Doug Guetzloe, one of central Florida’s most prominent suspected criminals had long eluded criminal charges by denying any knowledge of unethical activities that prosecutors were sure he was involved in. However, late last year, Guetzloe missed a payment on his rental storage locker, and a curious citizen bought the contents for $10 and gave it to the police. Based on early readings of the storage-locker papers, Guetzloe was indicted for felony perjury in March, and the case continues. Pretty interesting stuff? Doesn’t have much to do with making money online though … or does it.
Back in 1995, two “crazy” guys, Jack Smith and Sabeer Bhatia thought up the idea of offering free, web-based email service to anyone with an HTML web browser. They named the service and their all-important home page HoTMaiL.com … the capitalized letters signifying that the service was based on the HTML mark up language standards. In two years they had over 8,000,000 users and were bought out by Microsoft for $400,000,000 USD. The “big M” rolled HotMail into their huge investment in MSN.com and now many more than those original 8.5 million folks get their mail at hotmail.com or msn.com. How about those who type in “MSNhotmail” … which is, after all, what Microsoft officially calls the service? Well, up until the 17th of this month they got redirected to msn.com. What happened on the 17th? You might have guessed, Microsoft Corporation, the registered owner of the domain let it expire. It is now in the ICANN Redemption “limbo” time period and someone will surely get it … but it won’t be Microsoft unless they outbid everyone else who wants to take a flyer on the name. Very similar to the faux pas of Mr. Guetzloe in my first paragraph, I’d say.
I talked about a little part of domaining in my last post, and there seems to be some interest, so let me give you Dave’s tip for the day. You won’t have to supply your email address, sign up to any service or even get up out of your chair. Just:
- Make a list of every domain you currently own, active or not. (even paper an pencil will work)
- Go to the registrar of each and every domain, or go to www.domaintools.com and confirm the expiration date.
- Double check that your email for the administrative contact is correct … an address that you actually use.
- Write the expiration date down! And then save the list. If you’re a high-tech web guy like me (NOT), go to Google or Yahoo!, preferably both, and using their free calendar/reminder services set a reminder to alert you when the due date is close.
That’s it. If you take those four simple steps, from the comfort of your computer chair, you’ll be miles ahead of most of the dot com moguls of the world, even Microsoft. If one of those domains of yours turns out to be the next Hotmail or YouTube or MyBlogLog you won’t lose it to the expired domain watchers.