It irks me sometimes when I hear people refer to domain investors as cybersquatters or other nasty insults. The general impression about what we do seems to all negative, and people assume we monetize trademark domain names, sit on valuable domain names to hold them hostage, and we do other things that are blights on society.
Some of this may be true for some people, but the sad thing is that this behavior is not limited to domain investors. I think a lot of this reputation comes from regular people who happen to own domain names.
Every year during the election season, many political campaigns turn nasty. This happens at every single level of politics – from small local alderman elections to big national campaigns. Inevitably, some dumb politicians (or their lackeys) thinks it’s brilliant to register the domain name (or something similar) with an opponent’s name in it.
They may only be doing it for political gain, but somehow this cyberpirating makes domain investors look bad. Sure, many politicians have slimy reputations themselves, but it doesn’t seem fair that these people get put into the same bucket as domain investors, making us look bad in the process.
Let’s now discuss the perception that domain investors horde good domain names and hold them hostage when some other parties could be using them better. First off, this is complete and utter horse manure. Nobody with any intelligence would say this about someone with undeveloped prime real estate or beachfront property.
What irks me about this perception is that I’ve tried to buy plenty of domain names from people who registered them 10+ years ago and still haven’t done anything with them. They aren’t domain investors, and many of them aren’t even monetizing these names.
When I make an offer I think is decent, I often get crazy price quotes in reply. Are these people holding domain names hostage? NO! They are capitalists with similar goals as me.
I do realize that there are domain investors who monetize trademark domain names, do nasty things with sensitive domain names, and do hold some domain names hostage. However, I believe that given many circumstances, almost everyone would do the exact same thing, whether they were identifying themselves as domain investors or not.