Harkless.org is run by Dan Harkless, of Irvine, California, U.S.A.
Well, in the mid to late 90s, I wanted to register harkless.com, but it was already registered by a company selling email services to people wanting their last name in the domain of their email address.
It surprised me somewhat that a company had grabbed a name as relatively rare as Harkless, but apparently they had registered pretty much every last name they could get their hands on, back when InterNIC didn't charge an arm and a leg for that.
Sure enough, once their hold on harkless.com expired (and non-trivial registration fees had been established), they did not re-register. I imagine whatever money they were making off of harkless.com (if any) wasn't even enough to pay for the registration fees.
At this point, I should have registered harkless.com, but due to various reasons (one of the chief ones being my unfortunate procrastinating nature), I held off.
In August 2000, I was finally inspired to register harkless.com. Two reasons for this. One, my 10-year high school reunion was coming up, and I figured it'd be convenient to be able to tell people my email address was simply firstname.lastname@example.org. The other reason was that I was setting up a site for a co-worker called His_surnameFamily.com. He was forced to tack on "Family" because His_surname.com, .net, and .org were all taken. Despite the fact that my surname is rarer than his, I figured I'd better get off my butt and grab harkless.com.
Unfortunately I'd waited too long. Despite the previous company's apparent failure to make money off of harkless.com, yet another "surname-domain-email-provider", NamePlanet.com, had sprung up late in 1999 and had snapped up harkless.com in early 2000. I suppose this business model once again became economically feasible after InterNIC / Network Solutions' monopoly over domain registration was removed and competition drove the prices down.
Therefore, I went with harkless.org.
Now, it's hard for me to imagine enough Harklesses out there signing up for NamePlanet's web-based email (that's all they provide, as of this writing -- no web hosting or anything else) to make it worth their while to keep the domain. Perhaps NamePlanet intends to let things play out and see which domains people actually sign up on, and drop the others when they expire.
Going on the assumption that this is their plan, I'd ask any Harklesses reading this to not sign up for email with harkless.com. I would be more than happy to provide you a free email address on harkless.org, and it will also be free from the annoyances of the NamePlanet service. On harkless.com you can only read your email via their web interface, but on harkless.org you'll be able to retrieve it by IMAP or POP as well (NamePlanet gives some goofy excuse for not providing this service -- making vague assertions that it'd slow down their systems). NamePlanet is apparently going to make their revenue by shoving ads down your throat, but I, of course, will not do this.
Also, as of this writing you can't have web pages on harkless.com. Not so with harkless.org -- I'd be more than happy to give you free web space at http://harkless.org/your_first_name.
With any luck, NamePlanet will realize that harkless.com is not netting them any dough, and they'll drop it. At that time, perhaps I'll grab it and make it a synonym for harkless.org.
Oh, and what about harkless.net? Oddly, some Malaysian company called "TheTings DotCom Sdn Bhd" apparently "parked" it by registering it through DomainsAreFree.com in early 2000. There was no DNS info for harkless.net, so they were truly just parking it, not using it for web, email, or anything else. I was thinking of grabbing the domain if TheTings let it expire in Febrary 2002, but I was not gung-ho about this. I'm interested in harkless.com not because I want to control all harkless.TLD domains (which isn't even feasible, due to residency requirements for some country domains), but because lay people are most familiar with the ".com" TLD, and might accidentally type it instead of ".org" (also many browsers allow you to simply type "domain" as a shortcut for "http://www.domain.com/", but of course this doesn't work for .org). So while I'd be interested in owning harkless.com, I figured I'd probably leave harkless.net for all those Malaysian Harklesses (??) to play with.
As of November 2002, I see that TheTings apparently did drop harkless.net after all, and a Scott Harkless from Ohio (not my cousin Scott Harkless) has grabbed it and is using it for his family photos. Glad to see it in the hands of an actual Harkless.
Ah, one final comment. I actually don't feel too bad that I had to use harkless.org, as by the old conventions that's the TLD one would use for a non-commercial, non-Network-service-provider website. Those conventions are just that, though, and not rules, and nowadays little thought is given to the original distinctions between .com, .net, and .org. Given the status quo, I wouldn't feel bad about grabbing harkless.com, should the opportunity arise.
If you want to SSL-encrypt your connection to harkless.org for whatever reason, you can do so using https://harkless.org/.
|Dan Harkless Last modified: November 29, 2010||Validated HTML 4.01 Transitional|