I used to be the most popular Vegard on the internet. But times sure have changed.
Back in the days, the internet was a beautiful, innocent place. People were (mostly) friendly to each other. No one was manipulating elections. People didn’t deliberately spread lies and misinformation – they were just stupid. And president weren’t threatening nuclear war on Twitter.
It surely was a fine time to be alive. But best of all? I was the most popular Vegard on the internet. If you typed my name into any of the many search engines that was around at the time before the Googleopoly, I’d pop up as the number one search result. Lycos, Yahoo! Search, AltaVista, and WebCrawler, they all said the same: “You, Vegard, you are the most popular Vegard on the Internet!”
It felt good, I’ll tell you that. Even the King of Winter at the time, the Norwegian skier Vegard Ulvang, had nothing on me. But that has changed. Other Vegards have made a name for themselves on the internet. Social media profiles like Vegard Harm, and entertainers like Vegard Ylvisåker, have pushed me from my number one spot. These days I’m lucky if I appear on the first page.
Another reason for my fall from fame is that the internet has become saturated with other Vegards who have launched their own personal websites. And that made me curious! Who are these other non-famous Vegards who have found their way to the wast internet? Do they live as exciting and memorable lives as I do1?
It’s time for some good, old-fashioned internet, everyone!
For We Are Many.
To find all the other, less acclaimed, yet undoubtedly interesting, Vegards of the internet, search engines wouldn’t be much help. They have been taken over by our popular namesakes. So instead, I turned to domain name registrars. A domain name is the address you write in your browser to go to a site on the internet. This particular site’s domain name, for instance, is vegard.net. And domain name registrars keep track of all the domain names on the internet.
My train of thought was that if a Vegard bothered to register a domain name, he’d be a bit of a nerd, and thus by extension an intriguing and wonderful person. A quick search on a domain name registrar revealed that there are quite a few other Vegards that have registered their first name as a domain name: vegard.com, vegard.org, vegard.me, vegard.co, vegard.name, vegard.de, vegard.io, vegard.co.uk, vegard.no, vegard.online, vegard.info, vegard.dev, vegard.guru, vegard.wtf, vegard.win, and vegard.fun.
With all these domain names, there have to be a lot of interesting Vegards to read about on the internet. Prepare to be amazed! (And terribly disappointed.)
That’s Embarrassing, Vegard.
Out of the 16 Vegard domains I found, only five of them actually resolve to something that bear any resemblance to a homepage of sorts. Requests to the remaining 11 domains are either redirected to generic domain parking pages, result in timeouts, DNS errors, or fail in other sad and miserable ways.
The Vegard who has made the most out of his domain is without doubt the owner of vegard.co. He is a wedding photographer, and uses the domain as a business site. The other four semi-operational domains seems to have been abandoned, and left to rot.
It’s embarrassing, to be honest. For the sake of all the Vegards in the world, these domains should be used for something other than being an annual expense for the domain owners.
Can I Has Domain Name?
With that in mind, I tried to contact the owners of vegard.com and vegard.org to buy the domains. These two top-level domains are the real deal, and it’s a shame to see them lay around unused. But that went nowhere. The owner of vegard.org never returned my e-mail, and the owner of vegard.com was not interested in selling the domain. That’s totally understandable, I wouldn’t have sold my own domain name either, even if wasn’t in use. It’s about identity, after all.
Personal websites isn’t as big as it used to be. Social media sites have taken the role, for bad and for worse. I have a slim hope that people will soon realize that social media companies are poison. Their only goal is to abuse your personal information and you privacy for profit. One day, we’ll see the rebirth of the personal website.
And when that happens, at least 17 Vegard are ready for it.