When our IT consultancy group first joined up with PKF, one of the first thing we did was to check if pkf.com.my was taken up. We had pkfmalaysia.com running already. Unfortunately this is where things got tricky, pkf.com.my was already taken up by a biscuit company. Hence, I suppose this is where we get a lot of “Are you a biscuit company” queries.There’s nothing much to be done about it, but when pkf.my first became available, we snapped it up, and did a forwarding to our main site.

I was speaking to a company that handled domain services last week, over a nice lunch, and one of the things they do is called “Digital Branding”. A simple form of it, in DNS speak is to ensure that your branding on the net doesn’t get devalued against anything that attaches itself to your name. It sounds like a simple service, but it’s really a critical one.

When Pope Francis was chosen to lead the 1.2 billion catholics in our world recently, he was viewed as a breaker of tradition. He asked the crowd to pray for him instead of blessing them. He refused to stand on a podium, instead stood together with his bishops and cardinals. He tweeted. He started a blog called www.popefrancis.com. Oh wait, that’s taken.Popefrancis.org…oh nuts, it’s squated by a blog. Popefrancisi.com? Wait, taken as well. A whole pile of popefrancis name with the top level domain .uk, .de, .be, .net, .tv all taken. The good news is that popefrancis.my is available. He should set up his site on our .my domain. It’s opportunistic. Sometimes, a $20 investment can get you around $3000 to $5000. Who wouldn’t want it?

Or what about the long drama between Nissan Motors for www.nissan.com? Nissan is actually a jewish name. In the bible, there’s reference to Nissan as month in the Hebrew calendar. If you go to www.nissan.com you can read the drama on how Nissan motors tried flexing its corporate muscles to bump out this guy running a computer shop from nissan.com domain. It’s a David and Goliath scenario, except the Goliath here is Japanese…who is half French.

So back to digital branding. As we become more and more dependent on the internet as the main source of information, it’s important to look at the simple stuff like this. For Pope and Nissan, they dropped the ball. For PKF, I’m just glad that pkf.com.my is a biscuit company and not some sort of porn site.