By KYW tech editor Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you have a bone to pick with a company, you might gripe on Twitter. But for an even more public platform, what about starting a website? There’s a new kind of Internet address that likely will appeal to those with grievances to air.
Later this month, sites that end in .sucks will be up for grabs.
“We’re hoping this new town square we’re creating will provide an opportunity for there to be real dialogue — not just shouting back and forth,” says John Berard, who heads domain registry Vox Populi.
Prices start at $10 for a forum-based site for consumer advocates, and reach $2,500 a year for trademarked names.
Not to pick on Comcast, Berard says, but if the cable giant didn’t snatch up its site “Comcast.sucks would be up and running as a forum site and the consumer who registered it could promote and publicize it in any way he or she wanted, and it would be a place where even Comcast could participate in the discussion.”
Companies get first shot at .sucks sites. Berard expects them to be used as a reputation defender and customer service tools. Others call it a high price to pay to keep critics at bay.
Berard adds there are protections from cyber bullies and pornographers.