Is it worth it?

I got into this internet thing early enough that I got myself a damn good domain name. I was the original owner of, a name I chose because it represented something I used to love doing. Also, at that time, you had to sort of justify why you needed a domain name, and so my story to Internic was that I was planning to set up a public access network called “Community Access Node Open to Everyone”. (Internic was the one and only domain registrar at the time.) I originally tried to register, but it either got lost or rejected, so I tried, and it worked.

So I got and was using it as my personal email address and web site, and not all that much else. After a few years of that, the Toronto Sun publishing company, owner of, contacted me and asked if they could have since they wanted to reach a US audience, I said yes on three conditions:

  1. That they pay for the registration of my new domain
  2. That they give me some time to start getting the new domain set up before we transfer over to them and
  3. That they send me two really good tickets to Phantom of the Opera in Toronto.

They paid the registration for But the very next day, before I’d gotten confirmation of the registration, I got a note from Internic saying that had been transferred to the Toronto Sun Publishing Company. Oh, I was mad. One of the great regrets of my on-line life is that at that point I didn’t say “you couldn’t follow your end of the deal, so the deal is off”. Instead, I blew up at their guy, he apologized, he postponed the transfer for a few weeks, but I also never got the damn theatre tickets. Bastards. Even now I cringe a bit before I follow a link to And if I’d gotten the damn tickets, it would have been scant compensation for the turmoil it caused in my on-line existence.

I’ve had for a long time now. “whois” says since 1996. I guess that’s right, although I thought it was earlier than that. Over that 11 years, I’ve made the center of not just my on-line life, but also provided services to dozens if not hundreds of other people. Mailing lists, Usenet news, picture galleries, Xen-hosted virtual boxes, personal web sites, Maddy’s blog and memorial, family email addresses, and more.

And also in that 11 years, I’ve had numerous people ask if they could have for their ski store or resort directory or whatever. And I have to say that no, I’m not going to just give it away, not unless the money is so significant that it would make up for all the hassle involved. I’ve made that mistake once when the stakes were lower, and I’m not going to do it again. So when people ask, I give them a price based not on “fair market value” for the name, but based on the principle that if I’m going to go through this sort of upheaval, I’m going to get enough money to buy a luxury that is currently out of my reach. That way, either they’ll go away and stop bothering me, or I’ll get a (share of a) Cessna 180 on straight floats, and either way I’m happy.

A few years back when the owners of were asking me for, and begging me to reconsider my more than generous asking price, I discovered that had come available. I grabbed it up hoping that the owners of would be willing to settle for it once they realized I wasn’t going to lower my price to what they could afford and I could make a couple of hundred out of the deal. That was my one and only attempt at domain speculation. I still have that domain, and every time I offer it to the people asking for at 1/25th of what I’m asking for, they ignore it. Oh well.

5 thoughts on “Is it worth it?”

  1. > So when people ask, I give them a price based not on “fair market value”
    > for the name, but based on the principle that if I’m going to go through
    > this sort of upheaval, I’m going to get enough money to buy a luxury

    That is exactly “fair market value”.

  2. Frank, when I said “fair market value”, I was actually thinking about those sites that say they’ll evaluate your domain name and tell you how much they’re worth, or what it would get on a no-reserve auction.

  3. Appraisal is such a funny business. Unless they offer to put their money where their mouth is, it’s hard to take them seriously.

  4. I get regular requests to sell, but amazingly, all come from throw-away addresses such as hotmail….

    When I point that out to the offering parties and ask why that is…; most vanish….

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