Stop Me Before I Domain Again

Posted On July 19, 2007

Filed under Domain name

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They appear to be average American women. They meet in parenting
chat rooms and discussion lists to exchange photos of their
kids, cheer on each other’s pregnancies and occasionally complain
about their husbands’ snoring. They swap recipes and advice on
schools and diets. They seem normal in every way.

But these women share an obsession – a dark secret that their
offline friends may not understand.

‘Stop me before I domain again,’ jokes Nita Jackson of < >.

These all-American women are also webmasters; entrepreneurs who
feel a rose by any other name should get registered before
someone else snaps it up.

‘Every word or name that you hear, you wonder if it is taken as
a or,’ says Wendy Shepherd of
< >. ‘I dream about new domains at
night, and am always looking at something and wondering if it is
a domain name yet.’

According to NetNames, there are over 22 million dot-com names
registered around the world with ICANN estimating that 21,000
new domains (of all kinds) registered weekly. If you’ve ever had
a problem getting the name of your choice, this is a factor.

‘Our company owns about 150 domains right now,’ says Nancy Price
of Myria Media < >. ‘To one degree or
another, about 30 are in use right now. The others are saved for
future development, to protect our trademarks and/or
intellectual property (such as, variations of the names of our
main sites) and also some generic terms.’

Like Price, most of the women buy names for their business use.
Surprisingly few of them collect domains with the idea of
selling them later.

‘The second I bought my first domain, I fell in love. Ever
since, I change projects about twice a year,’ says Amy Fleeman
of < >. Amy has
made a little bit of money selling domains she owns, but is
picky about who she sells to. ‘I tend to sell cheaper than I
should because I want them to go to ‘good homes,’ (ie other
webmasters I know do good work vs some stranger on eBay).’

‘I get ideas, buy the domains, and actually put them together
from start to finish. I design the pages, the graphics, install
the CGI, advertise, get content… Then once everything is in
place, I get the fever to do a new one. So I sell the old one
and go at it again! I usually have several projects going on at
once. So, I guess I’m not as addicted to registering the names
as I am building the actual community from ground up.’

If domain buying is ever officially classified as an addiction,
Shelley Pietras would qualify for treatment. As owner of < >,
Pietras can feed her habit with ease. In the course of one
month, Pietras has tripled the number of names in her collection
to ‘an even 90.’ She says ‘Four are in use right now, and the
rest – Well, we do plan to use them, sell them, give them away
as gifts.’

‘Each domain that was registered came from an actual business
idea. When the idea hit, the domain was registered. Whether or
not all these ideas will ever be put into action remains to be
seen, but at least we’ve got the first step out of the way!’

Nita Jackson also feeds her habit by being a registrar < >. Like Price, she started buying
names that were related to her site,, because
she did not want competitors getting them first. She spends
about $500 each year on a total of 16 domains (two of which are
actually operating as websites).

‘I plan to develop the rest and work my fingers to the bone,’
she says.

With so many names already registered, finding a good one these
days is hard. Price offers this advice:

“Take your time coming up with a good name. You should probably
check to see that it’s not a trademarked term. Then, when you go
to register the domain, also buy the common variations
(hyphenated, pluralized, etc.). Finally, don’t talk to anyone
about your plans until you have the domain name on record!”


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