Playing Politics Online

Liz Sweezey ⬥ 28 June

Back in February, Steve Levy blogged about Sarah and Briston Palin’s applications to trademark their names being held up. Last week, according to the Wall Street Journal, the mother-daughter duo successfully completed the trademark application process. Barring any last-minute objections or bureaucratic hiccups, the marks SARAH PALIN and BRISTOL PALIN should be registered in three months.

The Palins’ applications got me thinking about politicians, trademarks and, of course, political domain names, which the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse researched last fall leading up to the midterm elections. The Republican Party is already gearing up to challenge President Obama in next year’s presidential election, and candidates are beginning to announce their intentions to run. One example that came to my mind recently was Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China, who announced his plan to run for the GOP nomination last week. Unfortunately, he does not own the domain name or Instead, he uses

In my opinion, one of Barack Obama’s strengths during his candidacy was his web presence. In addition to owning and, his Facebook page currently has over 21 million Likes. Huntsman, on the other hand, has a fairly unmemorable domain for politics (saying “Jon 2012” out loud sounds like a Bible verse) and a Facebook page with fewer than 10,000 Likes.

While an intuitive domain name and a popular Facebok page does not necessarily translate into a successful campaign, it will be difficult for Huntsman or any Republican candidate to compete with Obama’s online reach. We’ll just have to wait until November to see how that plays out. 

Tags: Bristol Palin, China, Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, domain names, Facebook, GOP, Jon Huntsman, midterm elections, politicians, President Obama, Republican Party, Sarah Palin, Steve Levy, trademark, U.S. Ambassador, Wall Street Journal, Web presence

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