Saturday, February 20, 2010

.name, what a shame...

I recently registered a second domain name and considered using a more esoteric tld, and in doing so came across ".name". It's pretty interesting, if you look at the Wikipedia entry. The idea was that every person could have their own domain, free and clear.

firstname.lastname.name

Unfortunately, ICANN messed things up and didn't regulate it well, let only certain people get second level domains which only others could register third-level. That kind of fell through and now .name is as open as .info and .com.

Kind of a shame. When you think of it, the entire concept of the domain name industry is a bit odd. All you're doing is paying for the right to use a DNS entry, really. How cool would it be if we could all register our own .name, and have it point to what we want. ISP service comes with email, and it used to come with some news and web space, shouldn't it come with some DNS entries too? The lack of a simple and universal system like this is one of the reasons for why social presence on the internet consists of a multitude of walled gardens. The web itself should have become our social network.

And if .name seems kind of crazy, take a look at ENUM. It's another system that has been proposed to be built on top of DNS, using a record to store a number of phone numbers, both PSTN and VOIP, to a single number. Never built, but things would have been different. As it stands, Google Voice is the closest thing we have to that.

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