Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Dropping the WWW

WHERE THE WEB WAS BORNImage by Max Braun via FlickrI heard a radio ad this morning that rather stopped me in my tracks, for no particularly good reason other than the fact it was promoting a website and went to the trouble of saying it out loud including the dubbleyewdubbleyewdubbleyew.

I found myself wondering whether we don't all just take that for granted these days? I'd just say 'go to alexandermcnabb dot com' rather than give the WWW. I mean, why not go the whole hog and say 'Aitch tee tee pee colon  forwardslash forwardslash dubbleyewdubbleyewdubbleyew'?

Perhaps interestingly, Tim Berners-Lee (the man that put the hole in the toilet seat that was the Internet by inventing the world wide web) recently apologised for the forwardslash forwardslash, which was a programming convention at the time but by no means necessary - if you can only imagine the tonnes of paper, the zillions of wasted electrons, the megagallons of printer ink that this little quirk has caused...

In fact, the reason it gave me pause was that it sounded somehow charmingly naive. Here they are struggling to breathlessley get all of their 'dare to dream' and 'an apostolic momentum of carborundum epistles for you!' in, and they're wasting a precious slice of their 30 seconds giving me a redundant dubbleyewdubbleyewdubbleyew.

(Another ad I heard the other day gave the name of the thing they were promoting and exhorted the listener to 'Google us!'. When you do, the website name is simple and based on the name of the thing. It would have been easier all round if they'd just said 'go to nameofthething dot com'.)

It's time to drop the WWW, methinks. We all know it's on the web, surely?

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12 comments:

Derrick Pereira said...

I say get rid of it all... 'http://www.' just redundant now.

Chirag said...

Ofcourse they are the brilliant set of people who give us the, 'oh go to http, forward slash forward slash, TRIPLE doubleyew' *shudders*

But yea, nameofthing dot com should work fine. If not, they probably shouldn't bother with the internet anyway?

Chirag said...

Ofcourse there are the brilliant set of people who give us the, 'oh go to http, forward slash forward slash, TRIPLE doubleyew' *shudders*

But yea, nameofthing dot com should work fine. If not, they probably shouldn't bother with the internet anyway?

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Is this a new wrestling phenomenon?

Grumpy Goat said...

I know those who say "Dub-dub-dub" and others who say "Wuh-wuh-wuh."

"Worldwide web" seems to me to be the most meaningful use of these three syllables.

But a lot of websites seem to tolerate the lack of doubleyous.

Doug said...

Don't forget though that some websites (usually those hosted by firms with a poor understanding of the web) will not work without a 'www' in front of the domain name.

It's a problem in Europe, and given the average GCC website tends to consist of a five-minute long, unskippable flash intro which then invariably segues into a page of Times New Roman text that starts 'welcome to the website of...' I'd suggest that web understanding in the region is so poor that we're stuck with the wuhs.

Of course, it's been pointed out that WWW is one of the very few (if not the only) acronym that actually takes longer to say that the phrase it represents.

Luke said...

I am amazed, Mr. McNab, that neither you nor none of your readers knows that "www" is just the name happen to be given to the computer that is responsible for the website. It is absolutely not necessary to use it. It is just habit to call it that - unlike the "http://".

So you are free to call your server what you like. Call it "Bob" if you want .... although it isn't case sensitive".

And I am a banker, not an IT person.....

Doug said...

Sorry Luke, but that's not true. Compare typing in scapebuild.co.uk and www.scapebuild.co.uk.

Only one of them works.

Usually you're right, most websites will function without the www element, but some don't.

Sarah Walton said...

I'm so glad that the world has people like you guys to spend time thinking about the really important things in life...

Keefieboy said...

Whether a website will work without the 'www' is entirely down to the configuration of the server it lives on. Some websites (mostly banks) insist on having the 'www'. There's no reason for this, other than that is how the web was built, and die-hard techies will say it's needed. (And people running bank websites are terrified of not going by the book, for obvious, if ill-founded, reasons).

Terry said...

In Welsh, "www" is pronounced "ooo ooo ooo".

Hussam Abu-Libdeh said...

Given today's search engines, and the fact that browsers' address bars also do search .. URLs are probably less and less relevant. I am constantly amazed by the number of people who search for "facebook" on Google before going to google.com (search logs show there are a TON of such queries)

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