co.uk" instead of "cnn.com" when I want hard news. Even though it requires a few extra keystrokes, I think I can cope.
Please keep .co.uk - it's one of the great things that sets El Reg apart from the mass of corporate 'merkin sites. It may be a small, petty thing, but I still get a cheap kick every time I glance at the address bar and think "hell, we may be stuck with American movies, culture, government and nukes, but at least The Register is still British!"
Unlike whoever proof-reads your articles (there is no hell vile enough for you!), the .co.uk address is a good thing, and would be sorely missed (if only by me).
.co.uk is part of The Register's identity. It specifies that it's British and that's great. No offence to the Americans, but I like seeing that it's a UK website where it feels more... homely. Still, to me it doesn't make much of a difference either way really because I have the RSS on Google :D
I have been a reader of theregister.co.uk for a good number of years. The tongue firmly in cheek approach to IT related news is something of a pleasure, in comparison to those who either report it with dry boredom or Labrador like excitement.
I can't see "theregister.com" looking or feeling right.
the .co.uk is definitely part of the brand at this point, and its also something of a warning. British humour contained within, enter at your own risk.
I think redirecting the .com to .co.uk seems a great deal more appropriate for our american cousins who can't quite manage to grasp the concept of vulture central originating from Britain, then to force loyal readers who hail from the same shores to forget theregister's origins and look up to the address bar to be greeted with a .com
At least thats my opinion on the matter.
Thats all I have to say about that.
Well, it would make a change from the UK being considered an extension of US territory :)
Plus, if you say it with a Yorkshire accent, it sounds just right.
(PS if you decide to use dot com, then why not use us.theregister.com *as well as* uk.theregister.com? Many big companies already use this system)
Personally speaking I like the "made in Britain", er, ting that goes with a .co.uk URL - perhaps no surprise coming from an Englishman.
That said it's not a deal-breaker in the way that internationalising (internationalizing?) your content would be. By that I mean US spelling, quietly dropping English like "boffins" (or the magnificent "boffinry") and whatnot.
I'm not from the UK, but still I feel that www.theregister.com would feel like El Reg going American, while I love its still quite Brittish touch.
Btw, why would using www.theregister.com translate to uk.theregister.co.uk while you could just let the .com address forward the reader to www.theregister.co.uk? Or are there plans to offer different content depending on read location? :-s
Anyway... I'd stay with .co.uk
I'm reading from Canada and consider The Register to be a UK publication catering to a global audience. As such, I like the co.uk domain and think it should be retained. To me at least, com domains come across as American which The Register is not. That's part of the reason I read it, because it isn't as self-centred as most US publications seem to be.
Go with the co.uk in my opinion. I value it and I'm not in the UK.
I was at a meeting in Scotland with Joel Spolsky. I spoke to him briefly.
He said that American businesses had NO problem dealing with British providers. So if TheRegister is concerned that a lack of .com is somehow a turn-off to a potential audience, don't worry. This is backed up by other Americans too.
If an audience is turned off by a lack of .com, then your sly puns and quirky commentary will be beyond them anyways.
Conversly, British don't mind a .com either.
So if the switch is not too expensive, just run both.
No-one that matters should be baying for your blood or setting up hate sites like: bringbacktheregister.co.uk or ihatetheregisterforswitchingto.com
You've got a great site with good content... That shines through, whatever your domain name.
Don't the US readers already have theregus.com? keep your branding just as it is, we should be proud of the .co.uk URL, and besides, being linked even more closley with the USA is not going to endear you to the rest of the world in these times of international stress, I thought .coms were for COMercial businesses? I know they are controlled by companies andthe government of the USA, but they are for comercial use for everyone, so it saddens me to see you calling it a country specific domain, are .org, .net the same?
Anyway, keep the .co.uk and be proud of it, its one little bit of empire we are still allowed to force onto others!
I'll be honest, my gut reaction was to baulk at the idea of going .com. I don't know what it is, perhaps a tedious sense of national pride, but with the general assumption that .com means American, it was nice that sites like the BBC and El Reg championed .co.uk, for want of a better description.
However, needs must, and it sounds like the overhaul is required. I take it there would be some sort of IP filtering which would take you to either us.etc or uk.etc based on where you're browsing from?
Sounds like a plan then, guv.
Somehow "theregister.co.uk" give more of an impression of a bunch of guys mucking about with technical news, while "theregister.com" makes you sound like a dull news site which just rehashes corporate press releases and wire stories.
Depends on which you want to sound like: the Private Eye of tech news, or The Economist.
Well I would suggest sticking to the .co.uk in case some muppet in the US decides that the .com should be theres and you lose your customers off to someones idea of revenue building (a search engine portal).
Would you trust the US legal system? At least nominet are normal human beings..
Sure use the .com for the US guys but keep the UK the rest of us.
Currently, you have an international/US domain name and a UK domain name both with the same mix of content. This is a waste of domain names.
Better to create "international" and "UK" editions, on different domain names, with different content filters.
I think the BBC does this quite well, although I'm not sure how their editions map to domain names.
I started reading this site long before the .com address became available. When El Reg did start using theregister.com, I noticed that the selection of articles on .com and .co.uk were different -- that is, the .com articles seemed to be a more filtered version, with the .co.uk site having all the .com articles plus UK-specific ones. For that reason, I kept reading the .co.uk site and never looked back. Now I suppose there are a couple of reasons I think you should stay with .co.uk:
1) I would think that more people are in the habit of automatically typing (and have bookmarks pointing to) theregister.co.uk than theregister.com (and please, whatever you do, don't force us to add "www." to the address!). And I don't know about other people, but when I type an address, I expect to stay on that site; I don't expect to get redirected to a different site, even a different site controlled by the same organization (not without warning, at least).
2) El Reg id decidedly British. Much of the terminology on the site is British (and hence, not normal for probably a large percentage of your readers). If people see a .com address, they may assume US-based and not understand the terminology. Worse, people casually browsing to the site, not knowing it is British, may claim to get offended by terms such as "xxx went tits up" (or by the many double-entendre headlines).
3) And of course the most selfish reason, I'm used to theregister.co.uk, so I guess after so many years it's a source of comfort.
Given the uniquely british humour and outlook of theregister it would probably be more appropriate that it keep .co.uk as it's primary address.
However, so long as you don't all bugger off over the pond, start using 'z' where you should be using an 's' and start saying 'dude' a bit too much then would it really matter?
Yes! Yes it would, we're proud of .co.uk and you should bloody well keep it as the primary, sod em!
A Disgruntled Northener.
I say that the .com thing is just a bubble waiting to burst. This "internet" is just a fad that will go the way of the pet rock. It is not a dump truck, but a series of tubes, just ask an American congressman.
Or, ok I guess you guys could go with a .com and make my life a lot easier, I think of my little vultures as international ambassadors of unsolicted editorial info, making your site a universal leader in dis-information!
I'm in the US and I'm an employee of a company w/a growing UK presence. I started reading El Reg because I liked reading about IS/IT from the UK perspective. <i>That's</i> the part of this site I value. I will still be going to theregister.co.uk and will continue to look for the UK view.
The .co.uk part of the URL is part of what attracted me to the Reg years ago. It suggested it wasn't a run of the mill US-centric site and this has been borne out with the British humour and stories. Losing the .co.uk to become uk.theregister.com would feel like changing into a small, after-thought subsidiary of just another US tech site and lose much of the unique Reg brand appeal.
When reading a page, i don't mind where the site is coming from. That is to say, if reading a .com, .co.uk, .fr etc. site I appreciate that it is from another country but do not mind that it is not .co.uk.
It therefore does not follow that it is "silly for US readers to read from theregister.co.uk" - thus, no need to move.
The domain should reflect where the site is based: if based in the UK, then .co.uk serves nicely, if based in the US, then .com
Being a reader for a number of years now, I honestly had no idea that the site was 'mirrored' accross both the .com and .co.uk domains, being an avid .co.uk user myself.
Being slightly unaware of the fact that both of these domains existed, my initial question is whether there is content that is directed exclusively at one or the other's territory (i.e. are there articles that only appear on the .co.uk or .com version of the site)? If the answer is no, then I do not see any reason to abandon the .co.uk domain for the .com one. (I guess I am also asking what is the use of a us.theregister.co.uk or uk.theregister.com sub-domain?)
After all, all major companies around the globe have to have there headquarters somewhere, and so (to me, at least) it is really a question of where your operations ultimately run from and this should determine which domain you run from. If you remain true to your current brand, then surely .co.uk is the way forward. However, one can sympathise with the decision to migrate to a .com domain, especially if this is what was originally intended.
Personally? I agree with Mark above - make a stand and adopt a us.theregister.co.uk or, maybe, force them into a us.theregister.com domain to show that the .com domain should really be non-geographic.
Anyway, kudos for this article - it says so much about El Reg's approach to journalism and the modesty with which it consults it's readership.
Is there really any competition here? Use the .co.uk domain - it differentiates you from all the US news sites, and offers a tantalising promise of proper spelling, proper humour, and non-US-centric news. Oh, and it shows you don't have to whalesong it to a .com domain just to feel like you're playing with the big boys.
Alternatively, stick with them both. You'll no doubt be keeping both domains (ahem) registered anyway.
An important part of The Register's branding comes from the wry blend of insight and sarcasm lovingly injected into each article. Despite the number of global correspondents, this writing style is firmly ensconced within the subcategory of British humour, and does not deserve to be tarred with the epithet of a .com address.
Please don't fall for any Web 2.0 spin touting ".com == international"; it's as clear as a smack in the face to most people that most large .com websites live and operate from the United States.
Being a British reader, for slightly patriotic reasons, I would prefer the .co.uk address to be used. Many sites use .com, which has a kind of generic-ness to it. Having .co.uk gives the site (IMO) a slightly more 'unique' flavour on the international market.
Having said all that, I can completely understand why, for commercial reasons, it might make more sense to have the .com address displayed in the address bar.
You are a U.K. publication so you should use theregister.co.uk and if you want to have targeted content simply do as the BBC do at news.bbc.co.uk and allow users to choose between a U.K. or International edition.
I think you are big enough and have enough readers now that it doesn't matter. The BBC don't have a .com address and they have millions of readers from all around the world. Why do you need a .com address? Are you just worried that our American cousins will think less of a .co.uk domain than a .com domain? That's just silly and the BBC is proof that if your content is good and something that people want to read then the domain doesn't really matter.
/Steve (from U.K. but currently residing in Västerås, Sweden)
I have a bit of a patriotic soft spot for .co.uk addresses I have to admit, but in this case I feel it does actually serve some additional "branding" purpose if you like: although The Reg is now an internationally read website, it does still slant it's editorial, and it's outlook on the world if you like, with a definitely British angle on things. I'd like it to stay that way.
Not to say I won't read it ever again if it did switch to a .com (spit!) of course...
All this worry about branding sounds perilously close to the navel-gazing, tree-hugging hippy rubbish that your esteemed publication is first in line to shoot down as the pointless and costly exercise it is.
However, assuming you do want to offer different content depending on whether the audience is US or UK/European - and there is a good argument for doing so - then why not serve .co.uk to the UK and .com to the US?
On the flip side, you've already described how to achieve the desired effect without having to force users to make the choice of which domain they type in, or click through to. Like many other UK newspapers (both online and in print) that have a UK edition and a global edition, the choice is made by the user on the site itself, perhaps with a cookie set to remember their preference next visit.
When it boils down to it, if you do choose to offer content tailored to the audience, then a choice will have to made at some point, whether it's in the URL, or by clicking a link (or by auto-magic detection of location).
Personally, I say keep .co.uk - it reflects the writing style better!
Well, as an expatriate living in the glorious totalitarian state previously known as the leader of the free world I have to say keep the .co.uk.
.com may not be a 'US' domain, but it operates as a defacto US domain. The Register is profoundly British, from the sense of humor to the point of view, the uniquely pragmatic and cynical British attitude shines through.
I personally like .co.uk, but in this modern world of sheep-like web users with IQs that match their sheep-like status, having a '.com' domain is a far more successful strategy. Few if any web-sheep even know how to type anything other than '.com' when entering a domain name.
...theregister.co.uk should show news with popular UK news at the top; theregister.com.us should show news with popular US news at the top; theregister.com should show new with the overall most popular at the top.
I would use .co.uk and flick to .com for a different take on things when bored.
If i'm right in the thinking that you need two seperate sites to serve locally relavent content and probably most importantly sell advertising space to advertisers who want to sell into a particular market then why not just have one single site where the users IP is parsed and you then send them to the relevent edition? (clearly, undetermined IP's get sent to the UK version)
Then have something in the topbar which allows the user to select which edition they view should they not wish to view the version for their locality.
Not only does this mean you only need one site, without the need for endless subdomains blah blah, it means it scales - should you add say a Brazilian edition you just add a new edition for the locality and set up the IP parsing.
That way you can have as many domain endings as you like, just all pointing at the same place. And if you feel the need to have the site stored in several localities to minimise international transit just use a CDN platform.
El Reg has always been (in my eyes) a UK IT News website, that covers both national and international geographical area. Unless El Reg is planning on have IT Public Sector news for the US then why pretend to be global?
IT News from around the world but based from the UK. Written by a UK team (mainly), by a UK company for what must be generally the UK market.
Why drop the UK domain?
Why not just have the .com site forward to the .co.uk. That way if you type in the .com you get the .co.uk
http://www.motorcyclenews.com does this but the wrong way around. If you enter .co.uk you end up with the .com.
The Register site is UK based so the address you see should be .co.uk
Boomer (in da UK)
(Old UseNet folks will get the reference)
Anyway, late to the party but just _have_ to join the pile-on. I've been a Reg reader (in the U.S.) too long to remember, and dabbled with the "U.S. local" edition for under a week. Of course, I also subscribe to The Economist, but by the look of the above I'm not atypical. As long as you don't just give up the .com to be one of those nasty web-graveyards, _please_ keep .co.uk as the main address.
I agree that .com generally implies (at least to a majority of people) a location in the United States. While that may or may not be so terrible, The Register is in the UK and people ought not be mistaken about that.
Plus the .co.uk explains all the British slang and nonsense words that liberally cover the site. If people thought for an instant that such terms were coming from a US site the game would be up and people would think you were a wack Web 2.0 or SMS company.
Watch out - whale song at 12 O Clock!!
Severe danger of incense burning may also occur!!
Please be serious!!
Most self respecting UK companies go for the .co.uk - then to avoid cyber squaters and typo's grab the .com - but then alias it to the same site (works on small sites) or as I presume you are suggesting use mod_rewrite (or similar) to forward any of the .com's to .co.uk
All it takes is a 301 redirect and Robert's your fathers brother.
Of course if you do decide to move to a .com then I think we will need to start a petition at no. 10 for you all to be hanged, though being lenient you could be given colonisation instead.
to start I really enjoy the Register. Am a US resident, but am proud to admit I religously read the Register. So I feel a certain prestige not depending on just the US propo. At the same time, it is probably easier for folks around the world to find a .com URL as compared to .co.uk. Being a braggart, I always tell folks that I use the Register, a Brits website due to the valid alternate views that it presents.
I have to admit I originally Googled the register and didn't pay attention to the url, then I added it to my iGoogle RSS feed and didn't need to remember it or give it any attention. I assumed it was a .com not a .co.uk even though I knew it was a site from the United Kingdon. Yet again I learn something useful from an article on The Register.
I've been reading elreg from the U.S. for 5 or 6 years now, and I've always typed the .co.uk domain in. I think the domain name used should reflect the culture of the site. Given that the writing uses many British phrases (presumably most of your journalists are British), staying with ".co.uk" seems appropriate. I don't see how changing it to ".com" would increase the site's appeal.
Although there I think anything of a site that was just ".com" to start with, changing from ".co.uk" to ".com" for the purpose of appealing to American readers seems like the sort of thing that would backfire and/or attract the wrong type of readership (i.e., who would suddenly start reading a site just because the domain changed from ".co.uk" to ".com").
Aside from a few xenophobes, I don't think anyone really CARES what the url is.
The important part is content and speed. Being located in the US, I know that if I type in elreg.co.uk, I'll be served more slowly than if I type elreg.com.
No matter what URL you go with, I think you need to make sure that it gets served to people at the same speed as their local version would have been previously.
Of course, since I'm US and we're far far better than anyone else, I'm only dimly aware that there IS someplace outside the US, but I've been told that it exists, and so I think they probably imagine they matter too.
It is not just brand but also culture (or cult?). You're a global brand the way it is and with merits.
It is hard work and a waste to offer different content on two or more 'national' sites. IT is without borders.
If anything just tag the article with US/EU/whatever for local interests along with NSFW/Letters/etc. Then redirect the .com to .co.uk. That's all you'll need.
MM - a long time reader from Brazil.
It sucks that the US is trying to own the Internet...I know Al Gore created it, but come on!...leave your meat puppets off and be a team player! Don't give in to Da Man! :)
As a reader, there's something exotic about the .co.uk for us American folks over here and I would have thought there would also be a bit of national pride on your parts. *shrug* Just my $.02
So what would the difference be with us.elreg and uk.elreg? If the stories are different, or there's different filtering of stories, then there's the reason for going .com and redirecting .co.uk to uk.elreg.
But if there's no difference, then it's just a toss-up, and whichever loses gets to be redirected to the winner, with the consolation prize of a lifetime of 302 (Found) HTTP replies. Setting up reverse proxies around the world with uk/us/de/ca/ja/etc won't really matter to Apache.
.co.uk all the way
.com isn't "international", it's been predominantly American all the time. .com has no legal UK status or regulation either. It's entirely un-British.
From a perceptive point of view though, .com would likely cause confusion for Americans thinking it's a US site and wondering what the hell many of the UK centric articles and language is on about.
Can't stand uk.***.com URLs anyway. Just makes us seem inferior, especially when no us.***.com is enforced for the US.
Either .com is international and there's no uk.***.com or it's entirely a US top level domain.
Better still, petition for a new second level domain in .uk
Like some others, I've read The Reg longer than it has had the .com domain.
I like its UK-centric attitudes, humour and coverage of political issues (e.g, ID cards) and think that using .co.uk as the prime domain is a good peg to support the whole parcel of location, attitudes and topics.
By all means keep .com (and add .eu and .net) as you wish but my preference is to treat these TLDs as aliases for .co.uk, with .co.uk appearing as the domain on all displayed content.
If, in future, you decide to include location filtering to support automatic translation or relevance filtering (I would strongly deplore the latter - IMO its far too close to censorship) then please make sure that www.theregister.co.uk is the prime, unmodified base of all content and always works this way no matter where or who the reader is.
I think if you name it theregister.com and keep it the way it is, with all its British peculiarities you risk confusing your audience. When I go to theregister.co.uk I expect it to be the way it is, in part because it is British. And I think you are doing a wonderful job with the website, so my suggestion would be just keep its style, substance _and_ URL :-).
As a Us reader who's been visiting the site since before it was using the .com I say leave it, simply on the grounds that it makes me feel superior to the rest of the country who gets their news (of any sort) through the controlled corporate distillery.
Plus I think we yanks could use a bit of pie on our face and be reminded that we are not the center of the universe by seeing us.theregister.co.uk would be a very subtle way of doing just that.
I don't think it really matters visually - I've always used .co.uk but .com would be neater if you're having country-specific subdomains. So the only other consideration is I guess a technical one - do you want to deal with Nominet or one of the US registrars.
If you do switch to .com, can you make the .co.uk automagically redirect to the uk specific subdomain pretty please? That way we can carry on using what we know and love without having to remember that we're all of a sudden 'international'.
I'd suggest you keep .co.uk. You have a very British way of doing and saying things - you're a British website read by the world, not a global website.
Unless global website is what you are after, but you would need to match the content to that global style, which I doubt any long term regular readers (including me) want.
I vote .co.uk
While I know the Register, like certain...other...IT rags has a bit of a chip on thier shoulder about Canada, we are *not* americans. I, and many of us, don't want our news from an american branded, american perspective site. I prefer the slightly more open-minded, and realistic viewpoint of british journalism to the xenophobic fox-news-esque 'reporting' that comes out of the states.
While things are coming from a .co.uk address, I can at least live in the fantasy world where I can believe that the news is coming from a british, not american perspective.
I love the register, and along with...the other...british IT rag, it forms the daily breakfast read for me. The only issue I've ever had are the occasional articles that tell Canadians "shut up and stop trying to read the .co.uk site, and use the .com site, becuase you're americans, and should be reading the american site." We're not. We don't want to be. Our system of government, values, and beliefs are far more, 'european' than america.
(I know, European doesn't exist, you are all individual nations, etc. Most members of the union have things like health care, belief in privacy, an innate hatred of the RIAA, a belief that corrupt governments should be slapped, etc. that align more closely with Canadian beliefs than the value set evidenced by american reporting.)
While I am aware that I will likely have the ability to choose "british site" or "american site," simply having the URL differentiate such is...comforting. Your article asks if we value the .co.uk branding...well...on behalf of at least a three dozen Sysadmins, programmers, and IT consultants from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada...we do.
Fine let go changing everything! It was fine as it was, but no, becuase the yanks feel inferior (they should be getting used to it!) El Reg should change its primary domain.</sarcasm>
Lets just change Opal Fruits to Starburst! Nobody will notice!
Lets change Marathon to Snickers! They'll like that!
No, the Red phone boxes aren't working out, lets make them black. Equality y'know...
The backlash was silent but deadly.
The day my browser redirects to .com is the day that I start using my mod points on Slashdot and then El Reg, then, you're really screwed.
How can you in good faith mock the stupid Americans (and there are enough of them) when your hardcore fish n' chip eating, pint drinking crowd are carelessly being redirected to a more USy address. What next, Stella in wine glasses? Actually caring about American politics, if I gave a shit about what the senate's up to, I'll pick up a good ol' fashioned english paper as most seem to have succumbed to the easy option of printing whatever the NY Times does anyhow..
Forget this madness and run another story on Second Life or something...
like everyone said, keep the .co.uk to preserve the UK pride and presence.
i'm a big fan of El Reg from the states - going six years now; honestly, when you introduced .com, i decided to use it for convenience, but mind you .co.uk lets readers know the site is originated from Britain, made by Britain, written by Britain, for the world - not another muck-up news site from the states pretending to be true boffins.
however, i do agree us.theregister.co.uk seems a bit silly. is it us or uk? it might as well be theregister.co.uk/us
if for some odd reason you decide to make .com the primary site, might i warn you, you may find El Reg merch selling on eBay with auction titles like "Authentic, original El Reg Hat, w/ .co.uk embroidered in the back. Made by Britain"
I think a lot of people have missed the point of this exercise. Both .com and co.uk exist its not about dropping co.uk to go .com. It seems to me they are simply going to mask or redirect 1 or the other so that no matter which you type .com or co.uk it will show as co.uk in the address bar. For what it is worth I am American and I say the site should continue to use co.uk. I don't ever bother to go to the .com site. I agree with others that the co.uk is part of thereg's brand and culture.
I'm an englishman living in the states, and one of the things I'm most proud of about the old homeland is our news sources. The BBC and El Reg.
Changing to .com would just mean I have to describe that, yes El Reg is British, I know it has a .com address but it's British, I promise. Trust me it would get tedious.
Whereas at present I send someone a link theregister.co.uk, it's self evident in the link.
Trust me over here, UK news sources carry more weight than US ones, being a .co.uk, lends your stories more trustability (I know I know, but it's a good word)
Changing to .com would be fine, but really I don't care.
Even though .com is "American" I don't think that'll last forever. I don't associate it with the USA anyway.
On the other hand, I think there should be a move away from "serious" internet brands needing a ".com" address. Hopefully one day we can be more flexible in our URL names and not be restricted to ridiculous 2 or 3 letter suffixes.
> I was at a meeting in Scotland with Joel Spolsky. I spoke to him briefly.
Pfff... you mean you collected your free pint!
Being .co.uk gives The Register is part of the great British brand of no punches pulled criticism, of which the likes of Mark Kermode and Charlie Brooker are also a part of.
Staying .co.uk doesn't reduce your global appeal, but becoming .com might make you seem none other than another CNet.
The .co.uk must stay! It's as much a part of the brand as the theregister name itself. Even when lived in the in the States (and I've been reading theregister since '97), the .co.uk gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside - as opposed to all the bog standard .com
Definitely, keep .co.uk
Whilst I recognise that The Register has a lot of American contributors and covers a lot of American subjects, I have always appreciated the fact that it continues to present a definitely British flavour.
There are other American-based technology websites with .com addresses and I look at them occasionally. theregister.co.uk is front and centre on my Google homepage and I check it several times daily.
I think you should use the .co.uk, because The Register IS a British website - dealing with international topics, but from a uniquely British point of view. Is Britain really so insignificant (don't answer that) that Americans would have difficulty remembering the domain suffix for El Reg?
I know .com SHOULD be a global domain, but it's "overwhelmed" by the Americans. If only they had gone for .usa, things might be different. As it is, .com's globality (is there such a word?!) is diluted by all the non-global companies using it.
The Times newspaper, one of the finest publications ever created and certainly the one with the richest history, is reached by the URL www.thetimes.co.uk. This is because it deals with news from the UK perspective. Type in www.thetimes.com and you get the Shreveport Times, which is in the south of that former colony run by that ghastly Shrub fellow.
Point is that El Reg delivers IT and tech news from a British perspective, complete with attendant jingoism and mild xenophobia - something that makes it very different to all the other 'tech news' sites out there. By all means run a .com site, with appropriate filters for the US if really necessary, but please keep the .co.uk. It's a little news union jack waving amid the wastes of bland US coverage....
And, it keeps me sane.
Isn't that a bit of a contradiction?
IIRC .com really should be international, the Americans have a perfectly good .us TLD they *should* use.
I like having .co.uk, it serves as a warning to our cousins across the pond that we spell correctly and they should expect sarcasm, piss taking and other words they're not used to like erm, windscreen... ummm.
Echoing what everyone else has said - TheReg has its heritage in being British and proud of it and you must keep the .co.uk as the base domain.
Also (but of lesser importance IMNSHO) is .co.uk is PR8 whereas .com is PR7. My experience of domain name changes suggests GoogleBot et al aren't as sensitive to change as they could be...
If you really must rebrand then force the yanks to use the .co.uk...
"Please keep .co.uk - it's one of the great things that sets El Reg apart from the mass of corporate 'merkin sites. It may be a small, petty thing, but I still get a cheap kick every time I glance at the address bar and think "hell, we may be stuck with American movies, culture, government and nukes, but at least The Register is still British!"
I know the address woul not change content but it just makes me feel like you'll start being just like every other clone news site out there
stick with the .co.uk!
As an "early" internet adopter, I have had .com, .us, .net and .org domains forever. I tried - unsuccessfully, BTW - to get a .co.us domain (not available - go figure THAT one out!) as part of an expected move into Ireland (.co.ie) in the near future - to be able to differentiate us as both a US and Irish company.
The point here is: if you need to have coverage in all the territorial domains in order to prevent squatters, you certainly *MUST* get the registrations and keep them. However, I feel that redirection to theregister.co.uk is the appropriate result of the "bald" name in all TLD - that is, theregister.co.eu or theregister.com should display theregister.co.uk upon redirect. "Regional" editions should be accessable either as a link on the home page or via a regional sub-directory (theregister.co.uk/us or /ie). Although I fear that most readers don't really care that much about regional-specific stuff (except regulatory or legal).
I read El Reg *BECAUSE* it is International. IT *IS* International, and El Reg is one of the few news sites that truly appreciates this. I'd even go so far as to say "BOHF without Borders".
As has been forcefully stated earlier, you're BRITTISH, DAMN IT, and should be PROUD of the fact that, unlike us Colonials, you still have attitude that pronounces the name of a historically famous river like it's some red-neck's fishing hole. (Thames, that is...)
I've been a faithful yank reader for many years, if I ever give the site out to friends I always use the .co.uk address. It just looks right, even though I get to the site these days through RSS feed I still think the main site should be .co.uk. Dump the .com even, unless you plan on advertising on some sleazy billboard somewhere the majority of people recognize the brand as theregister.co.uk.
Anyway you don't want to confuse what sort of site this is, us yanks get confused easily-- when we see wierd words like colour in places we don't expect things go all haywire.
I was APPALLED to read that the Register would even consider adopting a .COM suffix. Of what can you possibly be thinking?!
Why, when I was a lad………< BoreFilter has automatically removed a total of 4,280 words from this posting. Click here if you would like to see them> … and so that was the end of that. Anyway, to reiterate, don't drop the old .CO.UK lads; think of England.
Col. Lucas Davenport the third (Rtd).
It's the content of your site that keeps me coming back for more ... the URL that I have to type is of no consequence.
However, if you are rationalizing all the URL's and servers, might I suggest (as a Canadian reader) as a compromise the "www.theregister.ca" URL that I currently use.
Change the URL all you want, but keep the content the same!
a) it hardly matters
b) yes, isn't it laughable that .com is national and international!
c) is there really a need for a .us.<name> or uk.<name> version - do those buggers over the sea get different content?
d) it ain't broke, leave well alone
my two pacific pasoes worth :)
(any positions open writing headlines..? :) )
As an ex-pat living in Mickey-Mouse-Murder-Funland, I am grateful for all the Britishness I can still can get my mitts on. I feel proud to be reading a co.uk. El Reg seems to be a British site that is happy to have international readership, and I feel the co.uk is an important element of that.
I'm a "yank" and I have no problem with .co.uk. (i.e, "me too!") In fact, after looking at it once or twice, I never bothered with the "US Edition"; I like to see the blend and perspective.
What I DO NOT get is why some of the offshoot sites - like Reg Channel, Reg Hardware and Reg Developer - don't have an easy link back to the "main" register. Perhaps it's adblock in Firefox dropping the link; if that's the case, I'll just live with it.
I read the reg because it's not like every other tech news site under the sun. It seems to me that having the .co.uk in your URL helps you to stand out from the crowd. It's a part of your branding. The .com TLD should be international but the sad reality is it percieved as American. When was the time you visited a .us site? Exactly.
I can't believe you're spending time on this. Keep them both. Have all of them behave like cnn.com where the user can change their region and then maybe other region specific news is put lower or flagged (I still like reading about UK politics even in the US though, so don't remove it.) Newer users will bookmark theregister.com and older ones will keep the co.uk.
This isn't bloody rocket science, in fact, I fear I hear some whalesong coming from your office, as you worry about your branding. :-P
Keep your British roots. I'm in Canada, a regular reader, and I enjoy reading some of your local articles and concerns. A British perspective on a world wide industry is more valuable than a whitewashed global approach. I like the satiric approach - keep biting the hand that feeds you and stay true to what your are.
I am a US reader, and I have been reading The Register since way before their was a .com domain at all. I read it everyday and would no matter weather there was ever a .com domain purchased. In fact just recently I started typing that vs. the co.uk. So in short... what difference does it make as long as the content is the same? If you wanted to segregate some us vs eu content that I could understand, but I like reading all of it as do many others, that is why you became such a success here even prior to the .com domain.
Ok, it's not 1st April, I've checked, so you want us to be your Strategy Boutique, well I think I can help. Dot com is for humourless American Corporate types called Chet and Biff, The Reg is very British, both in it's humour and general outlook, therefore think co.uk is perfect, unless you're thinking of selling out to Rupert Murdoch, in which case I suggest myvulturecentral.com.
PS I can do a nice logo for £400K, one previous owner, good little runner...
The BBC have bbc.com (took a while to acquire from the Boston Business Consortium or something!), but it directs to bbc.co.uk
The co.uk is important, and should stay. Firstly, it makes it clear that we value the co.uk "brand" - just like the BBC do. Secondly, it equally diminishes the .com "brand" which is no bad thing.
Not *everything* which is useful should live under .com, even if such a .com exists.
Stick to .co.uk :-)
Looking at the posted posts, .co.uk is definitely in favour.
Seeing theregister.com has just hit me on the head a couple hundred times, I hate it, it's like looking at thenews.com. Even thenews looks better under a .co.uk.
As for us.theregister.co.uk, I don't see toooo much wrong with it but I see your point of course.
But even this works to your advantage... Us, The Register, company of UK.
Have to agree, the tone of the site is British (it's still a 'mobe' goddammit, no matter what comprimises you make for our hard-of-understanding cousins), be .co.uk and proud of it.
A few years ago I'd have been more ambivelent, but now the .co.uk TLD has a caché of its own, I think it's worth staying put. Or rather, if you go .com, I'll cancel my subscription ;-)
What the hell is wrong with you?
You have a brand.
You are brits.
You have captured an audience.
I have you bookmarked in my brain as a british (i.e. more credible than the rest) site.
I like seeing sites that don't bow down to some .com frenzy.
I think having non generic TLD sends a clear message that internet is not USA-only medium.
I think that everybody who would prefer .com instead of .co.uk should be registered as a USA republican and promptly given three options to chose from:
- a) be exiled to Texas and put in a cold storage next to John Wayne.
- b) be exiled to Guantanamo as a danger to civilized world.
- c) be exiled to Oz to experience first-hand what happens to a country and people that just want to go at it the easy way.
This post has been deleted by its author
I'm in the process of moving our company's branding from a .com address to a .co.uk address. Simply because we've found that our customers value the localisation. Less important with a business based around a website maybe.
In the early days of the internet, .com was a sign of prestige - and thus .co.uk cheapness, and so on (I once had a boss who said 'I never go to websites with .net at the end - it's all porn) - but I don't think this is the case any more.
More to the point, why do you have Reg Developer and Reg Hardware on separate domains? I find it intensely irritating that I follow a story from theregister.co.uk (or from my RSS reader) and there's no big obvious logo or link to take me back to the front page of theregister.co.uk.
...then keep the .co.uk....after all, being a dot com doesn't hold any "weight" anymore, as a bloke in a shed can register (sic) a dot com for next to nowt anyways....and he isn't likely to be a "global player".
So, stick with the co.uk....and if the Yanks complain about "us.theregister.co.uk" that'll teach them for not using "co.us" (PS Keep up the good work on the site!), rgds, Tim
(PS Unlike your story said, I had to register to post this - which isn't a bad thing, I s'pose - but the anonymous post function didn't work for me !!)
What does the strategy boutique say about that? (shameless stolen from Nathan Barley and presumably others but still good)
No need for subdomains - you can have el-reg.co.ck/uk, /us, /etc. which is the more common practice nowadays. We can assume the /us stuff is for all the bible-bashing, nuke launching petrolheads who can read stories conforming to their world view but with a helpful "Englishian" dictionary.
An IT brand is automatically assumed to be USA based - the URL (and the content) makes the important point that this is British and not following any party line.
Now as to the vulture - shouldn't we pick a British bird - no, on second thoughts, keep the carrion eater right where it belongs, in the centre.
So my tuppence-ha'penny's worth is to say stay with .co.uk...
BUT on a slightly related note, could I beg for a clearer indication in stories as to whether we're talking UK or US. Too many times on your site I'm reading things like "The Government" or "The Courts" and it's only half way into the story you actually get enough context to realise whether it's talking about the US or the UK.
Natural enough when you get a UK writer talking about a UK news story, or a US writer etc.. but given the mix you have, it does get confusing at times!!
I always thought that "The Register" was a backwards reference to 'The Register', which commented on BRITISH politics. Therefore I feel .co.uk should be kept, to keep it in line with the root of the name. I'm not aware of "The Register" being in the American English parlance, so .com would NOT be appropriate.
BR1 5AD, England.
I was about to say "don't worry about it" - .co.uk or .com who cares then i read many of the comments above. What they have made me realise is that the UK centric nature of El Reg is actually very important to many readers (myself included). Losing some of the humour would surely become tempting as the transatlantic media barons decided to launch their branding campaigns on this terrific site.
.co.uk is closer to the vision of the Reg which i want to read.
If you must choose one, choose .co.uk.
El Reg has (thankfully) never been one to worry about bucking trends. Just because a bzillion other sites wish to bury their distinctiveness in the all-consuming .com TLD, that's no reason for El Reg to do so.
Besides which, who ever heard of a dot-co-dot-uk bust? Ergo, .co.uk is a lot safer from a business standpoint.
Adamant of Tonbridge Wells
Don't mess with success. Marketers think of brands rather than product. You have a product. The product is an engaging and wonderful insight from the UK point of view.
After the marketers have smoothed your skin and desnaggled any bad teeth you will no longer be the unique and interesting site that you are.
PS I have read theregister from Canada for many years- keep it up!
Leave it .co.uk. From a Yank that has been reading it pre-com. It's a nice big F-U to the early US registrar.
Look at it this way, when you make it .com you will get even more stupid questions about "non-USAisms." I'd say Brit-slang or Blightyisms but you know everything revolves around us Yanks.
I'm a US reader, and as a world traveler, I know that the best source of news within a country is most often from news services in a different country, so I've always gone to co.uk.
When I'm in front of a browser that doesn't already have a Register bookmark, I type it in manually. I find ".com" much easer to type than ".co.uk."
When I type "theregister" in Firefox then do a CTRL-ENTER, I end up at the .com address. I don't know if it works the same in other countries.
Bottom line, perhaps, should be what's easiest for the readers.
Personally, I don't care, though it seems to make sense to use .com as the root. Still, .co.uk seems to sound better than .com; less corporate, perhaps.
Even coming from an American, I think the following comment sums up my opinion best:
"(PS if you decide to use dot com, then why not use us.theregister.com *as well as* uk.theregister.com? Many big companies already use this system)"
I don't see what the problem is with .co.uk for UK usage and (us.)theregister.com for global use. What's the "served globally" issue? If links are all relative (okay, with an indirection script to the appropriate reghardware etc., although I'm not clear why that had to be a separate domain in the first place) surely the problem solves itself?
1) I'm absolutely against getting rid of .co.uk.
2) us.theregister.co.uk seems silly - just as uk.theregister.co.uk is redundant. If you've got the .com, use it as a US default.
3) Picking up the user's location is annoying if there's no good way to override it - e.g. I'm in the UK as part of Creative, but because our network connection goes through Ireland, google.com redirects to google.ie.
4) I can't see a reason why you'd ever have a problem with theregister.co.uk and theregister.com coexisting, without the need to re-write content (with the proviso that all the URLs have to be local). Making the web server send the base address as whatever it was asked for isn't difficult.
Communications received from the USA are often responded to with a witty appraisal of the linguistic deficiences of our former colonial subjects. The loss of the UK top level domain might be seen to excuse them, thus rendering the replies of your writers, seeming a little hypocritical, rather less potent. I would certainly regret the loss of such amusing paragraphs.
Your .co.uk name differentiates theregister in a big way from other sites. It gives it more personality than a standard and anonymous dot com.
I don't mind having to type the extra letters, but then I don't do it anyway; bookmarks and search engines are the way forward!
Though who knows what it will mean to have a .co.uk in a few years. Maybe it just won't be cool anymore!
... but it probably will be
Stick with .co.uk like the BBC does, and redirect .com to that.
If you want to filter out the more UK-specific stories, the BBC lets you choose that as an option stored in a cookie, or have an alternate international front page through something like theregister.co.uk/int/ (the .com could take you to that).
I read the Register because it IS British. I'm a Yank, but it's refreshing to read IT news (in a very broad definition of that term) with a UK flavour. Does it make any difference what your TLD is? No, not so long as you keep the same jocular (and occasionally, irascible and cynical) approach to your content. El Reg is in the same league as Monty Python and The Goons ... delightfully British! Wear the "co.uk" badge with honour ...
As ever, there's no need to change, so don't!
I also enjoy the moral stand-point of two nations divided by a common language! where would we be if we couldn't enjoy the colour of the .co.uk and simultaneously on the .com, deride the spelling and pronunciation of Aluminium - the second I is there for a purpose cousins!!
You're British and proud - it's an advantage, a USP if you like. Redirect .com to .co.uk and leave branding with .co.uk. Keep all the hacker / union flag stuff too...
Alternatively, ask strategy boutique or just bung me a few tens of thousands and I'll tell you the same thing in prettier language ;)
Is there really any question to this? Has to stay .co.uk otherwise you'll start spelling colour wrongly... this could all rapidly head downhill...
And if "us.theregister.co.uk" looks silly. Why not "usa.theregister.co.uk". Or the more traditional "septic.theregister.co.uk"?
We have to keep this totally UK biased site in existence. Otherwise there will be a nasty drift toward _serious_ news... and we can't have that. :)
(And the 160+ comments may give you a hint towards your readers... LoL... I skim read them as there are faaaaar too many.)
The BBC News web site proudly uses a .co.uk domain, and it is one of the most trusted news sources on the Internet. Likewise the Guardian, another British news source which is widely read in the United States.
The Register should stick with its .co.uk domain. Your American readers are more likely to see it as a mark of quality and reliability!
Well, I'm a yank and I can type the bloody thing just fine. My browser remembers it. The little button on the top of my browser remembers it. Everyone including myself remembers it...heck, even my cell phone remembers it.
changing it know makes everyone have to change the freakn "remembers" in all the technology. Branding a new url isn't that important as most people once they know the name "the register" will just remember your url in one of their gadgets anyway.
Did that make any since? Starting to sound like an Englishman!
Change it to whatever works out best for your business from both a technological and financial sense.
Sure you are a British company, and you always will be, it becomes clear in your writing style, not just because of your domain name. Don't worry about a few people who want to be able to point at the domain and say look it's British not American.
I have been typing theregister.co.uk for seven years now, and I probably always will. If one day that starts redirecting me to theregister.com I could care less, as long as I can get to your site and read the content on it.
Do what you need to do, you have not done us wrong in the past. I am sure that whatever you come up with will be a great solution.
I've been reading Register for at least a few years, at least long enough to know that theregister.com wasn't always yours.
Once you put the .com live, the US edition forced .com but I keep going to .co.uk. You're an UK-based media. Stay true to your roots.
Make the .com mirror the .co.uk but definitely us .co.uk as "main."
To be honest I have not really noticed what the URL has been (for a few years now) as I have the site saved as a ‘bookmark’ so I really don’t think it will make any difference to me! I have just checked to see what it was and found that it is .co.uk.
Like many people who use the Internet I rarely care what the URL is as long as it provides me with the information that I am looking for! What DOES matter (to me anyway) is the content and if this changed for the worst (God forbid!) then I know that all I have to do it to delete the bookmark…..
Well, considering that around one third to one half of all the content is UK stuff (Who is Orange and why, exactly, do I care?) the .co.uk serves as a gentle reminder that the news will have a UK perspective.
Regarding content duplication, just do a URL rewrite. It's not like you honour language tags... same thing really? (Must experiment... fiddle with EN-US/EN-UK/EN-CA... is there an EN-AU?)
Sounds like you were kidnapped and forced to watch a Strategy Boutique presentation on why you should change your URL while being forced to drink the alco-pop fizzies those crafty Dutch students invented.....
Keep the .co.uk, it's (literally) been a part of the Reg identity from the get-go and should continue to be part of your "Brand(r)" going forward.
I've been reading El Reg for over 5 years here in the States, and still thoroughly enjoy it. Changing the URL won't make me stop reading, it'll just require me to change my default home page in all of my browsers.....which means I'll probably end up missing a few days since I'll be too lazy to update my browser preferences, so maybe you really should just leave well enough alone, tyvm. :)
I only started reading the site a couple years ago, but unbeknownst to me several of my IT friends has long-been reading it. After discovering El Reg, it quickly became apparent that this site, while sharing much in common with other IT sites, was very unique.
I never much pay attention to URLs. I usually bookmark them or even I am so lazy I will just google the site and click the link I know is correct.
www.theregister.co.uk was probably one of the only times I picked up a URL so quickly.
I happen to reside in the the United States and I am a big fan of the co.uk; I definitely prefer The Reg to any domestic IT sites I've come across.
I'm proud to be detectably British, and I'm proud that you are too. A UK brand can be a global brand, and many already are. Yours is one. And the URL fits the content, which is itself detectably British.
I don't think us.theregister.co.uk looks silly. It's clear what it means - "this is a section of a British site with some bits of special interest to Americans". Whereas "uk.theregister.com" can be misinterpreted.
Stick with .co.uk.
I'd vote for the .co.uk flavour, as spotting it was the only thing that really convinced me that El Reg was British (after five months of browsing through for black helicopters and suchlike). Up until that point I'd automatically assumed it was American, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Keep the .co.uk - anyone stuck in a .com mentality will get there anyway, and I like the idea of us.theregister speaking to we.thepeople...
Personally I think you should keep both theregister.com & theregister.co.uk, set them up to point to the same server, and follow in BBC New's footsteps...
If the IP address is international, here, have the US relevant stuff, if it's UK, have the UK stuff, if your not sure, ask and dump their answer in a non-edible cookie.
But also give UK users the option to access US content and vice versa. Overall user friendlyness, nobody has to update their bookmarks, everyone is happy.
Except for that nugget I probably overlooked.
I just noticed following a link from slashdot that it's .com which feels a little weird and I've /always/ used .co.uk, I like it that it's .co.uk because even though it covers world events it covers more UK stuff.
Please keep it .co.uk, it's part of it's image and changing it to .com just makes it feel somehow just another generic .com news site. Just make the .com redirect to .co.uk
There are a few ways to look at this.
1. Creatively: To paraphrase one of England's great playwrights...a website by any other name would smell as sweet. Corny, but it gets the point across.
2. Logically: COM says Global...co.uk, well, says UK...why leave the rest of us out...nuff said.
3. Spiritually: WWCND? You know what he would do!
If the opportunity were presented to me to implement this anew, I would set up theregister.co.uk as my A record, then point www, *.theregister.com, and whatnot as CNAMEs to it. The .uk TLD is more precise and proper, plus (as you say), there's marketing baggage associated.
Don't recall if you still publish different content on .com, but you could always take advantage of browser localization (forget IP filtering - too slow/inaccurate) and point to different subpaths. Of course, default to EN-UK - you're a UK shop.
Your constituents are not the Joe-sixpacks of the world of computing; most of us know that WWW is not an integral part of a URL - .co.uk is both significant and manageable for us.
besides, if you decide to give up .co.uk then you should also give up irony - something I see our U.S. readers are already struggling a little bit with judging by some comments I've come across. If you have a .com you could hit them with a bout of sarcasm unawares!
Also on an not too dissimilar note; please please stop the "Americanism's" creeping in to the articles. 'Specialised' not 'Specialized' and so on.
...is to convince the world that *companies* that are truely intenational should have a .com, UK companies should be co.uk and (here's a new one) USA-based companies should have .co.us - afterall, why should the system be biased towards a US company such that they 'appear' to have a wider market?
However; from a practical point, it makes damn-all difference the the majority of us (hands up who types more than four or five characters and can then match El Reg from the shortlisted favourites that remain?).
My preference is for co.uk - because I rather like waving the Union flag in the wide open sea of the Internet.
proud owner of two .co.uk domains (or just too skint to pay for a .com)
I've been reading from the US with theregister.co.uk for at least five years, probably closer to seven. It does not seem to have caused me any lasting damage, and I like the idea that I am actually reading something produced overseas since I gave up trying to decode Pravda and Interfax (in Russian) almost ten years ago.
.co.uk. It's a big part of the brand to me; I know I'm going to get a quality British view-point, not some turgid American crap. It's like the difference between the UK and US version of Men Behaving Badly; one's worth watching, the other I wouldn't show to my worst enemy. Making .com your home would dilute that heritage. Long time readers would probably continue, but I suspect you'd not gain new readers in the same way.
Does it really matter if your TLD is .com or .uk (with the hard to lose .uk (sic. bl. and mod.)) when your readership and casual linked in people know the URL. I'd have .com directed to .co.uk anyway... See other "branded" sites sic. tomshardware.com 'redirects' the user anyway... I'd love to explain how it works but it's as boring as telling el'boss he's wrong...
I'd prefer you screws (British slang for hacks (London slang for journos)) to keep the .co.uk but if your advertising revenue depends on it then I'd consider it a pain...
KEEP .CO UK!
You can leave it as it is. If there is only an underlying technical reason, then fix the technical part. I did a lot of crazy stuff in Apache 1.3 and 2.0 and I can't imagine that Apache can't deal with whatever problem you have.
- really understand your problem.
- try some different solutions (most likely there are several)
- test it
- hold your breath
- fix some stuff
Your done, no changes in the winning team. (sometimes necessary, but stupid if the reason is just technical).
My 2c (tech guy with some commercial xp)
Please keep the .co.uk extension. It makes such a difference to know that El Reg stands apart from all the other news clones out there and shouts we're British and we've got attitude. Also, .co.uk just seems to stand for quality and refinement that you just can't find in .com.
OK, the whole us.theregister.co.uk looks clunky, so just redirect from .com to .co.uk. Simple.
A few points or rather recommendations.
1. Stick to writing great articles.
2. Sack whoever started this idea in the first place, they are probably in marketing.
3. Go to the pub.
4. Produce a dossier stating that a .com address would in fact lead to an increase in terrorism, use something like terrorists will be able to mount a nuclear strike in 4 seconds through a .com address rather than the trusty .co.uk.
5. Sleep well at night knowing that theregister.co.uk is not only the right choice but rather the only choice for the people of the world.
6. Don't assume all of your .co.uk readers are in the UK. So no naff auto detection please. I'm a brit in Singapore and would prefer not to end up at a us/international version of the site.
7. Work out how much money you have cost the IT industry from people reading this article and posting comments :D
8. Go to pub for a well deserved drink.
9. Ignore the majority of public opinion and go with theregister.de just to really p*** everybody off.
I value El Reg for its quirky "British" outlook. Sure, you cover the whole spectrum of technology news from all over the world, but your perspectives on it are uniquely British. I know the URL seems a small thing, but sometimes it really is the small things that count. In this case it signals to the viewer that you're not just another one of the faceless US-based (and biased) technology sites.
Ideally, I would just type, 'The Register' into a text box and wouldn't have to care about anything so arcane as a URL. That's my first requirement. I suppose I can stretch to clicking on a small Union Jack the first time I visit the website to get to the UK version, but thereafter I expect it to be remembered. Requirement number 2.
If these requirements are unattainable, then, unless there can be seen to be some measurable progress gained towards these requirements by changing the existing URL, then I suggest it's just left as is.
I read El Reg with an english accent - I can't imagine an American having the right tone for those ironic/sarcastic flavoured pieces that make the reg so distinctive(sorry, just my own brand of national typecasting). Goodness only knws what happens when I move to Wales. Will you do a cy.theregister.co.uk? In welsh please?
I'm not British or American, but I like the British feel of this site. And .co.uk is definitely part of that, just as much as the dry humor and typically British terms.
Just have .com redirect to .co.uk, or if you absolutely must have differentiated content for the Yanks, give them a us. subdomain.
Years ago, I had a company named Purple Software in the US. When I went to try to register the domain purplesoftware.com, I found that a UK company was cybersquatting on it. The UK company did no business in the US - if they did, I could have sued them for trademark violation. Why were they allowed to register a .com? Stupid internet registrars! Either give us a .co.us, or don't allow foreign companies to register .com addresses.
I guess I must be having a dense moment here. As far as I can tell, at the moment www.theregister.co.uk (which is the url I use) presents the same page as www.theregister.com - although I was under the impression that the .com url was somehow more geared towards the US but that doesn't seem to be the case.
You're saying, whichever url you settle on, the other will still point to the same page.
I fail to see a difference.
Either way, I think people in the UK tend to habitually use the .co.uk url and I assume yanks habitually use the .com so why not keep both anyway.
Personally, every once in a great while I forget to type .co.uk and type .com. I'm in the US. I'd say leave it as is, but it'd be nice to have theregister.com redirect to theregister.co.uk, just for those mondays when I'm a bit of a clot. ;)
Having the .co.uk might well help you retain your strongly british flavor -- which I think is a major asset for El Reg.
Frankly, with our Yank "journalists" doing everything they can to disgrace the term, I'd suggest you keep your British identity prominent. It helps us know we can find real news here -- even if occasionally we have to look up what dodgy, boffin, or punter means!
Whatever you decide, don't change who you are!
The thing that differentiates El Reg from the rest of the bunch is that instead of being modelled on "The New York Times" or "Wired" (the old-skool mag), you seem to be modelled on a classic London tabloid; it's the tone you use. That's what keeps me coming back. I know I will get the news, but I'll get it delivered in a similar way to how a mate would tell me in a pub, with a nod and a wink.
Additionally, your audience is predominantly a tech-savvy one. We know the difference between .co.uk and .com. In general, we're not marketing dweebs (no offence to any Reg Marketing Dweebs reading this...) er.... my point is, we know what a .co.uk means, and we remember that. It helps your image as being distinct from the ZDNets of the world.
So all that being said, put me down as a .co.uk supporter. It's part of who you are. Like a pom who refuses to relinquish their accent after spending decades overseas, it becomes a charming aspect of your personality. You're doing great, just keep going.
If you went .com then people and companies would think you are American, and so file a lawsuit against you for any negative comments about them or their company.
.co.uk means you are British and so can get away with it because whining and moaning and irony are the nature of the Brits. It also means that there is no point in them phoning the lawyers because its actually solicitors they need and whole different set of laws..
I agree with the vast majority of the comments that you should keep .co.uk. thereg.com just doesn't "feel right" and even though I've known of its existence for years, I still type the uk address. The UK bit is part of your brand and I'd personally be disappointed if you moved to .com - wouldn't be a dealbreaker, but I'd feel just that little bit less fond.
Judging from the rest of the comments, you asked, and we've answered, pretty unambiguously : )
Whoever suggested ".com" instead of ".co.uk" ought to be shortened by a head! Tony Blair might grovel before deranged foreign emperors, but surely there are still some true sons and daughters of Britannia left?
As I sit here in this outpost of empire, I can hear the savages south of the Great Lakes beating their war drums (".com!, .com!, .com!") whilst they sacrifice innocents to their idols of conformity and corporate strategy. Yet, knowing that somewhere in the world decency and civilisation still remains in the form of "theregister.co.uk" gives me the strength to hold my musket steady for another day.
By God in heaven! Don't you know that General Sir Isaac Brock DIED his glorious death not far from where I sit so that the flag of ".co.uk" might still wave over some corner of the world?
Rule .co.uk, .co.uk rules the net!
Britains never, never, never will make slaves!
Hello, I'm an American and I've been reading the register off and on for many years... It was only a couple months ago I somehow stumbled upon the .com address and freaked out. At first I thought I was being phished, then I realised... "This is a news site, not my bank, even if I do spend more time here" .co.uk or none, please.
I've been reading the reg since .co.uk was the only option. I loved it when you started up theregus.com since I'm not in the UK (not in the US either for that matter) and now I use theregister.com though I think the content is much the same as .co.uk? I haven't looked in years....
Go for .com - its the global tld and its easier to type.
I'm more worried about the content then what it says in the address bar. I go to the Register for great UK IT news with that wonderful British dry wit. If I wanted news from a US source, I'd go elsewhere. Perhaps it's just me, but why does there need to be a seperate site for UK and US news? I'm fine with sifting through the articles that appeal to me. Let me choose which stories to avoid. For the record, I'm an American, and I don't care to be specifically pandered to.
It's obvious that you want to go .com and are scared it will alienate British readers.
The thing is there is nothing wrong with .co.uk, you are after all a uniquely British tech publication and for many that is the draw.
It seems to me that if you brand yourselves as .com then inevitably that is exactly what you will become and something important will have been lost.
On another point I think it is important to stand your ground and not give in to the American need for everything to be US branded.
I've been an .au reader of El Reg for a few years now and think that with the general mannerisms of the articles (and the setting for BOFH, naturally) seeming to be from the UK then keeping the .co.uk domain would be more appropriate ...
Canada calling. :-)
I thought one of your very own countrymen had already sorted this out a few centuries ago. Will S. was his name, I believe, or was it Bacon?
I'm pretty sure I used .co.uk to get there at one time, but nowadays we have RSS that does that sort of stuff for us. I seldom look at address bars anymore. Good thing I don't browse with IE, I guess.
It is the Twenty-first Century, yes, and the typical corp. does have to employ marketroids, I suppose, but you don't have to actually listen to them, for pity's sake!
If The Register retains its character, I'll find some way to find you. I vote for .co.uk, but whatever gets you rich would do as well.
I've used .co.uk for years, both from the US (where I discovered the site) and from Canada (in the three years I spent working and living there.) I have links all over my site. I can see why you'd want to streamline operations on the back-end; but please don't break all my bookmarks. That's a hellofa lot of bookmarks you'd be breaking. (And that I'd have to fix. And I'm lazy.)
I'm not wild about having a filter mechanism on the site, either (one based on whether I come in through .co.uk or .com) Living in America, we get little enough news of the outside world. I'd rather not have another pipeline closed down...
The appeal of theregister.co.uk to me it its delicious British humour. It may be an internationally read site, but the content is dry, witty, tongue in cheek and all of the other things that .com isn't.
Losing the .co.uk in favour of .com would be like switching London Pride for Budweiser. Don't do it!
In many ways I agree that in theory there is no difference, its just an address and the internet is a global domain for everyone and .com is a prime example. .com is always the first domain you try when you are feeling brave and can't be bothered to try a search engine.
However on the other hand, I find it very annoying when I search for a UK based company with a .com address. Why? Well because its a UK based company, regardless or not if it has branches in other countries. Online shops are the worst example, I want to know its .co.uk so it will be in pounds and I can be more sure the company is based in the UK, with a UK address.
My advice, keep the .co.uk its who you are.
Think for a moment what is behind the success of El Reg and contrast this with the best of US flavoured journals.
The Register has a heady eclectic mix of the best in computing, technological and downright interesting news items, served with appropriate demeanour.
The Register doesn't take itself too seriously. It is witty, to the point and well served.
Compare that with the crass "Ge wizz, lookit this, Ge wizz, lookit that" approach so beloved of so many US magazine newssites.
The Register is successful because of a - dare I say it in these PC times? - certain Britishness of flavour in understatement, wit and tongue very firmly in cheek.
Nay sire. Stay true to your roots and thesecret of your success: .co.uk, not .com
For good and bad, the UK press is well known for having a fairly unique way of presenting news so if you keep the co.uk domain then all readers should know what to expect and not have the sarcasm, irony and facetiousness go over their heads.
That said, I suppose it's only a matter of time before some Empire apologist scrubs all 'uk' domains and switches us over to gb.eu so hell yeah, switch to register.com as soon as possible if not sooner before we all start riding bicycles in stripy jumpers wearing onions 'round our necks.
The more I think about it, stuff the Internet, make every other website change to a .uk domain, especially ones written by a Spaniard. Mind you, that would put a lot of cash Pipex's way, and I can't say an honest word about them (without getting sued probably), so sod that for a game of soldiers. The sooner we all go .gb.eu the better as far as I'm concerned.
All the best,
A Typical Brit.
What's wrong with the [.co.]UK heritage? [And I thought us Aussies were supposed to be the masters of the "cultural cringe"]
I read El Reg, and have for years, BECAUSE of the pommy heritage - which means the tongue firmly in cheek, a healthly disrespect for authority, unquenched bemusement over the goings-on across the pond [different pond to ours in Oz, but same effect]. In summary, a good dose of reality in the unreal world of technology. Your slogan ["biting ...] says it all!!
I sincerely fear that ditching the co.uk URL would dilute your distinctive in the IT world and inevitably cause a blending into the generic [ie US flavoured] networld.
LONG LIVE El-REG.CO.UK !!
Unless, of course, you rellay covet THEREGISTER.COM.AU, which is currently squatted by a Mr Nicholas Vida [perhaps he's open to an offer], although theregister.net.au is still up for grabs ...
'In the long term' will we see that end of all those Britisms that make the site such compulsive reading? If not, it seems to make more sense to keep the .co.uk if only to indicate to the colonials that they need to switch to real English mode for the duration. Yes, yes, I know many of the dears get confused anyway but at least the .co.uk may persuade some of them that those portions of the globe outside the US are not all labeled "Here be dragons".
I agree that the British 'culture' of the website is an asset and I for one find it both reassuring and encouraging to see quality IT websites that are based here. Whilst it is not uncommon for British websites to use .com, it might make new visitors assume it is American and so diminish the appeal.
However it specifically relates to business in the state of Colorado.
.com was always supposed to be for commercial use however the growth of the Internet in the States far outstripped the commercial use anywhere else in the world, so they "just got there first"
TBH arguing over the nationality of .com's isnt the problem, ICANN and its contracts with the US Dpt Of Commerce should be looked into more. I'd prefer if they farmed off that sort of thing to the ITU or something.
</trying to be funny>
Leave it as .co.uk
It means more exercise for my fingers, and it puts them yanks in their place.
*grumble* damn .com *moan* damn yankees *whinge* think they own the world *mumble* we'll show 'em *grumble*
We should be proud of being British, despite what Blair, Brown & Co. are trying to do.
== James Penketh ==
*Born in Britain. Will die in Britain, unless someone decides that Britain's gonna take the US back, then I'll be on the front lines.* :D
You're already an internationally respected firm. The quality of your content, and the unique humour behind it, is what I love. The fact that your domain is a .co.uk indicates to me that you've not lost touch with where you came from as a firm.
I like the .co.uk, and would be a little upset to see it shelved for a .com. Just because everyone else uses .com, doesn't mean that everyone has to!
I am not a regular user but have come across the site on ocassion, if linked to from blogs etc. In fact I had to register to post this comment. So perhaps as an infrequent visitor, my take would be novel.
The most typical scenario for my landing at theregister has been when I have gone through google news. When I see that it's .co.uk, I figure it'll be some sort of regionally-specific view on whatever topic is at hand.
Clearly this is not the case, and theregister is of value to any English speakers around the world.
I think the best point of reference would be Economist magazine. UK based, but globally relevant. the .com in their URL is neutral... to anyone unfamiliar with the magazine, .co.uk may have given the impression of being UK-specific, and may have negated millions of clickthroughs.
Some may "whinge" (as y'all say up in them there parts) that dropping the .co.uk is unpatriotic... foreign Anglophiles may suffer a loss of split-second masturbatory elitism... but at the end of the day I doubt pageviews will suffer from the switch.
If it does nothing but to appear neutral and non-regional to potential new users, I'd say .com would provide nothing but upside.
Best of luck
Don't change - us "Yanks" can speel ".co.uk" aas ezily as you "Brits" cun spul ".com" (most of us use bookmarks anyway!). Keep The Reg like it is and forget all that "Americanized" stuff. Some of us like Vulture Central to be uniquely non-American, and that's one of the reasons we come here.
I appreciate the refreshing honesty of this site, and I especially like the wit and sarcasm you are famous for. You guys tell it like it is, and I like that! Trust the British to hold up a mirror to American companies and show the makeup smearing in the stage lights.
Don't become a slave to the .com baloney, keep theregister.co.uk and your identity!
Personally, I am a big fan of the .co.uk. While its only a silly little thing when we get down to it, a few letters and nothing more, there's something about the sound to it, theregister.co.uk, it just sounds right.
Now, put patriotism aside, I'm a Welshman living in scotland who spent a fair time in New Zealand, my patriotism doesn't come into it. However. The register is a UK based publication serving a global audience, as has been said several times. Even if you changed the URL it would come across as a british publication, thats impossible to avoid.
Stick with .co.uk, as someone said, .com is nuetral, and non regional, El Reg is a british publication serving the world. It should always be that way.
I was heavily involved in building a sport based website here in Australia. We had long discussions about calling it www.[oursite].com or www.[oursite].com.au or both. We went with both, but the one that got all the hits was the one we used in advertising (.com). The other one only redirected to the .com anyway.
This was a pre-thought to a new website, however you guys are well down the track, with a definite brand, which includes the .co.uk if you change it now, it will have little to no impact on getting new visitors, or making current visitor think they are on a more global site. contrarily your articles have that UK feel to them, hence the .co.uk fits with that. you've got international users because of that.
Anyway, long story short keep it as it is, and conserve your efforts for more important business decisions, like giving readers free stuff for long boring comments to articles.
Be carefull, it's part of your brand! Just like your visual design or the vulture logo.
If you get a .com url it will be a step towards the vast sea of the IT press mediocrity. All the losers and wags have .com
You are unique! Companies spend millions to stand out.
If you are an Aston Martin among Hyundais, don't chip a part of the great brand away to save one dot. Don't start chipping uniqueness away, it's the beginning of the end.
Look around and you see examples of what gradualy became of successfull sites everywhere.
If you were a niche player, being hard-pressed to become more mainstream to move out of that niche or die, well than it would make sense to become more ordinary.
But you are not unknown niche player. You have nothing to fear, except becoming one.
And finally, let me as an international reader and business owner ask you: What's wrong with being British?! Both culturally and as a brand?
A reader since The Begining
P.S. And the URL is not too bad, plus those who like you bookmark you anyway.
As an American (we don't refer to ourselves as "Yanks", sounds too much like touching your privates) who has been reading for years, I can assure you that we will have no trouble realizing that this site comes from the right-hand side of the Atlantic, no matter what the URL says. The colorful headlines are distinctly British, especially since you spell the word "colorful" in a colourful way.
I think .co.uk looks classier, hope you don't change it...
Large numbers of ".com" domains are associated with parts of the world OTHER than the U.S. of A.. In my own case, living in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), I see many local businesses using the ".com" TLD. In fact, I have one such domain myself, in addition to a ".ca"...
As others have pointed put, the ".us" CCTLD exists, though its use is insignificant compared to ".com", ".net", ".org" and others.
All in all, feel free to choose one option or the other. As long as I can find you, I'll keep reading you, whatever the name and top level domain I have to type to get to you...
The whole character of The Register is that it is British, with the British
irreverent approach to journalism.
.com has become a kind of characterless soup, it used to be cool 10 years
ago, now its passe.
.co.uk says 'we're a British site', what does .com say? Nothing, perhaps beyond
'we ain't got any better ideas where to be'.
I see national TLDs becoming more and more favoured for companies
which are proud of their heritage.
Your long term fan,
I have been reading El Reg for like 7 years now. (I found the site while searching for BOFH stories, so you'd bet exactly what is the thing I most check for). Even after theregister.com came out, I still stick to .co.uk, I like it better.
I'm Mexican, and I *hate* sites that go .com "just because it looks more global" or worse: "it looks coooler d00d!!". I have mostly despised the .com, as it stands for .COMmercial sites, but many of them are anything but.
I hate, for example, that the local telco company's site is telmex.com, instead of telmex.com.mx , as well as one of the large banks (bancomer.com instead of bancomer.com.mx). They do have the .mx domain, but it redirects to the .com one.
I think the country TLD gives a nice branding on any site that uses it, and El Reg is a fine example. Oh, and I like much more British humor :)
If you're planning on offering 2 versions - international and uk content, then keep .co.uk for uk specific content and use .com for the global content, with a simple link between at the top of the main page between both editions like news.bbc.co.uk do. A US edition if you ever wanted one would obviously use .us
If you're just planning on one version just keep .co.uk and redirect all .com to .co.uk automatically
"Technically however this means we're already having to deal with an element of duplication in development and underlying machinery, and the duplication will tend to increase in the future with the introduction of more sites and services."
Why? Why not have one set of servers answer to both base URLs with the same base content? I do it on Apache machines at home and IIS machines at work with no problems. As long as you setup the configuration properly, no redirection or duplication is necessary.
I've been typing co.uk for years now (yeah - I TYPE it every time) and so I've gotten quite used to it. I've been reading the Reg all those years equally for tech news as for your very special co.uk-kind-of-humor... Aside from habit and your writing style - co.uk also subtly implies a certain degree of sophistication - which is nice (which likely has more to do with the 'marketing' you mention than anything else).
I doubt you'd change your writing style or become less sophisticated should you decide to go .com. None the less - my vote is on co.uk. HOWEVER - if going co.uk means I will have to look at us.theregister.co.uk - then please don't do it. Cut your marketing losses and go .com . I'm sure I will get over it eventually...
.co.uk is an intergral part of the image of TheReg. Cheeky and bitingly sarcastic reporting that can only originate from a primarily British culture. .com isn't global- it's American and reeks of bland, CNN-ified pap.
Even some of the US contributers to TheReg, try as they may, cannot match the UK based journalists for style or humour (the most flagrant examples of shoddy fact-checking and poor grammar seem to come from your US contributers).
Keep it British!
--An Aussie in Hong Kong.
Just because your URL isn't global doesn't mean your business isn't. Since the Reg is based in the UK, a .co.uk URL makes perfect sense -- and you still reach out across the world.
I see no need for a URL change. I've been reading the Reg for about 10 years now (from the US, and Japan -- where I live now), and haven't once looked at theregister.com site because the whole idea of multiple domains for a single site just seemed silly to me.
I'm an Australian who believes there is too much US centric comment (not to say US spelling) on the Internet, and looks to The Register to provide a more balanced IT viewpoint.
The Register should be proud of its irreverent view of life, which is very much the traditional British way. I'd hate you to loose that for a more "International" feel, which becomes more American feel.
British is better - why devalue your brand?
For me, the fact it's UK is part of the appeal of the Reg. I find the humour and irreverent slant is VERY British, and what makes the Reg my favourite tech news site. Especially in the face of the sea of US content. Keep .co.uk !
Funny, I think I found the Reg through looking for BOFH also.
Keep the co.uk!!!!! I come to this site to get a British point of view, just like I do with many other sites and countries. Just because I'm American doesn't mean I have become to lazy to type a few additional characters. Plus, my bookmark doesn't really care.
Continue with the Brand and continue with the articles and leave Gore out of it!!!! LOL
Please leave the domain co.uk.
As a non english nor us reader of your side, I really would prefer you would leave the domain a uk domain. I would not read the register as regulary as now, if it would be one of those arrogant US news sides with reporters who are always forgetting, that many of their readers (as most people in the world) aren't US citizens and aren not sharing their views. Ever seen a US citizen in a foreign country which has tried to speak in the country native language or even to think about that people living in the country they are currently visiting could not understand them if they are talking fast in their US slang? I never.
Currently I can cleary differentiate between your uk and us reporters just by the style they are writting. E.g your US reporters (as almost all US writters) always are thinking that everyone in the world knows that the small city named "bla" is located in state "blo" in the US, so they are just talking about "bla" without mentioning "blo" or even the US. The same happens for people like politicans and such.
And last but not least, no US side will ever have that uk esprit with that special british humor as cultivated in the Vulture Central.
So you should keep the uk-brand, even if more and more us-reporters are writing articles. This way, they will be reminded that they are writting for a non US news site (with non US readers).
I dont care if you keep the .com as long as you dont geolocate and force the "filtered" version upon those of us accessing theregister.co.uk from the states.
I personally like some of the UK centric news, and as an american I think that removing that removes part of the charm. While we in the states are not currently dealing with ring of steel and mandatory citizenship papers protecting us from . It is nice to have a heads up on what maybe coming our way, and its always nice to know we are not alone in having stupid politicians.
I personally believe that the .co.uk adds to you branding, so stop listening to those damn wale song cds.
Simple solution would be to just decide on one, set it as a primary domain, then set all others as parked domains.
This gives you the benefit of being able to use either to locate the site, then in the url it would show .co.uk or .com depending on what the user went to. Of course this means you would need to stop making the links url specific (use /folder/link rather then www.sitename.com/folder/link
You're right, the dot com is sooo American. I love the
British character of this site even though it is clearly
including the intenational view. The BBC is seen as
both international AND British, you too can be both.
Keep the character. As time goes by, the net will need
these distinguishing ideosyncracies. You wouldn't change
the spelling of Worchester would you?
Ive never had a problem with the .co.uk extension as an American. And I can tell you based on a lot of our media I honestly am a bit more likely to trust info coming from The Reg with that .uk at the end. And if thats the case for an American I figure its even truer for other parts of the world.
A .com news site communicates a reasonable expectation of bland treatments, Columbia-scale fact checking, and no filtering of boring stories. .co.uk gives fair warning of snideness, unfair bias, sensation-seeking, focus on what's important, intermittent wild unreliability and sarcasm. Stick with what you know.
We had exactly the same conversation at my company recently. We are an established .co.uk brand (in fact .co.uk is part of of brand) and finally managed to secure the .com version last year. We asked our customers, most, but by no means all of whom are UK-based whether we should keep .co.uk or swap to .com. The resounding answer was keep .co.uk.
As a media organisation, I would think that having a UK identity is a distinct advantage.
Well done to whoever wades through all this lot! 385 comments at the time of writing..
Anyway. As a yankee-hating Kiwi (well not quite, the people are nice if a little ... let's just say "simple", but the government and the corporations that rule the government are a bunch of [multiple expletives deleted], and a Reg fan from the day you guys took over hosting the BOFH, I say ".co.uk" all the way.
Both the co.uk and .com routes work, so leave it alone. It isn't broken, so leave it alone!
There are no user grounds for changing it. I can only suspect that someone in marketing feels that .com will attract more business. Rubbish! Success will attract business and you are already successful.
I'd say the .co.uk should be kept. It takes a lot to get a brand together and respected, something you have done very well, so any 'rebranding' normally comes over as either 'too much money/not enough sense' or 'we are in sooo much trouble'. (plus it means I don't have to remember the new url (-: )
I've been a loyal Reg fan for donkey's years - and value its Britishness. It tells the world to expect the correct spelling (it was our language first after all), British humour, and those world-famous Grauniad-style typographical errors.
To go all dotcom on us doesn't really matter, I suppose, but even if not percieved as American, it will stop you being seen as definitively British. That would be a shame.
I think you should keep .co.uk, but there are an increasing number of stories covering an expanding field of interests. There are also a number of people that complain that story X or story Y has no place in elReg.
Maybe the solution is to allow visitors to set preferences about which stories are included. US specific stories, UK specific stories, non-IT politics, funnies, etc.
When a user with no cookie arrives, maybe a default set of stories could be presented depending on their geo IP, with a clear option to change the selection.
Whatever the solution chosen... keep up the good work!
In addition to the various other reasons (warning yanks of Britishness, branding, history, national pride) that others have covered I should point out that the more you act as an American (or World) site the more the tendency to fit those norms will be felt even if there is otherwise an intention to remain British.
How on earth could you persuade all those American correspondents that they are the mis-spellers if you adopt a domain that everyone sees as an American one? It might not be intended to be, but let's face facts, if it has .com at the end, the site can't spell and thinks "foreign" means another US state.
.co.uk it should stay, until they come up with .blighty anyway.
.co.uk is seen as being UK sites and UK sites alone
.com is seen as being somewhat US but also being international.
Point being, that if you use .co.uk the site will be seen as being a UK site with UK content and users from other countries may skip over the site without looking any further than the URL. If you go with .com, users will not brand the site immediately and may even give the site a fair go
1) If the Guardian can also accidentally build a non-UK readership with a red ensign flying, the Register should keep its .co.uk URL. Be what you are. Let's aim to make Mr Orlowski the first of a watery stampede of staff and readers across the Atlantic.
2) A different aspect, but a worthwhile one: culturally, US journalism is full of pompous statements about ethics and stolid fact-checking allied with a deeply partisan world-view. El Reg has a less self-important mix of gossip, lese-majeste, facts, scepticism, insight and independence of judgment. The UK aspect is a part of the brand.
I think the .co.uk URL does give an important hint as to the origin/content which will be missing with a .com URL. In my mind (probably because i've been around for a while and remember when most of Arpanet was US oriented and kremvax was joke) .com is associated with the USA, not international.
So, keep .co.uk, .com brands you as transtlantic.
I have been a reader from the U.S. for many years, and I wholeheartedly prefer '.co.uk.' '.com' is just too generic, cold and soulless. And it appears from the comments that the vast majority of everyone above, including the people on this side of the pond, agree. Please don't characterize this as something Americans would want. Far from it. We love the Reg just the way it is.
Also, redirecting '.com' to '.co.uk' would cause '.co.uk' to be recorded in the browser history, thus training the browser, and eventually the unschooled viewer, in the proper way of addressing this august publication.
The .co.uk is part of the brand, and a valued part. Keep it as it is if it makes little difference technically. The tone of the site would have to change subtly if it weren't explicitly a UK site. Non-UK visitors know they're going to get a site with British overtones as things stand. If it weren't explcitly a UK site, then the tone would hae to become more international or risk confusing drop-in readers.
I'm all for keeping it British, but if I were to set up a site, I'd make damn sure I'd have dot com in place as well as co uk.
It makes sense from a business perspective, for the extra reach -
Simply put a small forwarder index.html / htm / default.asp / index.php etc on the COM site that redirects the viewer to the CO.UK site. You can also get it to process the fed in url so any page on the site can be redirected to the page on the CO.UK domain (shows co uk on everybodys browser even if they put in .com).
You might say I'm stuck in my ways but a hoover is a hoover not a vacuum cleaner or a dyson, hence the reg will always be .co.uk. I would be hard for me to type anything else.
But you say "No links would be broken, and typing either would still work" so it wouldn't matter which way you turn, I could still type .co.uk and be happy.
However, if you were to start saying "Howdy" and "sidewalk" well then I may just have to come round with a <strike>baseball</strike> cricket bat.
I am in South Africa - but the Reg has always been a British institution (maybe some of the journos SHOULD be in an institution, but thats another issue)
Please keep .co.uk, and redirect from .com when necessary. Also keep the correct way of spelling certain words (like colour)!
I would vote for one site (.co.uk). If there are two, there is always the temptation to split content for different audiences (maybe not now, but what management will El Reg have in the future?); much of what is written is relevant in the IT world to an international audience, even if people from foreign-land don't understand the jokes.
Let there be one site - one site to rule them all.
If part of the problem is a divergence in the codebase, why not have 1 codebase being pointed at by several domains - keep both .co.uk AND .com (any any others you like) and point them at the same set of files?
Hell - you just need to define a variable based on user settings/domain and use that to pull whatever the hell you like out of the database. Different sets of stories for reg.ca available in both English and French - hell write a multi-lingual, multi-themed codebase and you can use as many domains as you like, all delivering different stories in different languages (and even looking quite different) ALL FROM ONE SINGLE CODEBASE.
The .co.uk is not just a domain name it is also an indicator that the site is British. this may sound obvious but is an American visited a site an came across a huge bunch of nasty colloquialisms then the .co.uk is a clear sign that these are intended. If theregister dropped the .co.uk then I think there would be pressure to make the articles, or at least more of the language used in them "one-size-fits-all".
Personally, I think the Americans should get more practice in reading language that isn't exactly what they are used to. I used to work at a University in the North-West of England and was always surprised by the American students who would turn their nose-up and complain when things were not couched in language they were familiar with (often easy to work out from context). The attitude was rarely, "What does that mean? Oh, right, I'll remember that.", but, "What! If your not going to speak so that I understand then you won't believe the fuss I going to kick up. Speak Am-er-ican!".
Anyway. I vote to keep it .co.uk
I just tried www.theregister.co.za, it redirects me to the .co.uk site. So where's the problem. Do you really want to be .co.us? or .con? (Not a typo)
Is it necessary to join the pack? Why not stay independent?
I have appreciated your wit, humour and insight for many years. Reading the BOFH on Fridays has been a tradition here in SA for several years. Keep up the good work and fix the oddities in RSS pages. Like <cite></cite> and the blank spot in the middle of the text body.
You have created such a great site that is very British. .co.uk reflects this great heritage - don't mess with it!
theregister.com is fine for the US version.
us.thregister might be popular for some websites but it looks stupid and is unnecessary.
Even if you created additional international versions (in English) I would continue to read the uk version, as I do for the BBC site.
theregister is where I go to see the IT world through UK tinted glasses.
Keep up the good work.
Go with theregister.com, but for every country in which you have a presence add a prefix:
uk.theregister.com (I'm British!)
Also, do the regionalisation thing where theregister.com (no www!) adds the appropriate prefix and then allow the user to change the version as they see fit when in the site (like the bbc uk / international thing).
Keep up the top work.
I'm neither American nor British, but I do think that there are far too many bullsh*t dotcoms out there. .co.uk is definitely part of The Vulture brand, and is no problem to me. The idea that anyone could be offended/annoyed by having to type a country specific URL is ridiculous, and you surely don't want that type of reader ;-)
I would also like to see you maintain the *correct* use of the English language (colour, neighbour etc...) . Anyway, the most important thing is to maintain the quality journalism, don't dumb down the content to the lowest common denominator, and don't sell out to the marketroids!
Keep up the good work,
James in Ireland.
I can understand why you want to use a .com. If someone says 'go visit The Register' most people would automatically type .com. I'm guilty of this myself, however I love it when I get redirected to a .co.uk. Gives me a sense of pride and you definitely get a different and tangible feeling from using a UK-centric site. That's probably all in my head, but it keeps me happy anyhoo!
I say keep the branding as .co.uk and run a .com address that simply redirects to the .co.uk URL. Show people the error of their .com ways!
If you want to use sub-domains for different editions then allow the user to select an edition manually and jump them to uk.theregister.co.uk or us.theregister.co.uk. Keep the choice in a cookie for automatic redirection the next time they visit, however always give them the opportunity to change their preference at any time.
Just my 2 pence worth.
You pose the problem perfectly - .com is *not* in truth international, but American.
I take pride in the fact that the U.K. can punch above it's weight in the global I.T. community, and moving to .com would ( incorrectly ) indicate to many that this is yet another U.S. site. I was starting to wonder myself recently, when so many articles refer to U.S. law as "here".
It's reassuring to see proper use of regional URLs, and I for one would be sad to see El Reg go .com.
P.S. I've only posted anonymously 'cos I'm too lazy to Register.. *8-)
Phil, Leeds, U.K.
I'm another Kiwi who found the Reg after a search for the BOFH - probably 5 years ago or more. Quickly discovered the .co.uk vs .com url, and have used it since.
I reckon its integral to your identity.
Regardless of the truth of it, muppets@world+dog immediately associate .com with the US. Just stick a redirect from .com to the 'real' site. They'll work it out... eventually.
Perhaps you aren't fully aware of how many Anglophiles are on the western side of the pond - especially in the more technically-minded circles. Nearly any Monty Python sketch or movie scene can be quoted at length by American SysAdmins - and often is. Old BBC comedies are the most popular shows on our PBS channels. We love British culture. Far from being a problem, the .co.uk should actually be a selling point here in the U.S.
Besides, Simon might get annoyed if you changed it...and none of us want the BOFH annoyed.
Personally, I use the address bar to signify where a webpage comes from, or who it relates to...
I see Theregister.co.uk as routed in England, and therfore has more useful news about the UK.
also, if i wanted to read about whats happening in the US, i'd use .com....
I like the way it is... having a sub-domain seems, to me at least, like a secondary area to a site, which I'm sure that neither side like. (Nimby)
I consider The Register to be an international organisation, with 2 websites.
Perhaps TheRegister.net would be the suitable 'gobal' address?
check localisation header: if it matches an el reg localisation, re-direct to that (us.theregister.co.uk or www.theregister.co.uk), if not display an international version (world.theregister.co.uk)
that makes .com both international and national without assuming it's US-specific and keeps the British stamp of excellence (.co.uk)
What happened to the reg? You haven't hired some sort of marketing team have you? Cos i'm with Bill Hicks on that topic, they are all evil! (just like your Logowatch feature suggests)
I also CAN'T BELIEVE you suggested that this would reduce your management overhead either. Are you some sort of noob that does any of this stuff manually? If you had a properly scripted system to run the lot it would surely be a one off cost?
You really have dis-appointed me with this amatuer approach to a simple issue that many hobyists have solved by them selves years ago. Surely behind the scenes there is nothing more than some templates, database of articles with atributes which shows on which template on which domain?
This post has been deleted by its author
Can't you alias both names to same site so that the name would make no difference? Then you could register theregister.net and some others too and have a really wide presence, theregister-wise.
I don't mean a simple site forward but true aliasing of the same content to different domains, this should be doable. Or just having two different frontend websites with same layouts pulling content from the same backend database.
Or simply revising the way you update your content and have it saved into two sites instead of just one.
Automate, that's what computers are for!
The Register is a uk news site. It may serve the whole world via the internet, but that is no reason to give the site an American address (even if a lot of the world doesn't know any better).
Keep British spelling! PLEASE!
Having us.theregister.co.uk sounds fine to me - perhaps it would make other companies think about their address (yes, I know it's not likely!).
Yeah, I know that people mindlessly type .com. Hell, I do. Mind you, that's probably not the best statistical sampling. No matter...
The point has been well-made that, by reinforcing The Register's Britishness, people get a heads-up that British expressions and humour are going to be here, so brace yourselves! Even though I'm a Canuck, I've still had to look up a few Reg terms, but that's a small price to pay for the unique perspective with which The Reg blesses us.
I'm not real fond of my name. Sure, I could change it, but it is who people know me as, and it is a part of me. In the immortal words of Popeye, "I yam what I yam..."
As a faithful US reader, I tried the .com version when you first fired it up a few years ago. Frankly, I thought the US-specific articles were, well, boring. I switched back to the .co.uk version and never looked back. I join the majority of the comment=posters and say leave it well enough alone. Heck, it even makes me feel more l33t when I bring it up in front of other people. Guess that's kindof sad, really...
The Register is a British publication that just happens to have a global readership. Keep the .co.uk, I'd be sad to see it change.
Oh, and keep to british spelling... I'm still contemplating sueing microsoft for the spelling of colour in QBasic... took me ages to relearn the correct spelling of colour.
(I'm dyslexic and find remembering programming keywords easyer than words to go in a sentence)
definitely go for the .co.uk but redirect the .com
I have always been confused about what the difference is between the .com and .co.uk sites was so it might be worth clarifying if there is any difference between the content. (I also had issues understanding why channelregister.com has such a different look about it & if I should be reading it as well or if all the stories appear on the main reg page.).
The Reg is funny, irreverent, teasing, hilarious... and inherently british, from the puns to the jokes to the content.
I know that IT is really international, but in this case The Reg truly has a passport from Her Majesty's Service. Don't ditch it. It worked for Bond, dinnit?
Somebody should send your bloody 'internationale' marketing department up the bomb!
Next thing you know we'll be reading about a tech company going out of "business" instead of going titsup!
This Texan prefers that you stay as British in URL as you are in attitude.
Why change it? It works fine the way it is.
If it must be changed, I'd be looking at redirecting everything to www.theregister.co.uk. You're a UK based operation, which is part of your USP. Be proud of that.
If you change it to uk.theregister.com, then you're almost hiding that USP. A mistake, I think
Joel Spolsky said "that American businesses had NO problem dealing with British providers" did he? Well that's cobblers. In fact a number of British high-tech companies have ended up establishing a "Global Headquarters" somewhere in the US, whilst all the R&D and 90% of everything else goes on in the UK, so that they can overcome NIH syndrome.
Oh, and keep it .co.uk.
I have always preferred locational domain names; it puts things into context. You present tech news from a uniquely British perspective, and without the .co.uk, it may be confusing to some of the...lesser intellectuals with whom I associate.
I have occasionally sent links to some of my friends, who were confused by the use of slang, or by the fact that the US was presented in third person (aren't all web sites in the US? after all everyone else is just an underdeveloped country, right?). I have been able to clear up their confusion just by pointing out the URL.
"See, no, it's from the UK....yes, the UK has internet....Yes, the UK has computers..."
Honestly, it's enough to get me depressed...
Not too sure why you're agonising (with an 's') over this one. For a start, why does .com become, de facto, from the USA? But more importantly, the .co.uk signifies where you come from, not necessarily the target audience you seek. Of course, if you want to bow down to the pressures of pleasing any narrow-minded reader from the States who will only read it "coz it's home-grown" (1. do you really want to pander to these when there are so many who are rational and open minded and 2. we're back to the .com == USA argument above). Get over your vanity, get over the identity pressures, take pride in your heritage and go forward as you are, not how you think you ought to be in other people's eyes.
el reg is a British site, British humour, british spelling (or it damn well ought to be), british sniping at politics rather than fawning over US assholes in the white house.
Besides which the BOFH is london based... if you shift to .com he's going to have to blow up most of homeland security in order to manage to smuggle his loot into the states for his new job, (hmm...now that sounds good, bunch of paranoid officious airport assholes), and probably end up hacking the budweiser factory computer controlled brewing system to get a good lager.
Re: By Steve ".co.uk or the puppy gets it."
Posted Friday 8th June 2007 10:07 GMT
Are the puppies in a nice black-bean sauce?
Its late, dinner's on my mind...
For the rest, my opinion was best put by the person who wrote -
"The Register is a British publication that just happens to have a global readership."
Your made in Britain and should be proud of it. Journalism is one of industries the UK is respected for above other Countries. This enhances your credibility world wide, gives a feeling of quality and demostrates your not prepared to compromise you indentity to commerical pressure.
You abandon .CO.UK you abandon Vulture Heritage and that will harm your brand.
You've done fine so far, singing from the .uk hymnsheet. Why change it?
I feel resentful that we have to put our country in our urls, but the Amercans don't. It was of course, deliberate. We got in first with postage, so we're the only country in the world that doesn't put the country name on stamps. The Americans must have been resenting that for the last 150 years.
Re: By Steve ".co.uk or the puppy gets it."
Posted Friday 8th June 2007 10:07 GMT
Are the puppies in a nice black-bean sauce?
Its late, dinner's on my mind...
For the rest, my opinion was best put by the person who wrote -
"The Register is a British publication that just happens to have a global readership."
As long as you don't start wearing ten-gallon hats and driving humvees to your line-dancing class I couldn't care. You have a double-barreled site name "the-reg" seems right to have a double-barreled "co-uk" ending. But you have international readership and journalism so I see the case for change -- what happened to the USreg ? If that's getting all the traffic then change, or leave it; basically I'd like to firmly declare my apathy.
.co.uk every time for me. We're in the UK, you're in the UK, I want the rest of the world to know that the UK has the very bestest interwebsites!
I've been using Wizz RSS for ages now with Reg...that's how I got to this story. But hang on a cotton-picking-. Click on a story and it takes me to the .com domain! Boo...
It is important and it does matter. I think co.uk domains are more trustable than any other and I believe it makes good sense for the register to display its origins. This from a man lumbered with a .biz domain. I spend a fair portion of my time tweaking spam filters for small businesses. I regularly block .cz, .ru, .ng etc. So I for one would be happy for teh register to remain .co.uk.
Please just have one site: www.theregister.co.uk.
Long time reader from South Africa
What's next - a theregister.com.au for all us Aussies with a compulsive reflex to add .au to each URL? I don't expect it and I don't want it.
There are enough bloody US-centric sites around without a perfectly good UK site paying lipservice to their sensitivities.
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