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Onsite: Register.com

For the past year I have been searching for a domain name to register. I wanted it for personal use and that could potentially be sold at some point for a nice chunk of change. I knew that business.com and bingo.com were sold for $7.5 million and $1 million, respectively.

I was not expecting to get rich registering a domain name, but figured that I could register something usable and hopefully someone would throw me cash for it later on. I went to internic.net and found a list of accredited registrars. After picking a registrar at random, I would punch in as many different names as I could.

I knew that .com, .net and .org domains could be up to 67 characters made up of letters, numbers and the hyphen “-” symbol. All other domain extensions required domain names that were 22 characters or less.

But I didn’t care about other domain names. I knew then that it was all about finding the right .com address. Forget .net and .org, the real players get .com addresses. According to domainnotes.com, .com addresses make up more than 80 percent of the 27 million registered domains.

So I searched and searched and searched. I looked up everything I could think of that I thought I could resell in the future. At one point, I even looked up every element in the Periodic Table of Elements and every Greek and Roman mythological god — all taken.

I gave up for a while. During the summer, I saw that sites such as greatdomains.com and domainbook.com were registering thousands of addresses. At one point three address in a row that I looked up ended up being owned by greatdomains.com: what.com, whatsmyname.com, and whosyourdaddy.com.

I came back to school in the fall and really had forgotten about my domain “project” until I received a promotional e-mail from staples.com and register.com offering me domain registration for any .com, .net, or .org extension for only $1.

This was an insane offer. I knew that .com, .net, and .org addresses normally cost $35 per year, unless a customer purchased the URL for a five-year contract or longer. I noticed at this point that some new extensions had been created by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

ICANN has been churning out domain extensions at a ridiculous rate lately. The more popular address, .cc, .tv and .ws, are starting to get some market share, but other extensions such as .name, .biz and .pro just seem like they will never gain popularity.

In any case, I was only interested in .com addresses when I began my search on register.com. I only had four days before the offer ran out and had to make moves. I started by putting in my last name and learned that mailbank.com had registered figueiredo.com along with several thousand other family names.

Finally, I decided to try buspringbreak.com and found it was available. I went through register.com’s six-step registration process, which was remarkable straightforward. After creating a login password and entering the standard identification information, I entered my credit card number and purchased my first domain name.

The process was relatively simple and took about 12 minutes. I haven’t done anything with buspringbreak.com, even though I am selling trips for a Spring Break company. I haven’t had time. I’ll do something with it eventually; maybe make it a forum for embarrassing Boston University Spring Break photos. I’m still brainstorming.

But I didn’t stop at buspringbreak.com. Once I registered one domain name for $1 and saw how easy it was, I had to register more. So I moved on and tried a variety of other combinations until I came across a better idea. I decided to search for names with “sucks” at the end.

For example, bushsucks.com, silbersucks.com and newjerseysucks.com were all taken. In most cases only the .com extension was taken, but that’s the one I wanted and I was determined to get it. I tried verizonsucks.com and found that Verizon had registered the domain.

I typed in bcsucks.com and found that it was taken. Then on a whim, I typed in busucks.com and found that it was available. Jackpot. I registered the domain name along with the .org and .net extensions.

Needless to say, I got carried away. Register.com got another $3 out of me, but I felt like it was the best $3 investment I had ever made.

Why did I register busucks.com? I really think that BU as an entire organization, which encompasses all of the bureaucracy and present trustees, sucks. I absolutely love the College of Communication and will donate money specifically to COM when I become a billionaire playboy, but it’s highly unlikely that I will throw cash at the general BU alumni office.

In any case, I figured that I would hold on to this domain name in case BU seriously pissed me off any time in near future by canceling another sports program or continued delaying construction of an acceptable athletic facility comparable to Northeastern’s Marino Center.

What’s the lesson in all of this? Domain names cannot be registered for $1 right now, but for $35 you can potentially reserve a name that will be valuable or detrimental to someone in the future.

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