A week in domain names

If a week is a long time in politics then it’s a fucking age on the Internet, and it’s an epoch for the online commentariat.

So it seems like an aeon has passed since Tuesday when everybody lost their collective minds and forgot how domain name registration actually works when UKIP’s domain name appeared to expire.

Full marks, I guess, to the punk label that appeared to “buy” the name: they grabbed some attention. Of course they never owned it because that’s just not how it works but the Twittersphere nearly convinced me that all the rules had changed while I wasn’t looking. Nice try, guys. As one of my BCU colleagues remarked:

The main takeaway from the UKIP domain thing is that GoDaddy are chancers who will charge you £200 for a domain they have no rights to sell

Domain names have been a bit of a leitmotif in my week though, cropping up as the beating heart of two episodes of the Reply All podcast that I listened to this week. If you want to hear about how domain names are really bought and sold then their episode This Website for Sale is particularly instructional: it’s a story about domain name brokers, cyber squatters and brand lawyers. Only, you know way more interesting than I just suggested.

By Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/jonhickman Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research: http://interactivecultures.org