"When People Think 'Worst School Massacre in American History,' I Want Them to Think of Our Company"


Wired reports on the rush to claim, and resell, various domain names associated with the Virginia Tech massacre (and eBay's killing some auctions of them).

This question is probably just pure ignorance on the part of someone who managed to spend most of his 20s in the 1990s and got out of the fabled tech boom with nothing more than a short-term overpaid, underworked gig with, but what's the income model behind owning a site such as, or Are there scads of people champing at the bit to advertise on such sites?

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  1. I might be interested.

  2. “Are there scads of people champing at the bit to advertise on such sites?”

    American Airlines – we were first into the Towers

  3. What a waste.

    Oh, the humanity!

  4. Heather,
    I think that would have been or

  5. They use them to bounce surfers and googlers off onto scam, email reaper, and spybot sites. I believe the technical term for both the sellers and purchasers of these types of domains is “douche rags.”*

    *Rags used to wipe up spilled or expelled fluids used to clean the vaginal track after intercourse, menstruation, or when hygiene of the area is desired.

  6. I imagine the value of the VTech phone company has skyrocketed this week!

  7. “but what’s the income model behind owning a site such as, or Are there scads of people champing at the bit to advertise on such sites?”

    Two words; Nancy Grace. She for one seems to make a nice living sucking the blood from the dead. I can’t beleive that she is the only one.

  8. I seem to remember that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

  9. I seem to remember that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    Tell that to Don Imus.

  10. Nancy Grace is the undead.
    But she does make a case for necrophilia.

    Did I say that?

  11. When I saw the headline, I thought this would be about corporate charity efforts associated with such tragedies. I recall a Wall Street Journal article from some years back about the flowers, gifts, and other “goodies” sent to Columbine by various companies. Some were simply employee-driven expressions of emotion, but others verged on tasteless corporate promotion, e.g.: “Our thoughts are with you in your time of loss — from your friends at Schwinn”

  12. ed,

    I don’t know. Do your lips move when you type?

  13. Those domain names are being purchased by UVA grads, no doubt.

  14. goes to the university’s website.

  15. Off topic:

    Democrats upset over abortion ruling.

    Not because of women’s rights, but because all those dead little babies could help offset global warming – if they are buried under trees.

  16. Jimmyda:

    excellent environmental plan, old bean! BUT! would the foetus be considered organic?

  17. I did think briefly two days about registering domains like that.

  18. Two days ago, I mean.

  19. Definitely not vegan…

  20. Nancy Grace is the undead.

    The night of the shooting she looked, and rammbled, like a homeless lady

  21. Nancy Grace earned my undying respect for her inspiring, devoted coverage of the Duke rape case.

  22. Nacy Grace is a dead ringer for Angelina Jolie.

  23. Nacy Grace is a dead ringer for Angelina Jolie.

    I agree, she is drop-dead gorgeous

  24. If someone doesn’t want to have sex with Nacy Grace they are dead from the waist down

  25. Sure you guys went through living hell, Duke Lacrosse players, but look on the bright side, you made Nancy Grace look like a complete boob!

    20 years from now you’ll realize what a great trade off this is!

  26. When people think ‘Worst School Massacre in American History,’ I for one want them to think of Bath, Michigan.

  27. David Ross,
    You better rush out and register

    before I do.

  28. Well,
    I monetize lots of sites and I have never had a single individual advertiser.

    I rarely speculate in domains for MFA ( made for Adsense) and the like. I mostly try to develop sites with good content and white hat methods.

    However, many people create sites based around ( mostly) contextual advertising. The REALLY good domains get type-in traffic. No one has to search, they just type-in,,, etc. Others believe having keywords within a domain makes it easier to rank in search engines for those terms. There is something to this, but I think this method alone is losing vaue.

    Through Google Adsens, Yahoo Publishing, ebay/Auction ads, and various affiliate programs, internal text ads,etc- Sites never have to “sell ads” to indivual advertisers. Through up some adsense code, run some eBay aucton affiliate ads,etc. Get Paid per click/per action.

    For example, you could create content around the “Virginia Tech Massacre” with news feeds, original articles,etc. Then you run some Adsense, run an affiliate program for selling VT shirts and hats, do some auction ads showing eBay auctions related to VT, and so on.

    You figure so many people are going to search for “Virginia Tech Massacre” that you dont have to be that well optimized to make some money. Even low performing Adsense will get you $10 or so per 1000 impressions. And your domain name only costs about $5/year.

    A lot of people did this with the Anna Nicole Smith death and other things. Made $1000s in a day for minimal effort. Dannielynn domains are hot now, especially the ones that predicted the paternity correctly.

  29. JCJ3—Thanks for the cogent explanation of ways to make money with domain names that I was ignorant of…

  30. Thank you, Brian, for writing “champing at the bit” and not chomping.

  31. Here’s another great Internet moneymaking scheme: Grab timely shite available for free on any news site and auction it on eBay.

  32. Thank yeewww!

  33. I applaud technology being able to give people a voice to share their grief and worries where otherwise they might be left alone. Having a mrs that is a psychologist I hear too many anecdotal stories of people losing the plot because they do not have an easy forum to talk. If the flip side of this is macabre capitalism then so be it – personally I think it’s a worthwhile trade-off.

    My post backs up this comment

  34. ‘Worst School Massacre in American History,’

    You mean Bath, Michigan in 1927? 45 people, mostly kids, were killed when a school-board member dynamited a school.

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