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discuss Who Was the First Domainer Who Pioneered Domaining?

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iTesla

Top Member
Impact
715
Hello
Was browsing the forums and it just came in my head as per title.
Do you know who was the first person in the beginning, to think to buy cheap and sell domains for a profit?
It would be interesting to know who have put the basis for Domaining industry.
Thanks.
P.s. hope it's not Rick Schwartz. :xf.grin:
 
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koolishman

Top Member
Impact
8,450
Adam?

( The domainer of course:xf.wink:)
 
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iTesla

Top Member
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715
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koolishman

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iTesla

Top Member
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No. 😫 Not Dicker!

There has to be an early domainer named Adam!
It should be someone who did it first, maybe if we find the first domain sold we will find who he was.
 
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ZeroVariance

Established Member
Impact
58
Not sure
could be symbolics.com
that was the first name ever registered ever and maybe the person/company as well flipped over a few other names.
the website https://symbolics.com is pretty fun the browse through with a headline

The World’s First, and Oldest, Registered .com on the Internet.​

 
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iTesla

Top Member
Impact
715
Not sure
could be symbolics.com
that was the first name ever registered ever and maybe the person/company as well flipped over a few other names.
the website https://symbolics.com is pretty fun the browse through with a headline

The World’s First, and Oldest, Registered .com on the Internet.​

He have buy that domain in 2009 from that company, so it's not him who gave birth to domaining.
 
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Castello Brothers among the first
Far as i know they start around 1993,1994
 
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I was kind of interested myself. When I get into an industry, I like to learn about the history. When I got into affiliate marketing back around 1999, much easier since the history was only a few years. With that, you can thank the porn industry with many of the innovations people use today. First affiliate program, first payment processing/credit cards, streaming video, etc. Where there is money to be made, there is innovation.

With domaining I think you have public but also private that most people don't know about. Public, you have great domainers, you'll know about their sales, many show up at domain events, many active on social media. Schilling, Schwartz, Mann, they will tell you they're the King, The Man and rightfully so in many cases. But I also think there is this group that probably make millions and just out there enjoying life. Some might have made their money before social media took off. They might have no interest in talking about domaining to death but enjoying the buying and selling. Then all the sales that don't get reported. The world of the unknown domains and unknown sales.

Will check the book out above
 
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IIRC there was a guy who hoarded hundreds of keyword .coms when they were still free but dropped all or most of them when they introduced renewal fees. I'd say he was the proto-domainer.
 
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HotKey

Made in CanadaTop Member
Impact
10,801
One of the earliest investors, and maybe the first with a portfolio in the hundreds by the year 1994, was Christian Riley. Top-tier domains like games, casino, court, talk, sale, racing, Boca, Miami, reservation, holiday, mart, novel were hand-registered by him.
 
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One of the earliest was Gary Kremen.
You can read all about him in the book The Players Ball written by David Kushner.

I mention him in the introduction to this NamePros Blog article: Catching Trains and Avoiding Train Wrecks.

There were others, but the Internet was very young when in just a couple of weeks he registered sex.com, jobs.com, autos.com, housing.com and a number of others including some related to dating/matching. He was one of the first to see that the Internet would replace classified ads.

The theft of sex.com turned out to be quite the caper extending over years.

-Bob

The Player's Ball is a superb book and fun read - highly recommended.

You can read more about Kremen and Match.com on Wikipedia (that particular name he did not register, but bought on aftermarket, probably one of the early aftermarket acquisitions. His first registrations date to at least as early as 1994. Rick started in December 1995 I believe, so not much later.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Kremen

PPS As mentioned above, the Castello brothers also very early. I think Michael's first domain was in 1994 but not sure which month.

PPPS I believe Mike Mann started in Feb 1998, his first acquisition intr.net. He also had his first big sale, menus.com, $50,000 in 1998.
 
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Joe drake

Established Member
Impact
121
Adam Dicker you mean? No way.
adam dicker was a little late to the game,if he started as early as the rick ,he would be bigger than godaddy ,this guy had a money problem ,but they forgive rapists and this guys trying to make whole and there not cutting him a break ,by the way his podcast he does with helmut ,is real informative and no AKA bull--- fluff ,this guy shares a lot of tools,I think its sad that domain sherpa suspended his archives ,drew should bring them back and probably will ,they are so informative and Drew Ros,is pretty smart
 
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In the early 1990s, quite a few people were registering domain names and then selling them. I don't think that anyone had even coined the phrase "domainers" back then. The domain names in .COM/NET/ORG were free until 1995 and ISPs were only just taking off along with the DotCOM bubble. In terms of competitive domaining and catching domain names on the drop, that would have started around 1997 when some of the first 1995 regs started to drop. The initial fee was $100 and it covered two years. It later dropped to $70. It was fun waiting for the drops with a mouse in one hand and a mug of coffee in the other. The legal situation on expired domain names was also unclear and ICANN was only established in 1998. And the UDRP was later still.

In terms of speculative registrations, Network Solutions (the only registrar for .COM/NET/ORG at the time) used to mail out paper invoices for registrations. This meant that there was a few weeks during which the domain name could be sold before having to pay for it. If it could not be sold, it was possible to just leave it drop without paying the invoice.

Eventually, NetSol got around to closing that loophoie and requiring payment on registration. That move stopped early cost-free domaining. It started getting a bit more complex after that. Because domain names were deleted on expiry (no grace periods), some people made a business of drop catching and selling these domain names back to the original owners. PPC advertising didn't exist in any meaningful form and most of the advertising was banner or image advertising.

Most of us weren't buying cheap and selling high. Domain names were free until 1995.

Regards...jmcc
 
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This post makes me wonder, what can be purchased today for cheap that will increase as much as premium names? Whatever it is, it has to be something people thing is not worth much or it would be expensive.
 
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soluiher3

New Member
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When I got into affiliate marketing back around 1999, much easier since the history was only a few years. With that, you can thank the porn industry with many of the innovations people use today. First affiliate program, first payment processing/credit cards, streaming video, etc. Where there is money to be made, there is innovation.

With domaining I think you have public but also private that most people don't know about. Public, you have great domainers, you'll know about their sales, many show up at domain events, many active on social media. Schilling, Schwartz, Mann, they will tell you they're the King, The Man and rightfully so in many cases.
Similar story for me too. I started and ran an affiliate program "directory" (remember directories? πŸ˜€) in the late '90s. That got me even deeper into affiliate marketing, which got me deeper into domain names. I got serious about domains in 1999. Ahhh, good times. πŸ™‚
 
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Similar story for me too. I started and ran an affiliate program "directory" (remember directories? πŸ˜€) in the late '90s. That got me even deeper into affiliate marketing, which got me deeper into domain names. I got serious about domains in 1999. Ahhh, good times. πŸ™‚
If you ran an affiliate program directory back in the day, I might have checked it out. I used to go β€œindy hunting” because I liked to find good merchants nobody else was using. One of my first sites, my second site actually was a big coupon site. The type a lot of people try when first starting out. My old hangout was the affiliate marketing forum ABestWeb. Namepros back in the day used to get together with ABestWeb and do live domain auctions in the chat room NP used to have
 
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If you ran an affiliate program directory back in the day, I might have checked it out. I used to go β€œindy hunting” because I liked to find good merchants nobody else was using. One of my first sites, my second site actually was a big coupon site. The type a lot of people try when first starting out. My old hangout was the affiliate marketing forum ABestWeb. Namepros back in the day used to get together with ABestWeb and do live domain auctions in the chat room NP used to have
Oh sure, I remember being a member of ABestWeb. I still have an old email message from [email protected] πŸ˜„
 
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Oh sure, I remember being a member of ABestWeb. I still have an old email message from [email protected] πŸ˜„
I know him well, I used to be a moderator over there. When it shut down I literally have the most posts over there. I joined about 2002, didn’t know anybody else in affiliate marketing and this was way before social media. Got into fighting parasites etc. I used get threatened a lot by those guys haha. Too much fighting after he sold the forum. Actually, when I first was getting into domaining he was helping me out a little with some advice since he dabbled in it himself.
 
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I know him well, I used to be a moderator over there. When it shut down I literally have the most posts over there. I joined about 2002, didn’t know anybody else in affiliate marketing and this was way before social media. Got into fighting parasites etc. I used get threatened a lot by those guys haha. Too much fighting after he sold the forum
Small world. I joined ABestWeb on Wednesday, July 31, 2002. I still have the sign-up confirmation! πŸ˜„

This is a long shot, but did you by any chance attend the "Affiliate Force 2000" conference in Miami? I was invited to be a speaker there so I attended, and it turned out to be a wealth of information about everything to do with affiliate programs, domain names and making money! Pretty wild (and lucrative) experience.
 
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Small world. I joined ABestWeb on Wednesday, July 31, 2002. I still have the sign-up confirmation! πŸ˜„

This is a long shot, but did you by any chance attend the "Affiliate Force 2000" conference in Miami? I was invited to be a speaker there so I attended, and it turned out to be a wealth of information about everything to do with affiliate programs, domain names and making money! Pretty wild (and lucrative) experience.
Never attended the affiliate events. Was invited many times to be on panels at Affiliate Summit. I joined ABW about same time Feb 2002, last month I had a boss/job. Then full time affiliate, until about 12 years ago to pretty much full time domainer now. Still have some sites up making some money but about 95% domaining now. Much easier and I enjoy it more
 
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iTesla

Top Member
Impact
715
In the early 1990s, quite a few people were registering domain names and then selling them. I don't think that anyone had even coined the phrase "domainers" back then. The domain names in .COM/NET/ORG were free until 1995 and ISPs were only just taking off along with the DotCOM bubble. In terms of competitive domaining and catching domain names on the drop, that would have started around 1997 when some of the first 1995 regs started to drop. The initial fee was $100 and it covered two years. It later dropped to $70. It was fun waiting for the drops with a mouse in one hand and a mug of coffee in the other. The legal situation on expired domain names was also unclear and ICANN was only established in 1998. And the UDRP was later still.

In terms of speculative registrations, Network Solutions (the only registrar for .COM/NET/ORG at the time) used to mail out paper invoices for registrations. This meant that there was a few weeks during which the domain name could be sold before having to pay for it. If it could not be sold, it was possible to just leave it drop without paying the invoice.

Eventually, NetSol got around to closing that loophoie and requiring payment on registration. That move stopped early cost-free domaining. It started getting a bit more complex after that. Because domain names were deleted on expiry (no grace periods), some people made a business of drop catching and selling these domain names back to the original owners. PPC advertising didn't exist in any meaningful form and most of the advertising was banner or image advertising.

Most of us weren't buying cheap and selling high. Domain names were free until 1995.

Regards...jmcc
This explains allot, I did not know the domains were free until 1995 year, thank you.
It means those people after 1995 were the pioneers like Rick, Castello and others.
 
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