TradeMark & naming laws typically precludes a corporation from naming themselves after a common dictionary word for their industry, hence no 'Car, inc.' Instead they must make a differentiating name, like 'Joe's Car, Inc.' I discovered this as I thought during the domain rush it would be such a great idea to own all these businesses under such obvious names as Food and Car and Spatula. It's illegal because it precludes competition. Such a domain system suggests immediately there could only be one dictionary wiki and only one travelguide wiki, but that leads you into the same kinds of disputes we had with UseNet newsgroups where people would fight over an arbitrary resource like a name. (cf. TopicCanonicalization) In other words, there is no way to EnlargeSpace. At least if this is done follow the advice of trademark law and require differentiated names. -- SunirShah
Yes, I see your points. The way to solve these problems would be to ensure that all Wikis are owned by non-profit organisations. A wiki is then a non-profit website that is created by its users. Under this model, there need only be ONE travelguide.wiki. To have two wikis serving the same purpose would divide the energy of potential contributors. -- ChrisAnderson?
How does that work given that there is a dictionary.com, and yet there are many dictionary companies? --MartinHarper
When the U.S. courts ruled in the early dot.com days on trademarks for sites, they decided that the suffix ".com" was sufficiently differentiating than a dictionary word. So, "Dictionary Dot Com, Inc." was enough. However, in retrospect, especially given the fighting over the sex.com domain, that seems a bit naive. It seems that the courts could not predict how ubiquitous the .com domain hierarchy would become. To be fair, that required a leap of faith that courts are not want to do. The domain name gold rush and domain squatting today are very visible reasons why we do not use dictionary words for trademarks. My point is, which dictionary do people use the most? And do they have any reason to use dictionary.com except that it has a convenient name? That makes it unfair to its competitors who did not squat on the common word faster. -- SunirShah
Wouldn't it be interesting if the wiki domain name was one big wiki ? dotwiki.wiki would look like this page (or, if a different notation was used, it may become dot.wiki.wiki - though I'm not sure it would be as good) - of course this would raise huge problems of edit wars and suchlike, but maybe the FractalWiki technology would come in handy at that point - it may be enough to bring the conflict down to an acceptable level ... 'twould be a world wide wiki ! :)
Maybe one way of doing this would be that if you entered dotwiki.wiki and there wasn't such a name, instead of a cannot find domain name error, you'd get a page with pointers to meatball.wikidot/wiki, wiki.wiki/wiki, etc (something similar may also happen if there is such a domain name, like meatball.wiki, but then it would depend of the wiki's SisterSites policy). -- EmileKroeger
In retrospect, this is bad because, as WhatIsaWiki points out, there is no sharp line between wikis and non-wikis. In any case, it is strange to include the type of site software in URLs. What if meatball were to convert to SlashCode - would it have to give up meatball.wiki and break a million links? --MartinHarper
I don't imagine that the usage of .wiki domains would have to be monitored very strictly, or at all. People would generally start wiki(-like) sites using .wiki, just like people generally put nonprofit(-like) sites at .org and for-profits at .com, even tho there is no one making them do so. So if, e.g., Meatball converted to SlashCode I don't think there would be a problem.
"...ONE travelguide.wiki. To have two wikis serving the same purpose would divide the energy of potential contributors" (Chris) -- I think multiple wikis for the same topic will be a natural development, down the road, and probably even a good one. As long as their licenses are compatible (and for forks they should be), there's no major loss since good content can always be shared. You could conceivably get, say, Wikipedia.org and Encylopedia.wiki "competing"; depending on the founders'/contributors' inclinations, one of them could pursue more open policies, while the other could amp up the security, PricklyHedge devices, etc., and then we could all argue about which philosophy/policies were producing the best content. --ZachAlexander