My 10th domain name anniversary

Today, 13th of July 2012 is my official 10th anniversary in the domain name industry. This is the day I chose to start this blog. I chose this day because I see great future in this industry and want to contribute as much as I can.

I registered a couple of domains back in the late 90s while I was in college in the UK. I think they had something to do with the capital of my country Athens, Greece. I registered them with a fellow college student and we had plans to make a portal for Athens but we never got around building it. We registered these using Network Solutions like everybody back then. I don’t own these any more. I dropped them a couple of years later. I didn’t have the money for these expensive renewals. I think a renewal was $70 at NetSol.

Then I registered a few domains in early 2000. I registered 3 .com (1 with a hyphen), 1 .net, 1 .org and 1 .co.uk (I was living in the UK after all). So you can see I was pretty diverse from the beginning. All these were related to movie/tv downloading. It was the beginning of the download era that followed. I still own these and they still get plenty of traffic.

Problem is I “forgot” to register any more domains for more than 2 years. I only got a couple of .gr domains, 1 .info and 1 .biz domain but these were related to my web design company.

Then somehow while I was researching for a domain name for my new project I noticed an ad on one of the registrars. It was saying something about the release of 17000 premium .info domain names to the public. It was a couple of months before the Land Rush 2 .INFO Sunrise Names. That caught my attention and I was hooked. I used all my money; I borrowed some money from my father, maxed out my credit card and spend the 3000 Euro that my grandmother had saved for me for when I would turn 25. That was to start a business I guess. Well that is what I did.

So I opened the Afilias webpage with their list of registrars around the world and visited all their websites. One by one. I went around to all the LR2 participating registrars and made preorders for a couple of hundred domain names or more. Some preorders required money up front. I avoided most of them. Especially those that wouldn’t refund anything in the event you didn’t get a name. After all, all registrars had equal chance of getting a name. It was like a lottery.

The Name Selection Process by Afilias was this: “Registrants should apply for LR2 names through their registrar of choice. Each participating registrar will then send the requests to Afilias in the form of a queue (or batch of names). Each registrar’s queue will be processed utilizing the same randomized, round-robin name selection method employed during .INFO’s initial launch.” Nothing similar was used ever again. Nothing that I can remember anyway…

I tried using registrars that no one else was using. These were some obscure registrars in China and in Japan and other countries. Registrars with employees and could hardly understand what I was asking them. Well the problem was that they could hardly understand English. And that was understandable as their company website was only in Chinese or Japanese!!! I would visit those registrars and could understand anything. But I looked at their ads saying something about .info and I would email them asking them to catch names for me. One of them replied, I send my list and they caught about 20 tier 1 .info domains at about $50 a piece. Domains like buy.info, sexy.info, arts.info and England.info. No auction no nothing. Of course, I was in a few auctions in other registrars. In one of these auctions I spend my entire 3000 Euro on just 1 domain. Well, it was my hometown after all… Athens.info.

I think I got about 50 of these LR2 domain names. Some were very good. In fact 1 of them, paid for all the others a year later. It was England.info that sold on Ebay for $10,400. I contacted by email most of the bidders/end users before the start of the auction so it was not the usual Ebay auction.

10 years after and these 50 domains have multiplied. I now own mostly .com, .org, .info, .us, .biz and a few .net and .xxx.

I think the domain name puberty is over. Now is the time for big things in the industry.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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