There was a time when meaningful internet domain names remained widely available. This bygone era began in pre-web 1985*, if you can imagine, and ran until the gold rush for names began — 1995? In today’s hyper-connected world, the availability of, say, money.com seems utterly inconceivable. But there it sat for all those years (born-on date: April 10th, 1995). Indeed most of the interesting names were grabbed in those early years by prospectors hoping for a big sale, like the lucky individual who acquired business.com and later sold it for $7.5 million.

A curious subset of the domain parking phenomenon is the corresponding run that’s been occurring on numerical domains — 57.com, 100.com, 1066.com, etc. What I found surprised me, but then again, we live in a strange, greedy world. Naturally, all the integers under 1000 were grabbed up long ago (and 1-9 were never available). But many values beyond 1000 have also been looted by enterprising individuals in hopes of a lucky re-sell.

I began punching in ever larger powers of 10 curious how far the domain hogging maniacs had taken this. First available power of 10 domain (as of today, August 5th, 2010) is….

10000000000000000000.com

a.k.a.,

10,000,000,000,000,000,000

a.k.a.,

10^19

a.k.a.,

10 quintillion. That’s the point at which big numbers no longer hold domain-worthiness, I guess. For now. I wonder how much of Pi has been harvested into numerical domains? 314159265.com, anyone? (oops, snagged: June 2002).

This made me wonder about the number affectionately known as a googol — a 1 with 100 zeros:

10000000000000000000000000000000000000

0000000000000000000000000000000000

00000000000000000000000000000

If ever there were a number to grab… alas, the limit is 63 characters. Google already thought of this, I’m sure

As a side note, if anyone would like to continue this conversation, thegreedyworldwelivein.com is still available.

*note: internet networks (FTP, telnet, Archie, etc.) existed long before the world-wide web. 1985, however, was when network name servers (BIND, et al) finally became standardized. Goodbye IP addresses, hello names!

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