There’s this wonderful racket on the net, that makes tons of money for nothing. It’s heavily marketed, littered with up-sells of all kinds, and priced arbitrarily. It’s easy to join in as a business partner, and hard to do well.
That racket is called the domain name business. Everyone who wants to be seen on the web has to get at least one domain, or at least share one with a few close friends and total strangers. The best part of it is that all the good names are taken, and none of them are being used for anything relevant. Ad polluters buy up tons of domains, stick their garbage link pages on there, sometimes even spyware, and abuse both the DNS system and the advertisers. The net result is that legitimate webmasters can’t get good names for their cool new projects, and advertisers lower their payouts to everyone because they can’t tell the good guys from the bad. It’s like an investor buying up all the houses on your street (save for yours) and replacing them with telemarketers, door-to-door insurance salesmen. and scientologists!
I was searching for a few domains for upcoming projects of mine, and out of maybe 30 appropriate names that were already taken, only 2 actually offered valid content, the rest just led to a page full of random ads, posing as a search engine or even offering to resell the name at a ridiculous premium. One particularly heinous site is registered as a “.ca” Canadian site, yet redirects to an Australian site where peddlers can list their shoddy flea-market wares. They can’t even ship to Canada… what the hell ?!
So as it is, I have to keep looking, trying to come up with a cool name that’s not being held hostage by some little e-dipshit. What makes this so much harder is that I have to register a whole bunch of names. Let’s say, for sake of example, I wanted to buy www.flyingtoasters.com. Well I can buy that name, but what if the average illiterate American types “flyingtoaster.com” or “flyingtoster.com” or maybe even “fryingtoaster.com” ? They won’t find my site unless I own all those too. What’s dirty is that if I don’t get them, someone else certainly will, just to prey on my ignorant visitors. After all, that’s how some people defrauded Paypal members back in the day, using PaypaI.com with an uppercase ‘I’ instead of an “L”. I certainly don’t want my customers to get scammed by someone posing as me. Sadly there is still not much to be done against these scammers, unless you want to take them to court with your trademark and hope to god they don’t live in Russia, Korea or any other legally weak territory, then you’re just plain screwed.
Some people would say this is fair in a free world, as it doesn’t violate any of the rules surrounding domain names, but I beg to differ. There are some people who are always looking for loopholes to exploit the system, and I call these people “scum-sucking half-breed assholes”. Then there are honest, respectful people who connect the dots and look at the intent of the rules; the big picture, so to speak. These kind souls understand that just because you CAN do something deceitful and abusive, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Well I think the good guys need to stock up on ammo and wage war with the scum-suckers before they turn everything we know into corporate landfill. The internet used to be a nice place before it got overrun by all these failed humans trying to score a fast buck.