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There's a fate worse than Mister Bill, Jerry Yang, or Brin/Page after all.
He's the most powerful dotcom mogul you never heard of. The former subscriber to the Hypocratic oath has an empire today valued at between $300 million and $1 billion. And in the meantime the Internet as we know it is going down the tubes.
Time to get to know Kevin Ham.
Ham collects domain names - and then sells them at egregious prices. Typically he's a 'christian' who is going to somehow believe what he's doing is good in the greater perspective. [That always seems to be an ingredient.] He owns GOD.COM, SATAN.COM, and for fun and jollies CHRISTIANROCK.COM. [He's probably hired Joel Mueller for roadie jobs.]
Today Ham runs his carpetbagger business out of a high rise in Vancouver. And attends auctions all the time. Yes they really travel to raunchy places like Las Vegas and bid on domains that have been acquired one way or another.
It's All About Typos
What Ham and the other creepos such as Garry Chernoff, Scott Day, Frank Schilling, Yun Yet, and Craig Lovik do is figure out precisely how you're going to mistype your URLs. If you type 'rixstep.com' is it likely you'll type 'rixstep.cm' or 'rixstep.co' instead?
Piece of cake: so Ham and the other devout christians go out and buy up all the 'typo' domains they can, put search pages on them, cookies too natch, start tracking people, sell the info to DoubleClick, and so forth.
And make millions or billions.
It can seemingly cost a lot to register so many hundreds thousands and millions of domains but guess what? ICANN registration allows you to cancel an order within five days for a full refund. So guess what these hyenas do?
They register a whole slew, check their logs, retain the few that actually generate traffic, and dump the rest. It's cheap and it's tantamount to being spoon fed gold nuggets.
The web, says humanitarian Ham, is becoming cluttered with parked pages. It's amazingly efficient: no investment and millions back per annum - but Ms Ham says Internet users will eventually smarten up and major players will find ways to legally fight it.
Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are namely seething. But, adds Ham, 'control all the domains and you control the Internet'. Judi Dench has already called Daniel Craig back from holidays on Lake Como for the job.
And so The Technological are forced to admit: there's a fate worse than Mister Bill, Jerry Yang, or Brin/Page after all.
Far worse. Cream puff Kevin gets today's Ambulatory Prophylactic Award™.