Domain Hacks are a creative way to brand names in the internet culture. They make use of domain extensions to express words within the context of a domain such as: pla.net for a planet related website, who.is for a (domain) whois related website, del.icio.us for a website that appeals to visitors sense of pleasure! and so on. Domain hacks have been used by startups and big corporations. Instagr.am, ti.me, goo.gl, trib.al, bit.ly are just some of the examples of services we see everyday in our social lifes represented in domain hacks. Such domains stick with us because they are beautiful and because of the first impression they make. As the recognition of a word in a domain hack is also an intellectual operation, these domains are not easy to forget.
As number of new tlds in the market, increases everyday, the combinations to provide domain hacks increases as well. Xona Domain Hack tool provides a combination of more than 300 000 domain hacks accross different domain tlds. While the Xona tools is based on English as a dictionary, domain hacks can be created in any other language. As you might have imagined, there are good domain hacks, and worthless domains hacks, but in an industry of about 271 million domains, creative domains are always worth the attention.
As one cannot trace all the domain extensions, my experience has been related with .al domains. (.al domains are cheaper (12.99€) than let’s say .ly domains (75$), and more “secure” than .ng domains. From a geo-political position, .al domains are controlled from a country with similar outreach as the country controlling the generic .me). The .al zone, has more than 14000 domain hack combinations in the Xona list (and the list is based is only on English dictionary; the -al suffix is also used in Turkish and some other eastern languages to create words). All the .al zone has no more than 12 000 second level domains registered at this moment. As one might imagine, only a small portion are domain hacks.
I started registering domain hacks in this zone for pure pleasure, and I realized that while some domains sell for high bucks, there is also a market in domains which sell for a few bucks. For example, while soci.al sold for 50 000$ in September 2011, other domains may sell for less, and still provide a value to the customers. Domain aeri.al sold on Flippa for a sum between 50–60$. Finding those good domains like soci.al might be difficult, but finding domain hacks like aeri.al which still have a value is quite easy. Beside going through the Xona Listing and checking for domains which are not registered yet, you can also check for domains which are about to expire. Host.al, one of the accredited registrars for .al domains, provides a backorder service. Through this service, you can check domains which are about to expire and backorder them (a practice used by many big registrars like Godaddy, Name.com etc). As you scroll through that list, you might find valuable domain hacks such as minim.al (available for backorder at the time this article was being written) which will probably not sell for thousand of dolllars, but is a cool domain; and might probably sell for a few hundreds. At the moment the .al zone has some interesting domains for sale. medic.al, de.al, digit.al, an.al are some of the coolest hacks.
Do not risk much, have some fun and own a piece of internet, own some internet property ☺