I realize that the majority of the generation preceeding mine is not as computer-savvy, but there are some things they say and do that just make me want to stick my head into a vat of boiling pig's feet then hurl myself headfirst at the ignoramuses. I have heard/seen the following situation too many times:

And we'll just stick that information up there on the screen. If you want to know more you can log onto our website and the address for that is information@localnewschannel.com.

This is not a website! Do not confuse those who are as lost as you! I know there are people who type the aforementioned address into the location bar and are baffled as to why a website does not magically appear.

This irks me to insanity. Please, please, please--if you are one of the offenders realize that you can change your ways (and educate others in the process)! I am in no way perfect, but I've achieved some level of sufficiency in areas because I learned from my mistakes. Do the world a favor and do the same.


If any of this comes off as sounding mean, I'm sorry...but it just annoys me...

While working on tech support at my old job, I came across this confusion regularly. Clients fervently believed that an email address was a website. They also ran Windows 97, and didn't need a modem to access the internet.

On one occasion I received an email from a woman complaining that when she went to a website she was prompted for a username and password, which she did not have. She didn't give me a url for her problem website, but she did give me the company name. I did some research, and found that although the domain was registered, it in fact had no website, not that I could find.

Being young, and full of belief in the capability of users (so cruelly shattered in the months to come), I asked her what the URL was.
Her response? An email address. That was one cause of her problem, but then why was she asked for user name and password?
So I did something I had never even thought of doing before - I typed an email address into my browser's address bar.
And was taken to the login page for that ISP's web based email, which prompted me for a user name and password.

Since then I have done some research, and this process seems to be related to the browser used. A telnet on port 80 to the email address fails. If one telnets to the website (e.g. hotmail.com) and then attempts to GET email@hotmail.com) the request will also fail. This means that at least some web browsers have a feature that detects an @ symbol in the URL given by the user, and visits the domain instead. In some cases, if the domain request fails, some subdomains (mail.domain.com, webmail.domain.com) will be tried. The browsers that have been tested for this support are:

Yet another example of lack of knowledge defining trends and practices.

Actually, sometimes it is a website.

The Collegedale Credit Union's website (for example) used to be listed as http://ccu@collegedale.org/ ... which actually works, even though their mailto: link points to the "same" address.

(And I'm pretty sure it's not just a Microsoftish "embrace and extend" autocorrecting URL entries, because it works in Lynx too--I just checked.)

I suspect that the @ and anything before it is simply dropped, so the users should still get a page, even if not necessarily what they were looking for... You can remain smug in the knowledge that you know better.

What bothers me more is the phrase "log on to our website", for websites that don't have logins.

"the majority of the generation preceeding mine"

It isn't just any one generation. Some students in my (university) Introduction to the Internet class have trouble grasping the concept that the Internet includes other things than the World Wide Web. Especially those who click on mailto links in a web browser (which in our public lab is not set up to do e-mail, as you would have to go into the settings and change the return address for each user) and, on receiving an error message, say "the web site didn't work."

There are also cases like those of expanets.com, which has various advertisements spelling their address "exp@nets.com" (which when I try it, gives an error message if you actually type it in that way). Apparently no one explained to them that all those symbols actually mean something.

http://ccu@collegedale.org/ works because it is correct, at least technically. It's loging in as ccu to collegdale.org over http. The server rightly ignores this, as no login is necessary. The full setup is:

protocol://username:password@domain.tld:port/directory/file

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