.BLOG gets Negative Press ahead of Launch
The .BLOG domain, a new domain extension being run by WordPress, is getting negative press ahead of it’s launch.
The issue stems from an article web developer Chris Schidle wrote about attempting to grab Chris.blog. He titled it “The .blog Bait and Switch“. Chris got in an early application for the the domain in what is know as Landrush. This is a period of time that people can grab a domain before registration is open the public.
He and others that applied for .BLOG domains later found out that Automattic, the company that runs WordPress, decided to registry reserve many domains people paid $250 to apply for. So paying $250 was a waste of money and they wasted time.
Needless to say Chirs wasn’t happy and disappointed about the switch by Automattic. He said in his article;
My interpretation is this: we yanked your domain and aren’t going to let you have it or bid on it until we find a way to make more money from it. After all, we have to recoup the $19M we spent to buy the TLD.
Like many he feels annoyed that Automattic and .BLOG were not transparent. Why would he and others spend $250 to apply for a .BLOG domain that they have no chance of getting?
I had no problem with the $250 fee. I also had no problem with the likely scenario of paying more at auction (I appreciate a good name and might have gone as high as $1,000). But telling your customers one thing and then doing another is a dick move.
While it is annoying for Chris he can feel validated that his story is being widely shared. It has appeared on DNW, BoingBoing, WPTavern, and Ycombinator’s Hacker News. On the Hacker News discussion board the story has generated a lively discussion on new domains. Several people have reported similar experiences with .BLOG.
Many have told stories that they have had similar experiences dealing with new domain registries. One disturbing commenter shared the story of the .PARTY registry, Famous Four Media, determining his wife’s domain was premium.
This is very common with these new TLD’s. At least they didn’t give it to you for a year then jack up the price. I had jacki.party as a fun domain for my wife that she didn’t end up using, but after a year the price went from like $29/yr to $2,495/yr. because they decided it was “premium.” There was nothing my registrar could do because it was the domain registry who decided that, so I just let it lapse.
That is absolutely crazy.
For those that know me you already know I do NOT recommend buying new domain extensions for many reasons. While many expect .BLOG to due well, I do not. I already shared my thoughts about the .BLOG domain. I believe it is highly unlike Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress and Automattic, will be successful with .BLOG. Most people start blogging and then stop.
I know originally Bram, the founder of Domainative, was planning to buy .BLOG domains in general availability. To my understanding he is not going to buy any new gTLDs going forward. When you see these domain registries doing “Bait and Switch” tactics as Chris says, why are you going to hassle with new Gs? If you are Chris, think he will buy a .BLOG domain? Nope!
What do you think about Chris’s story and others that have dealt with new domain companies? Are you surprised? Have you had a similar experience? Does this make you want to buy a new domain less or more?