Until I read about it in The New York Times, I had no idea that Tuvalu — a small South Pacific island nation previously best known as one of the most likely to sink below water as the oceans rise (“Toodle-oo, Tuvalu,” goes the sardonic refrain) — has been making millions of dollars by selling its Internet URL suffix .tv to companies that stream videos and the like.
Every country and a number of dependencies has been assigned a country code, usually based on its name, and Tuvalu lucked into the .tv designation years ago.
I salute their entrepreneurial spirit, even as their low-lying atolls threaten to become the next Atlantis.
It turns out Tuvalu isn’t the only country doing this sort of business.
According to The Times, Colombia has been doing boffo biz licensing its suffix, .co, as an alternative to the ubiquitous .com, and Montenegro has been cashing in on its suffix .me, which apparently appeals to the Me generation.
Furthermore, bit.ly, the site that shortens URLs for use in twitter, gets its .ly suffix from Libya.
Which got me to thinking: what other country codes could be put to good use by various businesses, products, causes, professions and vanities?
Here are some suggestions for anyone who might put them to good use:
.ad (Andorra) — wont-someone-please-buy-an.ad
.ar (Argentina) — talk-like-a-pirate-day.ar
.at (Austria) — whereyou.at
.aw (Aruba) — cutekittyphotos.aw
.bm (Bermuda) — laxatives.bm
.bs (Bahamas) — politicians.bs
.cat (Catalan language websites) — wheresthatdarn.cat
.cc (Cocos Islands) — youll-hear-from-my-lawyer.cc
.cv (Cape Verde) — ace-resumé-writers.cv
.dj (Djibouti) — ear-splitting-music.dj
.eh (Western Sahara) — how-do-you-know-im-canadian.eh
.et (Ethiopia) — aliens-r-among-us.et
.fm (Micronesia) — WYAP.fm
.id (Indonesia) — can-i-see-your.id
.is (Iceland) — it-depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-is.is
.it (Italy) — justdo.it
.kp (North Korea) — peelspuds.kp
.la (Laos) — trala.la
.md (Moldova) — dr-zitmore.md
.mr (Mauritania) — hey.mr
.my (Malaysia) — oh.my
.no (Norway) — justsay.no
.om (Oman) — meditation-can-be-fun.om
.pa (Panama) — ohmypa.pa
.pe (Peru) — ihaveto.pe
.pg (Papua New Guinea) — why-is-this-rated.pg
.pm (St. Pierre and Miquelon) — cocktails-at-5.pm
.pr (Puerto Rico) — youneedsomegood.pr
.ps (Palestine Territory) — and-furthermore.ps
.sh (St. Helena) — quiet.sh
.sr (Suriname) — discounts.sr
(After all, this is a baby boomer travel website.)
Answer to last week’s travel quiz:
Recently (true story), a Danish tourist took a taxi from Denmark to Rome because he wanted to see a particular church there. How long did the journey take and how much did it cost?
A) Two days and nights, about $3,000.
B) Five days and nights, about $7,500.
C) Three days and nights, about $5,200.
D) 18 hours, about $4,000.
The answer is C) Three days and nights; apparently the taxi driver drove non-stop from Denmark to Rome.