I'm starting to work on a new project and I'm going to name it with a word that ends with so.
The idea of registering a Somalia top-level domain (.so ) for the project really excites me, and the domain in question is still available. However, I wonder how safe it would be to rely on a country with a quite unstable political and social situation.
What possible bad outcomes are there if I use this domain?
In other words, a LOT could go wrong. The possibility is low if your site isn't very successful, but if it was very successful there's a good chance given the politics of Somalia that you could be held ransom virtually.
I'd suggest a different domain name.
There basically has not been any central government with control over Somalia since 1991. That is the one thing about Somalia, which is stabile... I would say that there is a bit of added risk by registering as .SO, but I think there will be a long time before any government gets time to look into domain names.
I understand the volatility around the country, but I don't fully understand the controls the government can have over your .SO ?
It's probably the last thing on their minds at the mo, but I think in this day and age most people will think the domain, especially if it's a single high hitting name, is under control of a genuine user. Also, for SEO purposes, is any single name better than adding a large word count to buy a .com?
When the new gtlds come out next year, this whole concept of a .com will open the market up massively.
Unless you're planning on using some fancy wordplay for example; fat.so or sayitaint.so, then I wouldn't trust a .so domain extension as far as I could throw it. The price just isn't worth the hassle. Somalia is a pretty volatile place, as pointed out all it would take is a riot or some kind of government fiasco to put your domain into peril.
Bit.ly have built a brand around bit.ly and .ly is the country domain extension for Libya which is a pretty volatile country. But Bit.ly have also purchased the domain bitly.com as well which they can fall back onto if they need too, but would no doubt cause them some headaches if they ever had too.
You register an .so domain at your own risk. Just remember to always a backup website.