Domain Names

If you have a domain name don’t forget to pay up to keep it.

Here is an interesting thing that can happen if you don’t.
Credits to Fairfax Reseller that I get daily. 110718 AT NOON
Some background first.

If you want a website address that someone else owns, it can cost a small fortune – or, come to think of it, even a fairly large one – to get them to part with it.

In the last couple of months alone, someone’s coughed up US$358,000 for and $2.6 million for, which is officially the record price for the year so far – unless there is any truth to the rumours that Apple recently forked out $4.5 million for

But even that is far from the official record. From what I can tell that honour belongs to, which cost a whopping $16 million, followed by ($13 million) and ($10.1 million). I guess we’ll never know whether these sorts of sums really justify the returns, but it seems like silly money to me.

Of course, if you can find a domain name you want that is not being used, you are on to a winner. It is only going to cost you a few bucks. However, whether you spend big bucks or just a few to secure your domain name of choice, one thing you would think was obvious: once you have got it, make sure you don’t lose it. Unfortunately, it would seem that no one told Disney.

I came home from work the other day and my son had a face as long as, well, a very long thing.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Club Penguin’s not working,” he replied, tears welling up.

For those of you who don’t know the name, Club Penguin ( is a fun interactive and social networking virtual world for kids – and owned by Disney. The characters are penguins, they have adventures in the snow, decorate their igloos and raise puffles (no, don’t even go there).

Anyhow, I thought he had done something wrong or the house wireless network was offline, or something. So, all confident, I tried to fix it.

Nope. Nada. The site was definitely down. We left it to the next day and tried again. Same thing. The site wasn’t operating. That probably left millions of kids frustrated (about 12 million), and their parents (including me) even more agitated that the site was unavailable to occupy their kids.

Of course, everyone has technical glitches. But it turns out it wasn’t a glitch.

Had the site been hacked? It does seem to be the activity-du-jour these days. Or worse, maybe it had been closed altogether. No. No hacking and no closing down, either.

“Club Penguin experienced a global service disruption that resulted in players around the world being unable to access the site,” said a company spokeswoman. “Our technical team worked hard to address the issue and the site is now fully functional for most of our players.”

Which told us diddly squat. In fact, what she failed to mention was that someone had forgotten to renew the site’s domain name. I will refrain from making some cheap pun about Mickey Mouse businesses. Suffice it to say, not a smart thing to do. Still, no lasting harm done. Just Disney being plain Goofy.