Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Querki.com ransomed from Squattage

*Whew*. I've been putting this off for years, but it needed to be dealt with before incorporation.

The Querki project has been going for a *long* time -- I wrote the original prototype, ProWiki, back around 2003, and had named its successor "Querki" and begun to design it by 2005 or so. I actually registered querki.net in 2007, but there was a snag: a squatter had already snatched up querki.com, apparently solely on the basis that it had six letters and was pronounceable. And since Querki was just an interesting personal project until mid-2012, it wasn't worth paying the extortion.

But since the project became real in 2012, that's been bothering me. The price for the domain had gone all the way up to $1200, which was deeply pain-inducing, so I've been reluctant to pay for it. But I know that after incorporation the price would probably go through the roof -- far as I can tell, they often raise the price to the tens of thousands once they start detecting people accidentally typing the domain. And the danger of a competitor picking up the domain is pretty serious once the product gets real.

So I finally bit the bullet yesterday, and paid the ransom. (Which had risen to $1300 over the past two years.) For some reason, they had fixated on calling it QuerKi.com -- my only guess is that that is two words in some language -- but that's irrelevant, since case doesn't matter to domain names.

On the plus side, HugeDomains (the squatter) proved smooth and easy to deal with. IMO their line of business is unethical at best, and really ought to be illegal, but at least they seem to be entirely above-board in how they conduct it. (I did some research online, of course, and was pleasantly surprised to find no serious complaints about them.) They cited a specific price online instead of haggling, charged my credit card the correct amount, turned around the process email within minutes, and made it fairly easy to transfer the domain over to PairNIC, where all my domains except jducoeur.org live. (This brings me up to 18 domains; I really need to let a few of them expire when they next come around.) Knock on wood, they seem to be people you can do business with.

So querki.com is now legit, but for the foreseeable future is just going to point to www.querki.net. The .net version will remain the primary domain for various reasons, not least that I don't want to pick a fight with the well-established Quirky.com. (I believe I'm clear of their trademark by both the spirit and letter of the law, but it would be stupid and pointless to piss them off. Ironically, quirky.net is *still* in the hands of squatters.) I have some idea what the .com version might eventually become, but that's a few years down the business plan...
Tags: querki

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