November 25, 2009 3 Comments AUTHOR: brucemarler CATEGORIES: Domains Tags: , , , ,

Jack Rickard Gets dotME And Electric Cars

Sorry for not posting yesterday, but I had the pleasure of spending what was one of the more enjoyable nights of conversation about the history of the commercial Internet and life in general tonight. I am starting to think there is a technology mafia in Southeast Missouri as more and more I run into people or stories that surprise me to be in my own backyard.

Tonight I spent 6 hours with Kevin Cantwell (President of Big River Telephone) and Jack Rickard, now for people that had not started their professional career at the time that the commercial Internet really took off (mid 90s) or were not involved in the BBS world you may not be familiar with Jack, for me though this was a surprise connection that took me back to the inception of my professional career.

Jack Rickard founded Boardwatch magazine, the magazine was initially focused on BBS systems but during the mid-90s became the DE FACTO resource for information on ISPs and companies building out what is now the Internet you use everyday. Although the Internet had started well before the mid 90s it was really during that time that companies began investing heavily to make it what it is. Well, Jack was the one responsible for building the most popular magazine of the time, I can honestly say I remember anxiously awaiting for the magazine to arrive each month so I could analyze and read the details of the IP backbones of the various service providers like UUNET, PSI, BBN, ATT (I was helping to build this one), and others.

This was my monthly Internet bible until it was acquired in the late 90s. Kevin had set the meeting up since he knew Jack and I would have some great conversations, and we did, talking about everything from great Whiskey to service providers trying to hide network details from his team.

As luck would have it Jack, who would have to be considered one of the leaders of the industry at that time, lives just 85 miles from me in Cape Girardeau, MO. So, one of the leaders of the building out of the commercial Internet happens to live in the same town as Aron Meystedt who owns which was the FIRST dotCOM every bought. I know that may not seem like a big deal, but for someone who is both a domainer and who worked hard in that era that is pretty neat stuff to me.

OK, now for the domaining twist. I have to point out that first off I had no idea who Kevin was setting me up to meet before I read the email for setting a time, and then when I saw the domain that Jack was using a big smile crossed my face. Jack uses a dotME as his primary address. He chooses too. Keep in mind we had not spoke before tonight so for me to see an END USER choosing dotME who happens to be a very successful business man AND a technology guy from the early era of the Internet. So, kudos to him for recognizing the potential for branding of a .ME.

A bit more about that, keep in mind this is a guy who has been around this little thing called the Internet for as long as anyone and was better connected than virtually anyone and he feels that dotME was the first extension to come out since .COM that had legs. He said he was sold the first time he saw it. He feels that .ME will always be more memorable than .NETs, .ORGS and others since it is so catchy and memorable, and only 2 letters. As you well know I agree, and I did not even coach him to say that, as you can imagine I was smiling the whole time.

Jack is currently using his passion for converting cars to electric to create a series of videos on, check out his 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster, got to see it tonight, it flew down the road without making a noise, amazing.

Anyway, although meeting Jack may not interest some of you, if there are any of you out there that were helping build out the interconnected backbones that are the Internet in the mid 90s or were into BBS dial ins before that you likely read Boardwatch and can appreciate the history we shared.

Ummm, does this mean I am not a newbie:)


  1. Aron 7 years ago says:

    Congrats on the great evening.

    Thanks for the mention as well.

    Sounds like such a fun evening. :)


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