I've been pulling my hair out trying to come up with a domain name for my upcoming social bookmarking web app I've spent hours on thesaurus.com trying to find an unusual name that hasn't already been registered. I've even tried almost nonsensical spellings only to find they have also been registered. The only half decent name I was able to register is a .in domain.
I'm trying to figure out if it's worth building a brand around such an unknown domain extension. I know pinboard.in is fairly successful, but it seems they target a more tech savvy audience that's less particular about such things.
Are there any successful, mainstream web sites using ".in"?
".in" is a location extension for India. Unlike other location extensions such as ".ly" which is also meaningful but less used on regional sites, ".in" is actually used on many popular Indian sites. So, if you use ".in" as extension, the first impression would be this is a regional site for Indians mainly.
I would say it is not ideal to use a .in extension for a service that is not going to be targeting the India market. Possibly if the name were a domain 'hack' - meaning the .in means something in the context of the name (examples: about.me, monitor.us) - then it might work. But if you are just using .in because it is available, then I'd advise against that. If not using a domain hack, US-oriented company really ideally needs a .com - or a plan to acquire .com eventually.
I would check out sites like brandbucket.com and namerific.com to see if you can obtain a reasonably priced brandable domain name. And / or start thinking of even more creative / made-up words yourself until you find something available - recognizing that at some point it is more cost effective to buy a name for some amount of money than spend more of your own time searching endlessly for a name.
Hope that helps.