“Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You can never entirely stop being what you once were. That's why it's important to be the right person today, and not put it off till tomorrow.”
“I'm what you get when an eleven-year-old kid decides he wants to grow up to be a Heinlein character.”
—Eric S. Raymond
—VW Bug license plate spotted by ESR in California
“Kill processes, not people.”
“You can make millions without exploiting. But not billions.”
“In battle, exploiting a situation deserves a medal. In business, exploiting a situation deserves condemnation.”
“Trust always breaks down first over money.”
“Web browsers are fragile assemblies of bugs, held together with Hello Kitty stickers. They tend to have problems with complicated pages, especially if they're long. Some of my pages are pretty long, and I want them to work with any web browser on any computer, and so I've been very careful not to do anything unkosher, daring, or cool.”
—James “Kibo” Parry
Last September, we ran a little piece called “Barrel Scrapings” that listed a couple dozen domain names that were still untaken. Since then, the domain name business has turned into an e-land rush. At the current rate, several new domains are claimed every second. That's a lot of “brands”, all bent on capturing your eyeballs, or whatever it is that e-marketers are after these days.
So we thought we'd step back into the fray to see just how insane this business has become.
First, we took a look at some of the names we suggested almost a year ago. “Earwig.com” is taken. So are “stoptalking.com”, “toygod.com” and “cashbird.com”. But “coaptathetic.com”, “bedkill.com”, “buttcramp.com”, “neithersex.com”, “petsurface.com” and “barfwash.com” are all still available. Hope lives.
In fact, hope abounds. Thanks to the good folks at Register.com, we found many domain names already taken, like “feces.com”, are blessedly unconfused by a host of derivative names. So Register.com kindly lists a pile of those names, each produced by adding an e-cliché prefix (e.g., “about”, “quick” and “cyber”) or suffix (e.g., “biz”, “search” and “dot”). So, if you're disappointed by missing your chance with “crap.com”, you can choose from any or all of the following:
Sadly, mycrap, cybercrap, ecrap, quickcrap, crapstore, crapsite and b2bcrap—all .coms—are taken.
But to prove there is still an abundance of untaken names, here are just a few that remain unclaimed.
A couple words from our resident linguist.
Tune in, turn on, click out.
What's the opposite of “sticky”? Try “clicky”. A clicky site is one with plenty of interesting hyperlinks to elsewhere. What better to support than curiosity?
A few weeks ago I was talking with Tim O'Reilly about the noun “information”, which lately has been replaced with “content”. Not that we've lost much. Both now carry the meaning of cargo: something we aggregate, store, move, address and deliver. Where we're moving, clearly, is away from real meaning.
Information, we noticed, derives from the verb inform, which derives from the verb form. In conversation, we don't just “deliver information” back and forth. We form each other. When I learn something new from you and what I learn is meaningful—that is, I can't forget it—you have literally formed me. In other words, we are authors of each other. What's more, we are in the market to be formed. We demand it. Otherwise, we wouldn't learn a damn thing.
That's why it's misleading to conceive of information as a substance we “deliver” to each other (or worse, to an “audience” of “eyeballs”). When we do that, we insult the verb at information's heart.
So how can we start to recover some of the meaning lost when information becomes content? I suggest abbreviating “information” to “of”. When we're in the market for something meaningful, we don't want content, or even information. We want the real deal, pure and uncut. Give us of.
Okay, “clicky” has a better chance. But time will of.