Half.com, Oregon, USA

After accidentally searching for “XMLHttpRequest” in Google Maps and discovering no such location exists, I wondered about the fate of half.com, Oregon. This is the town which changed its name from Halfway to half.com during the tulip-mania of the late 90s. Half.com the company continues as an ebay subsite and half.com the town lives on with that name.

Now here’s what made me chuckle. The town website makes very little of the name change:

Halfway (also known as Half.com), population 345, is a picturesque community located 40 miles southwest of Hells Canyon in Eastern Oregon. Consisting of hard-working, self-sufficient folks, the town of Half.com is a tight-knit community, full of tradition and camaraderie.

Now imagine doing some research on Halfway and discovering an incogruous description like that. Your reaction? Mine would be “HUH?” It certainly isn’t aiming to be a Silicon Valley copycat, so why the .com? Weird. (Come to think of it, I’m surprised all the Valley copycats called themselves “X Valley” and no-one created a “X.com” region instead.)

There is actually a page on that website which gives more info on the name change, but it’s not actually linked to. I think someone’s not too happy about the name change.

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