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Lets Keep it Real Folks: The domain industry is a dirty business.

January 11, 2008

I was emailed an article today that alerted me to something I had long suspected was true. Plenty of people are watching me when I search for a domain name. Currently, Slamwire owns several domains. We have projects that come our way from time to time, and one of the first things to do (even before we fully hash the plan out) is to grab the domain we would want to use. This is because the domain industry is as cut throat as anything on the web. The article explains that Network Solutions, one of the original industry leaders in the Web 1.0 generation and still a place many people go to purchase domain names, is engaging in a practice they are supposed to be preventing. If you were to go to their website and search for a domain name then fail to purchase it, they may hold grab it and hold it in escrow for 4 days. Why? They claim it is to deter scammers and squatters from snatching it before a rightful owner could come get it.

I just totally disagree with this practice. The idea is, if someone who supposedly should have rightful use of a domain doesn’t get to the domain name first, someone else will buy it. They say that they should protect people. I say that a domain name is such an integral part of anything that you do, that you should consider spending the money to buy it before anyone else knows about it. Maybe this doesn’t make sense to you, but it does to me.

Example:

If John opens up “John’s Beer Emporium” in downtown NY but fails to register johnsbeeremporium.com, why should I be prevented from buying it? The real estate industry was BUILT on moves like this, and no one is crying for it to be regulated. No one would penalize me if John openly said he wanted to expand to the vacant lot next door, and I purchased it first, then offered to sell it to him a t a premium. If you are in business and don’t own the pertinent domain to your brand, you only have yourself to blame. The Internet isn’t a new thing, and you should know that you need a website with a good domain name. If you don’t, your not a good business person. Period.

This whole thing is why I use GoDaddy.com and not Network Solutions. Not only are they cheaper ($9.99 for a domain and not $30), but they act ethically, and Bob Parsons (godaddy’s founder) is at the forefront of the industry, demanding change and protecting his users. Network Solutions can kiss it.

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