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Wednesday, September 21

Should you own your domain? Many sites will give you a space in the “master’s domain”, but everything in that space is owned by the domain owner not the individual...

Why do people live in homeless shelters online? If given the choice most people would prefer the comforts of their own space, as opposed to someone else’s; so, why are so many people comfortable living in someone else’s domain; Fb, Ig, TikTok, etc.? Have we been fooled to believe having a domain and existing on our own website is only for business, or tech savvy folks?

How and why the internet was created?

First to understand what a domain is, we must understand why and where it exists. In the 1960’s government researchers wanted to share their information with one another, however computers at the time were immobile, weighing upwards of 16000lbs. 

If researchers wanted to access information held in one of these computers, they would have to travel to them or send and review information on magnetic tape via snail mail. The Cold War, the race to space, and Soviet Union’s successful satellite Sputnik pushed the U.S. Defense Department to consider ways information stored in these immobile computers, might be accessed even after a nuclear attack. 

The first network of computers set up was known as ARPANET, Advanced Research Project Agency Network, along with U.S. Defense Departments, Data Defense Network. Although these networks would be beneficial, they were limited to the agencies who could afford academic or government contracts. In today’s context you had to have a computer, connected to a network, that paid for a subscription to the information sharing system. This inequitable access to information led to independent information sharing networks being established, and a sort of Babylon. Each network being created was like its own country in the sense that they had their own way of communicating within themselves.  

Uniting the intranetworks of America and the Birth of the Internet.

This early sharing system consisted of host.txt files that would be sent to Stanford Research Institute, now known as SRI international; once SRI had these host.txt files they would be assigned a numerical address online and a registry of these numbers began. As technology advanced and computers got smaller, setting up internal sharing networks became more affordable, companies like General Electric and Remington-rand were some of the first to have computers using them for things like proprietary research and payroll calculations. With more networks more host.txt files were being created, and a centralized system was needed.

The establishment of the Internet Engineering Task Force in 1981, saw to the birth of the internet on January 1, 1983. This is known as the birth of the internet because all networks would now function under universal communication protocols known as Transmission/Transfer Control Protocol and Internetwork Protocol (TCP/IP), along with the DNS or Domain Name System, that would assign IP addresses to domain names. Prior to 1983 there wasn’t a universal language for networks to communicate with each other; now, TCP (transmission control protocol) communicates how packets of data are sent over the internet, a Domain name is how DNS locates the IP (internetwork protocol) and the IP is a numerical address found on the internet where data is sent to or from.

Making the streets safer for travelers online.

In 1991 the TCP standard became HTTP, hypertext transfer protocol, this is for basic or general information sharing online. Then in 1997, HTTPS, hypertext transfer protocol secure, was created to transmit sensitive data and information or to prevent government censorship. Packets sent over https are encrypted by TLS (transport layer security) to prevent data eavesdropping.

A domain name provides a unique identity to a numerical location on the intranet. Imagine the domain name is what you call your home, for example “The Smiths”, but when people put in “The Smiths” in gps. the have a numerical location with numbers, street name, suite or apt., city, state, country, zip. Just like a mailing address has city, state, etc. there are levels to domain names too.

Don’t get Lost on the Information Highway

In 1985 there was only a few top-level domains, “.com” and “.edu” which are now considered generic (gTLDs). As of 1998, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, manages the development and architecture of domain names and spaces. In 2017 over 330 million domain names had been registered and as of June 2020 there were over 1,514 TLDs (Top level Domains) such as; .guru .tips .club .life and many more according to ICANN reports.

TLD or Top-level domains today give the individual the ability to be specific about what there domain provides and the type of information sharing that will take place. Left of the TLD is the SLD (second/sub level domain) like Facebook or Google, they are located left of the “.com”. Left of the SLD, is the Subdomain, most are familiar with the generic “www.”, which stands for world wide web, however when your own a domain, like and want a specific service they offer, like Domains, then the address is Most familiar subdomains are “shop.” or “help.” An easy way to think of this is like giving the address to a bedroom in “The Smiths” domain. Having a Domain isn’t so much like having a house, but more like buying a condo. You never own the land it is on, you follow guidelines and pay fees, to “live” in a space that provides you a numerical address.

A domain is not to be confused with a URL, uniform resource identifier. This for example would be a social media account address like “” is a url. destination. Consider it like staying in a “shelter” online, these places are created for housing mass people with out necessarily having the proper infostructure to care for them. On a social site your given a space in the “master’s domain”, everything is owned by the domain owner not the individual.

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