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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Thousand Splinternets?

Duane J. Higgins, ceo

Years ago there was a rumor floating around cyberspace that the Internet would eventually be broken into numerous smaller "Splinternets" as they were being called at the time. The impetus for that speculation had to do with so many competing interests and alliances that are constantly springing up around the Internet and with various factions. Thankfully, with the continuous and thoughtful insights of ICANN (the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers) none of the Splinternets really happened and the Internet remained "whole." In case you are interested in what the "Splinternet" discussions were really about I would refer you to the most recent Wikipedia entry:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The splinternet (also referred to as cyberbalkanization or Internet Balkanization) is a characterization of the Internet as splintering and dividing due to various factors, such as technology, commerce, politics, nationalism, religion, and interests. "Powerful forces are threatening to balkanise it," writes the Economist weekly, and it may soon splinter along geographic and commercial boundaries.[1] Countries such as China have erected what is termed a "Great Firewall", for political reasons, while other nations, such as the US and Australia, discuss plans to create a similar firewall to block child pornography or weapon-making instructions.[1]

Clyde Wayne Crews, a researcher at the Cato Institute, first used the term in 2001 to describe his concept of "parallel Internets that would be run as distinct, private, and autonomous universes."[2] Crews used the term in a positive sense, but more recent writers have used the term in a negative sense.

So why am I bringing up Splinternets again at this point in time?

Maybe because the Internet is about to be reorganized in a grand fashion like has never happened before. What Im referring to of course is (ICANN's) impending introduction of upwards of 1000 new domain name extensions onto the global marketplace. What will be the long term impact on the domain name and Internet economies? Is there a chance that the Internet will evolve into exactly what ICANN has been working so ardently against for the past few decades?

What I'm referring is the real prospect of Splinternets.

Could Splinternets really happen?

Imagine if you will the following conversation taking place between three friends at the water cooler in say 10 years from now.

Mary: I haven't heard anything from Steve in a while. Someone told me that he's spending all of his time on .web. You know, the Google owned Splinternet that offers free domain names and free websites. Apparently nearly everything is free there. Free and easy. Just like the 1960's. No wonder Steve likes it there. He never grew out of the sixties and I guess he met a girl on .web. I wouldn't take much of anything seriously that goes on there though.You get what you pay for right?

Joe: I know what your saying. For me I've been using .secure for almost everything. With the encryptions and extra security measures that they take with all of the sites there. I've been thinking that I may just do everything there. That domain is growing so rapidly they say once you try it you wont use anything else. However, I do use .bank for all of my banking and financial stuff. I do like that too. My wife likes .books, .music and .apps. I'm not really interested. However, they say the apps at .secure are like Fort Knox as far as security goes. So I use some of them.

Johnny: All I can say is thank God for .com. With all of these splinternets and new domain name extensions popping up like candy I think we could all go crazy if it weren't for the old standby .com. Dot com is still the standard bearer of everything that is on the Internet. Good, bad and indifferent. Dot com keeps taking these pot shots from the new domain extensions and keeps coming back stronger than ever. I'll take .com anyday and that is all that I need. I has everything that I need and everything that I don't need and sometimes sample if you know what I mean.

Mary: I'm with you on .com however I do have a confession to make. I probably spend 80% of my time on .shop. The way that they have integrated all of the shops and malls there the last I heard they had 100,000 stores and counting. Their top stores are apparently JC Penny and Best Buy. Who would have guessed that? They also have this really neat point system where you get points for buying at any shop there. The savings are unbelievable. I heard on the news the other day that .shop was projected to overtake Amazon in overall sales by 2025. Wouldn't that be something. They have alot more than shopping as well. Just about anything related to it.

Joe: My nephew tried to get on the Chinese Splinternet just for the fun of it. Then he found out that it's all in Chinese and you need permission from the Chinese Government or or something like that. I guess its bigger than all of the other Internets added together. Too bad its so isolated.

Mary: Well back to work for me. Just between the three of us I may be taking a job with the .shop homeworker program. With their direct selling and network marketing programs, I earn points from everyone that I recruit as well. I can cash out the points for a discount and I am making more money there than I do here.

Johnny: Good for you Mary.

Joe: Maybe I can get a job with .secure.

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