This guy says that .blog changed the rules on him. Sound familiar?
Chris Schidle is upset with Automattic right now because he couldn’t get Chris.blog. And I don’t blame him.
Chris isn’t an idiot. He’s also an entrepreneur. When he paid $250 to apply for the domain name Chris.blog in August, he read the description of what he was getting into and even verified details with Automattic’s support team.
The way it looked to him, if he was the only applicant then he’d get the domain name. If there was more than one applicant then it would go to auction.
Chris wasn’t placing a landrush order through a registrar. Landrush didn’t open until much later. He placed the order through WordPress’ site.
When it came time to allocate domain names, Chris didn’t get Chris.blog and it didn’t go to auction. It seems that Automattic hadn’t gotten around to deciding which domain names would carry annual premiums or be reserved when Chris placed his order, and Chris.blog ended up being reserved. [Update: .blog has posted an explanation of what happened, which is in line with what I said here. It blames the fact that registrars start taking pre-orders for domains before the premium lists are created. That’s true, but in this case the customer placed the order through Automattic’s official site. So even Automattic was accepting pre-orders before it created its list.]
Chris’ story is similar to other ones we’ve heard many times over the past couple of years. It’s usually worse: a registry takes back a domain name after it was already registered.
“Oops, we didn’t mean to sell that domain at that price.”
(The irony is that some registries that have taken back domains should have considered themselves lucky to have sold the domain at any price.)
I know that not every registry is guilty of this. Some have even admitted their mistakes and let registrants keep the domains they meant to reserve.
But each of these cases makes people throw up their arms and say, “I’ll just stick with .com. I know what I’m getting and what the rules are.”
By the way, .Blog opens in general availability next week.