While updating my online portfolio recently, I realized I’ve been making websites since 1996. Or to paraphrase Tupac in the hit rap song California Love released that same year:
In the web game for 20 years ain’t no cover up, ever since homies was clicking Netscape on dial-up.
Over those twenty years, I’ve purchased a lot of domain names. From what I can tell, all web developers do this. Most are for a side project or idea I intend to launch someday. Three or four are just great domain names that I hope to flip for a profit. A few are impulse buys that I snatched up the same way I buy gossip magazines at the grocery store. (That reminds me… I just read in the National Inquirer that Tom Cruise is a horrible person. Did you know he eats a bald eagle eyelid smoothie every morning? The article doesn’t say how many eagle eyelids it takes to make one smoothie but I bet it is a lot. And bald eagles are an endangered species! Apparently, he doesn’t even use the rest of the eagle carcass. He just throws them in the garbage like it’s nothing! The nerve!)
Each year, I have to pay to renew the domain name whether it is in use or not. Considering each one costs $10 to $15 dollars, squatting on all these domain names is putting a real dent in my wallet (yes, my wallet is made of cheap aluminum alloy and dents easily). All this is to say I really need to scale back. But which domains do I let go of and which do I keep? It’s a real problem and not contrived in the slightest in order to give me the basis of this post!
The Squatter’s Dilemna
To find my way out of this “squatter’s dilemma” (as economics professors in colleges across the US will undoubtedly call it henceforth), I devised a rating system that helped me judge the value of a domain. There are several criteria in play: how long have i owned it, desirability, specificity, etc. Applying this criteria, all my domains now fall into a few categories I’ve named appropriately:
The Long Squat
Borrowing from investing parlance (not potty talk), the Long Squat is a domain worth holding on to for years. Its value is expected to increase annually (not anally).
The 15 Minute Squat
The 15 Minute Squat is a domain that must be flipped or exploited immediately or it will just clog up your hosting account. You can only sit on it for a short time before it loses most of its significance. It’s usually a pop culture reference or some flash-in-the-pan Internet sensation enjoying their 15 minutes of fame, hence the name.
Rating: Let Go
The Naughty Squatty
This is a domain name of questionable or ill repute. While they might not all be associated with pornography, these domains are certainly disgusting. But isn’t there an audience for everything on the Internet? I intend to find out.
The Squat Mess
The Squat Mess is a hot mess of a domain name. You look at it and just want to scream at yourself for purchasing it! Maybe, like a moron, you misspelled a word when typing in the domain name to purchase or, hoping to capitalize on other morons who mistype words, you bought a purposely misspelled domain name. Either way, the Squat Mess has got you on your hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor.
Rating: Let Go
Lastly, there is the king of squats, the Hipposquatamus. The squat so big it dwarfs all your other squats. It is a domain name so good and so valuable that when you sell it, it will cover the cost of all your other domains combined. Some people go their whole lifetime without a Hipposquatamus. I’ve already had one. Now I’m on safari for another.
Looking back over this list, I’m not sure if I categorized domain names or bowel movements. Either way, it’s a pretty crappy post.
Also published on Medium.