NEWS FROM THE LAB - Thursday, May 31, 2007

Beating a Dead Horse Posted by Sean @ 11:58 GMT

Hypothetical: Let's say you're looking for information on the U.S. Military. It's rather easy to quickly locate twelve domains. However, it's not nearly as easy to determine ownership.

USArmy.com, USNavy.com, USAirForce.com, USMarines.comArmy.com, Navy.com, AirForce.com, Marines.comArmy.mil, Navy.mil, AF.mil, Marines.mil

Four of the domains belong to the U.S. Department of Defense, four of them are registered to National Direct Marketing Systems, two of them are registered to the Recruiting Commands of the Navy and Marines, one is registered to TribalDDB Worldwide, and last but not least, one is registered to FanMail.com, L.L.C.

Three of the eight Dot-Coms belong to recruitment commands. It looks like TribalDDB Worldwide works for the Air Force… The other five? Who knows? There isn't anything nefarious going on here, but if you input your name and phone number into some of these sites, we can't quite tell with whom it ends up. One site might even be looking for civilian contractors.

Which of the twelve can you deduce something about just by reading the URL? Try Quiz One:

May 31st Poll Results

Just for fun, here's another quiz:

May 31st Poll Results

So what's our point? The U.S. Department of Defense doesn't use Dot-Com addresses for their official sites. Dot-Com is just for marketing. Can you think of any other organizations that might benefit by having their own top-level domain (TLD)? Must Dot-Com remain the Web's virtual root forever?