In 1999 Good Domains Were Impossible to Find

Jan 16 2010

At least that’s what Mark Gibbs thought in an article written in 1999 for Network World.  It’s easy to look back and laugh… I did.  I figure I wasn’t smart enough to buy generic domains back then so I like to  look back and read articles about “domaining”  (not a word back then)  from the 1990’s and see what “experts” were saying.  Mark Gibbs was an expert working and writing about domain names and the registering of such names.  It’s ironic that almost every article I read seemed to deal with domains and their trademark infringement,  yet none of them said “go generic”.  They simply pointed out facts like Lending Tree owned and other squatting stories.  Generic talk wasn’t even though of.  Mark Gibbs went even as far as saying “Let us begin by considering names used on the ‘Net. They are often pretty artificial, and it has gotten to the point at with “good” domain names – those that have useful connotations – are impossible to find

I had to laugh when I read this.  I know, it’s easy to laugh in hind site but it makes me feel much better knowing that a guy who makes a living covering domain names didn’t even see the millions sitting right in front of him.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda.  It gets better. Mark continues in his article stating we should just abandon domains all together and that IP addresses do a fine job directing traffic and therefore domain names really serve no purpose. Oh yeah it gets better.  One of the reasons for his lack of support for domain names is the fact many people get confused and type in a domain that leads them to the wrong site.  His site kept getting traffic meant for a law firm Gibbs and Assotiates.  Mark Gibbs was in the middle of another million dollar industry and he didn’t even know it, typos.

Mark may have missed the domain name registration riches, but he certainly made plenty of money from being an early player in the Internet. He co-founded the UK division of Novell and has built quite a business as a consultant and speaker.  And yes, he still owns

Enjoy the original article below


Gibbs2 .






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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Acro

    Base 10 notation works well in theory, for systems or communities that want a quick reference to members. For example, ICQ does that with account numbers e.g. and twitter and facebook do that with usernames after their .com

    “Domaining” is a recently invented word and thus no such term was used in the 1990’s. I didn’t hear it until 2004 or so.

  2. Belmassio

    I think what he meant was for hand regging. And this was very true.

    I was not until “.bomb” era (starting in 2000) that tons of good/great domains began to drop and become available. There were then more domains to register that were not available in 1999, the time of the article. The market had tightened up by then and competition was getting much stronger.

    And, what is considered good today was not then, for the most part. Why? Because good luck trying to monetize or when there was nobody to buy the traffic. Today those domains would be considered worth a lot, and rightly so. Back then, you needed top-dog, premium, category killers to get someones attention.

    Therefore, with no real apparant monetization platforms, how many domains could you buy/hold with no ability to monetize them? The only thing was and they stole from everyone, so you would send them 50,000 uniques and make $30. Another way was to develop sites, but do you realize how slow connections were back then? Making sites with Notepad? Cumbersome DreamWeaver? Using FTP ? Buying overpriced software and computers……everything was much more expensive. All this, to try to get some guy to pay a flat rate on you site, or God forbid, by the click, which was much lower back then (.05 to .10 for the average domain), which you still needed to track. Another method was doing redirects, which I had the most success with. It was a dog eat dog world back then… was VERY tough to make it.

    Truth is, by the end of 1995 it was getting harder to find the category killer domains for reg free……$200 total, a piece, for two years. I know b/c I started regging in Aug. 1995 like a crazy man. I also only registered generics.

    It all depends on the optic. Sure, there are tons of great domains to be had at great prices today, but you WILL need to pay up, unless you find underpriced domains, or catch a trend and reg a domains before anyone else does.

  3. Belmassio

    A little bird told me that ACRO was only making about $10 a day in domaining as late as 2007 since he started so late in domaining.

    Right ACRO?

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