Well okay, that might be a bit of a stretch, but today something very cool happened on the Internet. The domain registrars have released a new top level domain called .family.
For those of you who are not that tech savy I will give you a very brief background…
Since the internet was born every computer that could be contacted had to have an IP address which consisted of four sets of numbers between 0 and 255. Various numbers actually mean something, for example 127.0.0.1 is an “internal” address that always identifies your own computer FROM your own computer. I won’t get into it here, but eventually the internet ran out of IP addresses and it is slowly converting over to a new numbering system.
Regardless, human beings are not good at remembering strings of numbers so a domain registration system was born where you could register a unique domain name and when someone used the domain name the registry would translate it for your computer so it would know what IP address to go to.
In the beginning the “top level” domains were .com, .org, .net and some others. Fairly recently the domain registries have expanded to allow for some new and more meaningful ones like .photography, .contractors, .guru or one of the more recent .sucks! Now if you want to put up a website or secure an email address you have plenty of options.
The purpose of this post is to enlighten people about having a personal domain for their family. Right now you probably have an email address like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or perhaps something even more obscure. Well now today you can register your own family name as a domain. For example, if your last name is Smith you can register smith.family and have email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Think about it, you can create an email address for everyone in your entire family tree and because you own the domain it will never ever change for the rest of time (well, as long as we have the Internet and need email anyways). You can point your new domain to any email provider you want. I use GMail under their Google Apps program, because their mail interface is slick and easy to use and manage. However, you can use any email provider that allows you to point your domain at them. Depending on where you register your domain, you can usually add email as an option when you register. I use Rebel.ca as my domain service provider and I have been quite happy with them. Regardless who you use for your email, if you ever need to you can change it by pointing your domain to the new provider. Your email address will always stay the same.
Good luck, I am sure a lot of common last names are going to disappear fast!!! Registering your own domain costs anywhere from $10 / year to $30 / year unless you get one that is in very high demand in which case they can charge a lot more.