What’s In a Domain Name?

What’s In a Domain Name? (Extend Activity Bank)

What was the thinking behind your domain name?

Although I don’t write much about the topic on this blog, I love science fiction, especially cyberpunk and Japanese anime and superhero graphic novels. One of my favourite cyberpunk novels in the early 1990s was a novel, Islands in the Net, written in 1988 by science fiction author, Bruce Sterling.

Islands in the Net is a story of “…data pirates, mercenaries, nanotechnology, weaponry, and post-millennial voodoo”. It represents a future where people can use the Internet to topple governments, change lives and make history. That novel was prescient in many ways.

In 2001 I ventured out on my own as an independent consultant, working on web development and system integration etc. It was also the same year that I started blogging. In 2003, I made a pivoted my skill set to cyber-security. With my keen interest in vulnerability assessment and finding and exploiting the weakness in information systems (aka penetration testing), my blog content changed. I started thinking and writing more about what I was learning, and I felt like I was living in that world described in the novel, Islands in the Net. It was also the same year that I decided that I wanted a domain name for my website.

My new career in cyber-security and my search for a domain name got me thinking about how I felt about my writing at the time. My blog was/is like a small island in the vast ocean of the Internet, where I shared my thoughts about anything and everything hacking related. Once I had the word island on my mind, I started thinking about the actual island in the British West Indies where I was born and spent my pre-adult years. The West Indies is famous for its era of piracy which lasted from circa 1650 until the mid-1720s. Suddenly with my mind swirling with thoughts of the Internet, islands, and hacking, I remembered the Bruce Sterling novel.

The name of the blog, Island in the Net came to mind, and I went looking for a domain name. The domain, islandinthe.net was taken (and still is). I settled on islandinthenet.com.

Author: Khürt Williams

I work in application security architecture and I live in Montgomery Township, New Jersey with my wife Bhavna. Passionate about photography, you’ll find me writing about cybersecurity, tropical aquariums, terrariums, hiking, craft breweries, and capturing birds on camera. My prose is like a caffeinated squirrel—fast, unpredictable, and occasionally insightful.

2 thoughts on “What’s In a Domain Name?”

    1. I don’t share as much about myself as I used to when I first started the blog. While a graduate student, and later a resident of Ann Arbor, I was a member of the Animania: The Japanese Animation Film Society at the University of Michigan. I think my daughter stole my Animania t-shirt a few years ago.

      Akira, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and Ghost in the Shell are some of my favourite anime movies. I also enjoyed watching classic OVA such as Tenchi Muyo, Mobile Suit Gundam, Record of Lodoss War , Bubblegum Crisis, Vampire Hunter “D”, Dominion Tank Police and of course, Speed Racer.

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