Keypad Friendly Domains

I wrote a simple script that came up with all the four-letter combinations using the first letters on a mobile phone keypad without duplicate letters. Most phones that I've seen don't use predictive text in their URL entry screens and the ones that do (Motorolas) do such a bad job, that I'm sure most people turn it off. So I did a search for ".com" domains with the letters "adgjmptw" and no doubles (doubles add a "pause" between letters and makes it harder to type).

Of the 2744 possible combinations I ran through GoDaddy's bulk domain check, only these 348 remain available:

The "keypad first letter" domains are very important for mobile services, as the others cause way more clicks on phones. I love my domain "" but it's a bitch to type on a keypad: 4 clicks, pause, 9 clicks. Urgh - that's way too much, I want something much slicker with less friction for the end user. Ever wonder why Jamdat is named Jamdat? Take a look at your mobile phone keypad.

By the way, all the three letter .com domains are taken (obviously) and I haven't bothered trying the 5 letter combinations yet as there are 9000+ combinations and the bulk service only takes 500 domains at a time. I'll do that later when I'm procrastinating again.

Now, there's a real option of start an online service with a non-dotCom domain name like .mp as these sorts of domain extensions become more common. I think this is a reasonable decision, and not only because I personally know and like the guys working at Saipan Datacom. DotCom is still the default because that's the easiest for people like my Mom to type into a normal web browser - and in fact, they'll default to www.*.com if you just type in word. But with some basic marketing, I think .mp makes a lot of sense because of the speed at which you can type in the domain and it's brevity in a logo. This is why Nokia/Microsoft's ".mobi" plan is a bad idea, by the way, try typing that in: 9 clicks with a pause between m and o. Bleh.

This is turning into a domain name rant. Everyone knows I'm a domain addict from the mid 90s, but the fact is that any online service starts with a decent domain name. Though this is becoming less important in the world of Google searches ("I'm feeling lucky") and mobile phones where 99% of consumers never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever type in URLs. But still, you need that handle. You need that way of communicating by voice, simply and clearly what a site is. If you launch a mobile service with a domain like "" you're really setting yourself up for failure. Not only is it impossible to type, it's impossible to remember, etc.

The best domains are still words or word-like words. Google isn't really a word, but it's pronounceable. That's why there's not much good in the above list. Ooh, I know what I'll do, I'll modify the 5 letter domain search to just domains with consonant-vowel combos and try that. We'll see what I come up with. Anyone know a way of getting "whois" to spit out just a "yes this exists" or "no it's free" so I could just run the script that way? That'd save an awful lot of time.


Update 10/1/04: I'm a moron. I forgot the "d" in my original list. Thanks Juho in my comments for catching the error. I've updated the numbers and the list above. Though I think something is wrong with GoDaddy's Bulk Registration as "" shows up, and passes their test, but individually it's not available. Here's the full list so you can test yourself.

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