Spelling out http://www.members.webplicitycustomsites.com

Members.WebplicityCustomSites.com – A sandwich shop site that never was

Show & Episode:
Community – Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts (S03E11)

Context :
Greendale Community College students and study group members Shirley Bennett and Pierce Hawthorne work together to try to open a sandwich shop in the school cafeteria, with Shirley supplying the business know-how and background and Pierce supplying the money while trying to prove his business acumen (and lack thereof.)

After saying that he’s set up a meeting with the dean to pitch their sandwich shop, Pierce mentions that he’s already registered a website for the business. Which he starts to spell out in the way that only the truly clueless can.

Spelling out http://www.members.webplicitycustomsites.com
Do I put that into the AOL or the Google?

What makes this URL interesting is how it was handled on the administration end.

Is it real?
Absolutely. WHOIS shows the domain webplicitycustomsites.com registered to Sony Pictures, and if you put it in your browser it redirects to the Community show page which is an excellent use of the domain and something I strongly encourage all show webmasters to do.

HOWEVER, if you put in Pierce’s FULL URL – www.members.webplicitycustomsites.com – it doesn’t resolve to a page or site. It appears as though the administrator for the domain set up the redirect for the second-level domain “webplicitycustomsites”, but not for the third-level/sub-domain “members”.

So why use “members.webplicitycustomsites.com” instead of “webplicitycustomsites.com” in the first place? Strictly guessing, but I think it was just funnier to have Pierce spell out a longer URL, and when the script/technical supervisor sent the request to have the domain registered and redirected (which happened on 11/04/2011, during or shortly after the episode was filmed), they either forgot to indicate the sub-domain or it was missed. It’s also entirely possible that this is part of an ongoing gag and we’ll find out later on that Pierce has a personal website set up at Webplicity Custom Sites that he’ll spell out at a further date.

If that’s not the case and this was just a mistake, I don’t think it subtracts from the original gag or the good business practices of registering and redirecting the domain to the show page in the first place. It’s just an interesting instance of where domain administration can go astray during show production.