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New '.museum' domain suffix broadens online address choices

| Sunday, Feb. 4, 2001

New names


Seven new Internet domain names will appear online later this year:

.aero
For airlines, airports and air travel reservation systems

.biz
For business-related sites

.coop
For credit unions and other business cooperatives

.info
For informational sites

.museum
For museums

.name
For individuals (ie: jane.doe.name)

.pro
For lawyers, doctors and other professionals

Source: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
The online version of Indiana's Jimmy Stewart Museum offers directions, admission discounts, a virtual tour and a gift shop, where pewter thimbles sell for $5.95. But the site's address, jimmy.org, assumes a favorite-son familiarity.

Add the actor's last name, and you find something altogether different. Jimmystewart.com belongs to a Florida entrepreneur who advertises an unfinished tribute site; jimmystewart.net to a patio furniture-maker who uses it to show his vacation photos. Jimmystewart.org was purchased by (drum roll, please) Jimmy Stewart, the city auditor for Athens, Ohio.

'I had an election I had to win,' said Stewart, who bought rights to the site in August 1999, hoping to interest Web-savvy voters at nearby Ohio University. 'We mentioned it in all the mailings and circulars we had, and my TV commercial had it at the bottom.'

Jimmy.org it is, then. Until this summer, at least, when museum director Elizabeth Salome hopes to register a second Web address, this one with the new .museum suffix.

In November the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers approved seven new domain suffixes, hoping to thin demand for .com addresses. Experts liken it to adding new telephone area codes.

Some 20 million Web sites now end in .com. Curators, who use the Internet to draw out-of-town visitors, hope .museum will cut through all that commercial clutter.

'This will get people directly to our site,' said Lynda Waggoner, director of Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Mill Run, Fayette County.

'You can find us on the Web, but it's tricky,' Waggoner said. 'So many other individuals have Fallingwater Web sites.'

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which maintains the home and links to information from its own Web site, paconserve.org, bought fallingwater.org to keep the address out of other hands.

The Andy Warhol Museum on Pittsburgh's North Side has moved to protect 12 Internet addresses, including .com, .org and .net variations of andywarhol, andywarholmuseum, warholcafe and warholstore. The museum paid $45 for two-year exclusive rights to each.

'We've got almost any version of Warhol that you can come up with,' said Colleen Criste, the museum's director of marketing. 'They're cheap and affordable to collect.'

The Warhol staff already has requested addresses with the .museum suffix.

Employees at the city's three other Carnegie museums also are interested, though none plans to abandon the Web addresses they already have.

'There's a certain wisdom in keeping what we have,' said Richard Tourtellott, spokesman for the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland.

'Our e-mail address is printed on all our business cards and stationery,' said Judy Ross, director of marketing and visitor services at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. 'It was bad enough when we changed the area code a couple years ago.'

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