June 12th, 2001


thoughts of a new domain name.

One of the reasons I decided to start this journal was that I wanted to have something on the web to point people at. My website was in web hell for a while (online, but at a convoluted URL that no one other than me knew), but now it's just on a couple of un-networked hard drives. I could put it back online with only a few minor alterations, but I don't want it to have the URL of my PlusNet account with just a ~alice on the end - I want my very own Web Presence!

My website was at http://www.darkwave.org.uk/~alice for a long time, but user accounts there got suspended, and I ended up moving my stuff to death.org.uk, which was a domain I'd had for a while. However, I had intended that domain to be a tribute site to Death from the Sandman books, not a place to put my personal stuff, so when the 2 years were up I stopped paying for it, as the abundance of superb Sandman sites around the net implied that I'd be unlikely to get round to making my own anytime soon, and it didn't suit me as a personal site. Since then I've been looking for a new domain to house my stuff - a name that actually suits me.

The first problem is what top-level suffix to apply for. PlusNet offer free hosting of .co.uk domains, but I'm not a business, so I don't really want a .co.uk name. Likewise, I'm not an organisation, so I'm not sure about .org.uk either. The same applies for .com and .org, and doubly so as I'm not in the USA and although .us names exist, there's at least a vague convention that domains without a country code are in the USA because it invented the internet, in the same way that we don't put "UK" on postage stamps because we invented them. (This is somewhat dubious, by the way). I suppose I could wait until the .name domains come out, but I want something now.

I always wanted the domain eightlegged.net, but that's more because I thought it sounded cool than because I thought it suited me as a personal site name. I've already thought about and dismissed astra.net (besides, it's taken), alice.net (almost certainly taken) and astralalice.net (we decided some years ago that astral alice without the centre space looks like a disease or an insect). I thought about invoking my token animal and going for wolfy.net, but I figured that just as I'm not the only alice online, I'm likely to not be the only wolfy either. helen-louise.net (retaining the hyphen) would be cool, but would limit the content of the page to stuff that I feel comfortable with anyone who knows my real name finding. Or I could just go for baratron.net, but I feel awkward about using the name baratron for anything other than fun as it's a real trademark of a real company, and I can't claim it as my own when the only reason I use it is a semi-private joke between me and Tim.

Hmmm. In a way, I think I could get someone to buy me helen-louise.net, and then my web stuff could be at http://www.helen-louise.net and I could get email sent to things like alice@helen-louise.net, baratron@helen-louise.net and [mailinglistname]@helen-louise.net. That would work. Hmmm. So who wants to get that for me for my birthday? :)
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