At first glance, it’s hard to see what Father Bob, Greens MP Adam Bandt and food journalist Dani Valent have in common.

But look further and you’ll see there is something very interesting that ties them all together – a .melbourne web address.

Despite their different backgrounds, each has chosen to move to a local domain name.

And they’re not the only ones. An increasing number of high profile Australians are making the switch to a .sydney or .melbourne domain name.

But why? What value do big name Australians see in a local web address?

Let’s take a look at what could be catching their eye.

Build local connections

Having a local web address is like living in a good neighbourhood. It’s familiar, local and has a strong sense of community. As the Internet gets more expansive, these values become increasingly important.

For Aussie celebrities, local domains offer a way to strengthen pre-existing community ties and remain familiar, even in the endless online world.

It’s easy to see how a local web address can be useful for a personality like Father Bob Maguire.

For decades, the iconic Melbourne priest has been working on the streets of Melbourne helping to combat homelessness. He works in Melbourne, for Melbourne, largely with the support of Melbourne. It makes sense then, for his digital presence to be branded .melbourne.

With the .melbourne web address www.fatherbob.melbourne, Father Bob instantly aligns himself with the community he works with and further enshrines his status as a Melbourne city icon.

For any individual whose brand and reputation are staked on the community in which they work, local web domains become quite an asset. They give iconic Australians a way to be ‘true blue’ online and avoid getting lost in the digital abyss.

Speak to the right audience

Looking at the high profile Australians who have a .melbourne and .sydney web address, it is clear that audience is another important factor in their decision to make the move.

With a local web address, celebrities can speak directly to people within a specific geographic region.

It’s easy to see why this would benefit someone like Adam Bandt, Federal Member for Melbourne (www.adambandt.melbourne). Not only is a .melbourne address a very catchy way of saying ‘I stand for Melbourne’, it helps him to better target that community.

Adam Bandt is not the only politician catching on to this. In New York, former mayor Michael Bloomberg has registered www.officialmikebloomberg.nyc as well as many other .nyc websites.

A local web address attracts visitors with a genuine interest in that city or region. This helps politicians address their electorate just as it helps bloggers identify their niche.

Take food journalist Dani Valent. As a specialist in Melbourne’s culinary scene, Dani Valent uses her local domain www.danivalent.melbourne to brand her niche and hone in on a Melbourne-focused audience.

Be an authority

From a branding perspective, a local web address gives Aussie celebs a way to tout their local credentials. It doesn’t just connect them to their community; it helps them be an authority in that space.

Obviously this is important to Dani Valent, who stakes her reputation on her knowledge of local Melbourne food. And for Adam Bandt, whose political future depends on his vision for Melbourne. And for Father Bob, whose mission is to put an end to homelessness in the city.

Local domains strengthen a celebrity’s brand and sphere of influence. Just look at some of the big names registered with a .nyc web address: Trump, Rockefeller and baseball legend David Wright.

If the likes of Donald Trump are going local, what might be next for .sydney and .melbourne? Who will be the next big Aussie name to sign up to a local web address? We’d love to hear your predictions.

Image credit: www.fatherbob.melbourne