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WebWatch: What's in a name?

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WebWatch is the cooperative effort of two of Phnom Penh's most experienced Internet

users:

David Lewis of Telstra's Bigpond and Bill Herod, information technology consultant

at the NGO Forum on Cambodia. Contact through: PhnomPenhPost@bigpond.com.kh

YOU may have heard recently about developments in the Internet domain name system.

The domain name is the name by which we refer to the locations of resources on the

Internet.

So, for instance josh@companya.com, is an email address associated with "Company

A" and www.organizationb.org.kh/services is a section of web site of "Organization

B".

The domain names in these two examples are "companya.com" and "organisationb.org.kh".

One may register these names either under a country specific code such as kh for

Cambodia or th for Thailand, or under one of the nongeographic top-level names.

The latter currently consist of .com for commercial, .net for network, .org for organization,

.mil for military, .edu for education and .gov for government. These nongeographic

names have tended to be the most popular and have become rather congested with the

rapid expansion of the Internet.

Last week the organization responsible for this naming scheme, the Internet Corporation

for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced seven new additions to the top-level

domains:

Have you ever considered establishing your own domain name? Why would you?

Well, for a business the prestige of having a domain name is probably obvious. Why

not promote the name of your organization within your email communications by making

its name prominent?

You also gain a level of independence from your email provider whether it is an ISP,

HotMail or Yahoo. A similar argument of independence exists for personal email users.

Setting up such a domain is now relatively easy and can be very low-cost. For domains

under a country code one must approach the country's nominated registry which in

the case of Cambodia is the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

But for the nongeographic domains (.com, .net, .org) there are now a large number

of websites which can register your name. And the surprising fact is that some of

these will do it for little or no charge.

Namezero has signed up several hundred domains in the past couple of months for no

charge.

Registration really is very easy and they offer email forwarding so that you can

send on your mail to either the webmail facility of your choice or your local ISP

mailbox. They also have free web hosting for your domain, though this does include

banner adverts.

Another such service is DirectNc which charges US$15 a year but provides a more sophisticated

email and web hosting features.

 

.aero

aero industry

.biz

business

.coop

cooperatives

.info

general purpose sites

.museum

museums

.name

personal

.pro

professionals, including lawyers and accountants

 

Publish and be damned

Getting a web site up and running can be a complex task requiring the knowledge of

the code that makes up the web page (HTML) and special software on your machine to

author the pages and transfer them to your ISP's web server.

But there are alternatives. Several providers are now offering web sites which one

can update easily within a web browser and that require no knowledge of HTML. The

simplest of these services takes the form of a journal to which the user can add

entries at will.

Visitors to the site can view all your current notes and search through the archives

too. Examples include Blogger and LiveJournal. More sophisticated services feature

sites with news items, feature sections, graphics, discussion groups, the ability

for several people to collaborate on the site and viewing restrictions based upon

a membership system.

One of the most popular technologies being employed to achieve this is called Manila.

You can get your own Manila site from EditThisPage, WebLogs or WebLogger.

So if you want to publish your diary while on an extended travel, keep your family

and friends informed of your news, run a special interest site with contribution

from people disbursed around the globe or run a community site then this might be

the answer. And best of all, these services are free.

Web-based email

Web-based email (Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, etc) is in increasingly wide use throughout

the wired world, including Cambodia. These programs are convenient, flexible and

- except for the cost of Internet access - free. You can access a web-based email

account - including your address list - from any computer connected to the Internet

anywhere in the world without any special setup or program. All you need is your

user name and password.

As the digital deluge of email continues, the active user may want to consider having

different email accounts for different purposes, or even different accounts for different

correspondents.

For example, you might want to reserve one email address to give out online when

you subscribe to a service or register a product. You could use one address for a

particular project or for correspondence with a particular person or group.

Many web-based email programs give you a simple way to filter out junk mail (the

mail is usually isolated in a special folder until you review it). Some programs

will also allow you to block all mail except messages from users you designate. Some

programs will even alert you at your primary email account when you receive mail

on the secondary account or will forward your mail to that account (look for "free

forwarding").

Several popular web-based email programs are now bundled with instant messenger software,

easily permitting two or more users of the same system to communicate with each other

in real time. Both Hotmail and Yahoo! offer this feature.

For more information on these email programs, enter "free email" (with

the quotes) in your favorite search engine or visit the Free Email Providers Guide.

Links

What's in a name

HYPERLINK http://wwwl.namezero.com

HYPERLINK http://www.directnic.com

Publish and be damned

Blogger: HYPERLINK http://www.blogger.com

LiveJournal: www.livejournal.com

WebLogs: HYPERLINK http://www.weblogs.com

WebLogger: www.webLogger.com

EditThisPage:HYPERLINK http://www.editthispage.com

Conversant HYPERLINK http://www.free-conversant.com

Web-based Email

HYPERLINK http://www.fepg.net

Free Email Providers Guide

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