Democratic Capitol staffer Christina Gomez had some time on her hands this past Saturday. Like any tech-savvy political junkie might do, she spent the day purchasing websites like www.teamperry2012.com, www.real-rick-perry.com, www.perrytracker.com, and — her favorite — www.perryjokes.com.
“Went on a bit of a Perry-themed domain-name buying spree,” she tweeted. “What to do with these virtual gems, I wonder?”
Gomez isn’t alone. In the wake of Gov. Rick Perry’s entrance into the 2012 race, Perry-centric domain names are flying off the cyber shelves. Some buyers, like Gomez, might be looking to score political points. Some are looking to make mischief. Others are trying to make a buck.
"Almost as fun as buying domains is looking at the ones that have already been purchased," Gomez said, citing PerryRubio.com as an example.
Customers of the online auction site eBay.com, both pro-Perry and otherwise, have the option to bid on a number of these domain addresses. One seller is offering 14 domain names — which can be yours right now for the low, low price of $2,500 — ranging from the fairly straightforward “perrysupporters.com” and “democratsforrickperry.com” to the slightly more esoteric “rickperryhalloweencostume.com” (The seller points out that “caseyanthonyhalloweencostume.com just sold for $5,000 alone on eBay”). Another user is offering a triple-pack of “rickperryblog” followed by .com, .net and .org for $35,000.
To be clear, Perry's actual presidential campaign can be found at RickPerry.org.
User “paynoff” is attempting to sell RickPerry.ws for $65,000 and AntiRickPerry.com for $15,000. She also has the deliberately misspelled Bachmenn.com available for a mere $1,200. Contacted via eBay, “paynoff” put in a call to the Tribune. Asking to be identified only as Laura and vaguely offering that she was “in sales,” she shared lessons learned about playing in the domain name market.
“In the domain world, the shorter the better,” she said. “Describing exactly what your website’s going to be is better.” That’s why the shorter, to-the-point RickPerry.ws (the .ws stands for “website”) commands a higher price.
“This would be a great name for a website for anyone trying to promote Rick Perry or get him elected,” said Laura, an Austinite who says she follows politics “pretty closely.”
“It was obvious he was going to run,” Laura said. “I kind of knew he was going to run when he promised everybody he wasn’t going to run if elected governor.” She bought these domains — which she said cost in the neighborhood of $8 per year — on July 16 and is still awaiting a return on her investment.
(Though Laura said most of the good Perry names have been snatched up, for anyone looking to get in the domain game, she recommends reading up on strategy at NamePros.com)
While not personally looking to cash in, media personalities Adam Curry, a former MTV VJ, and John C. Devorak are two beneficiaries of domain-purchasing pranksters. Type in Perry2012.com and you will be whisked to the site of their podcast, the No Agenda Show. But they aren’t responsible for that. The address is registered to an air-conditioning and electrical services company in Keene, Texas.
“Our listeners have registered over 500 domain names that point to our show website,” Curry explained in an email. “Usually this is due to a conversation or topic on the show. We're no fans of Perry, so this is a nice blocking move.”
Another Perry-themed way to get to the No Agenda Show site: AdiosMoFos.com.
Some prime Perry real estate was bought up long ago for reasons that have nothing to do with the Texas governor. John Perry, the owner of perry.com, says on his website, “I obtained the domain back in 1995 when the web was still just something being messed around with by academics.”
Over the years, he said, he’s received numerous inquiries and offers for the site. “In case you're curious, the most I've been offered is $26,000, and I didn't even bat an eye in turning it down,” he writes.
Which is not to say he’s not open to selling. The price just has to reflect the level of comfort and satisfaction he derives from owning the site. He said, “That value currently hovers between $250,000 and $300,000.”
Gomez hasn’t decided if she’ll look to sell any of her new acquisitions. She said she’d like to contribute to the national conversation surrounding Perry if possible. “I'm going to spend the next few weeks gathering clips, videos, pictures and jokes,” she wrote in an email. “If there is a real opportunity to add something [satirical or serious], I'd love to build a few of the sites.”