PS Consultants - ideas & solutions

Have you been dot conned ..?
June 2000

The internet was once described as the New Wild West - where the high street comprises a typically motley mix of saloon, general stores, undertakers, churches, council buildings and whore houses. If you live in DotCom street, then nothing much has changed, other than property values have soared as anything approaching a "nice name" has been sold to either the lucky "rightful" owner, or some seedy name speculator, waiting to try their luck with the highest bidder.

The freeholder of the .com street where this eclectic mix of websites jostle for your attention was originally IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) who handed the general admin over to Internic, who made more money from this old rope monopoly than was decent, and now a new body called ICANN ( has been constituted to try and present a more democratic and affable face to the world of the net in order to restore some sort of decorum.

But the problem remains that the .com domains are perceived as the be-all and end-all of internet identity and credibility, although organisations like the BBC have done their bit to remind the UK at least that there is another domain - - it really cuts no ice, and .com is pure credibility on the international scene.

There continues to be loose talk of new "global top level domains" but the feeling is that Macdonald’s will still either grab macdonalds.anything (after all, imagine what some mischief maker would do with and the brand fencing would continue apace. This arises because of the impossibility of US and international law pertaining to such matters as domains names is woefully inadequate and way behind the times.

But as all the snappy domain names have gone, so 2nd and 3rd best alternatives appear. If you are Buggins Superior PetFoods Limited, the ideal would be, or - issued to someone els ein 1998 and 1999 respectively. There are no TLAs at all available, and no 4 letter acronyms, either. It's a problem. Because now poor old Buggins has to work out a compromise.

Should that be - maybe also Buggins SPF in case people spell Petfood as "Pet Food" - or - or or... or...

You see the problem..? Domain name registrars are actually rather enjoying the mayhem at this stage of the net because most new domain owners end up in a tizzy and register 3-10 names in the effort to capture all the likely and confusing - or misspelled versions. After all, maybe some customers go looking for, or was that

Eeek! There has to be a better way.