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The 14 year old coders are back

I read this post by Tom Foremski on ZDNet which made my smile. It’s about teenagers discovering they can make money from their blogs and also the re-emerging domain squatting/monetization that was hot a few years back.

[From Tom Foremski on ZDNet]
“My son Matthew, just recently turned 18 is also fiercely independent.

It is from Matt that I get a few clues to what is going on [in his culture]. And Matt has adopted a hobby of mine: buying domain names. Except that he got a check for $310 from ad networks, for his collection of domain names which amount to about 50 in total, or ten percent of my domain name collection.

Matt is making more money out of the internet than I am. Whenever I experiment with Google ads, or Yahoo, or Adbrite, or any of the contextual ad networks I make about 75 cents per day.”

I reminded me of of similar experiences I had when I was 17. One lunchtime between my Physics class and my Maths lesson I bought the domain and then tried to work out what to do with it (see, I’ve always had a filthy mouth) .

Knowing that Internic (the US government dept that looked after com/net/org domains) were not allowing profanity in their domain names, I realised that the Americans (the main users of the Internet) would love the opportunity of using the domain. So I decided to setup a free email service off the back of it., etc.

(Via wayback machine: Oct 11 1999, Jun 19 2000)

At one point I had 50,000 subscribers, and selling T-Shirts with the logo on at £12 a pop!

Looks like the good ol’ days are back – but makes me feel a little old, even at 24!

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  1. Ben, I have a bunch of silly -type names. I was thinking of the same thing regarding t-shirts but with today’s tech people could buy the email address *and* get the t-shirt: I figure they might make fun office-type gifts (!)

    BTW, I also have I could set you up with 🙂

    PS I like your blog!

  2. Ben Ben

    Thanks Tom for your kind words about my blog!

    Yeah, I think a certain ‘Dave’ could do with an address like that. 🙂 I can think of a couble of other names too.

    Hmmm, not sure I’m quite ready for a email address just yet… but maybe one day.


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