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Site name taken? No problem - just join the dots

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Starting a website involves lots of hair tearing, not least over the site name.

OK, so I try to buy lyall.COM. It's been taken long ago. I try lyall.CO.UK. Same.

Then lyall.NET. Ditto. And so on. In the same position you might try some of the new suffixes such as .FM and, perhaps, .TV.And there's .IT (Italy) and .WS (short for website) and .WS.UK. .TV and .FM are actually the official web suffixes of obscure Pacific island paradises.

They've very sensibly flogged off their rights to web registration companies.

But this is desperate stuff. It's obviously better if you can buy a name in the traditional dot com zone. So I've got a wheeze which no one seems to have cottoned on to. In my case it's dotlyall. com. Dot Lyall Dot Com. OK?

You could be dotWot.com and ianritchiearchitects could change to dotira.com. And I am registering dotRIBA.com so I can sell it to them for squillions when they get fed up with that old architecture.com thing.

Lots of institutions haven't got round to even attempting to register site names. Mobile Home Gallery curator Ronnie Simpson (mom@dircon.co.uk) tells me that artist Nick Crowe recently searched the URLs of various art galleries. A surprising number hadn't bothered to register one. So one afternoon he registered the names of 29 well known galleries such as www.thenationalgallery.org.uk. And then he set up home pages which cheerfully sent up the gallery involved.

Apparently some of these Croweized sites actually got hits from genuine visitors and, amusingly, one or two of the galleries went puce and threatened the majesty of the law. Two months later Crowe gave the site names back.

I am happy to say that a few new Croweized sites seem still to be out there.The one AJ staff have been chuckling over is www.architecturalassociation.co.uk.

Crowe is at www.nickcrowe.net but, sadly, it's not the fastest or most lucid site in the world.

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