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A Truly Foolish Domain Name

In honour of April Fools’ Day, I thought I’d share with you one of the most foolish domain names I’ve come across so far this year.

I discovered this little gem when I was driving around one rainy night in Los Angeles. While stopped at a red light, I looked up and saw a large billboard ad for a vehicle donation charity.

I couldn’t believe what I saw…

(Apologies in advance; because of the rain my photos are not great.)

Worst_domain_ever_01_2

Worst_domain_ever_02

It’s a bit hard to make out, but according to this billboard the domain name for this organization is:

kars-4-kids.org

That’s right, "kars" with a "k", plus not just one but TWO dashes, and all ending in a .org domain extension.

Good luck trying to remember this domain name!

Thankfully, I had a camera with me to record the domain name, so when I got back to my computer I typed in www.kars-4-kids.org.

Guess what? The billboard got it wrong!

kars-4-kids.org is not owned by the organization, and is in fact just a parked domain.

The organization can actually be found at kars4kids.org (without the dashes).

Somebody please fire the genius who thought it would be a great idea to add a few dashes to the domain name and then spend who knows how much plastering it on billboards all over the country.

But it gets even better, or worse, depending on how you look at it…

What if you didn’t happen to have a photo of the billboard and had to rely on memory? Hey, it could happen.

Say, for instance, when you next found yourself at a computer you typed in carsforkids.org.

Turns out that carsforkids.org takes you to a different organization doing roughly the same thing: charitable donations of cars for kids!

I kid you not.

7 Comments

  1. Barry Welford
    Barry Welford April 1, 2008

    I’m a sucker for posts like this. 🙂
    It’s amazing that the folk behind this don’t have any friends who can do some ‘user tests’ for them. Still even big corporations often don’t do user tests, so what kind of role models are available to remind them how to do it the right way.

  2. Chris
    Chris April 2, 2008

    Ouch – that’s rough.
    Great story, good lesson.

  3. tom
    tom April 2, 2008

    probably a print designers mistake…

  4. Corby Fine
    Corby Fine April 7, 2008

    It wouldn’t be half as bad if they could simply display it properly. Yeah, ok it was awful!

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