The end of the beginning

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Someone has bought wrimb.com. A respectful nod to Eric in Massachusetts.

In a sense, this marks the end of the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms. All 20 names on the original list have now found an owner. It turns out somebody wanted them after all.

Yet this is hopefully just the end of the beginning. I have developed an attachment to these unwanted monosyllables and will be tracking their progress. It would be nice to think one of the 20 might achieve some form of wider recognition.

I may also repopulate the Hall at some point. There must be more forgotten monosyllables that need good homes.

In the meantime, thanks to anyone who has followed or contributed to this, particularly those who got in touch having bought one of the names. Updates would be welcome, whether now or in years to come.

For the full Chronicles of the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms, see this series of posts, and this post on Creative Review.

The Last of the Unwanted

Wrimb

Since our last update four days ago, there has been a flurry of activity in the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms.

At that point, there were just five unclaimed names left from the original list of 20. (For the uninitiated, this was a list of 20 dotcom names, all fewer than seven letters, one syllable and easy to pronounce, yet mysteriously still available after all these years.)

After the post went up, René from Germany was the first to get in touch, explaining the reasoning behind his purchase of klorp.com, grulch.com and blorph.com. Having initially rejected throdge.com, he had a change of heart and decided to buy it anyway. More on his blog.

A gentleman called Jacob Bars Bailey then stepped in to buy plooped.com, in the face of no competition whatsoever.

Another gentleman called Will then decided to buy skrolch.com

There was an intriguing admission from Big Iain that he was once the owner of throdge.com, but had allowed it to lapse – a claim he is able to back up through the Wayback Archive. This opens up an important new front in the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms. It hadn't occurred to me that some of these names might have a pre-history. It feels similar to discovering there may once have been water on Mars.

You can catch up with all the goings-on in the comments on the original post and on the Creative Review post.

The most important news is that there is now just one name left in the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms. As of 14:00 hrs on 8 October 2012, wrimb.com remains unclaimed.

This is satisfying, as it is undoubtedly the worst name on the original list. Although easy to pronounce, it would need to be spelt out every time it was used in conversation. That said, it is five letters, which is commercially desirable. As has been pointed out in previous comments, it might suit the Welsh Rugby International Marketing Board or the West Riding International Marching Band, except that neither organisation exists.

Deep down, I hope nobody buys wrimb.com. It would be nice for it to wander the Hall in perpetuity.

But who knows what will happen next?

The Shrinking Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms

Splegg
NB: this post will make more sense if you’ve read the previous Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms post, which was subsequently adapted and republished on Creative Review.

The Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms was a list of 20 unwanted dotcom names, all one syllable, easy to pronounce and seven letters or fewer. In the intensely competitive market of dotcom names, it struck me as strange that there were any such words left at all.

It also raises some interesting questions. What makes one made-up word more commercially desirable than another? Can a word be so intrinsically ugly that it has no market value? Why do we perceive some words as ugly? Could ‘gludge’ not mean something beautiful?

With such questions in mind, it’s been fascinating to release these 20 unwanted words out into the wild and track their progress. Many of the names were snapped up quickly when the post went up on Creative Review.

As far as I can tell, Thlunk was the first to go on 19 September. Not the one I would have picked as the main contender.

Nine names were claimed on the 20 September: Gludge, Blorph, Frunge, Brolge, Crench, Klorp, Strebb, Phlut and Grulch.

Gruld and Blarse took a while longer to shift, eventually finding owners on 21 September, while Splegg and Thrord followed on 24 September.

After an uncomfortable hiatus, Prork was claimed on 4 October. As one of the five-letter words, I had expected this to go sooner.

To date, only one of these sites has any proper content, if you can call it that:

Gludge

Thanks to Marcus for creating gludge.com

Most of the rest are generic holding pages. Nevertheless, there is something touching about seeing these words take on a life of their own.

Brolge

Good luck to you, Brolge.

Klorp

And rest assured I will try again later, Klorp.

So who’s buying these names? Most of the owners are anonymous, although a search on whois reveals some information about their whereabouts. As far as I can tell, klorp.com and grulch.com belong to the same guy in Germany. Brolge.com has an owner in New Jersey. And prork.com went to someone in Sydney.

Over in the Creative Review comments, a nice fellow called Jimmy admitted to buying splegg.com and thrord.com. He notes that splegg already has a useful meaning in Northern Irish slang, referring to “a situation which is too cool for any other words.” He opted for thrord on a more random basis, with a view to creating “a website involving a word with no existing definition”. I’ll certainly share it here if it happens.

Another guy called Adrian admitted to buying gruld.com and blarse.com, as yet with no clear plans, but it’s early days.

If you’ve bought one of the other domains and are reading this, it would be great to hear from you. I would really like to track these stories.

But finally we must look solemnly at the remaining names in the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms. The unwanted of the unwanted.

As of 15.00 on 4 October 2012, these five names remain unclaimed:

throdge.com
skrolch.com
wrimb.com
sprolge.com
plooped.com

I have to say I’m surprised by throdge and sprolge and have high hopes for them in the future.

But I’m also impressed by the astuteness of the readership. Wrimb is something of a turkey in the list. Five letters, which is good. But it doesn’t really pass the pronunciation test. Say it out loud over the phone and you’d immediately have to explain how it was spelt.

The same could be argued of skrolch, which could be spelt with a ‘c’. (That said, I’ve just noticed scrolch.com is also available, so a smart buyer might go for them as a pair to cover all bases.)

Plooped is no surprise. It’s past tense and already has a suggestion of a meaning, and not a very nice one. No one is going to buy plooped.

So the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms is down to five. But for how long? And what fate lies ahead for those who have flown the nest? Could phlut.com or crench.com one day be globally recognised brands?

More updates soon.

The Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms

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Anyone who has ever tried to register a dotcom will tell you that all the names are taken. Even the most unlikely ones.

Either there’s an organisation somewhere for whom the name is perfect, or the professional dotcom squatters have snapped it up in the hope of a future bid. If you’re after a short, one-syllable, easily pronounceable name, there is simply nothing left.

Or very nearly nothing.

There's a certain sub-group of domain names that remain available for a minimal fee, even two decades into the age of the Internet. They are all one syllable, easy to pronounce and seven letters or fewer: qualities that are gold dust in normal circumstances. Yet they are presumed so awkward, ugly and uninspiring that nobody – not even the dotcom squatters – can bring themselves to go near them.

This post is a testimony to those names. By the truest test of all – the market – these are the ugliest monosyllables in the language.

gludge.com

blorph.com

frunge.com

splegg.com

thrord.com

gruld.com

brolge.com

crench.com

klorp.com

throdge.com

skrolch.com

wrimb.com

strebb.com

blarse.com

phlut.com

sprolge.com

thlunk.com

plooped.com

prork.com

grulch.com

These names are all available for a minimal fee from any domain registration service as of 18 September 2012. There are more out there, though I have tried to stay as close as possible to relatively straightforward words. I will add more from time to time – please let me know if you find any particularly good ones (one syllable, fewer than seven letters, easy to pronounce).

More importantly, let me know if any of these are taken off the market, especially if it’s as a result of seeing them on this site. I have no commercial interest, but would like to track the fate of these sad monosyllables.


UPDATE:

This post has been republished on Creative Review. Since then, over the course of 20-21 September, many of the names have been taken, although content has yet to go up.

As far as I can tell, klorp.com and grulch.com now belong to the same guy in Germany. Brolge.com has an owner in New Jersey. And gludge.com belongs to Marcus in the UK, who has done this with it. Others have gone to anonymous owners elsewhere.

It remains to be seen if these are (possibly automated) domain squatters or people with interesting plans. If you’ve bought one of the domains and are reading this, it would be nice to hear from you.

As of 14.30 on 21 September 2012, these eight names remain unclaimed:

splegg.com
thrord.com
throdge.com
skrolch.com
wrimb.com
sprolge.com
plooped.com
prork.com

Seriously, guy in Germany, what’s wrong with throdge.com?