The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'domains'
A piece looking at the history of five generic domain names—music.com, eat.com, car.com, meat.com and milk.com—from their origins in the quirky innocence of the pre-commercialised 1990s to their present status:
meat.com: In 1996, meat.com was a classic bit of golden age Internet whimsy called L'Industrie De Meat: an oddish logo on standard-issue mid-90s textured background, with an anti-Communications Decency Act jeremiad, links to an "Internet hall of shame" (optimized for Netscape 2.0), and information about the "Transnational Church of Life on Mars." There was also a link to the site's creator's software offering: Color Manipulation Device, which helped HTML newbies choose the colors for their Web pages. Later iterations of the site foregrounded the software development angle, offering f.search, a metasearch program that would help you get the most of the pre-Google search offerings out there.
By early 2000, though, the proprietor of L'Industrie had sold the site (hopefully at full height-of-boom prices) to a company looking to sell and promote, well meat. Promising a directory of local meat suppliers and "delicious, mouth-watering entrees," it appears to have never really gotten off the ground, and by 2004 was in the hands of a domain registrar and offered for sale. Today, the site has reached the ignominious nadir for generic Websites: it's little more than a front-end for pages of text ads, with not very well thought out photo placement
milk.com: And sometimes, they just stay the same. Milk.com was snapped up in the unheard-of ancient year of 1994 by Internet denizen Dan Bornstein, and it's remained a classic homepage in the '90s sense -- sparse background, unformatted text, easy-to-find links -- ever since.
The story of how Penguin Books is attempting to steal the katie.com domain. Basically, they published a book about the victim of an internet chatroom paedophile and called it "katie.com" (as "girl.com" was taken by a porn site). Which is all very well, except that katie.com was already owned by someone else (it was the personal domain of a woman named Katie Jones in the UK). Instead of backing down or attempting to resolve this, Penguin are promoting the hell out of their katie.com assets, rendering the actual site unusable as a personal domain, with the hope of pressuring Jones to hand it over; and have even made noises about using the katie.com trademark they own to seize it. Anybody want to start a legal fund for Katie Jones?
Self-declared geeks in New Zealand are calling for the establishment of a geek.nz domain, under which self-styled geeks, nerds, dorks, trekkies and penguinheads can set up their own domains, celebrating their unique and vibrant culture. If it is approved, geek.nz will follow maori.nz, which is already established. Though some are skeptical of the whole thing:
"My opinion of geek.nz is (is that it would open) the way for other poorly-defined groups like muso.nz, boyracer.nz, dopehead.nz," argues a critic in the online discussion.
The problems with that I see are is that who determines who's an eligible geek. Will it be run on a for-profit basis, with anyone being able to buy a domain? Will status in the "geek community" be taken into account? If so, could this lead to a clique running the domain and denying access to people they don't like, and a resulting schism, with a rival "nerd.nz" domain (or "therealgeeknz.net" or something) being created and competing for allegiance? Will we also see a "jedi.nz"? (It's an official religion, or it would be if the authorities didn't ignore the overwhelming results of the last census?) And then the goths will want a "goth.nz", and the people standing with clipboards by the railway lines will want a "gunzel.nz", and so on, until we see "progressivedrillandbass.nz" or similarly ephemeral niche domains?