When news of Michael Jackson’s death broke last week, it sent shockwaves around the world. Celebrities don’t come much bigger and that meant from London to Lima, New York to New Delhi, everyone was talking about it.
Canny domainers (those people who buy and sell domain names at a profit) don’t usually miss a trick. And even while the news wires were red hot with the latest developments, it turns out many of them had spotted an opportunity and were busy buying up all sorts of Jacko-related domain names.
Check these out:
- michaeljacksonisdead.co.uk and jacksontribute.com were registered on 25 June. That’s the day Jackson died – presumably while the rest of us were asking our friends whether the story was an elaborate hoax.
- jackolives.co.uk was also registered on 25 June, perhaps by a domainer convinced the story was untrue. This one’s my favourite actually, because initially I misread it as Jack Olives.
- jackodead.co.uk and jackotribute.co.uk were both picked up the next day, 26 June. Maybe some domainers had gone to bed early and didn’t hear the story develop the previous night.
A few others I’ve noticed include the sinister-sounding michaeljacksonmurder.com, jackowaswacko.com (check the past tense), and thejacksonstory.co.uk.
Finally, there’s at least one with a nod to the now-cancelled ‘This Is It’ comeback shows: michaeljacksonthisisittribute.com. And should the remaining Jacksons ever reunite, perhaps the owner of thejacksonfour.co.uk (registered on 26 June) will have cause to celebrate.
It’s not the fans
One thing’s abundantly clear here. The internet has not been taken over by a bunch of Michael Jackson fans, buying up domain names in order to publish their tributes to the King of Pop.
The domains are being snapped up by people who are in it for the money – just look at the list of Michael Jackson domains for sale on eBay at the moment. Some of the prices seem hopelessly optimistic, but even if a domainer has registered 100 names, they’ll probably only need to sell one or two to turn a profit.
What to think?
It’s hard to know what to think here. There’s nothing new in people spotting an opportunity and moving quickly to take advantage of it. But some of these domain names appear to have been registered within hours of the story breaking. Is that a step too far?
What do you think? Are these domain names in bad taste, or is everything fair game? And do you think anyone is going to make any money out of Jackson-related domain names in the coming weeks? Leave a comment and let us know.