This page is provided for historical interest only. See the current Nix on "www." page.

The WebDot Campaign

(The Campaign To Replace
"double-you-double-you-double-you dot"
With "web dot")

Dave Yost

"World Wide Web" is elegant. "Double-you-double-you-double-you" is cumbersome in the extreme.

"Web" is short and clear.

Better web sites everywhere are starting their names with "web" instead of "www" or in addition to "www".

It's easy. It doesn't cost anything. It's compatible. People can still get to you with "www". If you have a web site, here's how easy it is to do your part:

Hey, I know it's not a big deal. But if you do it, the world will be relieved of a silly little bit of tedium, and radio announcers and listeners will thank you. ;-)

If you're an ISP, you might consider doing what my ISP, Bay Area Internet Solutions, does: do the webdot thing for all www domains you handle. Can't hurt.

My research indicates that as of May 25, 1998, approximately 4% of web sites are reachable by a name starting with "web.". Later, I'll post here how I arrived at that number.

One more thing. Many of you out in web land write in to say, "why use the www or web prefix at all? Why not just say" Well, aside from the technical reasons why this may not be so easy to accomplish efficiently, there's the underappreciated fact that a little redundancy in communications can be a good thing. In case you didn't hear clearly or were distracted, the web dot prefix confirms that what you just heard was a web site address and not an email address or something completely different, for example. (If anyone knows a really good link on this topic, please let me know.)

Now for the humorous portion of our programme

(to be read with pompous overacting)

"W" is a letter that is not one syllable, for that would be too few, a letter that is not two syllables, for that too would be too few, but a letter, in fact the one letter of all twenty-six that insists upon blathering on and on in its attempt to twist the tongue and overtax the ear, extending to the full three, yes three--three syllables, the legal alphabetical maximum. But wait, my friend. That is only the beginning. We go on to treble the damages by repeating this freak letter, this monstrosity that is one thing, claims to be two other things, but is really three things, not once, not twice, but a full three times, in a nonometric rhapsody fleshed out to the nines, a compound triplicate triumphant cat-o'-nine-tails tongue-lashing, a nonotuple witches' syllabic brew of treble, treble, toil and trouble.

It is enough I say! Nine times enough, in fact.

The simple Old English word "web", adopted from the ancient Monosyllabic falls easily off the tongue, transitions nicely to the "dot", and is unmistakable in its equivalence to its bombastic predecessor.

As Professor Strunk might have said, "Omit needless syllables."

Or as Elmer Fudd said, "Aye, dare's da wub."

And as a Southern colonial governor once said, "I hearby dub ya 'Dub-ya Dub-ya Dub-ya.'"

And remember, it's "wub-a-dub-dub-dub, nine men in a tub".

And now for our song, sung to "row, row, row your boat":
Double-u, double-u, double-u dot, DownTheStream dot com,
Double-u, double-u, double-u, double-u -- enough already.

Comments and misc info from readers and webmasters:

Coverage in various media

(Why is it so rare for me to be contacted when someone runs a piece on WebDot?)

Wednesday, June 10, 1998

The Times (London) - Interface - Designer urges world to change addresses

Wednesday, June 10, 1998

Lycos main page - flash - A Battle Against WWW - Way, way, way too hard to pronounce

Monday, June 8, 1998

The Saint Petersburg Times - Let's Save Our Breath with 'web,' not 'www' by Howard Troxler

Sunday, June 7, 1998

The Contra Costa Times Hot CoCo - Tech@Times - World Wide Whatchamacallit?

a reprint of the NY Times article

Monday, June 1, 1998

The Arizona Daily Star - StarTech - The Net page - Californian's had it with `www'

a reprint of the NY Times article

Sunday, May 31, 1998

NPR radio program, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me

Sunday, May 31, 1998

San Jose Mercury News Sunday Computing section - War Against WWW - Los Altos man pushes for use of 'web-dot'

has a reprint of the NY Times article

Thursday, May 28, 1998

Scripting News - News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community

has an unadorned link to the NY Times article

Thursday, May 28, 1998

Good Morning Silicon Valley mentions the New York Times article

Dub-dub-dub dot ez2use dot net: Do today's computers have to be hard to use? asks the New York Times (registration required). No, no and no. While we're on that site, take a look at one man's mission to un-twist the tongues of netizens by substituting "www" with "web" in URLs.

Thursday, May 28, 1998

The New York Times - "Circuits" -Wanted: Web-Site Addresses That Won't Twist the Tongue

A short article by Pamela LiCalzi O'Connell.

Don't miss this wonderful article she wrote:
dear author, for salon
what happened when literary novelist vikram chandra put his email address on his books

Saturday, May 23, 1998

WEB WANDERER'S WORLD - weird, warped, whimsical, wacky, and wretched web wonderlands

A bunch of fun links

Monday, May 18, 1998

TBTF for 5/18/98: Unpronounceable - Yadda-yadda, wack-wack, and other oddities

Tasty Bits from the Technology Front - Don't miss this. It has some funny quotes on pronoucing techno-*:/@#! He even used the logo!

Saturday, October 25, 1997

New Scientist magazine, Letters section

Their webmaster saw my WebDot propaganda on a the élite email list mentioned below and forwarded it to the editor.

Tuesday, October 21, 1997

San Francisco Chronicle - Tom Abate's "Digital Bay" column

Early October, 1997

An elite moderated email list that wishes to remain silent.

Saturday, September 27, 1997

Posted on alt.www.webmaster

Friday, September 26, 1997

Keith Bostic's "Nev Dull" mailing list

Friday, September 26, 1997


A humor/technobabble/whatever mailing list

Monday, September 22, 1997

CNET Rumors page

Another chap has taken it upon himself to rid the Web of the letter "W." Well, not quite, but Dave Yost is mad as hell and won't take the dub-dub-dub anymore. He wants to replace the "www" in everyone's URL with "web," which rolls off the tongue much more mellifluously. Before you call him a nutter, say "wuh-wuh-wuh" ten times fast. Go on, I'll wait.

Convinced, smarty-pants? Now if we can just convince Yost to slim down the name of his crusade, "The Campaign To Replace 'double-you double-you double-you dot' With 'web-dot.'"

Thursday, September 18, 1997

Fun_People mailing list archived copy

It went out on Peter Langston's mailing list of mostly fun stuff for fun people.


If you've seen or heard mention of the WebDot campaign elsewhere, please let me know.


The earliest webdot site I've heard from is, also known as, in summer, 1993 (see the story on this).

The earliest www-dot site I've heard from is, in 12/92 or 1/93 (see the story on this).

If you know of earlier examples, please let me know.

Extra-techie details

You could dispense with the prefix altogether and use the simpler "". If this seems undesirable because you need to split off your http traffic to a different host or set of hosts, there are various wiggie solutions. [If anyone knows of a good link to information about this, please let me know, and I'll put it here.]

Feel free to use the graphic (especially if you link it to this page). - this page
1997-09-14 Created
1999-09-21 Modified
1999-11-16 Modified cosmetically