The tremendous influx of traffic to Mastodon got me thinking that it might finally be time to set up my own instance, and how-to posts from Jacob and Simon have only increased that interest. But as a little branding excercise, and especially if I want to offer accounts to a few close friends, surely I could do something a little more fun than just my first and last name.
Many Mastodon instances are on subdomains, and since the early days weirder new-style TLDs have been de rigueur. (The flagship has always been at a
.social!) So I set out to find three-word phrases where the third word is a 4+-letter top-level domain, using as my first source text Moby Dick.
The results were great! The script I wrote output all possible options, which I then spot-checked to see which were available, but I’ve since updated the script to do a quick
whois check to see if the domain is already registered. (
whois support is a little spotty for some of the weirder domains, so many are inconclusive, but I was surprised at some of the good ones available.) As of right now, here are some possible instances available for registration:
Wouldn’t those all be great places to call your home in the fediverse?
Normally I would wonder to myself if this kind of thought experiment is cool but this time I feel like I’ve got external validation in the form of the reaction to this thread on Mastodon, which has also been great. Somebody even bought the saddest.city domain on the strength of the strangest.saddest.city find.
People responded with some cool possible instance names from The Great Gatsby, Frankenstein, White Noise, the King James Bible and more. Really fun.
The little Python script that finds these uses NLTK to tokenize big text files first into sentences and then, within sentences, into words. Then it checks to see if there are three long-ish words in a row where the third one is on a list of TLDs. Since posting that script on Mastodon yesterday, I’ve updated it with the built-in
whois check as well.
As of now, I’m still tooting from a boring old (well-run!) general purpose instance, though who knows… with almost.microscopic.network available, maybe I will move soon.