By this time next year, you might just be getting your news fix by logging onto miaminewtimes.miami. OK, maybe not. But Miami has now become just the third U.S. city — after New York and Las Vegas — to snatch up its own top-level domain name.
That means beginning next month, businesses can buy new sites ending in ".miami" for around $20. City leaders hail the move as a signature on the web for a tourist-hungry mecca.
"The launch of the .miami domain establishes a unique internet presence for us," Mayor Tomás Regalado says in a statement sent to the media. "Public departments, local businesses, and residents can now demonstrate their passion for Miami with a .miami domain and, in doing so, elevate our visibility and reputation on the internet stage."
The impetus for starting .miami came from Miami Commissioner Frances Suarez, who says he sees big marketing opportunities with the new domain.
"This is about Miami's brand," Suarez says, "a brand that is global in nature, and I think as a commissioner, it is our duty to build on our brand."
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What's not yet clear, however, is the amount of money the city invested to get .miami set up and what that investment will mean for taxpayers in terms of a return.
In New York, feathers were ruffled when the city plunged $3.6 million into the Virginia company that set up its .nyc domain name. New York's domain went live last March, and according to the city's official .nyc registration site, a mix of businesses, nonprofits, and public agencies have since adopted it.
Miami's contract to create .miami is with Minds + Machines, a California firm that helped set up the .london domain name. New Times has requested the specifics of the contract; we'll update this post when we hear back.
In the meantime, you can snatch up your own .miami address through most web domain name retailers. GoDaddy is selling discounted names at godaddy.miami, and hellodotmiami.com has an early bird sale.