Dan's Domain Site | Fame & Shame | Hall of Shame

Dan's Domain Site

Hall of Shame

Inappropriate TLDs | Unnecessary Domains | Indecision Department | Named After Unowned Domains

This section highlights some sites that are making foolish or inappropriate use of the domain name system. See my notes on domain structure for more information on correct usage. Also see the Hall of Fame for some examples of people who got this right.

I'm almost starting to lose the will to keep adding to this "Hall of Shame"... there are just too many examples of domain name system abuse these days. Just turn on the TV, and you're constantly assaulted with marketing-gimmick domains that ought to have been done as subdomains of the company's main domain (buyatoyota.com, schwabwelcome.com, etradebonus.com), domains in the wrong top-level domain (plannedparenthoodvotes.com, which should properly be a .org, as well as properly belonging as a subdomain of plannedparenthood.org), and other idiocies, outnumbering the properly-used domains you're likely to encounter. This makes it like shooting fish in a barrel to find more "Hall of Shame" entries (but more challenging to find good uses to put in the Hall of Fame), meaning I'm likely only to add further examples here if they're particularly mind-bogglingly stupid.

On the subject of "stupid" vs. "smart", I used to have a few examples here of sites run by various parts of Mensa, the high-IQ society, but I decided to remove them... first of all, since I'm a Mensan myself, it isn't really nice to publicly criticize my fellow Mensans; I should keep the criticism internal. Also, Mensa does, to a large extent, follow a logical hierarchy within mensa.org (as well as some similar domains within country codes for various countries' chapters); it was just the occasional lapses from strict logic I was criticizing, which are the exception rather than the rule. However, listing a bunch of them does tend to give the mistaken impression that I'm down on Mensa in general. And finally, I got rebuked in an email from somebody at a foreign Mensa group that was among those I so criticized; I had said that it was "dumb" to use mensa.com.[CountryCode] instead of the "proper" mensa.org.[CountryCode]. The person first of all thought that I was calling him (and the fellow Mensans of that country) "dumb" -- my intent was to call the action dumb, not the person, and I apologize if my wording gave another impression. Also, he pointed out that the rules for .org.[CountryCode] domains in his country are highly restrictive and that the provisional Mensa organization, just getting started, hasn't yet qualified. That's certainly a mitigating circumstance here. Some domain registries are overly restrictive in their qualifications, and while they no doubt think they're upholding the consistent logic of the domain name system by doing so, in fact excessive strictness for some of the parts of the namespace can in fact cause the illogical outcome of driving many organizations into .com (and the equivalent within country codes) inappropriately, on the grounds that that domain is completely unrestricted. Anyway, such rules can put an organization that's just trying to get organized between a rock and a hard place with regard to naming their site; they can't get the domain that's logical for them, but want a memorable address. Nevertheless, making "the wrong choice" in such cases contributes to the "dumbing-down" of the Internet whereby "newbie" users expect to find everything in .com and are hard to ever educate out of that if people keep pandering to this expectation.

NOTE: The inclusion of a site in my "Hall of Shame" links should not be construed as any sort of personal attack on the site's creator, who may be a really great person, or even an attack on the linked Web site as a whole, which may be a source of really great information and/or entertainment. Rather, it is simply to highlight specific features (intentional or accidental) which I regard as silly, unnecessary, or contrary to the properly-understood structure of the system. If you find one of your sites is linked here, don't get offended; improve your Internet usage so that I'll have to take down the link!

Sites In Inappropriate TLDs

All too often, nonprofits turn their noses at their logical place in the namespace, like .org or .org.uk, and go for inappropriate .com domains instead. Less often, but even sillier, commercial outfits use .org domains. This section shines its spotlight on some examples of such idiocy.

  • Rate Your Music bills itself as a "free, noncommercial online community", but still insists on using a .com address.
  • The New Orleans AIDS Task Force is an unusual case. They seem to have started out by registering the proper .org domain, as seen by comparing the WHOIS registration information for noaidstaskforce.org and noaidstaskforce.com. The organization contact information in the .org domain also seems more accurate; that of the .com domain points at some individual of uncertain connection with the organization in question. Nevertheless, they're currently using the inappropriate .com domain as their primary address, and the .org address merely redirects there.
  • TsunamiRelief.com proclaims itself to be a "non-profit website". It doesn't have an appropriate address for it, unlike TsunamiRelief.org.
  • Comfort Stand Recordings proclaims that "We are not a business. We're not out to make a profit." But it still uses a TLD that implies that they are and they do.
  • The Earth Center proclaims themselves to be a "non-profit and non-governmental organization", so why does their Internet address say otherwise?
  • The Journal of Theoretics advertises in the International Mensa Journal as "an international nonprofit science journal", but still has its site in a .com address... dumb, dumb, dumb!!! (Once again, "dumb" here is referring to the act of choosing that domain, not the people involved in that publication!)
  • The Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL) proclaims itself to be "strictly a nonprofit organization," and it is dedicated to resisting abuse and misuse of the English language. It doesn't, however, seem to be taking a similar stand against the abuse and misuse of the domain name system, as it has its site at spellorg.com, a particularly bizarre choice given that the inclusion of "org" shows that they know they want a domain name that indicates that they are an organization.
  • Another "...org.com" domain is tigersafariorg.com, which is the site of Tiger Safari, a nonprofit wildlife refuge in Tuttle, Oklahoma (the place where the city manager had an infamous e-mail exchange with open-source free Linux-based operating system distributor Centos). Since the more logical tigersafari.org is taken by one of those sleazy pseudo-portal operators that infest the domain namespace, one might think they perhaps picked that .com address due to the other name being taken already, but the WHOIS seems to indicate that the .org name wasn't registered until later.
  • A case of dumb and dumber... The Xeric Foundation, a nonprofit organization that gives grants to self-publishing alternative cartoonists, uses used a .com domain for their site. That's dumb. What's dumber is that, in their ads underneath the URL, they give their email address, which is not an address in their own domain, but in (gag, vomit, retch) aol.com. So they're needlessly advertising that crappy proprietary online service and locking themselves into staying on it, when they could have given themselves a sensible email in their own domain. (Update: As of early 2008, they seem to finally be using a proper .org Web address, but still a (gag, vomit, retch) AOL e-mail address.)
  • The group of firefighters pictured in the famous photograph raising a flag over the World Trade Center Ruins, true heroes, established a nonprofit fund in order, in their own words, to "prevent profiteering from the picture." But even heroes do dumb things sometimes; they set up the fund's Web site at thebravestfund.com, an address that implies the sort of profiteering they're actually against. To be fair, they do own the .org version of that domain as well, but that was registered as an afterthought, months after the .com version, and the inappropriate commercial domain is still the one they cite as their address, as in the Newsweek issue commemorating the anniversary of the September 11th attack.
  • A Blue Cross / Blue Shield affiliate, Excellus, refers to themselves as "a nonprofit Independent Licensee", but they use a .com address. They used to have a "double Hall of Shame" place on my sites, since they were also on the Dan's Web Tips User Agent Page as one of the sites that cluelessly tells users of standards-compliant browsers like Mozilla to "upgrade" to MSIE; however, they got off that list by stopping this.
  • The state of Florida has put its state government site at myflorida.com. This is really stupid... does the state really want people to think of it as a commercial entity? The proper address for the state site is www.state.fl.us, which presently just redirects to that .com abomination. And now they're even forcing me to promote that silly address by putting the .com address on their license plates, in contrast to Pennsylvania, whose licence plates bear the logical .us address of the state site. (This is just one of a whole heap of silly and inconsistent domain names used by various branches of the Florida state government, spread across .com, .org, .gov, and other TLDs. There are a few agencies still using logical .us domains, like the Department of State.)
  • Palm Beach County, which screwed up the 2000 presidential elections, has long had its Web site at the proper www.co.palm-beach.fl.us. But they've picked up "dot-com-itus" too, and are now advertising their address as the inappropriate www.pbcgov.com.
  • The Boca Raton police department also seems to be under the delusion that it's a for-profit business, given its use (advertised on the back of its cars) of bocapolice.com. (However, the Web site at that address didn't resolve when I first tried it; at last try, though, it redirects to a site more properly addressed in ci.boca-raton-fl.us.)
  • Even fictional police departments fall prey to this idiocy; those with an eagle eye (and/or a pause button) could spot that on a 2008 episode of Smallville, where Clark is looking up the Metropolis Police Department online, the address shown in the browser is metropolispolice.com. (In the real world, that address goes to a generic parking/link page as do a large number of undeveloped domains.)
  • The state of Oklahoma has long held the logical state.ok.us domain, but that wasn't sexy enough for the emptyheaded marketing types that even governmental entities are saddled with. After forming a committee and going through great contortions to find a name that wasn't already taken (apparently not even wanting to look anywhere other than the supremely inappropriate, and hardest-to-find-good-names-in .com), they settled on youroklahoma.com. So it's my Florida, but it's your Oklahoma... and you can keep it! (However, this address has since been changed to redirect to their new address, ok.gov.)
  • Maryland's tax office gets the special honor of being on both my Hall of Shame and Hall of Fame lists. First, they get the "shame" entry for using a dot-com address -- do they want their citizens to think they're skimming profits off of the tax dollars they take in??? But they also show up in the Fame page for intelligent use of subdomains within that domain. How can one agency be so clueful and so clueless all at once???
  • The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference is yet another state governmental site that inappropriately uses a commercial domain.
  • Going for some bigger governmental fish, I've already mentioned elsewhere in the site of how various arms of the Federal government insist on using illogical .com domains even though they have .gov and .mil all to themselves. These include usps.com, goarmy.com, and airforce.com. Since the U.S. government is technically still in charge of overseeing the domain name system, due to the Internet being founded as a government research project, they really ought to be setting a proper example for correct use of it themselves.
  • Moving on to non-US governments, Computers For Schools Ontario is a Canadian government program which uses a dumbass .com domain as their advertised Web address in direct violation of the government guidelines that say that government agencies should register .com, etc., domains to stop cybersquatters, but only advertise their proper .gc.ca address.
  • The Human Rights Commission of New Zealand chose an inappropriate .co.nz address (implying a commercial entity) rather than using a proper .govt.nz domain.
  • The College Board, which runs the SAT exam, is a nonprofit organization. So "naturally", their Web site is at collegeboard.com.
  • Verbix proclaims itself to be "an independent non-profit organization that aims to promote and protect linguistic diversity". So why is their site a .com? They didn't even register the .org version, which is still available last I checked.
  • ChristiansVote.com bills itself as a "non-partisan, non-profit organization." Then why are they a .com instead of a .org? Stupid...
  • The Center for Consumer Freedom is another licensed, accredited nonprofit organization that stupidly puts its Web site in a .com address.
  • Also in that vein, Debticated bills itself as "A Non-Profit Organization" devoted to consumer debt counseling, but also uses a .com address. Would you trust your personal finances to an organization too stupid to know the correct top-level domain to use?
  • Similarly, E-Debt Consolidation is another "nonprofit" .com in the debt counseling field. (But see my Hall of Fame Page for another such organization that did it right, with a .org address.)
  • South Florida car dealer Gunther VW has two locations, and they decided to put the Web site for one of them at gunthervw.com and the other at gunthervw.net. I guess they think the second branch is a network provider? (Actually, that second address redirects to gunthervwofcoconutcreek.com, though the text on that page continues to refer to the site as gunthervw.net, so they're also guilty of offenses in the "Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™" and "Indecision" categories. Logical subdomains of gunthervw.com would have worked well as a way to give addresses to different branches, though it might have been even better if Volkswagen gave subdomains of vw.com to its various authorized dealers.)
  • The decidedly nonprofit National Center for Missing & Exploited Children inexplicably uses missingkids.com as their address. Actually, missingkids.org goes to their site too, and I think they've used that longer, but their current ads use the improper commercial domain instead. Their staff has probably been infested by brain-dead marketing types.
  • If you get on the mailing list of Mother Jones's Web site, you'll get occasional fundraising appeals that assert "MotherJones.com is a nonprofit." Well, then, why does your site have .com in its address???
  • The Libertarian Victory Fund is yet another nonprofit that uses the dumbass .com designation. I'm disappointed; Libertarians usually make an effort to get things right instead of yielding to shallow and stupid trends.
  • The Rochester Flying Club proclaims itself to be "a private, non-profit organization", but its webmaster apparently doesn't know the proper TLD for such entities. This is particularly strange given that the webmaster is a regular on the alt.sysadmin.recovery newsgroup, a hangout for ultra-geeky types who love to rant about how clueless and ignorant all the lusers and marketroids are.
  • The Compassionate Use Project is yet another nonprofit using a .com address. They formerly had a page "explaining" why, with this explanation being based on an erroneous conception that they had to be an IRS-recognized nonprofit to properly use a .org address. This is completely false (though there was a brief period when such restrictions were rumored to be upcoming). Anyway, the project now does have recognized nonprofit status, but they're still using the inappropriate commercial address.
  • ...But this particular error, of organizations making a big deal about their nonprofit status while stupidly using a .com address, is really rampant everywhere. I even saw a poster advertising a production of a local community playhouse, which pointed out that they were a nonprofit organization immediately beneath the line giving their Web address, which of corse ended in .com. Morons!
  • For an international bad example, Bristol Community Sport uses a .co.uk domain (for commercial entities in the United Kingdom) when a .org.uk domain would make more sense for not-for-profit community organizations like this.
  • LogoServer makes a point of saying "This is not a commercial website." But it's still at a .com address.
  • The Loughborough University student union, in the UK, originally had an address logically enough within the academic domain of the university, at www-lsu.lboro.ac.uk. Then they changed it to lborosu.org, less rigorously logical but still defensible since they're an organization. However, they have since changed it yet again to lufbra.net; there's no logic at all in that, since they're not a network provider. That university also has the inappropriate "commercial" domains loughboroughsport.com, lufbraenterprises.co.uk and mediaservices-lboro.co.uk.
  • Speaking of British education, Eton College (actually at high-school level in American terms) is a "public school" in the British sense, which means it's actually what Americans would call a "private school", but it has an endowment and is not run for profit by an owner; thus, it's a not-for-profit organization. You wouldn't know this from the etoncollege.com domain they use, though.
  • Both the antisemitic JewWatch and the site protesting it (and calling for Google to stop indexing it), RemoveJewWatch, are inappropriately using .com domains for their entirely noncommercial projects.
  • On the other hand, webprinting.org looks commercial to me, so it seems to be one of those rare domain abuses in the opposite direction.
  • Another one: SmartProperties.org looks like a construction firm, not a nonprofit organization. They even seem to be using the .org as part of their company name, imitating the idiocy of the .com companies in an even less appropriate form.

Sites Using Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™ where a Logical Subdomain would Do Fine

While, in the most purist conception of the DNS namespace, even a vast conglomerate ought to have only one domain name and use logical subdomains for all parts, even ones with completely different names (aol.aoltimewarner.com, warnerbros.aoltimewarner.com, dccomics.aoltimewarner.com, etc.), I don't go nearly this far in putting domain owners in the "Hall Of Shame" doghouse. Parts of a company that are entities in their own right with completely different names and identities understandably want distinct Internet addresses. However, what is much less understandable, and "Hall Of Shame"worthy, is when companies want to "brand" a division or product line as being part of the bigger entity, and hence to give them Internet addresses that contain the parent name as a substring... but they don't do this the logical way, using subdomains. Instead, they make up some longer name containing the parent name. If the company is named FooBar, and its main Web site is at foobar.com, they set up other sites at the addresses foobarkids.com, foobarsouth.com, foobarjobs.com, etc., for various functions, divisions, and demographics being marketed to, instead of more logical names like kids.foobar.com, etc. That is the sort of behavior I'm highlighting in this section.

  • The game service Steam has most of its content in subdomains of its main domain steampowered.com (steam.com belongs to somebody else). However, for no obvious reason, its community sections use the unnecessary domain steamcommunity.com instead of another subdomain.
  • When toll-paying transponder system SunPass did a swap to new, more compact devices, they saw fit to add to their portfolio of Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names with sunpastagswap.com, instead of using a logical address in their main sunpass.com domain (which perhaps belonged more logically in .org or .gov if they are noncommercial and/or governmental). That's not the first such unnecessary extra domain they've used; at various times they've had different domains at various stages of the process of logging in and checking your balance and usage history.
  • Audible.com has taken to "sponsoring" lots of podcasts, which now include messages like "This podcast is proudly sponsored by Audible.com; you can get a free download from them by going to..." an address specific to the particular podcast. However, those addresses are not in the domain Audible.com, despite that being what's being promoted here; rather, they are using addresses within the Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name™ audiblepodcast.com.
  • FreeTripleScore.com uses some really annoying TV commercials where people repeat their dot-com address a million zillion times; I had hoped that such things had gone out of style with the dot-com bust years ago. However, the URL shown in writing on-screen is not the one their actors are incessantly repeating; instead, they use domain names with appended numbers like freetriplescore13.com. Presumably this is an attempt to track which ad people are responding to by which address they use, but that would only work for customers who ignore the soundtrack of the commercial and go by what they see instead. It's also vulnerable to cybersquatting once a number is reached that they didn't bother to register; freetriplescore666.com is, at last check, still available if Satan wants it.
  • GasBuddy has a fairly sensible idea of letting you click on your location on a map, and then show you the gasoline prices in that area. However, they implement it in a senseless manner; once you get to a specific area, you wind up in one of a whole bunch of Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™ like MiamiGasPrices.com or ShreveportGasPrices.com, instead of using logical subdomains, which would seem to make sense for such a network of related sites. BocaRatonGasPrices.com is not taken, when I checked, so somebody can "cybersquat" on them over here if they want.
  • The popular American Idol show, on the Fox network, uses this approach by having its site at idolonfox.com, even though the more logical idol.fox.com would actually be one character shorter. The similar-concept Nashville Star show on the USA Network had more sense, and put its site at nashvillestar.usanetwork.com.
  • Even when governmental entities use the proper top level domain, they don't always follow the proper structure. For instance, the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, set up by the FBI, uses ifccfbi.gov where it would have been more logical to put a dot in the middle of it and use the subdomain ifcc.fbi.gov. Not so long ago, the .gov registry was very strict about only giving separate domains to cabinet-level agencies and requiring all subsidiary entities to use appropriate subdomains, but they've weakened up a lot and are tolerating much in the way of "vanity" .gov domains. To some extent, that's a good thing, if it encourages the agencies to get their vanity domains in .gov instead of a completely inappropriate .com address, but in cases where their desired URL includes the parent agency as a substring, they ought to use properly logical subdomains anyway.
  • The Continental Chess Association seems to think every page of their site needs its own domain -- they have ccaevents.com, ccaguide.com, ccaresults.com, and more, all of which just redirect to pages in their main chesstour.com site. This could have been done more logically with subdomains like events.chesstour.com. At least, I think the .com suffix is valid; though their name sounds like a noncommercial organization, I believe they're actually a for-profit business (though the status isn't unambiguously stated).
  • Speaking of chess, the U.S. Chess Federation has a few Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™ too... though at least they do use the proper .org TLD. uschesslive.org goes to their live chess site, and shopuschess.org to their online store. These things could have been done more logically with subdomains.
  • The Foundation for Economic Education, a nonprofit that properly and reasonably has its main Web site at fee.org, somehow felt the need to announce their annual convention via the unnecessary separate domain feenationalconvention.org. Why not use a logical subdomain like convention.fee.org? Well, at least they didn't use a .com address...
  • Another "Well, at least they didn't use a .com..." award goes to Doctors Without Borders for using the Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name™ doctorswithoutbordersdonations.org for their online donation site, instead of a logical subdomain.
  • And then there's redcrossstore.org, with a site logo that identifies it as the "RedCross.org store"; if it's branded that way, why not have it actually in the redcross.org domain?
  • MP3.com, for some unknown reason, put its artist sites in an "artists" subdomain, not of mp3.com, but inexplicably, of mp3s.com. Why they needed a domain with an extra "s" at the end to hold their artist sites, I have no idea. These pages were all heavily "branded" with Mp3.com logos and credits, but, technically speaking, they're not in mp3.com! Cognitive dissonance, anybody? (With the 2003 sale of its domain(s) to a different company, MP3.com is presently shut down, and I don't know what use, if any, will be made of the variant domains if and when it resumes operations.)
  • Disney had its online store at disneystore.com (at least until they moved it to yet another domain, disneydirect.com). This, by itself, while it is an unnecessary domain (a logical subdomain would make more sense), is too garden-variety to be crying out to be added to my Hall of Shame; I've got enough similar examples here already. What did get me to mention Disney here was the fact that, if you got on their mailing list, they embedded redirection URLs to their store in their e-mails which use the completely unnecessary illogical domain go-disneystore.com. Why not use a dot instead of the dash, and make it a logical subdomain??? All of the URLs in the Disney/ABC empire, incidentally, end up redirecting to a deep hierarchy in go.com.
  • DellRadio.com is not the Web site of a radio station, network, or program operated by Dell. It's merely a (not particularly intuitive) way into the Small Business section of the dell.com site. The only radio-related thing about it is that it's advertised on the radio, which might seem like a logical reason for the name... if you're a Marketing Type. Their commercial has various office-worker types gushing about how great the DellRadio.com site is... (better than just-plain Dell.com?)
  • DebtFreeDirect.tv (and GetOutOfDebt.tv too) actually redirect to addresses within debtfreedirect.co.uk. No, it's not in Tuvalu, and its only connection with TV is that it's advertised there; it's another case similar to DellRadio.com.
  • fedexfootball.com isn't another "DellRadio.com"-type site, even though it's a FedEx site advertised during football games; the site content actually does relate to football (it's a site done by FedEx in cooperation with the NFL). However, although the site is actually at the logical subdomain football.fedex.com, they insist on advertising instead the Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name which merely redirects to this address.
  • Buy.com has registered a mind-boggling number of domains containing the word "buy", like buyelectronics.com, buysportstickets.com, buyplanetickets.com, ad nauseum. I haven't counted them, but a magazine article pegged the number at 2000. If true, this means they spent $140,000 on domain name registration fees (given that the domains are registered with Network Solutions, the most overpriced registrar), and will have to pay $70,000 a year in renewal fees to keep all of these domains, which would be totally unnecessary if they just used hierarchical domain structure for all their sites. (And doesn't this whole heap of domains just dilute "branding" of their core buy.com name, anyway?) I note that when you actually go to their site, all those other domains (the ones that work at all, anyway; many of them aren't actually functional and are apparently just registered for possible future use) redirect to addresses within buy.com, so any bookmarks and search-engine indices of their site will ignore the other 1,999 domains and just use that one anyway. The others seem to just be there as "launchpads" because some marketing type thought it'd be neat to have them.
  • However, ShopA-Z.Com has them beat, with over 6000 domains of the form shopproduct.com, like shopshoes.com. The idea, I guess, is that they'll try to convince consumers to type shopwidgets.com or shopwombats.com when they're seeking a widget or a wombat, respectively. Right now, they won't find any, though; all of those sites simply say that their content is "coming soon," so you just get some press releases, investor information, and links to other sites in this family of stores with empty shelves. Wouldn't it have made a lot more sense for them to get one domain name and create 6000 subdomains for the different product categories? Even if they had to pay ransom to some speculator for a "good" name, like buyitnow.com, it would probably be cheaper than the registration fee for 6000 domains, wouldn't incur more renewal fees every year forever, would allow the creation of additional sites any time they want, wouldn't carry a risk of a cybersquatter grabbing some shopsomething.com domains they forgot and taking part of their business, and, finally, would avoid the risk of having some of the 6000 domains taken away in a trademark-infringement arbitration decision. The last is not just hypothetical; one of their domains, shopsandals.com, got challenged successfully by the Sandals resorts even though it appeared the domain was really intended for use in selling that type of shoe, not resort vacations. So, in one corner, you had a resort company that seemed to think it owns all permutations of a perfectly good English word for a type of shoe; in the other corner, a "cyberzerk" e-commerce wannabe with more cash than sense who's registered gazillions of completely unnecessary domains. Here's a dispute where I wish both sides could have lost. NOTE: Somebody connected with the Sandals marketing department has been pestering me with (apparently automatically-generated) e-mails insisting I take down all links to their site because they somehow harm their marketing due to a Google algorithm or something. No way; the point of this page is to criticize their Internet marketing, not to help it.
  • The owner of sucks.com also registered a lot of "related" domains like MichaelBloombergSucks.com, about which he recently won a dispute challenge from the Bloomberg company trying to seize that domain. While I'm glad he won -- it creates a good precedent for other "sucks"-style criticism sites to keep their domains -- I find him to be foolish in his domain use for registering names like that in the first place, paying lots of registration fees and taking the risk of being challenged or sued for each of them, when he could much more simply, cheaply, logically, and legally safely, have simply used subdomains of his sucks.com domain, which is a great "suffix domain" for subdomain use. He could create MichaelBloomberg.sucks.com, Microsoft.sucks.com, etc., at no charge and without any ability of the targeted companies to challenge this, since subdomains aren't under the dispute policy. In fact, he could probably make some money selling subdomains of sucks.com to critics of various companies and organizations. Whoever owns sucks.org and sucks.net also have such an opportunity. (If anybody does want to register some regular second-level domains for "sucks" sites, remember that if they're noncommercial in nature, .org would make more sense than .com!)
  • West Palm Beach TV station WPBF had a Web site under the perfectly logical domain WPBF.com. But they redesigned the site, and some idiot in their marketing department must have had the imbecilic idea that a redesign somehow necessitates a new domain name, so they are now promoting the site under the longer, more awkward address TheWPBFChannel.com. If you forgot the "the" when you typed that, don't fear; they also registered it as WPBFchannel.com. Why they needed any of these addresses instead of the plain, "keep-it-simple-stupid" call-letter domain (which still, fortunately, works and brings you to the same site), I guess you need a degree in marketing (or a frontal lobotomy; perhaps this is equivalent) to understand. (Recently, they've "changed gears" yet again and started giving out their address as yet another Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name™, wpbfnews.com. This, however, just redirects to that silly TheWPBFChannel.com address. Just what they have against using their simple, logical, four-letter domain corresponding to their actual call letters I have no idea.)
  • While we're on the subject of TV stations and networks, just what do the major networks have against using the simple and famous three-letter domains they own which correspond to their actual names, like nbc.com, abc.com, and cbs.com? NBC used to be the worst offender in this regard, insisting on using nbci.com as its main address, except in places where they promote other sites like msnbc.com and cnbc.com, but never nbc.com. (They've since did an "about face" and begun using their logical domain name... at least when they're not coming up with still more stupid unnecessary ones like shopnbc.com.) The other networks do sometimes use their "normal" domains, but not always -- they all have a whole host of other domains that they often prefer to plug rather than their logical one.
  • For some inscrutable reason, although Bank United has the logical domain, bankunited.com, they choose to have their public site in the silly domain buexpress.com instead.
  • Intel, a rather "techie"-oriented company, certainly should know the proper use of domains and subdomains. But still, they registered the unnecessary and awkward intel-austinjobs.com to promote their hiring in Austin, TX. I'd think the techno-savvy people they're seeking to hire would understand the structure of a logical subdomain like jobs.austin.intel.com.
  • Yahoo has its images under a separate domain name, yimg.com. While the popularity and resulting heavy server load of Yahoo probably does make it desirable to have the images on a separate server from other content, there doesn't appear to be a logical reason they needed a different domain name for it; images.yahoo.com would have worked. (I've received a few emails criticizing me for putting this on the "Hall of Shame"; the writers have given a few reasons that justify this domain use, basically to make the HTTP requests and responses shorter to save network traffic. One reason was to keep the URLs short, but nobody has really explained why, after getting this domain to shorten the URL, they go and use image URLs like http://us.a1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/ww/m5v2.gif, which certainly have parts other than the second-level domain that are capable of being trimmed down. The other is that, by using a different domain, they stop the browser from sending all the cookies that yahoo.com sets, which aren't needed on the image server. That's actually a reasonable one, which I hadn't thought of myself. I've cited the inability to share cookies as a disadvantage of using multiple domains, but hadn't thought that it's occasionally an advantage.)
  • Yahoo also acquired EGroups, and now has its website at the logical subdomain groups.yahoo.com, but for some reason the email messages generated from it use the less logical yahoogroups.com in the return address. And, for yet another unneccessary extra domain, files in the Yahoo Groups file libraries are served from subdomains of yahoofs.com. (Just what are "Yahoofs" anyway... something that Yahorses have???)
  • Another one from those Yahoos at Yahoo: They also created yahoo-inc.com to use in their corporate e-mail addresses after the rather questionable move of opening up their original yahoo.com domain to users of their free e-mail address service, hence creating confusion about what addresses are really Yahoo employees. (Somebody can cause lots of mischief by getting a free yahoo.com address and sending mail from it claiming to represent Yahoo.) It would have been much better to use a different domain (or subdomain) for the free addresses and keep yahoo.com for the corporate ones, but they don't seem to have been thinking straight.
  • Actually, those blahblahblah-inc.com style domains for e-mail, from companies whose main Web site is at blahblahblah.com, are becoming rampant enough these days to be almost a cliché -- I've spotted epinions-inc.com and fandom-inc.com, among others. What's the big problem with having a company's e-mail addresses actually be within the company's signature domain??? (The Epinions.com Notifier emails seem to keep changing their minds about whether they should come from epinions.com or epinions-inc.com... they've gone back and forth on this a few times.)
  • Download.com, a site owned by CNet, redirects you to the rather strange-looking address download.com.com -- no, you don't have double vision, there really are two .coms there. But that's not why I'm listing them in the "Hall of Shame" -- there actually is a sensible reason for their doing that, so that they can set cookies across their whole family of sites, via subdomains of their com.com domain that closely resemble the actual .com domains under which the sites are promoted. (But if they named their sites as logical subdomains of cnet.com in the first place, instead of buying all those other domains, they wouldn't have had the problem of dealing with multi-domain cookies to begin with!) What gets them on this list, however, is the fact that if you register for download.com, the response email comes with a reply address not in download.com, nor in com.com, nor in cnet.com, nor in any logical subdomain of one of these... rather, they use the completely superfluous domain cnetdownload.com for this purpose. I can see the wheels turning in the minds of the marketing types at CNet... "I don't like the idea of the emails coming from download.com... that's not "branded" as being connected with CNet, something we want to hammer at the customer... I guess we could use download.cnet.com there, but subdomains are for geeks... Real Marketroids always register new domains at the drop of every hat, so let's use cnetdownload.com! Next week we'll use downloadcnet.com instead, and next year we'll start going for versions with hyphens in them. When we forget to renew one of them and it suddenly becomes a porn site, that'll give our lawyers something to do!"
  • Google is usually pretty good about using logical subdomains for all its sites, but their marketroids had to get a Stupid Unneccessary Domain Name™, googlestore.com, for their store.
  • GoDaddy Software has its support site at supportwebsite.com. That's a rather silly name, since it gives no clue whose support website it is. A logical subdomain like support.godaddy.com would have better explained its purpose. In fact, GoDaddy sends some of its confirmation emails, like those confirming successful registration or renewal of a domain name, with "From" addresses in supportwebsite.com instead of godaddy.com, which can be confusing, especially these days when there are lots of scams out there where entities unaffiliated with your registrar will try to get you to send them money to "renew" your domain -- this is a case where it's particularly important for registrars to clearly and unambiguously indicate who they are in all correspondence so that you know you're not being scammed.
  • Marketing research firm NPD formerly used the domains npd2.com and npd3.com in addresses they direct people to for various marketing surveys. Why did they need separate domains for those? Couldn't hostnames like survey1.npd.com work just as well, with the added benefit of unambiguously indicating their affiliation with the same company (as it now stands, any other joker could register npd4.com, still available last I checked, and pretend to be affiliated with them. Or if that's taken by now, try npd5.com or npd6483.com. Trying the strategy that some companies and organizations do and registering every possible permutation and derivative of their name to stop "enemies" from getting them is ultimately futile.) Since I posted this example, they've switched to yet another needless domain, npdor.com for their "Online Research" department. (npd2.com now redirects to this.) Why not just use "or.npd.com" or "research.npd.com"? And why change the address at all, after getting their survey subjects used to using npd2.com? They claimed it was because they switched to a new server, but it's perfectly possible to repoint an existing domain or hostname to a different server. I think some non-techies have the superstitious belief that changing servers requires getting a new domain name.
  • Another incomprehensible use of a number-suffixed domain is from snopes.com, host of the famous urban legends archives, which for no obviously sensible reason, redirects to a second domain, snopes2.com. Even if some technical reason necessitated multiple servers in different locations, this could have been done with hosts or subdomains within one domain.
  • When EProNet teamed with Carnegie Mellon University to offer job seeking services to alumni, the site could have been implemented as a proper subdomain of either cmu.edu or epronet.com, but, no, they had to register Yet Another Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name™, carnegiemellonepronet.com.
  • InfoWorld has its Web site, logically enough, within the domain infoworld.com. But a subscription offer for "priority" individuals directed recipients to iwpriority.com. This address, in turn, redirects the user's browser to a final resting place within the domain iwsubscribe.com. So that's at least two unnecessary domains they've registered in order to achieve less memorable addresses than they could have had with logical subdomains of their infoworld.com domain. I don't know about you, but I would remember subscribe.infoworld.com better as an address to go to subscribe to InfoWorld than iwpriority.com. Or better yet, just direct people to their main www.infoworld.com site, and put a prominent link to the subscription page there. (There is one, presently, but it's buried way down at the bottom of the page.) UPDATE: Both iwpriority.com and iwsubscribe.com fail to resolve now, so any old links, bookmarks, or ad flyers referencing those addresses are now useless in drawing new InfoWorld subscribers; a link to the plain old infoworld.com would keep drawing them in now.
  • Cable company Adelphia has long used adelphia.com for its main site, and adelphia.net for its Internet services site (it is an ISP as well as a cable TV company). This makes some sense given that .net is intended for networking-related entities. But you know how marketing types are... they're never satisfied with any situation that has any degree of sense or logic to it... so they "rebranded" their Internet services customer-service site so that they now direct customers to the silly domain adelphiapowerpage.com.
  • For a country-code-based example, British supermarket Sainsburys uses sainsburys.co.uk, sainsburystoyou.co.uk, sainsburysbank.co.uk, sainsburysbankloans.co.uk, sainsburyskitchenappliances.co.uk, and sainsburysentertainyou.co.uk, as well as .com versions of these (which redirect to the .co.uk version, except inexplicably for sainsburystoyou.com, where the redirect is the other way around). And that's not all... they've also got sainsburysdiets.co.uk, sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk, sainsburysrecipes.co.uk, and sainsburysentertainment.co.uk.
  • Am I Annoying has been "on-again, off-again" on this page... first I added them for using amiannoyingornot.com for their main site but a subdomain of amiannoying.com for their forum; after they spotted this listing somebody from that site e-mailed me and convinced me to drop the link on the grounds that this was merely a transition from an old address to a new one -- and in fact, they eventually used the shorter amiannoying.com all over. Fine. But they're back on this list now, for moving their forum to an unnecessary extra domain, annoyatorium.com. I say that's annoying!
  • Get2Net has the logical domain name get2net.com. But for some reason they don't actually have their Web site there; when you go to it, it redirects you to get2netcorp.com. I can't fathom any logical reason why that latter domain was needed; even if their "corporate site" is at a different place from the rest of their network, it would have been a trivial task to point the www.get2net.com hostname at the appropriate place. No extra (and uglier) new domain was needed.
  • Integrity Online is a nationally franchised ISP that offers a "family-safe" Internet environment by filtering everything they think is unwholesome. They make a big deal of how you can trust them. However, instead of assigning their servers in various cities logical subdomains that prove they're all related, they got all sorts of unneccesary domains like integrityonline16.com. Now, a scam artist can "steal" the goodwill of their sites by registering a "similar" domain that's not yet taken, like integrityonline99.com, and perhaps fill it with pornography. Logical subdomains would give the customers more confidence that all such sites are safe places.
  • ProBoards, a free message board hosting service, does the same thing, using a whole heap of addresses like proboards78.com for its various servers instead of logical subdomains.
  • Domain registrar Stargate deserves a place on this list. They started with their site at stargateinc.com, but later managed to get the shorter, snappier stargate.com. Fine so far... hardly shameful, even though it resulted in a duplicative two different domains going to the same site. Some of my own sites are in that boat, too, as a result of getting a new, better name and still wanting the old one to work. What gets them in the Hall of Shame, though, is how, once they got the better domain, they proceeded to rename themselves "Stargate.com, Inc." -- didn't anyone tell them that sticking dot-com on company names was so '90s? -- and, after doing that, they still use the old, awkward stargateinc.com in all the URLs and e-mail addresses in such places as their e-mail messages notifying you that a domain needs to be renewed, and in the HTML code used by affiliates to link to them. (This has persisted even through a recent redesign, in which they made all the affiliates change their links without even a grace period where the old versions worked too, despite the fact that it would be fairly trivial to program a server redirect to accomplish this.) So you've got the ridiculous situation of them telling you to reach "Stargate.com, Inc." at the address stargateinc.com!
  • Barnes & Noble's online site has a similar situation itself; it began its online life at barnesandnoble.com, but later got the easier-to-type bn.com. Now they market it as "Barnes & Noble.com" (silly, when you think about it, because ampersands and spaces are not legal characters in domain names), tell you to go to bn.com, and when you do this, you find that all the links there actually go to pages in barnesandnoble.com. Very dissonant.
  • Another such case is OptInRealBig.com, which redirects to OptInBig.com, but the site at that address refers to itself everywhere by the longer address that it redirected away from. Whether they're "real big" or just "big", this company has gotten in legal trouble for involvement in spamming, so you probably shouldn't opt in to them!
  • And, a "generic" Hall of Shame goes to all of the sites forming the current profusion of "MyWhatever.Com" addresses... while having a user-customizable version of a site is a decent idea, it can be done with a subdomain like my.whatever.com (and is done that way on a number of sites); there's no need for a separate mywhatever.com domain, but lots of those sites seem to think they need one anyway.
  • Another "generic" Hall of Shame goes to all the companies and organizations that registered every derogatory combination of their name that they could think of, like FooCorpSucks.com and IHateFooCorp.com. Whatsamatter, can't bear to have critics gain a 'net presence? A futile gesture, as determined opponents (perhaps getting the idea from this very action of yours) can easily find another "nastygram" domain you forgot to register. (Did you remember to register the .org version, too? That's the more appropriate suffix for a noncommercial anti-corporate site, anyway, y'know.)
  • Yet another "generic" Hall of Shame for the domains of multinational corporations taking the form [Company or Product Name][Country Name or Abbreviation].com -- like FooCorpUSA.com, FooCorpFrance.com, etc. Localized sites for different countries can be handled more logically and elegantly in one of two ways -- as subdomains of the main domain, like us.FooCorp.com, france.FooCorp.com, etc., or as sites within the appropriate country codes like FooCorp.fr -- depending on whether it's most important to communicate that the sites are all part of FooCorp, or that the sites are local to each country.
  • And one for the various foobar.com sites that decide to have a related online store -- and, instead of using a logical subdomain like store.foobar.com, they go for the obligatory Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name foobarstore.com.

Indecision (or Schizophrenia?) Department

in "honor" of those companies that can't seem to make up their mind what domain name to use, passing you around to multiple domains in the course of accessing the same function of the same department of the same company...

  • JetBlue Airlines can't seem to remember their own domain. Some of their mailings have multiple reminders to whitelist their addresses so their mail isn't marked as spam; a good suggestion, but you have to actually use the address the mailings are sent from. Their tries and fails include a notice "For consistent delivery, add TrueBlueStatement.com to your address" (which is a domain name, not an e-mail address; e-mail addresses need something with an at sign before the domain), and then follow later in the message with "Add mail@jetbluepromotions.com to your address book to ensure delivery to your inbox." Well, that's an actual e-mail address, but unfortunately it's not the one the message was sent from, and it wasn't sent from any address in the different domain cited in the first notice either; the actual From address is mail@promo-em.jetblue.com. That's actually a logical one, in a subdomain of their main domain of jetblue.com, but whoever's writing their message body doesn't seem to know that.
  • When you bring up a shipment tracking record from UPS Mail Innovations, the links on the page, to various related pages and functions all run by UPS, go to mailinnovations.com, ups-mi.net, ups-scs.com, upsmi.com, and ups.com. Somehow, this array of domains was still insufficient to provide a domain for e-mail, since the contact address on that page is in ups-mi.com.
  • United Airlines has their site at the sensible address of united.com. (It would have been just as sensible as an address for several other companies, including United Van Lines, but the airline is the one that has it.) However, doing some routine surfing through their site, including logging in and checking my frequent flier mileage, led my browser through an astounding series of different domains: ua2go.com, mymileageplus.com, itn.net, ual.com, and centrport.net were the ones I was able to note; I suspect I'll find even more if I go more thoroughly through all the links of the site. Did any of these need to be under separate domains from united.com? (Update: When they sent an electronic holiday greeting card to their members, the e-mail came from a subdomain of united.com, with a Web link to a page in mymileageplus.com, which in turn redirected to an address in unitedpromos.com.)
  • Bell South sometimes sends e-mailed notices of services that use links to addresses in the Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name™ bellsouth-info.com, which in turn redirect to addresses in bellsouth.com. Why not just link to bellsouth.com in the first place? And if they had to have an unnecessary extra domain with "info" in it (rather than a logical subdomain like info.bellsouth.com), they could at least have used the new .info top-level domain instead of yet another tired dot-com.
  • The National Arbitration Forum, one of the arbitration providers that adjudicates domain conflicts under the ICANN UDRP, is currently using email addresses in arb-forum.com and web addresses in arbitration-forum.com, except on occasions when they do it the other way 'round just for the heck of it. ICANN, however, links to them by the shorter and simpler address arbforum.com, but for some unknown reason they don't seem to like to use that themselves.
  • ifeminists.com, which perhaps belongs in the first category of this page as a site in an improper TLD (it seems to be a noncommercial community), actually redirects to the address ifeminists.net, but the site nevertheless continues to identify itself as ifeminists.com in its logo and throughout its text.
  • Discover Card holders who elect to get e-mail notifications of their bills and payments find that the messages come from a From address in discoverfinancial.com, with a reply-to address in discovercard.com, a message ID in the headers that shows it actually originated at novusservices.com, and giving a Web address to see your statement that's in novusnet.com.
  • When you apply for Citizen Card, you get an e-mail from citizencard.net which asks you to send the response to an address in citizencard.com. They also have citizencard.co.uk, but I'm not sure if they actually use it.
  • A holiday greeting from the AIG insurance company to its customers in December, 2005 was e-mailed from an aig.com address, but used a Web link in aigcorpebus.com which redirected to aigonline.com, where there was a "splash page" linking in to the actual (non-religion-specific) greeting card, which was in home.aig.com, a subdomain of aig.com. Why all those other domains were needed at all is a mystery.
  • Often there seems to be a highly visible rift between the marketing types and the techies within the same company, as shown by schizophrenic use of domain names; the actual links between the company's various sites use logical subdomains, but the marketing blurbs, logos, and promos refer to Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™ instead. For instance, the professional version of the Internet Movie Database is actually at pro.imdb.com, and the secure order page for it is in the secure.imdb.com subdomain, but they insist on marketing it as IMDbPro.com. Similarly, all of Kiplinger's investment-related stuff is within the kiplinger.com domain, but they market some parts of it using other domains like KiplingerForecasts.com, even though links to them actually lead into pages in the kiplinger.com domain.
  • Such an internal conflict might be happening at Scott County, Iowa -- their site has a good essay about the usefulness of local governments using properly structured domains in .us, but they still insist on "branding" their own site with a stupid, inappropriate, illogical .com address. (Yes, the .us address works too, but the .com address is what they put in their logo and in their contact e-mail address.)

Special Mention Section

to "honor" the persons, places, and things that have been named after domain names which they don't own!

  • A tech conference called "agiledotnet" doesn't have the agile.net domain you would expect from the name, but just agiledotnet.com.
  • Singer Catherine Rodriguez had her Web site at onlycatherine.com (no longer functional last I checked), but for no obvious reason it said in it (only if you have Flash; the site didn't appear at all otherwise) that it's "© 2007 Catherine Rodriguez.com". Unfortunately, the domain referenced there (once you strip out the space, which is not allowed in domain names), was for sale and apparently did not belong to the singer in question.
  • The graphic program paint.net doesn't actually own the corresponding domain, which belongs to Warren Paint & Color Co. They ended up having to use getpaint.net instead. However, Warren Paint was nice enough to make paint.net into a gateway page linking both to their own site and the software one.
  • The orientation manual for Victoria College at the University of Toronto adopted a theme in 2007 based on Wikipedia, and used the cover caption www.VIC-IPEDIA.org. They don't actually own this domain (it was unregistered when I last checked), and the actual orientation info is at vicorientation.ca (still a Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name, as the university is at utoronto.ca and could have used a logical subdomain for this).
  • The Web site of U Magazine "brands" itself as U.com even though it's not actually at that address -- nobody's site is, since single-letter domains are presently reserved by ICANN (other than a few "grandfathered" older registrations). This rebranding seems to be part of a scheme to trademark the name U.com in order to reverse-hijack it if and when ICANN opens such domains up for registration.
  • startup.com may have the distinction of having had its name used in vain the most often by people and companies not owning it. Here are a few of the different places it's turned up:
    • A book on starting Internet businesses.
    • A movie documenting the story of the rise and fall of one such business.
    • A program by Netegrity to help in the delivery of customized e-business solutions (and a bunch of other buzzwords too).
    • Sybase.startup.com -- the name of a database program designed for Internet startups, whose name is ostensibly a (nonexistent) subdomain of startup.com.
    None of these appear to have any connection to the real startup.com, which is a real business that acts as an incubator for startup companies, and which has a "sm" (Service Mark) sign next to the domain name wherever it appears in its Web site.
  • Suck magazine, when writing about the above-mentioned startup.com movie, got "cute" and titled its article "slowdown.com". Sorry, guys... that one's taken too: it's for sale.
  • This article is titled "Community.com", though that domain actually belongs to CNet.
  • katie.com is a book about a girl's online seduction by a pedophile. However, the domain itself belongs to somebody unrelated to the book, who's peeved that her domain was referenced this way without her permission. (See the conflicts section for more on this case.)
  • The producers of the movie Fear Dot Com don't own the namesake domain fear.com, which probably got an increase in traffic due to the film and its advertising and promotion. The actual official site of the film is at the redundant address feardotcom.com, though the writers of that site couldn't seem to get the address straight -- some of the text in the site at first referred to feardot.com, another domain name not owned by the movie's producers.
  • Then there's the Internet marketing newsletter "GrokDotCom", which doesn't own the domain grok.com... actually, they're at grokdotcom.com. Is this whole "SomethingDotCom.com" business going to be the next silly trend among the Internet airheads?
  • Tobacco.com and America.com were used as the names of purported companies, apparently run by the same person or group of people in Canada, which applied for trademarks (Canadian and U.S.) on those names and then attempted unsucessfully to reverse-hijack the domains from their actual owners. This scheme failed completely. (The former links to the sites associated with those companies, not at their purported domains, no longer work.)
  • cor@zon.com is an album by Latina child singer/actress Daniela Lujan. If interpreted as an e-mail address, this would be in zon.com, which belongs to a label company in Philadelphia. If interpreted as a domain in its entirety, you run into the problem that the @ sign isn't a legal character in domains, but corazon.com has a site about Boeing 747 accidents. Neither domain seems to be connected in any way to Ms. Lujan.
  • Fair.com?: An Examination of the Allegations of Systemic Unfairness in the ICANN UDRP is an interesting academic report on the domain dispute process. Its author, however, succumbed to the "cutesiness" of giving it a "dot-com" name that represented a domain he didn't own.
  • The .biz registry site once had an announcement on its home page for a conference named comdex.biz, but the corresponding domain was not yet actually reigstered. (Eventually it went to somebody in South Korea who doesn't seem to have anything to do with COMDEX.)
  • A fan site about the singer Aaliyah (which doesn't seem to be around any more) called itself "A_Babygirl.com", which isn't even a valid domain name; underscores are not a legal character.
  • The Northside Football site (of a high school football team) uses a title that says "NSFB.com", but the site's actual address is northsidefootball.com. The title-specified address goes to an unrelated "this domain for sale" page. The football site belongs on many of my Hall of Shame lists other than this; for using a .com address for a site that's not in any way commercial; and for annoying, gratuitous, and obstructionist use of frames, applets, and other completely unnecessary junk that causes the site to take a long time to load and be inaccessible to users in many situations (e.g., Java disabled), and more.
  • This site calls itself "meathelmet.com"; that domain actually goes to an X-rated site unconnected with the first site. The person who reported this to me said that there is apparently a virus or trojan-horse program embedded in the site at the named domain (not the site I linked to above) (I wouldn't notice, as I use the Mozilla browser, which is mostly immune to the security weaknesses of Microsoftware), so you might want to stay away from it.
  • This MSN group of fans of the children's TV show Lizzie McGuire calls itself LizzieMcGuire.com, but it isn't... that address actually goes to the official Disney site about the show, unrelated to the MSN group.
  • jo.com is the login name and online "handle" of a member of Epinions, a prolific author on that consumer review site. Unfortunately, the domain she's named after belongs to some holding company that doesn't appear to have any connection to her.
  • coonassdotcom on Twitter is another "cutesy" username referring to a domain apparently not owned by the user in question.
  • A university residence hall once gave the girls there the opportunity to purchase "Rutherford Angels" T-shirts, with cutesy names based on the theme of "angels". Stewart Gordon reports that a friend of his has one, with the name www.angel.com/chat. As it turns out, this is actually advertising the Web site of a phone system provider.
  • The feedback form of jeffglover.com has a title that claims it's connected to GLOVER.COM, though this is an entirely different site not apparently owned by the same person.
  • The 'About Us' page for thetrainline.com sometimes refers to its company as "Trainline.com Ltd", although trainline.com actually belongs to the band Train.
  • However, arguably, the most arrogant use of a non-owned domain probably belongs to Microsoft, whose .net platform appears, by its very name, to claim control of an entire top level domain!

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This page was first created 18 Mar 2001, and was last modified 11 May 2014.
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