June 11, 2013
On Selling a Domain Name

A while ago, I got an email out of the blue.

Many years ago, I started the geekcalendar.com site on a whim with my co-workers Travis and Yoshi. We messed around with the idea for a few months and promptly got bored. And so it sat for years on end, taking up space on my server.

When I first got the email, I thought, "I'm gunna be rich! This guy is already offering me money. He must really want it."

And then I thought a bit more. And I remembered why this weblog is called Cruftbox and not Cruft.

Way back in 2001 when I decided I wanted a separate domain name for my weblog, different than my site using my last name as the URL. My first choice was cruft.com. I loved the word, ever since I heard it as a teen back in the early 80s. I quickly found that cruft.com, .net, and .org were all registered already by a guy named John Walker. There was nothing hosted at the domains, but he had them registered. John Walker is a smart guy and one of the founders of Autocad. I wrote him an email about the domain. We went back & forth a bit with him asking what I wanted to do with the domain and my explaination. In the end, he decided that he was saving it for "something important".

I was a bit crushed, but started riffing on alternate names like boxofcruft.com, crufty.com, cruftlike, and others before finally settling on cruftbox.com. I registered the name and went on with my life.

For the record, Mr. Walker still has done nothing with the 'important' domain names of cruft.com, .net, and .org. They have been parked with Network Solutions for over a dozen years now, evidently waiting for an important use to come along. His own blog, fourmilab.ch, is good and I do check in with it from time to time.

It was that remembrance that helped me decide to give the domain to Chris and not charge him a silly amount for it. Trying to be true to the the geek spirit, I sent him this reply.

I would have loved to have seen his face as he read the letter.

After a bit of back and forth on specifics, he sent me a package and I transferred the domain registration to him.

Here is what I received.

I am happy that everything turned out so well. The Oreos have been eaten, the book has been read, and Watto graces my desk.

Chris now has the geekcalendar.com site up and running and I'm proud to have helped a little bit make something where there used to be nothing. Go take a look, it's kinda neat.

So if you are someone sitting on a bunch of domain names, maybe instead of waiting for "something important" or a big payday to arrive, have some fun. Let go of the things you aren't using and help something new appear.

As the Golden Rule says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Posted by michael at June 11, 2013 02:29 PM