Forget Me Not

April 26, 2007 Posted by ROI_Guy
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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.

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Posted: April 26th, 2007 under Guest Posts  

12 Responses to “Forget Me Not”

  1. Tyler Cruz says:

    Just a side note.

    You used to be able to steal ANYBODY’s account on Hotmail. I forget if this was before or after Microsoft bought it, however.

    Anyhow, the Internet was still emerging at that point and so it was common for a lot of exploits to be available.

    It was simple. You simply went to the “Forgot Password” feature. It then asked you to enter the e-mail account you forgot your password to. When you clicked next, it would ask you something else, but if you viewed the source of that page, it would show, in plain text, the password! Haha.. it was like:

    $userid_password=”jellyfish”;

    I forget why it was in the source code… if it was for Javascript or an HTML form, but sure enough it was there.

    It’s strange because even at that time, Hotmail was already extremely popular and well known.

  2. Martin says:

    Nice post.

    I am currently looking into a domain name that was since expired. I emailed the previous owner (when he owned it), and he tried to sell it to me for $3000. Little did he know (or maybe he did), the domain expired in the next few days after I emailed him, and now GoDaddy owns it.

    I don’t know how back-ordering works on GoDaddy, but they want me to pay $18.99 to back-order it. If the site goes up for auction, I can use the $18.99 on a bid. I wonder if I should take the chance and back-order it.

    I (unintentionally) have all my domains to auto-renew, which is good and bad, but it keeps me from worrying.

  3. Cam says:

    Thats a nice little tip, thanks!

  4. Tyler Cruz says:

    I don’t auto-renew, as registrars will send you many e-mails reminding you to renew. Plus, a lot of registrars give you a second chance and don’t actually take your domain away after it ‘expires’.

    But for any good domain or important domain to me, I just renew for several years now so I don’t have to worry. Next time PokerForums.org comes up for renewal, for example, I’ll renew for 10 years. That’s like $80 to have to not worry about it until 2019 or so…

  5. Martin says:

    How long does the second chance usually last?

  6. John says:

    Actually he can still renew it with GoDaddy, so I wouldn’t get to to excited yet. The owner can reclaim the domain

  7. ROI_Guy says:

    @==>> Tyler: That’s interesting about the HoTMaiL password crack … didn’t know that. There is still a _lot_ of that kind of stuff floating around the .Net … proof that you don’t have to be able to write code to sell a product … MyBlogLog a great example where Shoemoney looked and saw it was “dropping” the ID numbers of visitors on his sites, so anyone with a MBL widget gets the ID of anyone who visits. He posted some “name” IDs and they banned him … to try to cover up their own shabby security breach. Anyway, one year or 10, I would set a reminder for all my domains … you’ll find that by 2019 your memory may not be what it is today. Memory is the second thing to go as you age.

    @==>> Martin: That’s agood question. I’ll do some rsearch for us all on that. There is the published expiraion date and then there is some period of time after that where the former owner can redeem (for a significant extra charge) …. but no one else can grab the domain … and then the domain is open for anyone.

  8. Martin says:

    Well, like a sap, I purchased the backorder for the .com I wanted on GoDaddy.com. I checked the WhoIs, and it says that GoDaddy now owns the .com for another year. It was been over a week since the domain expired, and the site still says the owner has a chance to renew. In buying the backorder though, I did notice that the .com is no longer available for anyone else to backorder. That got my hopes up a little bit, but I still think this is a high price domain. I doubt I will get it without a fight, or a ton of money.

  9. Mike says:

    pool.com and snapnames.com are the best backordering services in my opinion.

  10. Cool post Tyler, but MSN won’t lose the domain.

  11. ROI_Guy says:

    Hi Matt, actually it was my post so I get any credit and all the blame ;-) However, I never said Microsoft would loose the domain … with their $450 an hour attorneys, trademarks and near unlimited bidding power of course they can get it back. The point is, that because they apparently wouldn’t even bother to make a note of the expiration date they how have to spend however many hundreds ot thousands to get back what they could have renwed for eight bucks. It’s dumb to waste moeny, even if you’re rich.

  12. [...] this I shall tag… Jane May, Tyler Cruz, and finally Ed Lau, who has been commenting quite a bit on my blog and has earned this [...]

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