Saturday Musings - Why Domains Are Like the “One Ring”

Saturday Musings - Why Domains Are Like the “One Ring”

Author, JRR Tolkien, suggested in “The Lord of the Rings”, that the one ring allowed wearers to rule but each time they put it on they tended to spiral down into deprivation and psychosis. The character of Frodo did his best to resist the rings temptations but sometimes he just couldn’t help it. I sometimes wonder whether domains are a lot like this.

Gollum - have you bought the .comRemember when you bought your first domain name? The nervousness of the purchase followed by the terror of what the heck are nameservers and EPP codes. But you were hooked. The desire to buy or sell just one more domain each day becomes an irresistible allure that you just can’t seem to deny. If you don’t believe me then consider the following….

What’ the first thing you do each day? Is it check your domain stats to see whether they are up or down? How about jump onto Afternic or Sedo to check out any domain offers?

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed? My wife used to ask me whether I’d tucked my computer in as yet….which is a euphemism for have I checked my domain stats?

When you really consider it the last thing we needed was the monetisation providers, registrars and marketplaces to develop apps and responsive websites. This then meant we could feed our addiction to domains during the day while we were catching a train, in a staff meeting or having a coffee with our loved ones.

Of course we could disguise our domain addiction by mumbling something about checking up on an important client email, but between you and me, we know the truth. You’re a domain addict.

I bought a domainSo what is it that is so mesmerising about something you can’t touch, talk to and is full of technical mumbo jumbo? I think I have the answer to that question. Domains are all about power. We may be embarrassed to admit it, but any domain addict worth their salt loves the fact that they own and control something that can impact the world, is unique and, well, hmmmm…..precious.

So deep down inside we are all “Lord of the Rings” Gollum’s coveting our preciouses. Let’s look at the similarities. The one ring impacted the world, so do domains. Tick! There was only one “One ring” and there is only one of each domain. Another tick! The one ring was precious and so are domains. Let’s face it, most of our domains have little stories about how we acquired them and we recount other addicts all about them over drinks at conference bars.

I could carry the analogy further by saying that we, domain owners, stare at computer screens in the dark…..Gollum stared at silver fishes in the dark. He was addicted to the ring….we are to domains. The list goes on and on….which leads me to one conclusion…..the size of eyes of some NamesCon attendees seems to be getting larger each year……oh dear, they may be on their way to “Gollumhood”.

What’s also interesting about domains is the social structure they have developed. Consider for a second who has a more important social standing. The domain investor that owns download.com or joes-pizza-shop-around-the-corner-is-open-now.com?

The domain is locked precious!So like the “One ring” domains do imbue a kind of power! I’m either a somebody or a nobody because of my domains. So when you look at the flood of investors into the new gTLDs it’s all about their quest for controlling something that is powerful.

What many don’t realise is there’s “one .COM to rule them all and in the darkness bind them”. This is a fancy way of saying that you may own an amazing new gTLD but ultimately you will bend your knee to the .COM. It makes me wonder how long it will be until there is a rebellion……

I don’t know about you but right now I’m feeling an incredible urge to go an register just one more precious....I mean domain…..and then it will be mine! All MINE!

Have a great weekend.

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Friday, 28 April 2017
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