I’m a firm believer of substance over appellation but also believe that people tend to judge a book by its cover. Taken to its logical conclusion, the Apple Marketing Philosophy (as seen below) would dictate that every great product needs a great name.
Into the wilds of the web
Last year I released WikiMaze, a dungeon crawling trivia game powered by Wikipedia and based loosely on Encarta 95’s MindMaze. I’m quite happy with the result and owe many thanks to Ben Bronstein for the excellent illustrations. The only issue: all I could manage at the time of the game’s inception was a .ME domain. I contacted the owner of wikimaze.com multiple times but did not receive a response.
Around the month of March, right before the domain was set to expire, I started to receive a number of these messages:
I believe you’re the owner of wikimaze.me. I’ve got a proposition concerning your website. Would you be interested in acquiring wikimaze.com?
I understand that you may be concerned about the legitimacy of this. If you’re a bit skeptical, I can upload an HTML page to verify ownership beforehand. We can also use a third party escrow (who will essentially ensure your money is safe until you retain complete control over the domain name) for optimal security.
I received this exact message from multiple people over the course of a week. Since the expiration of the domain was close at hand, I’m guessing that these people were going to try and buy the domain and then flip it to me for a higher price.
Enter Domain Sniping
There are three major companies that will quickly purchase (snipe) a domain for you within milliseconds of its expiration – Namejet, SnapNames, and GoDaddy. GoDaddy was obviously out of the question so after some research I decided to use SnapNames. The process was simple: pay them a nominal fee ($60) and they will get you the domain. For fun I tried replying to one of the earlier e-mail messages and they offered to sell me the domain for $400, so I consider the $60 a steal.
The next time you are looking to acquire a domain, don’t get pressured in coughing up hundreds of dollars – just fire up your browser for some Domain Snipin’.