I have seen both this and this, and I am asking "the other side of the coin", in a way. What I was wondering is: why didn't we make the play on the Think Different campaign in the URL as well as in the site? It is strange to have a site called AskDifferent whose URL is apple.stackexchange.com… Why not askdifferent.com? After all, SO has stackoverflow.com, not .stackexchange.com, and same goes for AskUbuntu's askubuntu.com…

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I'll hazard some thought as I was around when this was discussed with the moderators at that moment in time. I have speculation and opinions, but they are just that other than links to other posts.

The people that run the site registered http://askdifferent.com and point it to the name apple.stackexchange.com and the why is for them to answer. I think it had to do with not setting more precedent in making a custom name other than the original trilogy or a preference to market/brand things consistently for web market share numbers or appearances in building the reputation of the network. Having a custom domain necessarily weakens the link to the branding of the company and some process or some one made that call a while back.

The community has voted pretty overwhelmingly to have things the other way around - have the site served out of a custom name and have requests from the apple.stackexchange.com resolve to the custom name, but those are just internet votes and not anyone that has actual authority to make any change.

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This is covered (for all SE sites) in this blog post.

I believe SO, SU, AskUbuntu, and any others have those names purely for historical reasons. SO because it's SO; I think AU was independent before it joined SE; not sure about SU, maybe just because it's old enough to have slipped through.

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  • Ask Ubuntu is named because Canonical has an ownership stake, so it's eligible to use the Trademark. – Jason Salaz Dec 30 '15 at 23:10

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