Thursday, February 7, 2013

When Was a Guy Named Josh

You know how I love to keep articles in a file for my later amusement, but there's one that I didn't keep, though I wish I had. It was from Time magazine in 1995 or so, and it described the lack of interest in reserving web domain names at some major companies. I remember McDonald's was included.

Well, today an article from Wired magazine, 1994, surfaced on that exact topic. It's not the one I remember (I wasn't reading Wired then, though I did check it out soon after this). The writer, Josh Quittner, explored the lack of interest in domain names among Fortune 500 companies. He spent a bunch of time talking to someone in communications at McDonald's, but she never managed to purchase, so a few weeks later, he got it.

Other companies that hadn't nailed down their domains at the time he wrote:

  • Nabisco
  • Sara Lee
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Kellogg
  • Coca-Cola (or even Coke)
This lack of foresight on the part of big corporate communications departments still amazes me. For smaller companies I can understand it since it can be hard to know which technology to take seriously, but these are huge departments and the task required cost next to nothing and took almost no time.

By not keeping up, it's likely they cost their companies money when they later had to pay off a domain squatter (or a legitimate company with the same name) to get their by-then prized

It was fun to read this flash of almost 20 years ago and remember just a bit what it was like back then.

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