by Josh Fruhlinger, ITworld

Five Generic Domain Names and Their Journey Through Time

Oct 28, 20112 mins
E-commerce SoftwareInternet

Remember the go-go days of the 1990s, when dot-com domain names based on ordinary nouns and verbs were snapped up by hopeful companies? Here's a look at five very generic domain names, and where they've been.

Today the site is a social networking and information site, complete with video and audio. But in 1996, when most of us were still painstakingly creating our flirty mixes on cassette tapes, it seemed perfectly reasonable that the domain be occupied by MUSIC Semiconductors, Inc. (the name stood for “Multi-User Specialty Integrated Circuits”) — because, really, what did the Web have to do with music?


Posing as “Mama’s Dining Room,” was one of the world’s first astroturfing sites! The current iteration of the site is a much more straightforward homepage for the Ragú brand, now owned by Anglo-Dutch megacorporation Unilever.


At some point before 1999, someone at Carter-Wallace, Inc., a pharmaceutical research firm, obviously thought “ is kind of a pain to type out. What if we just put our Website at the much easier to remember” And there it stayed all the way until mid-2002, baffling anyone who might be looking for a cheap deal on an automobile.


In 1996, was a classic bit of golden age Internet whimsy called L’Industrie De Meat: an oddish logo on standard- issue mid-90s textured background, with an anti-Communications Decency Act jeremiad, links to an “Internet hall of shame” (optimized for Netscape 2.0), and information about the “Transnational Church of Life on Mars.” There was also a link to the site’s creator’s software offering: Color Manipulation Device, which helped HTML newbies choose the colors for their Web pages. By early 2000, though, the proprietor of L’Industrie had sold the site (hopefully at full height-of-boom prices) to a company looking to sell and promote, well meat.


Sometimes things just stay the same. was snapped up in the unheard-of ancient year of 1994 by Internet denizen Dan Bornstein, and it’s remained a classic homepage in the ’90s sense — sparse background, unformatted text, easy-to-find links — ever since.

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