The country code for Colombia is .co, and it's been used by 1.3 million websites in the last year and a half.
Look who uses it: Amazon (a.co), Twitter (t.co), Apple (apple.co), and Google (g.co), to name a few. Anyone willing to pay for it can get a .co site.
The sale of .co domains earned $25 million in the year it became open, and earnings this coming year are expected to top that. One-quarter of that annual revenue goes directly to the Colombian government through licensing fees.
Contrast that with .ca, Canada's country code. It is only available to Canadians or those who meet its strict Canadian presence requirements, and thus is not allowed outside our shores.
So only 1.7 million websites have registered for Canada's .ca since 1988.
By the end of this year, .co and many other smaller, less internet-active countries will get more use, greater visibility and higher profits from their country-specific domain names than Canada.
Think how many sites use .ly (Libya), .us (United States), .ms (Montserrat), .me (Montenegro) or others, solely because there are no restrictions on who can use those domain names.
The country code .to is popular in Toronto and run out of San Quentin, California. But it generates revenue for the small Oceanic island nation of Tonga. You'd think the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which administers .ca, would take note.
This year Canada had a second chance to grab a money-making, branding-friendly domain when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opened up generic top-level domain names.
On June 13, ICANN revealed who wants which domain.
There were lots of different government applications. For instance, the city of Barcelona applied to get .barcelona while Helsinki put in for .helsinki. Switzerland is trying to get .swiss.
Government corporations were in the mix, too. The Australian Postal Corporation went for .auspost, and the British Broadcasting Corporation went for .bbc, the Australian Broadcast Corp for .abc.
Missing were any applicants from the Toronto, Ontario or the federal government. No .toronto, .ontario or .canada. No .cbc or .canadapost. The majority of domain applications from Canada were from law firms, for whatever reason.
Since both toronto.com and canada.com are corporate-controlled, those governments would've been wise to at least look into obtaining their own generic top-level domain names, both for branding (go.toronto strikes me as a good tourism site) or to license out (google.canada sounds good too).
But, alas, the most appropriate domain name here is probably .opportunityblown