The domain real estate business
Yup, thats right. Domains are real estate. And it's in a bubble. Buy low, sell high - REAL high. Profit margins are in the hundreds of thousands of percent, or at the least, hundreds of percent. And I just contributed to it in order to maintain the value of my property.
A new neighbor moved in next door, and he was one of those hicks with the three cars on cinder blocks in the front yard types. It was so bad I considered moving, only to remember when I first moved in here, I couldn't find any better neighborhoods. Instead, I found out the damn hick just bought the place to temporarily store his broken down cars while he tried to find someone who would buy the property for a higher price. I sucked it up and bought the damn property so I could retain the value of my own.
Metaphors aside, this is what really happened. In 2005 I got a domain to be my photography website. I couldn't get the .com version as it was currently being used by some other photographer with the same initials as I. That was cool with me, so I got the .net version. I knew people would still go to the .com, but I figured they'd quickly realize their mistake when they saw the completely wrong name in the logo, and it'd be no big deal.
The other day a company sent me an email informing me that the .com version of my domain was about to go back to the open registration market, and that for a fee they'd snatch it for me. I think that this was automated because when I inquired about pricing, I never got a response.
Now the nail biting began. Because the .com was being used and had page ranking, it's value was quite high and would be snatched by a spammer. They have tools that I just don't have access to nor can afford ($200+) that will snatch the domain name the moment it becomes available. At the last minute, I decided to make at least some effort to acquire the name by back ordering it through GoDaddy for $20. I figured $20 was worth the money to a) try to get a .com and b) make sure it doesn't fall into spammer's hands and c) make sure it doesn't fall into a pornography spammer's hands.
My $20 spent was utterly futile, and not only did I not get it, it fell into a spammer's hands spamming pornography. I was quite pissed off, but hoped that perhaps, just maybe, it wouldn't have an effect.
The porn spam went up on Saturday. By Monday I received three complaints that "my" website was pointing to pornography. Ugh.
I sent a formal request to remove all pornography links from the website as it was effecting my website. No response, of course. Now I start to seriously consider moving my website to another domain to get away from the porn site. But I already went through the whole domain thing back in 2005, and simply could not think of anything better than original domain I got. Why in the world would things be better today? It's not. I'd have to compromise the quality of my domain name in order to move somewhere else.
I looked around further and found that the domain was up for auction! For a hefty price of $60. Ouch! I sucked it up, though, and put in the min bid. I figured $60 was a small price to pay for having to relocate my website.
$60 wasn't the small price, though... it's ultimately $90. $60 auction + $20 failed backorder + $10 to move it to my preferred registrar.
I have sadly contributed to the multi billion dollar industry of domain real estate.