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The meatball dot org registration expires as of 01-Apr-2009 11:36:24 UTC. It is currently being held by a cybersquatting company which has disappeared, so it may not be renewed. We should acquire it when it expires.

They don't forget to renew the domain. Please don't link to the above domain. -- MarkusLude


Should MeatballWiki have its own domain name like mbwiki.org (available as of October 27 2003)?

Are we no longer hiding? Probably not. So, sure.

I think that MeatballWiki should change to its own domain name. The cost is minimal and it would give Meatball a public image completely separate from the UseModWiki project. The resulting URL would be much easier to remember, especially if it also removes the /cgi-bin/. I also recommend purchasing the .com domain even if the .org is the primary URL in order to avoid future problems. --CliffordAdams

Technical Details

The new domain (I'll call it mbwiki.org) can be hosted on the same server as usemod.com for a 1-time payment of $25 (per domain to be hosted).

I recommend doing the migration in two steps (presuming mbwiki.org shares the usemod.com space initially):

In the first step, set up the new domain and test it. (It would live in a subdirectory of usemod.com.) Once the new domain works, change the mbwiki.org wiki data directory to share the same one as usemod.com. The two domains would then edit the same wiki database.

After some time (weeks?), the second step is to replace the usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl script with a small script that redirects to the same page on mbwiki.org. (Will RSS feed readers interpret 301 redirects?) At this point the mbwiki.org domain could be moved to another server.


Sounds good to me.

AbbreviationsAreEvil. meatballwiki.org would be better. However, mb.pl is also available. http://mb.pl/mb.pl

Why not get "meatball.org" or something more general like that? In theory MeatBall may someday be more than MeatballWiki, so let's keep that in mind when choosing a domain name. We can have wiki.meatball.org, etc, and we won't have to buy a new domain name should the project expand to others.

I don't know if meatball.org is available. Something comes up when you go there, but it look like they are trying to sell the name. You may want to see the pictures on meatball.com, too.

-- BayleShanks

Because I was retarded and didn't buy meatball.org when (if?) it was available in 2000. -- SunirShah

Bayle, I nominate you to contact Midtown Consulting (mailto:midtown@nycmail.com) to see if they're interested in selling meatball.org cheap. I suggest one point of contact so it doesn't look like the domain is suddenly very popular. :-) -- anon.

Sure; how about I send the following (lemme know if I should say something different):

Dear sir or madam,
  Would you be interested in selling the domain "meatball.org"?

Thank you,
  Baylis Shanks

-- BayleShanks

Because they aren't actually trying to sell it, when you make an initial query, you have to make the opening concrete offer. Open the negotiations at some value like $100USD or whatever you think you can get away with. Don't be too low, but definitely don't be as high as current market value. A good way to measure that is to understand how much money you are willing to pay for the domain and then divide that by two. -- SunirShah

I thought the rule was, in negotiations, that you want the counterparty to offer first. So, why not send an initial email without an offer? The site is pretty empty, with just a bunch of CyberSquatting? indice junk. I bet they are trying to sell it. -- BayleShanks

Probably true. It would serve us no good to grossly underoffer, though I don't think any initial offer from them will be anywhere close to sane. Having a good set of comparable market prices ready to demonstrate the going price for meatball.org would be useful. -- SunirShah


While preemptively pledging in the open is not wise, as the counterparty could find the site, we should pledge to determine our walk away point. Everyone who wants to pledge, send me an email with the title containing "pledge". I don't want to put my email in reach of the spambots, so here's an image:

If you're interested in who else pledged what, email me and I'll tell you (but anonymous donations will be honored, if anyone requests that). I'll also put up a list of who pledged what after we acquire the name, or if we fail.

I'll match Sunir's pledge (which I just deleted). -- BayleShanks

People who have pledged:


I'm going to send the email I said I would in a few days unless there are any futher suggestions. -- BayleShanks

Why not register the free

(abbreviations are ... you know what) -- HelmutLeitner

There's no harm in trying for meatball.org. If we don't get it (which I'm betting will be the case) we can proceed with meatballwiki.org. -- anon.

OK, I sent the email above. Will post response. -- BayleShanks

By the way, in case you are wondering, I still haven't gotten a response yet (which is why none has been posted). -- BayleShanks

OK, I think the reason I didn't get a response is because nycmail.com no longer exists. I guess my new ISP doesn't give me an error message when I send email to a nonexistant domain.

Does anyone know if there are any rules against not keeping one's WHOIS email contact info up to date? I.e. can we repossess the domain name based on that? I doubt it, but if so, I wouldn't feel at all bad about grabbing a DNS name from a squatter on a technicality.

Otherwise, I'll try to call the number in the WHOIS (probably sometime this week) (if the number still exists).

-- BayleShanks

I called the number in the WHOIS during business hours and got Midtown Consulting's answering machine. I left a message. -- BayleShanks

I left another message a few weeks ago. Now the machine's message doesn't mention Midtown Consulting, btw. There was no response. I called today and got the machine again and didn't leave a message.

I think we can assume that Midtown Consulting has disappeared. Perhaps we can get the name when it comes up for re-registration. It wouldn't make sense for Midtown to bother to renew the domain for the purpose of cybersquatting, while not making themselves reachable for someone to buy the domain from them. -- BayleShanks

Update, April 9, 2004. They renewed the domain for another year. The new expiration date is April 2005. We could launch an ICANN challenge to acquire the domain, but that would first require making Meatball a NonProfit corporation. -- SunirShah


I don't remember where Helmut suggested he would get meatballwiki.org, but that seems like a reasonable thing to do. -- SunirShah

Ward offered meatball.wiki.org.

I'm fond of meatball.wiki.org -- MarkDilley (tx, ward)

He wants to charge us $50USD / year + a terms of service. -- SunirShah

Dot.org and dot.info domains at gandi.net cost €13 per year (French company)

"terms of service": what does that mean? (this is just for the name, not for hosting, right?)

I'm fine with the cost of Ward's solution; the money is going to him, after all (right?) -- BayleShanks

I'd prefer to have a economically, technically and socially clean solution. This means a cheap separate domain technically independent from wiki.org and a separate move to gather a separate donation for Ward either from mb or from the wiki community as a whole. But I'm fine with anything you do. -- HelmutLeitner

Yes, I would also prefer a no-strings-attached domain; i'd rather we buy than rent. -- BayleShanks

You can only rent domains except from some small countries that will allow you to purchase the rights of the domain for life; and even that is dubious as the country may revoke your ownership sometime in the future. However, Ward is less likely to respond rapidly to requests to maintain our domain than a more professionally run domain registrar. It is important though to choose a reasonable registrar, with a good reputation, good policies, good longterm survival prospects, and one in an appropriate (non-American) jurisdiction. -- SunirShah

Sunir, what function do you connect with "non-American jurisdiction"? Why do you think that the registrar is that important? Typically there is a safety that you can't loose a domain even when the registrar should die. A few years ago there was a central organization (we still have this for many national domains like .at, .de) and the registrar was only a meddler, relatively unimportant. -- HelmutLeitner

Let's just say that American law makes me . . . uncomfortable. It's bad enough the site is hosted on American servers. I'd like to confuse my liability as much as possible. If I am Canadian, the servers are American, and the web property is European, with an international authorship, it makes it difficult to sue, though not quite as difficult as OpenSource projects like the Linux kernel. -- SunirShah

If you don't like American law, it seems like it would be best to clearly locate the project somewhere else. I presume the best option for you is Canada. A short statement to that effect somewhere would probably help. (I'm not suggesting we have only a Canadian domain name, or only Canadian servers, unless that's what you think is required under Canadian law) -- BayleShanks

Sure, but the servers are paid for until 2005. Then we'll consider moving it. -- SunirShah

I just meant to say somewhere that the site legally resides in Canada; since you live in Canada already, I don't think that moving the servers is necessary, unless you think it is

Actually, I think this is a misunderstanding. The usemod.com domain name is paid until 2008. The futurequest.net hosting provider is currently on a month-by-month basis. I've been considering a move to get around some technical problems anyway (the memory limit that hobbles KeptPages and the old Perl version are big problems), but I have very limited time to evaluate a new provider.

I'm willing to continue paying for hosting (currently $40/month), but eventually I think the active Meatball community should provide hosting for this wiki. (Perhaps this could be discussed on a MeatballServer page?) --CliffordAdams

But there's no difference between Ward and a "real" registrar? Isn't he renting the domain from a "real" registrar?

Also, what kind of requests would we have that Ward couldn't handle as well? Isn't the only thing you usually do with a DNS name telling it which IP to point to? -- BayleShanks

The DNS system is supposed to provide a layer of indirection away from shifting IPs. I didn't mention it costs him $100/h to pay a networking specialist to handle all of his networking problems for him. A professional registrar has to provide those services to qualify under ICANN's rules. -- SunirShah


How about meatballsociety.org? -- SunirShah

Sounds good. If you are willing to lead mb into this, it's ok with me. -- HelmutLeitner

Am I the only one who finds it suggestive of some sort of culinary club? meatballwiki.org feels better to me, maybe because I'm used to seeing "MeatballWiki" all the time. -- EarleMartin (only my 2c)

Meatball isn't just a wiki. I didn't like MeatballProject.org because it's not really a project either. It's a community. -- SunirShah

It's a shame barnraising.org is taken...

k, I've grabbed meatballsociety.org for a year. Now we just have to wait for the new server to come online, although I'm not mortally keen on changing the URL away from usemod.com. -- SunirShah

Hey Sunir, didn't you pickup MeatballWiki last year at WikiSym? Best, MarkDilley

I currently own http://www.meatballwiki.*. My plans are to use the InfiniteTypewriter rewrite as an excuse and opportunity to migrate everything, mostly because my attention span is such that I care to bundle as much as I can together. http://meatballsociety.org will remain as a staging point for satellite projects, like the new DesignBibliography, the aborted WikiIndex move, the FutureOfWikis wiki, etc. until they push off onto their own domains. At WikiSym, we can discuss planning more directly. As always, I'm open to changing the governance model to something that is more stable and adaptive than my BenevolentDictatorship/GodKinghood/AbsentLeadership. -- SunirShah

I think MeatBall would be a more prominent feature in the wiki landscape if it had its own domain name.


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