Domain name envy … or is envyofbigdomainnameswhereverused.gov.uk

I did a conference with Dan Jellinek of Headstar last week. It was all a bit of a rush with a slide deck done at the crack of dawn just before I went on … fortunately, the venue was about 50 feet from my front door. I must get more people to book conferences there, it’s a much easier journey. Anyone who wants to book me and is planning on using Shakespeare’s Globe- you have much better odds of getting me.

One of the slides I put up followed on from my point the other day about equal and opposite practices to policies – accidental ones mostly I am sure. The policy concerns the requirement not to have two letter domain names. There are exceptions to that … http://www.pm.gov.uk for instance. But then you don’t have http://www.dh.gov.uk, but http://www.doh.gov.uk and by contrast not dowp.gov.uk, but dwp.gov.uk.

Anyway, the equal and opposite practice is pretty obvious …

So I’ve come up with what may have to be a new policy, in response to seeing that one of these domain names would score 58 at scrabble (I am, of course, indebted to Dan for that useful bit of information), and it is that no government domain name should score more than 14 (gets rid of http://www.x.gov.uk – which doesn’t exist before you check).

My point of course is (still!) that few people use domain names, fewer still when looking for government – because the names relate to government,not the individual. Search engines find things that people want. So the domain name is irrelevant. I honestly believe we could go back 50 years and give every department numbers and letters and get rid of names altogether and probably get more traffic.

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