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Are Parking Companies Replying to Emails?

September 22nd, 2011 Comments off

Inspired by Elliot Silver, who pointed out an article in the Wall Street Journal where the author (a reporter for the Associated Press) sent an email to his friend and mistyped the domain “VerizonWireless.com” by leaving out the “m” at the end. Apparently he received an auto-response trying to get him to click through an affiliate link.

Here’s a real-life example of how it works: An Associated Press reporter accidentally sent a message to a “verizonwireless.co” address instead of the proper “.com” and got this response, ostensibly from his contact “tom”:

“I am out of office right now on a my (sic) dream vacation and will get back to you when I return. If you don’t hear from me, my assistant should contact you shortly. You should check this site to see how I scored the best travel deal for my trip.”

That’s followed by a link to a site that advertises luxury resorts. Presumably, the owner of verizonwireless.co makes money when someone clicks through to any of the resort sites.

It appears that the domain VerizonWireless.co used to be parked at Bodis, but currently does not resolve and according to the article some other sites stopped sending replies like this as well when the AP reporters inquired about them. Quite a bit of good research for the article, since they are even explaining how domain parking works. DNN tested a few domains that are parked on Bodis and appear to have a high potential for email address typos, but none of them was set up to receive email.

The whole concept reminds of the Reply Cycle project launched in 2008. As it appears this project is not currently active any more, as their website appears to be down.

(c) 2011 DomainNameNews.com (2)


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Want Media Attention? Mention Playboy Mansion and Sick Visitors In Same Sentence

February 12th, 2011 Comments off

It sounds like something from an episode of CSI: Hollywood Hills. Enter a group of young professionals partying it up at a fund-rasier at the famous Playboy Mansion.  Cut ahead 24-hours, and one of the “guests” is writhing in pain, sweating feverishly in his hotel room (and he’s not on his computer chasing after a Namejet auction).  Wait, cancel that scene, make it dozens of guests from around the world.  Seriously, who’s working on the script for this right now. . .  Law and Order? House? CSI ? Bones ? Maybe Fringe ?  If you are reading this and you’re writing in an evil character. He/she needs to be named Halvarez to make it authentic. :)

So, while the story sounds straight out of Hollywood (because it is), it’s not a made for TV story,  though it’s sure one the media seem to be loving.  No direct signs from the investigation are pinning the mystery illnesses on anyone, including the Playboy Mansion, though the mainstream media are eating this story up, as sick domainers want to point the finger.  Sensational !

I talked to David Castello tonight who told me he had just finished an interview with Good Morning America, Fox, ABC, The LA Times, and KTLA.  Elliot Silver and Ron Jackson were interviewed on page 6 of the NYPost.  The Drudge Report picked that up and slapped it on the front page. The story has now been picked up by the AP, so it’s now circulating through other news outlets like NPR and the San Jose Mercury News and likely will be on the pages of your local paper Monday morning.

Not exactly the mainstream coverage the domain business was seeking. The Los Angeles County Health Department is on the case. I sincerely hope they get it straightened out and I hope everyone is feeling better soon. If you were at the event, regardless of being ill or not, please fill out the survey on the website

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HGN3T7

(c) 2011 DomainNameNews.com (7)


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Sex.com Goes In To Foreclosure

February 18th, 2010 Comments off

In the ongoing drama that is Sex.com another major twist in the story has occurred. Sex.com has now been listed at Maltz Autctions as an asset to be sold at a foreclosure auctionElliot Silver scooped the legal documents listing the domain name, the loan agents, as well as the investors involved.

The domain name was sold in January 2006 for a rumored $14 million to a group of previously private investors. It was rumored at the time that Internet RealEstate and former BuyDomains owner Michael Mann were involved.  The rumors obviously can be confirmed by this filing.

Sex.com is already a popular domain by nature of the subject matter. The 2006 sale gave it the highest domain sale bragging rights.  It’s the one domain that has been the focus of two books, one by Kieren McCarthy and one by lawyer Charles Carreon.  It’s been stolen and returned and then sold and now it’s gone in to foreclosure.  If it’s popular subject matter didn’t make this name interesting, surely the history and ongoing story behind Sex.com makes it one of the most popular domain names ever.

(c) 2009 DomainNameNews.com

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