I enjoy reading and learning new things, and the internet is a fascinating place to do that. Of course, it's also a convenient place to get addicted to things like gambling, pornography and social networking. But thankfully it's possible to avoid the vices and to use the internet for some wholesome learning.
Most people today, like myself, know their way around the internet for a lot of things, but probably know very little about how it all works. Most of us know how to find an internet domain like google.com without any trouble. Many of us have even taken the next step to pay bills or shop online or even to start our own blog. But we would probably have a harder time setting up our own website with our own original domain name, like giggle.com (which is already taken, by the way).
So, recently I learned a little about domain names on the internet. You see, I had this idea about starting a website, so I inquired online about a certain domain name. Unfortunately, my brilliant idea for a dot com name was already taken. Darn.
I did notice, however, that the website at that address was being utilized merely for advertising purposes, so I became curious about whether or not the owner would be interested in selling. It actually didn't take much searching to find the owner's name, address and phone number, and of course his email address. Incidentally, he is from Canada and lives a couple hours from my hometown. His name is Garry.
I sent Garry a short note from my BlackBerry asking if he was interested in selling that particular domain name. Within hours, Garry sent back a personal reply, albeit short. He was not really interested in selling, and if he was, the price would be about $15,000 USD.
I told him that I wasn't really interested in that kind of investment at this stage. Yeah, not even close.
I was, however, just a little bit curious about how this guy named Garry from a little town in BC could be dealing in domains of such value. Well, thanks to Google, I found out pretty quickly that $15,000 USD is relatively small money in this market, at least for the good names. Just last week, server.com was sold for $770,000 and jesus.net went for $124,000. Sadly, the biggest domain sale to date happened a few years ago when porn.com was reportedly sold for a sum of 10 million dollars. Such is the world, including the world of the internet.
I also found out that this Garry is quite a big player in the domain game. A former electrician, Garry started buying up domain names in the 1990’s and eventually developed one of the most impressive portfolios in the world, which has made him millions of dollars. He was also a pioneer of sorts in using his various sites, numbering in the thousands, to make money through links and advertising. In fact, it was Garry who inspired another obscure Canadian named Frank to broaden his thinking in regard to internet domains. Frank subsequently developed the most prestigious collection of domain names in the world, and he still calls Garry his mentor. Even though Frank entered the game late, he now owns domains in the hundreds of thousands and is said to be worth over a billion dollars. (You can read Frank’s story, including the part about Garry, at http://www.dnjournal.com/cover/2007/december.htm or you can read the full story on this subject in David Kesmodel’s book, The Domain Game, also at thedomaingame.com).
It was especially fascinating for me to read about Garry after being in touch with him by email. It felt strange to have had such quick and easy communication with someone so famous in his field.
Despite the fact that I find this stuff fun to learn about, one thing is for sure, I’m not about to enter the domain game, especially not at Garry’s level. I clearly do not have the mind or the drive for such ventures. However, let it be known that I did proceed to buy a domain name, a dot com even, for the site that I may open for business someday. My own piece of internet real estate cost me $20. I’ll let you know if I ever gain back my investment.