It looks like the new idea in online advertising is to use domain names as nothing more than billboard space. Demand Media, a new company started by the original owner of MySpace.com, has just bought the third largest domain registrar: eNom Inc. The idea is to use all the expired domain names that eNom handles and use them as ad space. Demand plans to also put up some sort of content, but nothing really spectacular, which means a lot more advertising will be available on the Internet.
In line with Mr. Rosenblatt’s plans to add some cheap content to his sites to give visitors a reason to come back, Demand Media has already purchased San Francisco-based eHow Inc., which provides niche content, and will buy more content companies. But he isn’t planning to invest heavily in content — Mr. Rosenblatt says his goal is to have “immaterial”content costs. Instead he plans to rely heavily on content contributed by members of the public, which could range from reviews and blogs to photos.
Amazing, how some people view blog content as nothing more than free material for their own business ventures. This reminds me of how open source programmers complain about how some big companies give absolutely nothing back to the open source code and community. But wait, it gets better:
“These domain names are really the raw land of the Internet,” says Fred Harman, managing director of Oak Investment Partners, one of Mr. Rosenblatt’s backers. “Richard is a real-estate developer, taking the raw land and developing it … We’re trying to liberate these domains from the cybersquatters and actually put them to good use.”
In case you missed the irony in that statement it goes something like this: It’s okay because we are a company, when an individual makes money from cybersquating it is wrong, but when we do it, it is liberating cause we do it on a massive scale!
Read the entire Post Gazette article.