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Internet Domains a Fun Outlet

2 November 2005

Internet Domains a Fun Outlet

Some people collect stamps and coins or toy trains, others art or furniture. A growing phenomenon in New Zealand, however, is Internet domain name collecting and development.

According to dictionary.com, a domain name is “strings of letters used to name organizations and computers and addresses on the internet.” The most popular domain code in the world is of course .com, but increasingly people are using the codes for their own country instead.

There are three principal domain codes that non-government users can register in New Zealand: .co.nz, .org.nz, and .net.nz. That means theoretically you could own pokie.co.nz, pokie.org.nz, and pokie.net.nz and create a different website for each.

I have registered a number of domains myself in the New Zealand context.

I registered pokie.co.nz thinking that it would be good to develop a site that provides information on how to gamble responsibly, and what signs of addiction one should look out for. I also imagine that one could put stickers on pokie machines to direct them to the site as a way for pokie operators to show they care about problem gambling.

Another domain I registered is auctionblock.co.nz. There are a number of auction sites taking shape in New Zealand, including the mammoth Trademe site. I was hoping someone would work with me to provide a service to a specific sector – perhaps art or antique sales – that could use an online presence.

Finally, I’ll mention my crown jewel: moblog.co.nz. This one is special to me because a moblog is a “mobile blog” or web diary using your mobile phone’s ability to take photos, video, and audio. Many of the London bombing videos and photos were actually captured by mobloggers, and moblog commentators covered both the Democratic and Republican national conventions in the United States last year.

Moblogs are dynamic and the natural next step for people who want to record their life experiences and travels using their neat new video phones from Telecom, Vodafone, etc. Microsoft owns moblog.com, and they have indicated that they will be writing software for mobile phones.

As a single person, it can be difficult to breathe life into domain names, but it can definitely happen when you have the right partners to help your dreams come alive.

The neat thing for new domainers is that on Trademe there are literally hundreds of domain names posted, almost all of which are New Zealand domains. Some are excellent domains that will sell on the “aftermarket” for many times what someone is asking on Trademe.

The problem with Trademe is that one gets lost in all of the different things to browse. Perhaps auctionblock.co.nz needs to be developed as a community and auction place for New Zealand domain names!

Ultimately, owning and developing or selling domain names is like trading cards or stamps or coins as a kid. It’s all about the fun.

Andrew Straw deals in domain names as a hobby.

ENDS

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