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The end of 2008 is coming up fast. So in common with virtually every other newspaper, magazine, website and blog out there, here’s our own take on the year. We’ve included some of the biggest stories and best posts we’ve produced over the last 12 months.

The Long Tail and an expensive domain

In January, we learnt more about the history of domain names (it’s more interesting than it sounds) and interviewed a chap from Microsoft about the end of the keyboard and robotic vacuum cleaners.

We also spoke to Chris Anderson, whose Long Tail theory has recently been challenged, and really stuck our necks out with the prediction that social networks like Facebook would get bigger in 2008.

February saw us nail another good interview, this time with Richard Moross, founder of They’ve been one of Britain’s biggest dotcom success stories, and it was good to hear how they’ve done it.

This was also the month when sold for £560,000 – that’s the most money ever paid for a .uk domain name. We considered spending a slightly more affordable $30 on a cool poster instead.

Finally, we spotted an interesting account of how the US military suffered from some confusion over domain names and covered a domain name dispute involving The Economist and a picture of an economist.

A million domains plus natural selection

In March, we became the first tagholder to hold a million .uk domain names on a single tag. No idea what that means? We explained it here.

The campaign to get Scotland its own domain name, (dotSCO) also got a fair bit of publicity (there are corresponding .eng and .cym campaigns). And we spoke to web analytics guru Brian Clifton about how you can use statistics to improve the performance of your website.

This busy month also saw us cover a topic we’ve returned to a couple of times since: domain name scams. If you own even just one domain, I’d say our guide to spotting the tricksters should be essential reading.

We didn’t fall victim to any April Fools’ jokes (or if we did, we haven’t realised it yet), but were impressed with Google’s planned partnership with Virgin to establish a human colony on Mars. Wonder how far they’ve got…

However, we did publish a good beginners’ guide to getting your business a profile online and explained the five components which make up a great pay per click advert. We also launched our domain name suggestion tool, which can help you find good domain names which are available.

We also got hold of Wendy Northcutt, the lady behind the Darwin Awards website.If you’ve ever stumbled across the Darwins, read any of the books or just had one of the stories forwarded on in an email, I recommend you have a read of our interview.

It explains how this cultural phenomenon grew from humble beginnings as a side feature on Wendy’s personal website. (It was a really interesting interview to do, not least because of Wendy’s infectious enthusiasm.)

Experiments with video and some cool tools

May rolled around remarkably quickly, and at the beginning of the month we were surprised to read that the .su domain, for the old Soviet Union (which ceased to exist 16 years ago) actually seems more popular than ever – despite attempts to phase it out.

We also decided to experiment with a digital camera, makeshift tripod and whiteboard to create a couple of instructional videos. See us explain how to write good web copy, and what Google looks for in a website.

Finally, we came up with six quick tips to make writing a creative brief easy, and IT company Akamai released a report looking at the state of the internet.

June saw us post a guide to choosing your domains (essential if you’re about to launch a business website).

We also tracked down six handy tools to test your website and reported on a domain name dispute involving an imaginary world and an 11-year-old boy.

And last but not least, a Wired article marked the 25th anniversary of the Domain Name System (DNS), and we reflected on how crucial that system is to today’s internet.

That’s it for the first half of 2008. You can read part two right now. But before you do, please leave a comment and tell us what events you’ll remember from 2008.

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