Monday, November 22, 2004

Watch your "A's" & "U's"

If there was ever an incident that points out not only the breadth of content on the internet, but also the little differences that separate such an international medium it's this one. This story has been all over the Australian comercial news today, but I repeat it here for any international visitors.

Last night the local version of the "Idol" television series, "Australian Idol" held its Grand Final at the Sydney Opera House and 16 year old Casey Donovan was crowned as winner for this year. As part of the celebrations, local telecommunications giant Telstra offered her single for download (at a slight fee of course). Part of the page offered a link to Casey's official website, www.caseydonovan.com. The problem is, Casey's site is actually www.caseydonovan.com.AU. Even that wouldn't be such a faux pas, except that the link offered by Telstra, visited by thousands of Australian teenage fans last night and today, is to an American site dedicated to now deceased 80's Gay Porn idol, Casey Donovan (Warning: explicit content).

Apart from the ironic hilarity I find in this, it's a cautionary tale to people to remember that the internet is an international medium. Moreover, it brings up the eternal question of why American websites aren't required to suffix their addresses with a "US".

Needless to say Telstra has fixed the link problem.

NEWS.com.au | It's Idol porn by any other name (November 22, 2004)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

.hey dude this is johnbmx with a question regarding the AU thing which by the way i thought amusing...quote "why American websites aren't required to suffix their addresses with a "US"..the net is an international medium as you say yet your blog is a straight .com site and not an AU site then why would americans need .US? does that mean the server for their domain is in US or AU?.or are the ones with the extensions the cheapy sites? maybe the net should just then be all dot coms to avoid confusion?

Leonard King said...

Thanks for being the first to comment on the blog John. It's nice to know you're reading.

As for the whole domain thing, this blog's address is dot com only because it's based in the US through Google. As for the idea of us all losing the suffix, I think we'd run out of available addresses. Yes it would make things easier and allay confusion, but I guess there just ain't enough room for all of us. Besides, the suffix thing gives us an albeit somewhat mistaken sense of location for where a site is hosted. I say that because I know non-AU domain names are available in Australia and are, ironically, cheaper. There's really no reason to put an AU on the end of your domain unless.
a) You're proudly Australian and want people to know it.
b) Someone already has the dot com/dot org/dot net version of the domain name.

Colin Smith said...

All I can say about this is, "Har de har har." Watchers of Australian Idle [sic] deserve all that they get. Poor poor little hype-victims, getting off on the pain of others like some Roman circus.

God, I'm so bitter. Maybe I should start a blog. ;)

Leonard King said...

It's not like you'd be the only one. Do you know how many people we know run one of these things? It's almost obscene! However, it is a nice way to keep up with what people are doing in their lives.