Jamaica.com gives people a virus
The competition to TheBahamas.com? Some million-dollar domains are digital dumps.
December 22, 2018
At TheBahamas.com, we provide entertaining and informative content, notably by relating our own story of engaging with Bahamians, the culture, visitors and the natural environment. So what is our niche? Our expertise on The Bahamas, our personalities… and our unusual story, that of an international, multi-ethnic family building a business out of an impossible-to-obtain, exact-match “CountryName.com.”
In that context, it’s natural that we should look around at our peers within our small universe of country names. Amazingly, some owners are not getting any discernable benefit whatsoever from their million-dollar domain names. At the minimum, one would expect a small online store selling hats or T-shirts, just to obtain some type of profit from type-in traffic. More intuitive would be a major tourism site, a real estate business with videos and advanced applications, or perhaps a major site for news and weather.
But voilà the reality: America.com sports nothing more than a registrar’s “coming soon” page; which is, of course, automatically generated the moment one registers a domain name. So it’s consistent with the possibility of someone having registered this eight-figure domain and promptly forgetting about it.
How about Nigeria.com, which denotes a country that is projected to have 800 million residents by the end of the century, surpassing the United States? Again, landing page. By using the “Way Back Machine” at Archive.org, one can see that Nigeria.com previously had a fairly well-developed site. Not a good design, but plenty of forums and some other features.
What exactly could have been the thought process behind this transition from decent site back to landing page? Did the site owner die and his family members forgot about it? Did the owner spiral downward on drugs and alcohol and forget his ambitions? Clearly I am speculating, but whatever happened, it must have been some type of dramatic decline to explain how a multi-million-dollar asset fell into disgraceful disuse.
However, nothing compares with the surprise at Jamaica.com. Not only is there no site at all – no page of any sort – but the visitor also gets… wait for it… a computer virus. When I go to Jamaica, my virus protection sirens and lights flash. Whoever spiked that name did the same thing to Barbados.com.
To compare this digital wasteland to a real-world equivalent: it would be as if one had a plot of land adjacent to Times Square in New York, yet the owner installed neither a building, nor a small commercial stall, nor even a tomato garden. Instead, he left nothing but barren Earth, save a booby-trap to maim anyone curious enough to poke around.
My grandfather, who was vice president at N. W. Ayer & Son advertising agency, used to advise me, “Celebrate incompetence, it makes it so much easier for you to get ahead!”
The outcomes associated with these domains certainly would be consistent with incompetence, or at least with some type of personal or familial misfortune. Indeed, they illustrate this truism: no matter how visible the domain, or no matter how valuable the commercial property in the physical world, a company must be able to deliver the fundamentals of any business; i.e., the ability to solve a real-world problem.