Baby domain names. I keep thinking I've heard it all, and I keep discovering that I haven't.
A small but growing number of parents are getting domain names for their young kids, long before they can do more than peck aimlessly at a keyboard.
It's not known exactly how many, but the practice is no longer limited to parents in Web design or information technology.
They worry that the name of choice might not be available by the time their babies become teens or adults, just as someone claimed the ".com" for Britney Spears' 11-month-old son before she could.
The trend hints at the potential importance of domain names in establishing one's future digital identity.
Think of how much a typical teen's online life now revolves around Facebook or News Corp.'s MySpace. Imagine if one day the domain could take you directly to those social-networking profiles, blogs, photo albums and more.
"It is the starting point for your online identity," said Warren Adelman, president of registration company GoDaddy.com Inc., which sells basic domain name packages for about $9 a year. "We do believe the domain name is the foundation upon which all the other Internet services are based."