Buying the Kids' Domain Names
Today I registered the domain names of my three children. Not for any special purpose or hair-brained business idea, but rather as an investment. With the future of the internet so cloudy, it’s tough to determine their value 20 years from now, but it sure is worth the small entry price today for long-term peace of mind.
Today I purchased three domain names. Not for any half-baked business venture or spontaneous website mush-up as I am wont to do, but rather for my kids. They were nothing fancy; two .coms and a .net rounded out the GoDaddy purchase, each of them comprised of their first and last names.
It was my wife’s suggestion, actually, and I dare say it’s brilliant. Even after fifteen years of the public land-rushing domain names, it’s amazing what is still available after some casual browsing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take the next Miss South Carolina to understand that over time the available choices will dwindle to options that are too long, too obtuse, or just too stupid. Everyday, more and more are gobbled up. And people are getting smart and purchasing the URL of their names either for legitimate business reasons, or for, you know, just in case.
In the future, if this darn Intarweb thing ever catches on, a personal domain name might be a sign of prestige, and perhaps over time, a possession that can be passed down, donated, or sold for some obscene amount of cash. Maybe it will be like single-letter stock exchange symbols, or Las Vegas property in the 1940s, or Green Bay Packers season tickets. Already, trading in digital real estate is a very real concept. I suppose that some parents, like some startups today, will even rethink a name if the URL isn’t available.
Of course, the downside to this whole thing is that I am now a domain squatter, which annoys me because I try very hard to let go of domains that I do not use within a year. Potentially, I could squat these for 20 years or more. I argue that they are a gift to my kids, but the idea of squandering perfectly valuable properties annoys me.
Perhaps it will be worth it. Or perhaps Google 2.0 will be smart enough to aggregate a person’s social networking footprints into a single results page after searching their name, making a unique URL redundant. If that’s the case, I can always use the three domains I bought to post pictures of them sitting naked on the training potty.
(On a related note, is anyone else annoyed by GoDaddy’s domain purchasing and management system? What a usability nightmare.)