According to this article, the Universal Postal Union is in talks with the ICANN to get its own “.post” TLD. Because, you see, “restricting the ‘.post’ domain name to postal agencies or groups that provide postal services would instill trust in Web sites using such names“. If you’re wondering what these “groups that provide postal services” are, keep reading: “the U.N. agency also could assign names directly to mail-related industries, such as direct marketing and stamp collecting“. I have nothing against stamp collectors, but direct marketing? So much for the “trust” part. Just call it “.spam” and be done with it.
I doubt that having to use a “.com” name has ever registered as a hindrance for FedEx, DHL or UPS in providing web-based services. And these organizations have been offering on-line package tracking and other services since before many of the postal organizations even had a way to locate post offices on their web site. That being said, http://com.post/ would be a great URL for a blog.
If the UPU really wants to innovate, what would be more interesting than a boring TLD would be a URI scheme for postal mail. Something like post:USA/CA/94065/Redwood%20City/Oracle%20Parkway/500/William%20Vambenepe but in a way that allows for the international variations. That would be a nice complement to the “geo:” URI scheme.
Now, should I categorize this as “off-topic”? What would the IT management angle be? Let’s see. Maybe as a way to further integrate the handling of virtual and physical servers? Kind of a stretch (being able to represent the destination as a URI in both cases doesn’t mean that delivering a physical server to an address is the same as provisioning a new VM in a hypervisor). Maybe as an additional notification endpoint (“if the application crashes, don’t send an an email, send me a letter instead”)? As if. Alright, off-topic it is.