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Keeping People in the Internet Loop

December 10, 2012

I have a love/hate relationship with the internet. Usually it’s love. I mean, I did post about how I suspect the internet fathered my child. There’s a lot of love to be had. It gives me so much.

But today, I’m mad at the internet. I made a lovely post about how I was going to switch out hosting servers over the weekend, and the first thing I did was change the domain name to my new hosting site.

And then I waited for the DNS to propagate. I waited some more. And then, after waiting, there was more waiting.

I’m still waiting. Just as many of you are waiting for me to explain what the hell DNS is and why this upsets me.

It’s easiest to think of the internet as a city. Not this city:

I still remember my old neighborhood and street address. No, I'm not telling you what it was.

I still remember my old neighborhood and street address. No, I’m not telling you what it was.

…but a city with addresses. Now, when you think of a web address, you’re probably thinking of the URL or the domain name (such as youngnotions.com or www.penisland.net). But those aren’t the actual address for the location of the website. They just get you there.

Let me explain.

The actual location is the IP address. You’ve probably seen this before when trying to set up your fancy new wireless modem for HOURS, talking on the phone with Comcast before you give up and call your 14 year old niece to come fix it, which she does in 5 minutes, and she also fixed the slowness issues you’ve been having, and found your porn stash which you cleverly titled “important documents” but she’s not going to bring it up with you, just pretend that she never saw those tentacles or KitchenAid appliance.

Seriously dude. You’re into some weird shit.

The IP address is a series of numbers like 169.254.0.16 that give the actual location of the server on the network. So, it’s easiest to think of the IP as the actual street address, like 1234 Main St. (yes, nerds. I know it’s not a perfect analogy. This is why you can’t talk to real people. Shut it.) If the IP address is the street address, the domain name is like the nickname of the place, or the name of the establishment. If I told you I was visiting the pentagon, you know where I’m talking about, even if you don’t know the street address for the pentagon. People in that area know how to get there, but might not know the actual street numbers. Also, I can tell my husband that I’m going to Ben’s house, and he know where that is without knowing the street address.

Well, actually, maybe not. We know a lot of people named Ben.

Now, on the internet, we keep track of domain names through the DNS, or domain name system. Right now, you’re thinking of one giant computer holding onto all those location nicknames, but it’s actually several computers that talk to each other on a fairly regular basis. Like a gossip circle, if you tell one of those computers, soon all the other computers will know. They chatter at each other all the time about what shoes you wore that day, and where so-n-so lives now, and it’s such a nice neighborhood… so much better than that run down shack they used to live in, though the kitchen is a little small, but you can’t have everything, I suppose.

Why no! I didn't hear about the new domain host. Please go on...

Why no! I didn’t hear about the new domain host. Please go on…

The point it, you all have friends that have everyone’s address. Let’s say one of those friends is Betty. And you’re supposed to go to Bob’s new housewarming. So you call Betty to get Bob’s address. But she doesn’t know he’s move yet because usually Char keeps her up to date on Bob’s happenings, and they haven’t talked yet today, so she gives you Bob’s old address. Well, now you’re at Bob’s old house with a bottle of wine and a boardgame, and no one to share them with.

Look nerds, I know that’s not the perfect analogy either, but seriously, NO ONE CARES. Shut your trap.

That’s basically where YoungNotions is at right now. We’ve moved down the street, and we told the people we usually tell, but they haven’t talked to their friends yet, so youngnotions.com is still telling people to come here to wordpress.

WHICH IS REALLY FRUSTRATING because I told Char 2 DAYS AGO and she still hasn’t let everyone know where I live. How can I have people over to my new place? Come on, Char. We’re all waiting on you.

So I hate the internet. I’ve been mad at it all morning. But then it gave me Bob Dole’s campaign website from 96, and www.howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com.

Awe, Internet… I can’t stay mad at you.

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