Chicago Lawyer Offers Domain Name To New Pope, Gratis

Domain Name Tale Comes To Satisfying End

The Vatican has had it’s prayers answered. The domain name is theirs, if they choose to accept the extraordinarily generous gift, as a Chicago lawyer offers the domain name to the new Pope, Gratis.

Chris Connors, a Chicago-based lawyer, has come forward and has a not-so-remarkable tale to tell about how and why he came into possession of the domain that has occupied a lot of bandwidth lately.

In a story by Ellen Jean Hirst for the Chicago Tribune, Connors “tells all.” Here are the highlights:

Chris Connors

A Chicago lawyer says he bought the domain name as a lark in 2010 and plans to give it to the Roman Catholic Church for free now that the new pope has chosen the name Francis.

Chris Connors, 39, said he had hoped a pope in his lifetime would choose the name Francis, after Italian St. Francis of Assisi, who lived a simple life in service to the poor. But just as several cardinals, including Chicago’s Francis George, expressed surprise that the name Francis was chosen, so did Connors.

When Connors bought the domain name three years ago, for “just a couple bucks” a year through the domain name, he didn’t have a plan for it. He bought it as a sort of bet with himself, secretly hoping that George would someday be guided by the Holy Spirit to the position of pope and keep his baptismal name.

Premium Domain Name To Be | Who Knew?

So, In a moment of prophetic passion, a domain name became the future legacy for the Catholic Church. Pretty powerful testimony to the power of Faith and Desire. Throw in a little Patience for good measure and dreams do come true. Let this be a lesson for us all!

Altruistic? Maybe. But the risk was, well… non-existent. Unless you consider yearly registration fees risky, which I do NOT.

Connors has been a contributing member of society and believes in Justice – as evidenced (pardon the pun) by his profession:

Connors, who is with the Connors Law Group and represents clients who are whistle-blowers, has long thought the selection of Francis for a pope’s name would be appropriate, because of the 13th-century saint’s much-needed message of simplicity and humility in today’s fast-paced world.

The Domain And The Diocese

While this has been Connors’ fifteen-plus minutes of fame, he is taking it in stride and simply doing,Pope Francis what in his mind, is the “right thing.”

Although he’s been contacted by several people interested in the domain, Connors said he wants to “give Pope Francis dibs first.” In the spirit of St. Francis, Connors doesn’t plan on asking for any compensation.

“(Cardinal George is) busy right now, so I left a message” at Holy Name Cathedral, Connors said. “I told him that if Pope Francis wants it, he’s got it. Especially in this age with social media, it might be helpful for him if he’s going to use it. I’d like to see it used.”

Is there a place now guaranteed in Heaven for Connors? Hard to say, but he will be indelibly written in the Whois records for the domain name for all of virtual eternity.

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Domain Hacks

Domain hacks are a special breed of domain name. The first one I ever saw was Steve Jones’ and Sharon Hayes’ and I was immediately intrigued. I thought, “WOW! That’s brilliant!” And, of course, “Wish I’d thought of that…” Their domain name, with the ccTLD (country-code Top Level Domain) extension for India – .in – which spells out the word “Domain.”domain hacks
If you take a quick glance at the accompanying image, you will see a few more examples of domain hacks.

So, how do you value a domain name that relies upon the extension to complete the idea, brand, business, word or whatever? This is a question I have yet to answer. However, I have had the unique experience of crossing paths with an individual who built his entire portfolio out of domain hacks and believes they are priceless.

The most recent example of a very public domain hack (that went very wrong) was, This was all over the blogosphere and, If you do a search, you can learn the entire sordid story surrounding this. But I digress.

The individual I referred to previously has sold several of his names in private deals and has listed more on In my correspondence with him, he has continued to maintain his belief that domain hacks are an eclectic and valuable approach to domain investing. He may be right. With the surge in new ccTLD’s and the soon-to-be-released onslaught of gTLD’s, there has been an uptick in the interest and fascination with domain hacks.

This is a “must-see” video by Matt Cutts on the subject of domain hacks:

For the record, I own a few:

I own the corresponding .com domain name for the last name in this group – and I secured it because I wanted to solidify the name and the space.

A very popular domain hack is, which is a URL shortener owned by you-know-who. And, you can find a whole marketplace full of domain hacks for sale at

Some may say it is gimmicky, others may feel it is a way to secure a name that provides a unique twist on a brand or business. But, they do seem to have somewhat of a cult-following.

I believe it is safe to say, that domain hacks provide diversity and potential opportunity in domaining. And that’s a good thing, right?

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Prolific Domain Bloggers Keep Us Educated

My “Domain” Google Alert contains a lot of disposable content, but I keep them around because

Image representing Google Alerts as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

the gems are well worth mining from the schist. On any given day, I will receive several dozen so-called “news items,” most of which are simply ignored. However, the items I receive from what I consider legitimate domain bloggers bring a smile to my face and I will gladly take the time and read their braindumps.

However, it is my goal in this post to list the absolute best sites to glean accurate and quality information about the domain industry. And, as a bonus, business tidbits are oftentimes offered by these industry professionals.

Truth be told, this is how I cut my teeth in domaining.

Oh, and remarkably, this is all 100% FREE!

So, here’s the list:

  1. Morgan Linton – Morgan’s energy is infectious, and the wide range of topics and information he covers in his blog is invaluable. My highest recommendation – sign up for his email newsletter today so you don’t miss a thing.
  2. DomainSherpa – Michael Cyger is brilliant and talented. His guests are, too. His weekly videos are a Master Class in the business of domains and domaining. Sign up for his newsletter, as well.
  3. The Art Of The Name – Adam Dicker. I could stop here, but I won’t. Adam has the biggest heart and the sharpest mind of any domainer I know. He is also down-to-earth and as generous as the day is long. His video blog ‘The Art Of The Name’ is relatively new, but it packs a punch when it comes to dynamic, entertaining and value-added content. You absolutely MUST sign up for his video newsletter notifications.
  4. DomainNameWire – Andrew Allemann writes more posts than anyone I know in the domain industry. And, they are all interesting, readable and provide timely updates in virtually every facet of domaining, Following Andrew is like keeping your finger on the pulse of domaining.
  5. DNJournal – Ron Jackson ROCKS! His insights, expertise, knowledge and reporting of domain sales is unparalleled. He is my go-to source for updated domain sale reporting. I like to say that he keeps score in domaining.
  6. TheDomains – Michael Berkens is a no nonsense domainer who has a penchant for justice. I know that sounds dramatic, but I have found no better resource for keeping up with UDRP decisons and Reverse-Domain-Hijacking cases, than on his blog. His matter-of-fact reporting style is refreshing and WYSIWYG. If you can’t stand the heat in Michael’s kitchen…
  7. Ricks Blog – Rick Schwartz needs no introduction, however he deserves one. Eclectic and filled with personality, Rick has unapologetically  pursued his passion for domains and released his flock of pigeons on occasion to simply make his point: quality and patience wins out over all. Oh, and that Dot Com is and will always be King – just like him.
  8. Eliot’s Blog – Eliot is a household name in the domain industry. Another no-nonsense domainer, his contributions to domaining are myriad – and he continues to give. His latest endeavor is his weekly Wednesday domain listings, where he allows his readers to post one domain for sale in his Comments section. He does have rules for this, so don’t exploit his generosity.
  9. ICA – Phil Corwin is a tireless and grizzled attorney, who has altruistically agreed to take on the role of advocate and lobbyist to and for the domain industry. Through the non-profit organization ICA – Internet Commerce Association – he continuously pores over ICANN decisions and documents and attempts to police the imbalances he sees that may adversely affect domainers, domaining and the domain industry. His most recent efforts kept .com’s from going up in price. Thanks, Phil!!!
  10. Domain Shane – I wanted to send a quick nod to Shane Cultra. He’s a domainer, but he also runs a full-time landscaping business. This really inspired me when I first began domaining.

There are more, but this is a great start.

Follow these guys and study hard. This is a compilation of knowledge and wisdom that cannot be duplicated anywhere.

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WordPress Wins Two WordPress-Related Domain Names In Arbitration

Don’t Mess With WordPress!


WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

WordPress is a household word and has become the “go-to” website platform for an ever-growing population of web developers, internet marketers and online neophytes. It’s robust and dynamic features and capabilities, make it a phenomenal tool to build yourself a simple blog or a full-fledged e-commerce site.

In fact, it is estimated that over 25% of all websites utilize WordPress. This is a staggering number and continues to increase.

So, when someone attempts to co-opt the WordPress platform’s good name and exploit it for their personal gain, this is not received well by the WordPress Foundation.

So, in an article on DomainNews, the action taken by WordPress in response to a trademark violation is apparently justified:

NAF Rules In Favor Of WordPress On All Three ICANN Required Elements


ICANN Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WordPress Foundation has recently won a domain name case against AsiaFast Pte Ltd. The company filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum, asserting legal rights over the two disputed domains: and

[WordPress Foundation] owns many trademark registrations for the “WordPress” mark all over the world.Therefore,it is more than obvious that the disputed domain names are confusingly similar to its trademark.Moreover,Wordpress managed to demonstrate that the respondent has no rights or legitimate interest over the domain names and that the respondent registered and used the disputed domain names in bad faith .

WordPress managed to establish all the three elements requires under ICANN Policy and the Panel ordered the disputed domain names to be transferred from the respondent to the complainant.

WordPress Users Rejoice!

Wordpress default1 mainpage

WordPress default1 mainpage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And so, WordPress has protected it’s good name and all is well on the web once again.

The advocacy and support of the internet community at large, which perpetuates the integrity and viability of WordPress – and the WordPress platform – is sacrosanct.

WordPress has become almost synonymous with the Internet itself! After all, what is the Internet without websites?

However, everyone knows it all begins with a Premium Domain Name

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Reputation Management Starts With A Domain


Don’t let your online reputation interfere with your offline persona.

And so, the article on by  begins, as a timely warning and “words to the wise.”

Okay, raise your hand if you own your own domain name. I mean your Hmmm… I don’t see very many hands raised. Well, read on and see why it’s a good idea to scurry to your friendly registrar and get this important task accomplished – NOW!

Well, you can read the rest of the article first.

Mac goes on to say:

The time to claim your web identity is now. Online reputation management cannot start soon enough. Purchase a or domain, register relevant Facebook and Twitter accounts, and start filling those services with accurate information that you want to spread. Without a proper domain with your name in it and the relevant social accounts, reputation management may turn into reputation firefighting.

I am in complete agreement with Mac (which makes for boring commentary, I know), owning your namesake and your business domain names only makes sense. In fact, I will take it one step further and advocate this as a proactive and protective approach toward identity-theft prevention.

In the following, Pogue looks at a somewhat germane example of the time-wasting aggravation and reputation management nightmare that can occur from NOT having your domain name:

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of Representatives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Presidential candidate Ron Paul didn’t buy his namesake domain,, and was forced into reputation management tailspin. Paul, a 2008 and 2012 contender, known for his staunch libertarian and anti-government standpoint, has filed a dispute with the UDRP, an agency of the United Nations, over the ownership of the domain.

Now, instead of focusing on his political and business endeavors, Ron Paul has now been thrown into a drawn-out reputation management debacle.

It’s really quite simple. Even if you have no idea how to register your own personal and/or business domain names, contacting GoDaddy, who is the largest registrar out there, and – full disclosure – the registrar with whom I have my domains – having them assist you with setting up a free account, is worth the learning curve and might even help you sleep a little better at night.

And, the benefits are obvious:

Claiming your domain name is like taking ownership of your own name. Brands with the proper domain name have one less hoop to jump through when connecting with users. A domain using your real name takes no explanation; users searching for a site with an unnatural domain will have to pass through an extra layer of confusion to find your web presence.

Claiming your online identity also means clearing up the spread of misinformation in the future. Many online directories draw their information from just a few sources, with no human double-checking. Spreading correct information is important not just for human eyes, but for the digital sources that aggregate your information.

While it may be a distant possibility, my guess is no one wants erroneous information or malicious rumors to be spread about them. All it takes is a couple of minutes, so why not get it done?

Interestingly, in a previous post, a large percentage of Irish businesses failed to register the domain name for their businesses. For whatever reason, the importance of domain names – for personal and business use – are being overlooked.

So, now is the time to get “in the know:”

Your online identity requires your input. Defending your web persona means playing a good offense; throw information out into the void early and often.


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The Domain King Celebrates 1000th Blog Post

Congratulations Rick Schwartz | The Domain KingRick Schwartz

Rick has been an unofficial mentor of mine for several years. He also scares the heck out of me sometimes. His outgoing and, (ahem) “candid” communication style attracts followers and foes of all ilks and arenas around the world. (just read some of his blog comments sometime!)

He has been proselytizing the long-term value of buying and holding “Quality” dot com domain names for going on twenty years now. And he practices what he preaches.

In this blog post, Rick exercises a bit of uncharacteristic control and brevity, although he absolutely gets his message across.

Virtually every blog post has something worth committing to posterity, and this post in no different. He is consistent in his message, and the following is a mantra I, and others, have heard time and time again:

“When you do something, longevity is the key. With time, many things can become successful. I hope I have added some ideas and value to your lives. I hope the next 1000 posts culminate with me seeing the finish line of a 20 year plan. When attention spans are generally 20 minutes……I hope I have shown a vivid difference.”

The Domain King And His Reign

For those who have taken the ride with Rick over the past two decades, they know Rick’s story – and they know Rick. Rick has been defiant and persistent; obnoxious and truth-telling; and ultimately, gregarious and gracious. His take on “risk and reward” is notable and verifiable.

Some say he’s lucky. And I agree. But he’s made his own luck – and we can too!

Rick says his legacy began even before these one-thousand posts:

“No, this was not my first 1000 posts. I made several thousand before blogs even came to be. I have had this daily routine since 1996. Through,, and then to Ricks Board and finally here.”

Congratulations, Rick. It’s been crazy amazing!

Long Live The Domain King!

And,if the following is any indication, Rick is looking forward to the next twenty years.
And, oh yes, it is definitely on my calendar!

“See you at the 20 year mark!! December 26th 2015 in case you would like to mark that baby on your calendar.”