Well, as we all know, dot com names are limited editions. A
tremendous amount of marketing hype went into the dot com naming
convention. Today, it’s difficult to register a dot com domain that
doesn’t require additional explanation or speed typing skills for the

So many things went wrong with this U.S. government controlled
monopolized domain name situation. I think Al Gore should lay claim to
this — after all he invented the Internet, right? I know a big part of
a vice president’s job is to attend funerals. I just never realized the
U.S. government played such a key role in helping dot com naming step
into the grave.

Initially, the domain naming convention was planned on a
country-by-country basis. The idea was that if you lived in the UK you
would obtain a domain name ending in dot uk. However, Internic never
prevented anyone in the UK or any other country from buying a dot com
name — so everyone in the world began grabbing them. The end result
was that if someone grabbed your dot com — even if it was trademarked
— and they lived overseas in, say, India, fat chance you were going to
be able to sue to obtain possession.

Network Solutions made a ton of money administering and monopolizing
the National Science foundation government grants handed to them to
manage and maintain the domain names. At first there were rules, but as
it became clear that the rules affected the aftermarket IPO
profitability of Network Solutions the rules evaporated. In the past,
one was not allowed to file for a dot net unless they performed some
routing role in the Internet network infrastructure. One had to prove
that they actually had and ran a network. That disappeared fast. Shortly
after Network Solutions went public, people were encouraged to obtain a
“dot net” if the “dot com” they wanted was already taken.

Register.com popped up on the scene to compete with Network
. However, there seems to be some sort of a database war
taking place between the two companies. My guess is that Network
Solutions is holding out on the database info they have collected while
under government contract to maintain the database of domain name
holders. (That’s a guess.) Seems one system often doesn’t know about the
availability of a domain name on the other system.

Register.com has
organized loads of the other countries. Dot uk for the UK is there along
with dot gs, dot ro, dot sh and many others.

By the way dot uk, sh, ro and gs are all called Top Level Domains, or
TLDs for short. These TLDs were all established years ago, about the
same time dot gov, com, net and org were established. Machines called
Root Domain Name Servers all pointed at each other, searching their
TLD’s list of valid domain names and their associated IP addresses.
Today most all of these TLDs have valid established routing on the
Internet. If they do not, they are entitled and can get it established
rather quickly. ISPs have their favorite list of Root DNS servers to
perform domain name to IP address lookups. These machines generally know
of and find each other.

With the lack of good dot com names together with the fact that other
TLDs are available, it’s simply a matter of time before dot com becomes
an Internet fad of the past. These other country TLDs will become more
commonplace in URLs. It’s a simple matter of time and education. People
will learn that there is more than dot com available in URLs. Right now
I would guess the majority of people don’t even realize dot com stands
for “commercial.” Great marketing of many dot com companies has created
tremendous awareness of dot com, yet the meaning of commercial has been

DomainWorld.com has placed
some marketing savvy behind the TLD dot mu. Promoting dot mu as having
multiple meanings, like Media University, Monthly Updates, My Universe
and more — the coolest of which is dot mu as short for Music industry domains.

After all, what’s in a dot? I mean who really cares what country the
dot is associated with after so many dot com domain servers have been
placed all over the planet. It would seem that com for commercial would
over time have less desirability. Someday commonplace will be websites
that have more complete and meaningful TLDs. Initially, made possible by
the existing routable TLDs and their root servers already on the scene.
After all the structure of the net itself is one that provides everyone
and every machine a virtual existence.

What do you think about the dot com? What does the dot future hold?
Do you think dot com is a fad that will be replaced with many new TLD
dots that are now readily available? Let me know — zap me an e-mail.

Last article I provided web site design tips and asked for any tips
you may have. Here are a few great responses.

John Miller @ netins.com

As a technical writer who develops online help, I have some tips
that might be helpful in designing effective web pages. Here they are:

  1. Use white space to emphasize and organize material. Many Web pages
    are too cluttered, with too many graphics that do not accomplish any

  2. Avoid use of red and green together, as colorblind individuals
    cannot differentiate between them.

  3. Use upper and lower case letters, standard punctuation, and keep
    font size between 12 and 18 point for maximum readability.

  4. Keep line length consistent within a screen and limit lines to
    40-50 characters per line.

  5. Organize screens to contain logical chunks of information.
    Minimize scrolling. If one screen cannot contain all of the information,
    organize columns and tables vertically, so that the reader’s eye is
    drawn to the bottom of page and made to realize that scrolling is

Jana @ aa.net

I now have to cancel more than five cookies, sometimes more than
once, this site is so sluggish, I use the time getting back like
commercials. Go load a load of laundry; go eat breakfast; go to the
bathroom; go make the bed; I’m home (on those days) and have time. (I
have been so frustrated.) Thanks for taking your concerns to the boss.

B.E. responds

Jana, I know the cookie thing can be a bother … however, unlike
many sites WND does absolutely nothing with the cookie data except track
a session (or length of time someone looked at the site pages). WND does
not track who you are or what you look at during the session … just
how long and counts the sessions as a total. Nothing more is done with
these cookies. So it’s safe to accept WND cookies without worry.

David @ leoadaly.com

If you want to provide readers of World Net Daily helpful hints on
web design, refer them to the website of Vincent Flanders. WebPagesThatSuck.com
. The book, the Web page, and the advice Vincent gives out is
somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it is the best advice out there for making
sure websites don’t have problems.

B.E. responds

David, I found WebPagesThatSuck.com to be informative and
entertaining, thanks.

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