Thursday, March 18, 2010

.com

     Well Company, I am not sure if you realize this, but without the Internet there would be no Big Dave and Company, there would be no Big Dave and Company Podcast, and you would have nothing to do at work besides work.  And maybe listen to the radio.  As such, we really like to focus on inportant events in Internet history.  Well, Monday was a busy day, it was the Ides of March, so we had to talk about that, which we meant to on Monday but something got screwed up with the posting, so we talked about it yesterday instead.  Plus, we had to talk about the Republic of Georgia and the tomfoolery that went on there over the weekend, so you probably thought we'd forget about the important Internet milestone that passed on Monday, March 15, 2010.  But we didn't, so here goes.
     Monday was the 25th anniversary of the first registration of a .com name.  Wow, what a landmark.  Nowdays there are .org, .net, .just about every country you can think of, .gov, and they are even attempting to get a .xxx started for all you porn addicts out there.  But .com is still the original and the most desirable, unless of course you in Canada in which case you will most likely want one that ends with .ca.  But I digress.  There is something about .com that people just like, and on March 15, 1985, Symbolics computers of Cambridge, Massachusetts got the ball rolling by registering the first .com name.
     That was like the one little hold in the dyke, that would eventually turn into a flood.  But very slowly.  Five other companies followed suit that same year, and it took until 1997 to register the one millionth .com domain name.  There were 21 million or so registered in the 15 years between that very first one and the turn of the century.  There have been 57 million registered since then.  Now, there are 668,000 names ending in .com that are registered every month, give or take.
     Today, a company names Verisign is tasked with looking after the .com domain, and it registers about 53 billion requests for access each day.  For comparison, that is how many they handled total in 1995, ten years after Symbolics registered that very first name.  They expect that to increase to 3 or 4 quadrillion by 2020.  Thats 3,000-4,000 billion.  Most of those, I am sure, are people trying to access Big Dave and Company.
     Now that, Company, is truly the flood.  If you want to see a J-curve in action, bust out your TI-83 and plug in those numbers.  Once the thing stops smoking you will see exponential expansion at its finest.  Roughly a quarter of the world's population uses the Internet, making it the most powerful information tool since the television, or maybe the printing press.  But it all has to start somewhere, and while the Internet may have started a little before that, .com came to define what the Internet was and how it was defined, so it is equally important.  Sort of like, the car was developed before the Model T came to define what an automobile was. 
     Everything has its tipping point, that one small action, that single thing, that leads to more and more and more and more and more.  And so it was with .com.  Symbolics was its tipping point.  Symbolics was what got the ball rolling.  And it all happened 25 years ago today.  Well, 25 years ago Monday in any event.

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