The Twitter Domain Rush: Don’t Get “Twit-jacked”

My previous post on Twitter got me thinking about what other companies had registered language-specific domains for their Twitter accounts.

Turns out, most companies haven’t even registered Twitter accounts for their primary brands.

Like who?

Apple, for one.

Here we have someone who apparently likes apples but isn’t Apple:

twitter_apple

It appear that Microsoft reserved its account early on, though nothing is there. Microsoft does have about a dozen Twitter accounts that do include content.

twitter_msft

Coke — someone who drinks Coke, but not the company.

twitter_coke

While Pepsi does have a Twitter account.

twitter_pepsi

The Wall Street Journal has an article out about this domain name rush.

So many questions come to mind:

  • Will Twitter enforce trademarks for valid holders? Usually, the WIPO does this with domain names, but this isn’t actually a domain name in the traditional sense.
  • What percentage of the millions of new Twitter accounts being registered every day simply squatters hoping to make a quick buck? That is, how much of Twitter’s growth actual growth?
  • And what about third-party domain marketplaces — will we see them emerge? Or will Twitter start its own marketplace?

In the meantime, if you’re thinking about reserving a Twitter domain, do it now before getting Twit-jacked…

Is this the next language icon?

langiconclassic_r9_c19

Does this icon say “language” to you?

It doesn’t to me.

But the OMC design studio feels so strongly about it that it has launched a web site to promote this icon as a global standard.

I applaud the effort and I fully agree that there is a need for such an icon, but I don’t believe that this one should be it. I find that this looks like a floppy disk (and, yes, I’m aware that there is an entire generation of computer users out there who don’t even know what a floppy disk looks like).

If I were to vote for an international icon, I would vote for a generic globe icon. Companies such as Panasonic, Dow Corning, and Microsoft have used a globe icon to denote either language or country/region (or both).

Other companies use tiny maps, such as John Deere and Caterpillar.

I prefer the globe, but either will do the trick.

What do you think?

PS: I just discovered that I wrote about the need for a standard icon way back in 2004. I preferred the globe icon even back then.

To learn more, check out my new book The Art of the Global Gateway.

Microsoft Translation Widget: Moving MT one step closer to the Web page

translator_widget

I’m happy to see Microsoft Research launch this new Web site widget.

I’ll have to test it out on my site when I get the time — and would love to hear from others who have tried it.

A demo site is here.

I really like how the widget creates a more seamless translation experience, which is a big step toward taking machine translation to the masses. I’m looking forward to the day when I no longer have to manually copy and paste URLs into Google Translate and the like.

However, I did get confused initially on figuring out how to return the page back to English. That bar at the top of the page blended in a bit too much at first. I’d like to see a language reset button on the widget itself.