Dan Kaminsky

Ben Scott mailvortex at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 18:02:50 CDT 2009


On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 6:37 PM, Chris Adams<cmadams at hiwaay.net> wrote:
>>> ... we may not longer have the end user “typing” a URL, the DNS or
>>> something similar will still be in the background providing name to address
>>> mapping  ...
>>
>>   In the the vast majority of cases I have seen, people don't type
>> domain names, they search the web.  When they do type a domain name,
>> they usually type it into the Google search box.
>
> Web != Internet.

  (Web != Internet) != the_point

  Most people don't type email addresses, either.  They pick from from
their address book.  Their address book knows the address because it
auto-learned it from a previously received email.  If their email
program doesn't do that, they find an old email and hit "Reply".  (You
laugh, but even in my small experience, I've seen plenty of clusers
who rarely originate an email.  They reply to *everything*.  You have
to email them once for them to email you.  It's always neat to get a
message in my inbox that's a reply to a message from three years ago.
But I digress.)

  User IDs on Facebook, Twitter, et. al., aren't email addresses,
they're user IDs.  They just happen to look just like email addresses,
because nobody's come up with a better system yet.  The main reason
those services ask for the user's email address for an ID is it makes
the "I forgot my user ID" support cases easier.  (Note that it doesn't
eliminate them.  Some people still don't know their Facebook user ID
until you tell them it's their email address.  Then they ask what
their email address is...)

  Web browsers already automatically fill-in one's email address if
you let them.    One of these days Microsoft or Mozilla or whoever
will come up with a method to make the automation more seamless, and
people will probabbly stop knowing their own email address.  To do the
initial exchange for a new person, they'll use Facebook.  Or whatever.

  Paper advertisements:  What's easier?  (1) Publishing a URL in a
print ad, and expecting people to remember it and type it correctly.
(2) Saying "type our name into $SERVICE", where $SERVICE is some
popular website that most people trust (like Facebook or whatever),
and has come up with a workable system for disambiguation.

  You get the picture.  Follow the trend.  The systems aren't done
evolving into being yet, but the avalanche has definitely started.
It's too late for the pebbles to vote.

  As the person I was replying to said, DNS is unlikely to go away,
but I'll lay good money that some day most people won't even know
domain names exist, any more than they know IP addresses do.

-- Ben <google!gmail!mailvortex>




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