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The Internet

Is Domain Speculation Bust? 229

Posted by timothy
from the myownpersonalonlineportalpage.cx dept.
The latest Netcraft survey is more interesting than usual, because it reports a drop in the total number of registered domain names, as well as a decreasing number of sites reachable overall by the survey. It's been a traumatic year in the tech world, but the drop in domain names goes back to domain name buy-ups of 1999 (and looks like it will accelerate the same way domain speculation did in 2000). All is not gloom, though, and the number of registered domain names is not the same as the number of active sites. The Netcraft site points out that "as domains bought for speculative reasons are abandoned, we can expect a higher proportion of sites to be active." Read the rest of the survey report for more interesting information on the state of the domain world.
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Is Domain Speculation Bust?

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  • not only that... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I have seen some companies with literally hundreds of domains registered that are based on their "brand" and in various TLDs...

    As budgets get cut, and people wake up to the reality of the net you will probably see these registrations lapse...
    • Isn't that entire TLD predicated on the idea that companies will have to register their sites with them to avoid having them fall into the hands of speculators?

      Not that I'm feeling too sorry for them...
    • by aka-ed (459608) <robt.public@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @08:18PM (#2771934) Homepage Journal

      You may have noticed that, since February, entering a typo in the address bar of a browser is much less likely to send you to an advertising site. That's due to the FTC action against Gregory Lasrado [newsbytes.com]. This may have helped reduce the number of registrations.

      Once in a while the gov does something right.

    • No way - if you're a large organization with a couple of thousand domain names, it costs you maybe 20 dollars a year per name to keep them. What's 50k to a huge corporation?

      Thanks,
      Matt
    • by Anonymous Coward
      What is disturbing is that as the names expire, the registrars (register.com) do not put the name back in the pool of available names. Rather, they sit on it and force people to pay up to $200.00 to register it. This goes against fairness and this practice must stop. The only way to stop them is to sue them. It seems that the only theing they understand is a court order. Perhaps there is a smart lawyer out there who can make a class action lawsuit to force the registrars relinquish the names they are squatting on and force them to pay the resitration fees rather than getting a free ride on holding the names and extorting people to register it.
      • I've never heard this. Please cite evidence to support your claim.

        Thanks,
        Matt
      • Well, I don't understand how the current "top level" registry functions, but I cannot see how this could be possible? Perhaps the slimeball "registrars" are just taking advantage of some "grace period" in the hope that the registrant is unaware of it?

        The ones that *really* piss me off are the wannabe "registrars" (resellers) who scour the master registry and then send me email (to never-used contact email addresses) warning that I need to "act now" to register the .info or .biz flavors of my current domains. Those assholes in Oregon are #1 on my hit list!

        A significant improvement would be if ICANN (or whoever) would just occasionally test the contact information on domain records to insure it's validity?

        NetSol was bad enough - now we have a thousand "independant monopolies". Of course, the "government" would only make things worse if they get (more) involved - it's up to us to fix this! If it requires a road trip to Oregon, so be it.

        :|
        • Of course, the "government" would only make things worse if they get (more) involved - it's up to us to fix this!

          Um, who do you think it was that invented the DNS system? Who do you think ran it before NetSol and gave domain names out for free?
  • Bubble burst? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by filtersweep (415712)
    I always laughed at "speculating"- like anyone was getting rich buying those stupid names being auctioned off on ebay.... like www.iwzx.com (hey! it's only four easy letters to remember!)
    • Speculating (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @08:18PM (#2771933) Homepage Journal
      A few people did well reselling domain names (AltaVista Technology, the web hosting company, not the search engine, comes to mind), though I suspect these were mostly names that web pioneers had picked up for their own use, only to discover some deep-pockets company wanted them and were willing to pay.

      But once a few people got rich that way, naturally there was a "gold rush". It's no different than the Florida Land Bubble [paulsann.org], the tulip bubble [businessweek.com], or a zillion other speculative bubbles [clarity.net].

      For that matter, how different is the stock market, with its rumor-chasing mentality? Or modern currency, which is valuable only because you can use it to buy Goods and Services -- which are produced only because they're worth money!

      Which is not an argument for going back to the Gold Standard or shutting down Wall Street. It's just a reminder that speculation and fiat are both essential parts of a modern economy.

      • by seanadams.com (463190) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @09:17PM (#2772092) Homepage
        or a zillion other speculative bubbles [clarity.net] [clarity.net].

        There's an interesting paragraph near the bottom of that eassy, under "1997?". Freifeld tries to make a level-headed assesment of the stock market in 1997, putting it in the perspective of a half dozen bubbles he's just analyzed. His assessment:

        there are some telltale signs that the market for stocks has gone a bit too far

        But he admits:

        The bubble is as difficult to recognize before it's over as it is easy to spot in hindsight.

        We all knew it was getting too hot, but we didn't know how far it would go. Anyone who pulled out out of tech in 1997 could have easily quadrupled his money, had he sold in March Y2K instead.

        So why don't you /. kiddies quit bitching about how much domains were selling for, or how stupid the dotcom bubble was. If your foresight had been half as good as your hindsight, you'd all be billionaires right now from the companies you shorted in '99.
        • We all knew it was getting too hot, but we didn't know how far it would go.
          Buy quality for the long term, does the business plan make sense or is it all Blue Smoke and mirrors.
          Resource allocation helps a lot, if the riskier tech stocks pick up too much value compared to your solid blue chip's, reallocate.

          As far as domain name speculation goes, its about supply and demand. When Companies overestimated the economic potential of the web, names were scarce and therefore valuable in themselves, after the dotBomb most companies are a lot more careful about looking through the BS and some are positively gun-shy, making names plentifull and less valuable.

          As far as shorting stocks, you'd better only do it with money that you saved up for a Vegas trip, but remember slots there pay out 98.7%, and are probably a better deal!
    • There's more than a few cases of (stupid) companies paying hundreds of thousands to even millions of dollars for domain names back in the early days of the net rush.

      I think the record was something like 7 million for business.com (when's the last time you visited business.com? Heh heh)...

      So, people actually have gotten rich (or added to their wealth in some cases) doing this, but the time to do it was 2-3 years ago (selling names originally registered 4 or more years ago), not today.

    • I had one idiot spam me soliciting me to buy one of the the remaining 3 letter domain names he had for sale for hundreds of dollars. These were domains like jh3.net and 1aq.com and crap like that. I complained to his service provider which eventually got back to him and prompted him to call me at home and threaten to sell my name to all of the spam email providers. I told him that I'm probably already on those lists so don't bother. He mentioned something about already selling domain names for thousands of dollars and I uttered something about a fool and his money which caused him to hang up.

      I just checked on his domain that he was using to sell domain names and it is porn ad site now. Big shock there...
    • Re:Bubble burst? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by b1t r0t (216468)
      I have a 3-character .com domain name which I intentionally picked by using the random number function of a Casio calculator and a lookup table, just so I could have a 3-character name, and I thought it was a pretty decent one, too, for being random. That was back in March 2000.

      But that's not the interesting part. The interesting part was back in September 2000, when I noticed someone had taken the .net of my domain. Sure enough, some idiots with more money than sense had registered every possible 3-character .com and .net name that hadn't yet been taken. Not surprisingly, they didn't renew the .net of my domain in 2001.

  • Domain speculation was based on the same principles, and tied to, the dotcom revolution. As soon as people realized that speculating in companies that had no business plan to speak of, they pulled their money out of the market, which consequently left the dotcom people without any money to blow on expensive domain names. Thus, no one can sell obvious things like "business.com" for $400,000,000,000,000 or whatever.

    All I can say for myself is that I'm glad that bullshit has passed. I will no longer have to worry about having to pay a hefty sum for a domain I want just because it sounds trendy. More power to the people.

    • The bubble burst not because people pulled money out, but because they just stopped putting it in. And without actual revenue the money just drained out without being restored.
      • Otherwise known as a "pyramid scheme".
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Well, it's a bit more complicated than that -- lots of perfectly good ideas (or "business plans") were ruined because the investors said "You no longer have 'First Mover Advantage', and therefore you need to spend $100M in marketing in one year to build a customer base".

        Then of course, they said "You spent $100M of our money with nothing to show for it? No more financing for you!!"

        (But what was really going on was that smart Silly Valley capitalists were snooking backwater old money folks into flushing a bunch of their money into the local economy.

        People stopped putting money in because they had been taken for all they were worth. On to the next scam.)
    • $7.5M (Score:5, Interesting)

      by waldoj (8229) <[waldo] [at] [jaquith.org]> on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @08:19PM (#2771938) Homepage Journal
      Thus, no one can sell obvious things like "business.com" for $400,000,000,000,000 or whatever.

      business.com sold for -- I kid you not -- $7.5M US in November of 1999 [salon.com]. What were they thinking [business.com]?

      -Waldo Jaquith
      • $7.5M != $400,000,000,000,000 now, is it? :P
      • by noc (97855)
        business.com sold for -- I kid you not -- $7.5M US in November of 1999 [salon.com]. What were they thinking?

        "Damn I've got a lot of VC ... lessee, where can I throw it", perhaps?

      • Re:$7.5M (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rebbie (165490)
        The $7.5M was not really what the domain was worth or what was paid for it. It may look that way at first, but if you look at the facts you'll see that it was really a way to get the guy who sold it to come on board and to also garner publicity by paying a big name for the domain.

        It turned out to be more of a signing bonus at the expense of shareholders.

      • Re:$7.5M (Score:3, Informative)

        by rtaylor (70602)
        Thats nothing.. The sale of Webhosting.com to SBC adds another 2 digits to that amount (178 Mil CDN).

        http://www.canadacomputes.com/v3/story/1,1017,30 80 ,00.html?tag=132&sb=142

        Yes, they picked up a few clients and a few employees with the purchasse but it's still got to count for something :)
      • Re:$7.5M (Score:3, Funny)

        by rjamestaylor (117847)
        • business.com sold for -- I kid you not -- $7.5M US in November of 1999. What were they thinking?
        Apparently (by looking at the link [business.com]) they were thinking, "Yahoo!".
    • To: Microsoft Lawyers, Inc.
      From: Azathoth, Nyarlathotep and Hastur, Elder Attorneys

      Sirs:

      Our agents among the mortal herd have brought to Our attention your recent product entitled Windows '95. Therefore We now give you statutory notice of intent of proceedings to be taken against Microsoft by the Many-Angled Ones.

      With this suit We will show that Windows '95, and to a lesser extent all of the Microsoft range of products, infringe upon the recognised "look-and-feel" of the Elder Gods, for the following reasons:

      Windows '95 is a crawling abomination from the darkest pits of Hell; No man can be in its presence for too long without being driven into gibbering insanity; A cult who worship it exist in secret amongst the mortal herd; Those who associate with it for too long develop common physical characteristics, to wit: pale, clammy skin, bulging eyes, generally unkempt physical appearance, tendency towards nocturnal living, change in diet to that which normal men do not eat (in your case tacos, burgers and Jolt Coke; in Ours, human flesh, Fungi of Yuggoth and the blood of Alien Gods); Mysterious tomes that purport to explain this phenomenon are reputed to exist; they are bound in an unnatural substance and only available at a terrible cost to the user.The Microsoft range of products seek to utterly dominate the world, and force all who dwell there to live in eternal damnation.

      As you can see, Our case is very strong, especially when you consider that most judges prefer not to have chittering things with tentacles for faces scoop out their brains and eat them.

      We hope that you will consider these points carefully and settle out of court, since it is not Our intention to have your senior partners spend the rest of their mercifully short lives under heavy sedation in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. After all, it was the Lords of the Outer Planes who gave humanity lawyers in the first place.

      Respectfully yours,
      [Oddly disturbing squiggle in some sort of ichor]

      pp. J. Arthur Hastur, LL.B., B.C.L, B.D
    • Plus who is going to pay for their domain name from some squatter when you can get your lawyer to kick their head in for a fraction of the price?

      Xix.
  • The Horror (Score:3, Redundant)

    by spatrick_123 (459796) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @07:53PM (#2771843)
    Does this mean I should have gone to college instead of buying teenspanking.com?
    • Does this mean I should have gone to college instead of buying teenspanking.com?

      You're going to get a hiding from the domain name resolution committee....

      bada boom, ching!

    • Re:The Horror (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by gclef (96311)
      Does this mean I should have gone to college instead of buying teenspanking.com?



      Too late:

      [g-clef@vampire g-clef]$ whois teenspanking.com
      [whois.crsnic.net]

      Whois Server Version 1.3

      Domain names in the .com, .net, and .org domains can now be registered
      with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
      for detailed information.

      Domain Name: TEENSPANKING.COM
      Registrar: TUCOWS, INC.
      Whois Server: whois.opensrs.net
      Referral URL: http://www.opensrs.org
      Name Server: NS.ZF.NET
      Name Server: DNS.ZF.NET
      Updated Date: 05-nov-2001

      >>> Last update of whois database: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 16:59:30 EST

      The Registry database contains ONLY .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU domains and
      Registrars.

      [whois.opensrs.net]
      Registrant:
      NewPic.com Inc.
      9 East Loockerman Street
      Dover, DE 19901
      US

  • Was there any point at which this was not "bust?"

    Seems like nobody made any money and the people that did actually have valuable domains just got sued into the ground. (I am not making any value statement as to whether or not this is right or wrong...)

    The rest of us just got annoying spam.

    Maybe I'm wrong, though... Does anybody have any stories they can share of people who actually made real money doing this? I mean other than Network Solutions. ;)

    • Heh, well... even if Network Solutions did make lots of money because of this, in the end it didn't really help them as they were aquired by VeriSign last year [cnet.com].
    • Yeah way back... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Simon Carr (1788)
      Every once and a while people will, or should I say would have during the obvious period of madness. Now I'm not so sure. Search engines, especially good search engines like Google, have made it less profitable to just own the name and more profitable to have meaningful content or services.


      In short, instead of having business.com, or linux.com, it's probably best to have content ON business, and ON Linux. People can and will bookmark sites.

  • Not quite yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by AcidDan (150672) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @07:56PM (#2771850) Homepage
    Example: http://www.melbournecup.com/ The melbourne cup carnival

    about a year and a half ago this was a dodgy website for "Melbourne Cups"...

    I think domain speculation is going to be with us for quite awhile, but to be honest it really irks me. I hate the whole concept of sitting on something that you know someone else will have to buy off you.

    in .au land. When a company is registered, it automatically has rights to its .com.au name over anyone else. It ensures the registered business can have their online presence without having to negotiate around people already there and wanting $$$ for what you already essentially own... (doesn't apply to .orgs and .nets tho)

    Trademarks are a lot easier to enforce as I understand it, than company trading names...

    -- Dan =)
    • Re:Not quite yet... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dushbeer (547313) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @09:53PM (#2772184) Homepage
      ... ensures the registered business can have their online presence without having to negotiate around people already there and wanting $$$ for what you already essentially own...

      It works the other way around too. Take for example http://www.google.com.au/ which has been registered by a web hosting group that apparrently has nothing to do with the Google Inc. (the search engine we all know and use). Note that except for the URL, the word google is not mentioned anywhere on the abovementioned site, not even on their contact page, where the company is named as Dedicated Hosting Pty Ltd. Also note that Google Inc. owns an Australian Trademark for the word "google" in several computer related classes. Activities like this seem to be contrary to the spirit of the .au requirements for domain name registration.

      Anyone can effectively obtain an Australian business name to facilitate the registering of a .com.au domain, some companies even offer a business name/domain name combination for offshore visitors eg: http://www.instra.com.au/auzpack.htm

      Is this an example of an Australian business that has been registered with the sole purpose of domain squatting/speculation?

      • Dush, you really raise a very good point there!

        It's interesting to think of what holes there are in the system.

        I love the google example! Up until about 12-18 months before the xbox was released, xbox.com.au was a chinese news/information site (I wonder what problems M$ had there?), and would prolly fall under a "legitimate" category...

        I think you need some modding up on your points ;)
    • Re:Not quite yet... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Kallahar (227430)
      Keep in mind, though, that there can be multiple companies with the same name. In the US, the law is that they have to be in dissimalar businesses or be geographically separate (I think). So, for example, which corporation gets mcdonalds.com? mcdonalds fast food or mcdonalds wholesale foods? Is it might makes right?

      ICANN was supposed to arbitrate based on which group "deserves" the name, but we all know they tend to favor corporations heavily over normal people...

      That said, I really hate squatters :)
  • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @07:56PM (#2771852) Journal
    There will always be money in p0rn. Don't say that all dot.coms are bust.
  • Somewhat Ironic... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by instinctdesign (534196) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @07:58PM (#2771859) Homepage
    Its somewhat ironic that the drop is happening now, just as getting a domain name is cheaper and easier than ever before. I remember lot too long ago when I went to register my first domain name (www.instinctdesign.com) and the only option was Network Solutions at a wonderful 70 dollars a pop for the first two years. Since the break-up of that particular monopoly I have registered a number more for only ten dollars a year and if you buy in bulk (thank you, I'm not that nuts) it can get even cheaper prices. Odd though that the new TLDs only got a passing mention, sure was a lot of whoopla over what seems to have turned out to be... well, not much.
    • by fm6 (162816)
      remember lot too long ago when I went to register my first domain name (www.instinctdesign.com) and the only option was Network Solutions at a wonderful 70 dollars a pop for the first two years. Since the break-up of that particular monopoly I have registered a number more for only ten dollars a year...
      Well, to trot out another free-market cliche, there's No Free Lunch. Ever try to get a domain transferred from one host to another, and it turns out your registrar is staffed entirely by trained chimps? Or lose a domain because nobody notified you that it had expired? (That one actually happened to passport.com!) Given the value of a top-level domain name, $35/year seems awfully cheap.

      And if your activity isn't big enough to justify spending that much, is it big enough to require a top-level domain name? Second level domains are much cheaper -- many presence providers throw them in for free. If your hobby is boondockcountyhistory.org, does it really matter if you have to use boondock.goodhost.com? In fact, it would save a lot of hassle over major, and even minor, domain names if more people did that.

      Note that movie studios no longer bother to even contact the squatters who've grabbed ArnoldKillsAgain.com, finding they can make do with ArnoldKillsAgain.net or even bigstudio.com/ArnoldKillsAgain.

      • Well, to trot out another free-market cliche, there's No Free Lunch. Ever try to get a domain transferred from one host to another, and it turns out your registrar is staffed entirely by trained chimps? Or lose a domain because nobody notified you that it had expired? (That one actually happened to passport.com!) Given the value of a top-level domain name, $35/year seems awfully cheap.

        It sounds like you've never actually registered a domain name. By all accounts, NSI is staffed entirely by trained chimps who make it impossible to manage or transfer a dn registered with them.

        In contrast, the low-cost registrars have provided quite good service to many.

        In any case, paying NSI $35 is *not* worth it. Pay less, get more.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I notice Apache still has a commanding lead, but wonder how it would look on an actual machine basis. I know much of the low cost hosts run hundreds if not thousands of websites on one machine.

    I also wonder how many of those websites are more or less abandoned and/or derelict websites which are no longer maintained.
  • by vishakh (188958)
    IMO, this is further indication that the internet is maturing as a communications medium. Until last year, the net was fairly new and its nature and content evolved every month. I think we are finally beginning to realize what we are going to do with it.

    For starters, the days of the ideological, free internet are sadly over. Almost everyone experimented with the free model of the internet and a large proportion of those people failed in their efforts. We have now labelled every commodity with a price, something that will help this medium further.

    Then there are the signs that the infant internet is dying. The millions of badly-designed, rearely-updated pages are perishing, and a more well-woven web is taking over. The initial hysteria is gone, most people have already tried their hands at bulilding webpages and have given up due to their lack of talent and/or initiative.

    Thus I, for one, am happy at these new state of affairs. I'm not a big fan of paying for content, but that doesnt matter since there are ways of getting around it. I like the better content, the smoother usability and the more complex apps that are emerging today.
    • IMO, this is further indication that the internet is maturing as a communications medium. Until last year, the net was fairly new and its nature and content evolved every month. I think we are finally beginning to realize what we are going to do with it.

      Say what? Until last year?

      First, the hypertext transport protocol does not define the net (that's http to you youngsters).

      Second, the net's been around for more than a quarter century, and shows no signs of slowing down.

      Third, I think that you might want to hang around for a few years or so before you start to make pronouncements like this one. Check out the posts that Google has archived if you don't think your mistakes live forever. Mine sure do (and I left them there, why not?).

      Fourth, the internet is indeed maturing. It will continue to change, and grow, just as it has in the past. Remember, the future is stranger than we can imagine.

    • Yes companies are starting to realize that the web-space is mostly analogous to a magazine or radio. And like Magazines or Radio you need quality content to pull in impressions, and that the revenue is mostly from advertising subscription revenue covers little more than overhead.

      I think you are wrong about the web-space sorting out into a big-guys only thing, the same as there are a lot of hard to find specialty magazines, and narrow niche radio staions out there if you know where to look. I've often thought gee if I make a barbeque web-site and actualy made some money off it wouldn't my backyard cookouts become an R&D expense?
  • Anyone for www.willcodehtml4food.com? It's now up for grabs...since I'm not really in the Web design/development business at this point I really don't need it anymore. I had it registered at Dotster.
  • Must Sell! (Score:3, Funny)

    by DeadBugs (546475) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @08:11PM (#2771906) Homepage
    Due to these tough times I am forced to sell Squatter.com, which I have held on to for years hoping to cash in but never had any intention of using.
  • by WickedClean (230550)
    I wish my host would keep my site up. its been unavailable since new year's. If they blame Y2K, I'm dropping them.
    • If you're interested in reliable and inexpensive hosting of your site by geeks, check us out [fusix.com]. Remember all pricing is in Canadian dollars, so divide by 34095 to get the US dollar equivalent. ;)
  • by dnight (153296) <dnightNO@SPAMlakkadoo.com> on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @08:16PM (#2771925)
    Several weeks ago, I was sent an unsolicited "legalspeak" fax notifying me that I had 24 hours to respond, or I would lose all claim to the (My Company Name).info name. Interesting marketing technique.

    I called and pretended to be horrified that I would lose all claim to it, and told them our legal department would be in contact with them immediately to negotiate a settlement. The poor lady on the other end of the phone was conpletely thrown for a loop.

    The game is scored by minutes kept on the phone plus 5 points for every repeated phrase, and if you get the marketer to swear, we win automatically.

    Needless to say, it was great fun. :)
  • The .com bust did have something to do with it.

    But, also the Anti-Cybersquatting laws that put penalties for people cybersquatting and typo squatting. These penalties made it unprofitable to speculate. I'd like to see a law that would make it unprofitable to SPAM.

  • It is also possible Joe and Jane Blow don't want to register a domain and having every company with a trademark/product/copyright that even comes close to the domain name from sueing the crap out of them?
  • Sad isn't it... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xerithane (13482) <.xerithane. .at. .nerdfarm.org.> on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @08:37PM (#2771996) Homepage Journal
    It took them this many years to realize that they were just wasting their money. I'm currently waiting out on a domain because the guy is claiming that he has received bids for $900 for the domain so I have to beat that. I told him, "Sure - send me proof of one claim that I can verify and I will gladly bid higher to secure the domain name." It successfully terminated the conversation.

    I think it's really funny that all these nimrods are finally starting to realize that hoarding domain names only works if you get things like 'doctor.com'. I just have to laugh at all those folks who helped keep the registrars business flowing.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @08:45PM (#2772020) Homepage
    I expected this to happen, which is why I was against ".biz" domains as unnecessary. By now, everybody who has a viable business and wants a domain name has one. There's not much of a market left in names alone.

    Look at GreatDomains.com [greatdomains.com]. Skip the "list prices" for domains, and look at the "recent offers" listings, which are all in the few hundred dollar range. Realistically, that's where the prices are now. And those are offers for ".com" domains. Off-brand domains like ".ws" (Western Samoa), ".tv" (Tuvalu), and ".to" (Tonga) are almost worthless.

    ICANN is now starting up a "registry escrow" [icann.org] program to back up the registrars, so that when registrars go bust, the domains don't disappear. It's good that they're thinking ahead. A registrar shakeout is due.

    It's over.

    • I love how they don't list the dates [greatdomains.com] of the big domain name sales. Wasn't Drugs.com sold like 3 years ago?
    • I agree it's over. Just from my own experience... as my 40+ domains are coming due (yes, I am an idiot) I'm looking at spending 40 x $8 per year (minimum) to keep them and thinking, I really don't need avdx.com (which I did register, believe it or not).

      So now I'm trimming my domains down to my name (and a couple variations) and a "business idea" name that I'm keeping in hopes that somehow someone discovers my 3 year old BizPlanPro business plan I wrote and wants to send me some venture money... ;-)

      Just so I don't feel like a complete ass, I think everyone should volunteer their stupidest domain name they registered during the frenzy.

      -Russ

      P.S. Hmmmm, what's this "No Score +1 bonus thing...
    • Auctions are dead. Look at DomainAuction. [domainauction.com] I don't see any bids. Just endless rows of "bids: 0".

      "optimum.com" is available there for £25. If anybody cares.

      Some jerk is trying to sell GodBlessAmerica.org [ebay.com] on Ebay, for $250,000 to $1,000,000. 14 minutes to go in the auction, and no bids.

  • by diamond0 (456988)
    I used to get six-figure "offers" for my domain (diamond.org) back in 2000.

    None of them ever came through, though.

    The cash woulda been nice, too
  • From the Netcraft survey:

    The introduction of the new domains like .biz, and increasing internet development in parts of the world, will counter the abandonment of existing domains.

    Somehow, I doubt it. The new TLDs really don't seem to be working out for anyone -- I haven't seen a single ad or packaging or anything directing me to someone's .BIZ address, and I sure don't know anyone who has registered one.

    I suppose the "we got COM, NET, and ORG, gotta get BIZ!" people like CompUSA might be able to help counter the trend, but I don't think there's enough of those greedy bastards to do it.

    Good thing, too. I knew things were getting out of hand when someone squatted [roadflares.org] my domain. [roadflares.org]

    --saint
  • Hurrah! (Score:3, Informative)

    by newbob (546783) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @08:59PM (#2772054) Journal
    If this ever was profitable, especially for "alternate domains", scared execs that kept this going.

    I work for a Big Media Company, and when the .tv domain became available for people in the US to buy, we were asked "Shouldn't we hurry and register Big Media Company.TV before someone else gets it?"

    Fortunately, cool heads prevailed. We reasoned, a year ago, that the battle was over and .com won. And if anyone dared to put up a site BigMediaCompany.tv that infringed on our trademark in well accepted legal ways, we'd just sue them.

    Nobody has ever dared use our "BigMediaCompany.tv" and we saved the $50K that the .tv folks wanted. Basically, the .tv people were blackmailing the Fortune 500.

    Note for the dense: our company name isn't really BigMediaCompany

    • I wonder if that means that the people of Tuvalu are among the few winners of the dot com boom. DIdn't they sell the .tv rights for millions, which was probably more than anyone ever garnered for .tv domain sales?

      ostiguy
      • Re:Hurrah! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rebbie (165490)
        Yes -- and the buyer? The dolts at Idealab! who have squandered $800 million or so of their investor's money on their various hair-brained ideas.

  • Good article (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nikoftime (544802)
    Anyone else find it absolutely fascinating that Network Solutions' policies, even well after the buyout by Verisign, still affect the 'internet economy' greatly. I mean, just their original monopolizing option of making people buy a two year registration caused us to have a major fallout after that time period. It's always seemed odd to me that companies can have that much effect and general will over the economy and society as a whole.
  • As others have mentioned, E-Business is maturing, though I would say it still hasn't graduated from infant stage. Only now is Microsoft windows really maturing to teenage state. Even though things on the internet progress faster than previous technologies, it's all relative. It took the automotive industry a whole century to mature to the current state.

    I would hold judgement about E-business for another ten years before pronouncing it mature. Technology can only move as fast as people's ability to learn and take it for granted. Remember a lot of people still do not have computers or internet access. Those of us fortunate enough to work in the IT industry often forget most of the world doesn't percieve the internet the same way.

    We'll know when the internet has matured when everyone takes it for granted. Just like cars, trains, telephone, bicycle and planes.

  • I run a perfectly legitimate domain (a book review site) from my house. Due to Verizon's brain-dead policies, though, I have to run it on a non-80 port. Is there a way to point Netcraft at this server so I can register it with my choice of server software?

    You may be inclined to answer "If you aren't on 80, you aren't a Big Player" but that's bullcrap. They count all those "build your own site" pieces of crap, plus everybody who forgot to turn off Personal Web Services. Why not me, too?

  • First of all, everything's fairly logical and shouldn't shock anyone. The economy's contracting, negative growth, and that means companies are getting smaller, firing workers, or going out of business all together if their fundamental's weren't solid (remember a rising tide lifts all boats, but the tide isn't rising.) So they have fewer people, need fewer technical support people, and perhaps put those programming projects on hold. In general it would seem a recession hits techs hard. That being said, the free-fall in the stock market that started drying up all the venture capital began about 2 years ago this April. If memory serves just about all the domains are rented for two years, at least it was the way it was done two years ago. Since things haven't turned around, no one will be renewing them. Remember, a great deal of dotcom names are tied to company names. If they don't exist anymore they too will go away. And if the economy stagnates, or continues to go down there will not be new registries. Personal sites may fill in the gap, but how many web developers can their be in the world 10 million? How many of them don't already have their own personal pages? So it is not a rosey outlook at all. However even though the internet is doomed to be smaller in this sense, it doesn't mean that this has anything to do job prospects for techies (or mean that the internet will implode like a reverse big bang). Whatever has failed, will lose their registry. Also remember most of those "dotcoms" took out TONS of domain names (at least the one I worked at did) figuring the cash to roll it out would follow. My feeling is that we work in an elastic sector and when the companies go back to making server and software purchases they will have to hire people to utilize them, regardless of how many domains exist in the world.
  • IMHO, more significant (to say nothing of distrubing) than the domain name reduction is the huge spike in use of Microsoft web servers starting last June. The spike continues unabated [netcraft.com] through the summer of Code Red [cert.org] and Nimda [cert.org].

    What is it that caused this surge in Microsoft web servers? And what is it that causes these clueless dweebs to ignore the substantial risks [zdnet.com] of employing Microsoft web servers?

    Crispin
    ----
    Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.
    Chief Scientist, WireX Communications, Inc. [wirex.com]
    Immunix: [immunix.org] Security Hardened Linux Distribution
    Available for purchase [wirex.com]

  • it's still [ebay.com] going on..
  • I think that companies like networksolutions and etc have to have right to drop domain name if it's not active in 2 months. Not sure if the really care but hey!

    Keep the net clean for our children:)
  • by NineNine (235196) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:12AM (#2772485)
    A big reason that there just aren't many domain names available any more is is Network Solutions, when a domain that they serve as registrar for expires, Network Solutions hold it for themselves. Rumor is that they were going to auction off all of their illegally collected domains at one point, but that still hasn't happened. Network Solutions is currently squatting on several domains of mine that I had let expire.
  • The author Ann Rule does not have the domain annrule.com because someone registered it way back in 1996. The person who got it tried to shake her down for some bucks; she instead registered annrules.com [annrules.com]. annrule.com goes to some sort of celebrity portal.

    There was also the odd case of peta.org. Some guy registered peta.org, and set up a web site: People Eating Tasty Animals [mtd.com]. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the somewhat more famous group with the initials PETA, objected to this. They contested the domain name and Network Solutions yanked the domain and handed it over to PETA.

    Then there was my own sad story. I looked into who owns the domain name qv.org, and found that a web hosting company is sitting on it; they offered me a chance to take it over for a mere $1000. "It's one of the rare remaining 2-letter domain names," I was told. I suspect it will be a long time before anyone pays them $1000 for a .org name, 2-letter or no.

    steveha
  • I dunno--domain name speculation and stealing seems to still be going on. There used to be a wonderful site at www.mixdrinks.com. It was owned by a bartender who put his magnum opus on the net. He even had old-time pictures of his ancestors in the banners.

    It's now being glommed onto by *#@(!$ thieves, more's the pity. And the bartender's work has disappeared. Wish I knew where to find it--it did well for me back in school:-)

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike

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