In December 2004 a simple note at the bottom of Twitter.com said “We sell this website-name (twitter.com) because of other biz schedule.Sale price $4500“. Six months earlier the domain twiter.com had already been registered. Certainly not as a typo of twitter because at this point in time it was a nothing site and twitter as we know it wouldn’t be started for two years. Fast forward 5 years
Twitter is the centerpiece of the online social world behind Facebook with millions of users added monthly. The former owner, Jinpoong of South Korea, is eternally known as the guy that used to own twitter.com and if were him I would have that on my business card. On the other hand, the original owner of twiter.com looks like he couldn’t hold on long enough to become one of the luckiest domainers around. Twiter dropped and has changed hands several times with the eventual owner being a typo specialist.
I have to admit the story wasn’t as exciting as I was hoping it would be. I envisioned some guy buying twiter for a project and then facing the same “problem” as the utube.com guys and being overrun with people looking for the “other” site. Instead it is sitting in the hands of a typo squatter that has thousands of trademart typos and probably gets sued once a month, thus the blank landing page of twiter.com. Type the ip 126.96.36.199 into this reverse IP lookup and you can see the countless trademark and non trademarked typos of the owner.
I guess this explains why you haven’t seen any stories similar to the twitter.co.uk owner. He also registered the name years before the new twitter and complains how his email is virtually useless because so many people use that as the fake email to start a twitter account. That’s a little better story than interviewing a professional squatter. Perhaps I could interview the original owners to see what they think about what’s been done with the name they started. Anyone speak Korean?