CIRA Survey

CIRA is the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. They just sent me a survey asking me for my opinions about them.

Some of the questions on the survey were a bit strange. It sounds like they consider part of their mandate to be promoting the “.ca” registry.

If you look at their site, it says in big letters “nothing says Canadian like dot-ca”. Well, yeah, but for most people, nothing says “The .com was taken, wasn’t it?” like dot-ca.

Then there’s things like laconi.ca and identi.ca that have .ca names, but nothing to do with Canada (at least, I don’t think they do).

But I guess the CIRA folks want to promote the .ca identity, apparently (based on some of the survey questions), to make it seem more secure, more reliable, and more Canadian.

To me this seems about as useful as post offices competing for which station you choose for your PO Box. “Choose PO Box 1322, Station R. The R stands for Reliable.”. Is your TLD really that much a part of your identity?

One problem with companies having unique sites based on the domain, is that the local sites tend to either get forgotten, or be a subset of what you can find at their main site. Look at microsoft.ca versus microsoft.com. The .com site has IE8 downloads all over it; the .ca version to me doesn’t look like it’s been updated in a while. This is typical. The best sites link the Canadian version into the US one, with a hint to the server that you came from Canada. Look at apple.ca redirects to http://www.apple.com/ca/ and shows the same content as http://www.apple.com, but with Canadian pricing in the store. Nice.

The CIRA, like any other entity I suppose, is trying to promote .ca because the more .ca domains there are registered, the more money CIRA gets.

I used www.ottawaevents.org instead of www.ottawaevents.ca, or even events.ottawa.on.ca (which would have made the most sense) because it was easiest and cheapest. These days it’s easier to get a .ca domain, and not as expensive as it used to be. And I don’t even know how I’d get a *.on.ca much less a *.ottawa.on.ca. I doubt I can.

There are one million .ca domains registered. That’s about 1 for every 2 adults in Canada.