Republican Group Shrugs Off Hazing of Latest Tech Effort: .GOP

It’s become a political rite of passage: When a political party unveils a new tech-related initiative, detractors on the opposite side of the aisle inevitably pounce with parody sites and social-media lampoons. The latest hazing victim was the Republican party, after the launch of the new .gop domain.

In a novel approach to spurring adoption of centralized-digital platforms among like-minded campaigns and organizations, the Republican State Leadership Committee is the official registry for the .gop domain. What that means in practice is that the RSLC, which works to elect Republican candidates running for statewide legislative offices, is selling domain names that feature the .gop suffix. They cost $20.16 each, a nod to the next presidential election year.

Needless to say some Democrats and liberals decided it was a good opportunity to mock the Republican party’s digital evangelists again. On Tuesday, a handful of people searched the system for goof-domain names, some more juvenile than others:,, and among them. The afternoon dalliance was chronicled in a Gawker story the same day.

“We knew that that type of traffic would be coming, and it didn’t disappoint,” said Will Martinez, who is leading the .gop initiative as VP, sales and marketing for .gop. The project mission is to coax every state-level candidate campaign, federal candidates and other like-minded entities (think College Republican organizations, for example) to host their websites on the .gop domain.

“It’s the Internet — we understand that. We knew that was coming,” said Mr. Martinez regarding the spoofs. “You had people helping to drive viral traffic. We haven’t spent a dollar on marketing yet and it’s driven a lot of sales,” he said, regarding tweets mocking the party’s domain sale.

The RSLC would not reveal the number of .gop domains sold since they became available July 8 at, and just how much traffic has originated from those links is unclear.

Also unclear is what, if anything, will become of the joke domains. The RSLC said it would not discuss which domains have been purchased or by whom. RSLC is not monitoring content of sites or emails hosted on .gop domains and won’t build sites for others using .gop domains, according to Mr. Martinez.

Read the full article at Ad Age.

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