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May 15, 2009

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At least when Prince did it, he had a real -- if bizarre -- reason for it. If you're trying to make brand recognition, what's the point of making an unpronounceable/indecipherable name?

Be careful not to confuse http://♬.ws/ with http://♫.ws!!! (You have both in your article)

Actually I don't think this name is _too_ bad...certainly passes a meme test. Love your blog...

I believe .ws used to belong to Western Samoa, but they opened it up so anyone can use it. (According to my computer science major brother, it now just stands for "web site".)

@Richard: In the TypePad Compose screen, both sets of notes look identical; once the post was published, one set appeared to bes ascending and the other descending. So that's another problem with using a symbol: it may not appear the way you intend it to. Indeed in the Wired article, the musical symbol appears as a question mark!

@Jonathon: Many so-called country domains are open to any buyer. Bit.ly, for example, is an American company that uses--gasp!--the Libyan country domain. It's a happy coincidence that .ws can stand for "web site," although that was not the extension's original meaning. Selling rights to domains has become a way for smaller countries to bring in some extra revenue, much as they did with the sale of commemorative postage stamps in the snail-mail days. I wrote about the trend toward using non-dot-com extensions in my Naming Trends of 2008 post: http://bit.ly/zj7up

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