I've an unusual hobby.
Each time I have an idea for an app or web site I register a URL. Over the years I’ve registered brandf**ked.co.uk, northernideas.co.uk and prforpr.com, among others.
It's an indulgence that I typically exercise after an evening out with friends. How we laugh.
It turns out I'm not alone in this activity. It appears that drunken domains are engrained within internet culture.
After posting on my social networks that letting domains lapse felt cathartic loads of people admitted they shared the same guilty habit.
In fact in it's almost a sport among creative and digital types. It appears to be mostly a boy thing although not exclusively.
Internal communication consultant and AllThingsIC chief Rachel Miller (@AllThingsIC) said her family owned a collection of 15 domains.
Here are some of my favourite confessions. A couple have become real businesses or campaigns, while several really should.
David Edmundson-Bird (@groovegenerator) owned dirtyhershey.com. As principal lecturer in digital and social at Manchester Metropolitan University he clearly knows what he’s doing.
BrandAlert’s Nigel Sarbutts (@nigelsarbutts) is domain squatting on various versions of ManchYESter. It’s campaign to reinvent one of the UK’s northern cities, obviously.
Domains with purpose
Shed of the year founder Andrew Wilcox (@unclewilco) registered readersheds.co.uk after an evening out. It became the home of Shed of the Year. Channel 4 was clearly inspired. feck.org remains a work in progress.
I was with Evolving Influence boss Karran Chadda (@kchadda) when he registered poetrybynumbers.com. It has developed into a beautiful project. Karan’s diary of a middle manager called twofloorsfromhistory.com has yet to see the light of day.
Fun and games
Business coach Marcus Green (@marcusinstroud) was seeking to celebrate the worst of social media excess with iama.guru. It’s lapsed if you’re interested.
Mat Morrison’s (@mediaczar) collection includes the yet to be launched agency brandedcontentment.com. His other notable mentions include jawgasm.com and nerdypants.com.
Manifest boss Alex Myers (@alexmyers) domain collection includes iwouldrathershitinmyeyes.me, nobodywantsthisurlanyway.com, stopstandingstillatthetopofescalators.com, whydocobblerscutkeys.co.uk and, of course wittydomain.me.
Ogilvy strategist James Whatley (@whatleydude) owned glastonblog.com. He was first person to blog the music festival from a mobile phone. The content lives on, on James’ personal blog.
Do you remember when the web first came to mobile phones? Rob Manuel (@robmanuel) had a plan to corner the gay dating market with gaywap.com.
Sharon O’Dea (@sharonodea) bought penshn.net as an alternative to Louise Mensch's social network Menshn. epicvisionary.com was raffled off for charity while WhipGrindr.com, oddly never made into alpha.
Pearlshare UX lead John Bower (@johnbower) has just cancelled onecup.co the would be coffee delivery service.
twizza.com was going to be a Twitter pizza delivery service. Jonathan Hopkin (@jopkins) has form in the business as head of innovation at Nandos.
Paul Wooding (@pazman1973) has a sure Kickstarter concept winner in vandoori.com, his chicken tikka out the back of a campervan. I'm good for £50.
deadmensshoes.com was photographer Paul Clarke’s (@paul_clarke) idea for a start-up that scanned obituaries and deaths announcements and bought up the vintage wardrobes.
Umpf founder Adrian Johnson (@adrian_johnson) claims horseburgers.co.uk and yollet.co.uk, a yoga and ballet concept, among his collection of domain names.
Websites that need to be made
Porter Novelli content officer Ruby Quince (@rubyq) admitted to owning badmother.co.uk and schoolcelebrity.com.
10Yetis founder Andy Bar (@10yetis) has a serial-habit. He’s promised to reveal a domain a day starting with twerk.co.uk. Yes, really.
Manheim motor communicator Tom Callow (@au_tom_otive) had worthy aspirations for lowco2.info. He planned a fact check resource for undisputed information on climate change as possible.
Metia boss Mark Pinsent (@markpinsent) and I register at least one domain each every time we meet up. technoldgits.com is the latest.
Avoiding drunken domains
There a couple of ways of avoiding landing yourself with a collection of dodgy domains.
- Always allow yourself a 48 hours cooling off period before registering a domain unless it is time sensitive
- Delete all domain registration applications from your mobile phone. It makes domain purchasing too easy.
- If you do end up with domains that are surplus to requirements you can either try and sell them, typically in an auction, or wait for the registration to expire.
You’ve been warned.