Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

I Don’t Own My Domain : I Rent It #DoOO


I don’t know why we say “domain of one’s own” and “reclaim your domain”. It’s not very accurate. 

My understanding of ownership is that something belongs to me. That I have already acquired it or been gifted it. And I own it until I die, no additional payment required. If I own it and I die, it passes to my heirs.

That isn’t at all the case with domains.

When I created a domain, it didn’t become mine. Basically 

  1. I don’t own the domain name. I pay for it every year. That looks like rent
  2. I don’t own the actual hosting. I pay Reclaim (whom I love and trust) for shared hosting because I assume they will do a better job of the hardware/backup etc

And here is my question for #DoOO for students. It is great for a university to offer students a domain of their own. But once they graduate… They have to pay for it themselves. In Egypt many young people don’t have access to a credit card (even the ones at my elite institution). They would lose it after the few months grace period. What a shame, right?

Of course if the students kept their blog on WordPress and WordPress closed down they would lose it, also. So there’s that.

And they regularly lose the work they did on their LMS. So…that too.

Any thoughts on this?

Update: read comment thread below 

Also: linking to a recent/old (haha) Prof Hacker post of mine on digital life after death (which mentions some of the stuff Audrey alludes to as post-ownership society)

Update again: I annotated Audrey’s post


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