Newsweek gives me special recognition for missing out on the booming multimillion-dollar market in Internet domains:

When a Florida man, in anticipation of the naming of the new pope, registered the Web site BenedictXVI.com, the Vatican was in luck. Rogers Cadenhead, who has since used the site to publicize a nonprofit organization and plans to transfer control to the Vatican, could have been an investor looking to get in on a booming business: the domain market. Indeed, owners of similar sites such as Benedict16.com and PopeBenedict-16.org, are looking to sell to the highest bidder.

A few relatives share this view, believing that the cash value of your Catholic grandmother's love is paltry recompense against a 50,000 percent return on a $12 investment.

But so far, the financial windfall for non-altruistic pope domain registrants has been mixed. The owner of PopeBenedictXVI.Com auctioned his domain for $6,100 on eBay to a buyer using it for pay-per-click papal search results. The seller told me in an e-mail that if eBay had not cancelled the original auction during the press frenzy over the domains, he had legitimate bidders on the hook for as much as $30,000.

The Italian selling Benedict16.Com apparently waited too long to auction it, so he's having trouble finding a buyer. (I'm crying on the inside for you, Jacopo.)

On one level, it's nice to be recognized for my error in judgment, which I blame on watching too many ABC Afterschool Specials in my formative years.

I have my wife, my kids, my health, and my hair. I don't need a fully loaded 2005 Ford Mustang GT, Sub-Zero refrigerator, or enough money to send my children to the same Ivy League college as Katie Couric's kids. I can live without the Hewlett Packard Windows XP Media Center PC with the built-in DVR capabilities and the detachable Tablet PC monitor. I'm not bothered in the least by paying off student loans 14 years after graduating from a modestly priced state school. I can live without HBO until The Wire comes back next year. A perfectly good meal can be based around Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Some of the store-brand colas are delicious.

Even if I had earned enough to join the Sawgrass Country Club and knock a few in the water at TPC 17, can you imagine my discomfort when my new moneybag friends started talking about how we made our fortunes?

Donald: "I made my money in real estate development."

Thurston: "My family is in investment banking."

Me: "I was a popesquatter."

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

"I don't need a fully loaded 2005 Ford Mustang GT, Sub-Zero refrigerator, or enough money to send my children to the same Ivy League college as Katie Couric's kids. I can live without the Hewlett Packard Windows XP Media Center PC with the built-in DVR capabilities and the detachable Tablet PC monitor."

Sounds like that gambling website in the early days of the publicity offered you a pretty penny for the domain.

So, humor us, how much did they offer you?


 

It's tragic how few people I know watch The Wire. One of the best shows on TV. Kudos, Cedanhead.


 

Mr. Cadenhead,

Thurston, huh? I too found it difficult to Google up a third moneybags with follicle issues that rival yours and the Donald.

U.S. Naval Observatory Atomic Clock


 

What are the legal issues here? If I register my domain in China as bigcompanyname.com , can bigcompanyname force me to hand it over for free even tho they are based in Brazil and I live in UK?

I need some help here...


 

Two comments:

The Wire is, indeed, the most compelling reason to take HBO. The Corner was similarly must-see. Obviously HBO should create an "All Baltimore Drama" channel.

Secondly, Your ideated reply, "Popesquatter," is not really a reason to forego Country Club membership. If hobnobbing with those clenched-teeth "money-is-everything" types were of appeal to you, you would couch Popesquatting in other terms, chuckle with the gathered fatcats, and move on to the next green (or barstool).

There is a certain sort of moneysnob types who would welcome you to their group ... even smugly grin at your foresight in glomming some URL naming rights fortune at the expense of the church.

But in fairness to deep-pocketed folks who happen to belong to country clubs, there are probably more than a few who would gladly sponsor your membership in same, just for having the decency to do the right thing in this case. And that group most likely includes Catholics as well as members of other faiths.


 

Sir, You should have sold it to the Vatican itself they have plenty of money.Do not forget that the vatican is a state and a rich state. You could use the money to send your kids to some Ivy leagues and there is no shame to that You just outsmarted millions of people by guessing the right name at the right time.
And if you don't knoew what to do with the money sen it to me after graduating form University of Maryland i still do not have a job because of all the new laws that make it difficult for non citizens to get a job in the US


 

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