Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing shares a link to the 100 oldest .COM names in the registry, and wonders about the “visionaries” who might’ve realized they needed a “.com” domain in 1985.
But many of those companies likely weren’t thinking about commercial Internet possibilities. They just happened to be involved in the academic, scientific and defense contracting fields, either directly or tangentially, and according to the rules in the registry, they had to be “.com” to show they were commercial enterprises, unlike the majority of the Internet nodes at the time, which were .edu or .gov (and a few .orgs I guess, might’ve been the minority? Hm. )
Anyway, I mention this not just to be persnickety, but because I think it’s interesting how easy it is to forget what the context was 20 or hell even 12 years ago. I’m fascinated at how quickly the ‘net became a “land of opportunity” as opposed to an under-the-radar propeller-head network, and how to some degree we’re all coming back to the ‘net’s DNA of community (which has always been prevalant, it’s just not gotten the press because the ‘real’ community happening online isn’t necessarily connected to any IPO’s).
The market isn’t using the net for its own ends. People are using the market to utilize the net for their own ends… and as always, people are mainly interested in connecting with, sharing with, creating with other people.