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Whoever bought “ZoomDickIncident.com” is wasting their limited-time opportunity

Photo: An unhappy-looking Jeffrey Toobin, captioned with “ZoomDickIncident.com”.
He’s an author of several books, writing at the New Yorker since 1993 and a senior legal analyst at CNN since 2002, but guess what we’ll remember him for.

One of the things I learned at Tucows — you may still think of them as a shareware company, but they’re really the second-largest domain registrar in the world — is that there are all sorts of ways to make money from keyword-rich domain names, such as the possibly-lucrative ZoomDickIncident.com.

The classic way to cash in on a domain name is to buy one with the right keywords before the demand for it makes it valuable, and then sell it at a huge markup. irishwhiskey.com is a classic example — back in the early 2000s, it was up for sale at an auction for $300,000.

There are other, smaller-scale ways to make quick money with a domain name. One of them is to buy a domain name with keywords reflecting some big trend or news story, set up an inexpensive site or page with a little content and a lot of ads, and point the name there. For an hour or two of work, you can make a few hundred or thousand bucks this way. I’ve done this myself.

When the story about CNN reporter and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin exposed himself on a Zoom call (something I’ve managed to not do, despite having spent the summer and fall teaching programming courses over Zoom in four-hour sessions a few days a week), I thought I might have a little lucrative fun. A page with a quick summary of Toobin’s up-till-now-impressive career, some Zoom tips, including etiquette, and of course, ads.

I went to my ride-or-die registrar, Hover (which is part of Tucows — I like giving my old workplace my business) and tried to get my hands on the “zoom dick incident” prize name: ZoomDickIncident.com. Unfortunately, domainers are always looking for opportunities like this and act quickly:

According to WHOIS records, it got snapped up on Monday, shortly after the story broke:

Domain Name: ZOOMDICKINCIDENT.COM
Registry Domain ID: 2566933359_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.domain.com
Registrar URL: http://www.domain.com
Updated Date: 2020-10-19T19:06:04Z
Creation Date: 2020-10-19T18:49:07Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2022-10-19T18:49:07Z
Registrar: Domain.com, LLC
Registrar IANA ID: 886
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: compliance@domain-inc.net
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: 602-226-2389
Domain Status: ok https://icann.org/epp#ok
Name Server: NS1.DOMAIN.COM
Name Server: NS2.DOMAIN.COM
DNSSEC: unsigned
URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form: https://www.icann.org/wicf/
>>> Last update of whois database: 2020-10-21T13:38:07Z <<<

Although the zoomdickincident.com buyer acted quickly, they’re failing on the follow-through. The domain points to a parking page at the time of writing:

What a waste of an opportunity! In a couple of weeks, searches for related keywords will dwindle to nothing, especially with the upcoming US elections, which will eat up the news cycles.

In the meantime, if you’re shopping around for a good name for your adult site, zoomdickincident is still available for many adult TLDs:

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