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Dot Com Turns 30-Years Old, and There's no Sign of its Popularity Declining

     
6:59 pm on Mar 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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With .com turning 30-years old this week, there's no sign of it's popularity waning: If anything, it's growing stronger.

The first .com was registered way back on 15 March 1985.

Verisign's report into domains is worth a read, and is shows that there are more than 288 million domain registrations, with .com being by far the most popular with 115.6 million names.

There are some other interesting facts in there, including Belgium with the highest IPv6 adoption rate.


Here's a link to the Verisign PDF file. [verisigninc.com...]

Many happy returns, .com !
6:20 am on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If only I could tell 1985 me to get off the BBS and register a few choice .com's...
9:18 am on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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just to save folks some search time, the first .COM domain name was


symbolics.com
1:13 pm on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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.tk #2 ... Who's using all those?
1:58 pm on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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1985, oh to go back knowing what I know now! I didn't even own a PC then, work was still with a dumb terminal on an IBM mainframe.
2:55 pm on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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.com is older than me...well I guess I missed the bandwagon. Though my first touch with the internet was back in 1994 on windows 3.11 with trumpet online and netscape navigator. The funny thing was I didn`t know what I was doing and mainly browsed US government websites and such (the few existed back in the day..)
3:46 pm on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Back in my day, we didn't have no .COMs!

If you wanted to "blog" you typed in on a typewriter and made xeroxes (or if you had a PC, you used WordPerfect and printed it on your dot matrix printer), then took the load of them to the post office to mail to subscribers.

If you wanted to be obnoxious and "tweet" about something that no one else cared about, you actually had to go and interact with people so they could ignore you in person.

If you wanted to download pron you had to sneak into your dad's bedroom and find his secret stash of magazines. Or go to the video store and try to look inconspicuous standing near the triple-X section then grabbing something before being seen by someone your parents know.

Sending texts involved writing on a piece of paper and passing it to Susan who passed it to Mike who passed it to Jerry who passed it to Kim who gave it to Steve who slipped it to Sharon. She read it, wrote back on the same piece of paper then gave it back to Steve who slipped it to Kim who had to go and get it intercepted by the teacher who read it to the entire class so that they would know you were asking Sharon out for a date and that she shot you down.

Posting an image meant taking pictures with a real camera, then wasting the rest of the roll of film on stupid shots so you could remove the film and drop it off at the drugstore to be developed, then waiting a week for the prints to be returned, only then realizing that the shot was out of focus.

Friending someone meant actually taking the time to get to know someone (usually in person) over a period of time and actually knowing some things about the person, like their real name.

This trip down memory lane brought to you by the TRS-80, Members Only jackets, and Geocities. Now get off my lawn! :)
3:53 pm on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@ Redbar It is a largely free TLD added to the list to make the ccTLDs look larger. Most of the domains are free and should not even be considered in the same class as primarily paid TLDs.

The worrying thing for .COM is that many of its registrations are turning into short-term (one year or so) registrations compared to ten years ago.

Regards...jmcc
4:47 pm on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The worrying thing for .COM is that many of its registrations are turning into short-term (one year or so) registrations compared to ten years ago.


I've done that myself, registered a couple of names for specific campaigns, moved the info sideways after a few months and then dropped them.

Why? Because Google takes so long to pick-up on new sites these days it's not worth the effort. I only use established domains now for any promotions.
5:09 pm on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This is a bit more serious than that, Redbar, it is a drop from around 70% renewal on one year registrations to around 54% of the domains being registered in one year being renewed (not dropping) a year or so later. Some of it is due to couponing and discounting but .COM has become highly commoditised. Perhaps Google just can't keep up with the new domain name cycle as it is completely different to when it started out. Despite what the usual clueless individuals in the "technology" media and SEO think, it is quite probable that the people in Google don't understand the dynamics of the domain name business and it is Google that is responsible for some of the short termism. The other interesting aspect is that .ORG is stickier in terms of renewals.

Regards...jmcc
11:47 pm on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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With our domains just turning 20 this month, I did some recent research and it seems .coms weren't quick to catch on. In the 10 years or so from '85-'95 I think I read that there were only something like 1,000-10,000 domains registered total? I recall we paid for our initial website to be hosted by a host on a sub directory like: www.example.com/our-account/

In 95 I DID think ahead and TRIED to register some "good" .coms but 1-letter ones I think were all reserved originally and all 2 and 3 letter domains I searched at the time were already registered (even letter-number combos like a1 and k9). They weren't cheap either with only one registrar allowed to sell them and you had to watch out for the dreaded "squatting" lawsuits that started popping up all over a little later. Wound up with a handful of 4-letter ones and a couple generic keywords, one of which we sold about 7 years ago for low 6-digits to a well known UK co because it ALSO happened to be their company name (amongst many other meanings). Not too shabby an investment I guess.
3:51 am on Mar 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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.com is older than me...well I guess I missed the bandwagon. Though my first touch with the internet was back in 1994 on windows 3.11 with trumpet online and netscape navigator. The funny thing was I didn`t know what I was doing and mainly browsed US government websites and such (the few existed back in the day..)

You were browsing .gov sites when you were eight years old?

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
8:18 am on Mar 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24 - that is not the full story. I live in a post communist country in Eastern Europe...aah the innocence of my childhood :)
5:18 pm on Mar 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Anyone know how much it was to register a .com back then?
5:22 pm on Mar 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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They were free.

Regards...jmcc
3:41 am on Mar 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This is making me feel so old.
3:36 pm on Mar 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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They were free.


When did the charging come in? In 1994 we were paying $70 per annum each therefore buying a few names rapidly became expensive. As soon as discounters came along we soon moved all our names and registered new ones.

At the same time it WAS a one-off fee for a .co.uk until they realised they could make more!
4:08 pm on Mar 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yeah I remember it being about $70 per year in the early 90's so you only bought what you needed.
10:56 am on Mar 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Not so much the cost of a domain in those very early years but the cost of just connecting to the net. IIRC those early connections were paid by the minute plus the cost of the phone call (usually long distance) to connect to the ISP. I finally signed up when I could connect through a free phone number so was only paying once, and I got a "fast" connection at 33k rather than 28!

The good thing was that to change your ISP you just dialed a different number.
8:53 pm on Mar 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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IIRC those early connections were paid by the minute


Oh yay, we used save up blocks of work to upload altogether and then immediately disconnect when completed. In the UK I think it was ISDN that made the first big difference with always-on connections...is that correct?
11:51 pm on Mar 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yeah in Canada in the mid 90s ISDN lines at 56k were the connection to get for a small business. You could also get dual ISDN if your budget would allow. Large companies had a T1 I believe.
3:13 am on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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one big deal was AOL changing to unlimited dialup access
4:21 am on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Heh, I remember that change. At a still later time I went in the other direction and took the (by then fairly well hidden) three-hour option, for some absurd rate like $2.95/month, because I no longer used AOL for anything except checking legacy email. For a long time I held on to the email address simply because it was the one constant. This was before anything like gmail existed. If you moved to a different university, or even if the local ISP changed ownership, you got a new email address. (This always annoyed me. Your phone number doesn't change just because the phone company gets redistributed.)

For years and years I had metered phone service-- the kind where you pay for local phone calls after the first 60 or so-- because I can go days without ever touching the telephone, and even then it's mostly because someone calls me. Had to change that when dialup came in and my rates went through the ceiling :)
8:09 am on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I signed up for a AOL email account last year - to use for forum signups. it works fine.


for 'fun', you could see if your old AOL email address is available.
10:17 am on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My sister still has her 1990s AOL email addresses for both business and personal use since she can use them anywhere in the world on any device and for her, it's simple, she's no geek by any stretch of anyone's imagination and doesn't want to be.

I seem to remember having a 128K ISDN line which was very quick in its day.
11:48 am on Mar 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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As if i wasn't feeling old already, y'all had to remind me my 1st site is turning 20 this year.
8:41 pm on Mar 26, 2015 (gmt 0)

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y'all had to remind me my 1st site is turning 20 this year.


Been there, done that, some have even had their 21st, I wish I could find the floppies that have my original sites on them.
11:24 am on Mar 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm glad the original version of mine is lost in cyber space. It is embarrassing to look back, but even then it made me a lot of money. Most visitors found it from print advertising and yahoo.
3:24 pm on Mar 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm glad the original version of mine is lost in cyber space.
Don't be so sure.

Looking back at my first web sites, it is rather embarrassing sometimes.

(On a related note, every time I pass a Men at Work [google.com] sign on the street, I can't help but think that it's an animated .gif that stopped looping.
3:29 pm on Mar 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I had online access 20 years ago but no sites.

Along with the "under construction" links there were the "this site is best viewed in [browser my site looks better in]"... not too different to the problems of responsive design today
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