Attention bottom-feeders

What’s in a name? Perhaps an unexploited advertising opportunity. Web entrepreneurs have taken to registering domain names and putting advertising on otherwise naked sites to collect pay-per-click revenues from people who type in a name without being directed to the destination by a search engine. MediaPost calls this domain parking and describes it as a new manifestation of cybersquatting.

“Domain parking grew out of “cybersquatting”–in which speculators purchased domain names–often trademarked terms they thought would be likely to be in high demand–and then attempted to sell the URLs to the trademark owner. In the late 1990s, Congress prohibited the bad-faith registration of trademarked domains. But since then, with the advent of contextual targeting–and the prospect of making money by selling ads, rather than ransoming domain names–the practice of domain parking has gained respectability.”

Respectibility is a stretch but I’ll grant that parkers are clever. MediaPost mentions a service that will cater to these info-age bottom feeders. One teen, the son of a friend, has purchased hundreds of domain names and harvests a modest income out of pay-per-click advertising — just from random visitors.

Before I wander too far from the topic of attention let me share a few citations that reveal where and when these ideas on attention-getting took form.

I found a list of papers and discussions on the attention economy. The best of these in my opinion the a 1997 essay written by Michael Goldhaber that appeared in (the peer-reviewed Internet journal) First Monday. I found a relatively current blog post by InfoWorld columnist Jon Udell that pointed to

More on that later …

(Postscript: thanks to Tom ( Geodog) Bishop for making a few modest fixes to this site. With the additon of an “About” section I no longer feel obliged to sign each and every blog post.)