This story about Bank of America preemptively scooping up 439 domain names related to the suckiness of their senior officers and directors is absurd. And, no - it's not from The Onion, so I consider it an early Christmas present for everyone on the internet to enjoy.
"The BofA registrations followed this formula: Pull up the public roster of the bank’s senior officers and directors, and buy up web addresses with the officials’ names followed by the words “blows” or “sucks,” according to the list of the recently registered BofA Web addresses collected by research service Domain Tools. For example, among the domain names bought in recent days are at least 12 variations on Bank of America Chairman Charles O. Holliday Jr."
I mean, come on. If I wanted to talk shit about Bank of America or its people, this would just give me ammo and easy publicity. The best thing about the WSJ article is that it lists the actual domain names registered! For example, on the above mentioned Mr. Holliday Jr, the registered domains are:
Come on, Bank of America - is that really the best you can do? No wonder you're faltering - that's vanilla thinking. You should fire your Executive Vice President in charge of Predatory Domain Squatting and hire me instead, because in about 30 seconds I can come up with some much better domain names that I could probably get to go viral in a matter of weeks (note: I invite anyone to do this, just give me a shoutout.) Let's give it a quick go:
see - the point is that it's impossible to cover even a fraction of the potential "hater" sites, so why even try - it just encourages it! The Journal article notes:
"Josh Bourne of FairWinds Partners, which advises companies on their digital brands, said companies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to $1 million a year on “defensive” registrations to help keep a lid on websites that may trash the company, or misdirect people to fraudulent Internet sites. For example, domain names xeroxstinks.com and JCrewsucks.com are owned by their corporate namesakes, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
Companies “are definitely not trying to close every doorway, which is impossible,” Bourne said. “But you can close some of the most important doors” to criminal behavior or just plain corporate nastiness, said Bourne about the defensive registration of Web addresses.
But even after a blanket effort to buy up BofA-related Web addresses, there is plenty of room for critical Web sites.
BankofAmericaSucks.com already exists as a forum for people unhappy with the bank. The web name ihatebankofamerica.com is taken, according to WhoIs, but is so far unused. BrianMoynihanblows.com may have been scooped up last week, but BrianMoynihanREALLYBlows.com is still available. So too is BofAisEvil.com, which is available for just $9.95 a year."
FairWinds Partners is thinking INSIDE the box - they need some outside the box thinkers to really get the good (by which I mean, damaging) domain names. Hey FairWinds - consider the list above my resume.
Before anyone leaves me a comment telling me how important ORM (Online Reputation Management) is, stop and think: the harder you try to prevent this stuff from happening, the more likely it is that someone who wants to slam you will get publicity and slam you anyways. Never mind the fact that information can be posted on ANY website - not just ones with "BankofAmericaSucks" as a theme.
disclosure: no positions
disclosure: no positions
note: related, an example of legit suckiness at Bank of America (actually, Merrill Lynch)